How to Shop For a Wood Fired Pizza Oven When there are So Many Choices and a Whole Range of Prices.
Over the past three years, a surge of sellers of wood fired pizza ovens emerged. You could say “they came out of the woodwork!” While that’s good for consumers in one way, it’s also confusing. How do you decide on the right oven? Maybe we can help. At ilFornino, we believe there are three major points that should be considered prior to purchasing a wood-fired pizza oven:
- The cooking surface size
- The heart of the oven
- Materials and insulation
The Cooking Surface Size
Cooking space is crucial and you have to remember that space is shared with the fire logs. Let me illustrate: If the cooking area is 500 square inches – 25 inches in length by 20 inches in width – the fire will occupy 30% of that space. That means this oven will only fit one 12-inch pie at a time. This size is ideal for individuals with limited space. But it is not a good choice for those who enjoy entertaining or have a large family.
Obviously, the cooking space is crucial in making your decision. Here is a guideline on what size oven to buy based on the number of people you want to feed at one time:
|Household Size||Entertaining||Oven Size||Oven Capacity (12” pies)||ilFornino Oven|
Prior to purchasing a wood-fired pizza oven, make sure to carefully read the descriptions of each oven and look for the internal size of the cooking area.
The Heart of the Oven
The heart of every wood fired oven is the floor. There are different options of floors available: lava stones, salt blocks, Chinese bricks… So which floor should you consider?
If you are buying online, make sure you can see an image of the floor or the interior of the oven. If the only available image is the outside of the oven, move on to your next choice. Also, avoid Chinese replicas or unauthorized copies of pizza ovens, simply because there are fewer restrictions on the material being used in Asian countries.
An oven floor constructed of small bricks (4”x 4” or so) is inferior due to heat loss. Having multiple smaller bricks is quite simply not efficient. Plus, the floor will eventually warp, making it difficult to actually move the pizza in and out of the oven.
At ilFornino, we offer the One-Flat-Cooking-Surface. This is our proprietary flooring and is guaranteed to heat up evenly, retain the heat, and uniformly radiate it back to the food. What does this mean for you? No uneven cooking. After all, who wants to serve pies with cold spots to their family and guests? Most of our ilFornino Wood Fired Pizza Ovens come with the One-Flat-Cooking-Surface.
Materials and Insulation
The third factor that must be considered is the type of material and insulation used. There are various thicknesses and grades of stainless steel. Many ovens on the market are made using inferior stainless steel, camouflaged by powder coating. So make sure you read the description of what type of stainless steel oven you are buying and what the thickness or gauge of the steel is. And check how many layers of insulation there are. After all, the more insulation, the more heat retention.
The choices are varied and, ultimately, the choice is yours. But, as with most things in life, research ahead of time eliminates a whole slew of regrets.