Big boys and their toys. When you think of cooking Al Fresco you mainly think of barbecue food, but it doesn’t stop there. Smoking food is just another example of Al Fresco cooking which has always had its roots in the USA but is becoming ever popular in the UK too. Looking on the market there is plenty of new and exciting equipment to get your Al Fresco cook on!
Here at Smokey HQ we have been eyeing up our options for cooking Al Fresco pizza. Who doesn’t love pizza, right? You could go all out and spend a few weeks building your own wood fired pizza oven in the garden but there are plenty of quick and easy options with an off the shelf pizza oven. Doing plenty of research I narrowed it down to the Uuni Pro and the Roccbox pizza oven. I had first seen Roccbox when they initially started and had considered backing their crowdfunding campaign to have their oven brought to market.
The second was the same but with pepperoni. I thought it might take a little time to get the knack and expected some disasters but everything was perfect. The pizza edges start to puff up almost instantly and you can watch the pizza cook in around 90 seconds turning every 20 seconds to make sure it cooks evenly.
The searing heat ensures a crisp and what I would describe as one of the best pizzas I have had. After 4 pizzas with various toppings (Not all to myself, honest!) I turned off the Roccbox.
We hope to bring you a whole series of recipes using the Roccbox, incorporating our range of World inspired BBQ rubs and sauces. It’s not just for pizza either as you can easily cook a steak, veggies or burgers in a cast iron skillet pan.
Watch this space for recipes. You can check out the Roccbox on their website www.roccbox.com. They’re not paying me to say this but all I can say is that it’s an awesome bit of kit and it won’t be long before it’s out again.
Combine the Roccbox pizza oven with The Smokey Carter range of World inspired BBQ Rubs & Sauces for the ultimate pizza combinations!
- New Age Hawaiian Smoked ham with our Pineapple Express Hot Sauce drizzled over (A tasty modern take on the Hawaiian). Why not try our Spiced Pineapple and Nigella Chutney too.
- BBQ Base Pizza – Who doesn’t love a BBQ sauce base pizza? Mix our Chipotle & Bourbon BBQ Sauce 50/50 with your usual passata tomato base for a spicy barbecue base. Top with your favourite toppings. Mini meatballs work a treat.
- Jerk Chicken Pizza – dust some of our Jamaican Jerk BBQ Rub over some chicken breast strips and fry in a pan until cooked through. Add on top of your standard Margarita pizza and add a drizzle of our Jerk Ketchup just before serving.
- Dip It – We love dipping those chewy Neapolitan style pizza crusts into some of our Smokey Chipotle Mayo. Get dippin and enjoy!
- Drizzle It – Drizzle our Carolina BBQ Sauce over your favourite pizza. It just about goes with anything and gives a lovely sweet tangy kick to your pizza.
Favourite Toppings & Ingredients
- Nduja – This spicy spreadable salami from Calabria in Italy is amazing on pizza. Sometimes simple is best. Make your basic margherita and add on small lumps of the Nduja. It will melt over your pizza and form little crispy lumps of spicy tastiness. Yum!
- Fennel Sausage Meatballs – Meatballs are awesome on pizza but when you combine with fennel they are on another level. Buy sausage meat or squeeze out the meat from the casing of a sausage. Mix with fennel powder and some ground fennel. Make into tiny meatballs (about 1.5cm in diameter) and fry in a pan until golden. Leave to cool and set aside in the fridge until you are ready to get cooking up some pizzas.
- Garlic Oil – I always crush a load of garlic and cover with olive oil. This is great for just drizzling over the pizza before they go in the oven.
- Oregano – I love oregano on pizza and have a few different varieties of dried oregano from Portugal, Greece and Mexico. I find the Portuguese mixed with some of the Greek works best. The Mexican is a little too earthy for pizza. I usually have a small ramekin with oregano, flaked sea salt and ground black pepper in. It’s great for just grabbing a pinch and seasoning the pizza before going in the oven.
It’s All In The Preperation
Remember cooking on the Roccbox is all in the prep as when you actually get down to cooking, it’s done in a flash. This can be done well in advance or even the night before. Pre cook any ingredients such as mushrooms, meatballs, bacon and peppers. Have all your ingredients set out. The Roccbox is great for a pizza party, and we have done a few. I’v spent many an evening churning out pizza until everyone is full. Start simple with maybe a tomato based garlic bread using passata and the garlic oil, maybe throw some mozzarella on there too. Everyone loves a garlic margherita. Get people to choose their own toppings and wheel up the pizza for everyone to dig in. When you have a few people, it’s easier to just do buffet style where you just keep making pizzas and everyone has a slice of this and a slice of that. I’v done individual pizzas for 4 people and by the time the first person is finishing their pizza the last person is just getting theirs, so it’s good to just graze your way through. Afterall you can’t make the last person wait…this is Roccbox Pizza!