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Brick Ovens: Even, Efficient Heat
Brick ovens are one of the best ways to make crisp, flavorful pizzas. Find out what separates them from everyday appliances with Groupon’s guide to these brick bakers.
The inside of a brick oven can reach temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, but, if it’s built right, it’ll be barely warm to the touch. Brick ovens’ ability to keep a lot of heat inside is the reason why pizza chefs and bakers around the world stoke the flames every day as happily as a kid who just got a pet dragon. The intensity and uniformity of the heat mean that it may take little more than a minute to get a pizza with perfectly bubbly mozzarella and a golden crust—and, as a side benefit, a deliciously charred flavor.
The ovens absorb heat uniformly into their dense walls, where it lingers to evenly bake dishes from every direction. In fact, although wood, coal, or gas flames do provide the initial heat, they’re not what cooks the pizza—the bricks themselves do. Unlike metal or slabs of cake, bricks and other earthen materials radiate the heat they’ve soaked up gradually, rather than bouncing it straight back. Depending on the design, the fire may be inside the cooking chamber or may heat it from without, and in either case, the interior can remain hot enough to bake bread long after the last embers have gone out.