Outdoor pizza ovens are hot. About 800 degrees, to be exact, and their sizzle is one of the most popular additions to outdoor kitchens these days.
It makes sense. Everybody loves pizza. And there’s something especially luxurious about baking up a gourmet version, crust perfectly charred, in your own backyard.
Imagine sliding out a crisp crust loaded with crunchy bacon, fresh fragrant basil, and melted Gorgonzola cheese. Or loaded with zesty chicken sausage, fresh spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. Thin crust or thick and chewy? Pepperoni or Italian sausage?
Hold onto your pizza peel — before you schedule your outdoor pizza oven installation, there are a few other choices you need to make first. Let’s take a look.
Fuel Options: Wood Fired Or Gas Burning?
When backyard pizza ovens first came on the market, wood-fired versions were all the rage. People loved the romance of pulling a wood-fired pizza out and wowing their guests. But soon many homeowners got tired of the work and the wait.
A wood-burning pizza oven is more work, much the way a charcoal grill is more involved than a gas grill. You have to get the fire going, and wait until it gets hot enough to bake your pizza, which can take 90 minutes or longer.
You start logs on fire with tinder and kindling, and push them to the rear of the domed oven interior. The fire in the rear draws oxygen through the front opening and super heats the cooking space.
The best designs have a vent just above the front opening to draw the heat and smoke from the rear to the front and funnel it out through a chimney.
Today’s gas-powered pizza ovens are so efficient, they’ve become more popular. Just flip a switch.
Makers of the Kalamazoo Pizza Oven say it heats up to 800 degrees in 20 minutes and then the act of baking your pizza will only take three minutes.
Wood-fired pizza ovens also take up more space, so you need to decide if you can spare the real estate. Once you’ve chosen a gas-powered oven, the choice between natural gas or propane is made for you — it’s whatever already exists at your house. FYI: A professional will need to connect your gas line to the new pizza oven.
Free Standing Or Built In?
Pizza ovens come in a variety of sizes — some small enough to set on a table or rest on a rolling cart.
A cart version offers portability, if you think you’ll want to move it around on your patio, store it in the garage or take it with you if you move. But a built-in oven lends a sense of luxury and integrates it more permanently into your outdoor kitchen.
How Much Does An Outdoor Pizza Oven Cost?
Ovens range from $3,000 on the lower end to $7,000 for a mid-range unit to $14,000 or more for the high-end oven made by the Kalamazoo Pizza Oven Co. in Michigan, whose artisans sign their name on the inside of each oven door.
Those prices are for the ovens alone. Expect to pay more for the masonry surrounding built-in ovens. Plan to spend another $1,500 to $2,000 for a concrete block surrounding, or about $3,000 for natural stone.
Masons can match your built-in pizza oven to whatever material already exists in your outdoor kitchen.
What About Outdoor Pizza Oven Maintenance?
Gas-powered pizza ovens burn pretty clean, so there’s minimal maintenance. You just need to keep the pizza stone clean.
For wood-fired pizza ovens, the chimney needs periodic cleaning to remove creosote buildup, much like your fireplace.
Neave Knows Outdoor Pizza Oven Installation
The experts at Neave Masonry can install an outdoor pizza oven into your outdoor kitchen that looks as great as it cooks. (Extra cheese, please.) Here’s proof.
Choose from precast concrete or natural stone veneers. Counter tops can be built from blue stone, decorative concrete or whatever material already exists in your outdoor kitchen.
Neave Masonry will help you select the right materials, then build your built-in pizza oven to last.
Everybody knows pizza is often best after dark. Make sure you can see what you’re doing once the sun goes down. The lighting pros at Neave Lighting can add the lighting you need to bake your perfect backyard pizzas any time. Another example of how Neave Group Outdoor Solutions offers a better way of life.
If you’re in the Hudson Valley, call us at (845) 463-0592. If you’re in Westchester County, call (914) 271-7996; from Connecticut, dial (203) 212-4800. Or, fill out our simple web form, and we’ll contact you about setting up your free consultation.
Images: Pizza, Brick pizza oven