If you’re the proud owner of an Igneus Pizza Oven, we salute you. You have the perfect tool at your disposal to create perfect wood fired pizza. Whether you’re a seasoned pizza making enthusiast or just starting out on your journey, we’ve put together some of our favourite tips and tricks to take your pizza game to the next level. From perfecting the dough and adding the all-important toppings, to useful hacks on getting your set-up on point and launching your pizzas. Mouth-watering wood fired pizzas that will impress friends and family aren’t far away! Let’s dive in!
1. Getting your set up right
There are very few things more impressive than seeing the roaring flames of a wood fired pizza oven on proud display in the corner of your garden. But more than this, getting the right set up and, more importantly, the right equipment and accessories to go with it is vital to achieving the same level of deliciousness you might associate with a top-quality pizzeria. If you’re reading this, you probably already have an Igneus Wood Fired Pizza Oven, or are thinking of getting one. Well, that’s the first and biggest step ticked off. After this, it’s about getting the right collection of accessories to not only make your life so much easier and less stressful when making pizza, but also elevate those results even further.
Here’s what we always advise our customers to have in their set up;
- Perforated Launching Peel
- Turning Peel
- Embers Rake
- Pro Brush
- Rocker Cutter
- Dough Cutter
- Infrared Digital Thermometer
- A range of good quality containers for sauces and toppings
The above list is not exclusive, there’s so much more you can add as you move along your journey. But this makes for a great base set-up, and many of these items are often overlooked.
Ah, pizza dough. There’s so many recipes and variations we could write a blog just on this subject alone! And you guessed it… we have. Click here to read it.
Dough is of course one of the fundamental elements to any great pizza, and it often comes down to personal taste as to which style of dough to make. Whether you prefer a chewy, aerated crust, a thick doughy pizza, or an ultra-thin base, will all help decide which recipe to opt for. We always say the fundamental elements to any good dough are:
- High-quality flour with a high protein content
- Take the time to knead your dough correctly
- Knead until the dough is elastic and smooth
- Allow your dough to ferment slowly
After kneading, lightly oil the inside of a bowl and place the dough inside. Cover it with cling film leave to ferment. The cling film prevents the dough from drying out.
When it comes to shaping your dough, always stretch and press rather than use a rolling pin. If you use a rolling pin, you’ll knock all the air out of the dough. Another good tip is to let the dough come up to room temperature prior to stretching. This makes the dough easier to work with and prevents it from spring back.
3. Keep it the sauce simple!
It can be very tempting to add loads of ingredients to your pizza sauce and it cook it out for hours on end. There’s simply no reason to do this at all. The most traditional and authentic pizza sauces have very few ingredients and therefore the true taste of the tomatoes shines through. The ingredients listed below are all you need to make an incredible tomato sauce for your pizza. Just squish the tomatoes to break them up, then add the other ingredients. Simple!
- 2x 400g Tins San Marzano DOP Plum Tomatoes
- 6 tbsp Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1-2 tsp Oregano (Fresh if you can get it, dried if you can’t)
- 3-4 leaves Fresh Basil (torn)
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
4. Go easy on the toppings!
In the same vein to above, one of the common mistakes we see is people loading up the toppings way too much.
This has a negative affect both on flavour, and more critically the ability for the dough to cook, creating a soggy pizza! And who wants that?
We recommend sticking with 2-3 high quality ingredients and finish the pizza with some fresh basil and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Perfect!
The ultimate cheese for pizza is of course mozzarella. But there’s so many different varieties it can be difficult to know which is best. What we’d recommend is going for the best quality buffalo mozzarella your budget will allow, and never the pre-grated stuff! The three essential features you should look for in good quality mozzarella cheese are;
- Porcelain white in colour, with a smooth surface
- Elastic and soft in consistency
- When cut, milk should spill out
Open the packet of mozzarella a few hours before you need it, tear into pieces, and let it dry out before using. This prevents the milk from the mozzarella making your pizza soggy.
Of course, if you wanted to add other types of cheese to your pizza this is more than possible. For example a really good quality Gorgonzola adds a salty element to your pizza, which goes perfectly when balanced with a sweet ingredient such as pear or chutney for example
All Igneus Pizza Ovens, with the exception of the Minimo & Ceramiko, come with a temperature gauge built-in, making it super easy to assess the temperature of the oven. This is vital as the temperature can change as you open and close the front, or as the wood burns down. Therefore, keeping a close eye on the internal temperature of the oven can make or break the quality of the finished pizza.
You want to aim for a cooking temperature of between 400°C-450°C, so make sure you don’t rush the initial pre-heating stage as this is essential to achieve a crispy crust and a short baking time.
Another important thing to consider is the temperature of the stone. This is imperative to achieve the crispy base that’s so often associated with proper authentic pizza. If the stone isn’t at the correct temperature, the pizza toppings will be cooked before the base, either leaving you with a soggy base, or overcooked toppings. A fantastic tool to accurately measure the temperature of the stone is an Infrared Digital Thermometer.
7. Placing the Pizza
Once you’ve topped your pizza and the oven is up to temperature, it’s time to bring out the placement peel. Sprinkle some semolina or cornflour onto the peel to prevent it from sticking, then slide the pizza on. Give it a little tap and shake to ensure the pizza can move freely on the peel.
Open the oven door and quickly slide the pizza into the oven. Try to get the pizza as close to the flames as possible without touching the wood. This ensures you get that quick cooking time and perfectly charred crust.
After 30 seconds it’s a good idea to check on the pizza and take your turning peel and rotate. Once you feel the base is cooked, and the toppings are a bubbling, your pizza is ready.
If the top of your pizza isn’t as charred as you like it, simply lift the pizza to the top of the oven using your peel. This takes the pizza to the hottest part of the oven. You only need a few seconds though!
And there you have it, seven tips and tricks for elevating your pizza game and increasing the chances of impressing your mates in the process! We hope you found these tips useful! Of course, if you ever need any advice on accessories or anything related to your Igneus Pizza Oven, our dedicated customer service team can help.