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Pizza Oven | Alfa 4 Pizze built into outdoor table

The Ultimate Guide to Pizza Ovens

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Outdoor pizza ovens are the new trend taking outdoor entertaining to the next level. Imagine turning your backyard into your very own pizzeria, with your family and friends gathered around sharing laughs with that irresistible aroma of a freshly baked pizza. The dream of doing this is more achievable than ever before thanks to the growing popularity of pizza ovens.

The journey of choosing, installing, and using an outdoor pizza oven can seem very overwhelming, that’s why we have written this guide to help you get on your way. We will go into detail on everything you need to know about turning your backyard into your pizza cooking haven.

Premium Pizza Oven | in outdoor area close up view

Types of Pizza Ovens

Wood Fired Pizza Ovens | The Traditional Choice

Wood fired pizza ovens are the heart and soul of traditional pizza making. With wood being the primary fuel source, they can achieve high temperatures (up to 500 degrees). This can allow you to cook pizzas quickly while also infusing them with a smoky flavour that is impossible to replicate with other types of pizza ovens.


  • Authentic Flavour: The smoke from the burning wood contributes to that unique, rustic taste.
  • High Heat: Can reach temperatures above 500 degrees which allows you to cook pizzas in 90 to 120 seconds.
  • Versatility: They are ideal for cooking various meals and offer a unique flavour profile to everything from meats to breads.


  • Learning Curve: Requires a little bit of practice to master temperature control and fire management.
  • Preparation Time: They do take longer to heat up, depending on the model and size some can take up to an hour to reach max temperature.
  • Maintenance: You will need to clean the pizza oven regularly to remove ash and soot build up.
Wood Fired Pizza Oven | Alfa 4 Pizze front view with fire inside oven

Gas Pizza Ovens | The Convenient Option

Gas pizza ovens provide you with ease of use and are quite simple to keep the temperature consistent, making them the popular choice for people who prefer simplicity and convenience. Powered by LPG or natural gas, these pizza ovens heat up very quickly and maintain a steady temperature with no effort.


  • Ease of Use: Simple to light as they will usually come with an electric start and require less skill to achieve that restaurant quality cooked pizza.
  • Quick Heating: Some gas ovens can reach max temperature in just 25 mins.
  • Clean Operation: Produces little to no smoke and soot compared to wood fired ovens.


  • Flavour: Doesn’t have that authentic smoky flavour that comes with wood fired cooking.
  • Dependence on Fuel: Required a continuous supply of LPG or natural gas.
  • Temperature Limitations: Some gas pizza ovens can’t reach the extreme high temperatures that wood fired ovens can.
Pizza Oven | Alfa Nano | Wood or Gas front right view of gas oven on table outside

Hybrid Pizza Ovens | The Best of Both Worlds

Hybrid pizza ovens Offer you the ultimate flexibility, allowing you to switch between gas and fuel. This versatility lets you enjoy the convenience of gas cooking on a weeknight, and the authentic taste of a wood fired pizza during a more relaxed weekend.


  • Versatility: Have the option of choosing between using gas or wood
  • Control: Easy temperature management with gas, with the option to achieve extreme high heat with wood.
  • Flavour Options: Enjoy the taste of the raw ingredients with gas or experiment with different woods to flavour your pizza.


  • Cost: They are often more expensive.
  • Complexity: Some models require more effort to switch between fuel types.
  • Size and Weight: Often larger and heavier so they will require more space.

Each type of outdoor pizza oven has its pros and cons, make sure you do your research before purchasing to make sure you are going to be happy with your decision. Each of these options can be costly so you don’t want to make an expensive mistake.

How to Choose the Right Pizza Oven for Your Space

Selecting the perfect outdoor pizza oven for your space can be a daunting task. Try to envision the gatherings or parties you might host, the meals you want to create and the overall look you want to add to your outdoor area. This next section will help guide you through a few considerations you will want to think about.

Wood Fired Pizza Oven | Alfa 4 Pizze front right view under gazebo

Consider Your Space Available

The size of your outdoor space will dictate the size and type of pizza oven you can accommodate. If you have plenty of room a larger, more permanent wood fired oven which becomes the centrepiece of the area might be best suited for you.

Alternatively, a compact patio would be best suited for a smaller, portable gas or hybrid oven. Measure your area carefully and make sure there is ample room for cooking and entertaining.

Set Your Budget

Outdoor pizza ovens range from relatively inexpensive portable models to high end Italian made units. Setting a budget early can help narrow down your options. Remember, the cost doesn’t stop at the initial purchase price, consider running costs like fuel and maintenance. So, factor in both your initial investment and ongoing running costs into your budget.

Frequency of Use

Consider how often you are planning to use your pizza oven. If pizza night is an occasional treat, then a portable, smaller model might be the option for you. For avid foodies that like to cook frequently and host gatherings, then investing in a larger more versatile oven might be worth the extra cost for you. How often you plan on using your pizza oven should align with your purchase, so you get the most out of your investment.

Electric Pizza Oven | Cozze White 13 Inch front left view of pizza oven in outdoor area


Plan for the Future

Think about how your circumstances might change in the future. You might do a renovation and turn your modest patio into a fully decked out outdoor kitchen, or maybe you will want to explore with a wider range of cooking options. Choose a pizza oven that not only meets your current needs but also has the potential to grow with your future changes.

How to Control the Temperature in Your Pizza Oven

Getting that perfect, even bake in your pizza oven takes some practice and it all revolves around one crucial factor, temperature control. Whether you are cooking with a wood fire or gas oven, understanding how to control the heat is essential for creating those crispy, but soft on the inside crusts with perfectly cooked toppings every time.

Wood Fired Pizza Ovens | Embrace those Flames

The appeal of a wood fired pizza oven is its ability to reach insanely hot temperatures and infuse a smoky flavour into your pizzas. Here are some steps to control the heat.

· Building your Fire

Start with light kindling and small pieces of wood, slowly adding larger pieces as the fire establishes itself. Always use hardwoods like oak, ash, or maple as they are ideal for their long burn times and consistent heat.

· Managing the Flame

Keep your fire to one side of the oven while keeping the other side free to cook on. This setup creates a traditional oven effect that ensures an even heat distribution.

· Temperature Control

It is best to have a digital thermometer handy to monitor the pizza oven’s temperature. For pizzas, you want to aim for a temperature around 450 – 500 degrees. Adjusting the heat is as simple as adding more wood to increase the temperature or spreading the coal out to cool it down.

Pizza Oven | Flaming Coals close up of fire inside

Gas Powered Pizza Ovens | Precision and Consistency

Controlling the temperature in a gas pizza oven is hard to beat, making them perfect for people who are seeking ease of use.

· Preheating

Most gas pizza ovens heat up within 15 to 20 mins. Make sure your oven is fully preheated before sliding our pizza in

· Use the Controls

Adjust the flames using the control knobs that come with your oven. If you are cooking slow cooked foods keep the temperature nice and low, while high settings are perfect for baking pizzas.

· Monitoring Temperature

The majority of gas pizza ovens will come with a built in thermometer to ensure you are always cooking at the right temperature. If your oven doesn’t have one, investing in a infrared thermometer is a good idea.

Maintenance and Care | Keeping Your Pizza Oven in Top Condition

Cooking fantastic pizzas in your backyard or outdoor area can be a rewarding experience but it is easy to forget about the maintenance side of things. Like any outdoor appliance, your pizza oven will require regular maintenance to ensure your investment lasts for many years to come.

Proper upkeep not only extends its lifespan but also ensures the safety and quality of your cooking.

Regular Inspections and Maintenance

Before and after each use, inspect your pizza oven for signs of wear and tear, damage or any build ups in the chimney or vents. For wood fired ovens, remove all leftover ash after each use and check for soot build ups. In gas ovens, ensure the gas connections are secure (check for bubbles by spraying soapy water on all connections) and make sure the burners are always clean and free of debris.

Pizza Oven | close up view of pizza stones inside

Cleaning Your Pizza Oven

· Wood Fired

The extreme heat in these ovens will typically burn off any food residues and build up, but you will need to remove leftover ash and soot to maintain a good airflow and efficiency. Use a brass bristle brush and gently clean the cooking surface and a small shovel or trowel to remove the ash. Try to avoid using water inside the oven as moisture isn’t the best for firebricks and pizza stones.

· Gas Powered

These ovens require a less intensive clean. Always make sure the oven is cool and disconnected from the gas supply before cleaning. Use a soft cloth to clean and remove any build up off the burners.

Protect Your Pizza Oven from the Elements

Outdoor conditions, especially in Australia can be very harsh so protecting your pizza oven is crucial. It’s a good idea to invest in a high quality cover to protect it from rain and UV damage. If possible, try to always keep it undercover and out of the elements.

Premium Pizza Oven under patio with heavy duty cover on

Storage Tips

· Portable Ovens

If you have a portable pizza oven, store it in a dry and covered area while not in use. Make sure you clean and dry it completely before storing it to prevent rust and corrosion.

· Permanent Ovens

For permanent installations put your focus on protecting the oven from moisture and freezing temperatures. Covers are a must, and in colder climates consider insulating the inside with blankets to prevent damage from freeze/thaw cycles.

Must Have Pizza Oven Accessories

Having the correct tools for the job significantly increases your chances of turning out perfect pizzas every time. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, having the right accessories will make your cooking experience smoother and far more enjoyable.

Pizza Peel

This is an absolute must have! The pizza peel prevents you from getting burnt while placing your pizza in the oven and removing it when it’s done. They come in wood and metal, we prefer the metal as it’s ideal for turning and removing the pizza due to its thin edges.

Pizza Oven showing a big fire inside with two pizzas cooking

Pizza Stone

Most pizza ovens come standard with these now. They provide a hot and even surface to cook your pizza on. Pizza stones absorb moisture from the dough which helps to get that crispy crust we all love.

Dough Scraper

This little tool is great for handling and dividing up your pizza dough. It also comes in handy for cleaning your work surface afterwards.

Infrared Thermometer

For the best results with cooking pizza, knowing the temperature inside your pizza oven is paramount. While aiming it at the belly of the oven and a simple push of a button you can quickly and effortlessly check the surface temperature of your pizza stone.

Infrared thermometer pointed at the fire inside pizza oven

Oven Brush

Comes in very handy, especially for wood fired pizza oven owners. A long handle brush is perfect for managing ash and keeping the oven floor clean between pizzas.

Cooking Apron

Cooking pizzas can get very messy. A good quality, heat resistant apron will not only protect your clothes from flour and sauce but also has pockets for keeping some of the tools handy.

Pizza Oven tool set with a pizza sitting on the peel

Pizza Making Tips and Tricks

As you make more and more pizzas over time you will refine your skills, don’t be scared to experiment with different flavours and ingredients.

For our top 5 aussie inspired pizza recipes, click this link

Becoming a Dough Master

  • Hydration: This is key for dough handling. The water to flour ratio (hydration) greatly affects the texture of the dough. Higher hydration results in a light, airy crust but can be more difficult to handle. Try to aim for about 60% hydration and gradually increase it as you get more comfortable with stretching and shaping the dough.
  • Cold Fermentation: Giving your dough time to slowly ferment in the fridge can enhance its flavour and texture. The slow fermentation process also makes the dough easier to shape. Ferment for 24-72 hours for the best results.
  • Gentle Stretching: When shaping your dough try to never use a rolling pin, this can deflate the gas bubbles which are needed for a crispy crust. Gently stretch the dough by hand as this will help preserve the air bubbles.

The perfect Toppings

  • Less is more: A common mistake people make is overloading the pizza with too many toppings, this can result in a soggy crust, and no one wants that. Stick to the quality over quantity rule and choose toppings that complement each other.
  • Balancing Flavours: Think about how you can balance different flavours, sweet, salty, bitter, and savoury and how they can work together.
  • Precooking Certain Toppings: Some ingredients like raw sausage or thick vegetables might not cook through by the time your pizza crust is done. You should precook those types of ingredients to get an even cook.
Perfectly cooked pizza done in a wood fired pizza oven

Cooking Beyond Pizza

While your pizza oven can turn out great homemade pizzas, it’s cooking uses extends far beyond just pizza. You can bake bread, roast veggies, and even meat in a pizza oven.

Baking Bread

Sourdough Loaves

The intense heat and steamy environment are perfect for baking sourdough bread. This results in a crusty exterior with a soft and fluffy interior. Experiment with different hydration levels and flours to find the loaf that you prefer.


Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle rosemary and sea salt over the dough for a simple yet delicious focaccia. The high heat gives a crispy crust and soft inside.

Roasting Veggies and Meats


The high heat inside the pizza oven caramelizes the natural sugars in vegetables which creates a unique flavour. Try using olive oil, salt, and our favourite herbs for a tasty end result.

Whole Chicken

A pizza oven provides a rotisserie like environment which is perfect for roasting a whole chicken. The skin will get crispy while the inside remains juicy and flavourful.

Steak and Chops

For the best results preheat a cast iron skillet in the oven. Cook your steak or chops inside until you get a really good char on the outside then use a thermometer to cook to your desired doneness.

Roast pork cooking inside pizza oven


Owning a pizza oven encourages you to experiment with flavours, refine your cooking techniques, and explore a diverse menu beyond traditional pizza. It begs you to bake, roast, and grill, pushing the boundaries of your cooking skills.

Remember that each dish you create, recipe you tweak, and every party you host contributes to a richer more flavourful life. Cooking in a pizza oven is about discovering cooking in its most primal and authentic form, fire, fresh ingredients, and the great outdoors.

We encourage you to share your stores, recipes, triumphs, and even those learning moments. Whatever your experience, we would love to hear from you. Share your stories via email or in the comment section below, let’s inspire each other in our pizza making journey.

Author Bio Image

Allan Cooper

Allan Cooper, a licenced electrician is an avid foodie, with experience in spit roasting, smoking meats, and kegerators. He loves the outdoor living lifestyle and shares it with his young family.

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