Wood Fired Oven Appetizer Recipes – Christine graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France, and has worked at Cook’s Illustrated and CHOW.com. She lives in San Francisco and loves teaching cooking classes. Follow her latest cooking stories on Instagram.
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Wood Fired Oven Appetizer Recipes
This piece is part of our Outdoor Pizza Party series. Read all the stories – including a test drive and plenty of recipes – here.
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My husband has always wanted an outdoor pizza oven, so I finally bit the bullet and got him one as a Christmas present. The Ooni 16 I bought was so popular that it was back ordered, so it didn’t get its oven until the spring. But as soon as we had a bite of our first pizza, we knew the wait was worth it. Powered by propane, our pizza oven gets really hot and cooks pizzas in just minutes, which made me wonder what other things you could do in it – especially during the time it warming up. It turns out you can make a full meal, from appetizers to dessert! Here are some non-pizza ideas for making the most of an outdoor pizza oven.
Whether your pizza oven uses propane, wood, or charcoal, make sure you have a thermometer for monitoring the oven temperature. Some of our recipe suggestions are designed specifically for pizza and wood-burning ovens, but for those that aren’t, heat the pizza oven to the oven temperature specified in the recipe. One last tip: You don’t want to cook anything directly on the pizza oven floor unless it’s pizza or something similar to bread, so it’s time to break out the cast iron skillets, grill pans, and baking dishes!
While your pizza oven is heating up, use that time to bake flatbreads and delicious dips. You can go as simple as baking a wheel of Camembert cheese with garlic and herbs to put a twist on baked Brie, or make a more elaborate baked artichoke dip instead. In the mood for something a little fancier? How about a hot crab dip with some crudités and crackers?
Although pizza can be a meal in itself, it pays to add a side of vegetables when there is so much good summer produce to eat. Bake that huge crop of zucchini into a gratin, or roast corn on the cob on a cast iron grill pan and turn it into Mexican street corn. In autumn or winter, skewer some Brussels sprouts, cook them until tender, then top with some crispy bacon and raisins for a sweet savory side. Or for a vegetable substantial enough to be a main dish, roast a whole cauliflower rubbed in chile paste, then drizzle with a tangy sumac dressing.
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The hot, intense heat of a pizza oven makes it great for searing steaks and cooking burgers. Zuni Cafe’s famous roast chicken is cooked in a wood-fired oven, and you can get the same results of crispy skin and juicy chicken in your own pizza oven. If seafood is more your jam, try the garlic butter lobster tail and spicy shrimp.
Use the pizza oven to turn summer squash into a cheesy casserole for a hearty side dish. Or use the oven to make a non-pizza main course, such as chicken lasagna. Cook the chicken in the oven before layering it between noodles and sauce, then let the residual heat of the oven heat the lasagna through. The oven can also be used to brown boneless chicken before cooking it along with cheeses, hash browns, and curry powder for a casserole perfect for brunch.
Don’t forget something sweet! Before the pizzas go in, bake a cast iron skillet pie with salted caramel and bananas or a pear galette. The desserts can cool while you eat your pizza. Or take advantage of the permanent heat after the pizza to bake apple or pear crisps in mulled wine. Another inventive step is to turn that extra ball of pizza dough into a dessert pizza by topping it with ricotta cheese, Biscoff cookie spread, and dusting the treat with crushed cookies. I’ve been meaning to post this for a while, and you may have seen some things on my Instagram stories, but we’ve completed some construction recently. Along with a new office and studio space, we also decided to install an outside kitchen. I was super excited because I love cooking outdoors especially during the summer so this was the perfect idea!
It was so much fun being able to design it and choose the surfaces, chairs and equipment. One of the appliances and the anchor for the whole kitchen was an amazing wooden pizza oven. The authentic handmade oven is built by Forno Bravo right here in California. The company was founded in 2003 and has since become a leader in wood-fired pizza ovens, and once you’ve used it, it’s easy to see why they’re so popular.
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Forno Bravo has many designs and sizes of ovens for a wide variety of backyards or restaurants. I have the Napolino which comes in two sizes. With a warm-up time of 20 minutes, that’s right,
And you won’t be disappointed, after some experimenting with dough, I think I’ve found my favorite no-knead version from Jim Lahey. It’s amazing to watch the pizza start to rise and bubble in front of your eyes in less than two minutes, in fact, that’s how long it takes to make the best pizza outside of Naples!
So you might be looking at the picture below and wondering why you don’t see a real pizza and instead see a cast iron pan full of plump juicy shrimp? Well, trust me when I say that I’ve made a lot of pizza so far and each time I’m better than the last.
But here’s the deal and the best part. The pizza oven is not just for pizza! You can cook so many other recipes in it, and because the temperature can easily reach 700-800 degrees you or your guests won’t have to wait long until they get something delicious on their plate. Even on a normal dinner night, after you finish making a pizza the oven will hold all the heat for hours longer. This would be a great time to add a roast or maybe some steaks. Dessert is another option, a fruit crumble would work well or perhaps roasted peaches with rosemary and vanilla ice cream.
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Making the basil butter is simple, just combine fresh basil with salted butter in a food processor and that’s it! Season the prawns and place a heavy cast iron pan into the hot oven. Wait for 5-7 minutes and then add the shrimp, the sizzle will blow your mind because when the shrimp hit that super high temperature they will be fully cooked in less than two minutes. Just before they are ready, add a few large dollops of the basil butter to the pan.
Once the butter melts, toss the shrimp until they are completely coated. Serve with some crusty bread to mop up all that melted basil butter!
Juicy wood shrimp with basil butter! This recipe is so easy to make and people are raving about how good these shrimp taste! #woodfired #tasty #shrimp #seafood #foodnessgracious
Large concrete squares poured in a grid pattern make the space look larger than it really is, and strips of artificial grass between each concrete square complete the idea.
Wood Fired Oven Pizza Dough Recipe
I think it’s time to fire up that oven again! Let me know what pizza toppings I should use and watch my Instagram this summer for all kinds of new backyard recipes.
You can also check out my Q&A session over on the Forno Bravo website for more reasons why I went with this type of oven!
This post is sponsored as part of my relationship with Forno Bravo Pizza Ovens. I got a furnace but all thoughts and opinions are my own!
Calories: 391 kcal | Carbohydrates: 3 g | Protein: 24 g | Fat: 31 g | Saturated Fat: 15 g | Cholesterol: 346 mg | Sodium: 1031 mg | Potassium: 159 mg | Vitamin A: 1025 IU | Vitamin C: 20 mg | Calcium: 189 mg | Iron: 2.8 mg
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Welcome to Gracious Foodness! I’m Gerry, a father, husband and full-time food blogger who creates simple, delicious recipes just for you.
Happy New Year! Do you have any resolutions for 2022? Look at my letter to see what my plans are for the coming year. Home » 40 Ideas on What You Can Cook in a Pizza Oven 40 Ideas on What You Can Cook in a Pizza Oven
Wood pizza ovens are flexible ovens that cook more than just homemade pizza. In fact, pizza ovens will cook almost anything you do in a regular oven.
That said, knowing what to put in a wood fired pizza oven versus a conventional oven is difficult. The good
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