Jeremy Ashburn, Author at Brick Ovens For Sale

Author - Jeremy Ashburn

Oldest Brick oven in continuous operation in the world!

Oldest running restaurant in the world.

Suckling Pigs at Botin

World Famous Suckling pigs at Botin Madrid.

Botin Historic Designation

On a recent trip to Madrid I was given a personal tour of what is considered( according to the Guinness book of World Records) the longest continually running restaurant in the world.

Not only that but they also had the longest continually operating brick oven in the world. The name of the place is Botin and is located at :  Sobrino de BotínC. de Cuchilleros, 17, 28005 Madrid, Spain

Earnest Hemmingway’s table in the corner at Botin Madrid.

This restaurant was opened in 1725 and has been fulfilling the hungry appetites’ of both locals and world travelers ever since.  They even had a table reserved for Earnest Hemmingway in one of the corners.

World’s oldest continuously running brick oven.

What gives a restaurant such incredible staying power?  Consistency and expectancy are key. People know they will always get a splendid meal cooked in the tradition of Botin. The entire restaurant is at it has been for hundreds of years-furniture included. It is the pride of Madrid and is coomemerated with a bronze plaque designating it as a historic sight.


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What Does the Oil in Pizza Dough Do?

The goal of adding oil to pizza dough is to improve the texture of the dough and flavor the finished crust.

The oil will specifically:

  • Making the dough softer will improve its capacity to stretch when rolled out. If you don’t use any oil, the dough will pull apart and produce holes.
  • It also makes the dough more flexible, rolling out and stretching to its maximum potential.
  • During fermentation, increase the volume of the dough.
  • Creates a barrier on the dough to keep humidity and moisture from the toppings out during baking.
  • Make the dough delightful by adding flavor!



Why Do Brick Ovens Bake The Perfect Italian-Style Pizza?

A crunchy crust flecked with dark spots — traces left by a burning hot oven — characterizes the quintessential Italian pizza, whether it’s Neapolitan or Roman. The toppings are boiling hot, and the dough is airy, moist, and flexible. Brick ovens bake Italian Style Pizza to perfection. Home cooks have been attempting to make it in home ovens for years, it’s not the same.


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What Type Of Wood Is Best For Pizza Oven

Having the best oven is not enough to get you the best pizza. The best wood can make the most significant difference in texture, taste, and cooking time. Therefore, even though there are different woods, pizza woods should be selected carefully. To save you some time, here’s a guide on how to pick wood for your pizza oven.

Types of Woods to Use in a Pizza Oven

Seasoned and Dried Hardwoods

Seasoned and dried woods work best for making pizza because they give more heat with a small amount of wood. However, they give higher temperatures, and you must ensure they are well-dried for consistent burning without too much smoke.


Fruitwoods are suitable for cooking pizza because they infuse some flavor. Use only select fruitwoods because not all of them burn hot. Mix these woods with hardwoods like oaks for optimum heat levels. This also prevents overpowering the aromatic flavor.

Best Woods For a Pizza Oven


Maple is mainly used because of its sweet flavor and slight smokiness. The amount of sap in this wood varies from soft and hard maple. It produces moderate flavor, which is good for pizza.


Oak burns for a long time with a mild aroma making it a very popular wood option. It also burns cleanly with little smoke.


Hickory is mainly used for smoking meat because it burns over prolonged cooking periods. It can be used to cook pizza in ovens that do not need excess heat. Hickory and oak are used together because of their slow burn rate.


Pecan is similar to hickory and cooks the best pizza. It gives the pizza a nutty flavor even though it does not burn like hickory. This wood should be paired with apple or oak, which burns longer.


Alder is among the birch tree family and is excellent for people who like slightly sweet flavors. In addition, it produces light smoke making it ideal for cooking chicken, fish, vegetables, and sausages.


Applewood gives the most authentic pizzeria flavor and is the best to use in your homemade pizza oven. It burns at higher temperatures, and the flavor sweetens the pizza.


Mesquite is one of the woods that burn fast and hot. Its flavor is heavy, distinctive, and makes your pizza highly flavored. Therefore, it should be used sparingly because its flavor may overpower the food’s flavor.

When choosing wood to cook pizza, avoid using painted, laminated or pressure-heated woods. These woods have toxic chemicals that can ruin your food. Also, woods with higher sap content produce excess soot within your oven.


Cooking Pizza In A Brick Oven

You rank higher among home chefs now that you have finally made or bought a brick oven. This is one way to get authentic traditional pizza cooked with wood. Before you start using the oven, you have to ask yourself where to begin. The first way to use a wood-fired cooking oven is very confusing. These tips will help you make pizza like pros with a brick oven.

Step 1: Prepare Your Dough

The pizza dough is the foundation of the pizza, and you can either buy a ready-made dough or create your favorite. Making pizza dough is easier when you have the right recipe. You can add herbs and olive oil to make it more interesting. Once the dough rises, stretch it around 12-14 inches using your hands.

Step 2: Add the Sauce and Toppings

Pizza toppings also make your pizza tasteful and flavorful. There is no one-size-fits-all for making sauces, provided it gives you the best pizza. Place your ingredients in your desired pattern and get ready for the next step.

Step 3: Prepare the Oven

The wood-fired oven should be preheated before you put your pizza to cook. However, it takes a short time than a regular oven at home. Use small kindling pieces to fire up your oven before placing medium-sized logs to grow the fire.

Keep the heat higher to keep the oven hot enough for a crispy pizza crust and well-cooked toppings. Brick ovens can withstand excess heat up to 600°F. Once the oven dome turns white and the temperatures are above 400°F, spread the fire to the sides and back to leave room for the pizza dough.

Clean the surface using a steel brush to remove excess ash on the surface. Next, place your dough and close the brick oven door to cook the pizza. The amount of time it takes to cook your pizza depends on the amount of heat inside. This can be between 2 and 10 minutes. 

Step 4: Turn Your Pizza

Your pizza needs to be evenly cooked, and this takes some effort. You need to check your oven from time to time to ensure the pizza edges cook evenly. Also, check the toppings to ensure they are well cooked and are crusty enough.

Step 5: Remove Your Pizza

Please take out your pizza once it is golden brown crisp and looks delicious. Slide a pizza peel under the fresh pizza and lift it out of the oven. Ensure your hands are steady to avoid toppling the pizza over.

Using a brick oven to make pizza is very easy, and with the steps provided above, you will get the best-tasting pizza. Considering these ovens heat up faster, you should also pay attention to the pizza in the oven before it burns.


How Wood-Fired Pizza Ovens Work

Cooking in a wood-fired pizza oven is very popular, especially among people who enjoy the authentic, traditional Italian pizza flavor. The Italian cooking method ensures that the crust cooks evenly and perfectly, with crispy toppings and a delicious flavor that people love. But is cooking pizza in a wood-fired oven different from gas or electric ovens? While this is a question, read about how these ovens work to understand the difference.

Fire in the Oven

This process cooks the pizza three-way using reflective, convection, and retained heat. Reflective heat cooking is when flames from the fire bounce hit the dome and bounce back to heat your food. This method is best for cooking pizzas because it also re-heats the cooking floor.

By heating the cooking floor, it replaces any heat lost through cooking. Most wood-fired pizza ovens are designed to draw air from the opening while exhausting hot air. This allows heat to move across the surface to cook the pizza thoroughly.

Coals in the Oven

You need to cook some foods at low heat with no live flames or high temperatures. For example, when using wood-fired pizza ovens, you have to let the fire burn out and the oven cool. The remaining coals will be used to heat, roast, grill, or brown food. This also keeps the oven hot for long enough to cook other foods.

Retained Heat Cooking

The retained heart works best when baking bread at temperatures similar to those in a conventional oven. Retained heat allows food to cook for the house. You need to take out some coals to reduce the live fire to use this method. Close the oven door for the temperature to moderate.

Retained heat cooking is excellent for baking bread, roasting, or keeping pizza warm.

Cooking Pizza through Convection Heat

Convectional heat cooks most of the pizza, which explains why you should rotate it from time to time. In addition, the pizza cooks faster on the part closer to the fire than on those far. Therefore, convection is preferable to transfer heat when cooking pizza in a wood-fired pizza oven.

Why Is Cooking Pizza in a Wood-Fired Pizza Oven Different?

  • You can change the flavor when cooking in a wood-fired oven
  • The pizza flavors and chars differently
  • The pizza cooks faster and evenly
  • Pizza cooked in a wood fire is more authentic

There are many advantages to cooking your pizza in your brick oven using firewood. While it is economical and time-saving, you also learn how things work. The oven uses the exact mechanisms as all other ovens, but it has a traditional touch, which is excellent.


Using A Wood Fired Pizza Oven

Firing up and making pizza in your outdoor wood-fired pizza oven is the most incredible summer moment. Finally, you can fire it up and cook some excellent pizza right from your backyard. Outdoor pizza ovens have become quite popular, making the food more authentic. However, most people shy away from this option because these ovens are challenging to use. To help you out, here are guides to help you use a wood-fired pizza oven.

Lighting the Fire

Open the wood-fired pizza oven door and chimney smoke control vent, and keep them open when lighting the oven.

Prepare kindling material and place them at the oven’s center. Use three to four small logs and any material that can easily catch fire. Place the logs in a teepee shape with firelighters at the center.

Light your match on the firelighter and leave it at the center of the kindling. Then, stay closer to ensure the whole kindling catches fire.

Keep the Fire Burning

Keep adding logs when the kindling is burning well to increase the size of the fire slowly. Use three of four logs for a bigger fire. Add more logs until the oven dorm becomes black. It changes color because of the wood’s smoke, and the firewood will also become ashy.

Grow the fire on the entire pizza oven floor to distribute heat across the surface. You should use protective gear like gloves to stoke the flames. Have a fire extinguisher if the flames flare up and drop onto the ground.

Distribute the Heat

Keep the temperatures higher until you notice that the dome turns white on the inside. Keep moving the fire to ensure the wood burns and covers the entire floor. The oven should be around 400° hot, and you can check it using a thermometer. Using a regular thermometer would burn your hand.

Prepare the Cooking Surface

Once the oven reaches its maximum temperatures, close the smoke control of the oven to retain the heat. You can now prepare your cooking area. After the flames have turned into embers, move them to the back and side of the oven to create space for making your pizza. The pizza should either be at the center or the front for easy removal when it is ready.

Leave the door open for a few moments to burn any remaining embers and avoid smoke buildup. The oven will stay hot for around 2 hours which can cook plenty of pizzas.

When you follow these steps, you will have an easy time working with your oven. This process works for all foods that can be cooked in a pizza. If you want to use the wood-fired pizza oven, ensure that you have all the needed safety materials to prevent a fire breakout.


Keeping Pizza Warm For A Party

A party is not successful without pizza, not only pizza but warm pizza. After buying some pepperoni or cheese pizza for a party, the trickiest part is keeping it warm before your friends arrive. Food goes cold when placed in the open, and there is no practical way to keep it warm enough. Every pizza lover knows how bad it feels biting into a cold piece of pizza. So take a look at ways you can keep your pizza warm.

Using Aluminum Foil

Before your guests arrive, plate each pizza portion and wrap the slices in aluminum foil for the pizza to hold the heat. If the guests find the pizza cold, place it in the oven with the aluminum foil at 400°F for five minutes.

Using The Oven

Ovens always come in handy when reheating pizza. The two ways you can do this include;

• With The Box

Pizza boxes only catch fire at 400°F, meaning you should set the oven at lower temperatures and place your pizza with the box. Place it on the middle rack to avoid close contact to heat unless you have no time left; you can place it on the top rack.

• Without The Box

Once your pizza goes cold, you will have to reheat it without the box. First, preheat your oven to 350°F and place the pizza on the middle rack. Higher temperatures will keep the toppings and sauces warm and the crust crispy.

Using A Skillet/Frying Pan

If your oven does not have enough space for extra party snacks, heat your pizza in a frying pan. This method works better when you are heating the whole pizza once. Use a non-stick frying pan on the stovetop and once it heats up, place the pizza on it for two minutes. Cover the pan for the bottom to be crispier and nice. Covering also ensures the cheese and toppings get warm.

In The Microwave

If you do not have an oven or stovetop to use a pan, the microwave might help. The microwave should be enough to hold pizza slices. Place your pizza on the microwave-safe plate and fill a shallow bowl on the side with water. Place the plate with pizza on top of the bowl and place it at the center of the microwave. The water will evaporate to prevent the pizza from getting soft.

Now that you have all the necessary tips for keeping pizza warm, you are prepared to host your friends anytime. These tips will work, provided you have the tools needed for the job. First, however, you have to watch your pizza not dry out or get mushy when the cheese melts.


Building A Pizza Oven From Bricks

It is always a special feeling eating pizza made in a wood-fired brick oven. Maybe it is because this is the old way of doing things, and it still makes sense in this era. However, you can do it independently instead of going to the restaurant for brick-oven baked pizza. Here is a guide to building your brick pizza oven.

Before you start, you will need between 100 and 250 clay bricks, depending on the size of the oven you want. You need to have a blueprint before sourcing any materials.

Step-By-Step Guide

Step 1: Place the First Block

The first block should be placed at the center of the foundations. Mark the center of the oven and place the first block. Stack all the base blocks to see how they fit in your space. Do not use any adhesive to feel how the oven will look.

Step 3: Cut the Blocks

Cut the blocks as per the design specification using a speed square to mark the cutting points and an angle grinder for scoring the blocks. Then, you can use a chisel to split the blocks.

Step 4: Layer the Blocks

The first layer should be built with utmost care because it will hold the entire oven. Use a high-quality adhesive to hold things together. Place the adhesive at the center to prevent gushing over the sides.

The block joints should be staggered to prevent the pizza oven from toppling and ensuring structural integrity. Every layer should be leveled, and you should check before placing another layer. Use a rubber mallet to adjust the block positions so that they fit.

Step 5: Place Your Capstone and lay the floor

Once your pizza oven is built to the desired height, place the capstone, which is the base for the oven. Add adhesive to the current layers and add a capstone to it. Once the capstone is laid out, mix mortar and apply it to every brick. Place these bricks down and let them rest for a day before placing the dome.

Step 7: Build the Oven Dome

The last step is building the oven dome by laying firebricks in a circular shape to form the walls. Ensure that you angle the layers inwardly to assume a dome-shaped. If you have not angled your bricks, you can use a tile saw to do it. Next, add firebricks on the dome opening to build a chimney. The bricks should be square to make a tall chimney.

With these simple steps, you will have built one of the most stable brick ovens. You can choose any design you wish to match your surroundings. Contact New York Brick Oven Company if you need any help with the steps.

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