After reading about how wonderful real pizza ovens were for making an amazing pizza crust I looked around and found various kits and such that we’re more outdoorsy, we’re talking bricks, mud, cement and wood fires at the end of the garden. I’m sure they are great but the idea of spending time in the garden in winter to clean/fire up a wood fired oven left me a little cold!
Then I chanced upon this great looking indoor gadget that promised to do something similar and in the comfort of indoors. What you are looking for with pizza is HOT, around 400C hot, a little beyond most domestic ovens. My find was the “G3Ferrari G10006 Delizia Pizza Express Pizza Oven”, 390C cooking temp, Refractory cooking stone and pizza in 5 mins! It was on eBay for a little below the going rate as the pizza paddle was missing, so sadly I can’t review that part of the package. It arrived well packed in a sturdy box with polystyrene end caps and all shiny and red, just like a new Ferrari!
The overall oven package feels quite sturdy and is raised on plastic legs to keep it clear of the work surface, the oven itself is manufactured in Italy and comes with a Euro plug and adapter to allow you to plug in here in the UK. It appears that the walls of the oven are insulated but once it’s on they do get very hot so don’t touch the metal parts, there are insulated plastic handles that allow you to open and close the lid.
Inside there is a pristine sandstone looking pizza stone (Refractory cooking stone), remember it like that as it won’t stay that way for long as it’s quite difficult to avoid spilling the odd bit of filling here and there onto the surface and also the occasional piece of cheese flows over the edge of the pizza onto the stone. Once the topping is on the stone it will turn black and charred and you can gently scrape it off although it does leave behind a black mark that you cannot get rid of but so far this does not seem to make any difference to the pizza itself it just doesn’t look as pretty or pristine but this is a working oven.
I’ve probably done about 15-20 pizzas and such so far. On the top of the unit there are two controls, a timer that to me seems a complete waste of time/space, it doesn’t control the cooking at all and just goes “ping” when it’s done, not really sure why it’s there. I always use my normal kitchen timer but if you don’t have one of those then it’s for you.
The other control on the top is the thermostat and this is my biggest issue with the unit, there seems to be a long spindle below it and occasionally it seems to get a little stuck if you twist it quickly and it doesn’t feel particularly sturdy to me. The thermostat goes up to 3 and the manual recommends 2.5 for cooking pizza. Just plug it in set the thermostat and leave the unit to warm up, there is a light on the top that goes out when it reaches temperature, I didn’t find it easy to see from a distance if it was on or off as the lamp is not raised enough.
Once the light has gone out then you can slide the pizza onto the stone, make sure you put plenty of flour under the pizza so that it does not stick to the paddle and slides off easily, my first attempt ended in me just sliding pizza topping onto the stone and the pizza itself barely moving, plenty of flour, remember that, I’ve got it down to a fine art now with a little experience. It’s also helpful to gently pat down the toppings before you attempt to slide your pizza onto the stone.
This is a wholemeal pepperoni with barbecue sauce, nom! It was my first attempt with the new oven.
Here my grumble with the thermostat continues, it controls the top and bottom elements and once the light goes out then the top element is off and it means the top doesn’t crisp up so well and you end up trying to manipulate it to come on by whacking the thermostat up to 3, depending on the temp it may or may not come back on, meaning sometimes the top is crisped, sometimes not, it’s more dependent on your technique than the oven.
The manual talks about opening the lid and waiting for the light to come back on but if you are trying to make 3 pizzas in a row for hungry children then you don’t want to have to wait… You just want to be able to slide it on and get on with assembling the next one. Also the 5 minute pizza seems to be a little bit on the generous side, I find 8-10 is more like it. It’s still faster than the oven…
So what about the pizza, I have to say even with the annoying issues with the thermostat then it still makes great pizza, the base is wonderful and crisp, much better than from the oven and I have no regrets in buying it. Did I mention that it also makes great Naan bread so long as the top element is on.
I’d give it a 6/10, it’s good but could be better.