How to Use a Pizza Oven

Whether you’re a seasoned pizza enthusiast or are new to the alfresco cooking scene, mastering the pizza oven will be the best thing you do this summer. In this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know. With loads of different pizza ovens and accessories in our range, we’re pros in assembling, topping and cooking delicious pizza.

So, roll up your sleeves, gather your favourite ingredients and let’s begin.

How to Build a Pizza Oven

Assembling your pizza oven should be a fast and fuss-free experience, just like the process of rustling up fresh homemade pizza. While different makes, models and fuel types need slightly different assemblages, our quick guide is applicable to most of the ovens in our range.

All our outdoor pizza ovens come with straightforward usage instructions. Make sure that you read these carefully before you unpack everything and start building. The instruction manual will contain important information about how to set up and use your oven, as well as giving you some recipe ideas for your first alfresco feast!

First, take the main oven component and turn it upside down. You’ll now be able to unfold each of the legs before turning the oven over to stand on a hard flat surface. Make sure all the legs are fully extended and that there’s no wobble. Once that’s done, slot the pizza stone onto the oven floor.

Before connecting your device to a fuel supply, make sure you’re now working in the space that you intend to cook in. This should be a spacious outdoor area with a hard surface, such as a patio or specially designed oven table.

If you’re building a charcoal or wood-fired oven, like the Ooni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel you’ll also need to slide a fuel tray into the back or underneath of your oven and attach a chimney to the top.

If you’re building a gas-fuelled model, like Lakeland Gas Pizza Oven, have your cylinder nearby – it shouldn’t be more than 60cm away from the oven. To connect the fuel, press the regulator on to the tank valve until it locks into place. Always keep the gas bottle in upright position. The manual included with your oven will have instructions on how to conduct safety checks before ignition.

Once assembled, take a moment to admire your handiwork. Now you’re ready to cook! Let’s fire it up.

How to Turn on Your Pizza Oven

Lakeland Gas Pizza Oven turned on and pepperoni pizza being put in the oven

Turning on your pizza oven for the first time is a crowd-pleasing moment. Your friends and family will ooh and aah as the flames appear and the oven glows invitingly. In just 15 minutes, it’ll be hot enough for the first pizza to slide in.

Whatever the fuel type, the process of turning on the oven is simple and satisfying.

For gas ovens, once you’re securely connected to a gas cylinder, you need only turn the oven dial to the desired temperature. Once ignited, you’ll hear the gentle hum of the flames, signalling that your oven is ready to work its magic.

With electric pizza ovens, it’s as simple as plugging it in and turning a switch.

Wood-fire ovens from brands like Ooni and Gozney start much the same way as a BBQ, with wood pellets and a fire-starter. With your fuel assembled in the tray, carefully light the fire-starter and push the grate back into the oven. You’ll be able to peep in and keep an eye on the flames throughout cooking.

In just 15 minutes, the wood fire will have reached the desired temperature and be ready to cook. Make sure you keep an eye on how it’s burning and top up the wood pellets whenever necessary.

With your oven warmed up, it’s time to get a slice of the action.

How to Make Pizza in Your Pizza Oven

Pizza being cut with the Lakeland rocker cutter

From the classic Margherita to a fiery pepperoni feast, every recipe is a winner when you’re making pizza from scratch. We’ve got lots of simple yet delicious recipes in our Lakeland Inspiration pages. If you’re new to the world of homemade pizza, here’s what you’ll need to do.

  1. You’ve already fired up your oven, so great pizza is just minutes away! You’ll want to wait until your oven has reached the desired temperature. For most pizzas, this is around 500°C and will take around 15 minutes, and you can check the progress with an infrared thermometer so you don’t miss your moment.
  2. In the meantime, roll, stretch and spin your pizza dough into shape. Using a small amount of flour to prevent sticking, dust your pizza peel and build each pizza directly onto the flat surface. Lakeland’s Bamboo Pizza Peel doubles up as a serving board too, so you can manage the whole process with one tool.

    Most ovens are designed to cook 12” pizzas, so that’s the size of base to aim for. You can follow this classic pizza dough recipe and own the cooking process from beginning to end. Each chef has their own idea of the perfect dough thickness and crust-topping ratio, so the choice is yours.

  3. Now it’s time to add your favourite sauce and toppings. This is where you can let your imagination run wild. Cook by the season and enjoy a flame cooked courgette pizza, or go gourmet with spicy Milano salami toppings and a drizzle of sweet balsamic glaze.
  4. Using the pizza peel, carefully transfer your pizza to the preheated oven. It’ll only takes 1-2 minutes to cook, so keep a close eye on its progress and turn the base regularly – using the pizza peel – for even cooking.
  5. In a matter of minutes, your pizza will be perfectly cooked and ready to devour. Carefully retrieve the cooked pizza and top with any final ingredients, like wild rocket, balsamic vinegar or fresh basil leaves.

What Else Can You Cook in a Pizza Oven?

While pizza may be the star of the show, pizza ovens are capable of so much more. From appetizers to desserts, the possibilities are endless. The Ooni ‘Cooking with Fire’ cookbook, is filled with all sorts of ideas for modern meals and outdoor oven recipes from around the world. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

Sides and starters: The heat dials on our gas-powered pizza ovens give you great control over oven temperature. This is ideal for experimenting with flat breads, baguettes and mouthwatering garlic bread. You can also bake stuffed mushrooms, grill shrimp skewers or use a skillet to grill summer vegetables.

Main courses: Expand your culinary horizons with wood-fired steak, whole roasted cauliflower or even a steaming bowl of mussels.

Desserts: Get creative with flambéed fruit, baked chocolate cookies or just enjoy an alfresco classic and assemble your own s’mores.

There’s a world beyond pizza, so check out these outdoor oven meal ideas and start dining outside in style. Don’t forget to keep cooking the classics too. Kneading the perfect pizza dough and creating rich tomato sauce takes practice, so there’s plenty to keep you busy – and well fed!

Creating an Outdoor Pizza Kitchen

Transforming your garden, patio or camping pitch into a pizza kitchen is easier than you might think. With the right setup, you can enjoy the thrill of outdoor cooking all year round.

While your oven can be set up on the ground, it may be safer to operate it on a high surface where it won’t be knocked. An Ooni Modular Table enables you to cook your pizza at eye-level, while the Everdure Pizza Making Station provides a sturdy countertop with ample space for food prep.

If you’ve got back-to-back orders from friends and family, then you’ll want to have all the ingredients you need at your fingertips. With the Lakeland Lidded Pizza Topping Station, adding flare and flavour has never been easier. Don’t forget, whether your pizzas are for sharing or enjoying solo, always slice before you serve. With our rocking pizza cutter, you can cut through crispy dough in a flash.

You’ll also want to equip yourself with essential outdoor oven accessories. Browse our range of pizza turning peels, oven thermometers and pizza stones to find your ideal set up. Alfa Forni offer bumper bundles with everything you need to start; from the wood you’ll burn to the brush that’ll clear away the ash.

With a well-designed outdoor pizza kitchen, you’ll be the envy of all your friends and neighbours. So, fire up the oven, grab your favourite toppings, and let the outdoor cooking adventures begin!