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As a pizza lover, I’ve spent years honing my skills on a quest to make the best possible pizzas at home.
I’ve perfected my dough recipe, I’ve mastered stretching the bases, I’ve sourced the best ingredients, experimented with toppings, but nothing ever comes close to the taste of a freshly cooked pizza fresh in a restaurant.
And it all comes down to the oven.
Even with a pizza stone (buy one now if you can’t get a pizza oven) and the oven turned up to the max, you just can’t achieve the smoky goodness of a wood-fired pizza. And, a wood-fired oven in the garden just isn’t achievable for most people unless you’re willing to drop some serious money or have acres of space.
Until now that is.
This Christmas, my wife bought me the Ooni Fyra Wood-Fired Outdoor Pizza Oven that has taken our pizzas to the next level. The pizzas we have been making are so good, we don’t even miss not being able to go to restaurants during this latest never-ending lockdown.
I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s so simple to use, we’ve been kicking ourselves for not investing in one sooner.
Why we rate this oven
The Ooni Fyra comes ready to use out of the box and takes only the very minimum of setting up. Just fold down the legs, slide in the stone oven base, attach the chimney and fuel hopper and you’re ready to cook.
It’s also incredibly easy to use, compact, easy to transport, and easy to clean. Incredibly obvious but important safety notice we have to mention: this is for OUTDOOR use only.
How it works
The Ooni Fyra uses 100% hardwood pellets for fuel.
They sell a 3kg bag for £22, but you don’t need a lot for each pizza-cooking session, and one bag will last you a long time.
You simply fill the fuel loader at the back with pellets, pop on a firelighter (also sold separately), light it, and then load it back into the oven.
Once that has set fully alight, you fill up the hopper at the back with pellets, and then let the oven get up to temperature. It only takes 20-30 minutes to get to 400c, your desired cooking temperature. (You’ll want to invest in a digital thermometer too).
Gravity will keep the fire fuelled with pellets, and you may want to top it up occasionally depending on how many pizzas you want to make.
Then, just prepare a 12” pizza base, add your sauce and toppings, and sling it into the oven using a pizza peel (again, invest in a good one, Ooni has a range, but there are more affordable options out there too).
Your pizza will cook in 60 seconds, and you’ll want to turn it round halfway through to avoid burnt crusts, but when it comes out it’s ready to eat.
You can use the oven to cook all manner of things, and it comes with a small recipe book to get you started with bases, tomato sauces and toppings, but there are plenty of good cook books out there too for wood fired ovens.