Which Is Better: A Brick Oven or a Stainless Steel Pizza Oven?

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If you want to build a backyard pizza oven, you must choose between steel and brick.

You might simply guess, but if you don’t know the difference, your pizza-making experience will always be marred by the nagging suspicion that you selected the incorrect oven.

Thankfully, we’re here to alleviate your concerns and provide you with all of the knowledge you need to choose the best pizza oven material for you.

Brick vs stainless steel pizza oven: what’s the difference?

Brick vs Stainless Steel Pizza Oven: Which One is Better?

Before we get to the elephant in the room, which oven creates better pizza, let’s look at both kinds of ovens and their advantages and disadvantages.

Brick pizza ovens

A typical brick pizza oven relies on thermal mass and heat retention. Simply said, when you ignite a fire in a brick pizza oven, the heat is absorbed by the oven’s construction, stored, then reflected throughout cooking.

Bricks are useful for cooking because they have a large thermal mass, which is a material’s capacity to absorb and store heat energy.

It takes a long time and a lot of thermal energy to adequately heat a brick oven. When it reaches cooking temperature, the heat from the fire cooks the pizza foundation from below, while the heat stored and emitted by the bricks cooks the toppings, providing both high temperatures and uniform cooking.

The conventional dome at the top of a pizza oven aids the process by reflecting heat back down onto the pizza’s surface.

All of this amazing thermal mass, however, comes with two huge downsides. To begin with, as previously stated, brick pizza ovens take a long time to reach the 330 (625) degrees Fahrenheit that Italian pizzaiolos believe is the ideal temperature for cooking pizza.

Depending on the size of your oven, you may be looking at a pre-heat time of 30 to 60 minutes.

Second, if you want a portable pizza oven, brick is not your best buddy. Because of their massive weight, brick ovens are best used as permanent structures.

Many brick ovens may also need curing, which entails burning gradually bigger flames over a few days to properly force any moisture out of the bricks and avoid cracking.

You must also protect your brick oven from the weather, as moisture and freezing temperatures may erode the brickwork and perhaps produce enough thermal stress to break the oven when it is fired up.

Stainless steel pizza ovens

Whereas brick ovens use thermal mass, stainless steel ovens use heat reflection. Steel warms up rather rapidly and is a good heat reflector and conductor.

Steel ovens do not need curing, so you can purchase one in the afternoon and start cooking on it before dinnertime. They also heat up rapidly. The price you pay for that aspect of fast pleasure is that steel has a low thermal mass and hence cools quickly.

Because of the quick cooling, you may need to briefly warm the oven between cooking pizzas or risk your base and toppings cooking at separate speeds. The good thing is that reheating is a short procedure.

Steel is definitely your best pick for a portable pizza oven. Steel pizza ovens, unlike brick ovens, do not have to be a permanent fixture in your yard.

Many stainless steel pizza ovens have a movable base that allows them to be quickly pulled back into a covered room or garage to be protected from the weather. Smaller countertop pizza ovens constructed of stainless steel, such as the Ooni Pro multi fuel oven, are also available.

Steel ovens are much simpler to transport and are ideal if you don’t have much time to completely warm your oven, but they lack some of the aesthetics of a classic brick oven.

Which oven is best for cooking pizza? 

Brick vs Stainless Steel Pizza Oven: Which One is Better?

Cooking pizza in a basic oven using wood as a fuel source is an inherently uncertain operation. Different woods, pizza flours, and oven types introduce so many variables that it is hard to point to one building material and say it is superior to another.

Even if they are prepared in the same oven, a semolina pizza made in a brick oven over beechwood in Texas would taste quite different than a 00 flour pizza cooked over maple in Vermont.

That being stated, there are two major variables to consider while deciding between steel and brick.

The first factor is convenience.

Brick Steel
Brick ovens take longer to heat up, need to be cured before you can cook in them, and need more protection from the elements.

You also won’t be able to take them to your friends’ BBQ without a JCB.

Steel ovens heat up quickly, can be used on the day they are brought, and some even come with wheels for easy portability. So a steel oven is easily the more convenient option.

The second factor is consistency.

Brick Steel
Brick ovens hold heat exceptionally well, so if you’re cooking a mass of pizzas, you won’t need to stop to reheat.

Because of their increased thermal mass, they may also provide a more constant cooking environment, particularly in colder locations.

Steel ovens lose heat almost as fast as they heat up, so you can’t expect to shovel a street party’s worth of pizza’s through it without a little reheating in between.

Wrapping it all up

To summarize everything. Brick ovens are a fantastic permanent installation for someone with the time and patience to cope with their lengthy preheat time and enough hungry mouths to desire to prepare a large number of pizzas.

Some individuals like the more rustic appearance of brick ovens over the more contemporary designs of most steel ovens.

Steel ovens are ideal for bringing out on a sunny day and then packing up when you’re through. They heat up rapidly, allowing for more immediate pizza fulfillment, but they also cool quickly, making bulk pizza cooking a lengthier and more fussy procedure than with a brick oven.

If one of those sets of advantages appeals to you and your specific circumstances, then that is the pizza oven for you!

If you have a brick or steel pizza oven and have any suggestions for getting the most out of it, please share them in the comments area below.


What is the best material for a pizza oven?

Because of their exceptional heat retention, firebricks are the most common option for pizza ovens, although ceramic tiles or refractory cements may also be used depending on your budget and design.

Are brick pizza ovens better?

Yes, there is a resounding yes to this question! A brick oven will ensure that your pizza is cooked evenly and correctly every time. This is because the bricks absorb and reflect heat, allowing the pizza to cook evenly.

What is the best surface for an outdoor pizza oven?

The wood-fired oven should not be placed on any wooden surfaces; instead, use stainless steel or a granite or concrete slab. If you choose with granite, be sure to place a ceramic board underneath the oven. For further information, contact local granite dealer or our technical support team.

Why brick oven pizza is the best?

Distinctive Taste

A brick oven produces taste that is unrivaled. It has a somewhat smokey and sweet flavor. Roasting caramelizes the sugar in the dough and toppings, promoting crispiness. Temperatures do not increase rapidly enough in slow cooking to provide that particular flavor.

What is the best metal for pizza oven?

Purchasing Alternatives. The 38-inch-thick Modernist Cuisine Baking Steel is your best hope for generating a pizza with the black-spotted crust of a brick-oven Neapolitan pie. It transmits heat better than any ceramic stone we tested, resulting in black and fluffy crusts on pizzas.

What is the best stone for a pizza oven?

Chefs’ Picks for the Best Pizza Stones and Steels
Kamado KJ-PS23 Joe Pizza Stone made of ceramic.
The First Baking Steel.
Fiero Casa Pizza Stone is an Italian pizza stone.
Rectangular FibraMent-D Home Oven Baking Stone.
Pizza Steel made of carbon steel.
Honey-Can-Do Rectangular Old Stone Oven Pizza Stone.
Lodge Cast Iron Pizza Pan with Seasoning.

Can you use stainless steel in a pizza oven?

Pizza ovens made of stainless steel

According to Pizza Today, a stainless steel pizza oven is a strong conductor of heat and will heat up rapidly. However, if the fire is not maintained, it will lose heat more rapidly. A stainless steel oven is ideal for those who need to make superb pizza fast.

How long does a brick pizza oven last?

Pizza ovens have a service life that may range from 25 years to 10 years, depending on use.

Do you need to cure a stainless steel pizza oven?

Pizza ovens made of stainless steel

Steel warms up rather rapidly and is a good heat reflector and conductor. Steel ovens do not need to be cured, so you can purchase one in the afternoon and have it cooking by dinnertime. They also heat up rapidly.

What to know before buying an outdoor pizza oven?

Top 4 Considerations When Purchasing a Residential Pizza Oven Space Available at Home.
The quantity of food you intend to cook.
Materials and design.
Fuel Alternatives.
Finally, some thoughts.

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