How To Clean A Outdoor Pizza Oven Stone
If you are like me, and completely forget about cleaning your Pizza oven (apart from a wipe down after it’s cooled of course). I have written down some information that hopefully makes this slightly easier when you do decide to give that pizza oven a good freshen up.
It is normal when cooking in any outdoor pizza oven that spills or stains pop up over time, but when cooking in a wood-fired pizza oven you also have the issue of cleaning out the ashes after each use. To make sure that your pizza oven continues to work properly and deliver you flavoursome homemade pizza (or anything else you stick in it) time and time again you need to clean your pizza oven fairly regularly, unfortunately. Whether that is wiping down the exterior of the pizza oven, removing any debris or scrubbing the pizza stone like a champ, we’ve put together a handy guide on how to clean your outdoor pizza oven properly.
Cleaning your outdoor pizza oven may seem straightforward, but it does differ slightly from cleaning a normal kitchen oven. There are things you can’t do and chemicals you can’t use to help with the cleaning task at hand. If you don’t follow the correct advice when cleaning you could damage your outdoor pizza oven or potentially harm yourself when cooking in it after with some nasty’s. In this guide, we look at the dos and don’ts of cleaning your pizza oven and explain why they are important to the future of your homemade pizzas.
Cleaning inside your outdoor pizza oven
This may sound strange but before cleaning your oven, raise the temperature and let it continue to burn for an additional 30 minutes. This will burn off any debris so you can scrape it out of the pizza oven easier later on.
Most importantly, when cleaning a pizza oven is to make sure it is cool first. While there are some tasks you can do while the oven is cooking – e.g. removing any burned green pepper or other topping debris with a long-handled brush. But in order to clean your outdoor pizza oven properly, it is better to wait for it to completely cool. Pizza ovens reach super high temperatures and you risk injury by not giving them enough time to return to a safe cleaning temperature. Definitely be aware that some outdoor pizza oven types take longer to cool than others models. As an example, clay and stainless steel are better insulators and so can hold heat for longer periods than brick, so be careful.
When the outdoor pizza oven is cool, use a scraper to scratch off any residue on the ovens stone base. If you have burned the outdoor pizza oven at the highest temperature this should come off relatively easy. You should then be able to remove any debris with a brush. Alternatively, you can use a handheld hover to make sure all remnants from the cook have been removed. You should remove any ash or spills on a daily basis, if you don’t you risk a build-up of smoke which will cause ventilation problems and will also increase the chances of burning your pizza.
How to clean the outdoor pizza oven stone
How often you clean the stone will depend on its condition and how often you use the stone. If your stone is covered in cheese and burnt peppers it’s pretty obvious you will need to give it a wipe down after each use. If you don’t have any spills you will only need to give it a clean once a week if you use it regularly or once every five uses.
Again, you need to allow the pizza stone to cool down fully after the cook. If you attempt to clean a hot stone you may burn your hands but you also risk causing cracks in the stone and trust me, its hurts. If you wanted to remove it from your oven to quicken the cooling process you should use heat resistant gloves and place the stone on a heatproof surface. I wish I had found out these heatproof gloves existed sooner (have a look on eBay)
If you have burnt on pieces of pizza toppings stuck to the stone using a plastic spatula to gently scrape them off. Be careful not to use abrasive materials or scrub too hard as you may scratch the stone and leave some ugly marks.
If you’ve spilt liquids or have hard to remove stains on the stones inside the oven you will need to get a scrubbing brush and hot water to clean. This is very important, do not use any soap or chemical cleaning products when trying to remove stains as the pizza oven stone may absorb these chemicals and transfer them to your pizza when cooking. Instead, hot water and a brush should do the job perfectly. It’s Ideal when cleaning you will use as little water as necessary. Excess water trapped in the stone can cause cracks to appear when cooking in the pizza oven. Make sure your outdoor pizza oven stone is thoroughly dry before cooking again after it has been cleaned out.
If you can’t remove your stains or lift the burnt food pieces using the method above you can try soaking or washing your pizza stone with baking soda. As pizza stones can easily soak up water, soaking would be an absolute last resort, it takes quite a while to ensure the stone has dried completely so we recommend you wait at least a week before using it again. You could also try cleaning with a baking soda paste as opposed to just plain water. Mix an equal amount of baking soda and water together in a bowl until you get a thick paste. It will help to lift any tough substances from the stone but won’t pass any chemicals. Apply the paste to the problem areas of the stone and use a brush to gently scrub the stains. If it doesn’t remove it, wipe clean, apply more paste and scrub again. It is super important you wipe the pizza stone clean of any baking soda traces and make sure it is fully dried before cooking again. It may take a couple of days to try thoroughly but in most cases 24 hours (unless you live in Scotland).
How to clean an Ooni pizza oven?
Cleaning the outside of the outdoor pizza oven
Cleaning the exterior of your pizza oven is dependent on the material your oven is constructed from. Bricks and stone won’t easily rust and they won’t show dirt easily. You may however have to cure a brick or stone oven every now and again to ensure no cracks occur on the pizza oven. Stainless steel ovens however may be subject to rust, they will also show smudges and fingerprints quite easily.
How to clean a middleby marshall pizza oven
Ok, a middleby marshall pizza oven is not an outdoor pizza oven, but much of the above still applies. Firstly, unplug the oven, cleaning the pizza oven should only be done with soap and water. Do not use green pads or steel wool as the middleby marshall pizza oven will mark up very easily, unfortunately. It’s best not to spray chemical cleaner on the ceramic burners, this kind of cleaners will clog up or dissolve the burners over a period of time and can lead to very high repair bills to replace the burner. Often the drive side of the conveyor will show signs of wear and tear, you can repair the worn parts before they break you can save yourself some real pizza cooking downtime. Cleaning out the cooling fan filters and fresh air intakes can save you service repair visits, these air intakes get clogged with grease, dust and need to be replaced or cleaned just like the filters in your pizza oven. When these filters are clogged there may be a lack of cooling air for the controls and the blower the pizza oven motors. This will cause the blower motor to shut down due to the high temperature.
Stainless steel outdoor pizza oven cleaning tips
Stainless steel is one of those materials in which will display even the faintest marks. Smudges and greasy fingerprint marks are normal with these types of outdoor pizza ovens and while this may not annoy you as much if you use your pizza oven for home use, in a commercial environment you will probably have to wipe down the shell of your oven on a daily basis to keep the oven looking in tip-top condition for your customers. Fingerprint smudges are easier to create than getting rid of it is recommended you use a damp cloth only when wiping clean. Make sure the cloth isn’t too wet and after wiping you will need to take a dry microfibre cloth and buff the oven to return it to its past glory.
Cleaning brick and stone outdoor pizza ovens
When you first build or purchase an oven made from bricks you will need to cure the oven to get rid of any moisture. If your oven contains a large percent of water and reaches high temperatures, the likelihood of cracks appearing is quite high. If there has been a large amount of rain, cold weather, or you haven’t used your oven in a while, you may want to heat your oven at a lower temperature an hour or two before use.
If you are keeping your oven outdoors and want to keep maintenance minimal we might recommend you look at pizza oven covers. Just as you would cover a barbecue to keep it in top condition you can also purchase covers for your pizza oven.
How often should you clean your outdoor pizza oven?
You should scrape out any debris and brush your oven clean after every cook, but I understand if after a few wines this can be forgotten about. Cleaning after each cook prevents any larger build-up and any deeper problems down the line. In terms of cleaning the outdoor pizza oven stone, you should do this properly once a week although if any spills happen and you want to continue using the oven clean ASAP. If you leave it and continue to burn the oven the stains will be more difficult to remove with time. The longer you have a pizza oven stone the more discolouring you will start to notice on the stone. This is totally normal and not a problem although if you clean the stone regularly and deal with any spills early these stains can be limited and you can keep your oven looking new.
In regard to the exhaust stack, cleaning the exhaust is a very similar process to sweeping a chimney so if you know what you’re doing you can do it yourself. It is recommended however you seek professional advice. You should clean this properly once a month at least (providing you use it on a regular basis, if you only use it for home use every now again this time frame will be a lot longer) to ensure the oven is safe to use.