There’s nothing more appetizing than a fresh brick oven pizza that’s hot, steamy, and loaded with mouthwatering toppings! Sometimes referred to as wood-fired pizza, pizza that is cooked in a brick oven has a distinct style, taste, and texture.
These pizzas are especially popular outside of the United States, as many travelers consider them an “authentic” food in places like Italy, Sicily, and Rome.
If you’ve never tried this style of pizza before, it’s probably because it didn’t become popularized in the U.S. until the late 2000s. If you’ve yet to give it a shot, it might be something you consider adding to your foodie bucket list.
The good news is that you don’t have to board a plane and fly halfway across the world to try it – you can try it from the comfort of your city and state!
What’s the Difference?
Pizza may be a beloved favorite food of many, but there is no “one-size-fits-all” option when it comes to style. You’ve heard of a traditional crust, flat crust, and deep-dish – so what’s the story with pizza cooked in a special oven? The biggest difference between brick oven pizza and regular pizza is primarily in taste.
The most popular kind of pizza that you find standard in most pizzerias is “Northern Style,” sometimes distinguished between New York and Chicago style. This is the kind of pizza you would normally get if you called up and simply ordered a large pizza.
Ovens Made of Bricks
This type of pizza is unique because it requires cooking in an oven made out of bricks. The purpose of a brick oven is for the bricks to retain high temperatures (as high as 900-degrees F) from a fire made with gas or coal. The flame used in this style of cooking gives the crust a bubbly, crispy texture, which pleases the palates of many pizza lovers.
This is also known as Neapolitan pizza.
Cooking pizza with a wood fire gives it a smoky taste, while a gas fire will invoke a charred taste. Coal-fired brick ovens are a less traditional method of cooking brick oven pizza, but you may find some local pizzerias that make it this way.
How to Make Brick Oven Pizza
Believe it or not, there is a true science to cooking the perfect wood-fired pizza. Thanks to the law of physics, pizza cooks from the top and the bottom at the same time. This means that whoever is making the pizza must use a balanced combination of toppings and dough as well as ensure they are cooking it at the right temperature.
According to Roman pizza makers, you can get the best results by cooking it at 625-degrees F, a very high temperature that only an industrial oven can reach. When temperatures that high interact with the bricks, it creates the perfect conditions to create a satisfyingly delicious result.
Ensuring the right balance of ingredients and the right temperatures are key, to avoid overbaking the dough or ruining the consistency of the toppings. There’s nothing worse than being excited for the appetizing taste and smell of pizza, only to receive it and it’s inedible!
Enjoying Brick Oven Pizza at Home
While you likely don’t have a brick oven fitted in your kitchen, you can still enjoy the delicious taste of wood-fired pizza in the comfort of your home with a grill and a pizza stone.
Simply prepare your pizza using fresh ingredients from the store, fire up your grill to 450-degrees F, and cook the pizza on a heated pizza stone for approximately 5 minutes. (or until the crust becomes crispy).
To get that smokey wood-fired flavor, try adding some wood chips wrapped in tin foil into the grill. poke holes in the tinfoil and they will release the smoke.
Getting the Best Results
You can get the best at-home results by stretching the dough to the diameter of your floured pizza stone and add on crushed tomatoes or pizza sauce, spreading them randomly across the diameter and leaving some space in between.
Next, place a thin layer of mozzarella cheese on top. Sprinkle as much ground pepper on it as you’d like, followed by your preferred amount of fresh oregano. Add as many of your favorite toppings as you’d like, top it off with olive oil and enjoy the delicious smell as it fills your home!
Since this famous style of pizza is becoming increasingly popular all over the world, finding a restaurant that serves it has never been easier.
If you find yourself asking, “What’s for dinner tonight?”, why not give brick oven pizza try? This crispy, smoky delight is sure to satisfy, and you’ll also be getting an authentic Italian experience.