Photo from Unsplash
Nothing beats baking pizzas at home on a bespoke outdoor pizza oven – it beats takeout or delivery every time!
Especially if you love spending time in the kitchen or are a pizza lover determined to learn how to make the best pies, odds are you have considered investing in a pizza oven.
You’re probably already aware that there are multiple types of pizza ovens available – and we’ve created this resource to help you decide which is best for you.
There are two types of pizza ovens: a wood fire oven and a gas fueled oven. But what is the distinction between them? And which oven is best for you or the home chef in your family?
Both gas and wood pizza ovens generate high temperatures; however, a gas pizza oven warms up faster, is cleaner to run, and is often bigger than a wood pizza oven.
Gas pizza ovens are preferred by many as they are simple to operate and provide a much ‘cleaner’ and quicker alternative. Many individuals, however, enjoy the authentic smokey taste of a pizza when cooked in a wood-fired pizza oven.
But let’s see in more detail how these two types of pizza ovens differ from one another to help you decide which one to choose.
Gas-Fired Pizza Oven
A gas-fired oven is one that cooks pizzas using propane or natural gas. This kind of oven is quite common since it is simple to operate, warms up rapidly with a quick preheating time, and it is much simpler to clean.
With the turn of a knob, you can be well on your way to artisan style pizzas.
You’ll need to connect your oven to a gas line or to a portable propane tank in order for it to work.
Photographed above is the Alfresco countertop gas pizza oven – check out our review of this product here.
Wood-Fired Pizza OvenA wood-fired pizza oven uses a wood or charcoal fire to cook the pizza.
They take a bit more time to heat up than other ovens, but they are able to reach just as high of a temperature as their gas counterparts. Many wood fired pizza ovens can reach up to 1,000ºF or more.
Even though a wood-fired oven can cook pizzas amazingly and enhance their ingredients’ fantastic taste, it needs monitoring to ensure the heat remains the same throughout cooking.
What Are the Differences Between A Gas-Fired And A Wood-Fired Pizza Oven?
The following are some important distinctions between a gas and a wood-fired pizza oven:
Source Of Fuel
Standard wood chunks, logs, and coals can all be used to fuel a wood-fired oven.
Since a wood-fired oven burns wood to heat up, it is the radiant heat from the flamed woods that cooks the pizza, meaning that there is a wider choice of wood types to choose from.
On the other hand, a gas-fired oven provides greater temperature regulation and is powered by propane or natural gas, operating similarly to a traditional oven.
This type of oven burns a gas, and the heat from the flames deriving from the gas are the ones that cook the pizzas.
Heating Speed And Efficiency
A wood-fired oven requires more time to heat up than a gas-fired one. How long, you ask?
Wood-fired ovens may need 45 minutes or more to reach the ideal temperature for cooking pizzas, whereas gas-fired ovens only need 15-25 minutes to reach the same temperature.
Pizza ovens come in all shapes and sizes – an odds are you’ll be able to find a wood or gas pizza oven to fit your project, no matter the size.
With that said, if you are looking for a portable pizza oven, gas ovens are probably the way to go. Wood fired pizza ovens tend to start at larger sizes.
Wood-fired ovens are hefty, weighing up to half a ton! If you are constructing a wood oven, you should hire a contractor to guarantee that the area on which the oven rests can withstand its weight.
Gas ovens can weigh the same! Portable gas-fired ovens can weigh less.
When pizzas are made in a wood-fired pizza oven they have a smoky taste that gas-fired pizza ovens cannot produce.
This, of course, is what makes pizza dough so tasty for some people, so it might be a very important factor for those who enjoy that smoky aspect.
Pizzas made in gas-fired ovens do not end up having the same smoky taste as when cooked in a wood-fired oven.
If you use a wood-fired pizza oven to cook your pizza, you should be mindful of the hot surfaces of the oven as well as the flames produced from the wood that’s being burnt.
To protect yourself from getting burned, we advise to use gloves and wear shirts with long sleeves to protect your skin.
On the other hand, this is something you do not have to worry about if you use a gas-fired pizza oven.
Since the gas-flaming process is not an open one, using a gas-fired pizza oven is less risky than using a wood-fired one, especially if you are not a professional pizza chef but rather a hobbyist cooking pizza casually at home.
However, you must still exercise caution when cleaning the oven by making sure you’ve switched off the gas when you’re done.
Similarly sized gas-fired ovens tend to be more expensive than wood-fired ovens.
The actual figure you will have to pay for either oven is usually determined by how big or small you want it to be and the level of efficiency you are looking for.
Hybrid Pizza Ovens – The Best Of Both Worlds
If you’re stuck between the two, a hybrid pizza oven can give you the best of both wood and gas cooking.
As the name suggests, these ovens are designed for use with either wood or gas. That means you can build a fire when you have time to manage one, or just use gas when you’re in the mood for a simpler cook.
The catch? Hybrid ovens tend to be more expensive than their wood and gas fueled peers.
How To Select An Outdoor Pizza Oven
Now that you have learned some of the basic differences between a gas-fired and a wood-fired pizza oven, here are some things you should consider when selecting the best outdoor pizza oven for you.
- Size: A tiny oven will suffice if you are simply cooking for a few people. However, if you want to make bigger pizzas, you will need a bigger oven. Gas pizza ovens come in a variety of sizes and wood-fired ovens are generally bigger in size.
- Budget: It is critical to evaluate your budget, as wood-fired pizza ovens are pricier than gas-fired ones. So, if you have a limited budget, a gas oven is probably a better option.
- Location: To install a pizza oven you will need enough room, so where you place the oven is critical. If your outdoor area is big enough, you may install any size or style of oven you choose. However, if you have a tiny outside space, a smaller gas oven is the best option.
- Source of Heat: If you have a fireplace and have plenty of wood, then you might want to install a wood-fired oven and cook with wood as fuel to heat it up. However, if you wish to use gas, then a gas-fired oven is the one for you.
- Time: If you want to make a pizza as authentic as possible and want to be 100% there during the cooking process, then get a wood-fired oven to feel like a Sicilian chef. However, if you want to cook many things at a time and cannot stay in front of the oven to monitor the cooking process, then a gas oven is again the ideal option.
- Configuration: do you want a freestanding, countertop, or built-in oven? Or perhaps a ready-to-finish DIY kit like the CBO 750.
We hope this article can help you decide which pizza oven is the best one for you. It is a fact that wood-fired ovens are the traditional oven type for making authentic pizzas.
However, gas-fired ovens are nowadays extremely efficient and can yield very similar, if not the same, results.
Therefore, all you need to do is consider these factors we provided you with above and get the best oven for your outdoor kitchen!