Having a stainless steel pizza oven in your backyard is incredible! It's so nice to be able to create delicious, creative pizzas for your family and for guests. However, it often takes new pizza oven owners a little time to get used to their pizza ovens and figure out how to best use them. Here are a few tips to help you in that regard.
Preheat the oven
The instructions that came with your stainless steel pizza oven almost certainly tell you to preheat it before baking a pizza. They may specify how long you need to preheat the oven, or they may tell you that a certain light will go off when the oven is properly preheated. It can be really tempting to cheat and start baking pizza before the oven is preheated, but you won't get good results if you do this. The pizza oven has to get to a certain temperature to bake well, so never skimp on the preheating.
Buy the right wood
Assuming yours is a wood-fired pizza oven, you need to pay close attention to the wood you buy to power it. You don't want to use green wood, as it won't burn hot enough to bring the oven up to temperature. You also don't want to use a soft wood, like pine, as it will burn up too quickly. Hardwoods that have been fully dried out work best. Cherry, oak, applewood, and hickory all work well.
Center the pizza on the rack
When you put your pizza in the oven to bake, make sure you carefully center it on the rack. If you don't take the time to do this, your pizza will bake unevenly. You probably don't want a pizza that is charred on one side and chewy on the other, and placing the pizza in the center of the rack prevents this outcome.
Don't fully close the airflow vents
Most pizza ovens have several airflow vents that you can open and close. Your instinct may be to close them once you put a pizza in the oven. However, this will restrict the flow of oxygen to your fire and may cause the temperature to fall too low. Leave the vents at least partially open when you're making pizzas.
Using an outdoor wood-fired stainless steel pizza oven can be really rewarding. Follow the tips above as you get started, and you should master the process in no time.