Cooking with ambience: how to choose an outdoor wood oven

Written by

15 October 2019


4 min read

Cooking with wood is a primal way of preparing food that recreates what cooking once was...

Cooking with wood is a primal way of preparing food that recreates what cooking once was - a social process reliant on the elements. We spoke to Outdoor Concepts about how to choose the best outdoor fire and oven.

Outdoor cooking is often associated with a contemporary ease - generally started by simply turning a knob on the gas barbeque or oven. While this style of modern cooking has its merits, what it lacks is the process and experience of cooking - something that was once a collective process that took place over a significant amount of time every day. 

“We’ve completely changed the way we experience the act of cooking and food preparation with technology,” Outdoor Concept’s James Higgins says. “And while that has its benefits, for those who want to take the time and really experience and enjoy the process of cooking, an outdoor wood fire is the best way to go. It takes us back to our roots and there’s something about that which draws people in - it’s an allure that’s hard to beat.”

All-in-one: heat, ambience and cooking

With the right choice, a barbeque can be surpassed with one object that combines heat, ambience and highly functional and versatile cooking options. “Two of the most well known brands that offer this are OFYR and Morsø - both European brands that date back more than a century,” James says.


Selecting outdoor wood fires for social settings

OFYR in particular offers a strikingly simple but clever option in the OFYR Classic. “The purest expression in this range, the OFYR Classic is a beautiful Corten steel object designed to fit in with any surroundings and offer a visual feature even when not in use.”

The OFYR fires are bowl-like in shape, with a fire pit in the centre and flat circular ring that wraps around to create a cooking ring. “In terms of social cooking, there is nothing else that compares to OFYR. With the fire in the middle and the cooking plate around the outside edge, it transforms the notion of the barbeque. The circularity of it allows groups of people to stand around the fire and either help to cook or watch food being cooked while enjoying the warmth of the fire and being able to easily chat simply because of its configuration.”

Combining a conventional oven with a wood fire

When the versatile functionality of an oven is what is sought, one of the standout options is the Forno wood fire and oven, a sculptural cast iron masterpiece by Danish brand Morsø. “This is a really unique piece; there’s nothing else out there that offers the beauty and sculptured form combined with the advanced functionality of this outdoor wood oven,” James says.

“The small fire mouth is combined with a large internal fire space, which allows for the Forno oven to be used for roasting, baking, smoking, grilling or as a pizza oven. It can also be used as a slow cooker or for a quick barbeque.”


The wood-smoke flavour

The other benefit of cooking with wood is the natural smoked flavour it creates. “This is something that lots more restaurants and eateries are trying to create by installing pizza and wood ovens. When you cook with a conventional oven, no flavour is added to the food aside from what you put onto it. With wood, the process of cooking infuses the food with a unique flavour.”

Both the OFYR and Morsø wood fire outdoor ovens are versatile in terms of placement with smaller options available for patios or decks and larger models suited to more extensive settings. 

If you’re considering the best option for outdoor fires or ovens, make sure you visit Outdoor Concepts on ArchiPro here to find out more about how to create the ultimate outdoor cooking environment.