Outdoor gas oven: a complete guide to choice
Amateur cooks and pizza chefs often prefer an outdoor gas oven because of its advantages in terms of ease of use and versatility. When choosing an outdoor oven, we need to ask ourselves which model is best suited to our needs, to the use we intend to make of it.
As we have already seen in another article in our blog, different types of oven (wood-fired, gas-fired or electric) offer different kinds of performance, which have an impact on the way food is cooked and the oven is used.
In this article, we are going to talk about the features of the outdoor gas oven and learn about its major benefits. We’ll start by talking about how gas ovens in general work, exploring their cooking performance and the differences between the different types of gas oven we can choose from.
Then we’ll move on to look at the benefits of using a gas oven outdoors, which mainly concern ease of installation and comfort of use. The next step will be an overview of Alfa outdoor gas pizza ovens, to consider the different types of use and to guide the choice towards an oven that meets the needs of each specific case.
Finally, we will conclude with a summary of the advantages of the outdoor gas oven and go over the advice given in this article.
How the gas oven works
Gas ovens first made their appearance in the early 1800s, but only began to become popular at the end of the same century, following the start of mass production. They reached their peak following the economic boom of the 50s and 60s, when there was a significant increase in the number of people living in cities rather than in the countryside.
This is why the gas oven became so popular, as its ease of use, space-saving design and fewer installation hurdles met the needs of life in the city, where it was harder to install a wood-fired oven.
Now, let’s take a closer look at how the gas oven works, focusing on three main points:
- The comforts of a gas oven
- Cooking with a gas oven
- Traditional gas ovens and gas pizza ovens made of steel
We will see how this cooking system works and then move on to its outdoor use in the next paragraph.
1 – The comforts of a gas oven
Let’s start by briefly summarising the benefits of gas ovens in general, whether they are installed in an indoor kitchen or outdoors.
Gas ovens have two great benefits:
- Simplicity of use
- Ease of installation
These are the main reasons why people prefer gas ovens in many contexts, both domestic and professional.
With regard to the first point, the gas oven is extremely easy to use. You just have to set the temperature and the burner automatically reaches and maintains it.
The second point concerns the very simple installation of the oven. It only requires positioning in the kitchen (inside or outside) in a spot where it can be connected to the domestic gas mains.
If connection to the gas mains is complicated, the oven can be connected to a gas bottle, which removes all installation limitations. We will, however, need to sacrifice some space and we will need to refill the bottle.
In both cases the Gas Kit can be very useful, which comprises various tools to connect the oven to the gas mains or bottle.
2 – Cooking with a gas oven
The gas oven works very simply, based on the emission of heat by a burner under the cooking chamber. The cooking chamber consists of a metal box which is heated more or less evenly throughout, with the heat source coming from below.
An important aspect of gas oven operation is that, once the set temperature is reached, the burner consumes very little fuel to maintain it.
Heat is distributed in a gas oven by conduction and radiation. The former involves the rise of heat from the bottom of the oven, which is directly exposed to the flame, and the latter involves the emission of heat by the rest of the cooking chamber.
Some gas ovens can have a fan-assisted option, thanks to the presence of a fan that circulates the hot air inside the oven and increases cooking by radiation, helping to form the delicious crust on the outside of our food.
Moving on to the point of greatest interest, we can safely say that the gas oven is a universal tool for cooking food, as it can reach quite high temperatures and, above all, keep them reasonably constant.
The traditional domestic gas oven can exceed a temperature of 300-350°C, providing much more heat than an electric oven. Compared to a wood-fired oven, the gas oven approaches very high temperatures but can rarely exceed 400-450°C.
The other side of the coin is that it is extremely easy to use, as the temperature is set automatically and we don’t have to worry about stoking the fire, which, as well as being tricky to manage, involves more effort in terms of cleaning up the ash deposits.
The gas oven is consequently suitable for cooking practically anything. This is why it became one of the most popular appliances in our homes, before being overtaken by the electric oven in recent decades, thanks to advances in technology and energy saving techniques.
3 – Traditional gas ovens and Alfa gas pizza ovens
The traditional domestic gas oven is suitable for making pizza in trays, due to the absence of a refractory surface. To make flat pizza in a traditional gas oven, it is necessary to fit a refractory stone on the bottom of the oven, on which to bake our pizzas.
If we want to use our gas oven to make flat pizzas, we can choose a gas pizza oven, which imitates the structure of a wood-fired oven, with a floor made of refractory stone sheets.
Alfa has always been committed to constantly improving the technology of its pizza ovens, both those used at professional level and those installed in our homes. We have developed several models of gas pizza oven (which we will look at later) over the years, equipped with a refractory floor on which to bake pizzas and with a steel dome.
Let’s take a closer look at the innovations contained in Alfa ovens, to better understand how they work and thus clarify the reasons for their extraordinary performance. We’re going to talk about:
- The Forninoxtm Patent
- The Flue Systemtm Patent
- The Hybrid Kit
Let’s look at what they are.
The Forninoxtm Patent
With the exception of traditional wood-fired ovens, all Alfa ovens are built using Forninoxtm technology, which allows then to offer exceptional heat performance.
It maximises the efficiency of the oven, as the outstanding thermal properties of steel, together with better insulation, retain the heat much longer inside the cooking chamber.
This not only reduces the time it takes to reach high temperatures, but also helps reduce fuel consumption. This technology enables us to produce high performance gas pizza ovens appreciated by professionals all over the world.
The Flue Systemtm Patent
One of the most interesting Alfa innovations is the Flue Systemtm patent, which improves thermal efficiency in ventilation.
In fact, the combination of excellent manufacturing materials and constant research to improve thermal performance makes all our outdoor gas ovens capable of reaching 500°C in just a few dozen minutes.
The Hybrid Kit
Alfa’s research and development has also produced hybrid oven technology. This solution is made possible by the Hybrid Kit accessory, which can transform an Alfa steel gas oven into a wood-fired oven.
The great advantage of the hybrid oven is that it allows you to choose which form of power to use every you time you cook something, depending on your needs.
The benefits of an outdoor gas pizza oven
Now that we have seen the benefits of the gas oven, let us turn our attention to the outdoor use of this appliance.
In another article on our blog, we have already mentioned the differences between cooking indoors and outdoors. These mainly concern:
- Different availability of space
- Fewer installation limitations (especially in the case of mobile cooking appliances)
- The possibility to prepare food together with guests, near the outdoor table
- The reduction of the problem of smoke, in the case of a wood-fired oven
Applying the general benefits of outdoor cooking to the use of a gas oven, let’s see the main features of this outdoor cooking solution.
They cover three essential aspects:
- Ease of installation
- Duration of the appliance
- Reduction of the danger of gas leaks
We’re going to take a brief look at all three.
1 – Ease of installation
As we mentioned in the previous paragraph, installing a gas oven is extremely convenient, as all you need to do is connect the oven to the gas mains or a bottle.
Installing a gas oven in an outdoor kitchen is exactly the same. If we want to permanently install an outdoor gas oven, we can take advantage of the position of the gas pipes.
For instance, if the indoor kitchen has access to outdoor spaces, the outdoor and indoor kitchens can share the wall where the pipes run, connecting them to different appliances on both sides of the wall.
If we don’t intend to use the household mains, however, we can connect the oven to a gas bottle, eliminating positioning limitations. The gas bottle is also the ideal solution for those who prefer a mobile gas pizza oven, as it can be detached from the oven at any time for easy transport of both.
2 – Duration of the appliance
The outdoor gas oven is also very durable and lasts longer on average than an electric oven, especially outdoors. The absence of delicate components and special technology makes it more robust and able to cope better with exposure to the elements.
The high quality of the steel used to cover the domes of Alfa outdoor ovens makes them last for decades, even when they are constantly exposed to the elements.
A good outdoor gas oven is therefore an investment that will pay for itself over time, almost competing in durability with a traditional wood-fired oven, built to the state of the art, brick by brick.
3 – Reduction of the danger of gas leaks
The third major benefit to mention when talking about outdoor gas ovens concerns safety, an aspect that is all too often underestimated. One of the reasons that has contributed to the popularity of electric ovens over the last few decades, to the detriment of gas ovens, is the possibility of gas leaks, which, although unlikely, do unfortunately happen sometimes.
The consequences of gas leaks can be very serious. Gas is quite harmful if inhaled, but the fact that we can smell it allows us to take immediate action before the situation deteriorates.
The most harmful aspect of gas leaks occurs when the gas leaks out over a long period of time (e.g.: in second homes, because they remain empty for a long time and nobody notices). If the gas becomes concentrated in the air of a room for a long time, it may explode on contact with a heat source, with no warning.
Using the gas oven outdoors minimises this risk. Even if there is a gas leak, it is dispersed in the air can cannot reach the concentration necessary to become dangerous.
Installing a gas detector is always a good idea when dealing with gas-fired appliances, especially inside the home.
Alfa gas ovens
Now that we have seen the benefits of an outdoor gas oven, let’s move on to a more detailed analysis of the Alfa ovens that meet these characteristics.
With the exception of One, Alfa’s compact oven, all our gas ovens can become hybrid, thanks to the Hybrid Kit which we mentioned at the beginning of the first paragraph.
All our gas ovens can be installed either indoors or outdoors and, whichever you choose, they will convey a strong and elegant style to your interior.
Design is one of the strengths of Alfa ovens, combining the use of high-quality materials with a shape that amplifies their thermal performance, adding an unmistakable sense of style that can furnish an entire garden.
Alfa’s outdoor gas pizza ovens:
- Stone Oven
- Dolce Vita
Let’s look at them in detail.
1 – Stone Oven
The Stone Oven gas oven is characterised by an extremely elegant design, thanks to its glass door, which is also functional to cooking, as it allows us to look into the oven and check how things are going without opening the door (a factor that causes heat dispersion from the cooking chamber).
Although it is the smallest of Alfa’s gas ovens, it can easily feed about twenty people, cooking two pizzas (or trays of any other baked product) at the same time.
2 – Brio
The Brio gas pizza oven can cook two or three pizzas at the same time and is the most versatile solution, thanks to the possibility to customise the appliance to suit use.
As well as being available in two colours (antique red or dark grey), it is also available in three versions:
- Top (oven only, to be installed on a counter)
- Top + table (oven plus multi-purpose pizza table)
- Top + base (oven with its tailor-made base, for easier movement).
Brio is just 76 cm deep, but can bake pizzas for over 20 people.
3 – Dolce Vita
Last but not least, the Dolce Vita is the biggest of our domestic gas ovens for cooking pizza outdoors.
It can bake four pizzas at the same time, maintaining a constant temperature of around 500°C, which allows us to cook a pizza in about 60 seconds. We can also bake up to 4 kg of bread, as well as creating many other recipes.
Why choose an Alfa outdoor gas oven?
In this guide we have seen the outstanding benefits of outdoor gas pizza ovens, which cover many different aspects.
In the first paragraph, we talked about the benefits of gas ovens in general (both indoor and outdoor, traditional or pizza ovens). They are very easy to install, use and clean, and are suitable for cooking practically any recipe.
We also looked at the differences between traditional gas ovens and gas pizza ovens and discussed the technological innovations developed by Alfa.
In the second paragraph we focused on the outdoor use of gas ovens, explaining that this cooking appliance is very well suited for this purpose because of its ease of installation, its durability even when exposed to the elements, and the reduced danger of gas leaks.
In the third paragraph we looked at our outdoor gas pizza ovens in more detail, explaining the differences between the Stone Oven, Brio and Dolce Vita models.
The Alfa range of domestic ovens is able to meet the varying needs of those who want to make the most of their outdoor space, using gas as a fuel.
Our ovens are also available in mobile versions and, above all, in hybrid versions, so in addition to cooking perfectly with gas, we can also experiment with cooking with wood.
Combining great performance, sophisticated design that enhances your space and ease of movement and use, an Alfa outdoor gas pizza oven gives you a great cooking appliance with which to achieve professional results.