pizza cooked in a wood oven

Electric stove or oven for cooking pizza?

Baking in a wood oven


Silvio Cicchi

When we think of pizza, jumps immediately to mind the classic shape of the pizza maker with shovel in hand, before a wood oven.

Basically, exist 2 main methods for cooking pizza, in the oven or in the classic wood stove. By the time we learned to associate the pizza with the ancient cooking tool that is the wood oven, which gives excellent results and adds to our pizza the characteristic smell of burning wood.

pizza cooked in a wood oven

Unfortunately, alas not enough to cook a pizza in a wood burning oven to ensure a good result. Then, in this tutorial, I will try to explain how to cook a pizza, and what are the most used types of cooking, which basically are two: with electric oven or with a wood stove.

Start by talking about our dough, which when fired undergoes major physical changes: Increases its volume, form an outer crust and a crumb inside, its surface is colored and develops aromas and perfumes; loses moisture and weight. What has changed between then a type of furnace and the other?


Electric pizza oven

Electric ovens for pizza have a cooking chamber of rectangular height and depth variable; the soil is made of refractory material and the heat is developed by means of electrical resistors placed on the floor and on the roof of the oven. La pizza tonda al piatto cuoce quindi a diretto contatto con la pietra refrattaria ricevendo calore per conduzione diretta, or through contact between stone and dough, by radiation of heat transmitted from the walls and the sky of the oven and by convention, ie displacement of hot air and water vapor inside the cooking chamber.

I forni elettrici hanno in genere due gruppi di resistenze, upper and lower, independently controllable: this allows the baker to manage the heat coming from the base of the furnace and from the upper part of the same to have a uniform cooking also according to the type of pizza in cooking.

The pizza pan

Nel caso della pizza cotta in teglia ad esempio, the heat must get more from their base to be conducted through the metal of the pan and transmitted to dough. In round pizza dough receives heat from the bottom, as placed in direct contact with the refractory stone, then the heat will get more from heaven oven. Un moderno forno elettrico riesce a cuocere pizze alla perfezione permettendo un’ottima gestione della cottura che avviene in modo più uniforme rispetto a un forno a legna, with better drying of the product.


Baking in a wood oven

The ovens have been used since antiquity for baking bread and later for pizza and focaccia. Un forno a legna classico è costruito interamente in materiale refrattario; the cooking chamber has a stone base surmounted by a refractory time always to which is connected a drain for the fumes. The fire is almost always positioned at the center in the first starts to then be moved to one side during the entire cooking of the dough. The baking stone on the basis, as well as all the time, are heated by the fire while maintaining a constant temperature thanks to storage secured by the building materials. The pizzas cooked in direct contact with the stone receiving heat from the same cooking and also for radiation and convention thanks to the heat of the flames present in the cooking chamber.

The cooking time of an oven wood are reduced compared to an electric furnace: cooking with flame allows short time which may vary from a few minutes up to 60 secondi scarsi delle pizze napoletane cotte con fiamme molto forti per garantire la caratteristica consistenza morbida della pizza. UNA PIZZA COTTA NEL FORNO A LEGNA POSSIEDE UN PROFUMO DIVERSO RISPETTO A UNA COTTA NEL FORNO ELETTRICO. The charm of the wood stove is the presence of the flame that burns in the firing chamber and the aromatic components developed by the various types of wood used in cooking. A wood-fired pizzas often presents a scent different from a crush in oven, but about the actual cooking process will be the same in respect of the four physical phenomena reported at the beginning of article. Il forno a legna ha una gestione più difficile rispetto all’elettrico: the flame should be followed carefully and the pizza must be turned in their cooking to ensure a homogeneous heat exposure. A baker with experience makes a difference in a pizzeria: often in fact find pizzas burnt or cooked in a non-homogeneous thanks to a management of the oven is not optimal.


Other types of furnace

Photo of a classic wood oven, but gas powered.


home baking

When you make pizza at home, the biggest problem often encountered is given by the dispersion of heat, ie the oven due to the large door opening, never reaches the high temperatures required for the cooking pizza. Everything is solved by inserting in your oven a sturdy baking stone, as shown above. Preheat the oven well with the stone inside the max, then bake your pizza. With this little trick, immediately you will get good results.