Pizza Ovens – Outdoor Kitchens | Fire Places – Chimneys | Fire Pits
Wood-Fired Pizza Ovens – Outdoor Kitchens
Let’s start with our favorite topic: outdoor kitchens and well-crafted pizza ovens.
We do not see the wood-fired pizza oven as a trend. For Sal, born on the island of Ischia, in the bay of Naples, an outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven is the equivalent to having a grill or barbecue. For Neapolitans, the best pizza is made at home surrounded by friends and family. So when Sal moved to Redding, CT, shortly after he built his house and expanded his garden, he built an outdoor pizza oven. Since then, he has worked on over 20 ovens, including commercial and residential ovens in New Haven and Fairfield County. We take pride that some of our ovens have cooked hundreds and thousands of pizzas. Built by hand, using expert brick craftsmanship, they are designed to reach 900 degrees and perform for decades. Being a Fairfield County local, we think he’s preferable than a flown-in expert from Naples. Trained in the Naples area, but having served Redding, Ridgefield, Westport, Darien, New Canaan, Wilton, Weston and throughout Fairfield and Westchester counties for decades.
Major appliance manufacturers are now marketing residential pizza ovens. It is no secret that a wood-fired pizza oven creates a party. Our oven clients love good food and tend to care about the source of their food. Accordingly, their wood-fired oven shows reverence to the food they grow and selectively procure.
The Science and Magic of an Outdoor, Wood-Fired Oven
While a residential pizza oven certainly has a romantic appeal and is cause itself to throw a party, part of its magic relates to the nuances of its cooking process. It starts with well-seasoned wood, placed to the side or rear of the oven. Once lit, warm air and smoke pull across and draw through the oven’s chimney. This creates a vacuum and fresh air gets pulled in from the oven opening, further stoking the fire. As heat generates, a vortex of extremely hot air sits just above the oven floor. Upwards of 900 degrees. Meanwhile the temperature of the floor is lower, closer to 650 or 700 degrees. This is important to the cooking process. The hotter air is using a convective process to cook the top of the pie. The raw tomatoes and other toppings need a higher temperature than the dough on the floor. Otherwise, the crust would become tough and overcooked.
Residential ovens are not just for pizza. We roast meats, roast fish, braise vegetables and once the oven cools a bit, we bake bread. Feeding our friends in the garden, in the open air, brings us joy.
If you want to talk about pizza, pizza ovens, the best wood for your oven, dough, garden tomatoes, fresh basil, be prepared because we could go on and on and on and on ….
Fires are a primal pleasure, and convey a feeling of togetherness and warmth. Fireplaces have traditionally been a symbol of wealth and also provide a point of interest to a room. A fireplace helps define character and build personality for a home. Accordingly, choosing a fireplace style is a matter of personal preference.
Our designs and rebuilds have hit a range of aesthetics: colonial New England, modern farmhouse, refined rustic, craftsman style. The homes in Fairfield and Westchester Counties tend to house fieldstone fireplaces. Fieldstone masonry itself can vary according to stone selection and color, stone cutting technique, its joints, using dry stone technique, using river rock, etc. Just as HGTV expands its programming, market demands have also expanded. Projects include surrounds made from tiles, marble, granite (including slab material), concrete and geometric stone strips. We pride ourselves as being knowledgeable resources for finding large-format stone, stone slabs, and reclaimed wood, locally. These pieces make for surrounds, mantels and/or hearths with great character.
Beyond masonry technique, stone or material selection, including material texture, there are a number of details. Preferences for a base or baseless fireplace, surrounds that cover the entire wall, the shape of its opening, its firebox design. Because of the endless details and options, fireplaces help make homeowners feel at home.