Whether we are able to head to far flung beach destinations or city breaks or not, you can still bring the taste of Italy to your home.
The lockdown period has encouraged us to get creative with our cooking - whether that’s nurturing a sourdough starter or nailing banana bread to perfection.
Pizza ovens have seen a massive surge in popularity and it’s no surprise why. Everyone loves pizza. From a classic Margarita to a divisive Hawaiian, you can recreate the fan-favourite dish to create the ultimate fakeaway to rival your local.
To create the real deal; a covetable crispy crust, consistent bake, perfectly cooked toppings and the right level of cheese ooziness, you need to be able to cook at temperatures higher than 400 degrees - a feat not possible with a classic kitchen oven.
It’s easier than you think to operate these garden pizza ovens and launch your very own trattoria. New innovations have led to models for all budgets and all sized gardens. You no longer need a huge space in order to invest thanks to portable and compact versions or have to create a custom build that could cost thousands. There are even hybrid options that double up as a BBQ or attachments that you place on top of your existing grill.
What are the different types of pizza ovens?
The two main categories are gas or wood-fire. The former heats up quickly and can be more easily controlled, whereas wood gives you the most authentic, Italian-style pizza with a smoky taste. You’ll need to consistently add wood to sustain the high temps and it will take longer to warm up.
The beauty of having your own garden model lies in the endless customising possibilities, whether that’s crust wise (thin or deep dish) or in your ingredients that you can adapt for all diets - healthy, vegan or paleo.
You can find indoor and outdoor models.
How do you create the perfect pizza?
Filippo la Gattuta - executive chef at Big Mamma, the group behind the cult London-based Circolo Popolare and Gloria - shares his top tips:
Choose a strong flour, the best is Italian type ‘00’. This will result in a lighter and airier dough.
Kneading the dough usually takes around 15 minutes. Once you’ve finished rolling it out, the base should be around 1cm thick.
Pre-heat your oven so that it's super hot once you slide the pizza in. It makes all the difference.
If you want your pizza to be crispy, the secret is to add a bit of olive oil in the dough itself. That sets apart the al taglio from the Neapolitan style pizza.
You can pre-make your pizza dough and pull it out in front of the guests so that everyone can have fun making it together. If you’re planning on thinking ahead, you can keep it in the fridge for max two days before and in the freezer for a month or even longer.
The best cheese to top the pizza with is mozzarella - I always add it just five minutes before taking the pizza out. Or if you want to go extra special, buy some stracciatella and add it to the pizza at the end, once it's out of the oven.
Shop the best pizza ovens worth their weight in dough.
Ooni Pizza Oven
You may have spotted Ooni’s stylish pizza ovens on your Instagram feed over the last few weeks. The brand has seen a huge surge in popularity due to their space-saving, lightweight and portable designs that do not sacrifice on power. They offer charcoal, wood and gas models as well as those that can be powered by any of the aforementioned (like the Ooni Karu), all at affordable prices. The ovens can reach up to 500 degrees so you can enjoy your perfectly cooked pizza in just one minute. The garden essentials are designed for the utmost efficiency, to reduce energy waste and are ready to go in just 15-20 minutes.
Sage the Smart Oven Pizzaiolo
Offering wood fire oven-style pizzas in just two minutes, the Sage Pizzaiolo could not be easier to use. While not the most compact of devices, it is worth finding space in your kitchen. The indoor pizza oven has a sleek stainless steel design and the settings are unrivalled. You have a timer dial, and a dial for temperature or pizza style (frozen, pan for a crunchy base, thick crust, thin or authentic Italian-style wood fire). There’s also an option to change the crispiness level.
La Hacienda Steel Multi-Function Pizza Oven
Get tasty and authentic pizzas direct from your garden with this outdoor oven from La Hacienda. At a purse-friendly price, you can invest in this durable steel oven for artisanal creations in a matter of minutes. There is a temperature gauge and pizza stone as well as functional ash trays, air vents and flue damper. It is powered up through wood logs or charcoal.
Dellonda Portable Wood-Fired Pizza Oven
This portable pizza oven can be easily constructed and deconstructed at the end of the season for ease in storage during winter. It heats up in around 10 to 15 minutes, and is powered by wood or charcoal. As well as artisanal pizza creations, you can also use it to cook up or smoke fish, meat, vegetables and more. It includes a stainless steel paddle.
Piccolo Pizza Oven - Wood Fired Oven
Crafted from stainless steel, this pizza oven can reach temperatures of over 400 degrees to ensure you get a consistently baked pizza every single time. In just 15 minutes, it hots up and can be used to cook meats, fish or bread as well as the Italian speciality. It has a stylish range of colours on offer to suit your exterior aesthetic from antique copper, to poppy red.
Create restaurant-quality pizzas from the comfort of your own home with the help of the Gozney oven. Offered in either green or grey, it will transform your garden to an al fresco trattoria. It has a portable design with retractable legs and a detachable gas burner. Smaller than you would expect, it reaches an impressive 500 degrees for the utmost consistency in your bake.
Alfa Pizza Ovens
Italian-made pizza oven brand Alfa puts quality at the forefront. The brand plays host to both wood and gas iterations for speedy and tasty pizzas delivered from your garden to your kitchen table. There are a range of models on offer to suit your needs, from the lightweight and portable Alfa One, to semi-professional models designed to live on an outdoor work surface that can heat up between 15-20 and cook from two to nine pizzas at once.
Delivita Pizza Ovens
Not only will this chic pizza oven make a truly aesthetically pleasing addition to your outdoor space, but it will deliver you perfectly baked creations in just 90 seconds. Crafted from fibreglass, it weighs just 30kg and has a space-saving design so can fit in most gardens as well as some balconies. The oven hots up in 25 minutes and is powered by wood. You can customise your bundle to your own preference, adding accessories, covers and extra features like a stainless steel door.
Mila 60 oven
This pizza oven from Mila has been handcrafted in the UK to stand the test of time. The fibreglass exterior is weatherproof, while the interior is designed to reach impressive heat levels. It should heat up in around 30 to 40 minutes and can fit up two small 10 inch pizzas. The oven is offered in a range of colours.
Bull Pizza oven
For pizzeria quality bakes, you need an oven from a range like Bull’s. Whether you prefer gas or wood, the brand has got you covered with models crafted from premium and weatherproof materials like stainless steel and electro galvanised steel. Get consistent, crispy pizzas in less than three minutes or use the oven to perfect roasts, baked pasta, casseroles and more. The ovens heat up in just 15 minutes with various sizes on offer.
Combining power and efficiency, Ooni’s pizza ovens have won our hearts. They are super speedy to power up and give you a perfectly baked pizza in just 60 seconds. The models are lightweight and can be moved around and stored away with ease if necessary. There are options for all preferences; whether you’re a gas, charcoal or wood-fire dough slinger as well as iterations that can be powered by all three.