Blog Post

The Best Tools for Your Wood-Fired Oven

During a visit to a beautiful old church in southern Sweden I spotted a set of pizza oven wood peels in a corner only to be told that “no, those are for collecting donations”. Too bad, they would have made gorgeous pizza oven peels.

Swedish antique church collection "peels"

Swedish antique church collection “peels”

My mental list of antique peels includes those in the Putnam Park museum in Connecticut. Forged in metal they were used for baking bread to feed the revolutionary army. Would love to have those too.

The same museum showcases a colonial wood burning oven in brick, similar to the ones made by Italian immigrants hundred years later in New York. Pizza quickly became the national favorite food… and it should have that wood fired flavor of a real Italian pizza!

Although the shape of oven tools have not really changed much throughout the years, the materials have. Stainless steel, for example, doesn’t rust, it’s easy to clean, and can be shaped thin so it is used for the round pizza turning peel because you can slide it easily under a pizza pie or a bread. Pizza oven tools all have very long handles so that they can reach in the hot wood burning oven.

The wood peels are used to garnish pizza pies or assemble bread loaves on and then slide onto the hot oven floor. It’s a good idea to buy a wide wood peel, at least 12″, to accommodate a big pizza pie. If you are a beginner, use plenty of corn meal so that your dough doesn’t stick onto the peel; with time and experience you will be able to get by with just a dusting of flour.

Colonial oven peels

Colonial oven peels

Other must-have tools are the ash stick and the floor brush. You will need them to prep the oven for baking after the fire has been reduced to embers and ash. This is the time when the oven is super hot and absorbing heat for later gradual release as you cook. Use the ash stick to move the embers to the right or left side of the pizza oven. Wait 10 to 15 minutes and then sweep the floor with a natural bristle brush in a sideway motion to rid the floor of ash residue. I like a natural bristle brush instead of a metal brush because it is gentler on the floor and also, more importantly, a wayward bristle won’t make it into the food, rather it will just burn off.

A hand held laser thermometer is something very useful around the wood burning oven, because it gives you a very accurate read anywhere inside the hot oven while standing at a safe distance.

Keep your tools dry, clean, and ready to cook! Let me know how it goes…

Buon appetito from us here at Los Angeles Ovenworks.

Related Posts

Where to Buy the Wood Fired Oven Used by Master Pizzaiolo Ciro Salvo

Check out this video of Ciro Salvo cooking pizza in one of our wood

How to Roast Chicken in a Terracotta Pizza Oven

Cooking chicken in a brick pizza oven is easy and fast! Particularly if

Pizza Part Two: Kneading, Shaping, Toppings, and the Bake!

The second part of the post about pizza written by Kevin McQuade, you don’t

Pizza Part One: It’s All About the Crust!

In this post we have asked Kevin McQuade, blogger and bread-maker extraordinaire, and owner

Fennel, Gruyere, and Black Pepper Pizza*

When it comes to garnishing pizza, experimenting is really the fun part of it!

Cornish Game Hen with Cherries and Harissa

I experimented in the pizza oven last week and the outcome is this delicious

Ceci in the Pizza Oven!

Chickpeas, garbanzo beans, or Ceci for the Italians, are a beloved staple in all

Wood-Fired Kale Chips plus Carrots and Turnips

Once you fire up your wood-burning oven you might as well use the “left-over”

An Easy Pork Roast for Your Pizza Oven!*

Use your wood fired oven to impress your friends with this easy-to-make recipe.

Baking Bread in Your Wood-Fired Oven

I will be turning over a new leaf, I mean… a new loaf, this

Pumpkin Pizza for the Holidays!

For Thanksgiving this year I thought of offering small pumpkin pizzas as appetizers to

About Flour and Pizza

Once you master the basics of pizza making you will most likely start the

Insulating Your Wood-Fired Oven

It can be a bit confusing at first to figure out how to properly

Mike and Susan Share Their Pizza Oven Project

Pizza oven projects are so varied, but there’s the common thread of passion and

It Started with Pizza on the Island of Capri

Via Krupp. Photo by Raffaele Mastroianni. I remember well the first time I had wood

Walnut & Black Pepper Cookies in the Wood-Fired Oven

I am not known to follow recipe books, perhaps because I like experimenting, following

Fire Up Your Pizza Oven for the Holidays!

Turkey is something one has to do in a wood fired oven to really

Planning Your Wood-Fired Oven Meal

As Francis Mallmann puts it, “Cooking with wood fire is like going on a

Recipe: Wood-Fired Pizzarollis

You will appreciate serving the pizzarollis at your parties because you can conveniently use

Starting the Fire in Your Pizza Oven

It’s funny how you can repeat a process for years and then suddenly your

My Wood-Fired Oven is Ready for Spring!

Have been too busy to post a blog lately… and that’s because I have

Happy New Pizza!

A wonderful crust with fennel, mozzarella and fontina We started the year stumbling upon a

Looking Back, Looking Forward

The Official Cutting of the Pizza A heartfelt thank you to all our friends and

Getting Ready…One, Two, Three, Testing

Thanksgiving is around the corner and if you are planning to bake your holiday

Build a Good Fire

    Even in California the fall is showing off its first chill and some rain.

After the Fires… a Good Fire.

All our outdoor activity stopped for a long week as heat and forest fires

A Summer Birthday

A great grilled appetizer Our friend Mike had his birthday party over the weekend and

Pomodori al Forno

Tomato Harvest It is so much fun to harvest in the garden early on a

Wood-Fired Goodness

Cherries getting ready for the wood fired oven! Tomorrow is the 4th of July and

Life is Sweet

We’ve had such a spell of wonderful weather here in Los Angeles… the cool

Spring Around “Il Forno”

Black Cod with Fennel al Forno As spring vegetables make their appearance here in California,

Verdura

Artichokes – From the Farm to the Wood-Fired Oven In Italy I got accustomed to

For the Love of Pizza!

Hot Pizza Fresh from the Oven At home, my husband Peter is the pizza maker,

Two Words for 2009: Buon Appetito!

Bread by Charles Van Over, Fresh from the Oven The Italian in me has the

Christmas Around the Oven

Enjoying the pizza oven outdoors. In California we can pretty much entertain outdoors almost all

Chestnuts and Mushrooms

Fall is the season for harvesting and storing, for bundling up and sitting around

In the Beginning…

Oliveto My fascination with wood fired ovens began in Italy. In the early seventies my parents