Thinking Outside the Pizza Box
The Yoder Smokers Wood-Fired Oven (WFO) has quickly become one of our favorite accessories for the YS480 and YS640. It's proven to be one of the most versatile and inspirational cooking tools that we've ever encountered.
That may sound like high praise, but the Yoder WFO has earned it. Not only can the Yoder WFO handle a blistering hot Neapolitan pizza, it’s equally able to dial the temperature back and allow you the finesse to accomplish an unlimited array of recipes that require simmering, searing, braising, roasting, baking and more.
To get the most out of the creativity this oven provides, we have found that cast iron cookware helps us harness the heat of the oven so we can create great food. We want to inspire your own cooking too, so we are sharing our must-have cookware.
Why Cast Iron?
Having the right tools is important to getting the most out of any grill, and the Yoder Smokers Wood-Fired Oven is no exception. If you subscribe to our recipe blog The Sauce or our YouTube channel, you see cast iron cookware playing a prominent role in our WFO recipes. In fact, we’ve cooked everything from Apple Brown Betty to Baked Ziti in cast iron.
Why? When cooking in a wood-fired oven, you're storing energy in the stone underneath and transferring that heat into food through conduction. You need cookware that can store heat and transfer it into the food as well.
Cast iron is an excellent choice because it can handle a wide range of temperatures with ease, it absorbs and distributes heat evenly, and it boasts a rugged construction that can last for generations. These qualities make it the perfect tool to use in the challenging environment of a wood-fired oven.
What Do We Use?
Any cast iron skillet will work for cooking both inside the oven and on top of it. If you are buying a new skillet specifically for the wood fired oven, the Lodge 12" Cast Iron Pan with Loop Handles is our pick because it can be easily rotated inside the cooking space.
You can also add a cast iron lid and turn it into a low-profile Dutch oven.
The Lodge Bakeware 9" x 13" Casserole Dish is amazing at baking casseroles, roasting vegetables or even making a quality Detroit-style pizza.
While conductive heat is cooking your food from the bottom of the dish, the higher walls protect the sides of your food from radiant heat while still allowing for browning on top.
We use the Lodge Bakeware 15.5" x 10.5" Baking Pan for cooking proteins, baking biscuits, searing burgers and much more. It's an effortless way to allow the oven's conductive heat to sear food while containing any grease so that your stone stays cleaner.
If you are having a tough time launching pizza off a peel, you can use this tray to make a sheet pan pizza.
What About Holiday Baking?
The wood fired oven has also become one of our favorite ovens to cook our holiday sides and desserts in. The ability to control your heat makes the Wood Fired Oven perfect for over the top browning and baking. This includes holiday pies. For this, we use the Lodge Bakeware 9.5" Cast Iron Pie Pan
These four cast iron pans are some of our go-to tools. With them, we can prepare almost any recipe in the Yoder Smokers Wood-Fired Oven.
We hope this inspires you to use your oven in new ways, and we hope you’ll let us know what you come up with. If you have questions about caring for cast iron, check out our article How to Take Care of Cast Iron Like a Pro.