National pizza day on 9th Feb may tempt you to investigate a pizza oven for your own garden. But the best wood-fired ovens are much more than a pizza oven.
Here we take a look at the coveted Le Panyol Oven and how it could become the ultimate outdoor cookspace in your garden
Le Panyol ovens are constructed using refractory terracotta from their quarry in Larnage, France. They are purchased as a kit and can be finished with render or enclosed with brick depending on your preference. Refractory terracotta is chosen for its ability to retain and radiate heat efficiently, creating an ideal cooking environment for pizzas and other baked goods. These ovens are inspired by ancient methods of baking and aim to combine heritage with modern technology for optimal performance. Le Panyol is reputed for producing durable and long-lasting ovens, the quality of construction materials contributes to the longevity of the ovens, making them a reliable choice for those seeking a lasting investment.
Le Panyol pizza ovens are fuelled by wood, providing an authentic and traditional cooking experience. Wood-fired ovens are favoured by many chefs and enthusiasts for the unique flavour and texture they impart and are generally considered energy-efficient. The ovens reach high temperatures with relatively small amounts of wood, making them an environmentally friendly option compared to some other cooking methods.
Le Panyol ovens can be used for a variety of dishes, other than pizza, including bread, roasted meats, and more. The high temperatures achieved in these ovens make them versatile for various cooking styles, whilst the excellent heat retention also makes it suitable for slow cooking.
Cooking with a Le Panyol oven can provide a unique and enjoyable culinary experience. The process of managing the wood fire, controlling temperatures, and observing the cooking process adds an interactive and engaging element to the cooking process.
Slow Cooking Tips for Le Panyol Wood Ovens
Slow cooking in a Le Panyol oven can be a delightful and effective way to prepare a variety of dishes. While Le Panyol ovens are often associated with high temperatures for pizza and other quick-cooking items, their excellent heat retention and versatility make them suitable for slow cooking as well.
Le Panyol ovens are designed to reach and maintain high temperatures for quick and efficient cooking. However, they can also be used for slow cooking by managing the fire and controlling the temperature.
To slow cook in a Le Panyol oven, you'll want to build a smaller fire and let the oven temperature gradually decrease to the desired level. This can be achieved by using less wood and allowing the oven to cool down after the initial high-temperature cooking.
Choosing the Right Dishes
Slow cooking is ideal for dishes that benefit from long, gentle cooking times, such as stews, braises, roasts, and casseroles.
Consider using cast iron or other heavy cookware that can retain and distribute heat evenly. Le Panyol ovens often come with accessories like baking stones or pans that are suitable for slow cooking
Choose hardwoods for slow cooking. Different woods can impart distinct flavours to the food. Fruitwoods like apple or cherry can add a subtle sweetness, while oak or hickory can provide a more robust flavour.