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What a Pizza Oven can do that a Barbecue can’t

Ah, the enticing aroma of the neighbour’s barbecue wafting over the fence on a warm summers evening. It really is the metaphor for quintessential suburbia in middle England. So, with that in mind, December might seem like a strange month for us to do a Barbecue vs BBQ Pizza Oven comparison blog. However, actually this time of year we see a surge in people buying pizza ovens here at The Pizza Oven Shop.

With Black Friday as well as our Christmas Sale, many people elect to make their pizza oven purchase around now. With the intention of not even firing her up in anger until Spring. However, we’re here to tell you… don’t wait! One of the main benefits to pizza ovens over barbecues is that they’re much more diverse in what you can use them for. But before we get into that, it’s important to address the key differences.

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What is the Difference Between a Pizza Oven and a BBQ?

The distinction between a bbq pizza oven and a barbecue lies in their design, functionality, and the range of food they can cook. While both excel in outdoor cooking, a pizza oven is uniquely designed to reach the super high temperatures. Typically exceeding 450°C, needed to create the perfect environment for crafting Neapolitan pizzas. This intense heat is essential for achieving the coveted crispy yet chewy texture of a traditional Neapolitan pizza. On the other hand, a barbecue, or grill, focuses on direct or indirect grilling relying on open flames or hot coals. Barbecues are versatile, suitable for grilling various meats and vegetables. However, they may lack the consistent high temperatures required for the rapid cooking and unique flavour profile of a pizza.

Much like the oven in a typical kitchen, a pizza oven is insulated to keep the heat inside. This both allows the high temperatures to be reached quickly, but also retained. One of the key benefits to this is the temperature of the oven can be controlled and brought down lower for long periods. This is ideal for roasting joints of meat, sides of fish, and getting a caramelised, gnarly finish on vegetables.

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How versatile is a pizza oven?

This brings us seamlessly onto the versatility of pizza ovens which extends far beyond its namesake. Proving to be an appliance capable of more than just crafting delicious pizzas. While its core competence lies in delivering the perfect pizza with that characteristically crispy crust and perfect leopard spotted char. A pizza oven’s adaptability shines in its ability to handle an array of dishes. Beyond pizzas, these ovens can excel in baking bread, roasting vegetables, grilling meats, and even churning out desserts. The high temperatures achieved in a pizza oven create an ideal environment for achieving caramelisation and imparting a smoky flavour to various ingredients.

This versatility arises from the design of pizza ovens. Often featuring a dome-shaped chamber and insulating qualities which keeps the heat consistent and easy to control.  This ability to reach extremely high temperatures coupled with the capability to operate at a lower temperature means that these ovens are perfectly adept at cooking a pizza in 60 seconds, cooking a side of delicate salmon or slow cooking a casserole. The radiant heat produced in these ovens ensures even cooking and imparts a distinct smoky taste that elevates a wide range of dishes.


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What are the key disadvantages of BBQs compared to BBQ Pizza Ovens?

  • Charcoal has a maximum cooking duration of 45 minutes and cools rapidly after reaching its peak temperature, while pizza ovens retain heat for extended periods.
  • Barbecues, due to their intense heat, may sear food unevenly, resulting in a burnt exterior and undercooked interior. Pizza ovens, in contrast, provide more consistent heat, ensuring even cooking throughout.
  • Some low-quality charcoals contain numerous small, unusable pieces, making it difficult to achieve a consistent temperature on the barbecue bed. Wood, with fewer variations, promotes more uniform cooking quality.
  • Barbecues can be challenging to clean, which often detracts from the dining experience after the meal finishes. Someone’s got to clean it haven’t they!

So, which one will be right for you?

Choosing between a pizza oven and a barbecue ultimately depends on your culinary preferences, cooking style, and the overall experience you seek. If you’re an aficionado of authentic, perfectly charred pizzas with a crispy crust, but also seek the versatility of cooking a range of other dishes like bread, vegetables, casseroles, and meats on the same appliance, a pizza oven is most definitely for you. On the other hand, if you enjoy the traditional charm of grilling, with the enticing aroma of barbecue filling the air, a barbecue may be the ideal choice.

Ultimately, the right choice depends on your preferences and the type of outdoor cooking adventure you want!

Thanks for reading,

The Pizza Oven Shop

Call us on 01423 608 648 for help and advice

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