The best pizza oven by Pizza Oven Radar should never be missing in our kitchens: at least if you are determined to prepare this kind of dish at home and, above all, if you do not have much time to stay behind the stove.
In fact, this appliance allows us to achieve results very close to those that a professional would obtain (the ingredients, the quality of the dough and the type of processing also have a lot of weight) and in a very short time. In short: why give up this possibility?
So, let’s see what are the secrets to choose a good product that can guarantee us a good pizza and a great look with friends and relatives invited to our humble table…
Choose an electric pizza oven: How do you do it?
There are many characteristics that a good electric pizza oven should have to meet the demands of an average Italian: after all, the inventors of this extraordinary dish exported all over the world are quite demanding about it!
However, we would like to point out that what follows will refer only to models for domestic use and that we will exclude from this list parameters and measurement levels attributable to professional categories.
This choice is motivated by the fact that it is difficult for an average user to buy an electric pizza oven for professional use: the size and cost of the appliance are for all two major deterrents.
We will not deal here even with products powered by wood, gas or in any other way: at the moment we are interested in examining only the category working electrically, perhaps the most popular among normal consumers. So let us stop talking nonsense and finally start analysing all the characteristics that this small household appliance should have in order to satisfy us properly:
There are essentially two types of electric pizza ovens known and marketed today. The differences between them are to be found in the structural characteristics and in the type of operation. But let’s go with order. As regards the first of these two aspects, the structure, we will say that there are products with a rectangular design and more enveloping and rounded objects.
In the first case we will often be in the presence of two shelves and therefore we will have the possibility to cook at least two pizzas at the same time. In the second, however, the spaces available to us will be greatly reduced and it will be difficult to cook more than one pizza at a time. A rectangular oven therefore works in a rather practical way and is able to guarantee a uniform cooking at all times.
The shell oven is perhaps a little less versatile, if only for the fact that it can not accommodate more than one pizza at a time, but is also much faster than its direct rival, so to speak, and still able to ensure a uniform temperature to the food being cooked. Which option do you prefer?
Well, there is no better model than the other: not necessarily the rectangular oven will be more efficient than the shell one and vice versa. The suggestion in this case is therefore to choose according to your needs and the number of family members normally present in the house.
Also take into account the fact that usually the bombed ovens are a bit cheaper. We have not forgotten that we made operation another criterion for distinguishing between rectangular and shelled electric ovens. However, for the sake of convenience, we will look at this aspect of the matter later.
Materials: materials, especially the shelves of the object, have a certain importance. Normally ollar, radiant or refractory stones are used for this purpose. They have the characteristic of diffusing heat homogeneously, contributing to a good baking of pizza. The exterior of the ovens under examination here will often be made of metal, regardless of whether one is oriented on one model rather than another.
How it works
If we wanted to classify the product concerned according to its operation, we could essentially identify three different types of furnaces. Usually shell products can have coil or stone resistance, whereas rectangular models generally consist of a double resistance to power supply.
These are in fact a bit more technical details than those provided in the rest of the list, but it is still important to understand what you buy. We will therefore try to simplify a lot the information useful for this purpose. In the first case we will have a resistance placed at the top of the bell.
The heat that passes through it will then spread throughout the body of the object until it reaches its base. In some cases there will also be a couple of resistors in these ovens. Since, as we have seen, shell furnaces are often very compact in size, the desired temperature will be reached in a very short time.
Sometimes a double stone can hide the presence of a serpentine. In these cases we will be faced with a versatile product, suitable for cooking much more than pizza. Finally, the shell models also offer the alternative of the removable stone that allows the user to use the product even on the gas of the house (a solution, however, not very practical since the cooking will be completed in any case inside the oven). Finally, the rectangular ovens have a double heating element.
The two coils will work together to guarantee the user uniform cooking of the products baked here. Also in this case we cannot say that one approach is absolutely better than the other: it will be up to the user to choose between the various solutions proposed based on further selection criteria. Here, however, we can say that statistically the most common option is the first one, i.e. the shell oven with coil or stone resistance.
Until recently, home made pizza was unanimously considered good but not exceptional. This is because although the ingredients were of good quality and the dough was excellent, the cooking temperature ensured by our ovens, the ones we all have at home, did not even remotely reach that developed by professional equipment.
Just to realize the situation, keep in mind that while our appliances do not exceed the threshold of 250°, a normal wood-burning oven reaches well over 450° while a professional electric product reaches on average 300°. Of course, to this element should also be added the importance that can have the width of the room and, consequently, the more or less homogeneous diffusion of heat, but we would not want to go into too much detail, at least not here.
It is therefore enough for us to know for the moment that electric shell furnaces can on average reach 400°, while rectangular furnaces usually do not exceed 300°. Obviously, the higher the temperatures we can aspire to, the better the taste of our pizza and the faster the cooking time will be.
It is also important to make sure that the product you are going to buy offers the possibility to adjust the temperature according to your needs and, why not, is accompanied by an internal thermostat that will facilitate the operations.
Overall dimensions and capacity
The external dimensions of an oven are clearly different a priori between a rectangular and a shell product. In fact, keep in mind that normally appliances with a square design are easier to place on the top of the kitchen or inside the wall units as they allow us to maximize the space available to us. Buying a product with a rectangular shape we will find ourselves in front of a larger object that will allow us to use from 15 to 30 litres of cooking space.
A convex product, on the other hand, will not have a well-defined capacity or, at least, more than the volume of the litres, it will be somehow measured on the basis of the size, and therefore essentially on the diameter, of the pizza that can be baked. The products currently on the market belonging to the latter category make it possible to bake dough whose diameter oscillates between 25 and 32 centimetres.
Regardless of whether you opt for a rectangular stove or a shell product, the power developed by these appliances will generally always be at 1200/1400 W. This is because the wattage in such cases does not affect the temperatures that can be reached. As we have seen above, in fact, much depends on the type of resistance used by the appliance, the materials used and the width of the cooking chamber.
There are various functions that can be found in an electric oven. Among the most useful are the programmable timer, often connected also to acoustic or visual alarms, and the presence of knob controls.
Ease of maintenance
It is clear that an electric cooker will need maintenance and that the maintenance to be carried out will essentially pass from the good habit of cleaning the device properly immediately after each use.
To do this it will be enough, at least in most cases, to treat the stone with damp cloths (obviously as soon as it has cooled down a bit), this at least in the case of shell models. Rectangular ovens, on the other hand, should be treated a bit like normal electric ovens, perhaps using products that avoid incrustations and the formation of bad smells.
There are not many accessories that we could find in the package of an electric pizza oven. With a certain ease in the package will be included the shovel useful to extract the dish, some perforated baking pan to use maybe to cook chestnuts or similar and a small wooden chopping board, at least as far as the dished models are concerned.