Relax, crack a beer, and enjoy an evening around the pizza oven - Lifestyle NZ
Relax, crack a beer, and enjoy an evening around the pizza oven

Relax, crack a beer, and enjoy an evening around the pizza oven

This summer, take the opportunity to release the hidden gourmet in you and expand your cooking repertoire by adding a pizza oven to your outdoor kitchen.

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

With the events of the last couple of years and restrictions on eating out, it may seem a more relaxing and enjoyable idea to entertain groups of friends and family at home. What better way than on the terrace with a pizza or three, made in the outdoor pizza oven and washed down with a glass of wine or a beer.

It’s no secret that the humble Italian pizza is a superfood that appeals to children and adults alike; you can design your toppings to range from highly sophisticated to simple or plain enough to suit even the fussiest eater.

And putting together your own pizzas is a fun activity for a group. It doesn't need to be complicated: make your bases or buy them fresh or frozen from the supermarket, gather up a bunch of toppings, and ask your friends to come over. Then, when you are ready, it’s as simple as everyone helping to assemble the pizzas with their favourite toppings, then sliding them into the oven.

Even that stage is simple with the Ooni pizza oven, now available from specialist outdoor living company Outdoor Concepts.

James Higgins of Outdoor Concepts says the company has been importing the Ooni countertop pizza ovens for several years now, and he is amazed at how popular they have proven to be with people of all ages.

The product was born from a husband and wife duo's desire to create a cost-effective pizza oven.

Cooking up a storm for a crowd

“The Ooni pizza ovens are great; they produce really good pizzas, and they prove that you don't need a big, fancy, authentic – and expensive – pizza oven to cook excellent pizzas.”

There is a personal story behind the Ooni brand. The inventor of the oven, Dutchman Kristian Tapaninaho, and his wife, Darina, who is Scottish, were enthusiastic pizza makers, but they felt that their pizzas lacked the quintessential wood-fired flavour and realised a domestic oven was never going to provide it. “Kristian looked around for a pizza oven and realised that what was available was expensive and not very portable. So he decided to design his own small, cost-effective, wood-fired pizza oven,” says James.

The result is the Ooni range of portable pizza ovens, which come in various sizes from portable to more permanent, and several fuel options. You can choose between wood pellets, charcoal, gas-powered from your barbecue bottle, or multi-fuelled models – wood, charcoal or gas.

These quality ovens, made from stainless steel, can be packed up to fit into a large suitcase, making them easy to transport to friends, the camping ground or the beach, or store away when they’re not in use. And, in addition to being sturdily made, they’re also affordably priced, with models starting from $599.

The ovens can come in either permanent or portable configurations.

Great taste experiences should be fun and stress-free

“The great thing about these ovens is that you can whip up delicious and authentic wood-fired pizzas for a crowd at home without it costing you a fortune,” says James.

“We’re seeing a big trend towards people wanting to acquire these portable pizza ovens: it’s an alternative to a barbecue; it’s fun and easy, and once the oven has reached the required heat, each pizza only takes about 90 seconds to cook. So you can cook one or two, sit around, eating hot pizza and chatting, then when you’re ready, cook a couple more.

“It makes for a fun and stress-free evening’s entertainment; everyone can help if they want to.”

Once the oven has reached the required heat, pizzas only take 90 seconds to cook.

Outdoor Concepts imports Ooni pizza ovens, as well as a selection of other quality accessories, cooking and heating products to make your outdoor areas more comfortable and enjoyable to spend time in.

There’s a huge choice of reputably branded barbecues, grills and other outdoor kitchen equipment on offer. Plus, you can extend the length of time you can use your patio or terrace with the addition of fire pits, built-in fires, outdoor lamps, or even heated seat cushions.

Learn more from Outdoor Concepts about the pleasure to be had from firing up your own Ooni pizza oven this summer.

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