I do a great deal of searching on "Pizza ovens". "Backyard pizza", "Garden Ovens" to see what is going on in the market. I came across an interesting article in Men's Journal a few weeks ago. Zack Pollack, who is a restaurateur in Los Angeles, was interviewed about backyard pizza grilling. The article is entitled "Pizza is the new Barbecue" - I could not have said it better. He talks about $9000 brick ovens but then discusses alternatives. Here is a direct quote from the article:
- What's more important than price, Pollack says, is finding "something with mass. Generally, the heavier the better. If the oven wall is an inch and a half thick, pass." (A thicker-walled oven, two inches or more, will have more thermal mass and more insulation.) Also, look for an oven with the smallest possible mouth. And avoid anything that has an internal exhaust. "Ovens with large openings or exhausts inside the dome will let way too much heat escape," Pollack says. You want the oven to get to a minimum of 800 degrees. It can have a chimney, he says, but it must vent from the front — above the oven mouth, not inside the dome. Finally, look for an oven with a low dome, which will "literally press the heat down onto the pizza, giving you the gorgeous blistering and supple texture I look for in great pizza."
In his description of what to look for in a wood-fired oven, Pollack points to all the features that make the Pizza-Porta great for backyard pizza cooking.
Mass/Thick walls - This is the benefit of starting with a heavy BGE/kamado style grill. Hours of great pizza.
A small mouth - Pizza-Porta has a small opening with a door - no lifting the lid to check the pizza.
No internal exhaust - The chimney is capped off to retain the dome heat with the Pizza-Porta.
800 Degrees - Possible with the heavy ceramic walls.
Chimney should be in front - The Pizza-Porta side vents are in front and lower than the dome.
Low dome - The BGE/kamado style grill has a tried-and-true dome shape for radiant cooking.
Thank you to Zach for sharing this advice, and thank you for reading.
You can Read the full text of the Men's Journal article - here.