This week I am sharing my experience with my new pizza cooker, the PizzaQue by Pizzacraft. According to Pizzacraft, this portable pizza party in a box is the perfect companion for pizza lovers on the go whether you’re picnicking, camping, tailgating, or just simply trying to bake fresh, homemade pizza through the hot summer months without heating the house up. The PizzaQue certainly seems like a great solution – only time and testing will tell whether it lives up to the claims. In my first post I covered the major features of the PizzaQue. Today I’ll be going through the unboxing and assembly process as well as my first impressions as I fire the pizza cooker up for the first time. Strap in as we explore this camp ready pizza cooker from Pizzacraft.
Unboxing and Assembling The PizzaQue
The first thing I thought as I broke through the packing tape on the box was “wow, this thing is well packed!” One of the most frustrating things when receiving shipped pizza stones is breakage and the bummer of waiting around to receive your replacement is very real. This was not the case with the PizzaQue as each stone was firmly encased in Styrofoam which was nestled down inside the oven itself as it shipped. You could probably hit the box with the UPS truck and still have the pizza stones ready to cook. Pizza STONES you say? Yes! The PizzaQue ships with two pizza stones that are stacked on one another to more evenly distribute the heat from the propane burner below them – a feature that I’m excited to see in action.
One thing to keep in mind as you unpack the oven: there is an electric ignition that sticks out of the oven housing towards the burner. Don’t be in such a hurry to get this thing out of the box that you bend this starter. It’s distance is set at the factory and bending it could cause your oven to have difficulty starting.
How about assembly, you ask? Super quick and super simple. There are literally seven screws to screw in with your phillips-head screwdriver and you are ready to rock. It took me longer to get the bubble wrap off of the individual parts than it did to tighten those seven small screws. Again, packed very solidly
Firing Up The Pizza Cooker For the First Time
Time to fire this thing up. As you can tell, the “cold” stone on that sunny afternoon was a tepid 95.9 degrees Fahrenheit. The instruction booklet for the PizzaQue told me to fire the oven at full blast for at least 15 minutes before then adjusting down to a more manageable cooking temperature – full blast is exactly what I did
We began the afternoon at 95 degrees. I should note – the built-in thermometer reads the temperature of the air in the oven, which is much hotter than the readings I took here. The air in the oven hovered in the 700 degree range for much of the cooking session, which was great.
And by the time I was ready to cook – which was about 30 minutes of firing – the surface of the stone was a healthy 530 degrees. Pair that with an air temperature of around 700 degrees and this portable pizza cooker really lives up to the hype! A very quick firing time will get you to finished pizza much quicker than your kitchen oven will.
The second I ignited the PizzaQue I noticed it: this thing is pretty darn quiet! Some of the other ovens I’ve been playing with can be a bit loud and sound a bit like I’m cooking with a blow torch (which, if we get down to it, I suppose I am). Not so with the PizzaQue. This was an unexpected but pleasant surprise.
The other pleasant surprise I found when firing this oven for the first time was how well engineered it was to keep the heat in the oven and not radiate it out in all directions. How did I test this, one might ask? In the dumbest way possible! Without knowing what would happen or how well engineered the oven was, I set up my PLASTIC folding table, placed a fabric table cloth on top of it and cranked the PizzaQue as high as it would go. Just to add a little extra risk to an already silly situation, I went ahead and went back in the house to prep some ingredients. Well guess what folks? The PizzaQue did me right.
While the stone read 530 degrees, and the air inside the pizza cooker was a balmy 700, the temperature on the table directly below the oven was only 130 degrees. I could shove my entire arm under the hot oven – which I absolutely did because, as we’ve covered, dumb – and never even notice that the oven was on. I would absolutely mark this as possible THE killer feature of the PizzaQue. You can literally park this thing on any surface and not worry one second over whether or not it will damage the surface. Huge thumbs up to the engineering here.
Coming up this Friday
I run the pizza cooker 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 PizzaQue further, check it out on Amazon.com. There’s a lot of great reviews there and the oven ships free for Prime members!
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