Alfresco Upgrade: Wood Fired Oven
Bbq has always been the norm for outdoor entertainment. It’s almost a requisite in every household and outdoor events. However, if you want to add more elements to your meals prepared alfresco, an outdoor wood fired oven is guaranteed to up the ante with home made pizzas, smoked dishes, stews as well as bbqs and even breads!
It’s a nice versatile centerpiece that your family and friends will surely enjoy. Here are a few things to think about if you are thinking about taking the plunge and installing a wood fired oven.
Dome or Barrel
Dome and barrel wood fired ovens differ in shape both internally and externally. The manner in which they work mechanically is also different and important to consider. Among the many different options you have to think about, we think this one is probably the most important.
Common dome shaped pizza ovens cook by means of retained heat from burning wood placed directly inside the oven. Wood is fired for an hour or two until the inside walls of the ovenn turn white, which is an indication that the oven is hot enough to cook. Dome ovens have open faces so you require continuous fire to sustain the retained heat.
(Photo Credit: FireSpeaking)
In comparison, barrel shaped ovens have a more complicated mechanism to cook your food. Firstly, they heat up in about 20 minutes because the heat that comes from a firebox underneath the oven circulates through a metal chamber and is retained by the clay or insulation. Barrel shaped ovens have more consistent distribution of heat and offer the performance of a standard oven with the smoky tastes you’d associate with a wood fired oven.
(Photo Credit: FireSpeaking)
The Hearth of It All
The bottom surface of an oven that’s used for heating and cooking is called the hearth. A large family or numerous party guests might require something in the realm of a 12 square feet hearth. A surface that big can fit a couple of pizzas and bbq in the same oven allowing you to cater to crowds and reduce the time you need to cook for. More often than not you won’t need this much space! Wood fired ovens do tend to cook faster due to the insulated heat.
In addition to better cooking time, wood fire ovens add a bit more convenience than a barbecue by minimising smoke as it vents out of the oven and upwards through a chimney.
Pre-made or Custom-made
If you want a custom-made oven built into your alfresco, you’ll need to consider the possibilities during the design stage. Depending on what you are looking for you may need to source a contractor who has the relevant experience to install the oven you are looking for. A custom-made oven is great if you have a design in mind that will fit a space or blend into your alfresco design. Designing and building it along with the entire alfresco will make the whole area look seamless.
On the other hand, it’s worth noting that installing and curing a custom-made oven will take a long time. Ordering a pre-made oven is great if you want to avoid waiting. There are also modular wood-fired ovens that you can roll around and use both indoors and outdoors.
Concrete, Brick or Clay
Aside from color, texture and overall appearance, experts agree that these 3 materials work equally good for a wood fired oven. If there’s any significant difference, it’s in the thermal properties of each of the materials and also their costs.
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