If You Have Two Minutes, You Can Use This Pizza Oven
My love of outdoor cooking in general and outdoor pizza ovens in particular is well-documented. I collect grills and pizza ovens the way some people collect rare coins. Cooking and eating in my backyard is always my favorite way to entertain, and I’m forever pushing the boundaries of when it’s actually acceptable to eat outside (al fresco Thanksgiving, anyone?), so I was excited to see that Solo Stove was releasing a new pizza oven, the Pi Prime, just in time for an autumn full of outdoor cooking.
Is the Solo Stove Pi Prime Worth It?
Yes! The new Solo Stove Pi Prime at $349.99 is a comparable investment compared to other portable gas-powered pizza ovens, and it’s great for beginners and pizzaiolos alike.
What’s So Great About Solo Stove’s Pi Prime Pizza Oven?
Right away, the first thing that stood out to me about the Pi Prime was how easy it is to use. Because this oven is exclusively gas-powered, all I had to do to get started was attach a propane tank — no charcoal to fire, no wood chunks to tend. The pizza oven has a knob on the front that allows me to light it and control the temperature from low to high. This is a unique feature that makes the oven extremely user-friendly.
The oven includes its own pizza stone, which comes in two halves that lay directly on the bottom of the oven, creating the cooking surface. The stone is easy to install and remove, which makes the oven easier to clean. After about 30 minutes of preheating, the Pi Prime was ready to fire the first pizza.
We stretched and topped a few Neapolitan-style doughs so each person could have their own pie. To launch the pies into the oven, we used a well-floured pizza peel, which we kept handy for rotating the pizza several times as it baked so that the crust would be cooked properly all the way around. The opening of the oven is about 13 inches, which gave me just enough room for my 12-inch pizza peel. I burnt the first pizza, but what I learned was that it’s helpful to turn the oven temp down to medium when cooking a pie, and then bump it back to high to keep the oven hot in between pizzas.
At about 750 degrees, it took just under two minutes to get a pizza with a bubbly, well-charred crust that resembled the spots of a leopard. The cheese was perfectly melted and gave us some excellent cheese-pull action.
Is the Solo Stove Pi Prime Worth the Price?
This is an excellent option for someone who’s just setting out on their pizza-making journey. At $349.99, it’s comparable to or less expensive than other portable gas-powered pizza ovens on the market. Solo Stove also includes a cover for the oven, which I really appreciate because the oven lives in my backyard, so this will help protect it from the elements.
Tips for Using the Solo Stove Pi Prime
- Have extra dough on hand. Whether you make it yourself or outsource, it’s always a smart move to have a few extra balls of pizza dough to work with — especially the first time you use this oven so you can get the hang of things without worrying about someone going hungry.
- Give your oven a full 30 minutes to preheat before firing your first pie.
- In between pizzas, keep the oven temp on high. When you fire a pizza, turn it down to medium so that everything — from crust to interior — cooks perfectly at the same time.
- Go beyond pizza! This oven can and should be used for more than pizza. Solo Stove makes a cast iron cooking kit that includes a grill-like surface as well as a flat surface for cooking everything from steaks to whole fish.
- Check out the Pi Stand, the rolling table/storage system for Solo Stove’s Pi and Pi Prime pizza ovens. It neatly stows the oven and accessories and can be wheeled away when the oven is not being used.
Buy: Solo Stove Pi Prime, $349.99