Whether you have a cosy city garden with a small dining table or an idyllic country escape with a pergola or a porch, there are few things as evocative of summer than dining al fresco.
Capturing this spirit now more than ever is wood-fired cooking. As live-fire cooking heats up in restaurants, it has, in turn, created a trend for residential friendly wood-fired ovens to become a popular choice for the home cook.
As home gardens come into summer and the smell of flowers, fruits and veggies ignite our passion for eating outdoors, the wood-fire oven truly comes into its own. While many start with a simple Neapolitan pizza, their meals soon grow to embrace cuisines from all over the world.
What is a wood-fired oven?
A wood-fired oven is exactly what its name implies. Instead of being heated by electricity or completely reliant on gas, a wood-fired oven uses burning wood to cook food. Compared to most home ovens, wood-fired ovens can reach higher temperatures, which allows your food to cook differently than it would in a conventional oven.
A wood-fired oven emits three types of heat:
The first is the heat of the fire.
The second is radiated heat where the dome of the oven gets white-hot after the fire has been burning for a while. The dome radiates heat downward on your pie, pizza, meat or bread.
The third is convection heat where the tiles on the floor of the oven are used to bake dough perfectly.
How is a wood-fired oven different from gas or electricity?
Wood-fire ovens char and flavour pizza, vegetables and meat differently: Gas and electric ovens cook with direct heat. A wood-fired oven fuelled by wood traps heat and cooks indirectly at high temperatures, which creates a charred crust and a rustic, smoky flavour that you simply cannot achieve any other way.
They allow for flexibility of flavour: Since a wood-fired oven will work with different kinds of wood, you can introduce new flavours by changing the type of logs you use. Cherry will create a different flavour than applewood or other varieties.
They are more authentic: The AVPN (True Neapolitan Pizza Association or Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana) publishes rules about what constitutes an authentic Neapolitan pizza. Wood-fired pizza ovens are a requirement for creating an authentic Italian pizza made to these regulations.
They result in even heat and a faster cooking time: In a wood-fired oven, pizza, steak and kebabs take only minutes to cook. The heat is even because it radiates from the dome, walls and tiles of the oven. Likewise, dough is cooked to the perfect texture — crunchy on the outside, and soft on the inside.
Intuitive cooking: Embrace the culinary adventure and get back to basics with the most primal of elements, fire. Without temperature dials and fan controls, you become a more intuitive cook, one who values your senses of smell, sight, taste and even touch over the beep of an oven timer. It allows you to cultivate a confidence of ‘it’s done when it’s done,’ and a willingness to work in tandem with your fire.
What can you cook on a wood-fired oven?
Wood-fired cooking helps you to become more creative with food. If pizza’s not on your menu, you can also cook all manner of bread, meat, fish, casseroles, cakes and puddings by taking advantage of the different stages of the heat cycle.
Pizzas, burgers, steaks, kebabs, fish and anything which can be cooked quickly are cooked at the beginning when the oven is hottest. Longer slower cooks such as lasagne, poultry, joints of meat, pies and cakes go in when the oven has cooled a little. Low and slow joints of meat can go in when the temperature has dropped even lower.
When you’ve finished cooking you can bake bread, then when the ashes have been swept out the residual heat can be used to dry out meringues, fruit or oats to make granola.
Because wood-fired cooking is an ancient method that has been used for centuries all around the world, it can be used to make many global dishes: starting in France with a creamy Tartiflette, Turkey with Balon Ekmek (balloon bread), to Brazil with Pao de Queijo. Its versatility makes it very appealing. Wood-fired cooking acts as a bridge between cultures and beliefs and it provides you with the opportunity to try recipes and dishes from different culinary traditions.
Delvita truly embraces this back-to-basics ethos of cooking with fire. While keeping true to their purpose, these handcrafted wood-fired ovens can be easily moved around and are fully insulated due to their clever fibreglass shell, staying cool to the touch. You won’t have to worry about building a large brick base to accommodate it. The size of the Delivita Wood-fired ovens makes them ideal for city life. Whether you have a balcony, a little patio or you just don’t want something too imposing, these stylish colourful ovens will achieve just that.
But what makes this company truly special is the guidance they give you – from when you purchase the oven to when you start cooking, they are with you every step of the way. With a range of delectable recipes for you to try, they also provide cookery lessons and actively share other customers’ creations, so you feel a part of one big ‘wood-fire family’.
Delivita offers a unique opportunity to eat together, the Italian way - you will always have a seat at the table and a meal to enjoy.
A family business that was started in 2016 by an entrepreneurial uncle and niece duo, Joe Formisano and Olivia Robinson, Delivita have revitalised outdoor cooking with style, and we are here for it.
Beyond that, Delivita also offers strong sustainability credentials. They use local Kiln dried logs in their ‘wood starter pack’ so you burn a completely natural product that has less moisture meaning a cleaner, hotter burn for you and your family.
What is the best package for me?
For the novice wood fired chef, the Delivita basic bundle is a nice place to start. If you have a small garden and don't plan to cook that often this has you perfectly covered. It includes: The Delivita Wood Fired Oven, The Delivita Pizza Peel, The Delivita Oven Brush, and The Delivita Prodder and Blower.
For the willing chef, the Delivita advanced bundle will carry on your enthusiasm to learn and explore. It includes gadgets that will help you become a master at each dish. More importantly it includes the Oven Door, which allows you to smoke, bake and roast. It features: Delivita Wood Fired Oven, Delivita Oven All Weather Cover, Delivita Pizza Peel, Delivita Pizza Brush, Delivita Prodder and Blower, Infrared gun, Delivita Oven Door, and a ‘Fired’ recipe book.
Ready to get going? This is the largest Delivita bundle and is ideal for the frequent home chef who wants to elevate their cooking game even further. With all these appliances at hand, you will have everything you need at home to make interesting dishes each day and entertain your guests. The foldaway stand will be your very own outdoor kitchen station to place your oven on, and where you can hang all the Delivita accessories that come with this bundle.
It includes: Delivita Wood Fired Oven, Delivita All Weather Cover, Delivita Oven Brush, Delivita Pizza Peel, Delivita Pizza Cutter, Delivita Leather Glove, Delivita Dough Scraper, Delivita Prodder and Blower, Delivita Oven Door, Delivita Black iron Dish, the ‘Fired’ recipe book, Delivita Foldaway stand and Infrared Gun.
Give Gozney a go!
Tom Gozney built his first pizza oven by hand in 2008 and he’s never looked back. With a strong belief in the power of food to connect people, Gozney ovens do far more than simply cook the perfect pizza.
Each Gozney oven has been designed with the utmost technical specifications in mind so that your food is cooked to perfection. With years of experience building, fitting and maintaining commercial Gozney ovens in restaurants and pizzerias, they launched their very first at-home oven in 2016 to a roaring success. This meant that the now-famous Gozney oven technology can be brought straight to your kitchen so that you can enjoy your favourite pizza every night of the week.
What makes the Gozney ovens so special is their technology. Unlike traditional wood-fire ovens, the Gozney range makes use of the convenience of a built-in gas burner whilst maintaining the authenticity of rolling wood fire cooking, so you can choose how to use them.
Built and designed right here in the UK, not only do the Gozney ovens exceptionally perform each-and-every time, but they look sleek and modern too. So, whether you’re entertaining friends, hosting a party or simply want to enjoy dining al fresco, take a chance on a Gozney oven.
Which Gozney is for me?
Portable and convenient, the Gozney Roccbox oven is perfect for kitchens, patios and smaller outdoor spaces. Suitable for those who have balcony space or want something that they can use at the dinner table.
Engineered to replicate the performance of Gozney professional ovens, used by leading chefs and restaurants all over the world, the Roccbox oven can cook pizzas in 90 seconds as well as wood charred steaks and a manner of other dishes.
Easy to use and easy to clean, this innovative piece of kit replicates a true wood flame and can reach temperatures of up to 500°C to give you an authentic rolling wood-fire cooking experience. You can take the Roccbox anywhere. With retractable legs, a detachable burner and a safe-touch silicone jacket, it reduces the risk of skin burns that can often occur with metal bodied ovens.
If you’re looking for a showstopper, then the Gozney Dome Dual Fuel Oven is for you.
A technical masterpiece that’s ready for advanced outdoor cooking from the comfort of your own garden. Versatile and stylish you can use it to cook, smoke, steam or bake your favourite dishes from pizza to pies and beyond. From high and fast cooking that can reach up to 500°C to low and slow, the dome is set to be your favourite way to cook.
Designed with the unique Gozney dual fuel system, combining a convenient built-in gas burner with an authentic wood-fire flame, this sleek, chic and elegant product truly makes an investment for the future. Imagine family get-togethers, parties and dinners based around good, perfectly cooked food.
With open accessory ports, you can grow your oven as you grow as a chef.
It includes: The Gozney Dome Dual Fuel Oven, a detachable flue and cap, dock and accessory port, digital thermometer, display unit and batteries, 2 x temperature probes for checking the internal temperatures of food items, manual air regulation vent and ashtray module, integrated gas burner and regulator, ignition and flame regulation dial, 1 x stone floor puck to switch between wood and gas.
Gozney is British designed and made. They produce some of the most technically advanced, top of the range outdoor ovens on the market and we are honoured to be the exclusive central London stockist. You can find out more here…
Wow I did not know you could do so much with a wood fired oven! I remember when i was living in Italy 3 years ago, there was an oven in every corner of the street and it was always so mesmerising to watch. Reading this took me back and now I want to have my own wood-fired oven! Now is definitely the right time! Thank you for writing this!