In my continuing feature on the Blackstone Outdoor Pizza Ovens, today I am going to talk about unboxing, assembling, and firing this outdoor pizza oven for the very first time. Follow along as I take you through the entire process and even make some blunders along the way so you don’t have to. Stay tuned for all the fun with this Blackstone Outdoor Pizza Oven!
Some Assembly Required
Immediately after removing all the parts from the box I felt a wave of panic as I surveyed the scene. Laying all the various parts and pieces out in front of me I started to feel like maybe I had inadvertently signed myself up for a Ikea style building project.
But take heart! The reality is that although there are a few parts to put together, it takes about 30 minutes or less and the only tool required is a screwdriver. In fact, as you can see in the hardware kit (below) there are only 8 screws which require a tool at all. All the other pieces either snap into place or make use of hardware that is meant to be tightened by hand. Once I got over the sheer footprint of the various pieces, assembly was easy, straightforward, and relatively quick.
The Rotation Motor and the Ignitor
Now if you remember from Monday, I mentioned that the bottom pizza stone rotates. That rotation is driven by an electric motor which can either be powered by the (included) AC power supply, or by D-size batteries. I want to mention this again as it would be very helpful for you to plan out your placement of the outdoor pizza oven based on where electricity was available. On the other hand, you may just want to invest in some rechargeable D-size batteries an put the darn thing wherever you please. Either way – have a plan.
Speaking of plans – the ignitor is also battery powered! You’ll need a single, double-A battery which will live inside the ignition unit. This battery creates the spark that initially ignites the propane and is pretty darn necessary, so grab a double-A while you’re out there shopping for rechargeable D batteries as well.
Time to Fire This King of Outdoor Pizza Ovens
Ok, so 30 minutes in and I have myself one beefy, solid feeling pizza oven. I’ve used my screwdriver 8 whole times, I’ve busted out an extension cord to power the rotation of the pizza stone, and I even robbed the TV remote of it’s double-Ad battery to ignite the burner. Nothing left but to fire this puppy up!
With the regulator in the fully open position at the propane tank, I rotated the outdoor pizza ovens front knob and hit the ignitor. The flames sprang to life instantly! I was actually a bit surprised at just how much flame is put out from the burner – and how loud the blue jets of fire were too. Now I wouldn’t call the oven “noisy” or anything like that – I guess I just mention it to say it had no occurred to me that the oven would make any noise at all. So now, writing that, I definitely sound pretty dumb. Anywho, be prepared for some light burner noise and some serious burner heat.
The First Firing
The owner’s manual states that standard operating procedure is to run the burner on high for ten minutes, and then back the flame down to achieve your cooking temperature. This was a very convenient recommendation as that number one question on my my mind was, “how fast does this thing heat up?” Folks: fast. Check it out:
Above, you see the surface temperature of the pizza stone before firing the oven. It was a beautiful 85.1 out in the shade – absolutely perfect for some backyard cooking. I fired the oven and started the stopwatch. After exactly 10 minutes I took another surface temperature reading again and was met with the below image:
That’s right – 724 degrees fahrenheit in exactly 10 minutes. My kitchen oven takes a solid 20 minutes or more to achieve a wimpy 550 degree cooking temperature and to add insult to injury, it also heats up my house to a neighborhood nearing triple digits as well. I was amazed and very pleased with the outdoor pizza ovens ability to get to such high temperatures so quickly.
Coming up this Friday
I run the oven through it’s paces, cook a few pizzas, and give you all the details on what I find. If you’d like to check out the Blackstone Outdoor Pizza Ovens further, check it out on Amazon.com. There’s a lot of great reviews there and the oven ships free!
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