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Garden Party Essentials: 10 Wood-Fired Oven Dishes for Outdoor Dining

Garden Party Essentials: 10 Wood-Fired Oven Dishes for Outdoor Dining

Rhodri Evans |

When the weather warms up and the garden beckons, there's no better way to celebrate the great outdoors than with a wood-fired feast. Hosting a garden party with a wood-fired oven at its heart not only provides a cozy ambiance but also allows you to cook up an array of delicious dishes that will have your guests coming back for seconds. From classic pizzas to succulent steaks and sweet treats, here are 10 wood-fired oven dishes that are sure to elevate your outdoor dining experience.

Key Takeaways

  • A sturdy table at waist or chest height is essential for setting up your wood-fired oven and ensuring comfortable cooking.
  • Wood-fired ovens are versatile, perfect for making a variety of dishes including pizza, steak, vegetables, and even desserts like flame-cooked pineapple.
  • Safety is key, so make sure to use your wood-fired oven outdoors with proper clearance, except for the Volt, which is certified for indoor use as well.
  • Invest in durable garden dining sets made from materials like wood or rattan, and protect them with covers during bad weather.
  • Accessorize your wood-fired oven experience with essential tools like pizza peels, oven covers, and cookware to enhance your cooking and maintenance.

1. Neapolitan Margherita Pizza

1. Neapolitan Margherita Pizza

When we gather around the garden, a classic Neapolitan Margherita Pizza is a must-have on the menu. Its simplicity is its strength, with the wood-fired oven enhancing the flavors of fresh basil, mozzarella, and tomatoes to perfection.

  • Start with a high-quality dough, letting it rise to create that iconic airy crust.
  • Use San Marzano tomatoes for the sauce; their sweetness is unrivaled.
  • A sprinkle of sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil before serving brings out the vibrant taste.
Remember, less is more when it comes to toppings. A Neapolitan pizza is all about the balance of flavors, not the quantity of ingredients.

While we enjoy the pizza, let's not forget to add style and ambiance to our outdoor dining with Swedish torches. They provide not only light but also a festive and safe atmosphere. It's a delightful way to elevate our garden party experience.

2. Wood-Fired Ribeye Steak

2. Wood-Fired Ribeye Steak

When we gather around the garden table, the sizzle and aroma of a wood-fired ribeye steak create an ambiance that's hard to match. The key to a perfect steak lies in the heat of the flames and the quality of the meat. We always opt for a high-grade, well-marbled cut to ensure that each bite is succulent and full of flavor.

Preparation is just as important as the cooking process. Here's our simple guide to achieving steakhouse-quality ribeye at home:

  • Bring the steak to room temperature before cooking.
  • Season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Sear on high heat for a beautiful crust.
  • Let it rest before serving to retain the juices.
Remember, the goal is to create a steak that's charred on the outside and tender on the inside, with a smoky essence that can only be achieved with a wood-fired oven.

Pair your ribeye with a side of grilled asparagus or a fresh salad, and you've got a meal that's sure to impress. Whether it's a casual family dinner or a more formal garden party, a wood-fired ribeye steak is a showstopper that celebrates the joy of outdoor cooking.

3. Artisan Sourdough Bread

3. Artisan Sourdough Bread

There's something truly magical about pulling a fresh, crusty loaf of artisan sourdough bread from the wood-fired oven. The smoky flavor, the perfect chew, and the satisfaction of creating something so delightful from just flour, water, and salt is unmatched. We always recommend using kiln dried firewood to achieve the best results.

When it comes to sourdough, patience is a virtue. The slow fermentation process is key to developing those complex flavors and airy crumb. Here's a simple guide to get you started:
  1. Mix your starter, flour, and water, and let it rest.
  2. Fold the dough several times over a few hours.
  3. Shape the loaf and let it rise in a basket.
  4. Fire up your oven to the right temperature.
  5. Bake until golden and listen for that hollow sound when you tap the bottom of the loaf.

Remember, keeping your firewood dry is crucial for a consistent and hot fire. Store your logs in a dry place to ensure they're ready for your next baking adventure.

4. Roasted Vegetable Medley

4. Roasted Vegetable Medley

After mastering the art of the perfect pizza, it's time to dive into the colorful world of roasted vegetables. A Roasted Vegetable Medley is not only a feast for the eyes but also a treasure trove of nutrition. We love to mix a variety of seasonal vegetables, toss them with herbs and a drizzle of olive oil, and let the wood-fired oven work its magic.

The smoky flavor imparted by the wood fire elevates the natural sweetness of the vegetables, creating a dish that's both healthy and indulgent.

Here's a simple guide to get you started:

  • Choose a range of colorful vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and cherry tomatoes.
  • Cut them into uniform pieces to ensure even roasting.
  • Toss with olive oil, garlic, salt, and your favorite herbs.
  • Roast in the wood-fired oven until tender and slightly charred.

Remember, the key to a perfect roasted vegetable medley is in the variety and the cut. Experiment with different combinations and find your family's favorite mix. And if you're feeling adventurous, why not try a Roasted Vegetable Whole Wheat Pizza, combining these delicious veggies with garlic, mozzarella cheese, and your favorite pizza sauce for a twist on the classic.

5. Flame-Cooked Pineapple Wedges

5. Flame-Cooked Pineapple Wedges

After we've indulged in savory dishes, it's time to sweeten the experience with a tropical twist. Flame-cooked pineapple wedges are a delightful way to bring a touch of exotic flair to our garden party. The high heat of the wood-fired oven caramelizes the sugars in the pineapple, creating a mouthwatering dessert that's both simple and sophisticated.

To prepare, slice the pineapple into wedges, ensuring each piece has a bit of the core for stability. Place the slices on a baking tray and roast until the pineapple is slightly dehydrated and it begins to char, which should take about 10 minutes. Remember to wear an oven glove when handling the hot tray.

Here's a quick checklist to ensure your pineapple wedges turn out perfect every time:

  • Fresh pineapple, peeled and cored
  • A drizzle of honey or maple syrup (optional)
  • A pinch of cinnamon or chili powder for a spicy kick (optional)
  • Wood-fired oven preheated to a high temperature

Once out of the oven, let the wedges cool slightly before serving. They make an excellent accompaniment to ice cream or can be enjoyed on their own as a healthy, yet indulgent treat.

6. Cast-Iron Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie

6. Cast-Iron Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie

After savoring the smoky flavors of savory dishes, we always crave something sweet to round off the perfect garden party. Our cast-iron skillet chocolate chip cookie is a crowd-pleaser that's as fun to make as it is to eat. The skillet not only imparts a delightful crispness to the edges but also keeps the center gooey and warm, just how a cookie should be.

Preparation is key to achieving that perfect balance of textures. Here's a simple breakdown of the steps:

  • Preheat your wood-fired oven to the right temperature.
  • Mix your cookie dough with love and care.
  • Press the dough into the skillet, creating an even layer.
  • Bake until the edges are golden and the center is just set.
  • Let it cool slightly before serving, allowing the flavors to meld.
Remember, the cast-iron retains heat, so your cookie will continue to cook even after it's out of the oven. Give it a few minutes to settle into perfection.

This dessert is not just about indulgence; it's a testament to the versatility of your wood-fired oven. From pizzas to a decadent chocolate chip cookie, the possibilities are endless. So, gather your friends, share the warmth of the fire, and enjoy the sweet conclusion to your outdoor feast.

7. Grilled Salmon Fillets

7. Grilled Salmon Fillets

After mastering the art of pizza in our wood-fired ovens, we've turned our attention to the delicate flavors of the sea. Grilling salmon fillets in the wood-fired oven imparts a unique smokiness that elevates the dish to new heights. The key to perfect salmon is a high heat and a watchful eye to ensure the fillets are cooked to succulent perfection.

Salmon is not only delicious but also incredibly versatile. Try a variety of marinades and seasonings to discover your favorite combination. For an unforgettable experience, we recommend the Chipotle Salmon, praised for its succulent and spicy flavor profile. Here's a simple guide to get you started:

  • Preheat your wood-fired oven to a high temperature.
  • Season the salmon fillets to your liking.
  • Place the salmon on the grill and cook until the desired doneness.
  • Serve immediately with a side of roasted vegetables or a fresh salad.
Remember, the beauty of wood-fired cooking is in the subtle flavors the smoke adds to the dish. Experiment with different types of wood to find the one that complements your salmon best.

Whether you're hosting a garden party or simply enjoying a meal with family, wood-fired grilled salmon is a showstopper that's sure to impress.

8. Smoky BBQ Chicken Wings

8. Smoky BBQ Chicken Wings

After mastering the art of pizza and other wood-fired delights, it's time to add a finger-licking favorite to your garden party menu: Smoky BBQ Chicken Wings. These wings are not just a dish; they're a conversation starter, a reason for friends to gather around the flames, and a perfect match for the smoky ambiance of outdoor dining.

To achieve that irresistible balance of crispy skin and tender meat, follow these simple steps:

  • Marinate your wings in your favorite BBQ sauce for at least an hour, or overnight for deeper flavor.
  • Preheat your wood-fired oven to a high temperature, typically around 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place the wings on a cast-iron skillet or directly on the grill, and cook until they're beautifully charred and cooked through.

Remember, the key to perfect wings is in the timing and temperature control. Keep an eye on them, as the high heat can turn perfect wings into charred remnants quickly.

For an extra touch of flavor, consider adding wood chips from fruit trees like apple or cherry to your fire. The subtle sweetness they impart will elevate your BBQ wings to new heights.

Lastly, don't forget to have a pack of natural wood-wool firelighters on hand. They're 100% natural, sustainable, and odorless, ensuring your wings have only the pure taste of your chosen seasonings and the authentic smokiness from the wood fire.

9. Stone-Baked Focaccia with Rosemary

9. Stone-Baked Focaccia with Rosemary

As we gather around the garden table, the aroma of freshly baked focaccia wafts through the air, hinting at the rustic flavors we're about to enjoy. Our stone-baked focaccia with rosemary is the perfect accompaniment to any outdoor feast. Its crisp exterior and fluffy interior are the results of the perfect harmony between the wood-fired oven's heat and the cordierite stone's heat distribution properties.

To achieve the ideal texture and flavor, preheating your stone is crucial. A well-preheated stone ensures a rapid rise and golden crust, transforming your focaccia into a masterpiece of outdoor dining.

Here's a simple checklist to ensure your focaccia turns out perfectly every time:

  • Preheat the oven with your cordierite stone inside.
  • Prepare your dough with high-quality flour and fresh rosemary.
  • Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size.
  • Gently dimple the dough with your fingertips before baking.
  • Bake until the focaccia is golden brown and emits a hollow sound when tapped.

Remember, the key to a successful wood-fired dish is not just the recipe, but also the fuel you use. Opt for Firelighters made from sustainable, restaurant-grade Lumpwood charcoal to enhance your BBQ experience without unwanted tastes or smells.

10. Baked Camembert with Garlic and Thyme

10. Baked Camembert with Garlic and Thyme

To cap off a splendid garden party, we present the pièce de résistance: Baked Camembert with Garlic and Thyme. This dish is a symphony of flavors, with the creamy Camembert cheese melting into a pool of aromatic indulgence, perfect for dipping crusty bread or crisp apple slices.

Ensure your wood-fired oven is at the ideal temperature for baking cheese, which is typically around 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit. A well-seasoned oven will contribute to the even melting and subtle smokiness of the cheese.

Here's a simple guide to creating this delightful dish:

  1. Take a whole Camembert cheese and score the top in a crosshatch pattern.
  2. Insert slivers of garlic and sprigs of thyme into the cuts.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until gloriously gooey.

Remember to have your mise en place ready before you start. This includes a pack of 30 natural wood-wool firelighters to ensure your oven is heated quickly and safely, providing the perfect environment for your Camembert to transform.

Conclusion

As we wrap up our exploration of garden party essentials, it's clear that a wood-fired oven can transform your outdoor dining experience. From the versatility of cooking everything from pizzas to succulent steaks and roasted vegetables, to the ambiance it adds to your gatherings, a wood-fired oven is a worthy investment. Remember to choose the right oven for your needs, accessorize appropriately, and give your oven the TLC it deserves to ensure many seasons of delicious, flame-cooked meals. Whether you're dining under the stars or enjoying the warmth of a summer day, these 10 wood-fired oven dishes are sure to impress your guests and make your garden party a memorable event.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ideal height for a table to set a wood-fired oven on?

The ideal height for a table to set a wood-fired oven on is between waist and chest height to ensure comfort during use. It's recommended to use a sturdy metal, stone, or wood table.

Can I cook other dishes besides pizza in a wood-fired oven?

Yes, you can cook a variety of dishes in a wood-fired oven, including grilling steak, roasting vegetables, cooking salmon, flame-cooking pineapple wedges, and baking desserts.

What are some essential accessories for a wood-fired oven?

Essential accessories for a wood-fired oven include pizza peels, oven fuel, gas burners, oven covers, thermometers, and various cookware items.

Can wood-fired ovens be used indoors?

Most wood-fired ovens are certified for outdoor use only due to safety reasons. However, the Volt model is an exception as it is all-electric and can be used both indoors and outdoors.

What materials are commonly used for garden dining sets?

Common materials for garden dining sets include wood, which offers longevity, and rattan, which often comes with sturdy metal frames and built-in cushions for comfort.

Can garden dining sets be left outside all year?

While many garden dining sets are built to last and are easy to maintain, it's advisable to cover them with garden furniture covers during bad weather to protect them from the elements.