If you love cooking pizza and have mastered making your own dough, then a pizza oven is likely to be on your wish list. The right oven will take entertaining your guests up a notch – but how do you choose the right one?
We've put a selection of pizza ovens to the test so we can tell you which models work best.
There's no doubt our home economist Fiona Mair and test coordinator Chantelle Dart know their way around a kitchen. With 30 years of combined experience between them, they've seen lots of new technology enter the kitchen space, including the increasingly popular air fryer.
Fiona and Chantelle know how to put kitchen appliances through their paces and pizza ovens are no exception. They carry out their testing in CHOICE's kitchen lab, which is kept up to date with the latest reference machines and calibrated measurement tools so we can bring you the right results.
With a range of products on the market, what makes us choose one pizza oven over another to test? As with most of our product testing, our aim is to test the most popular models on the market and what you're most likely to see in stores.
We survey manufacturers to find out about their range of models, check market sales information and also check for any member requests to test specific models. From this information we put together a final list that goes to our buyers, and they then head out to the shops and purchase each product, just as a regular consumer would. We do this so we can be sure products are the same as any consumer would find them and not 'tweaked' in any way for better performance.
The CHOICE Expert Rating, which helps determine the pizza ovens we recommend, is made up of a performance score (50%) and an ease of use score (50%).
Fiona and Chantelle put pizza ovens through their paces by making their own pizza dough to cook fresh pizzas to assess each oven's performance.
They test with a thin-crust and thick-crust pizza to assess the ability of the pizza oven to evenly cook a fresh pizza with differing base thicknesses. The goal is to achieve a crisp, firm, golden base with evenly cooked toppings that are moist and not dried out, all within a short period of time.
For the larger pizza ovens, Fiona and Chantelle also conduct a roasting test to see how well the oven can roast a chicken (a non-uniform food containing bones and a centre cavity that can dry out, as some parts cook faster than others).
For ovens with multiple shelves, an additional multiple-shelf cooking test is conducted, cooking pork and potatoes (though this test does not contribute to the overall score).
Ease of use
To work out how straightforward the pizza oven is to use, we look at:
- how easy it is to cook pizza in it
- how easy the pizza ovens are to move around
- how stably they sit on the bench or floor
- how easy it is to ignite and use the controls
- how easy they are to clean.