Hi! I’m JOHN PLATT owner of LoveWoodOven.com Thanks for stopping by.
I have a passion for the outdoors and food. The perfect combination is using my wood fired oven to create some fantastic food to feed my family, friends and now your next event!
A wood fired oven is not just for pizza (although the pizza is amazing!) but a whole range of amazing food can be cooked using a wood fired oven.
Here is my story about cooking outside for the 1st time – this is where it all started for me…….
There is something fantastic about cooking outside. My first memories are when I was about 7 years old in the early 80’s travelling to France with my mum and dad for a family summer holiday. My dad loved French supermarkets and in the UK they were nothing like they are now. They sold literally everything you could think of including horse meat! As we were shopping for supplies for our caravan my dad spotted a barbecue. A small cast iron construction rectangular in shape with 4 detachable legs, 2 sides that would fold up and an aluminium tray that would slot in at the back to hold the sides in place. A small grill was then placed in the slots and could be adjusted for different cooking temperatures. The best bit about this ‘new technology’ was it also came with ‘Avec Motor’ my dad loved gadgets and this was cutting edge outdoor cooking. I remember him shouting over to my mum ‘Pam, look at this A-Vec-Motor’ she did not have time to to reply as the barbecue was straight in the trolley and at 10 Francs was a bargain. The only issue now was finding a battery to power said motor which is no easy task in a supermarket the size of Wembley stadium. It took 1 ‘D’ size battery and probably cost as much as the BBQ. The next thing was to buy a chicken – why a chicken I hear you cry, well on the box of the BBQ showed a picture of a typical French family enjoying a dinner outside and cooking on the BBQ was a whole chicken, on a skewer with the motor at one end that would slowly rotate the chicken and cook it to perfection. So we found a chicken, lumpwood charcoal, lighter fluid, matches and tinfoil. OK so now you’re thinking why do you need tinfoil? To wrap the chicken up? Nope – this was to line the bottom of the BBQ to protect it from from the hot charcoal. No idea why we needed to do this but this tin foil ritual continued for years.
So after this epic shop we drove back to the caravan site and dad cracked open a ‘stubby’ larger and set to work building the new BBQ. It took several ‘stubbies’ to finish as ‘All the bloody instruction are in French Pam’ dad would report back to mum. Anyway we got there in the end – mum skewered the chicken and dad lit the BBQ. He knew the coals had to turn white as the box had a picture with the French version of the Brady Bunch on enjoying the perfect family chicken dinner. So about 45 minutes later the coals were ready and dad proudly mounted the skewered chicken on the BBQ, attached the motor on the end and switched to on. Boom – we have lift off. The motor clunked into action, grinding as it tried to turn the massive chicken. By this time it was well past the traditional UK dinner time of 5:00pm and I was hungry. You didn’t have cheese strings to nibble on in the 80’s and I was moaning. ‘mum I’m hungry’ ‘when will tea be ready’ you know the script. What my dad had underestimated was the time a massive chicken would take to cook on a spit roast BBQ. So another 2 ½ hours later and extra charcoal to keep the heat at cooking temperature the chicken was cooked. It was way past my bedtime by now but we were all starving so we had the chicken with french bread with lashings of salty butter. It tasted amazing and skin was cooked to perfection – there was only the 3 of us but we fished the whole thing off. So this is where my outdoor cooking adventure started. I have my dad to thank for starting me on the outdoor food path and creating great tasty food.
So moving on 30 years (or so…) and still on my cooking journey I have invested in outdoor wood pizza ovens. They are so versatile and easy to use plus if it rains – no problem the fire is not affected and the cooking temperature is stable. People tend to think they are just a pizza oven but then are more than this. You can cook a full beef joint, lamb, pork with amazing crackling and of course perfect pizza cooked at 400 degrees Celsius.