Search
Search
Close this search box.

How To Clean An Outdoor Pizza Oven – Recipe included

You’re not going to want to miss out on summer grilling and outdoor cooking when the weather begins to cool down. For the best results with your pizza oven, make sure you clean it properly for long term use.

Outdoor pizza ovens are a great way to enjoy wood-fired pizza without dealing with the smoke and mess of a traditional indoor oven. But, like any appliance, they must be properly cleaned and maintained to keep them working their best. Cleaning also helps remove any built-up residue that can affect the taste of your pizza.

To clean an outdoor pizza oven, scoop out the ash and scrap off baked-on debris after the oven has cooled completely. Use a vinegar solution to rinse the oven’s interior, then conclude with a water rinse. Repeat this process every few months or as needed.

Read on as we go deeper into the steps for cleaning an outdoor pizza oven. By the end of this post, you’ll know exactly how to keep your oven clean and ready for pizza night.

1. Allow the Outdoor Pizza Oven To Cool Down

NEVER clean your outdoor pizza oven immediately after enjoying a delicious wood-fired pizza. Due to the high temperatures reached during cooking, the oven will still be hot and can potentially damage your cleaning tools or cause serious burns. Additionally, cleaning while it’s still hot can cause cracks to form in the oven’s interior.

A pizza oven door open.
Cleaning while it’s still hot can cause cracks to form in the oven’s interior.

It’s essential to wait until the oven has cooled down completely before beginning the cleaning process. This can take 24-48 hours, depending on the size and type of oven you have. Use an infrared thermometer to check the oven’s temperature before starting to clean.

2. Collect and Scoop out the Ash

Once the outdoor pizza oven has cooled, it’s time to remove all of the ash that accumulated during cooking. Ash can interfere with the pizza baking process and affect the taste of the pizza if it’s not removed. The last thing you want is for your pizza to taste like ash!

Use a fireplace shovel or an ash rake and a dust pan to collect all of the ash from the oven. Ensure you get all the ash out, especially from the back wall where it can be difficult to reach. Put the ash in a covered ashcan and add it to your compost bin. If you don’t have a compost bin, you can dispose of it in the trash or scatter it on your nearby plants.

3. Use a Stiff Brush To Scrape Off Baked-On Debris

When baking pizza, some cheese and sauce will inevitably drip down and become baked onto the oven floor. When left unchecked, this baked-on debris can become difficult to remove and cause problems with baking future pizzas.

Use a stiff brush (such as a wire brush or a BBQ brush) to scrape off any baked-on debris from the oven floor. This step ensures that the pizza slides off the peel easily and doesn’t stick to the floor.

While you may be tempted to add a few drops of detergent to the brush to help with the cleaning process, resist the urge! Soap can leave a residue that will be difficult to remove and affect the taste of your pizza.

4. Prepare and Apply a Vinegar Solution

Vinegar is a versatile natural cleaning solution that removes dirt, grime, and residue on almost all surfaces, including an outdoor pizza oven. It has acidic properties that help to break down and remove tough buildup. Best of all, it’s food-safe and won’t harm the oven or your health. Here is how to make a vinegar solution:

Requirements

A natural cleaning solution.
Vinegar has acidic properties that help to break down and remove tough buildup.

Here’s what you’ll need for preparing the vinegar rinse:

  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Mixing bowl
  • Sponge or clean cloth

Instructions

Here’s how to prepare and apply a vinegar solution to your outdoor pizza oven:

  1. Mix one part white vinegar and two parts water in a mixing bowl. Stir until the vinegar is fully dissolved in the water.
  2. Dip a sponge or clean cloth into the solution. Wring it out, so it’s damp and not dripping wet.
  3. Use the sponge or cloth to wipe down the interior surfaces of the oven, including the floor, walls, and door. Ensure you get all the nooks and crannies, paying special attention to the corners and crevices.

You may need rubber gloves to protect your hands from the vinegar if you have sensitive skin. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which can cause skin irritation when mishandled.

5. Rinse With Water and Allow To Air Dry

Once you’ve finished cleaning with the vinegar solution, rinse the oven with plenty of clean water. You can use a bucket or attach a hose to a nearby faucet. Water helps remove residual vinegar and debris loosened up during the cleaning process.

A person wiping an oven.
Water helps remove residual vinegar and debris loosened up during the cleaning process.

Allow the oven to air dry completely before using it again. Leave the door open to speed up the drying process. If you live in a humid climate, it’s a good idea to use a fan to help circulate the air to prevent mold or mildew from forming. Alternatively, you use a hairdryer on the lowest setting to speed up the drying process.

6. Repeat This Process Every Few Months or As Needed

Keeping your outdoor pizza oven clean is important for maintaining peak performance and ensuring your pizzas taste great. It’s best to clean the oven after each use, but at a minimum, you should clean it every few months. You may need to clean it more frequently if you bake regularly or less often if you only use it occasionally.

A clean pizza oven tools.
Follow all safety precautions to avoid skin irritation or other injuries.

Before you get started, equip yourself with all the necessary cleaning supplies, including a stiff brush, vinegar, and water. Follow all safety precautions to avoid skin irritation or other injuries.

Best Practices for Cleaning an Outdoor Pizza Oven

Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind when cleaning your outdoor pizza oven:

  • Never use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners. Aggressive cleaners can damage the oven’s interior. In most cases, vinegar solution is all you need to get the job done. It has superior grease and grime-cutting power without being harsh or abrasive.
  • After each use, scrape off any food debris from the oven floor with a stiff brush. This will make it easier to clean and prevent baked-on residue from forming.
  • When cleaning the oven’s exterior, keep the door shut to avoid getting water inside the oven. Water can cause corrosion and damage to the oven over time. Wipe down the outside of the door, the handle, and any other exposed surfaces.
  • If you have a stainless steel pizza oven, avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasives, as they can damage the finish. Instead, use a mild soap and water solution followed by a vinegar solution to clean it. Dry it with a soft cloth to prevent water spots from forming.
A baking soda used for cleaning a oven.
Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasives, as they can damage the finish.
  • In between cleanings, it’s a good idea to perform a monthly maintenance check. This involves inspecting the oven for any cracks or damage and making repairs as necessary. It’s also important to sweep out the oven to remove any loose debris that could cause a fire.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning an outdoor pizza oven ensures that your pizzas taste great and slide off the peel easily. And while the cleaning process might seem daunting, it’s a relatively simple task you can accomplish in 1-2 days. All you need is some time, patience, and the right cleaning supplies. 

With a little elbow grease, your outdoor pizza oven will look as good as new in practically no time! So, the next time you’re ready to fire up the oven, don’t forget to give it a good cleaning first. Bon appétit!

Related stories

read this next

An outdoor kitchen is a great addition to any home, especially if you frequently entertain guests. Plan and design your outdoor kitchen with these ten handy tips.
There are a lot of reasons you may have a refrigerator outside. Maybe because you often grill out and need cold beverages close to the action. Maybe because your garage isn’t climate controlled, and it can’t fit in your basement refrigerator. Maybe you just love to have friends over and need that extra space. Reasons aside, keeping a fridge outside means learning how to take care of it properly so that it lasts as long as possible
There are many ways to cook pizza in a pizza oven. It all depends on how you want the crust to be. You can either put your pizza directly on the walls of the oven, or bake it on stones inside the oven.
Ooni claims to be the world’s most advanced pizza oven. I researched the pros and cons from multiple reviews, experts, and product comparisons trying to find definitive answers about which Ooni pizza oven is the best overall.
An outdoor kitchen is an accessory structure to a home that most often includes features such as a grill or stove, cooktops, refrigeration and some sort of wet sink. While the traditional definition of an accessory property does not actually include kitchens or cook spaces on this list, the term has widely been broadened for the purpose of describing outdoor kitchens.
Propane, natural gas, ethanol facility and rum fire pits are great options for people who love the convenience and look of a fire pit. But what is the best fuel to use? How do you know which type of fuel is right for your fire pit, and the best way to use it?
It is usually better to keep your pizza oven outside, as it will allow the coals to burn longer and the heat to dissipate. However, if you live in an area that has many strong winds or heavy rains, it might be best to keep it inside.
Grilling is a fantastic way to enjoy food with friends and family, but it’s easy to focus on the food when you pick out a grill. Between gas grills and electric grills, each has a lot of advantages that make them both excellent additions to your backyard.
Summer is here, and everyone is barbecuing! This year, we’re bringing you 15 tips for outdoor cooking safety. These tips are easy to remember and will help you have a safe and fun time in the sun!
Pots and pans are designed to go into the oven at a high temperature, so there is no reason why they cannot be used on a barbecue. But it may not always be advisable. A barbecue generates heat from burning fuel. This creates carbon deposits which, if thrown directly onto a pan or pot, may not scratch off easily. Greasy food will stubbornly cling to the pan and may create smoking, as well.
One of the most common questions when building an outdoor kitchen is the best way to protect your outdoor kitchen from the sun. You will want to remove or protect your outdoor kitchen from direct sun light, especially early and late in the day from 11am-3pm (sun is strongest during these hours) to prevent your interior surfaces from becoming too hot and baked on with grime.
If your backyard or screened yard is large enough, it is time to begin designing your outdoor kitchen. There are some important decisions you will need to make. The first step of designing the ideal outdoor kitchen starts by thinking about how you want to use the area, what barbecues and appliances will be needed for this area, and how much space you want designated for just cooking.
Granite is a very durable stone and does not require sealing, re-sealing, or rigorous maintenance. It is one of the most sought after materials for kitchen countertops but has also become popular for use in outdoor kitchens as well. It’s stain resistant, easy to clean, and offers years of beauty when used outdoors.
We all love to cook. But sometimes, the type of stove you’re working with can make a huge difference. If it’s wood-fired, or even electric, you’ll need some special pans to take advantage of the heat features. Here are 5 pans that you can use on an open fire.
An outdoor pizza oven can be used to cook your favorite pizza and give it that perfect crunchy crust. It takes about 20 minutes to cook a large pizza at 700˚F. The specific time will vary depending on the size of your pizza, the thickness of the crust and the temperature you use.

Receive the latest news

Get Our Cacti Newsletter

Stay updated with the latest facts, tips, advice, and more!

Your privacy is important to us.