We asked CHOICE member John Eleftheriou to test four dedicated pizza makers with pre-made, non-frozen bases, as well as pita bread for variety. All four pizza makers feature a dome design with heating elements in the top and bottom - with a pizza stone covering the bottom element. John assessed them for:
- ease of use
- controls, and
We also asked:
- How often would he use the pizza maker?
- Would he buy one?
Instructions for all but the Breville leave much to be desired. Some look like photocopies and have run-on text, making them difficult to follow. All except The Pizza Maker required pre-seasoning of the pizza stone.
Both The Pizza Maker and Just Pizza Maker have small front handles, so steam and heat will seep over your forearms when you open the pizza makers. The Breville has a larger front handle that partially avoids this issue, but the handle size makes storage more difficult. The G3 Ferrari’s side handles avoid these problems entirely.
All the pizza makers have slippery feet, which means getting the pizza out of the oven is a two-person job, but a trip to the hardware store easily resolves this.
Timing is critical with all these ovens; even 30 seconds can mean the difference between a perfect pizza and a blackened base. Yet the only oven with a built-in timer is the G3 Ferrari.
Cleaning is a simple process for all the ovens – a few scrapes for any melted cheese on the pizza stone and a wipe of the externals and it’s ready for the next pizza. The Breville is the only model with a removable stone, but the two cut edges that allow for removal also create a food trap.
Though they were initially a little sceptical about a dedicated pizza maker, these models - in particular the G3 Ferrari with its side handles and built-in timer - have won the Eleftheriou family over. John believes they all make cooking pizza easier and more efficient than a pizza stone without burning the topping. They’re also great way to get your kids into the kitchen, although only to prepare the pizzas for cooking as the ovens become too hot to be used safely by children.
Breville Pete Evans Signature BPZ500PE, $140, breville.com.au
G3 Ferrari Pizza Express, $179, appliancesonline.com.au
Just Pizza Maker LD-902, $129, kitchenwaredirect.com.au
The Pizza Maker LD-901EF, $159, kitchenwaredirect.com.au
For more information and our expert reviews of kitchen appliances, see our Kitchen section.