Take Advantage Of Your Preheating Pizza Oven For Delicious Hot Dips

If you are lucky enough to have an outdoor pizza oven on your terrace, deck, or backyard, then you are in possession of a portal to fantastic food year-round. From perfectly crafted pizza to juicy roasted proteins, you can use the roaring fire of an outdoor oven for more than just flatbreads and 'zas, but to create a wide range of dishes.

And, even better, there's plenty of tricks that the mechanism offers as well for multi-course meals. One idea: While the oven preheats to bring it up to a desired cooking temperature, you can use the accumulating heat to make some great appetizers. While pizzas and other main courses may require a rip-roaring fire to cook properly, you can take advantage of the lower heat as the oven warms to make baked cheeses, vegan spinach artichoke spread, and other crowd-pleasing dips for your guests to snack on while the main attraction waits to cook.

Making the most from a preheating pizza oven

One of the drawbacks for using an oven is the need to preheat it. Depending on the appliance's power and the desired cooking temperature, it can be a while before it's hot enough to handle the ingredients you intend to bake or roast. While the energy used for preheating would otherwise be wasted, with this hack you can take advantage of the oven's gradual heat to make other food items.

For example, breads and flatbreads can be heated in a preheating oven. Since the goal is to warm those instead of cooking them all the way through, start the preheating cycle with the cold baked goods already in the oven, checking occasionally until they are fully warmed. In the meantime, you can also throw together a warm dip to serve. Some ideas include cheesy dips like a savory baked clam dip with cream cheese, or chopped baby tomatoes and kalamata olives mixed with feta cheese. 

You can even warm up entire wheels of soft cheese such as camembert and brie. For those wanting something non-dairy, a preheating oven can also be used to heat up a spread made of olive oil, garlic, and anchovies, a perfect companion to fresh crudites.

One pizza oven, many possibilities

While a preheating pizza oven can help you warm up some delectable appetizers, it's also a godsend to cook many other delectable treats. Naturally, the high heat of the oven is great to quickly cook proteins, such as a spatchcocked chicken or a full fish filet, depending on the oven's volume. It is also a fantastic vessel to roast vegetables quickly using the searing heat, such as thick stalks of asparagus, whole tomatoes, sliced potatoes, and quartered eggplant spears.

Outside of savory items, your outdoor pizza oven can also be used to make sweet treats, with some of the best desserts roasted this way, especially if you use a cast iron skillet to do so. For example, you can make a skillet brownie using the residual heat after your pizza has baked, or roast fruits such as peaches and pears to accompany a cold bowl of ice cream. Finally, if you haven't gotten your fill of pizza yet, try spreading Nutella and sliced bananas on dough for a kid-friendly dessert pizza that is both delicious and fun to make.