How to Select a Wood Fire Oven for Home
A wood fire oven can be a great choice in any chef’s kitchen or for use outdoors. The wood brings an extra flavor to foods that are cooked in the oven and which you won’t experience with standard electric or gas ovens. While pizza may be most often cooked in a wood fire oven, you can also cook turkey and other fowls and anything you can fit into a roasting pan. Note a few tips for choosing a wood fire oven for your home.
1. Choose the largest size
A wood fire oven needs a certain amount of space for the oven area and the chimney vent, but you don’t want to choose the smallest one available just to save on cost. This is because even a small fire can overwhelm a small oven so that food quickly gets burned as you try to control the flames and level of smoke. Your food may wind up being grilled rather than smoked; the outside may be charred while the inside is still raw if the wood fire oven is too small.
If you’re worried about a larger wood fire oven because you don’t want too much heat to escape into your kitchen, choose one with a smaller mouth or opening so that less of the warmth makes it out of the oven itself. If you’re not sure that a larger oven will fit your intended space, note that you may want to have one custom built with concrete or masonry blocks rather than buying a kit or prefabricated oven. This will allow you to create the best, largest size oven for your kitchen or outdoor space.
2. Vent location
Wood fire ovens usually have two possibilities for vent location; one is directly above the oven, in the middle. The other is to one side or the back. Both will then be connected to a chimney or outside vent, however, the middle vent is usually preferred by professional chefs and those more concerned with the overall flavor of their foods. This is because the middle vent will pull air and smoke up through the middle of the oven so that it then evenly smokes the food inside. A side or back vent will pull air to that side so that you may notice an uneven flavoring of your food. If you’re looking for a truly authentic taste from your wood fire oven, choose the middle vent if possible.