Imagine using one of our woodfired ovens to cook gourmet pizzas while you and your friends soak up the cosy atmosphere created by the wood fire...
Alfresco Midi™ Wood Fired Pizza Oven
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FAQs

How many pizzas can I cook at a time in your ovens?

Although the Original Oven can easily fit 6 x 300mm pizzas, one would have to be an expert to control the cooking of this amount. We recommend cooking 2 pizzas at once for home use. Alfresco also manufactures ovens that can hold 16 pizzas or 10 full size baking trays. The mouth of these ovens is made wider for 2 chefs to operate at once.

What can I cook in my oven?

Given that wood fired ovens were around well before gas or electricity, you should be able to cook just about anything in your Alfresco oven. We have designed our ovens so that they can be used with the door to maximize heat control, allowing you to use them for stewing, roasting, baking, frying, smoking, grilling, cooking pizzas, breads and even desserts.

Do I have to burn or break in my oven?

Yes. All brick and refractory cement ovens have to be burnt in. Our large Original oven holds over 100 litres, or 100kg, of moisture after manufacture. This has to be expelled by ‘burning in’ the oven in order that the refractory cement can be fully cured. The curing process is very simple and takes about 12-16 hours. Instructions for burning in come with all Alfresco ovens.

Are your ovens built with brick?

No. Although we can build ovens out of brick, we prefer not to. Solid brick ovens take many hours to reach cooking temperature (as opposed to Alfresco ovens which can be cooked in after only 45 minutes) meaning that brick ovens are far less time and fuel efficient than those made of refractory cement. All brick ovens have to be repaired and they all let binding cement fall into the food. Alfresco ovens are made with a one piece dome, resulting in a healthier internal cooking environment.

Do your ovens smoke?

All ovens smoke. Alfresco ovens may smoke during the initial curing process as there is too much moisture in the cement to allow for efficient burning until it is fully cured. Once the oven is cured, you will also find that it will smoke for the first 5 to 7 minutes each time you light it. Your oven may also smoke if you are burning green or wet wood in it, or the burning chamber is receiving too little oxygen.

I haven’t much room in my yard

I do not have vehicle access to the area in which I want my oven situated.

I want my oven built on my second storey balcony.

All of these questions are similar. We have small ovens to suit smaller areas and DIY kits can be built on site. After much experience we have designed mechanical and physical methods of installing ovens just about anywhere. We have installed them on two storey levels and even transported them in lifts within buildings to site.

I am renting or moving soon and I want to be able to take my oven with me.

We manufacture our own stands with wheels. Any of our ovens can be made so that they are portable. Stands start from $500.

Why would I buy an Alfresco oven?

  1. Price. We have the best priced ovens in Australia. Over half of our ovens are sold interstate.
  2. Research. Each year Alfresco spends time and money on extra research. We are constantly looking for new technologies and manufacturing methods in order to improve our ovens.
  3. They work. Alfresco ovens are one of the few currently retailed that generate an even heat throughout the oven. Foods cooked in our ovens do not need to be turned in order to achieve even cooking. The Alfresco oven door can completely shut off the cooking chamber for evenly maintained heat.

Can we have our oven outside without cover?

Yes. Alfresco ovens have been designed for the outdoors, however, it is very important that you keep the moisture out of your oven.  Keeping your oven dry will ensure that your oven works efficiently and will also prolong the life of your oven.  If your oven is exposed to the elements, we recommend that you apply a natural look penetrating concrete sealer to the external render after the curing process is complete and to any porous materials surrounding your oven (eg your stand and slab) which may also absorb water and cause your oven to become wet.  Sealers such as Crommelins Natural Diamond Coat Paving and Concrete Sealer or Dunlop Premium Natural Look Sealer can be purchased from Bunnings.

Acrylic render products such as Dulux Acratex Coventry Coarse can also be applied as a sealer, with the added benefit of being able to change the render colour without having to remove the render provided with your oven.

 The oven on display at Dawsons Garden World, Forrestfield is testament to the longevity of our ovens. It gets watered with the plants twice a day and sits under unguttered eaves and has not been weather-damaged.

Some manufacturers sell plastic covers to protect their ovens, however this is not a good idea for concrete ovens. Closely covering an oven in this fashion hinders natural water vapour transmission which is a must for all concrete products. It also promotes growth of bacteria and mould.  

What is a good working height for my oven?

You should not be stooping or extending your body when working an oven. On average ovens are installed at 900 – 1100mm from the ground. The best way to work out how high your stand should be is to measure from the ground to the tip of your elbow. This height will also allow you to see the fire in the oven when you are seated.

Where can I go to learn how to cook in a wood fired oven?

Our web site details when and where we hold free cooking demonstrations throughout the year. The following books are also useful:

 

Do we have to light our oven immediately?

No. Our ovens are made with premium quality cement and can be left unused until you are ready to light them. Many ovens are manufactured with poor quality products and have to be lit immediately after installation and once every month from then on. Our ovens do not.

Can I cook directly onto the floor of my oven?

Yes. Pizzas, breads and meats can be cooked directly on the bricks in the traditional way. Any mess left on the bricks can be cleaned away simply by moving hot coals to the area in order to burn the bricks clean. Do not spend money on expensive cooking equipment. Because of the even heat generated in our ovens, the cheapest pots and pans will do.

BEWARE. Some ovens are manufactured with their floor bricks sitting directly on insulation fibre. These ovens cannot hold floor temperature and stray fibres which may find their way into your food are a health hazard.

How heavy are your ovens?

Beware of any large ovens (1m internal diameter) which weigh less than 700kgs. Lightweight ovens do not have the mass to maintain heat and prevent structural damage.

Do your ovens come in a kit form?

Yes – all of our domestic wood fired pizza ovens come in kit form. The full kit comes with all components, all you have to supply is water. It comes complete with the render colour of your choice. This kit takes approximately 1 to 1 ½ days to build.