Many individuals enjoy food that has been cooked over wood fire because it has an authentic flavor. There is just something about the aromas that waft into the air as breads and meats sizzle over the flames and smoke to a crispy exterior. This wonderful culinary delight may be achieved by using a genuine outdoor cooking furnace.
These culinary kilns can be built in a variety of external facades, but the inside chamber is in the style of an igloo. This shape allows heat to travel in a circular pattern, creating an even heat flow that warms the food evenly and maintains high temperatures steadily. In most cases, the inside is insulated with ceramic brick for the best convection results.
The type of wood an individual chooses to use is going to affect the way the food will taste. Choosing a well seasoned hardwood such as pecan, pear, cherry, apple, birch, oak, ash, or maple, will burn for a longer, maintain higher temps, and deliver a sweet smoky flavor. Softer woods such as Cedar and yellow, or white pine, are great for lower temps as they produce less smoke and a gentler flavoring.
Regardless of which type of wood one prefers to use, preparation is important to maintaining temperatures for cooking, and controlling the amount of smoke produced. It is strongly suggested that the lumber be split and left to dry and season for minimum of 6 months to allow the sap to harden prior to being used. This process creates a cleaner burn and a purified flavor.
The process generally starts by creating a fire using tinder and kindling, adding the wood once the flame is established, then pushing it towards the rear of the chamber. Oxygen is drawn from the opening, towards the blaze, creating a convection system that follows the dome shape over the sides and across the bottom, in a continuous loop. With temperatures reaching up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit, cooking times are accelerated.
Because the internal temperatures are so high, a huge amount of smoke is created in this process, vent design is an important factor. The most efficient designs have their opening located in a small chamber that separates the interior cooking space from the door. A duct travels from this area to a chimney that can be located at any point along the top of the structure.
The reason this design is recommended is because as the hot air goes up through the opening and out of the chimney, it creates an updraft. This limits the amount of smoke that filters out into the face of the cook whenever they open the door of the furnace. Owners should take note to have the vent and duct work cleaned periodically, so that a layer of creosote does not build up within it.
Using a pizza oven to cook one’s food not only gives great flavor in a short amount of time, but it also saves money on gas and electricity. Cleaning up afterwards is a very simple process of reaching in and sweeping out the ash that is left over once the fire has burned out. These appliances make a very attractive addition to any home whether it be installed on the inside or as an outdoor feature.
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