How Pizza Ovens Cook

The diagrams below demonstrate the different ways a wood fired masonry oven cooks or ‘heats’ the food inside.  Understanding these helps us understand the importance of construction materials and oven design.  

The cardboard moulds reliably produce an oven that is the correct proportions to give optimal cooking results.  They take the guess work and design stress out of creating your own oven. 

Pizza ovens combine these methods of heating, significantly speeding up cooking times, especially when cooking at 400 degrees!

 

 

In summary, your pizza sucks heat up from the base via conduction, gets a stream of heat over it via convection, gets hit by heat directly from the flames (flameroll) and is soaked in radiant heat from the dome.  That's why a pizza only takes 1-2 minutes to cook. 

 If these heating types are in balance the result is a perfectly cooked pizza!

An oven constructed with refractory mortar will heat up fast so the different types of cooking heat shown above are achieved faster.  This make the ovens very well suited to the kiwi lifestyle.  If you choose an oven that takes a long time to build up heat, wait times can become frustrating and cooking results varied as the oven takes so long to come into cooking balance.  The result is you simply don't use your oven as much.