How to clean a pizza oven: easy-to-follow tips for woodfire, gas and electric models

Follow this step-by-step guide to cleaning your pizza oven

How to clean a pizza oven
(Image credit: Eneida Nieves / Pexels)

If you’re looking for a fun way to cook in your garden this year, then look no further than the best pizza ovens. Whether you’re an Ooni, Gozney or Sage fan, pizza ovens make delicious pizza that’s far better than any frozen option on the market. Pizza oven creations may take slightly longer to prepare than ordering from your local takeaway, but they’re simply unrivalled when it comes to taste, texture and authenticity.

But, even the best pizza ovens need a bit of TLC from time to time. Cleaning your outdoor cooking equipment might seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re tackling a grimey barbecue or dirty pizza oven, but it’s surprisingly easier than you might think.

Here’s our step-by-step guide to cleaning your pizza oven, including tips on how to get started and the tools you’ll need.

Things to remember when cleaning pizza ovens

It’s important to understand the type of pizza oven you have before you start cleaning. There are three types of pizza ovens on the market: wood fired, gas and electric. Depending on the one you own, the clean-up will be different, especially with a wood fired option as it produces more ash than the others. Oftentimes, you’ll also find hybrid options like the Gozney Dome which is gas and wood pellet powered, so make sure you double check what type you have before starting any cleaning.

To keep your pizza oven clean for longer, invest in a waterproof cover so it’s not affected by the elements. If your pizza oven is getting battered by the wind or rain, it can cause the outside to rust and corrode, and if you have one that doesn’t have a door, things can fly inside and contaminate it, making your next meal unhygienic. If you’re not using your pizza oven during winter, make sure to store it properly, too.

How to clean a pizza oven: a step-by-step guide

1. Put your pizza oven on at full temperature

Instead of turning off your pizza oven after you’ve made your pizza, let it run at the highest temperature for at least 30 minutes. What this does is burn off any food or debris on the pizza stone or inside of your oven and turns it into ash which you can sweep up – more on this in the next step. This minimises overall clean up and makes the inside more hygienic, ready for your next meal. After you’ve done this, turn off your pizza oven and let it cool completely.

Pizza entering a wood fire pizza oven

(Image credit: Kajetan Sumila / Unsplash)

2. Remove any ash

Once your pizza oven is off and cool, take a brush and remove the ash and leftover food from inside. Dispose of the ash in a fire pit or compost pile. If you’re using a wood fired pizza oven, take this time to clean out the fuel tray, fuel hopper and chimney if it has one.

3. Clean the pizza stone

The pizza stone is where your pizza sits when it’s being cooked by your pizza oven so it’s often the dirtiest spot. After you’ve removed the ash, carefully remove the pizza stone, flip it over and return it to the oven before turning it up to the highest temperature for 30 minutes.

If there’s still food on your pizza stone after it's cooled, remove it and scrape off the food with a brush or spatula. Rinse it with water and scrub it with a sponge to get rid of any burnt bits that are still lingering. If there’s still food on your pizza stone, tackle this by making a quick cleaning solution, using baking soda and water. Once you’ve made a paste, spread it on the pizza stone and leave it for 5-10 minutes before removing it with a brush. Rinse it with water to remove any excess paste and leave to dry.

4. Wipe down the outside

Once the inside is taken care of, clean the outside of your pizza oven. All you need is warm water and a cloth to give the exterior a wipe to remove grease and ash. For tougher stains, use soapy water but make sure you don’t use any cleaning products with harsh chemicals as this can corrode the metal. Leave your pizza oven to dry before putting everything back together and covering it.

How often should you clean your pizza oven?

As we found in our 5 things I wish I’d known before buying an Ooni pizza oven, pizza ovens are surprisingly easy to clean and don’t get as dirty as you might expect, especially compared to the best smokers. That being said, it’s worth wiping down your pizza oven and its accessories after each use. This just makes your next pizza oven session cleaner, easier and more hygienic. A deep clean like the tutorial above doesn’t need to be done every time but it’s worth doing step 1 and 2 after you’ve made your pizzas. If you start seeing build-up on your pizza stone, then it’s time to do the full cleaning process.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!