Tired of cooking my favorite pizzas and calzones in my oven, I wanted a change of pace.
I decided to give outdoor pizza ovens a try.
Maybe it’s the strange design of the Roccbox, but I thought I’d veg out on pizza while watching some of my favorite sci-fi movies.
It seemed fitting…right?
But it wasn’t just the unique design that intrigued me.
One thing that immediately sets outdoor pizza ovens from your typical indoor oven is that they usually reach cooking temperatures faster. Some can do it in 10 minutes, others may take a little longer but it’s usually no longer than 30 minutes.
But that’s not all.
The outdoor versions can usually cook a pizza in about 90 or so seconds.
That’s a huge difference from the 30 or so minutes it might take with your typical indoor oven. How does an outdoor oven accomplish this?
Using extreme heat.
Just how extreme?
You’re looking at about 900F.
With these kinds of temps, you’ll get something that you would expect from a gourmet pizza diner, but right at home.
The dough is the perfect balance between soft and crispy with that beautiful coloring that you would expect.
Prior to the creation of the modern pizza oven, if you wanted that same amazing pizza experience, you had to build an oven with rocks and clay.
Some people still choose to do it this way, but the drawback to that is not being able to move the oven when and if you decide to relocate or want to throw a pizza party at your local park.
These new ovens are affordable, don’t require any handyman experience, hardly any wait time to get up and running, and they’re usually portable. As in, once you figure out how they work, you can start cooking pizzas within a few short minutes.
All without waiting for the long wait times that a traditional oven requires.
Looking at this unusual oven, you might be wondering how does something like this cook a pizza to perfection?
I was baffled at first too.
Once it’s been pre-heated and ready to go, the flame shoots up from the back of the chamber and rolls directly over the top of the cooking stone surface so that the heat warms up the stone flooring without the food or pizza meeting the direct flame.
After some waiting, the oven reaches about 900F making it possible to cook a pizza within 90 seconds.
Another thing that I thought was interesting is how this oven manages to heat itself up to 900F, and yet, it’s able to stay cool to the touch on the exterior.
Let me be clear by saying that it is warm to the touch, but it won’t leave you with any burn injuries if you happen to touch it by accident.
Roccbox claims this oven is weatherproof and doesn’t require any special maintenance or upkeep to protect it from the elements.
I’m not sure I agree?
I feel that if I’m going to be investing any money into something like this, I want it to last- I suggest either storing it away when not in use or covering it with a tarp to protect it from the weather elements.
So, what do I think about the Roccbox?
It’s flexible in terms of fuel sources.
Some outdoor pizza ovens are limited to just one type of fuel source which can impact the flavoring and the types of foods you can cook (You can usually cook more than pizzas in these ovens).
The Roccbox oven can work with gas, wood, or even charcoal.
I was concerned that with these three fuel types to choose from, it might require some finagling to figure out and work out the kinks, but I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t have to study the instruction manual to get up and running.
Aside from cooking, I was curious about the appearances and integrity of the materials.
The Roccbox pizza oven is attractive to the eye.
It kinda reminds me of a UFO, honestly.
Nothing feels flimsy or cheap- something that seems uncommon in some gadgets and appliances these days.
Interestingly enough, the exterior is made from a rubber like material.
At the moment, you can pick from two colors: Green or Gray.
Everything is packaged nicely.
The instruction manual is easy to read and there should be no confusion in setting this oven up or using it for the first few times. I know that some people don’t really use or pay attention to the instruction manuals though… but it is re-assuring to know that if you need help- it’s there.
Even the peel seems well thought out.
Its nonstick coating lets your pizza slide right into the oven without sticking- but there’s also slots that seem to allow any extra flour or cornmeal to drop through, so they don’t create a mess inside your oven.
The edge of this peel is wedge shaped so that it can easily slide under the pizza without damaging the pizza.
Next, there’s the ability to choose from three fuel sources. Gas seems to work great for foods that need quicker cook times and can’t absorb smoky flavors.
The wood burning option is traditional but offers the most robust flavor for whatever you cook.
You can also use charcoal briquettes, but I personally prefer to use flavored wood chips as my primary fuel source.
The gas option seems the most adjustable since you can adjust it almost like a traditional indoor oven.
What about cooking other foods? With the right equipment, this “pizza oven” becomes one of the most versatile outdoor ovens available.
Chicken, pies, and veggies are all possible with the right cookware. And yes, even steak!
So, with so many good things going for this oven, surely I’d be happy to recommend it with no gripes- right?
Well, yes and no.
I believe that no product is perfect, and the Roccbox pizza oven is not without its flaws.
For instance, supposedly this oven should be portable.
In fact, it comes with a special carrying strap that allows you to carry it almost anywhere.
But let’s be realistic here…
This thing weighs about 50lbs (that’s the weight of a large bag of dog food for those who don’t know). I can’t picture myself wanting to carry this thing around all the time, if ever.
The other thing about this oven is that it’s limited in how big of a pizza you can cook in it (11″ maximum).
Would I recommend the Roccbox to others?
When you overlook the small flaws, this pizza oven is one of the most versatile gadgets I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.
If you want an outdoor pizza oven that has flexible fuel source options, can cook a pizza quickly, handles some other foods like steaks- then this might be the right pizza oven for you.