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A Love Letter to My $800 Plug-In Pizza Oven

ONE37pm watermark
December 18, 2018

Calling all pizza aficionados! Who owns a pizza stone? Who’s tried making cast iron skillet pizza? Same. I’ve tried basically every hack to try to achieve wood-fired pizza at home. Spoiler: None of them replicate it. And that’s not because my pie skills are lacking.

 

The number one issue is that home ovens don’t reach the same sky-high temperatures as wood-fired ovens. On average, their max temp is 450°F. For a tender but crisp crust—with an unmistakable leopard spot pattern of charring—you need a quick, intense heat.

That’s why when I was intrigued when Breville recently released The Smart Oven Pizzaiolo, the first plug-in countertop pizza oven that reaches 750°F.

 

I’ll preface my review by saying that I’m not about gadgets that have a single purpose, whether they’re mango peelers or smoothie-only blenders. But this pizza oven seemed like it was something different. For starters, it’s compact, about the size of a regular pizza oven. Furthermore, it promises to cook pizza in two minutes flat. And that promise, ladies and gents, I can’t resist.

To adequately test out the oven, I invited one of my heroes into our test kitchen: Paulie Gee, founder and owner of the pizza franchise Paulie Gee’s. He casually rolled up with 40 balls of pizza dough and toppings galore.

 

Although the oven took about 10 minutes to heat up, once it came to temperature, boy did it deliver. Paulie used the peel that came with the oven to slide in one of his signature “Hellboy” pies. Within 30 seconds, the dough was cooked through and beginning to char. Two minutes in, the pie was ready. Warm, crisp, crackling and gorgeously charred.

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Heath Goldman

Paulie’s response? “I get to take this oven home with me, right?”

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