The Gozney Dome pizza oven | First-look review
This could well be the Rolls Royce of pizza ovens, but just like the classic car, it comes at a premium and requires a dedicated space for storage.
- This is the professional restaurant's pizza oven of choice, made in miniature to fit a larger garden
- Bulkiness and expense
First impressions of the Gozney pizza oven
There's been a lot of buzz about this oven on social media – in fact, it sold out globally in 8 hours and it is still unable to meet demand, so expectations are high. What arrives doesn't disappoint, but when fully boxed, the oven can seem very big – it blocks the hallway entrance to a reasonably sized house.
There's a fair bit of packaging, all of which looks essential to keep the oven from being damaged in transit, and most of which can be recycled. The packaging is smart and on-brand, and you’re provided with unboxing tools to turn it into an experience. Once unboxed, what you’re left with is the most futuristic piece of garden cooking kit we’ve seen.
Read our full guide to the best pizza ovens
How long does it take to assemble the pizza oven?
The stand we're loaned (this costs extra) is already assembled and the oven is totally pre-built. It takes two strong people to lift the oven onto the stand (or a sturdy garden table), but lifting straps are provided and can be cut away after the oven is in place.
There are a few technicalities, such as the chimney that slots into the top and gas that needs to be fitted, all of which takes about an hour. Then, the oven is ready to be heated: initially for 30 minutes on a low to ‘cure’ the stone floor, then to whatever temperature required to cook your food.
Is the Gozney pizza oven easy to use?
The oven comes in two versions: a cheaper model that uses wood, or a slightly more expensive dual-fuel model that uses wood and gas. Whether it’s a pizza oven or barbecue, the difference between cooking with gas over wood is ease over flavour – gas is very easy to use and heat, but doesn’t provide any of the smoky, outdoor-cooked flavour you get from wood. With the dual-fuel version, you get the best of both worlds.
As well as being easy to use, the Gozney's main draw is precision, the type of which hasn't been seen before. The oven comes with a built-in digital thermometer, plus two probe thermometer sockets for when you’re roasting meat – all reading off the same digital panel.
Is it easy to add fuel?
If using gas, it’s as simple as lighting a stove. The oven has an ignition switch that lights the gas and a dial to control the flame. For wood, there's a section for building your fire that allows air to flow though so it catches easily. Then, there's an ash catcher that controls airflow – everything has been accounted for.
How long does it take to heat up?
This depends on what you’re choosing to cook on – for gas, it's a matter of minutes; for wood, it's more like 20 minutes. For the best flavour, you want to use both at once.
Is the pizza oven fuel-efficient?
The dual-fuel model is very fuel-efficient, because the gas cooks the pizza while a small amount of wood adds flavour. The wood version alone is as efficient as other ovens, and the fact you can control the airflow helps.
How many pizzas does it fit?
It’s advertised as fitting two pizzas, but realistically it’s one large pizza. But, when your pizza is cooked in under 2 minutes, that’s all you can really concentrate on at once, so we don't mind this.
How easy is it to add a pizza?
The wide mouth of the oven makes it easy to load pizzas in. If you buy the stand, the oven is handily elevated to eye level, which makes it easy to see into. You still need the knack and a flick of the wrist to get the pizza onto the peel, then into the oven, though.
How hot does the outside get?
The outside gets too hot to touch, but not dangerously hot enough to burn. The chimney flume gets very hot, but there shouldn’t be any need to touch that. Anything that needs touching while the oven is working stays nice and cool.
Does it come with additional pizza tools?
As with most other ovens in this price bracket, there are lots of extras, which are billed as add-ons but are pretty essential to the pizza-making process. The oven is sold alone and all the pizza-making tools you need, plus stands and covers, are extra. To fully kit yourself out, you won’t get much change from £2k, but you will own the most impressive pizza oven on the market.
Is it all-weather or does it come with a cover?
You will need to buy the cover separately or have space in a garage or shed to store it. Even with the rain cover, the makers advise keeping the oven ‘indoors’ during the wetter months, so you’d to need a decent-sized free corner in a shed or garage.
Does it double up as anything else?
Yet to be launched at the time of testing, the makers will be releasing a door and steam injector, which will turn it into an all-purpose wood oven that could bake bread. Without those, it’s a large pizza oven, but we do roast a single rib of beef and char aubergines in it. It’s just about tall enough to get a whole chicken in, but a large fillet or whole fish would slip in neatly.
If portable, how easily can it be moved around?
The stand has wheels, which you need if the oven is to be moved around the garden. But, in terms of taking it on a camping trip, it’s more than a few kilos too heavy. But, that’s not what it’s advertised to do, so there are no broken promises there.
How was the finished pizza?
The finished pizza is textbook mottle-crusted, bubbly and cooked in less than 2 minutes. The gas function alone won’t ever give the flavour of wood, but it's good if you want to make pizza quickly. Though the wood-fired pizza doesn’t have the depth of flavour we'd expect, that will probably come when the oven has been used more often and has a well-smoked interior.
What utensils did you need to use to make the pizza?
Other than everything we already had in the kitchen, all we need is a long-handled peel – there’s nothing extra needed specifically for this oven.
Gozney dome pizza oven: the verdict
If you have the space, the budget and commitment to perfecting pizza cooking and wood-fired roasting, this is the most modern and precise model on the market – it’s also a statement piece of garden kitchen kit.
Other cheaper ovens (some made by the same manufacturer) make just as good pizza, but without the pomp. When the door and steamer become available, this oven will really come into its own, with unique functions not matched by other models.
Everything this oven offers works exceptionally well, and being able to read the internal temperature with such accuracy is a brilliant touch. There isn’t another oven on the market like this; it feels very first-of-its-kind and could well pave the way for the future of high-end home pizza ovens.
Given the small price difference between just wood and dual-fuel, you would be silly not to get the gas option (£1,499), but either way, if you manage to get one of these ovens you’ll be the envy of every outdoor chef who knows their kit.
Gozney Red pizza oven star ratings:
Ease of assembly 5/5
Overall build-quality 5/5
Ease of use 5/5
Value for money 4/5
Cooking results 5/5
Ease of storage 3.5/5
Overall rating: 4.5/5
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