Pizza Essentials

If you're a pizza enthusiast, investing in an outdoor pizza oven is a game-changer. With the ability to create crispy, delicious pizzas right in your backyard, you'll take your pizza-making skills to the next level. However, to enhance your outdoor pizza oven experience and achieve the best results, there are a few essential accessories you should consider. From pizza peels to temperature gauges, these accessories will make your pizza-making journey easier and more enjoyable. Let's delve into the must-have accessories when you purchase an outdoor pizza oven.

Pizza Peel:
A pizza peel is an indispensable tool for handling pizzas in and out of the oven. It resembles a large paddle or shovel and is typically made of wood or metal. The peel allows you to slide your pizza onto the hot stone or grates and remove it effortlessly when it's cooked to perfection. Look for a peel with a long handle to keep your hands safely away from the heat.

Wood vs. Metal Peel

Which to choose? Which is better? Here are the key differences and reasons for using each type:

  1. Material:

    • Wooden peel: A wooden pizza peel is traditionally made from hardwood, such as maple, birch, or beech. The wood is usually smooth and has a natural non-stick surface.
    • Metal peel: A metal pizza peel is typically made from aluminum or stainless steel, which provides durability and a sleek appearance.
  2. Heat Conductivity:

    • Wooden peel: Wood has lower heat conductivity compared to metal, which means it absorbs less heat from the oven. This can be advantageous when you want to prevent the pizza from overheating or getting too crispy during the transfer process.
    • Metal peel: Metal conducts heat more efficiently, which can be beneficial for quickly transferring pizzas in and out of high-temperature ovens. It allows for faster cooking times and can provide a crispier crust.
  3. Stickiness:

    • Wooden peel: The natural non-stick surface of a wooden peel can help prevent the pizza dough from sticking. It allows for easy sliding of the pizza onto the oven stone or baking surface.
    • Metal peel: Metal peels may require some flour or cornmeal sprinkled on them to prevent sticking. While some metal peels have a non-stick coating, it may wear off over time.
  4. Weight and Handling:

    • Wooden peel: Wooden peels are generally lighter in weight compared to metal peels, making them easier to handle and maneuver. This can be advantageous when it comes to sliding the pizza in and out of the oven or rotating it while baking.
    • Metal peel: Metal peels are typically heavier, which can make them more sturdy and durable. They provide stability when transferring larger or heavier pizzas.
  5. Maintenance and Care:

    • Wooden peel: Wooden peels require more care and maintenance. They should be seasoned regularly with oil to maintain their smoothness and prevent the wood from drying out or cracking. They should also be cleaned gently and should not be soaked in water or exposed to excessive moisture.
    • Metal peel: Metal peels are generally easier to clean and maintain. They can be washed with soap and water and are less prone to damage from moisture. However, metal peels can develop scratches over time, which may affect their non-stick properties.

In summation, a wooden pizza peel is often preferred for its non-stick properties, lower heat conductivity, and ease of use, while a metal peel offers durability, efficient heat transfer, and better suitability for high-temperature ovens. The choice depends on personal preference, baking style, and specific requirements.

Pizza Stone:
A high-quality pizza stone is essential for achieving that perfect crispy crust. It helps distribute heat evenly, absorb moisture, and prevent the pizza from sticking. Opt for a durable stone made from materials like ceramic, cordierite, or refractory stone. Remember to preheat the stone along with the oven to ensure consistent cooking.

Infrared Thermometer:
Maintaining the right temperature is crucial when it comes to making fantastic pizzas. An infrared thermometer allows you to accurately measure the surface temperature of your pizza stone or cooking grates. This way, you can adjust the heat as needed and ensure that your pizza cooks evenly and thoroughly.

Pizza Cutter:
Once your delicious pizza is ready, you'll need a high-quality pizza cutter to slice it into perfect portions. A sharp, stainless steel pizza cutter with a comfortable grip will make the task effortless and give you clean, precise cuts.

Pizza Oven Brush:
Cleaning your outdoor pizza oven is important for maintaining its performance and longevity. A pizza oven brush with sturdy bristles is designed to remove residual flour, ash, and food debris from the cooking surface. Opt for a brush with a long handle for safe and convenient cleaning.

Oven Gloves:
Given the high temperatures involved in pizza making, a pair of heat-resistant oven gloves is a must. They will protect your hands and forearms when handling hot surfaces, allowing you to confidently slide pizzas in and out of the oven.

Other things that are nice to have:

Pizza Screen:

If you are new to homemade pizza, a screen is the way to go! A pizza screen makes handling a pizza much easier and eliminates the need for a pizza peel. It is perfect for the amateur chef. Cooking pizza on a mesh pizza screen allows air to circulate, promoting even baking and a crisper crust. The holes and open rim allow for easy cleaning and improve food safety.

Pizza Plate

A solid pizza plate is great to use for prepping your pizzas for the oven, or landing them after cooking. Used in professional kitchens, these pans 

Tuscan Grill:

A Tuscan grill, also known as a Tuscan grate or Tuscan grill grate, is a specific type of cooking surface used in pizza ovens. It consists of a metal grid with narrow bars that are arranged closely together. This design allows for direct exposure of the food to the heat source, creating intense and even heat distribution.

The primary purpose of using a Tuscan grill in a pizza oven is to achieve a high-temperature, open-flame cooking method. By placing the grill close to the fire, the food is exposed to radiant heat, which quickly sears and cooks it, imparting a distinct smoky flavour. This method is particularly suitable for grilling meats, vegetables, and seafood.

Here are a few reasons why someone might choose to use a Tuscan grill in a pizza oven:

Flavour: The intense heat and proximity to the flames infuse the food with a unique smoky flavour that cannot be replicated using other cooking methods.

Versatility: The Tuscan grill allows for a variety of cooking options. In addition to making pizza, you can grill steaks, chicken, fish, vegetables, and other ingredients, expanding the range of dishes you can prepare in the pizza oven.

Speed: The direct exposure to high heat results in fast cooking times, allowing you to quickly prepare meals. This can be particularly useful when you want to cook foods that require a short cooking time.

Even Heat Distribution: The closely spaced bars on the Tuscan grill ensure that the heat is evenly distributed across the food, reducing the risk of uneven cooking or hot spots.

Aesthetics: Cooking with a Tuscan grill can create a visually appealing experience, with flames dancing around the food, adding an element of excitement and ambiance to the cooking process.

Overall, a Tuscan grill provides an alternative cooking method within a pizza oven, allowing you to expand your culinary repertoire and add a distinct flavour profile to your dishes.

Investing in an outdoor pizza oven opens up a world of culinary possibilities right in your backyard. To elevate your pizza-making experience, make sure to equip yourself with these essential accessories. From pizza peels and stones to thermometers and oven brushes, these tools will help you achieve crispy, mouthwatering pizzas with ease. So, gather your favourite ingredients, fire up the oven, and get ready to enjoy a slice of pizza perfection!

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