A pizza oven obviously serves its purpose in the preparation of pizzas.
However, is the pizza oven suitable for other types of cooking, such as smoking? Follow along as we talk about whether or not you can smoke meat in a pizza oven.
It is possible to smoke meat in a pizza oven. However, this is dependant on the type of pizza oven. Some pizza ovens are more feasible for smoking meats in than others. For instance, a wood-fired pizza oven is an excellent option for smoking meats as it insulates and maintains low heat well.
To smoke meats in a pizza oven, you’ll need to have the necessary knowledge, techniques, and practice. Continue reading to become one step closer to mastering the art of smoking meats in a pizza oven.
Is It Possible To Smoke Meat In A Pizza Oven?
It may appear that smoking meat in a pizza oven is impossible; after all, such ovens were built to garner extremely high temperatures, and attempting to ‘smoke’ with such high temperatures would result in something far less satisfactory and downright unpalatable.
So, is there anything you can do, though, to make the oven suitable for smoking? For the most part, the answer is yes. This answer, however, is dependent on your oven, as certain ovens are more capable of smoking foods.
For example, if you have a wood-fired pizza oven, this may be a fantastic way to smoke your meat – even though it may not seem that way. These wood-fire ovens consist of insulating materials and a fireback that, when combined, provide excellent heat retention.
Thus, if need be, maintaining a consistent, low temperature, ideal for smoking, is easily accomplished with these ovens. So grab your favorite cut of meat, a cool beer, and savor the smokey-goodness that ensues.
Our favorite portable pizza oven is the Ooni. This is not necessarily large enough to smoke a ton of meat, but makes great pizza!
How To Smoke Meat In Your Pizza Oven
So now that we know it is possible to use a pizza oven to smoke meat, the next question is ‘how do we use it?’. Read on to learn how to make some tasty cuts of meat in your pizza oven.
1. Light The Fire In Your Pizza Oven
First and foremost, we need to light a fire. When lighting the fire, try to use kiln-dried wood with a moisture content that is below 20%. After the fire has been lit, try not to let the temperature get too hot. Aim to keep the temperature around 437°F – 482°F (225-250°C) and leave while you prepare your food.
2. Prepare Your Meat Before Smoking In The Pizza Oven
Prepare your chosen cuts of meat with your favorite seasonings and rubs while the wood-fire oven cools. Once you have finished adding the tasty spices, place the meat in a heat-proof casserole dish or tray.
3. Create Smoke In The Pizza Oven
It’s time to return to the wood-fired oven and start making some smoke. Using a metal peel or shovel, clear the embers from the center, pushing the embers to the side or back of the oven. Afterward, allow the temperature to drop to about 212 – 302°F (100 – 150°C).
Make sure the embers do not have flames at this point. Then add pre-soaked hardwood soaked chips to the embers. Make sure the chips have been pre-soaked in water for at least 30 minutes before using onto the embers. After applying the chips to the embers, you should see Smoke slowly arise.
4. Smoke The Meat In The Pizza Oven
Once the oven is ready for smoking, place the heat-resistant casserole dish or tray next to the embers, shut the door, and let it smoke to perfection. Depending on the type and size of the meat, the cooking time will vary. However, once you see a smoked outer layer on your cut, it is time to eat!
5. Serve The Smoked Meat Once Finished
Once the food is finished cooking, serve hot or cold. So, sit down, relax and enjoy the tasty perfection that is smoked meat.
Types Of Wood For Smoking Meat In A Pizza Oven
The type of hardwood used has a considerable impact on the flavor profile of your food. Although there are tons of varieties out there, we recommend experimenting with the different types of wood to find that perfect balanced smoked flavor. Some of the most common woods for smoking are listed here.
Hickory: This is one of the most popular choices of hardwoods and infuses a fantastic flavor into ribs and pork.
Oak: This hardwood gives off a strong flavor and pairs well with Salmon.
Apple: This wood has a mild and sweet profile and pairs perfectly with pork dishes. No wonder it is one of the most popular choices.
Maple: This wood pairs well with the more delicate whiter types of meat. Consider pairing it with poultry, fish, or seafood.
Never use woods that have been altered from their original state, such a laminated woods like plywood (or particleboard), painted, chemically treated of glued woods, or pressure-treated wood. Additionally, refrain from using charcoal inside the wood-fired oven.
Although charcoal may seem like a great idea, it does not transfer the heat effectively inside the oven and releases more carbon monoxide than wood, which is a safety issue.
Different Methods Of Smoking Meat In A Pizza Oven
There are two main types of smoking, which center around the difference in temperatures. Cold smoking entails smoking the meats at a low temperature of about 60-120°F. Due to the low temperature of cold smoking, this process is not used for cooking meats; instead, it is used to infuse flavor and help preserve the cuts.
The meat is placed away from the heat source, and often, cured meats are used, resulting in an infusion of extra flavor and preservation – like smoked Salmon. On the other hand, ‘hot smoking’ is used for cooking meats while simultaneously adding extra flavor.
As a result, the temperatures must be high enough to cook the meat. Hot smoking usually has a maintenance temperature of around 200–300°F. In addition, because hot smoking slowly cooks the meat, some cuts of meat become incredibly tender and flavorful – certainly something you can’t resist.
The Best Way to Smoke Meat
Although you can smoke meat in your pizza oven, it may not be the best way possible. The best item we have used to smoke meat is a dedicated smoker. This one automatically feeds the pucks and has an automatic thermostat to provide an even smoke that will have guests’ mouths watering when you smoke meat, cheese, or pretty much anything else.
A good Alternative to Smoking in your Pizza Oven
Smoking guns have become very popular recently and do a great job at quickly smoking meats for some extra flavor. Here is the model we have and recommend. A simple 1-2 minute smoke will leave your mouth watering and wondering if you will ever need or use a smoker again. It is especially good for cheese. This is only a cold smoking method and will not cook your foods.
It takes practice and experience to smoke meats to perfection in a pizza oven. It requires effort to create Smoke, but the benefits of a smokey oven are well worth it for those delectable smoked meats.
Make the most of your pizza oven by experimenting with different types of wood to get the right flavor combination. Also, keep in mind that you may smoke using two different ways, so have fun experimenting with all of your dishes.