By William Coleman
There was a time when the takeaway pizza was the best option for a cheeky slice or two and was usually a rare Friday night treat. Now, with so many portable pizza oven options, you can have as many as you like by taking a nifty gadget with you on your winter staycation.
The caravan holiday has always been about freedom – to go where you want, see what you want and eat what you want. To indulge on holiday is what it’s all about. Why not indulge in a freshly made pizza?
Over the past few years, the generic takeaway pizza has slowly been replaced by fresh hand-made pizzas that are cooked in real woodfired ovens.
As the popularity of fresh pizza grew, the ovens got smaller and portable, which resulted in many people opting to cook at home instead of getting a takeaway.
One company, in particular, seems to have tailor-made a portable pizza oven for the caravan world, even if that was not the initial intention.
Ooni Pizza Ovens, which do a lot more than just 60-second pizzas, are small, light and pack away very neatly. It is for these reasons, and more, that makes them a perfect fit for the touring world.
The Ooni Pizza Oven
The company, which was founded by husband-and-wife team Kristian Tapaninaho and Darina Garland, started introducing portable pizza ovens to homes, well gardens, in 2012 and have become a global bestseller.
Ooni brought a game-changing tool to the outdoor cooking world, one that can be used in the garden or on-site with ease. The first portable oven Ooni made was a pellet fed wood-fired model, which creates a rolling heat hot enough to cook a 12″ pizza in 60 seconds. We’ve tried it and can vouch that the 60-second cooking time is quite accurate.
These mini ovens are so effective that they get to heat within 15 minutes and reach double the temperature of a conventional domestic oven. With a constant heat in such a small space, you can have genuine pizzeria-quality pizza as often as you like. The wood-burning method makes a world of difference to the overall smell and taste of what you are cooking.
Since 2012, the product has evolved and there are now several different models available. Depending on the size of the oven and your preferred fuel type there will be an option for you. For those who prefer gas cooking, you can try the Ooni Koda, but you will not get the rich smoky flavours associated with wood-fired cooking.
Kristian Tapaninaho, Ooni CEO and founder, said: “We know that even more people want to enjoy the magic of making wood-fired pizza, without the fuss of managing the fuel or fire. The strength of Ooni Fyra is in its incredible simplicity and ease of use – firing up with wood pellets takes all the hassle out of wood-fired cooking, along with the oven’s truly intuitive design, so you can focus wholeheartedly on making pizzeria-quality, wood-fired pizza super fast.”
Darina Garland, Ooni co-founder, said: “We’re so excited to welcome Ooni Fyra into the Ooni family. As the successor to our best-selling pizza oven, Ooni 3, we know that our growing global audience has a real appetite for cooking with wood in any outdoor space. Ooni Fyra makes it easier than ever!”
Take the pizzeria with you this winter
There are a lot of portable cookers out there that can fry, grill, roast or barbecue your food, but the pizza oven is just so fun and can be an activity for the whole family come lunch or dinner time.
During the next few months, we have school half terms, Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night to celebrate and is there a better way than having a pizza party on-site? We think not.
The Ooni Fyra weighs just 10kg, which means that it will make no real difference to your towing weight and is compact enough to be stored either in the tow car or caravan.
As far as outdoor accessories go the Ooni Frya, which we have, is a fantastic bit of kit. With a price tag of only £229, you can make countless memories with family and friends creating your pizza your way. You’ll be very popular among your touring neighbours when they start to smell all those wonderful pizzas cooking.
As we head into winter, it has been made clear that caravan sites all across the UK will be staying open to make up for the lack of holiday time 2020 has provided. During these periods there may be occasions where pubs and restaurants could be fully booked or closed. With a pizza oven, you can extend your outdoor cooking skills without having to leave the site.
Fresh sourdough pizza dough balls
Some people can make pizza dough with their eyes closed whereas others, we won’t name names, struggle with getting the right mixture together for a successful base.
With the Ooni ovens, your dough needs to be very thin, think Neapolitan-style, not like deep pan oven pizzas. If you are not too keen on making this specific dough, Ooni has you covered with its first-ever fresh product.
Having dough pre-made and at the perfect weight will make getting the thickness of the pizza so much easier. Each dough ball is approximately 250g, which will make a perfect 12″ pizza. All you need to do is, erm, knead the dough.
Another upside to having these fresh pre-made dough balls is the time you will save. Making pizza dough is not the most time-consuming endeavour but once the dough is made it will need to prove and be stored until ready. This can take hours and consume worktop space.
The dough balls are made to Ooni’s 60per cent hydration recipe. Once shipped, the Ooni dough balls will be delivered via a specialist 24-hour courier and can be defrosted to be used or frozen for use later.