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Many home chefs are seeking ideas to build their cooking repertoire. One way to achieve this goal is to take a familiar favorite and cook it in a whole new context. A great candidate for this approach is pizza, which takes on a whole new dimension of flavor when cooked in a wood-fired, masonry oven.

If you have ever thought about adding a masonry pizza oven to your backyard, you should check out the wood-burning pizza oven from Mason-Lite. This popular oven can help you build the outdoor kitchen of your dreams. Before you build a masonry oven, you should find out how it works and how to use it to expand your pizza cooking options.

If you have your own masonry pizza oven, or have experience using one, we would love to hear from you. Your experiences can be valuable to others exploring the benefits of cooking pizza in an outdoor, wood-fired oven.

  • Have you ever cooked in a wood-burning pizza oven?
  • What are the advantages to having a masonry oven in your outdoor kitchen?

Question 1: How Does a Masonry Pizza Oven Work?

A masonry oven consists of bricks made of fireproof material. Traditional masonry oven designs date as far back as the Roman republic. In medieval Europe, large masonry ovens were often built to serve entire communities. They gained popularity in America during the colonial area, and are still in wide use today, mostly for cooking pizza and special artisanal bread. Often, masonry ovens used stones, bricks, or adobe in their construction. Mason-Lite’s Pizza oven offers a new design to the Pizza Oven while keeping the functionality.

Many modern masonry ovens feature refractory concrete, a heat-resistant material that can withstand high heat for long periods. Those built specifically for bread may have a heavier construction to withstand hours of heating. Pizza ovens may be lighter since cooking time is generally shorter.

Masonry ovens function by trapping radiant heat from a fire. That fire may reside directly within the oven or in a firebox, which vents heat into the oven. Front-loading masonry oven designs are generally very heat efficient. This means that the ovens can store heat for longer baking times, if applicable.

Question 2: How Do I Build a Fire in a Masonry Oven?

You can use many accessible materials to build and tend a fire in your pizza oven. For kindling, which you use to start the fire, you can select paper, dry brush or grass, and small twigs. You can also collect fallen branches or purchase logs to feed fire.

Building a successful fire takes practice, but you can follow three key fire-building tips to get you started:

  • Use Ample Kindling Material: To build a successful fire in your pizza oven, you may want to start with more kindling material than you think you need. It can be difficult to restart a fire if it goes out. A better approach is to get it right the first time. Build an even layer of kindling using a mix of materials.
  • Layer Materials: Always layer items which you plan to burn. Put the fastest burning material on the bottom, and slower burning material on the top. For example, your bottom layer could be paper and twigs, with a middle layer of branches, and top layer of logs.
  • Facilitate Air Flow: Leave gaps between logs to create good air flow. This is essential to feeding your fire.

Many pizza oven fires can get very hot very quickly. The heat drops, rapidly at first, but then more slowly over time.

Question 3: How Do I Make Pizza in a Masonry Pizza Oven?

Often, pizza can fully cook in a masonry oven in just one or two minutes. This means you can create unique pizzas for everyone in your family to satisfy their individual taste preferences. You can also host a pizza party and let your guests custom create pizzas.

Chefs and cooking aficionados all have their favorite wood-fired pizza recipes. In this video, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver shares his favorite tips for cooking pizza in a wood-fired oven:

  • Move the fire to one side to create a space to cook your pizza. Your oven’s walls and chamber retain heat, so the pizza does not have to touch the fire itself.
  • Start by adding a small amount flour to your dough. 
  • Make sure your Pizza Peel has corl meal on it before adding your dough or Pizza.
  • Go easy on toppings so that you do not overload your pizza.
  • Add a light layer of sauce 
  • If using fresh herbs, add oil to them before placing them on the pizza.
  • Know that the high heat of a pizza oven can create natural bumps and ripples in the pizza’s surface.
  • Remove the pizza and rotate it twice during cooking and put it back in the oven for even heating. 

By keeping these seven tips in mind you can create a delicious wood-fired pizza in your masonry oven right in your own backyard.

Choose the Right Masonry Oven for Culinary Success

If you are seeking a top-quality masonry pizza oven, trust the experts at Mason-Lite. Our masonry ovens are 50% lighter and 26% smaller than competing products, which makes them a great choice for just about any outdoor environment. Our team has 100+ years of combined experience in the masonry industry. Plus, all our products are 100% made in the USA.

By adding a Mason-Lite pizza oven to your backyard, you can delight your family and friends with mouthwatering pizza that you make just for them. You can create traditional favorites or use unusual ingredients to create pizza recipes that are all your own.

If you are considering a masonry oven to cook pizza at home, we are here to help. Let us know what types of questions you have:

  • What are the key considerations you have in making your pizza oven selection?
  • How do you plan to expand your cooking repertoire by adding a wood-fired pizza oven to your home?