So, you’re thinking of leveling up your pizza game by investing in a dedicated pizza oven. But before you finalize your purchase, you’re wondering what else you can make in a pizza oven. It’s a fair question, and the answer is – almost anything you want!
A pizza oven is but a more efficient and versatile version of a charcoal or gas grill. After all, both are essentially large metal boxes that heat up to create an environment for cooking.
With some practice, you can make everything from braised meats, roasted vegetables, and fajitas to breads and desserts in your pizza oven. I have also made paella in my Ooni with great success.
The trick is to figure out what temperatures and times are needed for each item. This article will give you an overview of the variety of dishes you can make in a pizza oven as well as some great recipes to get you started.
But before e get to the recipes, let’s clear up a few things about the oven itself.
Are Pizza Ovens Designed for Pizza Only?
Well, both yes and no. Neapolitan-style thin-crust, crispy pizzas require a high temperature and even heating to achieve the proper texture of a thin crust.
Pizza ovens like Ooni or Pizzacraft can achieve this, plus they’re designed to maintain a consistent temperature so that your pizza bakes evenly from edge to center. However, pizza ovens are not just for pizzas. You can prepare delicious, juicy steaks, grilled veggies, and flatbreads like focaccia or bake cookies and cakes just as efficiently as you would on a regular oven or grill.
I have to admit cooking in a pizza oven can be somewhat confusing at first. The main difference is that you have to cook on the floor of the oven rather than placing your food directly on a rack or baking sheet.
The key is to know how to use your pizza oven and what kind of food works best in it. Some ovens come with a cookbook that includes recipes for various foods; otherwise, you’ll have to do some research online or experiment on your own.
Everything mentioned above is based on my experience with Ooni Karun, which is a multi-fuel pizza oven. But what about electric pizza ovens? Are they just as versatile as wood-fired or gas-powered pizza ovens?
Common Foods that you Can Cook in a Wood-fired Pizza Oven:
- Roasted meats (chicken, pork, etc.)
- Roasted vegetables
- Grilled meats (steak, fish, etc.)
- Desserts (fruit pies, roasted fruit, cookies, etc.)
- Tandoori chicken
- Naan bread
- Pita bread
Please note that the above is a general list. There are other foods that you can cook in a wood-fired pizza oven, depending on the temperature you can reach and maintain in your oven and your own cooking skills, imagination, and preferences.
What Can I Cook in an Electric Pizza Oven?
First things first, let’s understand the primary difference between an electric and a wood-fired pizza oven.
In an electric oven, the heat comes from both the top and bottom of the oven. On the hand, in a wood-fired pizza oven, the heat comes from above and around the cooking surface.
Moreover, you can precisely control the temperature in an electric fire oven. Furthermore, you can also individually adjust the heat level of the top and bottom chambers.
You don’t get this option in an Ooni or similar pizza oven. This, in my opinion, makes electric pizza ovens much more utilitarian than traditional pizza ovens. From grilled fish and stuffed chicken breast to croissants, an electric pizza oven can cook a wide range of dishes.
Guide to Cooking Temperatures in Pizza Oven
A traditional wood-fired pizza oven can reach up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. Ooni can go as high as 932 degrees F. Due to such high temperatures, pizzas take only 60-90 seconds to cook through and crisp up in these ovens.
You can use a cast iron skillet or grill pan and, optionally, cover your food in aluminum foil before putting them in the oven. This will ensure even cooking and keep the ingredients from drying out.
|Item||Temperature (Fahrenheit)||Cooking Time|
|Roasted vegetables||400-450||20-30 minutes|
|Roasted meats (chicken, pork)||400-450||30-40 minutes|
|Grilled meats (steak, fish)||500-550||4-6 minutes per side|
|Desserts (pie, fruit)||350-400||20-30 minutes|
Please note that the above chart is just a general guideline, and the actual cooking time and temperature may vary depending on the type of food, the size of the items, the oven, and personal preferences.
Also note that the above chart is in Fahrenheit; if you prefer to use Celcius the conversion formula is °C = (°F – 32) x 5/9
If your pizza oven doesn’t have temperature control, then it’s all about perfecting the cooking time. Fish, chicken, or cake won’t take as long to get ready as pork belly or a filet mignon.
So, I would suggest using a probe thermometer to monitor the temperature of your food and then adjust the cooking time accordingly. You can also use an infrared thermometer, but the results might not always be accurate.
What Else Can You Cook in a Pizza Oven – A List of Kickass Recipes
There are so many recipes that you can cook with a pizza oven that I can write a big fat book on it. But I’ll try to keep this list short and sweet. Here are some of the mass-favorite dishes that you can cook in a pizza oven:
Braised Pork Belly
Pork belly is one of the most popular dishes in Chinese cuisine. It’s tasty, tender, and easy to cook. All you need is some pork belly and a couple of hours to make it happen. Just rub the meat with a generous amount of salt so that it will draw out the moisture from the meat while cooking at a low temperature.
Once cooked through, remove the pork belly from the oven and let it cool down before slicing it into pieces.
Beer Can Chicken
This is a simple dish that you can prepare in less than an hour. Just stuff a whole chicken with garlic, lemon slices, and onions. Then place the bird on top of a half-filled beer can and bake it inside your pizza oven. It’s the go-to Sunday night meal at our house and is loved by everyone.
You can also use a chicken leg or thigh instead of a whole bird if you’re not feeling up to stuffing it.
A lot of people don’t know that you can cook lamb chops in your pizza oven. It takes about 15 minutes, and they come out perfectly cooked with a nice char around the edges. The best way to cook lamb chops is with garlic- and rosemary-infused oil, along with some lemon juice.
No, you don’t need to wait until Thanksgiving or Christmas to enjoy the turkey roast. You can make a turkey roast in your pizza oven any time of year. It’s great for get-togethers, as it feeds a lot of people and is always a crowd-pleaser.
Try it with garlic and rosemary for a more Mediterranean-style roast. It’s also delicious when served with cranberries and applesauce.
Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
Short ribs are a popular dish for weekend parties, picnics, and barbecues. They’re easy to make and don’t take a long time in the oven, so you can cook them while you’re doing other things. Try braising your short ribs in red wine with garlic and onions. You can also add mushrooms or carrots to give the sauce more flavor.
Grilled Shrimp with Mango Salsa
Grilled shrimp is a great summertime dish. It’s easy to make and looks really impressive on a buffet table. Try marinating your shrimp in lime juice and olive oil for an extra kick of flavor. Then, serve them with mango salsa made of diced mangoes, red onion, cilantro, jalapenos, and lime juice.
Herbed Hasselback Potatoes
Hasselback potatoes are one of the most popular side dishes for your next barbecue. It’s a simple recipe that you can use to impress your guests and friends by cooking their favorite potato dish in a pizza oven instead of using an ordinary oven or grill.
Just slice the potatoes into thin strips, brush them with olive oil and sprinkle some salt over them. You can enjoy them as a side dish for lunch or dinner, or you can use them as an appetizer.
You can also use your pizza oven for baking sourdough. Just follow the instructions on your recipe and place the dough on a baking sheet that you’ve greased with butter or oil. You can also add some herbs and cheese for extra flavor.
The Indian flatbread naan is another tasty dish you can make in your pizza oven. Just mix together some flour, yogurt, salt, and oil. Then add a teaspoon of baking powder, water, and sugar.
Roll out the dough into small balls, place them on a greased baking sheet and bake them in your oven until they’re golden brown. Enjoy it with butter chicken or lamb curry.
This is a traditional Spanish dish that’s made with rice, vegetables, and seafood. You can make paella in your pizza oven by cooking the rice in water until it’s soft. Then add the vegetables, seafood, and seasonings. Bake it in your oven until the rice is tender and all of the liquid has been absorbed. You can serve this dish with lemon wedges and a glass of Garnacha or Chardonnay.
Apple Tarte Tatin
This is a French dessert that’s made with apples, butter, sugar, and flaky pastry. You can make it in your pizza oven by cutting the apples into thin slices and arranging them in a circular pattern on top of the pastry. Bake it in your oven until the fruit is softened and golden brown.
Then pour some caramel sauce over it, sprinkle some cinnamon on top and serve warm.
Burnt Basque Cheesecake
Basque cheesecakes are having a moment in the sun. This sinful yet simple-to-make dessert has lately taken the internet by storm. Burnt basque cheesecake is a creamier and lighter version of the classic NY cheesecake with a beautifully caramelized top.
Burnt cheesecakes are baked at high temperatures for a short time, making your pizza oven the ideal equipment for the job.
Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
There is nothing better than a classic chocolate chip cookie. These are the perfect cookies for any occasion and can be easily customized to fit your taste buds. You can add your own twist to the recipe by adding Nutella, peanut butter, or even white chocolate chips. The possibilities are endless!
Cinnamon rolls are a classic dessert that is perfect for the holidays. The smell of these warm, gooey rolls baking in your oven will make everyone in the house’s mouth water. You can make the cinnamon rolls ahead of time and freeze them so that all you have to do on Christmas morning is pop them in the oven. This will save you a lot of time.
3 Things to Cook in an Ooni Pizza Oven (Besides Pizza) With Recipes
Your Ooni pizza is capable of making so many more delicious foods than just pizza. You can easily whip up a 3-course meal in this oven. Below, you will find the top 3 dishes you can make in your Ooni pizza oven, along with detailed recipes!
Here we go:
A salmon filet is an excellent choice for the main dish. It’s easy to make and has a mild flavor that pairs well with many different sauces. You can also add some vegetables, such as onions and peppers to your salmon, which will add another layer of flavor.
- A salmon filet
- Salt and pepper
- Garlic powder
- Any other seasoning of your choice
- A small amount of butter or olive oil for cooking
- Preheat your oven for 8 minutes
- Line your pizza stone with aluminum foil and place it in the oven while it’s preheating, making sure that the foil is not touching the heating element or flame.
- Coat both sides of your salmon filet with a small amount of butter or olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic powder, and any other seasoning of choice (i.e., cumin).
- Place your salmon on top of the preheated pizza stone and close the lid for about 15 minutes or until it turns flaky.
Reverse searing is my go-to method for making steaks. The method gives you a really tender, juicy steak with an amazing crust on the outside. It’s also one of the best ways to ensure your steaks turn out perfectly charred but not burnt!
- 1 ribeye steak (about 15 oz)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil or butter for the pan (optional)
- A sprig of rosemary
- Take a seaned cast iron skillet or pan, place it into the oven and preheat the oven for 10 minutes
- After preheating, remove the plate, carefully add the steak on it, and put it back in the oven
- Cook for 1.5 minutes on each side and flip to ensure uniform heat distribution
- Cook until it reaches your desired level of doneness. Use a probe or instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature for optimal results.
This is one of my favorite types of bread. It’s a simple recipe, but it’s also very versatile. You can use it as an appetizer or serve it with any dish you want!
- 00 flour
- Active dry yeast
- A pinch of teaspoon salt
- A splash of olive oil
- Some lukewarm water
- Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl until they form a dough ball
- Cover and let rise for about an hour
- Take out the dough and knead for 10 minutes on a floured surface
- Place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight
- Preheat the oven until it reaches about 600 degrees.
- Transfer the stretched dough into the oven with the help of your pizza peel.
- Keep rotating the dough, cooking each side for around 30 seconds.
- Bake it until it reaches a dark brown color with slightly charged edges.
So as you can see, there are several other uses for pizza ovens. From steaks to sinful desserts, you can make almost anything in a pizza oven. If you’re looking for an alternative to grilling and don’t have a smoker, then a pizza oven is the perfect tool for creating delicious meals. That’s all for today.
Shoot us an email or leave a comment if you have any questions related to pizza ovens. Happy baking!
Tim Anderson is the founder of pizzapeopleaz® and has been in the pizza industry since 1998. Since then, his mission has been to make a pizza lover’s guy into a personal pizzaiolo. And each year, he continues to help more people with Pizza chemistry, pizza Crust, pizza oven, and oven troubleshooting.