Pizza connoisseurs the world over know that no other oven can beat a brick pizza oven when it comes to cooking the most delicious pizza recipes. The wood fire source gives a smokiness that no other oven can reproduce while the high heat ensures a crust that is crispy on the outside and firm on the inside. 

However, you should only buy a brick pizza oven if you’re going to look after it. Like anything, poor maintenance can lead to problems. Well, the maintenance of a brick pizza oven should begin before you even use it for the first time. 

Called curing, this is the most important thing you need to do when you purchase your awe-inspiring pizza oven.  

Why is it Essential to Cure Your Brick Pizza Oven Before Using it?

When a brick pizza oven is constructed, it is normal for some moisture to remain inside. The issue with this is that moisture, when heated a bit too quickly, will turn to steam. This can lead to the weakening of the masonry and even long-term damage to the oven as a whole. 

The curing process takes place over five days and involves subjecting the oven to sustained bursts of varying heat. This process ensures the moisture trapped inside the oven can evaporate more quickly. When the process is finished, you can have no worries about subjecting your oven to the highest heat possible. 

Do note that you may witness cracks appearing during the curing process. This is normal and there is no way to prevent this. You do not have to worry about these cracks as they are superficial. If they bother you, you have the option of purchasing crack repair kits. 

How to Correctly Cure Your Pizza Brick Oven

Curing your oven is difficult and can take a while as it requires you to keep a close eye on the temperature of the oven throughout. Just make sure the temperature never rises above the recommended levels for each stage of the curing process. At the bare minimum, use the thermometer on your oven for this. Ideally, however, purchase an infrared thermometer that you can use to regularly check the temperature within the pizza oven’s dome.

To start the process at each stage, build a small fire within the oven using kindling and wood. Check the temperature regularly and add more wood if required while ensuring the temperature does not increase past what is recommended for that stage. If that happens, quickly displace the fire. While it is difficult to maintain the recommended heat, it is imperative you do not go above them for two long, especially during the first couple of stages.

Essentially, the process involves building new fires over a 5-day period. The recommended temperature increases for each stage. By the end of the process, your oven dome is stronger than it was and your pizza brick oven is now ready for proper use. 

  • Day 1: Heat to 60 °C and maintain for 5 hours
  • Day 2: Heat to 100 °C and maintain for 5 hours
  • Day 3: Heat to 150 °C and maintain for 5 hours
  • Day 4: Heat to 200 °C and maintain for 5 hours
  • Day 5: Heat to 250 °C and maintain for 5 hours

Prepare Some Dough and Toppings – Start Baking!

With your freshly cured brick pizza oven now ready to go, you can start planning what type of pizza you will cook the first time you use it. Will you go for a traditional classic, experiment with your own creation, or go for a popular gourmet pizza?