Selecting an outdoor pizza oven - gas or wood fired?

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There are probably as many different types of ways of cooking something as there are cultures in the world. Every country, state and region in the world boasts of its own special way of cooking food. One of the ways that have taken the world by storm is to cook in a pizza oven that is fuelled by wood. The conventional wood fired pizza oven is gradually increasing in popularity in the world. The reason for this rise to fame is the benefits that such ovens provide. Consider the following.

Wood Fired Ovens Can Attain Higher Temperatures
It is a well known fact that seasoned Italian chefs prefer ovens. The reason why this is so is that wood ovens can attain higher temperatures. This property changes the dynamics of cooking for the better. For instance, in the case of pizzas, these high temperatures allow for the pizza dough to show a rapid rise.
This is desirable because it allows for the pizza to have certain special properties such as being crispy on the outside while tender on the inside. Moreover, the dough also acquires better texture if cooked in a wood fired oven.

They Provide Even Heat Distribution
Another reason why chefs and seasoned cooks like ovens is that their use allows the food to be cooked evenly. This happens because heat inside a wood oven tends to be uniform and not inconsistent anywhere. 

The Food Gets a Smoky Flavour and Aroma
Using wood as the fuel inside an oven adds its own specific charm. For example, food made in a wood fired oven almost always has a smoky flavour. This smoky flavour is further accentuated by a unique aroma that can only be achieved if the food is used with wood as the fuel. It is worth mentioning that this flavour and aroma add to the experience of eating the food,

They Are Much More Economical Than Modern Ovens
The majority of high end or authentic Italian restaurants in the world use wood fired ovens. While the primary reason for this is that wood ovens add a certain quality to the food being cooked, there is a secondary reason as well. This is the fact that ovens are significantly more economical than gas ovens.
A wood fired oven, once started, can last several hours with minimal use of wood as fuel. Wood fired ovens have this capability because they tend to retain and channel heat very efficiently. In contrast, a modern oven, if used the whole day, can really be expensive. Moreover, wood also tends to be cheaper than electricity on a standalone basis.

They Add Fun to Cooking
Wood fired ovens have also started making appearances in the back yards of many residential properties. In addition to all the qualities mentioned above, such trends are showing up because ovens are ideal for outdoor parties because their use is fun to watch. In effect, these ovens often end up being the star attraction of a party.

Benefits of Gas Ovens
Personally I believe if you're going to go to the trouble of cooking, you're best to do it properly hence why I prefer to cook in a wood oven, however I appreciate that some people are not as passionate as authentic outdoor cooking as myself and would therefore like the convenience of cooking in a gas oven. Some of the benefits of a gas oven over a wood oven are:
Gas ovens reach 220 degrees in around 15-20 minutes which is considered the optimum for cooking pizzas in a gas oven. This is compared to around 45 minutes for a stainless steel wood fired oven to reach 450 degrees (the optimum for cooking in wood ovens), or around 3 hours for a clay wood fired oven.
Cooking in a gas oven is fuss free. You literally just turn on the gas, wait and then cook. This might be appealing for those who aren't comfortable with lighting a fire. 
Whenever there is fire, there is residual ash which requires cleaning. Sweeping the ash with a broom only takes about 5 seconds, but if you'd prefer not to do this, gas is a clean way of cooking which doesn't require any clean up. 

If you're in the market for a an outdoor pizza oven, some leading brands are Flaming Coals for wood fired, or Gasmate for gas. Both are leading Australian brands and come with robust warranty processes. 
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