How to clean an outdoor pizza oven (the RIGHT way)

Pizza parties are always a good time! What isn’t pleasant is seeing a filthy pizza oven run like a boss to satisfy everyone’s hunger during the party. My heart melts when I see my bad boy filthy after a pizza party is ended and all the guests have left. Yes, I’m referring to the show-stopping oven that produced delectable pizzas.

It just takes a few basic steps to clean an outdoor pizza oven, which is a straightforward operation if you have the necessary materials.

While cooking, it is usual to produce stains and burnt areas; nevertheless, if these stains and spills are not cleaned promptly, the accumulation may develop soot, which will lead to bacteria growth as well as ugly and unappealing food.

You’ll also have to deal with residual ashes in the case of wood-fired ovens. It would help if you cleaned your outdoor oven after a specific time to guarantee that it consistently produces flavorful pizzas.

To be safer and extend your oven’s life, I recommend cleaning after each large cooking round and when you call it a day. At least, that’s how I do things. What occurs is that you ensure that the oven’s life and performance are not shortened due to your carelessness.

Continue reading to discover “how to clean an outdoor pizza oven correctly in simple steps” if you want your oven to give you wonderful pizzas again and time again.

Do Outdoor Pizza Ovens need to be cleaned?

Without a doubt, outdoor pizza ovens are supposed to be self-cleaning. Brick and wood-fired ovens’ high temperatures burn down spills and prevent microbial development. However, while sliding or turning the pizza inside the oven, cheese or toppings may fall, or sauce may flow.

It may emit a foul odor when completely burned, and some stains may be difficult to remove. This may also impact the taste of the pizzas prepared later. On the other hand, cleaning and maintenance play a key role in ensuring the proper operation of your outdoor pizza oven.

Outdoor pizza ovens need a significant expenditure, and installation is an additional challenge. The last thing you want after investing your money and work is to have an awful taste of pizza.

To enjoy the pleasures of an outdoor pizza party, clean your pizza oven at least once a week. However, if you use your pizza oven frequently, you may need to clean it regularly to avoid ash and grime buildup.

The stainless body is more filthy than the brick oven’s exterior. However, cleaning the outside is also a good idea. Cleaning your outdoor pizza oven may be a difficult process at first, but if you know the appropriate methods and have the right instrument, it becomes rather simple to make your ovens as clean as before.

Let me talk about how I clean my ovens. Assume we’re talking about any portable outdoor pizza oven because they’re popular and widely utilized. Don’t worry. The tips and tricks will work on any pizza oven.

Assume I had my wonderful Ooni Koda 16 running on a party today, and the party is over. It’s time to tidy up!

Let’s go through these stages one by one.

Cleaning an Ooni Pizza Stone

Cordierite is the most common pizza stone used in outdoor pizza ovens. It absorbs heat well, creating wonderful pizzas while ensuring that the base is evenly baked.

Ooni pizza stones successfully deliver properly cooked pizza crust. These stones are often constructed of high thermal mass ceramic and cordierite. They absorb heat and help to keep the oven at a high temperature.

When pizza is placed on the pizza stone surface, the bottom of the pizza base crisps up more uniformly and efficiently than when baked on a regular baking sheet.

Why Should you Clean your Ooni Pizza Stone?

Pizza stones provide a crispy and uniformly cooked crust but require special care to maintain their durability and quality. Because of their porous surface, they absorb sauce or other liquid spills.

If not thoroughly cleaned, the accumulation may burn on the following usage, resulting in mold and an unpleasant odor from the pizza crust.

Can I use water or soap to clean my pizza oven stone?

Because of its porous surface, the pizza stone, unlike normal baking pans, should not be immersed in hot water for an extended period. When exposed to high temperatures, the stone absorbs water and may shatter. So, water and soap are out!

So, how do you clean your pizza stone if you don’t have two of them?

Step 1: The best way to clean Ooni pizza oven stone

If you’re short on time, leave the pizza stone in the oven at a high temperature for a few minutes. Because the pizza stones are comprised of heat-conducting material, they can withstand extremely high temperatures without being destroyed.

After the oven has cooled, remove the pizza stone and wipe away the burned particles with an Ooni Pizza Oven brush. However, the proper approach is to set aside time and follow simple procedures to clean your Ooni pizza stone thoroughly.

Tools Required to Clean Ooni Pizza Stone

Before cleaning, let your pizza stone cool to room temperature. If it is too hot to touch, you can burn your hand before even cleaning your pizza stone. In addition, exposing a heated pizza stone to water might produce fractures on the surface of the pizza stone.

Any procedure needs some important instruments to be completed correctly and successfully. Some of these items are likely to be found in your kitchen; if not, you should get your hands on some of these useful instruments.

Ooni Pizza Oven Brush

Ooni has various pizza oven cleaning equipment to guide you through the process. The Ooni pizza oven brush is designed to remove debris, ash residue properly, and burned particles from the oven. It has a long wooden handle and is a 2-in-1 pizza oven brush and scraper tool.

This wooden handle allows for careful cleaning of the oven’s furthest corner. It has a stainless-steel scraper and bristles that give durability and aid in simple cleaning.

You can also check the following pizza oven brush from amazon.

Ooni Pizza Oven Gloves

Ooni’s super heat-resistant gloves are created with an extremely comfortable leather shell and internal aluminum insulation, ensuring they stay heat-resistant even at very high temperatures.

They are a must-have item while working with high temperatures or handling extremely hot materials. They are ranked among the top heat-resistant gloves in the world.

Bench Scraper

A bench scraper is a versatile item that may greatly simplify your cleaning routine. It’s useful for scraping stubborn material from your pizza stone. It is composed of stainless steel so that it will endure longer.

This multi-purpose tool may be used as a dough cutter and scraper. The cylindrical handle gives a secure grasp, while the measuring guide aids in exact measures.

You can also check the following bench scraper from amazon.

Scouring Pad

The scouring pad aids in the removal of dirt and food residue from the surface of pizza stones. Because the pizza stone has a porous surface, the scouring pad scrubs away even the smallest particles within the pores of the pizza stone.

How to Clean the Pizza Stone?

The flour, residual dough, pizza sauce, and cheese drips get on the pizza stone. These particles harden and dry as the next pizza bakes in the oven.

If you don’t clean your pizza stone, these spills will accumulate with each baking session, making cleanup tough. It is best to clean your pizza stone anytime there are any remaining spills or dirt particles.


Typically, we use “Pyrolysis” to clean our pizza stone. Pyrolysis, in a nutshell, is the heat breakdown of organic material in the absence of oxygen.

After cooking the pizzas, set the heat to high and leave the oven for 20-30 minutes. Check that the pizza stone is still in there and has yet to be removed. The residual material will break down due to the strong high temperature, and your pizza stone will become clean.

When you see that the stone isn’t clean enough, could you switch off the oven and let it cool? Put on your gloves and carefully remove the pizza stone from the oven. Scrap any remaining particles with your brush, and you’re ready to go.

Repeat the method described above if you are not pleased with the cleaning. If you still need to be happier, try the techniques listed below. We’ve covered everything for your convenience.

Ooni pizza stones are usually replaceable, as are the stones in other ovens. As a result, removing the stone is relatively simple. To clean your Ooni pizza stone, follow these simple steps:

If you have just finished baking, allow your pizza stone to cool down to room temperature.

  • Place the pizza stone near the sink after removing it.
  • Wipe a cloth with a little hot steam water while wearing gloves.
  • The stone dislodges the residue on the pizza stone’s surface.
  • Scrape off the charred food using a bench scraper or a blunt knife.
  • Dust clean the scraped pieces with an Ooni pizza brush in a circular motion.
  • Wipe the pizza stone off with a moist towel or cloth.
  • Replace the pizza stone in the oven and bake at high heat.

Baking your pizza stone is only suggested if you use it sparingly. However, you may need to include the last step if you are a skilled baker. Another thing to consider is that water may not be essential if the dried material can be readily scraped off.

How to Clean Stains from Pizza Stone

This is accomplished by the use of the previously described pyrolysis effect. Here’s a full step-by-step approach that you can follow. Because the pizza stone absorbs moisture from the pizza dough to make it crispier, stains will form on the surface of the pizza stone.

Some believe that stains on pizza stones are beneficial because they give taste to the pizza. However, for others, this website may be offensive.

If you want to remove unwanted stains from your pizza stone, then follow these steps:

  • Using a bench scraper or a metal spatula, remove the dried residue.
  • In a small bowl, combine equal parts of baking soda and water to make a mixture.
  • Rub this mixture in a circular motion across the surface of the pizza stone with a tiny brush until the stain is cleared.
  • If you have persistent grease stains, treat them with the prepared mixture and let the stone for a few minutes before cleaning them away.
  • Repeat the process until all stains have been eliminated and you have a clean canvas.
  • Wipe away the residue with a moist towel and let the stone dry.

Baking soda will efficiently remove the stains while preserving the pizza’s flavor. Because the stains will not impair the operation of the pizza stone, you should be unconcerned about them. However, the darker the stone, the more flavorful the pizza.

How to Clean Burnt spots from Pizza Stone

Spots that are burned are hard to remove and require special care. Follow these steps to clean the burnt areas of the pizza stone:

Preheat the oven to its highest setting.

  • Wait at least 30 minutes with the pizza stone inside the oven.
  • You may detect smoke from the bubbles popping from scorched regions while the stone is still in the oven. Don’t be alarmed; this is exactly what we intend to do.
  • Allow the oven to cool completely before removing the pizza stone.
  • Remove the charred flakes with a bench scraper or a metal spatula, being careful not to scratch the surface.
  • Wipe the stone down with a moist towel and lay it aside to dry thoroughly.

How to Clean a Moldy Pizza Stone

Molds occur on pizza stones that have been exposed to excessive moisture. This may occur if the pizza stone has yet to be thoroughly dried after cleaning. Don’t be concerned! You don’t have to get rid of your pizza stone.

We have got you covered with these simple steps:

  • In a separate basin, combine equal amounts of baking soda and vinegar to make a mixture.
  • Circularly rub this mixture on the surface of the pizza stone with a little brush or cloth.
  • Wipe off the pizza stone with a moist towel and lay it aside until totally dry.

If this procedure does not remove the molds, it is best to replace the pizza stone with a new one. I know it’s difficult to throw away your pizza stone, but it’s the only way. The moldy stone will ultimately crumble since it cannot withstand the oven’s high temperatures.

Things to avoid while cleaning a Pizza Stone

The last thing you want is to crack the pizza stone due to misunderstandings. Certain items should be avoided when cleaning the pizza stone.

  • Please don’t use too much water or soak your pizza stone in it overnight. It merely makes your pizza stone more prone to breaking. Wipe away any dirt with as little water as possible.
  • Never use detergent, soap, or shampoo to clean the pizza stone. The porous surface of the pizza stone will absorb these compounds, transferring tier flavor to the next baking cycle.
  • If you use a sharp knife to scrape off the dried food, you risk damaging the surface of the pizza stone. Instead, use a bench scraper or a blunt knife.

Congratulations if you can avoid these things! You will be able to use your pizza stone for a long time.

Step 2: Cleaning the Inside

After cleaning the pizza stone, clean the inside of your oven. Because of the severe high-temperature range, the interior of the outdoor pizza ovens is scorching hot, causing drips of sauce and cheese to burn instead of clinging to the cooking chamber.

Regular cleaning is required to maintain your oven performing as well as it was initially installed.

Tools Required to Clean Inside of the Outdoor Pizza Oven

Cleaning the oven’s interior may take some time, but the operation may be quick if you have the correct equipment. These tools are highly advised before beginning the cleaning procedure.

Ash Rake

Most outdoor pizza ovens are wood-fired, which means there will be ash residue. An ash rake is useful for collecting ash without getting your hands filthy. This ash rake is made of stainless steel, which resists corrosion and cracking.

It boasts a 25.2-inch-long heat-resistant handle for a secure grip and safety. This multi-purpose tool may be used to clean fireplaces and grills.

You can buy it from amazon by clicking here.

Ash Can

The ashcan collects the ash for subsequent disposal. This ashcan comes with a shovel and plenty of space to fill. After usage, you may store the shovel in a little compartment attached to the bucket. The lid prevents ash from pouring onto your outdoor floor.

You can buy it by clicking here.

Waterproof Gloves

Cleaning an outdoor oven entails dealing with a significant mess. Therefore, a pair of waterproof gloves are essential for your safety and for keeping your hands clean. Get your hands on these silicon-made, heat-resistant, and waterproof gloves for pleasant and safe cleaning.

You can buy waterproof gloves by clicking on this link.

Collect the Ash

Because wood-fired pizza ovens work at such high temperatures, the strong heat burns spilled or burnt food particles from the oven and form soot. During each baking process, the high temperatures burn and evaporate the soot. However, all that remains are the ashes!

Because ash can impair the performance and flavor of the meal, it is best to remove it after each baking session.

. Follow the steps to collect the ash.

  • Once the oven has returned to its normal temperature, could you wait for it to cool down?
  • In the ashcan, dispose of the ash that accumulates at the base of the oven using an ash rake or shovel.

Scrape off the Interior

Most spills and drips have dried out due to the extreme heat. It will now be simple to scrape the oven’s walls and base. It would help if you merely scraped the debris away.

  • Scrape off any dried-out food with an Ooni pizza brush or other scrapers.
  • Use a dull knife to avoid damaging the cooking area.
  • Collect the residual filth in the ashcan with a shovel once again for later disposal.

Step 3: Cleaning the Exterior

Cleaning the oven’s exterior is dependent on the material used. Brick ovens seldom become filthy and are resistant to corrosion. They don’t require any particular care; dust them with a brush, and they’re sparkling clean.

However, if the oven’s outside is composed of stainless steel, you will need to set aside some time for cleaning.

Stainless steel reflects fingerprints and even the smallest dirt particles. You may remove the filth using a moist towel. Non-caustic cleansers can also remove stains or greasy streaks on the outer body.

After cleaning, ensure the oven door is properly closed to prevent rainwater from pouring into the oven. It is advised to use a pizza oven cover to protect the oven. This will shield your oven from harmful UV rays and even rain.

It is advisable to use microfiber cleaning wipes to remove dirt and add shine to the body for a sleek and polished appearance. The inventor of Gozney advises using a Bar Keepers Friend Power Spray to remove stains while also adding shine easily.

Step 4: Cleaning the Chimney

The chimney of the pizza oven tends to acquire soot and get unclean with regular baking. This soot must be removed after a set amount of time to stop it from accumulating and triggering a fire and damage. The lazy option is to use a pizza brush to remove the soot.

The frequency with which you bake pizza in the oven can affect the cleaning of the chimney. Pizza ovens that are constantly in use and have a high output ratio may require more frequent cleaning than those not used frequently.

Use no cleaners or soaps since they may cause harm to the interior of the chimney. Smoke will not adequately ventilate if the chimney becomes clogged with soot, and your pizza will taste smoky and burned.

Tips and Tricks to Clean an Outdoor Pizza Oven

If you’ve made it this far, you’re undoubtedly aware of the procedures involved in the cleaning process. Now, I’ll provide some fantastic cleaning tips and tactics that will undoubtedly come in helpful and secure your safety when cleaning your pizza oven.

  • Always turn on the oven for at least 30 minutes at high-temperature settings before cleaning it. This will burn down the spills, making them easier to remove afterward.
  • Never clean an oven when it is still warm. Because outdoor pizza ovens are notoriously hot, allow the oven to cool fully before beginning to clean. The hot oven surface might burn your hand. In addition, while the pizza stone is heated, the surface is more prone to cracking.
  • Wearing waterproof and heat-resistant gloves is strongly recommended for hygiene and safety.
  • To remove stains and greasy patches from the oven’s outer body, use non-caustic cleaners. However, do not use these products to clean a pizza stone.
  • To clean a pizza stone, avoid using too much water; use a wet towel if required.
  • Cleaning your pizza oven after cooking is an excellent habit. It will save you time and work and avoid the accumulation of waste and ash stacks.

I am Chef Harunur Rashid Azim. I inherited my family's love of cooking at a young age. I graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education in London, UK, with determination and passion to become a chef. Follow me on Twitter: @RashidIsChef, FB: Azim

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