Breville Pete Evans Pizza Maker BPZ500PE
The Pizza Maker LD-901EF
Red Just Pizza Maker/Oven LD-902
Pizza is one of the most popular dishes in Australia, so it’s not surprising that it now has its own dedicated appliance for the home kitchen. Our review of three pizza ovens found that while they perform their duties well, ultimately they’re just another appliance that will take up space on your kitchen bench – or gather dust in the cupboard.
All three pizza ovens take only five minutes to preheat. The Pizza Maker and Red Just Pizza Maker/Oven heat up to 300°C, while the Breville heats up to 350°C. The Pizza Maker has a removable pizza stone as well as a deep dish for cooking other foods such as eggs and bacon. The Breville also has a removable stone and can accommodate foods such as pastries and scones.
All the ovens feature dual heating elements, but the top element is exposed and can get dangerously hot. When the oven is closed, the exposed metal edges where the two lids meet reaches temperatures above 100°C. The Breville’s large handle reduces the risk of accidentally touching the element; however, there is little protection around the side edges. The handles on either side of the Pizza Maker that allow you to remove the pizza stone also reach dangerously hot temperatures. Smoke escapes from the back and sides of each oven, and be aware that steam build-up may quickly be released when you open the oven. Use caution when the pizza oven is on, and definitely keep children away.
Our home economist, Fiona Mair, uses the same pizza recipe as she does in our testing of ovens. The Breville takes 10 minutes to cook a fresh thin-crust pizza, whereas the other two take only five minutes. The pizza bases all cook evenly and are very crisp, but the colour is pale with very little browning. All the ovens cook and brown the topping slightly unevenly, with The Pizza Maker in particular browning darker on one side. Keep in mind, these ovens accommodate a small size pizza.
The ovens are fairly easy to use and their exterior surfaces are easy to wipe over. Cleaning the pizza stone takes a little more effort as any excess food needs to be scraped off and you’ll find it blackens over time. The Red Just Pizza Maker/Oven is slightly harder to clean because the pizza stone is fixed to the unit.
Instead of spending up to $159, we suggest purchasing a pizza stone, which are available for as little as $20. Place it on the bottom shelf of your oven (or you can also place it in the middle of your hooded BBQ), select the bottom element or fan-assisted baking function and the result should be the same, if not better.