If it’s not at the top of the list, it’s in the top five of Americans’ all-time favorite foods. It’s pizza, and we can’t get enough of it. Loved by adults and kids alike, pizza is the ultimate comfort food. It’s quick, portable and has tomato sauce and stringy, melted cheese. What’s not to love about pizza? If you’re tired of ordering out and waiting for the delivery driver to drop off your pie, think about adding a pizza oven to your patio.
Whether it’s bought, assembled or made from scratch, pizza ovens are becoming more popular as Mediterranean-style living continues to take hold. A pizza oven is a natural extension of the outdoor kitchen, especially if your family loves a slice of authentic-tasting pie. There’s something about a pizza that’s baked in a wood-burning or gas-fired oven versus a standard indoor oven. With a small spot on the patio, you can transform your outdoor area into your own private pizzeria.
Today, many outdoor kitchens are now incorporating a pizza oven as part of a fireplace. These ovens, which can be custom-made, sit atop a standard outdoor fireplace. A pizza oven can also be constructed as a free-standing oven by building a masonry bottom to hold the domed pizza oven. They come in kits to create the domes and can range from $400 to $4,000, depending on your DIY skills, time and ambition. If you have a base, a pre-made pizza oven like the Chicago Brick Oven 500 can top your platform and be ready to cook pizza that night ($2,400,http://www.woodlanddirect.com).
Less expensive models can be made from either brick or cement overlaid a foam form, such as the Mattone Barille model ($169, http://www.brickwoodovens.com). These models are more time consuming, but you can select brick to match your home. They’re also quite less expensive by comparison to the pre-cast models. For something more middle of the road, a terracotta oven, assembled in pieces and comes with a stand, offers another good option that’s fast and not too expensive ($1.600,http://www.roundboyovens.com).
Maybe you don’t have space for a large wood burning pizza oven, but you still want that wood grilled taste and experience. Pizza can be cooked outdoors on a grill and is even easier to create with Kettle Pizza’s kettle-style grill adapter made just for grilling pizza on your kettle grill ($149, http://www.kettlepizza.com). If you have a propane or natural gas hookup nearby, a freestanding pizza oven can be as fast as putting on a coupler to connect the line. These ovens can be placed on top of your outdoor kitchen counter or other heat-proof surface. The Pacific Living model works for counter top setup ($699) or if counter space is a concern, there is a model that comes with its own base and can be rolled away for winter ($799), and both come in models for use with either propane or natural gas.