Culinary ‘Controversy’ for Your Wood-fired Oven

November 8, 2021

A recent M&S social media post of a fully loaded ‘stone baked’ cheeseburger pizza, caused all manner of culinary controversy recently, going way beyond the levels of offence caused by ham and pineapple pizzas! Although not a wood-fired oven creation, Orchard Ovens homed in on the resulting debate.

This thicker-crust pizza similar to the one in this photo, was topped with M&S house-cheese blend, crumbled beef burger, American cheese sauce, sauteed onions and sliced gherkins and drizzled with special burger sauce.  Social media user comments included “disgusting” and the suggestion was that you should either eat a pizza or a burger but not both. You can decide for yourself with this recent online review, one of many posted to the web.

But, as with the ham and pineapple scenario, isn’t it just a matter of personal taste?  Aren’t pizza bases there to be topped with anything that takes your fancy?

The joys of wood-fired cookery

One of the joys our wood-fired pizza oven owners derive from their wood-fired oven cookery is that of creativity and invention in their cuisine – the art of culinary experimentation in their artisan ovens.  So, to provide more inspiration on this score, for you and your artisan wood-fired garden oven, Orchard Ovens has collated details of some of the more adventurous toppings that our commercial Valoriani wood-fired oven owners serve up in their restaurants.

Topping suggestions for your wood-fired pizza

At Oakfired at the Royal Oak in Beccles, diners can enjoy Hola Pollo, an absolutely divine sounding smoked paprika chicken and chorizo pizza, with sundried tomato, roasted red peppers, garlic, mascarpone, mozzarella, tomato and oil.

Ffwrnews Pizza, who you may have seen in the ‘Pizza Boys’ series, or been lucky enough to track down at Cardiff Market, could inspire you with their Fennel Sausage pizza, with this sausage served up with mozzarella, tomato, red onion, Pecorino cheese and chilli flakes and finished off with black pepper and extra virgin olive oil.

Bumbellinis, at the Boundary Outlet in Colne, has pizzas you could recreate in your own woodburning oven. You could try either Bee Sting (tomato, mozzarella, spicy ‘Nduja sausage, mixed peppers and red chillies, topped with rocket and drizzled honey), or Taste of India (madras sauce, mozzarella, spring onions, shredded chicken and chillies, finished with yogurt and mint sauce and coriander

Bella Mia Pizza in Hardwicke, Gloucestershire, has two offerings that might be well worth trialling in your home wood-fired pizza oven.  Why not try to create the Bolognese Meat Feast, which sees the pizza topped with homemade Bolognese sauce, salami, oven roasted chicken and garlic oil and topped with Parmesan and basil? Alternatively, combine barbecued food with pizza, by emulating the BBQ Chicken Pizza – slow-roasted oven chicken, BBQ sauce and mozzarella.

At the Red Lion, in Boundary, Cheshire, the wood-fired Valoriani oven serves up a combination of Chinese and Italian cuisine, in the form of Crispy Duck pizza.  This duck, spring onion, cucumber and hoisin sauce pizza really does give you the best of both worlds and is something you could definitely attempt in your garden, next time you fire up your wood-fired oven.

The Whisk and Pickle is a fabulous outside catering company that brings artisan pizzas to corporate and private clients, from its artisan Valoriani oven.  Many of its toppings are highly creative, but we picked Clucking Hell – a tomato base, with tandoori chicken, garlic, mozzarella and signature vindaloo sauce. Ready to give it a go?

Cooking more than pizza in an artisan wood-fired oven

But, as an owner of one of Orchard Ovens’ artisan ovens from Valoriani, don’t forget you can cook far more than pizza in your woodfired oven.  Its capacity to cook almost anything you want to rustle up that can be cooked in a standard oven, is something our commercial wood-fired oven owners recognise, as can be seen at the Sutor Creek Café in, Scotland.

There, you can get an exciting Black Isler pizza, topped with local haggis, black pudding, mushrooms and bacon on a margherita base, or you could alternatively enjoy a Seafood Pizza, with prawns, mussels, squid, anchovies, capers, sundried tomatoes and spring onions, on the same base.

However, you can also tuck in to the mouth-watering Sunday Roast Black Isle lamb, slow-cooked overnight in the Valoriani artisan wood-fired oven, and served with roasted squash and garlic, seasonal vegetables, roast potatoes and lamb gravy.  The fact an eatery (currently operating as a deli and takeaway) which has starred in the Michelin Guide (2016-19) and which was one of The Times newspaper’s Top 20 Secret Foodies Restaurants in the UK (2013), chose a Valoriani oven supplied by Orchard Ovens as its wood-fired goddess is something that fills us with immense pride.  We also suspect that this roast lamb dish is something of which most of the M&S social media commentators would definitely approve.

Culinary adventures with your artisan wood-fired oven

Why not get experimental with your wood-fired garden oven from Orchard Ovens and tap into both your love of food and the artisan oven’s extreme potential?  The more you experiment, the more you will enrich your life as a wood-fired oven owner, whether you have a bespoke build for your oven, a flexible artisan Fornino oven, an indoor wood-fired oven, or an oven that is part of your outdoor kitchen.

To learn more about our superb Artisan range of ovens and outdoor kitchen creations call 01772 250000 or email