How to Properly Clean an Outdoor Pizza Oven

It only takes a few simple steps to clean an outdoor pizza oven, an easy task when you have the right tools on hand.

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Your outdoor pizza oven is most likely the pride and joy of your backyard cooking area. It's also really easy to clean and maintain. Thanks to the high cooking temperatures in an outdoor pizza oven, most food debris — whether it's tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese or a stray slice of pepperoni — will burn off rather than sticking to the interior of the oven. Follow these simple steps between uses and your outdoor pizza oven will continue to work perfectly for years to come.

Note: The first four steps apply to wood-fired ovens. For tips on how to clean a gas-heated outdoor pizza oven, see Step 5.

Tools Required

  • Ash rake
  • Ashcan
  • Copper or brass oven brush
  • Fireplace shovel

Project step-by-step (5)

Step 1

Collect the Ash

  • Wait until your outdoor pizza oven has completely cooled before you start cleaning. We recommend waiting until the next day, after cooking.
  • Using pizza oven tools like an ash rake, collect the ash and wood remnants into a pile near the mouth of the oven.

Collect the AshElizabeth Heath for Family Handyman

Step 2

Scoop Out the Ash

  • Using the ash rake and a fireplace shovel, or similar small shovel with a flat tip or cutting edge, scoop the ash out of the oven. Don’t worry if you can’t capture it all.
  • Collect the ash in a covered ashcan for disposal later, or for adding to your compost bin. If you have a small amount of ash, consider scattering it around nearby plants.