Some years ago my wife and I were visiting her parents in Montana and one evening were invited to the home of two of their friends for what was described to us as a “pizza party.” It was a bit of an understatement, and soon our hosts were sliding one spectacular, creatively-topped pizza after another out of a custom-made brick pizza oven. It was amazing, but also sort of unbelievable. Who owns a pizza oven capable of doing that?
I’ve since spent the past five years testing and cooking with home pizza ovens and the answer is, you can. Making a professional-quality pizza at home has never been easier or faster. After making many dozens of pies, and over time testing four different ovens, none has stood above the Gozney Dome.
A Pizza Oven Made for Families (and for Parties)
It’s true the Dome isn’t a magical device that will automatically turn you into a master pizzaiolo (the Italian word for someone who makes pizza professionally), and the ingredients you use will greatly influence your pizza. But you don’t have to spend a ton of money on ingredients, or even put a lot of effort into your technique. For testing the Gozney Dome, I used store-bought dough, bottled sauce, and supermarket-brand pepperoni. Even my oblong, bubbly, not-very-pretty pies were delicious. That’s in big part thanks to the oven.
One of the best things about the Dome is that it’s easy to use, heats up quickly, and has an accurate built-in thermometer. It also retains heat really well. This is important because when you put a cold pizza into a hot oven, it cools down the interior enough that you need to wait for it to reheat before you can make another. The Dome proved so effective at keeping its heat that I was able to make one pie after another, with minimal delays. That makes it perfect not just for pies for the family, but also if you want to cook for a crowd.
The pizzas also cook unbelievably quickly; we’re talking about 90 seconds when it’s at its hottest and three to five minutes when it’s cooled down a bit. You’ll spend more time making the pizzas, which your kids can help you with, than cooking them.
A Sturdy, Safe-Feeling Oven
After cooking a great many pizzas over multiple tests, using both propane and kiln-dried firewood (which is easily available online), I’m convinced the Gozney Dome is one of the best and most efficient home pizza ovens you can buy. It’s also a truly beautiful oven and a statement piece in any backyard or patio.
With help from a friend or family member installation is also a snap. The oven itself comes almost entirely assembled, and once you build the stand (which, admittedly, takes a bit of work) and secure the oven on top the unit feels incredibly sturdy.
The stand has locking wheels which prevent it from accidentally shifting, and I was blown away by the high quality of Gozney’s materials, including the oven, the stand, and the accessories I tested.
The Gozney Dome Is a Worthwhile Investment
It’s not lost on me that the Gozney Dome is quite expensive ($1,999). But for sheer ease of use, safety, and consistency, nothing I’ve cooked with beats the Dome.
You will need additional equipment to use your Dome, though, which adds to the cost. The essential items are a pizza turning peel, a pizza placement peel, and a handheld thermometer for making sure the pizza oven’s surface (the deck) comes to the right temperature. I tested all three, as well as the Dome Mantel, which is useful if you want to pull out a pizza to take a peek at it before putting it back in. I also tested the wood loader, which was extremely helpful for safely adding firewood to the oven. And if you store your oven outdoors and in the open I strongly recommend a cover.
Once you have everything you need, the Dome is a dream. The pizzas cook quickly, and I had great success using both easy-to-find supermarket ingredients and fancier, specialty ingredients. Using accessories I didn’t test, such as Gozney’s rope-sealed door and steam injector, you can also use the Dome to bake bread, or roast or smoke meat and vegetables.
But because of how easy the oven is to use, you don’t have to be a master chef to have a great time; simply cranking out pizzas with nothing more than supermarket dough, unseasoned jarred tomato sauce (passata), and either shredded or fresh mozzarella will make you a hero in your family.
BUY IT: Gozney Dome