What is a pizza oven?

A quick Internet search will show a dizzying array of ‘pizza ovens’ in all shapes, sizes, materials, fuel sources and price ranges. We concede that any appliance that cooks a pizza may be called a pizza oven, so below we offer our definition of a Mugnaini Wood Fired Pizza Oven; where they come from and why we use them for cooking.

Who is Mugnaini?

Andrea Mugnaini started Mugnaini Imports in 1989 with a mission to bring the Open Hearth Lifestyle of Old World Italy to American families. Central to this heartfelt style of cooking and entertaining is the wood fired oven. Mugnaini has been importing the legendary Valoriani oven from Italy for over 27 years.

Who is Valoriani?

Refrattari Valoriani is a family run business that has been manufacturing different types of bricks and ceramics in Reggello, Tuscany since 1890. It was Silvio Valoriani who redefined the Italian wood fired oven in 1946 with his unique modular design that is still the standard for today’s pizza ovens.

Andrea Mugnaini and Valorianis

Andrea Mugnaini and the Valoriani family

What is a Mugnaini oven?

The Mugnaini oven is actually a hybrid model specified by Andrea Mugnaini after years of experience with the standard home and commercial ovens from Refrattari Valoriani.

The goal was to supply an oven that would stay true to the Old World style and satisfy American sensibilities.

That required a combination of Valoriani’s original Dual Density dome with a commercial grade floor sized for balanced thermal mass throughout the oven. The Piccolo 80, Medio 100 and Medio 110 share this platform.

To satisfy the needs of Americans who cook and entertain on a grand scale, Andrea made the Valoriani commercial model 120 available to the home market under the name Prima 120. Following on that success, Andrea specified a new smaller version called the Prima 100 that was a more appropriate size for most home cooks.

Why Open Hearth Cooking?

An authentic Italian wood fired oven can cook at a wider range of temperatures than any other kitchen appliance. From slow roasting overnight to blazingly hot 90-second pizzas, the unique refractory clay body is designed to withstand the high heat and maintain consistent temperature for hours with minimal fuel.

The ability to cook right next to a live flame transforms any recipe into a meal to remember. And the versatility of roasting, grilling, bread baking and more, all in the same oven, is unparalleled.

In order to achieve these results, an oven needs to be structurally sound, have materials that enhance the cooking process and a design that takes full advantage of the nature of earth, air and fire. The Mugnaini oven is the purest representation of this ideal.