Slice Serious Eats recently tested the new Breville Crispy Crust Countertop Pizza Oven. They began with modest expectations due to their past experiences with countertop pizza cookers, but they soon discovered that the little ‘pizza pod’ as they came to affectionately call it, did indeed perform as advertised, “pumping out 10-inch pies in about 7 minutes, crisp bottom crust, decent charring, and all.”
On the top of the pizza maker rests an on-off knob, temperature knob (labeled thick to thin) and heat indicator light. Inside is a 12” stone cooking surface, vented on 2 sides. There’s a double-coiled heating element on top and the stone is heated by an element below.
The folks at Slice cranked the cooker up to 11, and waited 45 minutes (not sure how long is actually necessary for pre-heating) before opening her up to take a temp reading. The thermometer registered 633 degrees F (the packaging promises temps up to 660 degrees F.) They used a particular style pizza for testing which contains a bit of olive oil and sugar in it, which apparently makes it a more forgiving recipe to cook on low temps. Simply place the pie inside, close the lid and watch the progress through the observation window.
Seven minutes later they popped open the cooker to find they had a (nearly) perfectly cooked pizza. The Slice folks said “Taste-wise, the most impressive characteristic is the bottom crust.” Apparently they decided to cook a pizza in their standard convection oven (in an aluminum pan) at the office for comparisons; their findings? “That the Breville version was far superior. It cooked a few minutes faster, came out moister and crispier, with a puffier lip to boot.” Although they weren’t so pleased with the amount of charring (or lack thereof) on the outer crust, they were definitely impressed by the bake of the lower crust…
… and decided that the pizza had “decent hole structure” though it was starting to dry by the end of the bake.
Slice explained that the oven is a bit slow to produce a cooked pizza in part because of the way the top coil cycles on and off based on the thermostat and also in part because the oven’s chamber has such little airspace, thus very little room for air movement. In many standard pizza ovens hot air is carried around the pizza as it cooks.
Their conclusion is that the Beville is “the best” they’ve seen as far as countertop pizza makers go, and it’s pretty handy for folks who don’t want to heat up their whole oven to bake a pizza.
Read the full article here.
Check out the video for more info on using the Breville!