Cooks diversifying use of wood-burning ovens

Oct. 14, 2009
Wood-fired ovens have recently gained traction in the world of pizza, as their high heat level cooks quickly and imparts a particular flavor. But more restaurants are using the receptacles for more than just that, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Wood-fired ovens allow for precise heat control, and the wood and temperature coax flavor layers in dishes from side items to proteins.
From the Chronicle:
'If you're going to (use your wood-burning oven only for pizza),' explains (Loretta Keller, Coco500 chef/owner), 'you have to run your oven at 900 degrees. You can cook a pizza in two minutes that way.'
Keller says that she wanted to use her oven to be more versatile, so she keeps her 6-foot oven in the 600 degree range. That allows her to turn out a whole roasted fish, chicken with panzanella and a crusted salt cod brandade -- plus a host of other appetizers.
Temperature is a key factor for John Franchetti as well, who attempts to use the oven at his Rosso Pizzeria & Bar in Santa Rosa for both pizza and other dishes, though he admits it takes finessing.
'We use it both for the beginning heat and the ending heat,' says the chef, who explains that the temperature will peak for the pizzas during the lunch and dinner rush, but cools down in between for everything else, such as like meatballs, braised shortribs, and agrodolce peppers with rosemary sweet and sour sauce.


Topics: Independent Operation , Operations Management , Trends / Statistics

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