Price: $899 online only (free metro delivery)
If you think I am passionate about pizza, then that is nothing compared to Roccbox portable pizza oven makers Gozney.
It is their religion. To their credit, they have crafted a perfect portable pizza oven that can make perfect pizzas. If not, remember that a bad tradie blames their tools.
But forgive me if I commit a cardinal sin and say there is nothing wrong with the oven or its design (halleluiah), but for $899, you need to eat a ‘lotta pizza’.
By my calculations based on buying a gourmet pizza (from my absolute favourite La Fiamma at Ettalong) the cost is about $20 for a superb Sopressa (pepperoni, tomato, mozzarella, and olives). I would need to make about 50 pizza’s in Roccbox (forgetting ingredient and labour costs). If the comparison were with Dominos, then double that number.
If you want to know, the typical 10-12-inch pizza (ham and pine or pepperoni) is about 10,000kj (2,500 calories), and typical adults need about 2,000 calories a day. What about the wine you ask? A 150ml (small glass) of red or white is about 500kj (125 calories), and there are about five glasses per bottle.
In the box
- Roccbox portable pizza oven 531 (L) x 413 (W) x 473 (H) with foldable legs extended
- Gas burner attachment
- Wood burner attachment
- Aluminium Pizza paddle (called a Pizza Peel)
- Velcro carry strap – very necessary to move it
- And a very thoughtful bottle cap opener (pizza goes with beer as well as wine)
It’s a heavy little package – around 30kg including the burner, so it is a two-person lift onto a solid table or bench.
The manual is here.
Gas or wood
Roccbox portable pizza oven is made from insulated calcium silicate, covered by a soft, silicone jacket. The flame rises from the back of the oven and flows over the top of the pizza, heating the body of the oven and its stone floor.
Gas (LPG bottle – no town gas option) can attain 500°+C inside the stone-floored oven.
The wood burner (not tested) can achieve 300°+ but from all reports is harder to light and maintain a constant temperature. And as it is not a smoker (open ovens never can be) the smoke taste wood imparts is quite minor.
As the ideal pizza temperature is 350° then gas it is.
Cooking with gas
Gas has caveats too. On our first attempt, we found it very hard to regulate the heat. Light the gas (piezo ceramic lighter in the burner), and there was a fireball ejection on my first attempt. Note to singed wife – do not stand in front when I am lighting it!
As you will see from the image below you turn the knob anti-clockwise (to the left) to light and then control the flame by turning clockwise. We left it on the solid dot, and within 20 minutes it was at 500°. We turned the dial to low, and 20 minutes later it was still in the red – the stone base retains the heat. Eventually (it seems like eons to the hungry hordes) it edged into orange and we slipped in the first pizza only to have a burning cinder within 60 seconds – still far too hot.
After turning off the gas the thermometer declined to 300°. We relighted and tried again. The second pizza was at 350° cooking in under two minutes with the need to turn it around four times (by 90° increments) to avoid the rear edge burning. Good but no cigar!
Undaunted we vowed to try Roccbox again a couple of nights later.
This time we lit it (no one in front and no spectacular fireball), and instead of placing the knob on the solid dot, we put it on the lower dot. After 30 minutes it had reached about 250° (yellow), so we upped the heat by a ¼-turn, and it was quickly in the red again.