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Delivita The Chilli Red pizza oven
Pros: restaurant-quality results, temperature capacity and retention
Star rating: 4.5/5
Read our round-up of the best pizza ovens
The Delivita Chilli Red pizza oven comes with a high price tag, but unlike other options, you get a real-deal clay oven that does everything a wood-fired restaurant one does – it’s just smaller.
When you consider they are hand-crafted in Yorkshire, and each oven goes through a five-day production process, the price starts to look more acceptable.
It arrives fully assembled with just an initial ‘firing’ needed to get it pizza-ready. The wood-burning process gives food an incredible flavour – you’ll find it tough to go back to roasting meat or cooking pizzas indoors again.
First impressions of the Delivita pizza oven
As the oven is already made, the packaging is minimal and can mostly be recycled. They are weather and heatproof with a fiberglass outer that comes in a range of colours. It’s a funky look for those after something other than raw brick or clay.
How long does it take to assemble the Delivita pizza oven?
There are no instructions as such, just building a fire inside the oven, to initially ‘kiln’ the clay. You need to leave the embers burning for five hours, once that’s done, it’s ready to cook in.
Is the Delivita easy to use?
You’re dealing with a wood-burning oven, so if you’re a complete novice, it will take a little getting used to. But, just like barbecuing for the first time, it’s a cooking technique that’s well worth mastering – the results are some of the best you’ll get from outdoor cooking.
Is it easy to add fuel?
The oven is sold on its own or as a bundle with other bits of kit to simplify the process. There’s a very handy ‘wood loader’ with blow-hole for getting the flames going, this could be done with a long pair of tongs but the loader makes it super-easy and doubles up as an ember poker. The need for some equipment would be true for any wood-fired oven, not just this brand.
How long does the Delivita take to heat up?
Because clay retains heat so efficiently, the oven reaches inferno levels of heat (450-500C) in less than 30 minutes. This is great for pizzas, flatbreads, charring veg or treating the oven as a tandoor, but for other cooking, you will need to wait for the oven to drop in temperature.
Is the pizza oven fuel-efficient?
A wood-burning oven is a lot more fuel-friendly than cooking with wood on an open barbecue or fire. Once you’ve established your initial fire, you gauge the temperature by the amount of fuel added.
How many pizzas does it fit?
It takes one generous 30cm pizza at a time, but when the pizza is ready and beautifully blistered in less than two minutes, you’d struggle to keep your eyes on any more.
We tried three types of dough, including a frozen dough Delivita sell themselves and our own basic pizza dough recipe designed for use on a barbecue.
The results? Not just some of the best pizza we’d ever cooked at home, but some of the best pizza we’d ever eaten.
How easy is it to add a pizza?
There is a knack and confident flick-of-the-wrist needed to lift a pizza from a floured surface onto a flat implement, then glide it onto the oven floor. This is true for any pizza oven.
We enjoyed cooking with the Delivita, it requires your undivided attention and a little turning, but that was all part of the fun.
How hot does the outside get?
The clever thing about the Delivita is its fibreglass shell. It won’t get hotter than 50C, which is hot but won’t burn. This also means it can be perched on any garden surface, from wood to plastic, without causing damage.
Does it come with additional pizza tools?
The ovens are sold separately or as bundles with other tools and accessories. Some are nice extras, others, like a pizza peel, are pretty essential. The ones made by Delivita are very high-quality, but you could always shop around.
Is the Delivita pizza oven big enough for a large roasting tray?
As well as pizza, we successfully puffed-up naan bread and slightly singed dough balls. We roasted tandoori chicken pieces, a side of salmon and a whole chicken, all were beautifully charred, smoky and succulent. The oven is big enough for a leg of lamb, a small porchetta or a dish of parmigiana.
Is it all-weather or does it come with a cover?
The all-weather cover comes at an extra cost. However, two people could easily lift it into a shed for winter storage. Helpfully, it can be sat on any surface and takes up about as much space as a medium-sized kettle barbecue.
Does it double up as anything else?
This is aimed at the pizza market, but doubles up as a small, wood-burning oven – anything that can be wood-roasted can be cooked in it. We treated it like a tandoor and got the right charred results.
If portable, how easily can it be moved around?
It’s sold as ‘portable’, but at just under 30kg, it’s a bit of a struggle for one person to lift. Grab a helper and it can easily be transported, it would happily sit in the back of a larger family car for some serious one-upmanship camping.
How was the finished pizza?
We made pizza with Delivita’s own frozen dough, standard pizza dough and sourdough and they were all exceptional. 10/10 – especially the pizza made using their dough.
How long does it take to cool down?
After you’ve finished, it takes about an hour to cool down. The heatproof outer casing means you can still move it, and we found ourselves huddling around the oven as the night chill set in.
What utensils did you need to use to make the pizza?
You don’t really need much more than a pizza peel, but the prod-and-blow stick is a very useful piece of outdoor cooking kit, oven or no oven.
Delivita The Chilli Red pizza oven: the verdict
This is a high-end piece of outdoor cooking equipment. It’s stylish, high-quality and, most importantly, gives incredible results. If you want an actual wood-fired oven rather than a barbecue add-on or pizza-only cooking contraption, this is hard to beat. Plus, a lot less stressful than trying to build your own.
Delivita The Chilli Red pizza oven star ratings:
Ease of assembly 5/5
Overall build-quality 5/5
Ease of use 4/5
Value for money 4/5
Cooking results 5/5
Ease of storage 4/5
Overall rating: 4.5/5
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This review was last updated in May 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at email@example.com.