We Tried the $50 Pizza Oven That Amazon Shoppers Are Obsessed With

published Feb 19, 2020
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Credit: Sarah Crowley

If there’s thing the American public has grown to trust lately, it’s the hive mind of Amazon shoppers. When something on the site has a rating over 4.5 stars, it’s hard to ignore. Which is how I discovered the Presto Pizzazz Plus. The wacky-looking gizmo promises to bake frozen pizzas (and other frozen treats like potato skins and buffalo wings), so you don’t have to turn on your oven.

You may be thinking: Does anyone really need another small appliance? And, also: How well could it possibly work?

And yet, Amazon shoppers have collectively given this thing a 4.7-star rating; 84 percent of the 4,579 reviewers gave it a whooping 5 stars. Clearly, I had to see what all the hype was about.

Credit: Janet Taylor McCracken
My finished thin crust frozen pizza.

How I Tested the Presto Pizzazz Plus

I decided to start by testing the obvious: pizza! I tried two different kinds from the freezer aisle — a basic thin-crust and another with a thicker crust — as well as some homemade dough I had in my freezer (which I thawed in the refrigerator before employing the Presto Pizzazz Plus). Finally, I tested frozen stuffed potato skins.

First things first, though I had to get the machine up and running. I plugged it in (reader, there is no on/off switch which is a minor bummer), put the pizza on the tray and went to set it in place between the two heating elements (on the top and on the bottom). When the tray is in the right position, it will automatically start to rotate.

It took me a few tries to get there, while making sure the pizza didn’t slip off the tray during the process. In subsequent tries, I put the food on the tray after I got the tray in place, but no matter how many times I used the machine, it was always a little tricky getting the tray in place. Practice didn’t make perfect.

Next, I set the timer and the dual cooking switch and let it get cooking. And you know what? It worked! The crust was crisp, the cheese was melted, and lunch was served! 

Credit: Janet Taylor McCracken
A pizza made with my homemade dough.

The instructions differ for different types of pizzas — rising crust, stuffed crust, extra toppings, fresh, etc! — so I decided to try out some more pizzas.

Credit: Janet Taylor McCracken
The thicker crust frozen pizza.

For both the thicker-crust frozen pizza and the thawed homemade pizza dough, the results were rather disappointing. The cheese melted and browned before the crusts were crisp on the bottom. I ended up finishing both in my oven.

Credit: Janet Taylor McCracken

For the final test, I chose frozen stuffed potato skins, figuring they’d represent just about anything from the frozen snack category. (They’re dense, cheesy, and need to crisp up nicely in order to be good!) Like with the thin-crust pizza, it worked perfectly! The skins were crispy, the potatoes were evenly cooked all the way through after just a few minutes, and the cheese was melty and gooey.

My Final Thoughts on the Presto Pizzazz Plus

Despite its name, I don’t really love this machine for pizza. I guess it could come in handy if your toaster oven is too small for pizza, or you really don’t want to turn on your regular oven during the hot summer months. But I didn’t hate the Presto Pizzazz Plus! either. It could be great for anyone who doesn’t want to splurge on an air fryer, or, say, college kids who need something to heat up snacks in the dorm. Overall, I give it three-and-a-half stars: solid for frozen snacks and thin-crust pizza, but definitely not essential.

Have you tried the Presto Pizzazz Plus? What’d you think? How many stars would you give it?