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Designed and produced in Italy, the Optima Express pizza oven is the real deal and specifically for indoor use.
This countertop pizza oven plugs directly into the mains and is safe for use indoors. There’s no set-up required. The gadget simply lifts out of the box and plugs into the mains.
It’s packed inside one cardboard box with two polystyrene inserts, which didn’t feel excessive but still held the pizza maker securely.
Quality-wise, it feels a bit flimsy but don’t let that put you off. You also don’t need a great deal of space to store it. The product’s footprint is similar to that of a slow cooker.
The process of using it is very simple: plug it in, switch it on, wait for it to heat up, add the pizza, wait for it to cook, then remove. Once the lid is lowered, the pizza cooking time takes four and a half minutes.
If something spills on the surface you scrape it off. The pizza stone marks heavily and this is the case for the majority of pizza stones we tested. Wooden paddles are included in the box and make it easy to add the pizza along with removing it when hot.
This pizza oven makes one pizza at a time. The temperature is adjustable but can get too hot quite quickly so watch your pizza closely if you raise the temperature so as not to burn the base. We also tried this with a calzone which worked well.
Thanks to two heating elements, the Optima Express Napoli heats up to 450 degrees – way beyond what most standard ovens can reach.
It's no more dangerous than a BBQ, but because it plugs into the mains for indoor use, it might be perceived to be safer. It gets very hot. You also need to be careful of steam burns when you open the lid using its heatproof handle. We recommend using protective oven gloves or a thick cloth over your arm just in case.
There’s a hinge that keeps the lid up. You need to be careful that you don't drop it down if you haven't clicked it into place. After use, the pizza oven takes 30 minutes to cool down.
It made excellent pizza with a crisp, puffed-up crust. The middle cooked through properly and there was no sogginess from the topping. We gave the pizza itself 9/10 stars.
This would make an excellent option for anyone living in a flat or house with or without a balcony. If you are a pizza fan but with no space it would do the job very well and be an excellent option despite the size. It’s great value for money. Just take care not to burn yourself with the steam on opening its lid.
Available from: Pizza United (£169)
Optima Pizza Express Napoli pizza oven ratings
Overall build quality: 3/5
Performance and cooking results: 5/5
Value for money: 5/5
Ease of build and use: 5/5
Overall star rating: 4.5/5
Optima Express Napoli pizza oven specifications
Serial number: 2CXP3020 C
Components: Stone base + top element
Dial for temperature: Twist
Ready in 4 mins 30 secs
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