For many people, there is nothing better than to go to their backyard and bake pizzas in their pristine pizza ovens. Unfortunately, many people aren’t sure what to do with those outdoor pizza ovens when there’s rain or when winter arrives.
Some pizza ovens can stay outside. It all depends on the type of pizza oven you have, but typically, pizza ovens won’t get damaged in bad weather. Some pizza ovens should be kept inside if possible, but there shouldn’t be any significant damage if you leave the portable pizza oven outside.
In the rest of this article, I will write about the best place for a pizza oven and if it is safe to use pizza ovens during winter. I’ll also provide some valuable tips on protecting and keeping your pizza oven clean and dry.
Can Pizza Ovens Stay Outside During Winter?
Pizza ovens can stay outside during the winter. Even smaller, portable pizza ovens can be used outdoors when it’s cold. Before using the oven in winter, however, it is important to clean snow and water from it.
If you have a large brick pizza oven, there’s not much you can do but leave it outside year-round. There are smaller, portable pizza ovens you can buy and use when it suits you, though.
I recommend this Ooni Koda 16 Pizza Oven from Amazon.com. It’s easy to carry and can reach a temperature of 932 °F (500 °C) in just a few minutes.
Some portable pizza ovens nowadays come with many digital parts. It’s, therefore, best to store them in a closed and dry place if you’re not planning on using them for an extended period.
The only setback when using a pizza oven in winter is heating time. Wood-fired pizza ovens can take a couple of hours to reach the desired temperature for baking, and that’s in summer. In winter, it takes even longer due to low temperatures.
Even though you can use your outdoor pizza oven in winter, I don’t recommend it. It takes longer to heat the oven, and your pizza can take longer to bake if it’s too cold outside. It’s a huge plus if your pizza oven is close to your kitchen. You can watch the fire in the pizza oven from your cozy kitchen.
Best Place for an Outdoor Pizza Oven
Choosing the best spot for a pizza oven in your backyard is an important step. Not only will the location of the pizza oven make your backyard more beautiful, but it can also prolong the oven’s life.
Although you can leave your oven outside, you should always place it under a covered area in your backyard. Pool houses are a great way to keep them dry.
When deciding where to place your outdoor pizza oven, you should make sure that your oven is:
- Under a covered area of your backyard.
- As close to the house as possible
Believe it or not, pizza ovens can crack. In most cases, the cracks are not a big deal, but when it’s raining, the water can seep into those cracks and make the concrete layer and bricks wet. This can cause reduced heating power.
If you’re one of those people that don’t have a secondary structure where you could put your pizza oven, don’t worry. You can always use waterproof covers instead. This will help to keep it dry when it’s raining or snowing.
Keep Your Pizza Oven Close to the House
Keeping the pizza oven around the house is highly practical. How so? Well, houses generally have those covered secondary buildings that will keep your pizza oven dry and clean.
Additionally, you don’t have to walk as far to get all the materials and ingredients. Everything you need for preparing, baking, and eating food is in your kitchen.
From a practical standpoint, the best option is to build or place your pizza oven right next to the kitchen. That way, you can grab whatever you need from the kitchen in just a few steps.
Caveat: Wood-Fired Ovens Need a Space for Wood Storage
If you’re using a wood-fired pizza oven, you should consider that you’ll need additional space built to store the wood used for the oven. You’ll need to build a shed to dry the wood.
Practically speaking, the best option is to build a shed as close to the house and oven as possible.
Tips To Protect Your Pizza Oven
Because of all the outdoor weather conditions, you need to protect and keep your pizza oven dry and clean. The best solution is, as I mentioned, to keep it covered so rain or snow can’t reach it.
Let’s look at some tips to help prevent cracking and damage:
Waterproof Your Pizza Oven
If you keep your pizza oven in the open, it is essential that you waterproof it.
Brick pizza ovens are especially susceptible to rain and snow if not built properly. However, even after a pizza oven is built correctly, it begins to crack over time. Therefore, it’s necessary that you protect it from further cracking. Rain and snow enter through the cracks and dampen the brick in the oven. This results in reduced heat in the oven.
The safest way to waterproof the outside concrete layer of a pizza oven is by using a sealing and bonding agent. I recommend Red Devil’s Pre-mixed Concrete Patch from Amazon.com. With this bonding agent, you can repair and seal larger cracks easily. It’s also easy to clean; all you need is some water and soap.
Here’s a useful video by “Fornieri-Wood Fired Ovens” on how to protect your brick pizza ovens:
Smaller, portable pizza ovens are made from stainless steel, and water can do little damage to them. Still, you should always remove any liquid or snow before using portable pizza ovens.
Keep Your Pizza Oven Clean
Pizza ovens should be cleaned after or before every use.
With wood-fired ovens or portable ovens, if you’re using wood, ash accumulates inside, and it’s necessary to remove it. For that, you can always use ash rakes. I recommend Mydracas Grill and Pizza Oven Ash Rake from Amazon.com. You can extend this ash rake, so you won’t have any problems reaching inside your pizza oven.
Another reason you need to clean your pizza oven is to remove all the unhygienic elements that might fester in it after it cools down.
You should always let the pizza oven cool down, possibly overnight, and clean it the following day.
Whether you have a massive brick pizza oven or just a small, portable one, in the end, both of these can stay outside, regardless of the weather.
Manufacturers of portable pizza ovens advise their customers to keep their ovens indoors when not in use to increase their durability. However, there won’t be any substantial damage to your outdoor pizza ovens if you protect them properly.
The best way to protect your pizza oven is to:
- Keep it somewhere that is covered.
- Seal the cracks and waterproof it.
- Clean your pizza oven regularly.