If you own a pizza oven, you’ll probably already be aware that they’re for much more than just pizza, right? The innate design of course is such that they cook perfect pizza every time. When combined with the high temperatures they can reach, pizza is of course their primary purpose. However, if you’ve never tried cooking anything other than delicious pizza in yours, or if perhaps you’re thinking of buying a wood fired pizza oven in the near future, this is the article for you.
This week is National Butchers Week, and to mark the occasion we thought we’d champion Great British meat. National Butchers Week is a celebration of the skills, knowledge, and craftsmanship possessed by our butchers across the UK. With the convenience and choice in supermarkets these days, it’s easy to forget about your humble high street butcher. However, it’s important to shine a light on the significant role butchers play in the food industry and the local economy, by breading and supplying such high-quality produce.
So, why a pizza oven?
As mentioned above, it’s the high temperatures that pizza ovens can reach that makes cooking pizza a 60 second job, literally! It’s these high temperatures that also make your pizza oven perfect for achieving that gnarly, charred finish to cuts such as Ribeye Steak, Chicken Thighs and Lamb Cutlets. These cuts of meat lend themselves to high temperature cooking as they don’t take any time at all to cook, and in the case of beef and lamb, you often want a pink finish, so they remain moist and full of flavour. Couple that with the wonderful sear and flavour that comes from the wood fired cooking method, you’ll have your guests coming back for more!
However, if you think it’s just lean, quick cuts that can be cooked in your pizza oven, think again! With Igneus wood fired pizza ovens, you’ve got total control over the temperature because as the flames die down and become less ferocious, in turn the temperature of the oven drops, making it the perfect cooking environment for larger joints of meat such as Whole Chicken, Pork Shoulder or Beef Ribs. Not only that, but pizza ovens are also more than suitable for casseroles and stews! The beauty of a pizza oven for cooking meat is you can literally cook any cut, in any style and achieve that wonderful smoked flavour that you can only truly get from wood fired cooking.
Go on then, give me a temperature guide
Okay, so forget about getting the pizza oven to anywhere near 400°c-500°c like you would be aiming for when cooking pizza. For meat, you ideally want to be aiming for around the 225-250°c mark, irrespective of the cut. For steaks etc, this temperature is perfect. When roasting joints and casseroles etc, you’ll want to start the meat off at this high temperature to achieve a crisp, gnarly skin, but then let the flame die down and the oven reduce in temperature.
Anywhere around the 120°c-150°c mark is perfect for long slow cooking. The wood embers shouldn’t have flame at this stage, but because of the insulating qualities of Igneus Wood Fired Ovens, the oven temperature will remain hot for a long time after the flames reduce, perfect for slow cooking! This slow cooking method brings out the natural sweetness of the meat, and the end result will melt in your mouth.
Give me some ideas!
Okay, so we’ve given you a rough guide so far of what’s possible in your Igneus Pizza Oven. But here’s some ideas you can try for yourself. Get the family round for Sunday lunch and watch their surprise when you fire up the pizza oven!
Roast Chicken is a classic on everyone’s Sunday Lunch table but cooked in the pizza oven it takes on a whole new level of deliciousness. I mean, just look at it! Using a good quality, free range chicken is key to this recipe, as they tend to have a slightly thicker layer of fat which is imperative for wood fired cooking. Wood fired ovens have a hotter, drier heat than a standard convection oven, and the fat layer on the chicken keeps the meat succulent and tender while it cooks.
Check out our recipe here which directs you exactly how to cook it. Our recipe keeps it simple, but feel free to add different flavours to your chicken such as a garlic and lemon butter, or Cajun seasoning for a slightly spicier number!
From the rib of the cow, between the loin and shoulder, this cut has long been favoured by chefs around the world. It’s got the perfect amount of fat marbling which ensures your steak remains juicy and tender, however you like it cooked. We mentioned earlier that pizza ovens are great for steak. This is due to the high heat, flame grilled effect, and the fact the wood fire imparts such a deep, smoky flavour to the meat. We like ours cooked pink, and we urge you to give it a go!
Leg of Lamb
The ultimate showstopper, and a fantastic centrepiece if you’re having a few guests round. It’s a slow cooked one this, but boy is it worth the wait. The meat will be falling off the bone when it’s done. The best thing is because of the fat content of this cut of meat, you’d be hard pushed to dry it out, even if you were to forget about it! Having said that, by the very nature of wood fired cooking, it’s important to turn the mean every so often. We suggest every 15-20 minutes over the course of approximately 2 hours for a 1.5kg leg of lamb. You’ll want to get your stone to around 210°c.
The flavour of this cut speaks for itself, so we suggest keeping it simply by just seasoning with salt and freshly cracked black pepper and by piercing some garlic cloves and rosemary into the meat. Top tip: make sure you press that garlic and rosemary well into the meat. It has a tendency to burn if left poking out too much!
And there we have it, our guide to the best meats to cook in your Igneus Wood Fired Pizza Oven. We hope you found this useful, and we strongly urge you try cooking meat in your pizza oven sometime soon! As always, tag us in any pictures of your cooks on social media and we’ll share on our channels.
Thanks for reading!