How to clean a pizza oven in 4 simple steps

Spruce up your outdoor cooking area with these expert tips on how to clean a pizza oven from top to bottom

pizza oven on patio
(Image credit: Evan Sklar/Alamy Stock Photo)

Learning how to clean a pizza oven is a simple task that will improve your quality of cooking and the look of your outdoor kitchen area. 

Most of the time, a quick brush down after every use to remove food scraps will be sufficient, before letting the high cooking temperatures burn away any excess. However, after a lot of use, which is inevitable during the summer season, these backyard features can start to lose their shine and a deeper clean is needed.

So, to help you give them a proper spruce inside and out, we've gone to the best pizza oven experts who have shared their advice on how to clean a pizza oven like a pro, using standard household cleaning products.

Pizza oven unit on a deck

(Image credit: Cuckooland)

How to clean a pizza oven in 4 essential steps

Once you've brought your pizza oven ideas to life, you'll want to keep them looking their best. Francesca Fay from Ooni (opens in new tab) shares her top tips on how to clean a pizza oven from top to bottom, inside and out:

  1. Start with the outside: To clean the outside of your pizza oven, let the oven cool down completely. Wipe away soot and dirt with a dry paper towel. For tougher stains, wipe clean with soapy water and dry.
  2. Next, do the inside: if you know how to use a pizza oven, you know that most of the action takes place on the inside. Again, the oven should be completely cooled down before you start. Using a stiff wire brush, wipe the excess soot and leftover food from the fuel tray and grate so the perforations are free of debris.
  3. Clean the glass door: Wipe it down with a dry paper towel to remove most of the soot. Mix a solution of one part vinegar to three parts water, and spritz it onto the glass. Let it sit for five minutes. Use the coarse side of a sponge (although nothing too scratchy) to wipe down the glass. Rinse with water and dry it with paper towels.
  4. Finish with the stone: the easiest way to clean a pizza stone is to scrape off stubborn bits of food or debris using a pizza brush. Flip your stone over and reinsert it for the next cook. The heat from the oven should be enough to burn off any remaining residue while you're making pizzas.

Most pizza oven stands can also be wiped down with soapy water if they need a clean.

Tom Gozney, Founder of Gozney (opens in new tab), recommends using a cover if you are keeping your pizza oven outside, as they can be subject to weathering.

Pizza in a pizza oven on a paddle

The Ooni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Ooni)

How often should you clean a pizza oven?

When deciding if pizza ovens are worth it, how easy they are to clean and how often you need to do it can be important factors. The good news is, you shouldn't need to do a deep clean that often, as long as you give your oven a quick spruce every time you use it.

'We recommend cleaning your pizza oven and pizza oven accessories after every use,' say the experts at Ooni. This can just be a simple wipe-down with a brush to sweep away food debris.

making pizza on an outdoor pizza oven

The exterior of your pizza oven station can be wiped clean with ease

(Image credit: Evan Sklar/Alamy Stock Photo)

How do you dispose of pizza oven ashes?

If you are using a wood-fired pizza oven, you will need to keep the oven clear of ashes. Otherwise, these will encumber the cooking process.

'Dispose of cooled ashes in a fire pit, compost pile, or any other environmentally friendly waste disposal option available to you,' says Francesca Fay. 

As with how to put out a charcoal grill, wait for the ashes to extinguish completely which takes around 48 hours to be on the safe side.

Sweeping out ash from an oven

Extinguished ash should be disposed of safely

(Image credit: Agencja Fotograficzna Caro/Alamy Stock Photo)
Teresa Conway
Deputy Editor

Teresa has worked as an Editor on a number of gardening magazines for three years now. So she is lucky enough to see and write about gardening across all sizes, budgets and abilities. She recently moved into her first home and the garden is a real project! Currently she is relishing planning her own design and planting schemes. What she is most passionate about when it comes to gardening are the positive effects it has on our mental health to grow and care for plants, as well as being great for the environment too and help provide food and shelter for wildlife.