Igneus Classico Pizza oven
With the days getting longer and the sun beginning to warm up, we’ve taken the cover off our Igneus Classico Pizza oven and given it a clean, ready for making some pizza this bank holiday weekend.
Given we had such a great time using the pizza oven last year, we wanted to post a few thoughts on the oven, how we got on with it and why we’d recommend one to anyone who enjoys eating outdoors once the weather gets warm enough.
So why did we decide on a Pizza oven?
We’d built a nice patio area down at the bottom of our garden and created a kind of kitchen-worktop height shed, which we thought would be great for preparing food/drinks outdoors. When looking into BBQ options, we saw a few companies offering nice looking pizza ovens and started looking a bit closer.
Quite quickly, we realised that PIZZA IS CHEAP!!! Even when using the very best ingredients, the average cost of a pizza comes in at under £1.50 at the most, so compared with all the meat you need to buy for the average BBQ, we thought this seemed like a great way to do things efficiently!
Next, we realised that we, and a lot of our friends, are eating a lot less meat these days and that maybe folk would like the option of having classic Margherita pizzas and a couple of beers, rather than a plate piled with meats! There are plenty of BBQs in the Summer, so we decided on something a bit different.
Finally, we thought letting everyone make their own pizza and (if feeling brave) cooking it themselves would be a lot of fun. BBQs normally revolve around one poor soul cooking the food (and their face) all afternoon, while others wait around for the next wave of food!
Which Pizza Oven?
After a lot of research, we went for the Igneus Classico Pizza Oven… We did look at gas-powered options, but where is the fun in that? Surely part of the process is building the fire and heating the oven up to temperature? In the Igneus, this takes around 10-15 minutes – so pretty quick – and the required temp (around 430 degrees) is reached before you’ve had a chance to get your Mario/Luigi outfits on!
One note here – buy yourself a thermal heat gun. They’re really the best way to tell the stone base of the pizza oven is the correct temperature to start cooking your pizza. They are cheap (and kind of fun to use to check out the temperature of your guests/other things in your garden) and can be had from Amazon and the like (here’s one similar to what we ended up with).
We spent some time researching the best flour and methods for making the pizza dough – we won’t cover here, as the web is full of info on how to do it right and we are in no way experts (yet). With a load of pre-made dough (these dough balls pictured are a bit large! This was one of early sessions. We make em’ a bit smaller these days for a thinner and crispier base).
Once the Igneus Classico pizza oven is up to temp, it’s on with the toppings… You can put pretty much anything on a pizza, but time and time again, we decide that the classics are the best… A simple Margherita with good quality tomato sauce, mozzarella and a few basil leaves is about as good as it gets! Don’t be too generous with the toppings – keep it light to avoid making the pizza base soggy and slow to cook.
The key is to turn the pizza a little with your pizza peel in order to get an even cook… This is not quite as easy as it sounds, but with a few pizzas under your belt, you get the hang of it and can actually cook two pizzas side by side in the Igneous pizza oven.
We love our Igneus Classico pizza oven… As do our friends, who have really enjoyed having a go at cooking their own pizzas! So long as they are supervised, kids love making their own pizzas and depositing them into the belly of the oven with the long peel we purchased along with the Igneus.
The pizza really is amazing when you get it right… The freshness is something you cannot get – even in a restaurant. There is just something better about these home made pizzas (although we are biased of course!).
We used a few left-over sand-stone slabs to create big pizza preparation/serving areas. They work really well and can just be jet-washed off after (wish we could jet-wash normal washing up).
A really cost-effective way to feed a group of people and a lot of fun…
We ordered our Igneus Classico pizza oven (in black) from the aptly named ‘The Pizza Oven Shop’ – They were great to deal with and have quite a range of ovens available. Take a look and go for it… You will not regret it.