“When I was a young boy, my parents used to take me to the local pizza place. It was a classic Italian pizzeria: lots of little paintings on the wall, red and white checked tablecloths, and a huge wood-fired pizza oven right in the middle of the tiny restaurant. For me, this place was paradise – and the pizza baker was God. I would stand right beside him, mesmerised at the balls of dough being kneaded into rounds, tossed in the air and spun into the most beautifully thin pizza bases. The pizza man would flip them into his oven, and before you knew it – as if by magic, you would have a deliciously crisp pizza – with delicate smoky flavours from his wood-fired oven. I will always remember it feeling like such a treat”.
Pieter Städler is a maker and also the proud founder of Städler Made.
For the last few years, he has been teaching himself how to make the silkiest, stretchiest pizza dough and then began to experiment with making pizzas at home. Without the money to invest in one of the big Italian-style pizza ovens – or the space to accommodate one, he went about designing his wood–fired oven.
He started to experiment – welding, sawing, and grinding his way through many ideas for brilliant ovens – learning much along the way. Through this, he accumulated a great deal of experience which has now resulted in his new design, the Städler Made Outdoor Oven – made entirely from sheets of laser cut corten steel, which can be assembled at home, without the need for any tools.
The Outdoor Oven is affordable, easy to use and allows you to make those amazing wood-fired pizzas in your own back yard. With this oven, anyone can become an expert outdoor cook. Fuelled with wood, the burning logs will release smoky aromas, ensuring whatever you cook will be fused with tasty flavours.
To fire up the Outdoor Oven, simply place and then light a small amount of kindling in the lower void. Once this is burning nicely, you can begin to add bigger pieces of wood to the fire. Inside the top area of the oven, there are two slabs of baking stone. The stones will absorb the heat from the flames and release it back into the food, so when you bake a pizza – it will be sure to have a perfect light crispy base.
After assembling the Outdoor Oven, the raw surface of the corten steel will gradually form a protective layer of rust on it’s surface, which prevents the metal from rusting further. During the initial phase of the rusting process, some flakes of rust may come loose, but after a while this will stop and the oven will get its desired look. The top part of the oven holds two stone baking boards made from high quality cordierite – a food safe material with a very low thermal expansion, which makes it ideal to use in ovens. These baking boards can be cleaned with a dry brush; warm water can be also be used, but soap should be avoided due to the porous nature of the corderite. After cleaning, the oven is ready to be used again once the stone baking boards are completely dry.
Stadler’s ultimate goal isn’t just to make a great oven, it’s to inspire his customers to continue the creativity at home – by making food with fire.