A traditional wood burning oven or wood stove is a great choice for any home, as it allows you to easily cook dishes such as pizza and other pasta, meat dishes, and breads with the added flavor of the wood you use. They can also add warmth to a kitchen area and an old-world look and feeling. Before you opt for a wood burning oven or wood stove for your space, note a few quick tips on how to make the right selection.
1. Steel versus cast iron
If you're not having a wood stove built into a corner of the kitchen, like a built-in fireplace, you'll probably need to choose between steel or cast iron. Cast iron is the most traditional of the materials and is usually the better looking of the two options; cast iron stoves are usually curved and molded to look like an old-world oven. Steel ovens are usually made of plain panels that are simply welded together, so it may be the better option for a more modern look, but it may also be a bit plain for the look you wanted with your wood oven.
Note too that cast iron stoves need to be rebuilt regularly to reseal the joints between panels. If you don't have this done, this can cause air leakage that interferes with your ability to control the fire. Be sure you note this expense and work it into your budget when considering the long-term use of your wood oven and deciding on a material.
The size of any wood stove you choose will be important, as it needs to be large enough to accommodate the foods you'll be cooking while still being able to circulate heat for even cooking. Note the inside size of an oven and compare this to the typical meal you'll want to cook; if you just want to make pizza, then you can go with a smaller oven that isn't very tall. However, for cooking meat and bread at the same time, you'll need a taller oven that provides more than one rack and that can easily accommodate your pans with several inches or centimeters on each side for even heat distribution. Don't assume that you can get the smallest size to save on money as this might limit your use of your oven, or not allow for even heating and, in turn, you wind up with food that is only half-cooked and inedible.