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The first pizza oven in Salter's collection, we put it to the test using triple tested BBC Good Food recipes. But how did it perform in test? Read our full review below.
Salter has followed the trend by adding an outdoor pizza oven to its collection. This model is on the budget end for a freestanding pizza oven, but is, for the most part, sturdy and well-built.
The Salter pizza oven is classic in design. It’s made up of a strong metal body and four sturdy flip-down legs. This model is powered by wood pellets, offering an authentic smoky, wood-fired flavour to the finished pizza. Because of the natural smoke, we think it's better suited to larger gardens.
Similar in design to some of the other freestanding pizza ovens we’ve tested, this Salter model has a striking metal body and generously sized oven cavity. We liked the nifty additions, like the carry handle on the top of the oven and the useful accessories, like the scoop for pellets, which do have a habit of getting everywhere if you don’t have a dedicated receptacle for them.
In terms of the packaging, it's clear to see that Salter is moving in the right direction, as there was a decent amount of cardboard. Though we’d be hard pressed to praise them more than that, as plastic and polystyrene were still used in abundance.
The main body of the pizza oven required very little assembly. We simply needed to flip the legs down, screw on the chimney and fit the pellet accessories. The main pizza stone slid into the oven with ease, too.
Our major stumbling blocks came when trying to fit the door and pizza peel. Try as we might, we just weren’t able to get the door to stay in place; it was clear to see that the handle provided was simply too heavy, meaning it fell off whenever we tried to fit it in place. There are two additional pieces of metal that hang on the underside of the opening which we thought were to secure the door in place, but they didn’t come out far enough to allow us to slip the door underneath. Plus, the holes in the plate of the pizza peel had been drilled too small, so we weren’t able to attach the supplied bolts, rendering the peel unusable.
Wood pellet scoop, carry case and pizza peel.
We used a single firelighter and two scoops of wood pellets to light this pizza oven. The tray for the wood pellets is large and generously sized, so we had no trouble loading the pizza oven up. However, there are two large holes in the back of the wood pellet tray, which pellets kept falling out of.
After loading up the wood pellet tray and lighting, this pizza oven took around 30 minutes to come to temperature. This was considerably longer than expected, but feel this was due - in part - to the fact that the door didn’t stay on. This also meant that this pizza oven ate through wood pellets, in fact we had to refill the tray twice before the cavity was hot enough to launch a pizza.
Once launched, we had to regularly top up the wood pellets, and even found that on occasion, fire was shooting out of the two holes in the wood pellet tray as opposed to the cavity. For us, this looked potentially dangerous.
When the flames were facing inside the cavity, we had to continually turn the pizza to ensure an even cook. While we had to turn many of the pizzas in the other pizza ovens we tested, this Salter model required considerably more attention.
The unpredictable flames, continual need to top up the wood pellets and need to keep the pizza rotating, made cooking on this Salter pizza oven a rather frantic experience.
One 12 inch pizza.
The outside got very hot, so we’d recommend placing this pizza oven away from fences and trees.
It took around five minutes to make a pizza.
The pizza was a little unevenly cooked, with some charring on one side and barely any colour on another. But the pizza was cooked through and even slightly crisp on the underside, which we were glad to see.
The cavity inside the pizza oven is generously sized with good headroom, making it roomy enough to pop a cast iron skillet or baking tray inside.
We let the wood pellets burn out naturally, after which the main body of the pizza oven took around 30 minutes to cool down.
Cleaning this model wasn’t difficult at all. All ash components were removed with ease and the pizza stone can be easily popped out once cool and cleaned separately. Inside just needed a quick brush too.
Although a carry case is provided, this doesn’t double as an all-weather cover, so to ensure its longevity, we’d suggest storing this pizza oven away from the elements. Thankfully, the legs fold up easily and the chimney can be stored inside the cavity when not in use, so it’s a compact bit of kit when stored away.
As noted above, this pizza oven came packaged in a mix of cardboard, plastic and polystyrene. We'd have like to have seen all recyclable packaging being used. The poor manufacturing of the pizza peel is frustrating and means that customers will need to buy their own peel separately.
This pizza oven also burned through wood pellets very quickly, which could become costly.
Those looking for a pizza oven that’s not going to break the bank, and something that’s compact and portable, perhaps to take to the beach or on holiday.
The Salter pizza oven had all the makings of a fabulous bit of kit. Sturdy build, large oven space and nifty additional features. But this model was let down by some poor manufacturing, which ultimately made the cooking experience laborious and a little stressful.
This isn’t a produce-perfect-pizza-first-time type of pizza oven like many of the others we’ve tested. If you do decide to buy, be prepared to commit the time to working out how to make this pizza oven work for you.
Dimensions (cm): H: 70.5 x W: 68.5 x D: 36
Fuel: wood pellet
Stone material: cordierite
Accessories included: wood pellet spoon, carry case, fuel box
Made in: China
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