Pizza ovens have been used long before people even ate pizza and are one of humanity’s earliest cooking inventions. But as they are great at baking a whole pizza in 3 minutes, they are also uniquely useful for certain types of foods. Depending on the temperature you maintain, you can cook all sorts of alternative recipes for your pizza oven.
My 10 most favorite recipes that you can cook in your pizza oven are:
- Pulled Pork
- Roast Turkey
- Garlic Bread
- Roasted Fish
- Roasted Veggies
- Smoked Ribs
- Cinnamon Rolls
- Potato Chips
- Burnt Cheesecake
If you’re looking for the best outdoor pizza ovens for this year, make sure you visit my detailed Buyer’s Guide on that topic. Before we dive into each of the recipes, we first need to go through some of the temperatures in a pizza oven that are most suitable for different types of foods…
Understanding Pizza Oven Temperatures
Pizza ovens can have their temperature controlled almost as easily as indoor kitchen ovens. Thanks to that, we can cook different foods inside by maintaining different temperatures for different amounts of time. Here is a small chart of what you can cook at each temperature range:
|Temperature||Cooking Style||Things To Cook|
|200-250°F||Slow-Cooking||BBQ Ribs, Steaks, Stews|
|300-400°F||Baking (Desserts)||Different cakes, Cobblers, Rolls|
|400-450°F||Baking (Bread)||Bread, Pizza Rolls|
|450-550°F||Roasting||Roast Potatoes, Fish, Turkey|
|>800°F||Cooking Pizza||Garlic Bread, Pizza|
If your oven doesn’t have a built-in thermometer, you can use an infrared one to check the temperature from time to time. Also, with outdoor ovens, you have to heat them up to a higher temperature first and then allow them to cool back down to the desired temperature range. That will allow the bricks to absorb as much heat as possible and then evenly release it once the oven is fully prepared.
Now that we’ve gone through this, let’s start with the first recipe!
Pulled pork is one of the best foods you can cook in your pizza oven. To do that, you need to heat it up and bring it back down to around 200-250 degrees (Fahrenheit). The key to cooking the pork nicely without excessively drying it is to let it stay in the oven for a longer time at a lower temperature. If you have a way to maintain even lower temperatures, you can even cook briskets and ribs overnight by leaving them in.
As the name suggests, roasting your turkey will require you to bring the oven to around 500 degrees (Fahrenheit). Typically, around 20-40 minutes will be enough to roast a full turkey but make sure yours fit in the oven and it doesn’t touch the walls and the ceiling. Using your oven for turkey on thanksgiving day is one of the best ways to free up your kitchen oven for other dishes too!
Cooking garlic bread in a pizza oven is going to feel very familiar. The reason for that is because you will be using the same temperature as if you’re baking a pizza. Moreover, you will shape and treat the dough almost the say way as you would do for a pizza. Just add butter, garlic (either crushed or powder), rosemary, and oil to your pizza dough and you have yourself a lovely recipe for a quick appetizer!
Steaks are almost always tricky to cook. Thanks to the evenly distributed heat in the pizza oven, though, they can be cooked without much supervision. On top of that, you can use a griddle pan to cook them or put them directly onto a good pizza stone, although you will have to do quite a lot of cleaning afterward. The steaks that are most ideal for oven-cooking are rib-eye steaks and others with more fats. Lean tenderloins shouldn’t be on your list.
Pro Tip: Put the steak with its fat side facing the flames. That way, this part of the steak will get a bit burnt and will become crispy.
If cooking steak is something you want to learn how to do, I highly recommend checking out my article on charcoal grill steak cooking!
Roasting whole fish is similar to roasting a whole turkey. It is done at around 500 degrees Fahrenheit and doesn’t take too much time for the fish to get fully cooked. You can cover the dish with aluminum foil and surround it with veggies for added flavor.
Some of the best fish you can cook in any type of oven are Hake, Tilapia, Cod, Bass, Haddock, and more!
Roasting veggies in your oven is one of its superpowers. After you’re done cooking the main dish (or while doing so) you can cover any type of summer vegetable in tinfoil and toss it right into the red coals. You can also use a tinfoil-covered pan full of seasoned veggies with dill, thyme, salt, pepper, garlic, and more. Cook them no more than 20-30 minutes at 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pizza ovens can be turned into smokers incredibly easily. You just have to put in your best woodchips for smoking and close the door after you’ve reached the desired temperature. The rest of this recipe is just the same as if you’re smoking ribs on a grill or smoker.
Speaking of that, click here to find out more on how to smoke ribs on a gas grill!
While pizza rolls are super delicious and easy to make, you can easily use the leftover dough for some even more delicious cinnamon rolls! They make for the perfect dessert after a long weekend evening with your family and friends and can be filled with all sorts of delicious fillings. They are cooked at 400-450 degrees after you’ve allowed your oven to cool down from the higher pizza-cooking temperatures.
Potato chips are one of the easiest to make out of all the recipes here. Just cut your potatoes into thin slices, season them with salt, pepper, and other seasonings of your choice, and put them in the oven. The higher the temperature the crispier the chips will be! If you want them to be less crisp and juicier, add different oils or essences to the tray before putting them in the oven. Using baking paper prevents the chips from sticking to the surface you’re cooking them on!
Last but definitely not least here is everyone’s favorite dessert – cheesecake! As an old cooking tradition in Spain, the Basque burn cheesecake is done exactly in big ovens like the one you use for your pizza parties. It is done in a heated oven so that the exterior can get quickly roasted and cracked, while the interior remains fluff and soft.
If you want to learn how to clean and maintain your outdoor pizza oven, click here!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you bake a cake in a pizza oven?
While traditional wood-fired pizza ovens cannot evenly bake a cake, there are certain types that actually can. For instance, conveyor pizza ovens can have their temperature controlled and often have that temperature evenly distributed between the top and bottom parts. That allows for the cake to be evenly baked inside.
Can I keep my pizza stone in the oven?
While some people prefer taking the stone out if they don’t use the oven as often, others actually leave it inside. According to experts in the field, leaving the stone inside the oven allows it to warm up and cool off more gradually instead of taking it in and out and adding more stress to the material.
Can you cook bread in a pizza oven?
Yes, cooking bread inside an oven is one of its first and most traditional uses, dating back centuries, if not millennia. When baking your break, put some flour on top of it and put it in the oven once it reaches around 350 degrees (Fahrenheit). Bake it for around half an hour while trying to maintain the temperature. When the break has a golden/brown crust to it, you can take it out.
Cooking in your pizza oven can be fun, especially when you know how to prepare other meals besides everyone’s favorite Neapolitan pizza! This is why I dedicated this article to giving you my top 10 alternative recipes for your pizza oven. No matter what you’re cooking, remember to maintain the proper temperature for the type of cooking you’re performing (grilling, roasting, etc) and the type of food inside the oven!