Most people think first of a barbecue when it comes to cooking outdoors, but constant tending and burgers that are burnt on the outside and underdone in the middle highlight the limitations of this style of cooking. A more versatile option, and one that is growing in popularity, is an outdoor wood burning oven made from bricks or clay. A simple domed oven cooks delicious pizzas in the authentic Italian manner in just a few minutes. Choose an oven with a door, so you can keep the heat in after the fire has been extinguished, and the possibilities are almost endless: meat, fish, casseroles, bread and cakes all take their turn as the oven gradually cools and you can have a sumptuous feast for outdoor entertaining.


These ovens work by storing the heat produced by the fire and then radiating it back. So the key features are heat retention and insulation. You can buy a ready made oven or build your own.