I admit that I am a bit of a grilled pizza enthusiast (aka nut). It all started when I read an article in my local paper about it. I tried the recipe and became hooked. There is something special about the taste of grilled dough that is so light and airy, rather like freshly cooked lavash from a wood fired oven. But it wasn’t a foolproof process. I ran into challenges of the dough folding over on itself, burning the bottom while the toppings and cheese don’t cook/melt sufficiently, and having to place the dough directly on the dirty grill. Over the years, I tried improving the process by purchasing special pans and utensils. It made it easier for me, but it became costly and there was still a lot of room for improvement. So, when I saw the BakerStone Pizza Oven Box, I said that I had to try it.
Inside the box, there is the oven, and a separate box of the stone pieces. You get a dust cover, a pizza turner, and a wooden peel. The dust cover zips up around the oven box. While only made of a light piece of material, at least it offers a token of protection for the oven while not being used. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to get the pizza turner and wooden peel as they make cooking the pizza so much easier.
There is some assembly that is required before using the oven box. I accidentally removed more of the stone supports that I was supposed to, but still accomplished everything in less than 30 min. You will need a Philips head screwdriver (and scissors for the pizza turner). I am not great with assembly steps, but I have to say that the product guide directions and pictures were clear, understandable, and easy to follow. Remember to wipe the stones for any debris or residue from assembly once you put everything together.
The BakerStone Pizza Oven Box uses three kinds of heat to reach the 500-700 degree goal: convective from the cooking chamber, conductive from the stone itself, and the radiant heat from the top and sides. A frozen pizza will take 7-10 minutes.
I make my own homemade dough in the bread machine. That isn’t necessary for the BakerStone Pizza oven. My son used store bought dough and it turned out equally well. You can also use gluten free and wheat pizza dough.
The directions are simple:
1. Place the pizza oven on the open grill (that you brush down beforehand), set all burners to HIGH and preheat the oven box for 20 minutes, or until the burner setting on the gas grill reaches the desired temperature range. Based on what you cook, you choose either the oven icon baking zone or the flame icon baking zone. TIP: be sure to have enough propane in the tank to cover the preheating time.
2. Next, dust the wooden pizza peel with flour or cornmeal so the dough doesn’t stick. I used instant corn masa flour and loved it! Tap off the extra before placing the stretched-out dough on top. Add toppings.
3. Once the oven box has reached the desired temperature, insert pizza peel into the oven box and slide the pizza onto the bottom stone. Be careful not to tip the pizza over the edge in the back of the stone. **Don’t lower the lid on the oven box. It restricts the air flow and voids the warranty.
4. Bake for 1 minute or until the crust toasts up so it can be moved. Then use the pizza turner to rotate the pizza about a quarter turn every 45 seconds so it bakes evenly as the back of the oven box is the hottest section. It will only take 2-4 minutes to completely cook the pizza, so don’t choose now to mingle with any guests.
5. After you have made your pizza(s), turn the burners to the OFF position and let the oven box cool for at least 90 minutes.
My oven box heated up within the thirty minutes. The end result was fantastic! The food had a nice wood-fired char without being burnt. It looked liked takeout from a restaurant. My family agreed that while I have been making delicious pizza for years, the pizza that came out of the BakerStone Pizza Oven Box was the BEST pizza that I even made. The only CON about this product is the size of the pizza that can be stretched out on the wooden peel is smaller than I typically make.
But you don’t only have to use this for pizza. You can cook breads, meats, vegetables, and even baked goods! In addition to three pizzas (margherita, roasted garlic white pizza with chicken, and buffalo chicken pizza) I made a calzone and I cooked several chicken breasts in a cast iron skillet. They all came out great. I plan to make fajitas with grilled vegetables next. **There is a warning NOT to place foods other than pizza or bread dough on the stones. Instead, use a metal baking sheet, or a cast-iron skillet. I used this video link to watch the process and get recipe ideas https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CRg6XRrayM
One tricky aspect to this product is the amount of handling it entails to move it from the grill and where to store it. The good news is that if you accidentally chip or scratch the stone, it will not affect the performance of the oven box. Luckily, there is a 12-month limited warranty for manufacturing defects. There is a customer service number an email, and a website you can visit for support.
I wholehearted recommend the BakerStone Pizza Oen Box. If you need a good gift idea for someone who enjoys cooking and has an outdoor grill, run to the store and buy them one. While you are at it, get one for yourself. You won’t be sorry.