Summer is the Perfect Time for a Pizza Party with the ISO’ven

Pizza recipes, cooking tips and more
from our resident pizza experts!

Give your outdoor kitchen a fun upgrade - just in time for outdoor summer parties.  If you want a knockout addition to your back patio space for entertaining friends and family, an outdoor pizza oven is the perfect choice! Here’s what you should know about having a pizza oven:

The Difference is In the Taste

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Isokern, the maker of high-end fireplaces, offers the ISO’ven Outdoor Wood Burning Oven, for making pizza and other dishes over a wood burning flame. What makes cooking in the ISO’ven different from your regular indoor oven is the taste.

“The wood-flamed cooking experience is outstanding,” says Instone’s President and CEO, Kevin Grotke, who uses his ISO’ven on a regular basis. “We cook pizzas and do cooking in cast iron skillets to finish off dishes such as macaroni and cheese, lasagna, roast, bullion sauces and red sauces. The richness of flavor from the wood cooking is amazing and so unique. You can make the kind of pizza you would get at a high-end pizzeria in your own backyard.”

The Entertainment Value Alone is Worth It

An outdoor wood-burning pizza oven creates an entire experience for you and your guests.

“It’s a really fun appliance to have,” says Grotke. “It’s a whole event to build the fire, keep the fire going, managing the heat, making the pizza, turning the pizza in the oven while it cooks.”

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Not only does the experience set an outdoor oven apart from an indoor oven, but the pizzas cook very quickly - about four minutes when the oven is up to full heat, which is between 750 and 900 degrees as opposed to a conventional indoor oven that maxes out at 500 degrees. 

Building the fire and getting it up to full heat is a ritual in itself, which takes about an hour. It’s the perfect time for a pre-meal happy hour!

Because the fire is in the back of the oven, turning the pizza to cook it evenly becomes an interactive activity that adds to the fun. Since the pizza cooks quickly, guests can make their own individual pizzas and have them ready at about the same time. That’s definitely a pizza party in the making!

 

Easy Installation

Grotke says the ISO’ven is relatively easy to install because it comes in components. “A medium-skilled DIYer could do it themselves in a couple of hours. Then you would add the stone veneers or whatever finish for the look you want.” He says outdoor cooking and entertaining has definitely become more popular over the last few years. A pizza oven in your backyard can provide a fun focal point for your next party.

 Wood Burn or Gas Starter – Your Choice

While the ISO’ven is intended to burn solid wood fuel, a gas starter is also available. We recommend using cherry, applewood or hickory wood for added flavor.

 

 

How to Make a Great Pizza

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Our resident pizza expert at Instone, CIO Jim Palatine, offered some tips and recipes for making a great pizza. He says he got into making pizza when he saw a shop that made beautiful granite slabs and decided to have a pizza stone made for himself and to give away to friends. He started experimenting with making pizzas at home and trying recipes from what he refers to as the ultimate pizza recipe book: The Pizza Bible: The World's Favorite Pizza Styles.”

He shares some of his best pizza making tips:

The Key to Great Pizza Crust

“The difference between run-of-the-mill pizza and extraordinary pizza comes down to the dough,” says Palatine. “You really want dough that’s been fermented for three days in the refrigerator.  You can make it with any recipe or buy it frozen. Just make sure it is pizza dough, not bread dough. Then put it in the refrigerator and cover it with a film wrap and let it sit for three days. That will give you a really nice elastic texture and it’s easier to make a nice round pizza crust that will have a nice chewy and nutty taste to it. It’s a real game changer.”

Typically, dough is sold in one-pound balls.  Cut the ball in half and make two smaller half-pound balls.  Separate them on a plate dusted with flour, and loosely cover with a plastic bag or anything else so the surface doesn’t dry out.  Leave out at room temperature for at least an hour prior to making pizza.unnamed-2

The Key to Using Ingredients

“Less is more—and use good quality,” Palatine advises. “People often tend to put too much sauce and too many ingredients on a pizza. When you put the sauce on, spread it very thin and sprinkle the other ingredients on. Always use good quality ingredients. If you use mozzarella cheese, use whole milk, don’t skimp with low fat. Get good pepperoni in a natural casing and don’t slice it too thin.”

Some of Jim Palatine’s Favorite Recipes

TIP: Use either corn meal or “Wondra” brand flour, between the pizza peel and the pizza. This enables the dough to slide off pizza peel when putting it into a hot oven.

Arugala pizza

Cheese, Pancetta and Arugula White Pizza (The Palatine Pizza)

  • Have the raw dough in front of you.
  • Put a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and minced garlic down.
  • Add a light coating of shredded mozzarella cheese. Then sprinkle a little feta or goat’s milk cheese.
  • Sprinkle some matchstick slices of pancetta.
  • Cook in the oven until brown and crispy.
  • Dress a bowl of arugula lightly with olive oil and red wine vinegar; put it on top of the hot pizza and let set.

Cheese and Sausage

  • Have the raw dough in front of you.
  • Put down a thin layer of tomato sauce (canned tomatoes in a food processor with salt, pepper and olive oil).
  • Add a light coating of mozzarella cheese.
  • Cut uncased Italian sausage into dime-sized pieces and sprinkle on top.

Cheese and Onion

  • Have the raw dough in front of you.
  • Add a light coating of mozzarella cheese. Add goat’s milk cheese.
  •  
  • Sauté onions with a little bit of sugar until brown.
  • Sauté mushrooms.
  • Sprinkle the dough with the onions and mushrooms then drizzle with truffle oil.
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TIP: Use cherry, applewood or hickory wood in your wood-burning oven for added flavor.

To learn more about the Isokern ISO’ven Outdoor Wood-Burning Oven, visit the Isokern page on the Instone website.

What’s your favorite pizza recipe?

We want to try it! Send your recipes to the Instone team by filling out the form below!

 







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