The wood fired pizza oven

Dingley Dell wood fired oven at Manna from Devon
Dingley Dell wood fired oven at the Manna from Devon cookery school

Despite the best efforts of the British weather, we love to cook outdoors. The long term trends are that more and more of us are barbecuing each year, and within that world all the signs are that owning a wood fired pizza oven is becoming more and more popular.

So if you’re thinking of buying a wood fired oven, or own one already, you are in good company.
I first came into contact with wood fired ovens at a Manna from Devon cookery course in Kingswear Devon. Vowing then to plan my oven build at home I began to research the options available. That research led to this website, which aims to provide some additional information to people who are interested in buying, or getting more use out of, their wood fired pizza oven.
The traditional dome shaped oven has been with us for centuries, and you can see preserved ovens in the ruins at Pompeii. More on oven history can be found here, but the principles of wood fired oven cooking have changed very little in that time and today there are many different ovens to choose from. From the many different manufacturers of a traditional dome shaped oven through to newer and exciting  products such as Fornetto range, Roccbox or Unni2.
Neapolitan pizza cooked in wood fired pizza oven
Neapolitan pizza cooked in a wood fired pizza oven at the Manna from Devon cookery school

Wood fired ovens are usually associated with pizza making, for which they are perfect. It’s a requirement of the True Neapolitan Pizza Association that pizzas are cooked in a wood fired ovens (for no more than 90 seconds!). They are also for much more than that, though. With the ability to change the temperature, use retained heat over long periods you can cook quickly at super-high heat or slowly at lower, retained, heats.

If you are planning to buy an oven, you have plenty of choice – size, materials, weight (and portability), country of manufacture, pre-made or build your own. We have some lists of small ovens, medium ovens and large ovens aswell as multipurpose ovens and portable options. Or you can check out our listing of all manufacturers, which we aim to keep updated.
There’s the site of your oven and the base you are going to place it on to be considered. There are some impressive garden kitchen and oven integration projects to be inspired by.
Steak cooked in a wood fired pizza oven
Steak cooked on a Tuscan grill in a wood fired oven at the Manna from Devon cookery school

Once built, there is the opportunity to get more and more out of your oven beyond Pizza. It really can become central to your family meals, and to entertaining! Although this is not a comprehensive recipe site, hopefully our links to wood fired oven cooking courses and some of our guides to pizza dough and other recipe ideas will be of some help.