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Both outdoor pizza ovens and indoor kitchen ovens are great for making delicious homemade pizzas.
However, these two appliances yield different results: hence the outdoor pizza oven vs indoor kitchen oven debate. So we delved into the indoor kitchen oven vs outdoor pizza oven debate to help you make the right purchasing decision.
So without further ado, let’s find out the differences between an outdoor pizza oven and an indoor kitchen oven.
What Are the Main Differences Between An Outdoor Pizza Oven and An Indoor Kitchen Oven?
The main difference between an outdoor pizza oven and an indoor kitchen oven is in the appliances’ cooking temperature.
An outdoor pizza oven is a special kind of oven that bakes pizzas in a short time under extremely high temperatures ranging from 600 to 800 degrees F. While an indoor kitchen oven cooks pizza in a longer time at temperatures reaching 450 and 500 degrees F.
The second main difference between an outdoor pizza oven and an indoor kitchen oven is in the pizza result.
Depending on the type of pizza, outdoor pizza ovens yield evenly cooked and browned pies with a more fluffy crust and smoky flavors. Indoor kitchen ovens, on the other hand, don’t yield fluffy pizzas that are as flavorful as those made by pizza ovens.
To better understand how these ovens can make delicious homemade pizzas, let’s study them individually.
What is an outdoor pizza oven? An outdoor pizza oven (also known as a brick or wood-fired pizza oven) is a dedicated oven for cooking pizzas at an extremely high but even temperature.
Originally, pizza ovens are made of bricks, insulated layers, and materials that retain heat. Plus there’s firewood inside the unit that heats the oven.
When the oven is heated, the brick’s walls trap heat; hence pizza ovens can reach temperatures exceeding 900 degrees F. However, they can maintain hot baking temperatures ranging between 570 and 660 degrees F to bake pizzas within 90 seconds and 2 minutes.
Keep in mind that it could take around 45 minutes to 1 hour to preheat the outdoor pizza oven.
As the oven is heated, the tiled base bakes the dough using convection heat; heat also radiates from the dome onto the pie’s crust. The smoke then caramelizes the pizza with delightful smoky flavors that you can’t get with any other cooker.
This shows that it's the heat from the oven, not the fire that makes the pizza in pizza ovens.
This cooking method ensures the dough bakes and browns quickly and evenly, with its inside becoming crisp. It also gives the crust a puffy, fluffy, and chewy texture while the toppings retain their nutrients without getting burnt. If the pizza oven heat doesn’t reach a very high temperature to bake your dough very fast, the result may be soggy.
Pizza ovens are also spacious enough to allow for making more than one homemade pizza (pizza and other foods) simultaneously.
What is an indoor kitchen oven? An indoor kitchen oven (also referred to as a conventional or traditional oven) is an appliance with two heating elements for cooking, baking, and broiling foods.
Conventional ovens are popular in homes, making them easy to operate and use. However, their heating method isn’t very efficient as there’s no mechanism to circulate the hot air: this results in unevenly cooked meals with hot spots. Also, it tends to heat foods closer to the heating elements faster than those far from it.
While they can make homemade pizzas, they’re not the best ovens for doing so as they can’t achieve the optimum temperature for baking dough. This makes them spend 10 to 15 minutes baking the pie.
Due to the long time it takes for indoor kitchen ovens to bake pizza, the nutritional value of your fruits, vegetables, and cheese may be reduced.
However, a traditional oven’s versatility is what makes it a common fixture in most homes.
What are the advantages of an outdoor pizza oven over an indoor kitchen oven?
The advantages of an outdoor pizza oven, when compared to an indoor kitchen oven, are their extreme cooking temperature that quickly cooks pizzas to yield better-tasting pies with crunchy crusts.
Reaches higher cooking temperatures
When comparing a traditional oven to an outdoor pizza oven, outdoor pizza ovens are capable of reaching extremely high temperatures of 900 degrees F. This is opposed to around 540 degrees F in conventional ovens.
The reason is pizza ovens are designed with bricks, floor tiles, and insulated materials that retain heat. So when you heat the oven with wood to around 570 and 660 degrees F, you can then bake your pie by maintaining this temperature with a continuous low flame.
Cooks pizza faster
When compared to an indoor kitchen oven, a wood-fired pizza oven cooks pizza faster. It only takes 2 to 3 minutes for an outdoor pizza oven to cook pizza, whereas a regular kitchen oven will make the same pizza in 10 to 15 minutes.
This is because brick ovens reach extremely high temperatures of up to 650 and 750 degrees F (the sweet spot for cooking pizza).
So immediately you place the dough on the heated tiled pizza floor, it starts baking the pie from the bottom to the top. While the heat radiating from the dome quickly heats the toppings.
Better tasting pizzas
Wood-fired ovens are more efficient in making pizzas than a regular oven. And one feature that makes cooking pizza with a pizza oven unique is the flavorful pizza it makes.
The smoky air in the oven caramelizes your pizza, causing your pie to have a smoky flavor that can’t be achieved by the other types of oven. This improved flavor and the even cooking both imparts and enhances the taste of the pizza.
Also, the high heat of your brick oven will cause the pie to retain its freshness and quality. It also slightly chars the pie without burning it; giving it a spotted appearance referred to as Leopard spotting.
Makes healthier pizzas
The fruits and vegetables you use as toppings for your pizza contain nutrients and antioxidants. Another advantage of the extreme heat of wood-fired pizza ovens is that it quickly heats the ingredients and retains the nutrients and antioxidants.
On the other hand, indoor kitchen ovens take a longer time to make your pizza. And this longer cooking process can deplete the nutrients in common toppings such as peppers, onions, mushrooms, and spinach.
If you need pizza with a crispier and puffier crust, an outdoor pizza oven yields such a result. The intense heat evenly cooks and browns both the outer and inner layers of the crust. This makes the outer layers feel light, crunchy, and chewy as the insides remain soft, instead of soggy.
Conversely, conventional ovens don’t have a mechanism for distributing heat around their cooking chamber.
Better energy efficiency
As opposed to using gas and electricity as sources of fuel for your regular oven, firewood is cheaper. So it saves your energy bill. Although there are pizza ovens that use gas as a source of fuel.
Secondly, after fully heating up your wood-fired pizza oven, it can stay hot for a long time – up to 5 days. And without reheating the oven, you can slow cook turkeys, chickens, pot roast, lasagna, etc., for 24 hours.
When compared to a conventional oven, a brick oven has a larger cooking area for accommodating and cooking multiple items simultaneously.
You can fit two pizzas at a time or a pizza and any other item in a wood-fired pizza oven. While with a regular oven, you’ll need to switch the pans so that the bottom pan doesn’t receive more heat than the top pan.
Unless you’re hiring a contractor to construct a wood-fired pizza oven on your patio, outdoor pizza ovens are cheaper than indoor kitchen ovens.
The price for a pizza oven ranges from $300 to $1,000 while a conventional oven costs between $500 and $2,000.
What are the advantages of an indoor kitchen oven over an outdoor pizza oven?
The advantages of an indoor kitchen oven when compared to an outdoor pizza oven are that it offers better versatility, is more user-friendly, and is great for some pizzas like New York-style pizzas.
When compared to an outdoor pizza oven, indoor kitchen ovens bring more versatility to the kitchen.
Although pizza ovens can be used to prepare other meals, conventional ovens have more uses as they can be used to bake cakes and other delicate pastries like soufflés, cheesecakes, and meringues. These foods won’t do well in a pizza oven.
Secondly, indoor kitchen ovens are more easily accessible because they're stationed in the kitchen.
Great for some pizzas
Not all pizzas will cook well in a wood-fired pizza oven.
For example, brick ovens are great for cooking Neapolitan pizzas as well as most other types of pizzas. But for deep dish Chicago-style pizzas, New York-style pizzas, skillet pizzas, and Detroit pizzas, a conventional oven yields the best results (especially when used with a pizza stone).
This is because New York-style pizzas and the others require a longer cooking time to yield a thick and fluffy crust. Putting them in an outdoor pizza oven will burn the outer layers of your pie.
When compared to an outdoor pizza oven, an indoor kitchen oven is easier to use. Here's how to use an outdoor pizza oven.
This is because conventional ovens are common fixtures in homes, so virtually everyone knows how to use one. On the other hand, using a wood-fired pizza oven is like an art form in that it’s more difficult to use and requires more attention. Unless you’re experienced using it, you may find it annoying.
Secondly, you’ll need a supply of good firewood – dry hardwood – when using a wood-fired pizza oven.
Which One is more Usable in the Kitchen between An Outdoor Pizza Oven and an Indoor Kitchen Oven?
An indoor kitchen oven is more versatile in the kitchen than an outdoor pizza oven. This is because a conventional oven can perform a wider range of tasks than a brick oven. One of such tasks includes baking delicate pastries.
And if you’re asking, “Is an outdoor pizza oven the same as a conventional oven?” No, they’re different types of ovens.
An outdoor pizza oven is a special kind of oven used for cooking pizzas because of its extreme temperature. While a conventional oven is an appliance for roasting meat, broiling veggies, and baking cakes in the kitchen.
What foods can you cook in an outdoor pizza oven?
Like an oven, an outdoor kitchen oven can perform the tasks that other ovens can do. They include;
- Pizzas: Neapolitan pizza, California pizza, Hawaiian pizza, garlic bread, and naan bread
- Bread: focaccia, cornbread, sourdough, and flatbreads
- Seafood: salmon, prawns, scallops, shrimps, and squids
- Baked or grilled fish
- Stews and casseroles
- Roast lamb, pork, chicken, lasagna, pot roast, and turkey
- Roasted vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, peppers, eggplant, and fennel
- Slow cooked meat: pork ribs, joints of meat, Kangaroo rump, and beef cuts
- Slow cooked cakes
- Hot desserts: carrot cake, strawberry cobbler, S’mores, baked camembert, and cinnamon rolls
- Ribeye steak
- Baked feta
- Potato wedges
- Jacket potatoes
You can find the different uses for your outdoor pizza oven here.
What foods can you cook in an indoor kitchen oven?
Here are a few of the foods you can cook in a conventional oven. This is in addition to the other meals that your pizza oven can prepare.
- Pizzas: paleo pizza, New York-style pizza, Detroit pizza, and Chicago-style pizza
- Chicken quesadilla
- Soups and sauces
- Pastries: brown sugar pear puff
- Cakes: skillet cake,
- Nuts: pecans, almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, peanuts, and pine nuts
- Desserts: blackberry and raspberry cobbler, cinnamon
- Vegetables: broccoli, carrots, cauliflower
- Baked beans
- Mac ‘n’ cheese
Can an outdoor pizza oven and an indoor kitchen oven be paired together?
Yes, you can pair an outdoor pizza oven and an indoor kitchen oven.
Kitchen ovens are best suited to cooking and heating foods that require low to medium heat while pizza ovens are used to prepare meals that require very high heat. Although brick ovens can slow cook meals after they’ve heated their primary meals.
What are the instances where you can use an indoor kitchen oven and an outdoor pizza oven together?
While you can use your indoor kitchen oven to bake cakes or cook pasta in the kitchen, your pizza oven can cook your delicious Neapolitan pizza within 2 minutes on your patio.
What are the instances where an outdoor pizza oven and an indoor kitchen oven should never be used together?
You don’t need to have a pizza oven alongside your regular oven if you don’t fuss about the unique taste of homemade pizza cooked with an outdoor pizza oven.
What to Consider when Buying An Outdoor Pizza Oven and an Indoor Kitchen Oven
Will either or both an outdoor pizza oven or an indoor kitchen oven be right for you? Before buying any of these appliances, these are the factors you should consider.
What type of oven should I get?
The type of oven you’ll get depends on the space you have in your home.
There are 4 types of outdoor pizza ovens; portable, countertop, freestanding, and built-in pizza ovens
Portable pizza ovens are usually compact and lightweight, making them easy to transport anywhere. A countertop pizza oven sits on top of a barbecue table or countertop. A freestanding unit is on wheels so you can easily change its position when the weather or season changes. While built-in pizza ovens are the largest ovens that are built into a countertop or grill island.
On the other hand, there are two types of conventional ovens; built-in and freestanding ovens.
Built-in ovens are usually your kitchen ranges; the unit comes with a stove at the top and an oven underneath. This style pairs with many kitchen styles as they can be mounted into a wall or installed within a kitchen cabinet. While a freestanding conventional oven is great for small kitchens.
What source of fuel is the best?
There are wood-fired pizza ovens and gas-powered pizza ovens.
Wood-fired pizza ovens give the most authentic pizza-making experience while giving your pie the best flavor. You can also use different kinds of fruitwoods like hickory and apple to improve your pie's flavor. However, this model takes a long time to preheat (1 to 2 hours). Plus it may be difficult to fetch and prepare the firewood.
On the other hand, gas ovens preheat up (around 30 minutes) and are more reliable. They’re also easier to use, and they’re cheaper than wood-fired models.
For indoor kitchen ovens, gas-powered ovens are cheaper and more flexible while electric models cook faster and are more convenient.
How does space and family size matter?
The amount of space you have in your home will determine the pizza oven size that’ll be compatible with your property.
If you have a small space, you can go for a 300- to 450-square inch oven: this should be able to cook one 12” pizza. And if you have a family of 3 – 4 members, you can get a 450- to 600-square inch pizza oven as it can fit around two 12” pizzas. But if you host lots of friends on the weekends, you may want to go for an outdoor pizza oven larger than 600 square inches.
For an indoor kitchen oven, the common width is 24 inches; this will fit in most standard-sized kitchens and feed a family of 2- 3 members. But if you have a larger family or entertain guests often, you may want to go for a larger model that’s 35 inches wide.
How often do you make homemade pizza?
On average, Americans eat 48 pizzas in a year: which amounts to 1 pizza per month. If you eat pizzas at this frequency, a pizza oven may not be a worthwhile investment. But if you and your family eat pizzas more often, you can consider buying a pizza oven.
What Are the Best Brands for Outdoor Pizza Ovens?
The five best brands making the best outdoor pizza ovens are Ooni, Bertello, BakerStone, Fremont, and Camp Chef.
The best brand making the best pizza ovens is Ooni. Their products rank as Amazon bestsellers because they’re easy to use and are mid-priced. They also heat up quickly and have a large cooking area. They’re also very versatile, allowing you to cook several non-pizza items.
Bertello is one of the best brands making the best pizza ovens. Their devices are portable and great for camping. Plus they add a unique smoky flavor to your pizzas.
Another top brand making some of the best pizza ovens is BakerStone. Their units are budget-friendly but don’t compromise on quality. They also allow you to control the temperature easily, and their radiant heat gives pies a nice appearance.
If you need a reliable wood-fired pizza oven, Fremont has got you. The brand makes compact pizza ovens with large capacities. They’re also portable to take on camping trips, and they heat up fast.
Camp Chef is one of the reputable brands making affordable pizza ovens. Their units have unique designs. And when compared to the other top brands, their units are cheaper.
What Are the Best Brands for Indoor Kitchen Ovens?
The five best brands making the best conventional ovens are Samsung, Frigidaire, GE, LG, and Kenmore.