pizza

Curing Your New Chicago Brick Oven

Congratulations! You've finally purchased your Chicago Brick Oven, and you are ready to get cooking... Before you build your first cooking fire, it is very important to "cure" your new oven to remove any trace moisture that might be left in it from the manufacturing process. This is a fairly simple, but extremely important step to ensure long life from your oven. The procedure is the same whether you are curing an Amici, an Etna, or a custom installed bundle. You will only have to do this once...

Your "curing fire" needs to be started slowly, and be a long burning fire that stays at a relatively low temperature (no hotter than 212 degrees) in order to heat the moisture out of the refractory grade concrete, but not make it so hot that the concrete cracks. Chicago Brick Ovens are reinforced with stainless steel fibers mixed right into the cement, so small cracks won't hurt, but you are trying to avoid big Liberty-Bell-sized cracks that will affect the oven's performance and life.

Probably the easiest way to maintain a low, slow burning fire is to use regular charcoal. One 15 pound bag of charcoal is just about the right amount. To properly cure your oven, start as much charcoal as will fit in a standard chimney starter until the charcoal is nice and hot. Spread the charcoal evenly around the floor of your new oven, and allow the charcoal to burn until it goes out, then repeat this process until the whole bag of charcoal is gone. You can do this over the course of two or three days if that is more convenient. That's all there is too it! Clean out the ashes from the charcoal, and you're ready to cook!

This process will release any moisture that might be left in the oven. The only time that you might want to repeat this process is if you let your oven sit unused for an extended period of time (many months or more). We are pretty confident that this won't happen, though, because once you have experienced the fun of cooking in one of these ovens and the wonderful taste of the food that comes out, you will be be cooking VERY regularly and often!

Ok, so now you've cured your oven...what to cook? Most people start with pizzas, but very quickly move on to many other recipes. Subscribe to out blog to get recipes that we cook on our Chicago Brick Oven.. Coming soon: Blackened Georges Bank Scallops, Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Fire Roasted Asparagus with Toasted Almonds, and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Shallots and Fresh Tarragon. Bon Appetit!

linguinewclam
linguinewclam
Grilled-Asparagus-Wraps1
Grilled-Asparagus-Wraps1
pizza in wood oven
pizza in wood oven

  Click on the video below to see Carm Parisi (owner of Chicago Brick Oven), demonstrate this oven curing technique. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybx98volOKw

The 2013 PA Garden Expo was a great time!

Recently, Watson Supply sponsored the Featured Gardens and the "Ask the Experts" Stage at the 2013 Pa Garden Expo, held at the Pa Farm Show Complex. Area landscape contractors built 2500 square foot garden exhibits that included Patios, Water Features (including ponds, pondless waterfalls, bubbling fountains, Colorfalls, and overflowing vases), Pergolas, Wood Fired Brick Ovens, Outdoor Kitchens, Plants, and Landscape Lighting. Three times each day, the room lights were turned off so that visitors could experience "Nighttime in the Gardens".  Extensive landscape lighting throughout the displays showcased how beautiful properly designed outdoor lighting can be.  Joe Mishler, Executive Chef at Devon Seafood Grill in Hershey, PA, was on hand cooking pizza in our Chicago Brick Ovens outside the main entrance to the show. Attendance was strong, and interest was high. I think everybody has Spring Fever! Here is short video showing some of the highlights of the show. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyDS5_PKYwI

If you came to the show, what was YOUR favorite thing?  Was it the free brick oven pizza?  The "Nighttime in the Gardens" times?  The Gardens themselves?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you loved about the Expo.  We enjoyed all of it, and it was great being involved.

If you missed it, feel free to browse through our picture galleries and video galleries here on our website.  It is almost like being at the Garden Expo!

You’ll Never look at Pizza the Same Way Again!

Our customers rave about the BBQ Chicken Pizza that we serve them, so I thought we should share our recipe with you. Keep in mind that we cook ours on a wood fired Chicago Brick Oven, so we have the benefit of the smoky flavor that you can only get from a wood fire...but this is really good cooked in a conventional oven, too! Ingredients: Pizza Dough Chicken (Cooked, or buy rotisserie chicken and strip into bite-sized pieces) BBQ Sauce Cheddar Cheese (shredded) Monterey Jack Cheese (shredded) Scallions (chopped) Cilantro (chopped)

Directions: Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F. In a conventional oven, preheat a pizza stone for about 1 hour.

BBQ Pizza
BBQ Pizza

Mix Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. Toss Chicken with BBQ sauce. Place a ball of dough on a lightly floured table or cutting board, flatten into shape using your fingertips. Be sure it will fit on your pizza stone! Quickly add toppings to the dough: Brush a thin coat of BBQ Sauce over the pizza shell. Spread a generous coating of the cheese mixture over the sauce. Spread BBQ chicken pieces over cheese. Top off with chopped scallions and cilantro.

Transfer the pizza to the brick oven or heated pizza stone. In a brick oven, rotate 1/4 turn when the back edge starts getting brown. Repeat until cheese is melted and crust is well browned. In conventional oven, cook for 3 minutes, then switch oven to Broil. Continue to cook until done. Don’t let it burn! Remove from oven, let sit for a few minutes, cut, and Enjoy!

Watson Supply is the PA distributor of Chicago Brick Ovens.  If you are interested in learning more about these ovens and this incredibly versatile method of cooking, please give us a call at 717-238-9730, and one of our experts will answer any questions you have.

What CAN'T you cook in a Wood Fired Brick Oven?

Joe Mishler and Ron Juchem

Joe Mishler and Ron Juchem

That's a good question, and Ron Juchem set out to discover the answer...

pizza and dutch oven in oven
pizza and dutch oven in oven
Dutch Oven
Dutch Oven
Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin
Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Well, after weeks of Sunday experimentation with pizzas cooked in a Chicago Brick Oven, we know that you CAN cook pizza. I spent quite a few Sundays with Joe Mishler, Executive Chef at Devon Seafood Grill in Hershey, PA. Together we went on a culinary journey to explore what all could be accomplished on one of these Wood Fired Brick Ovens. With a bit of creativity, imagination, and just a few ingredients, we spent days coming up with many variations of what could be called pizza, from simple and traditional to gourmet, each one better than the last. We started basic, but the results tasted so good that we quickly got bold with our combinations and turned our backyard into an open air gourmet kitchen! We started with Margherita pizza (dough, sauce, mozzarella, basil, and spices), and ended up at BBQ Chicken Pizza and Seafood Pizza with shrimp & scallops. After discovering what all kinds of pizza we could create in this wood fired oven, I think the words “take-out” and “frozen” will leave our vocabulary, at least when talking about pizza!

Dessert pizza
Dessert pizza

You can only eat so much pizza, so we soon began experimenting with what else we could cook in our oven. Pork, Chicken, Seafood, Lamb, Beef, Desserts; the sky was the limit! Soon enough, our Sunday gatherings started to grow and we had progressed to serving up dishes like garlic infused flat iron steak, baby back BBQ ribs, whole pork tenderloins and herb crusted lollipop lamb chops. Desserts included cherry cobbler and peach cobbler pizza topped with mascarpone cheese and drizzled with honey.

So after weeks of cooking, we can’t really answer the question of what CAN’T be cooked in a Wood Fired Brick Oven. What we discovered was this: If it can fit through the door of the oven, you CAN cook it!

-Ron Juchem

Watson Supply is the PA distributor of Chicago Brick Ovens.  If you are interested in learning more about these ovens and this incredibly versatile method of cooking, please give us a call at 717-238-9730, and one of our experts will answer any questions you have.

Nothing beats pizza made with your own sauce!

Joe Mishler B&W

Joe Mishler B&W

We recently had the privilege of enjoying some pizzas cooked by Joe Mishler on our Chicago Brick Oven using Joe’s own sauce recipe. Joe is the Executive Chef at Devon Seafood Grill in Hershey, PA, so you could say that he knows cooking! The pizzas were some of the best we’ve ever tasted. Joe was nice enough to share his sauce recipe with us so that we could share it with you. Use this recipe as it is, or feel free to adjust amounts or ingredients to make it your own. Keep in mind, the fresher the ingredients, the better the sauce will taste. Also, cooking outside on a wood-fired oven adds smoky flavor and makes the whole experience even better. Enjoy! Pizza Sauce

15 oz can of tomato sauce 1 tbsp dry basil 1 tsp dry oregano 1 tsp onion powder 1 tsp garlic powder (add extra for garlic lovers) 1 tsp kosher salt 1 tsp black pepper 1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

Mix all together and blend well. For best flavor, make sauce 2-3 hours before use

Makes 4-5 16 inch pizzas

Chef using ladle to spread sauce on a pizza

Chef using ladle to spread sauce on a pizza

Pizza in wood oven

Pizza in wood oven

Subscribe to our blog for more outdoor cooking recipes, ideas, tips & tricks.  We feature Outdoor Living at its finest; Landscape Lighting, Water Features, Hardscaping, Outdoor Kitchens, Cooking, and more!  If you need help making your outdoor dream a reality, the experts at Watson Supply can help! Give us a call at 717-238-9730.