Christmas came and went, and the cold weather has truly settled in. We’re all eagerly counting down the days until we can wear our shorts and t-shirts again! However, if you believe that your pizza oven is only suitable for summer, reconsider! Winter offers the ideal opportunity to ignite your oven and impress your guests with something unexpected. The only limitation to using your pizza oven in winter is your willingness to stand outside in the cold while firing it up. However, once it reaches the desired temperature, it will keep you warm and toasty.
In this blog, we tackle the myth that pizza ovens are only for warm-weather indulgence. There are so many meals you can create in your outdoor pizza oven over the colder months. So, get ready to embrace the winter weather as we explore tips, tricks, and essential considerations that you need to keep in mind.
So, what makes pizza ovens a year-round piece of kit?
From a technical standpoint, there’s very little to worry about when firing up your pizza oven in cold weather. However, it’s important to note that if the temperatures outside are particularly low, we recommend gradually increasing the oven temperature. This prevents the stone from experiencing ‘thermal shock,’ which can affect the integrity of the stone and lead to cracking. Other than that, once the oven has reached temperature, using it in winter is no different than in summer.
The thermal efficiency of an outdoor pizza oven is one reason it can reach and maintain such high temperatures. The compact insulation between the inner shell and outer casing of a pizza oven means that even in cold weather, they can cook at the super-high temperatures required for authentic Neapolitan pizza. So, if you’re craving pizza, don’t let the weather deter you!
Where to keep your pizza oven during winter
We want to try and encourage you to use your pizza oven all year round. We certainly do just that here at The Pizza Oven Shop. But whether you’ve got an entry level Ooni Pizza Oven, or an all singing all dancing Gozney Dome Pizza Oven, it’s important to store it correctly during the winter months. No, that doesn’t mean bung it in the back of the garage, not to be seen again until you hear the sound of the birdsong. It means use a cover if keeping it outside, so that the harsh winter elements don’t come into contact with the surface of your oven. The smaller your oven, the easier it is to store indoors which is something we’d recommend if it’s possible in your setting.
Tips & Tricks
Firing her up
As mentioned above, sometimes, if the oven has endured colder conditions for an extended period, the process of reaching the desired temperature can take longer than usual. However, patience is crucial here. Resist the temptation to overload the oven with wood! It might only take an extra 5 minutes to reach the desired temperature.
If your area has received snowfall, it’s essential to brush it off before firing up the oven. Failure to do so can result in water pouring into the oven as the snow melts. This combination is not ideal!
Pizza Peels are important too!
So, we’ve spoken about best practices for storing your pizza oven. But what about your peels? All too often we see pizza peels propped up at the side of the oven, exposed to the elements. This is a massive no, no. It’s imperative you keep your peels inside a garage, shed or in your home whilst not in use. Ensure they remain away from the elements because they can be vulnerable to rust.
If the heavens decide to open when you begin using your pizza oven, make sure to keep your peels away from the rain. A wet peel can cause the raw dough to stick as you launch the pizza. If rainwater comes into contact with the peel, ensure that you thoroughly dry it before launching.
How to set up in windy conditions
If you’re using a portable outdoor pizza oven such as an Ooni Koda, Gozney Roccbox or Igneus Minimo, it’s easy to position the oven so that the wind hits the back of the oven rather than the front. By doing so, the flame will be encouraged to draw over the roof of the oven as it should naturally in calmer conditions. If you position it so the wind is in the direction of the front of the oven the flame won’t distribute across the oven properly which has a devastating effect on how your pizza will cook. In the worst-case scenario, the flame could be distinguished altogether.
So, there we have it. You now have no excuse not to get out there in the cold and fire up your pizza oven. If you need any further help and advice, don’t hesitate to contact our dedicated customer service team on 01423 608648.
Thanks for reading,
The Pizza Oven Shop