Mmmm... a wood-fired pizza with a crunchy base and smoky-tast­ing top­pings. But how use­ful are the ovens re­ally, asks

Northern Outlook - - WHAT’S ON -

Be­ing able to en­joy a pizza that’s cooked in your back gar­den sounds de­li­cious in the­ory, but no one wants a pur­pose-built oven that never gets used, es­pe­cially if it’s cost a lot to in­stall.

Real es­tate agents ad­vise against putting them in, say­ing peo­ple may see them as more of a bur­den than a bonus. ‘‘Don’t spend money on in­stalling spe­cial fea­tures that will only ap­peal to some,’’ says Taranaki agent Glenn Green of Har­courts Bell Block.

Pre-as­sem­bled pizza ovens start from $750-$1500 ex­clud­ing in­stal­la­tion costs, with top-of-the-line mod­els top­ping $10,000.

Al­though there have been some great mem­o­ries cre­ated around the oven for Cleve­don-based Kath Tay­lor and her hus­band Chris who built their kit­set pizza oven a few years ago, Kath ad­mits light­ing it up has be­come more of an an­nual event rather than a reg­u­lar hap­pen­ing.

The prob­lem is that pre­par­ing for a pizza night isn’t spon­ta­neous.

‘‘It’s great when we use it, es­pe­cially with lots of young peo­ple around, it’s a lovely com­mu­nity thing, but it takes more plan­ning than peo­ple think. You have to be in the mood at the start of the day and think, ‘we’ll have pizza tonight’,’’ she says, ad­mit­ting she hasn’t lit the oven for a year.

JANE USSHER

A pizza oven pro­vides a fo­cal point; this one is sur­rounded by cosy chairs and fur­nish­ings to cre­ate a great en­ter­tain­ment area.

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