"Always start out with a larger pot than
what you think you need."
— Julia Child

Bakeware For Wood Fired Ovens

Christina Perez
• Thursday, 03 December, 2020
• 8 min read

Long handled peels make oven ownership feel “official” and most of us find ourselves paging through the Le Crest website dreaming of overnight spicy lamb shoulder or traditional French assault. It’s hard to beat cast iron for heat retention and delivering a perfect sear.

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(Source: www.williams-sonoma.com)


Check out our Tuscan grill blog for ideas on how to take advantage of its quick and even cooking. Food placed directly on the hot floor gets even, efficient conduction.

Once meat is seared it releases easily and can be served or moved to another vessel to finish cooking. I generally heat an iron skillet or fajita pan for searing meat in order to collect any juices.

Even then, bear in mind that materials rated for “high heat” (usually advertised as safe up to 700° or 800°) may not be able to handle sustained exposure to those temperatures. An expensive Dutch oven from Le Crest comes with cautionary remarks: “composite knobs heat-resistant up to 500 degrees” and “exterior enamel resists chipping and cracking.” I save my Le Crest cookware for down cycle cooking, re-heating, and serving.

If you want your Le Crest to stay pristine, set it in front of the oven to warm and then use it for serving, but keep it well away from an open flame. Even porcelain pans marketed for wood -burning ovens are going to show wear and tear.

The buying guide pictures a variety of hotel pans, showing length, width, depth, capacity, along with lids. Major restaurant supplies sell hotel pans: Restaurant, Ace Mart, etc.

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(Source: firewalkerovens.com)

We encourage new oven owners to start with an inventory of these, the best pans for learning how to manage heat zones. As appealing as the beautiful glazed and enameled pans are (and they’re often advertised for wood -burning ovens) they are heavier, more fragile and better suited for serving.

Tolerate is one of the oldest and largest manufacturers of stainless steel small ware and makes quality hotel pans, that are highly rated for workmanship and appearance. These heavy-duty pans are sized perfectly for a 40 or 50 internal diameter oven.

A Tolerate 68257 Wear-Ever Economy Aluminum 7.5 Quart Baking / Roast Pan, it is light enough to lift at the end of a paddle or peel and has convenient handles that lay flat and don’t interfere with stacking. The handles are easy to catch with a bubble popper and helpful for carrying a heavy roast inside.

It should be ideal for holding large roasts or a Thanksgiving turkey, things that stretch my current favorite to capacity. Depending on the roast size brisket could be a good place to use a 4 deep full-sized hotel pan.

The edges are slightly tapered, some with lugs (ridges) that enable the pans to stack and come apart easily. I have a stack of half size pans that I use for food prep, storage, and cooking.

bella oven pizza grande fired wood living
(Source: firewalkerovens.com)

They put on a show, flipping the wings in the air to coat them with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper; no stirring, no contaminated utensils, just an effortless toss every once in a while to ensure all the wings cooked evenly. When the wings were roasted to perfection, they poured them onto a serving platter, or tossed them one last time with a sweet and spicy sauce.

I reheat vegetables like mashed potatoes by rigging up a double boiler with two different depth stacking hotel pans. When we do a mobile pizza oven party, the small 4-6 hotel pans with lids stack efficiently in coolers.

Once at the party site we can set up an assembly line, take lids off of containers with pizza toppings, cheeses, and sauces ready to go. There are uses for ones past their shiny prime: for lids, for smoking, for platforms, for holding coals, for tool storage.

We love using our Nether ton Prospector Pan for hues ranchers (comes with handy lid too!) Again made of cast iron so it needs thorough heating before use but is fantastic for steaks, barbecuing, smoking fish, so much else.

For lower temperatures, we happily use ceramics and enamels pans like Le Crest. What we do do however is put them back in the cooling oven after we’ve finished cooking and once the pans have been washed.

oven bella pizza ultra bravo fired wood living forno
(Source: firewalkerovens.com)

Our producer, located in southern Spain, has been making terracotta pizza oven bakeware and decorative products for over 100 years. The first time you use one of our terracotta pizza oven bakeware products, please follow these important curing instructions.

Terracotta comes in two styles, and Forgo Bravo only sells the higher-quality, “stoneware” variety. Cooking in terracotta results in a moist, even heat that remains in the pan long after it is taken from your oven, helping to keep food warm.

The clay can retain and transmit flavors between meals, so many people prefer to cook sweet and savory items in different pots. Very fine cracks (crazing) can form in the glaze inside your pot over time.

In these cases, a bathtub or large plastic bucket are the best solutions, as each piece needs be fully submerged in water. Water ‘cures’ the terracotta and needs time to soak-in effectively, which will add both strength and weight.

Even if your casseroles are destined for cooking purposes straight away, a good soaking is always recommended, as it will ‘toughen up’ your terracotta for more durability and a longer lifespan. Notes: Although our terracotta cookware is fired at quite high temperatures, unless it is soaked, it could suffer from ‘thermal shock’, which may result in cracking.

pizza peel pro ooni ovens oven fired wood
(Source: firewalkerovens.com)

Notes: Spanish terracotta cookware can become extremely hot, so handle it with care during and after cooking. Terracotta also has wonderful insulating qualities and will keep food hot longer than other cookware.

When serving food in terracotta, it is worth keeping in mind that the piece will remain hot for longer than expected, even if it has been on the table for some time! The process of immersing it in water only needs to be done once (not each time it is used, ) though you can briefly rinse the pot and lid prior to each used to get it wet.

Notes: Do not put cold food straight into a hot terracotta pan unless you have heated some oil in the bottom first. After using your casserole pan, we recommend washing your terracotta by hand, although it can be placed in the dishwasher.

We bought some Caste Aluminum non-stick very low baking trays and pots with metal lids. Caste are aluminum cast and machined with a non-stick lining.

We find them very good for the Who oven, the big advantage is they are light as there not cast iron and easy to use. Also, I have a Pair of Tucker Burn guard cooks 15inch mitten gauntlets which are rated to 450 deg F, made in Nomex the stuff of fireproof suits for military aviation etc.

fornobravo contest wood fired oven ovens pizza
(Source: www.fornobravo.com)

I handle pans hotter than 450F, and they are ok Providing they are dry and you don't hang on for too long. Don't do what I did use one glove, a pan about 300C for flashing food and start to drop it, the pan started to slip, so I caught it with my bare hand and moved it to the table alongside, fearing going to casualty I held it in iced water for about 3 hours, bloody cold, luckily I was suitably Anesthetized, next day expecting the worst, they seemed Ok if a little glazed and tender, a week later you would not know anything had happened.

I could not find suitable grills to go over the roasting pans, so I had these made at work, the bars are 5 mm stainless rod, the rounded feet are to put on the oven floor if I use it as a trivet to keep the pan off the oven floor or to cook steak on in the oven (No pan under). Interesting topic as I was in Macro the other day and noticed they do shallow iron pans (steel handles) at very reasonable prices i.e. a 28 cm frying pan was less than a tenner.

Not suitable for long term/time stuff but I'm hoping to do breakfast for 20+ following a pizza party, and they'll do very well. I bought a stainless pan with a SS handle from Amazon £20 is but its not non-stick. If you can get Caste good for eggs, bacon etc.

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