We’ve all been there, you decided to make some delicious oven-baked pizza, but you found yourself still hungry after you got done with your meal. Why settle for less than you deserve?
The first step to getting more of that delicious Italian goodness is to reheat your pizza oven, but how can you do that?
To reheat a pizza oven you need to refill the fuel that you’re using (typically wood), and light it back up again. Keep in mind that the exact step-by-step process will depend on the kind of pizza oven that you’re using.
Since a lot of this depends on the kind of pizza oven you’re trying to reheat, you’ll have to account for your oven’s differences and particulars. Let’s take a look at the steps involved in reheating a relatively basic and reliable wood-fired pizza oven first.
How to Reheat a Pizza Oven
The best pizzas come out of wood-fired ovens and, in the summer, there’s nothing like firing up the oven outside. But it’s important to know how to light one.
- Open your pizza oven’s door and chimney smoke control vent. Keep these both open throughout heating.
- Put kindling in the centre. Three small logs, a few pine cones and maybe some shavings should be all you need.
- Light a match and place it in the kindling. Wait for it to fully catch fire.
- Once it’s burning well, add more logs.
- Watch and wait. The pizza dome should turn black from the smoke and the kindling white.
- Add even more logs. This is to keep the fire growing, but you’ll want to do so with caution, as you don’t want to add so much that the fire gets out of control. Just in case, have a fire extinguisher nearby.
- Wait until the temperature reaches 450-500 degrees fahrenheit. Stoke the fire to make sure all the wood is burning.
- Close the smoke control vent to keep the temperature where it is.
- Move the fire embers off to the side or back of the oven once the flames have died down.
- Now put the pizza in. A proper wood-fired oven should stay heated for up to two hours.
If you intend to cook more than one, you can always stop to add more fire, going through the process again. However, if you cook them within two hours, it should stay hot enough to produce the same excellent quality.
Best Fuel for Pizza Oven
It does matter what kind of wood you use to fuel your pizza oven. I recommend using kiln-dried hardwood to fire your oven.
Kiln-dried hardwood is the best because it’s incredibly dry and burns clean at a very high temperature. Kiln-dried hardwood also leaves less ash and embers, which means less chance of spitting. Overall, it’s the easiest wood I’ve worked with in my pizza oven.
Tips for Lighting Pizza Oven
There are a few things you can do (and avoid) when lighting your oven that will make the process go much more smoothly.
- Never light your kindling with paper. Paper can leave burnings that float upwards and land on your pizza when it’s cooking. This is something that, if it has happened to you, you know by taste, and it isn’t pleasant.
- Always use your pizza oven in a well-ventilated area.
- Never use wet wood or wood that’s been treated. This wood will burn at half the heat of what you need.
- Only burn wood with 20 percent moisture.
Moisture is The Enemy of Your Wood
It’s incredibly important that your cooking base never gets wet. When the oven is not in use, keep a cap on the chimney and always make sure the door is closed. If you intend to leave it outside, covering it with a good tarp is advised.
One of the nicer aspects about a wood-fired pizza oven is that, once the fire is hot enough,it becomes self-cleaning, almost like a pizza stone. So while it’ll cook away any bacteria, you may have to scrape away burnt embers or ingredients that fell and stuck to the surface with a brush or even a dough scraper.