What Can Else Can be Cooked in an Outdoor Pizza Oven?

Last Updated on April 14, 2021

A long-time contributor to SeriouslySmoked. Jim has had a lifelong relationship with the art of grilling, passed on from his father and grandfather to him.  

A long-time contributor to SeriouslySmoked. Jim has had a lifelong relationship with the art of grilling, passed on from his father and grandfather to him.  

wood fired

Have you been contemplating buying a new outdoor pizza oven? Is it worth the investment if all you can cook in it is pizza?

Well, pizza is but one small category of foods that can be cooked in a pizza oven. How about a rack of barbeque ribs with a side of roasted veggies?

There are a plethora of different options and methods available today, both in style of cooking and the unique dishes you can produce in pizza ovens.

An outdoor pizza oven is way more versatile than most use it for. There are also a wide variety of techniques you can employ to cook your food including baking, roasting, and even grilling.  

Once you find out what can be cooked in an outdoor oven it ultimately becomes your new favorite cooking accessory, perfect for fulfilling almost any appetite, any time of the day.

In this article we will help you increase your knowledge of the endless number of dishes you can prepare in a pizza oven, so you get the most out of your investment.

1. What are the Styles of Cooking in an Outdoor Pizza Oven?

Here is where you can really expand your use of a pizza oven.  The amazing thing about pizza ovens is how versatile and adaptable they can be to other styles of cooking

Following are a few, not all, ways to get the most out of your new pizza oven.

  • Grilling – If you want to try grilling in your pizza oven, instead of firing up both your grill and the pizza oven, you can jump right in. Most pizza oven owners set a rack over the hot coals, and use their pizza oven much like a charcoal grill. The heat will make perfect grill marks, and searing the meat makes it juicy and delicious.
  • Baking – Craving cookies on a summer day? Or maybe some delicious bread? Your pizza oven is a perfect place to bake your favorite goodies. To bake in your pizza oven, you don’t need to do anything more than heat up the dome. Foods will bake using the radiant heat in the floor and dome.
  • Roasting – You can also roast foods in your pizza oven. This process requires slightly higher temperatures than baking but again is dependent on the radiant heat from the floor and dome of your pizza oven. The higher temperatures in your pizza oven will crisp the top of casseroles and perfectly brown meats. Just remember to cover your foods so that they don’t burn.
  • Fire-in-the-Oven – Fire in the oven is the method we most closely associated with cooking in a pizza oven. It uses an open flame combined with the radiant heat to cook foods quickly.

2. What Else Can You Cook in Pizza Oven Besides Pizza?

fire

By now, you are questioning, so what else can be cooked in a pizza oven besides pizza? The answer, A Bunch. Anything you can prepare in a regular kitchen oven or BBQ grill, you can cook up in a wood-fired pizza oven.

Don’t let the name fool you, the awesome thing about your pizza oven is that it is so versatile. Once you figure out how to manage the heat, the sky’s the limit. Think about it this way; if you can cook something in the oven in your house, you can probably cook it just as easily (or sometimes easier) as in your traditional oven.

Once you get a better handle of your outdoor pizza oven temperatures, you can cook a variety of food such as…

  • Roasted vegetables
  • Side dishes
  • Slow cooked meats
  • Barbeque ribs
  • Ribeye steak
  • Smoked meats
  • Baked bread, Focaccia and flatbreads
  • Desserts

Really anything you can think up can be prepared in a pizza and can get as daring as you wish. Some of our favorites are:

  • Barbeque Ribs – Perfectly cooked barbeque ribs take skill, and challenge the most seasoned grill-master. The key to good ribs? High heat and time, both of which are easy to do in your pizza oven. Cooking ribs on a rack in your pizza oven will result in ribs that are juicy, perfectly cooked, and fall-off the bone tender.
  • Seafood – Take advantage of radiant heat and lower, more “oven-like” temperatures and try your hands at delicious seafood. We like to bake and steam shrimp, mussels, clams and if you’re really adventurous crab legs are amazing in your pizza oven.
  • Side Dishes – Don’t forget the side dishes! Bake your favorite hot dish, smoked mac ‘n cheese, or even roasted veggies and baked potatoes. Your pizza oven can cook a complete meal at one time.

3. How to Determine Temperature for Cooking in a Pizza Oven?

To help get you started, we want to help you get an understanding of basic temperature guidelines for the different styles of cooking in your pizza oven.

The essential thing when cooking various foods in your pizza oven is to modify the temperature appropriately. While pizza requires higher temperatures to attain a crispy crust, other styles of cooking need lower temperatures and longer cooking times.

For a general guide, we have provided a pizza oven temperature chart.

  • 90 – 125 - Slow cooked meats
  • 150 – 175 - Desserts
  • 180 – 230 - Crusty breads and focaccia
  • 250 – 300 - Roasting meats, fish, or potatoes
  • 300 – 325 - Grilling steak, seafood
  • 325 – 350 - Vegetables
  • 375 – 450 - Pizza

Temperature is in °Celsius

One thing that will take some practice is figuring out where to place foods that cook at different temperatures. Some foods will need to go close to the embers (pizza) while other foods like vegetables need lower cooking temperatures. Don’t be afraid to experiment, and just remember the closer to the embers the hotter the temperature.

Pro tip: Be sure to only use appropriate cookware that is capable of withstanding the temperature range of a pizza oven. Avoid dishes that might crack under direct heat.

For best results, we recommend that you invest in an infrared thermometer for accurate heat management. This will help you dial in the right temperatures to avoid over cooking or under cooking foods.


Jim Bob

Author: Jim Bob

Final Thoughts

If you were contemplating a pizza oven, but were hesitant because it seemed single purpose, rest assured your money will be well spent. Despite their name, pizza ovens are a great tool for cooking a wide range of foods, and can even help you expand your kitchen skills.

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