Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to cook a pizza in a wood-fired oven?
Our wood-fired ovens cook perfect pizza in 90 secs - 2 minutes - we operate them at around 400C. This high heat is one of the most important contributing factors of delicious wood-fired pizza and cannot be replicated in a normal oven.
How much smoke does the oven put out?
The oven really only 'smokes' when you first light it. It is best to use dry kindling to start the fire - pine, cedar, etc. Once it is up and going the smoke becomes minimal due to almost complete combustion that takes place at the high operating temperatures. Using well seasoned & dry hardwood is definitely recommended. We can put you in touch with a specialist wood supplier - Chris at Auckland Firewood Company.
Currently in some areas of NZ to installing a commercial wood oven has its challenges due to emissions. Check with your local Council.
We are able to supply an appliance that thoroughly eliminates smoke particles discharged from the wood oven - a suitable solution to these locations and it also enables the wood oven flue to be connected to existing extraction systems - eliminating the risk of fire.
What else can you cook in the wood fired oven?
All types of food. Your imagination is the limit - roasting, bbqing over embers, bread, whole fish, suckling pig.... Real wood ovens store heat efficiently and continue to stay hot longer.
We usually cook on the down heat - that is we heat the wood oven up above cooking temperature, then let the temperature drop to the desired level. Pizza at 400C, bread at 180C, etc.
How long does the oven take to reach cooking temperature?
Our wood-fired ovens takes from 45 mins to 1.5 hours to prepare for cooking pizza (approx 400) C - depending on the size of the oven and when it was last used. Usually we cook on the down heat - we heat the wood oven up then let the temperature drop to the desired level. it is a good idea to have an infra red temperature gun to help detect your desired heat - they are relatively inexpensive on the net.
Because of the high rainfall we get in NZ, it is recommended that you cover your wood oven. Either with a cover or shelter.
Is it safe to operate a wood-fired oven indoors?
Certainly it is safe. They will need to be externally vented correctly, either through the ceiling or wall. Of course check your regional bylaws, etc. Wood-fired ovens are classified as a "solid fuel cooking appliance" in NZ - and not solid fuel heating appliances - a Hugh difference when dealing with permits, etc.
The heat radiated from the outer surface of our working wood ovens is minimal due to their modern refractory material and insulation. We have worked our mobile wood-fired ovens at festivals over periods of 14 hours and the heat on the outside surface of the oven is surprisingly low.
Is the prefabricated wood-fired oven easy to assemble?
Yes it is. Due to the clever design and the modular components assembly is relatively easy and quick. If you are reasonably 'handy' and follow the supplied instructions and photos you should be right. All that is required is a bit of energy and some patience.
If you choose we can construct your oven. Usually it would take about a day or so to install, providing a suitable platform is complete and ready. Again it depends on your custom design of the wood oven surroundings. We can help you with this. Curing the finished Oven will take all up 6-9 days - it is an easy, if enduring, process and very important to the life of your wood oven - we supply these instruction also.
Which is the most popular domestic wood oven?
Our most popular size is the Tuscan 6B; 700mm W x 800mm D. You can cook 2 large pizzas at once (remember it takes 2 mins to cook a pizza - faster than you can make it! ) or roast a leg of ham in this size wood oven.
How heavy are your wood ovens?
The Tuscan 6B approx 550kg completed. The Capri 800kg completed.
Why are they so heavy?
Our Wood Ovens are moulded with a very high quality dense modern refractory concrete material that has the ability to absorb & store heat energy and radiate it back into cooking your food from the floor and dome. Try doing this with ovens that are lightweight - the results will be disappointing and frustrating
What is the best wood to burn in the oven?
We use well seasoned hard wood in our wood-fired ovens, our friends at Auckland Firewood are as passionate about firewood as we are about wood ovens and wood-fired pizza. They are a very knowledgable supplier of a large variety of seasoned sustainable burning wood. They have a Tuscan 6B in their yard at Grey Lynn, Auckland.
How do wood-fired ovens cook?
Wood-fired ovens bake pizza in three ways...all at the same time. Through reflective, convection and conductive heat they can bake the perfect pizza in 90 seconds to 2 minutes. These three components work together in perfect harmony so the crust, the cheese, the sauce, toppings and olive oil are all perfectly cooked at the same time. Nothing compares to the moist cooking environment of the natural convection in a wood fired oven. Seasoned wood does still contain moisture. The hot cooking floor (at over 400C ) extracts moisture from the dough to create steam that literally "elevates" the pizza – off the cooking floor. The hot surface and steam gives your wood-fired pizza that unique, crisp crust and moist delicate crumb – there is NO substitute for wood-fired pizza - it is the Ultimate Pizza.
Should the wood oven be covered over?
We would recommend covering over the wood oven, due to rain we get in NZ. If your wood oven has not been used for a while, it will require 'drying out' slowly over a sustained period before normal use. Even a simple "cover" would help keep it dry. Pergola type covering is the ultimate.
What size wood oven?
Choosing the correct Wood-fired Oven can be little confusing - what size? Will it do what I want it to do? Density? Efficiency?
We are only too pleased to answer any questions regarding all aspects of the Wood Oven to help you make an informed decision and get on with the pleasure of enjoying your oven.
How important is my pizza dough?
PIZZA IS ALL ABOUT THE DOUGH: From the flour you use - to the mixing of your dough recipe - to the hydration of the flour - the temperatures of ingredients and mixing - to the ageing - the proofing and finally the cooking. Sounds complicated? - but no it's not. We can help you with this and help you maximise the use of your fantastic wood oven.