No matter how long you’ve had your pizza oven, how many pizzas you’ve launched, and how many guests you’ve impressed with your creations over the years, spills and stains occur in any oven, even to the best of us! Cleaning pizza ovens however is very different to cleaning conventional ovens. For one thing, you should never use liquid in the interior of the oven, especially on the pizza stone. You can risk damaging your pizza oven if it’s not cleaned and maintained correctly. So, to help keep your investment in tip top condition for as long as possible, here are our top tips! Let’s dive in.
Cleaning the Interior
This might sound counterproductive, but after you’ve finished cooking your last pizza, turn up the heat to full, or put a bit of extra wood on the fire if using a wood fired oven, and let it burn for 30 minutes. This will allow the maximum temperature to be reached which will burn any debris such as spilled toppings, cheese and sauce, and allow the debris to be scraped out much easier once the oven has cooled.
Cleaning the inside of a pizza oven is essential for maintaining its performance. However as mentioned above, it’s crucial to avoid using liquid inside the oven, as it can cause damage to the pizza stone which is a porous material and therefore highly absorbent. If a significant amount of water gets on the stone, it can take a lot of time for it to fully dry out, which can cause the base of the pizza to not cook at the same rate and therefore become soggy. To clean your pizza oven, start by allowing it to cool completely.
Once cool, use a soft-bristle brush or a pizza oven brush to remove any loose food debris or ash from the cooking surface and the oven floor. Be gentle to avoid scratching the oven’s interior. For stubborn residues, you can use a metal scraper, but exercise caution. Regularly maintaining your pizza oven in this manner will ensure its longevity and keep your pizzas tasting delicious.
Cleaning the Exterior and Preventing Rust
Stainless steel is the most common material used in both wood fired and gas fired pizza ovens. If you have located your pizza oven outside all year round, it can become subject to rust over time so you may wish to purchase a pizza oven cover to prevent this, as well as other damage associated with the outside elements. How often you clean the exterior will depend on whether you use your pizza oven for personal or commercial use. For personal use, a wipe down once every so often to clean the soot from the steel is sufficient. Commercially, the exterior will need to be cleaned daily to maintain food hygiene standards. A wet cloth is usually enough to buff out smudges and soot on the surface of the oven.
Look for blockages in the chimney and clean this out
A properly functioning chimney and flue system is crucial for maintaining a consistent cooking temperature and preventing smoke build up inside your oven. It also allows the air to circulate efficiently which ultimately influences the temperatures the oven can reach. Regularly check for blockages or soot debris in the chimney and ensure that the flue is clear. Any restrictions can lead to inefficient burning and uneven cooking.
How often should you clean the oven
Really this depends on how often you use it, but it’s good practice to scrape out the debris and ash after every use. The stone, unless it’s been subject to a heavy spill, should in theory almost ‘self-clean’ if you use the method above of turning the heat up to full for a few minutes. You can also try turning the stone over before you fire it up each time.
If you are missing any of the tools or equipment needed to maintain your pizza oven for as long as possible, we’re here to help. You can head over to our shop or if you’d like to speak to one of our dedicated customer service representatives, call us on 01423 608648 or visit us in store.