The lifespan of any equipment in your home depends on your ability to take care of it. Regular cleaning, maintenance and repair is vital for ensuring the optimal performance of your woodfired pizza oven. Taking care of your oven also enhances the safety and quality of the pizzas you prepare; the presence of contaminants in your oven can affect the taste or smell of your pizza.
In Australia, the extreme weather conditions can accelerate the deterioration of your outdoor wood pizza oven. This article gives tips on how to take care of your woodfired pizza oven.
1. Regular Cleaning
The first stage of maintaining your pizza oven is to keep it clean. Ensure that you clear out the ash accumulated from burning wood in your oven at least once a week. Too much ash in your oven can limit its efficiency. You can recycle your ash to use as a pest repellent and organic fertiliser in your garden.
2. Cover your oven when not in use
Outdoor pizza ovens are vulnerable to the elements. Long-term exposure to rain, winds and extreme heat can age your oven. Using protective covers for your outdoor oven helps prevent cracks, water damage and UV deterioration. These factors affect all types of pizza ovens, whether they are made from steel, cast iron or bricks.
3. Perform seasonal curing
If you cannot cover your outdoor pizza oven, you should cure it occasionally. Seasonal curing means drying your oven with low heat for a given duration which helps to eliminate accumulated moisture within. If you heat up your oven to extreme temperatures with moisture trapped in its structure, it can develop cracks and weak points.
It is best to perform your curing operations as you approach the season when you use your outdoor pizza oven most frequently. It is also advisable to cure your oven if you have not used it for a long time, as this helps to reset the components of your oven that usually expand when heated.
4. Stay within the recommended temperature range
It is easy to reach extreme temperatures with a woodfired pizza oven. Most ovens can withstand extreme heat occasionally, yet frequent operation at a high temperature can accelerate the ageing of your oven. Specialised equipment such as infrared thermometers can help you monitor the temperature of your oven.
Extreme heat can also cause you to burn your pizza and lose the flavour of your toppings – regulate the temperature of your pizza oven by reducing the number of logs you use at a time.
5. Use high-quality dry wood
Wood with a high moisture content produces smoky flames. Smokey wood burns inefficiently and can taint the flavour of your pizza. Poor quality firewood also causes the accumulation of soot in your oven and on your grills. Too much soot can clog your vents and make using your pizza oven messy while also increasing your cleaning tasks.
To sum up, you can enhance the performance of your outdoor pizza oven by taking good care of it. Keeping your oven in a clean, operational condition reduces your preparation routine whenever you want to use it. The cleaner the oven, the better quality of the pizza!