The history of pizza began in Italy where various cultures made flatbread with multiple toppings. Everything was made from scratch and baked in a masonry oven. Now, pizza is enjoyed worldwide and is available in supermarkets (chilled or frozen) and intake-and-bake pizzerias. This evolution has made it easier to make this savory meal at your home.
The appliances used to bake pizza have evolved from the masonry oven. These ovens use natural gas or electricity. In the pizza-making business, people use conventional ovens or pizza makers. Pizza makers are faster in making pizza and need less labor. Pizza makers are now widely used, and choosing one to make perfect pizzas at home can be a bit tricky.
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Let’s jump into our pizza maker buying guide to help you choose the right one for your use.
This is a decision to be made early. The type of pizza maker depends on how much pizza you need to produce, the fuel you prefer, your storage space, and the style of pizza that you want to make.
In terms of fuel, you could use either gas or electric. To get the traditional taste and crisp of the crust, gas pizza makers are your best friend. However, they have more cook time, and the labor one puts in is very intense. With electric ovens, however, it is easier for those who are amateurs or learners in the art of pizza making.
The amount of production that you need should match up to the size of the pizza maker. For low output, a pizza maker that has 1-5 racks should be enough as the conventional cook time is around 7 minutes depending on the number of pizzas and the temperature. With medium to high production, you have to look for one that can generally hold more than six pizzas and the cooking time is about 6 minutes.
Small pizza makers occupy anywhere from 15 to 60 cubic feet, which makes them perfect for kitchen counters or restaurants. Ones that occupy up to 160 cubic feet are best for small pizzerias as it mostly takes up vertical space.
For portable and countertop pizza makers, they usually range from $100 to $10,000 while medium-sized pizza ovens range from $1,000 to $10,000.
While checking for the duration of the warranty, make sure the warranty is more than one year as some appliances have longer warranty duration than others.
The alfrescamore pizza oven is powered by 15,000 BTUs and makes the pizza in five minutes. This outdoor pizza oven that works with a one-pound propane tank has a twist start ignition and preheats for around 17 minutes. It is perfect for the environment as it uses convection, conduction, and reflected heat to help keep more heat inside the oven. This creates a pocket of hot air that cooks the pizza evenly. The cordierite baking stone does not crack in extreme temperatures and helps the pizza cook through conduction to produce a spotless baked crispy crust. It comes with other accessories including pizza peel, cordierite pizza stone, pizza recipe guide, a smoker cup and a surface-mounted thermometer that monitors the temperature for precise baking. It weighs less than 40 pounds with built-in handles making it convenient to roll away, easy portability ad upright grilling.
The presto pizzazz is an open oven that produces heat at the top and bottom whose tray continuously rotates to give even baking to the pizza. The top and bottom heat are controlled separately, giving you the option to select one or both depending on how crispy you want your crust or how well done you want your cheese. Since it’s an open oven, you can see the progress of the pizza. It also has a timer that ensures precise cooking by turning off the heating elements when the time is up. It saves up to 60% of energy compared to the conventional ovens as it does not require any preheating. It prepares fried foods including chicken nuggets, fish fillets, quesadillas, egg rolls, and even grilled cheese. It has a 12-inch nonstick removable pan that’s easy to clean. Its size ensures compact storage.
The Camp Chef Italia pizza oven is designed to replicate the performance of a wood-fired brick oven from its double-layered ceiling to its ventilation and cordierite ceramic pizza stone to produce that perfect pizza with the crispy crust and melded toppings. It comes with its regulator and hose adapter to accommodate the standard bulk propane tank. One of its features is its built-in valve ignition that gives you total control of the flame which can go up to 700 Fahrenheit. Its built-in temperature gauge monitor makes it easy for precise baking. The exterior is made of stainless steel that is durable and easy to clean.
The Wisco 421 pizza oven is a countertop pizza oven with an LED display to allow the user to check on the progress of the pizza at any time. The oven weighs less than 20 pounds making it easily portable. This attractive oven with a stainless steel outer housing has a flip-up handle that enables easier storage. It has an adjustable thermostat for better control of the heat and ease of use as it has a quick one-touch setting for 450F for 10 minutes, which is enough to cook a pizza. Its heating elements are long-life calrods, which ensures its durability and effectiveness. The removable pizza tray is formed in such a way that the contents cannot slide off the tray. The tray is also easy to clean.
Pizzacraft pizzaque pizza oven is an outdoor oven that is lightweight, portable, and incredibly easy to use. It weighs 31 pounds measuring at 18.6 inches by 18 inches. This stainless steel burner withstands a lot of heat and promise of durability due to its steel nature. The domed lid is shielded to ensure thorough baking of the pizza and allows excess moisture to escape through the small vents to prevent soggy thin and thick crusts. Its heat-diffusing pizza stone cooks the pizza evenly. It requires 15 minutes to preheat and 6 minutes to cook. It comes with a hose and connector to attach the propane gas, also its igniter and can easily adjust the temperature. Its built-in thermometer ensures precise baking.
Things to Consider
The type of pizza maker you want to have at your home or restaurant usually depends on how much pizza you need to produce. The amount of production will dictate the type of fuel to use, the type of pizza maker to buy, the amount of space one can spare and also the cost of the pizza maker.
Fuel is something essential to consider as that is what you will use long term. The choices are usually gas or electric. Gas pizza makers make the best pizzas with a traditional taste and crisp of the crust.
A pizza oven with high temperatures of around 700F can cook a pizza in 2 minutes, which is fast enough for a pizza. And if that pizza oven can cook 3 or 4 pizzas at a time, then it saves time.
It is always worth to get a slightly better deal than the said price either by a discount or addition of accessories. It is also important to confirm the overall price if delivery and installation options are available.
Confirming the size of the oven is often overlooked. Planning on how the oven will get there and where it will fit is advised by getting the measurements of the space, measurements of the oven and its weight
This usually depends on the kind of pizza you want to make. The two kinds of pizzas are made in an electric or gas oven and one made in a wood-fired oven. With wood-fired pizza ovens, you have to build a fire in the center of the oven floor to make sure the fire will be evenly spread where the soot will vaporize, and a white patch will appear that will migrate down as the temperature continues to rise. Once the oven is hot enough, use a metal-handled scrapper to push the coal to one side of the oven, also brush the floor to remove the ashes. If necessary, swab the floor with a damp cloth to remove excess heat. To maintain the temperature, add a well-seasoned hardwood stick that is 3 inches in diameter every 10 minutes. You can use an infrared thermometer to measure the temperature. When ready, use a peel to transfer the pizza to the oven floor. Use the same peel to rotate the pizza after 40 seconds to ensure even cooking. When ready, use the peel to remove it.
For an electric or gas oven, when using it for the first time, run it on the high setting for at least 20 minutes then turn it off and let it cool to room temperature. Your oven must reach the ideal baking temperature before using it. After it has cooled, preheat it as normal but not for more than 20 minutes, this will ensure that the internal temperature is hot enough for proper baking, which is at least 700 Fahrenheit. You can now place your pizza in the oven then when ready, remove it and turn the oven off.
After each use, remove the baking pan then unplug the pizza maker then let it cool to room temperature. Please do not clean the appliance while hot or when part of it has not completely cooled down. To clean the outside of the pizza maker, use a damp cloth then dry thoroughly. Wash the baking pan with warm water and ensure to rinse and later dry it. Only when necessary, the outer rim of the element trays can be cleaned with a nylon mesh pad. The viewing window and rear vent darken with ongoing use. It could be cleaned by making a paste from 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of water and rubbing it onto the area with a damp cloth. It is necessary to clean the pizza maker regularly to make it serve you longer.
Precautions while cleaning it:
A typical pizza oven heats the dough in 3 different ways. Each of these methods enhances your style of cooking differently. These include radiation, conduction, reflected heat, and convection.
Radiation is the heat that comes directly from the heat source. It radiates from the coal to the foo in the oven. This is only experienced in a wood-fired oven.
Conduction occurs when two objects in contact with each other have different temperatures, so the heat flows from the warmer object to the cooler one. The high temperature of the baking stone heats the pizza on top of it, giving it a crisp crust.
Convection occurs when heated air moves away from the source of heat. The pocket of hot air created in the oven reflects heat down to the pizza heating it up cooking the toppings preventing a soggy pizza.
Reflected heat – The inner lid of the pizza maker is specially designed to reflect the heat directly to the pizza with the help of its dome shape and reflective surface. This makes the pizza cook perfectly and evenly.
With wood-fired pizza ovens, their circular floors and domed ceilings reflect the heat down. The circular floor allows easy access when it comes to adding, turning, and removing the pizzas, which are a dynamic process. This will mean that you’ll have to keep the fire going so that it cannot cool down. The circular floor also allows you to keep a fire on one side where the roof slopes down.
For the electric and gas pizza makers, the hot baking stone heats the crust while the air pocket in the oven heats the toppings to get them well done and prevent soggy pizzas. The reflective dome-shaped inner lid reflects the heat to the pizza.
Pizza makers usually have 2-5 racks per chamber and can fit one or two 15 inch pizzas on each rack at times and take 5-6 minutes to cook. This time, however, varies depending on the outside temperature, the number of pizzas, and the heat lost when opening the door. This generally leads to low production.
Regular ovens generally hold 4-6 pizzas in each deck (usually 5 or 6) at a time and cook them for about 8 minutes. The lack of cooking space is overcome by stacking multiple decks on top of each other in a single oven
Pizza makers don’t take up a lot of space as one measure from 15 to 60 cubic feet, which are perfect for places and counters with limited space. Some have a narrow width and an elevated height to reserve the floor space.
Regular ovens, depending on the number of decks and individual measurements can go up to 160 cubic feet of space. The stacking design of the oven makes it use more vertical space than horizontal space.
Pizza makers cost a lot less than general ovens. Pizza makers are great for a smaller budget. Its upkeep and maintenance are very inexpensive. While the regular oven can last for years or even decades in good condition.