Hornero Pizzero/pizza oven vs. regukar oven
October 21, 2021 7:46 AM   Subscribe

Is an oven with bricks ok for cooking things that aren't pizza?

I am remodeling a kitchen in Argentina. Consumer goods are at times hard to come by and always expensive. My ideal oven/stove setup would be 6 gas burners with an electric oven below. To buy that combination here separately is expensive and difficult. Second choice is gas burners and gas oven. The problem is that the models I find with six burners all have "hornero pizzero" instead of what I would consider a regular oven (i.e. refractive bricks instead of a stainless steel interior). For example, this one.
My question is, can I use an oven with those refractive bricks for cooking things like cakes, cookies, etc. I plan on building a wood fired brick oven outside, so I really don't need another oven that just works for pizza and it's ilk, and I don't want to be left without a useful oven inside.
posted by conifer to Food & Drink (9 answers total)
I can't imagine why not - the original ovens in history were made of brick, and bread, cake and pie were recipes originally developed with that technology. You might have to change your methods slightly as when you put a pan of water in the oven to bake French bread or cover the edges with foil when you bake a pie in a regular oven, but I think the results would be very good.

There are recipes for cookies made in a brick oven on line and You Tube videos about baking them. Have you watched those?
posted by Jane the Brown at 8:06 AM on October 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: As long as there is a temperature control that allows you to set temps other than pizza temps, it should be fine. The only thing to get used to might be that the bricks are going to hold heat longer, so if you cook something at 450 and then want to cook something else at 350, it might take longer to cool the over down.
posted by beagle at 8:08 AM on October 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

I just saw a post about how RV ovens don’t usually heat evenly so many people use them with pizza stones. I don’t think it should affect regular cooking much (unless youre doing macarons and need to drop the temperature quickly for the second half of the bake?)
posted by raccoon409 at 8:12 AM on October 21, 2021

I wish I could have an oven like that! I break all my regular ovens because I keep them a high heat for longer than the manufacturer intends, this seems like a good solution. Also, I prefer putting my dutch oven into the oven at very low heat to using a slow cooker, and I'm certain an oven with ceramic lining will be far more stable at low heat than the ovens I have now.
But yeah, like beagle says, you have to plan, and probably use an oven thermometer till you have gotten to know the oven. In the old-timey brick or clay ovens, they would bake the more dainty stuff such as meringues in the after-heat as the oven was cooling. That might be possible and a big energy saver.
posted by mumimor at 8:13 AM on October 21, 2021

can I use an oven with those refractive bricks for cooking things like cakes, cookies, etc

Sure. You'll just need to pay more than lip service to preheating, because the thermal mass of the bricks is rather higher than that of a typical enamelled or stainless steel interior.
posted by flabdablet at 8:57 AM on October 21, 2021 [2 favorites]

I leave my pizza stone in the oven because the mass evens out temperature fluctuations. The only time the stone moves is when I'm actually making pizza, at which point I move it from the very bottom of the oven to the rack I've determined is best for pizza (second from the top). I'd love an oven with that much heat retention of its own, but admittedly I don't cook many recipes where I'd need the oven to cool rapidly after being at a high temperature.
posted by fedward at 9:02 AM on October 21, 2021 [2 favorites]

Yes, people have cooked this way for ages.
posted by theora55 at 9:49 AM on October 21, 2021

The main issues will be temp control, extra time preheating, extra time to cool down or change temps.

It will use more energy, perhaps a noticeable amount, due to all the extra thermal mass.

And if you use it while also using AC, it will be even more burdensome to your cooling costs than a steel oven.

But overall, roasting, baking etc should all work as well as and often better than in a conventional steel/gas oven, provided you properly account for the differences.
posted by SaltySalticid at 10:00 AM on October 21, 2021

I don't know your market, but have you investigated a separate cooktop and oven? It should then be trivial to get gas and electric.
posted by flimflam at 9:12 PM on October 21, 2021

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