Outdoor Wood Fired Pizza Oven Tips

By Robert Parsons May 10, 2023

During the summer months, cooking outside can be a very enjoyable experience. If you’ve recently purchased an outdoor pizza oven, it’s always helpful to know a few helpful tips that can make your cooking easier.

We gathered some useful tips from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver on how to prepare for using your wood-fired pizza oven. These tips will help ensure that you experience the full enjoyment that comes with this rustic style of cooking.

Make Sure to Place Your Oven On a Stable Surface

To cook with an outdoor pizza oven, make sure the surface is both flat and stable. Once the wood oven is fired up, it becomes too hot to move. Jamie recommends setting up a kitchen next to your raised beds or herb pots in your garden to easily use your homegrown herbs and spices for cooking and quick access.

Make Sure You Have a Wire Brush and ‘Peel’

To optimize your wood-fired oven’s performance, it’s important to create ideal cooking conditions. Jamie recommends keeping a wire brush handy to clean out old embers and debris from the oven before lighting it.

Using a peel is important for your safety because ovens can reach temperatures of 700 degrees or higher. Without a peel, it can be dangerous to remove the cooked food from the oven once it’s done.

Use An Oven Thermometer

If you’re using a wood-fired oven for the first time, it’s recommended to use an oven thermometer to make sure the oven temperature is hot enough for your cooking.

Jamie recommends using his method for the first year of using your oven. This is because he believes that during this time, you will become familiar with the oven and be able to estimate the necessary cooking temperature and preheating times for the best rustic cooking experience.

Try to Use Apple or Cherry Wood

You may already be familiar with the fact that wood-fired ovens can enhance the taste of your food. Jamie recommends using apple or cherry wood to burn in the oven if you can, as it provides a wonderful “invisible seasoning”.

After 5-6 Hours of Burning – You Can Still Slow Cook

According to Jamie, if you have been burning your wood-fired oven for 5-6 hours, the outer surfaces would have absorbed enough heat. This will allow you to let the fire burn down, sweep the embers into a metal bucket and use the oven for cooking.

His suggestion is to clear the embers from the oven and then use the remaining heat from the outer part of the oven to cook a joint of meat at 200 degrees. This will help create a perfect crackling for the meat.


We hope the outdoor cooking tips from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver have been helpful and will elevate your skills to the next level!