Reviews You Can Rely On

Camp Chef Italia Artisan Review

A fantastic oven if you want to fire up to 18" New York-style pizzas, but design hampers its ability to replicate the heat of a Neapolitan oven
camp chef italia artisan pizza oven review
The Camp Chef Italia Artisan is one of the largest ovens we tested. A 12" pizza that would fill many of the ovens in this review almost looks tiny in the oversized oven chamber.
Credit: Aaron Rice
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $400 List
Manufacturer:   Camp Chef
By Aaron Rice ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 17, 2022
66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 15
  • Cooking Performance - 30% 7.0
  • Output Power - 30% 6.0
  • Control - 25% 7.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 6.0

Our Verdict

Although the name and shape of the Camp Chef Italia Artisan may be a bit misleading, this oven is more than capable of turning out high-quality pizzas. With an average pizza stone temperature of 647°F and cook times varying between five and seven minutes, this oven is much better suited to firing New York pies or New Haven-style apizza, rather than high-fire Neapolitan style pizzas. The greatest advantage of the Italia Artisan is that it can accommodate up to 18" pizzas, making it much more party-friendly than smaller ovens we tested that can only turn out personal 12" pies. If you love a good NY slice and are looking for a backyard oven to gather friends around, the Italia Artisan may be the ticket.
REASONS TO BUY
Able to bake 18" pizzas
Easy to fire
Even heat distribution
REASONS TO AVOID
Large and heavy
Slower fire times
Doesn't retain heat well
Editor's Note: We added the Camp Chef Italia Artisan to our lineup on November 17, 2022.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $400 List
$239.00 at Amazon
$499 List
$499.00 at Amazon
$350 List
$299.99 at Amazon
$399 List
$396.93 at Amazon
$130 List
$109.95 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
66
85
79
76
72
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Able to bake 18" pizzas, easy to fire, even heat distributionUnbelievable heat retention, quick baking time, accurate integrated thermometer, multi-fuel systemReasonably priced, large capacity, heavily insulated firebox, transformable design improves versatilityFantastic crust quality, high-fire temperatures, compact and portableAffordable, designed for a normal range oven, fast bake times
Cons Large and heavy, slower fire times, doesn't retain heat wellExpensive, heavy, wood-fire box is smallBulky, heavy, slow to preheatSteep learning curve related to control, prolonged cook timesHeat profile depends on oven, heavyweight
Bottom Line A fantastic oven if you want to fire up to 18" New York-style pizzas, but design hampers its ability to replicate the heat of a Neapolitan ovenSuperior design precedes superior performance in this professional-grade oven made for the common cookTop-notch cooking performance, output power, and versatility, all at a fraction of the cost of direct competitorsThe brand that put portable pizza ovens on the map lives up to its name with outstanding performanceA heavy-duty carbon steel slab capable of serious heat transfer to make the best pizza you've ever experienced out of a normal oven
Rating Categories Camp Chef Italia Ar... Gozney Roccbox BakerStone Original Ooni Koda 12 NerdChef 3/8" Steel...
Cooking Performance (30%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Output Power (30%)
6.0
10.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Control (25%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Ease of Use (15%)
6.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
Specs Camp Chef Italia Ar... Gozney Roccbox BakerStone Original Ooni Koda 12 NerdChef 3/8" Steel...
Fuel Type Gas Gas, Wood (w/ conversion) Gas Gas n/a
Power Output 17,000 BTU 14,330 BTU 25,000 BTU 13,648 BTU n/a
Size of Firebox n/a 156 cu. in. n/a n/a n/a
Average Stone Temperature 647°F 748°F 732°F 733°F 686°F
Footprint 588 sq. in. 299 sq. in. 345 sq. in. 368 sq. in. 228 sq. in.
Maximum Pizza Diameter 18" 12" 13" 12" 14"

Our Analysis and Test Results

Inspired by the shape of a traditional barrel chamber pizza oven, the Camp Chef Italia Artisan is more of a mid-level oven in terms of temperature output, despite its powerful 17,000 BTU burner. This oversized, 18" oven is much more of a backyard fixture than a portable option, weighing 47 pounds with a footprint of four square feet. The Italia is gas-powered and can run on a single canister or a full-size propane tank and includes hook-ups for both. The Italia Artisan has a built-in thermometer to monitor ambient air temperature behind the front door of this oven. But we always recommend firing pizzas with an infrared thermometer to read pizza stone temperatures.

Performance Comparison


camp chef italia artisan pizza oven review - much heftier than it is portable, the italia artisan oven is better...
Much heftier than it is portable, the Italia Artisan Oven is better suited for the backyard than a tailgate pizza party.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Cooking Performance


While the Italia Artisan is an attempt to recreate the famed brick ovens of Napoli in miniature form in your backyard, it doesn't hit the mark. Even after allowing it to preheat for an hour –- twice the preheat time of comparable models –- this oven still never hit the ideal 750°F in the center of the pizza stone. The cook surface temperature measured a respectable 647°F on average, cooking 12" pizzas in a little over six minutes on average, with larger pies taking a minute or two more. While these pizzas have the beautiful appearance of a flame-kissed Neapolitan pizza, the texture of the crust and the look of the bottom suggest something more in line with a classic New York slice. You can expect to turn out great pizzas with regularity, just don't expect to recreate a Neapolitan-style pizza with the Italia Artisan.

camp chef italia artisan pizza oven review - why is everyone fussing over neapolitan pizzas? sometimes we want a...
Why is everyone fussing over Neapolitan pizzas? Sometimes we want a chewy, foldable NY slice, and that's exactly what the lower-fire temperatures of the Camp Chef Italia Artisan delivers.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Output Power


Please don't get us wrong; the Italia Artisan oven is hot –- it just doesn't get quite as hot as other ovens we tested or as the marketing materials may suggest. The issues are, unfortunately, in the design: how the burners generate heat and how that hot air moves (or, in this case, doesn't move) through the oven. The 17,000 BTU burners are some of the more powerful in our lineup, but instead of directing flame up and across the roof like a classic barrel chamber pizza oven, the flames are blocked by the oversized pizza stone. The average internal air temperature of 667°F is in the ballpark. Still, without that direct radiative heat from open flames, pushing the pizza stone temperature to hit the 700°F mark that Camp Chef claims is very difficult.

camp chef italia artisan pizza oven review - while most ovens in our lineup took 15-20 minutes to preheat to...
While most ovens in our lineup took 15-20 minutes to preheat to temperatures ranging from 700 to more than 800 degrees, the Camp Chef Italia Artisan maxed out at not quite 660 degrees.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Control


Our analysis and tests indicate that the Italia Artisan is a well-constructed, well-insulated oven. Examining the chamber with an infrared thermometer revealed a standard deviation of only 12°F across the oven's surfaces, putting this model on par with some of the highest-end ovens in our review. But in our experience, any model that includes a cover is already at a disadvantage to more powerful open ovens that use airflow to draw a rolling flame through the oven chamber. Unfortunately, our hunch was confirmed by the performance of the Italia Artisan. Following readings of the thermometer installed on the roof and using an infrared thermometer to measure the pizza stone, we watched the stone and internal air temperatures dip dramatically every time we loaded, turned, or pulled a pizza out of the oven. We love that the large, 22" opening offers a chance to cook larger pizzas. But without an open flame heating the oven chamber, critical convective energy escapes through the front of this oven every time you open it.

The burner setup of the Italia Artisan oven is unlike other ovens we...
The burner setup of the Italia Artisan oven is unlike other ovens we tested, with flame generation from an H-shaped burner on the bottom.
A heat distribution cap sits over that burner to help evenly heat...
A heat distribution cap sits over that burner to help evenly heat the oven chamber and the pizza stone.
The pizza stone sits on top of a grate above the distribution cap...
The pizza stone sits on top of a grate above the distribution cap, and significant gaps on the side allow heat to rise up into the chamber. But without flames directly moving through the oven chamber, you can't expect high-fire temperatures out of the Camp Chef Italia Artisan.

Ease of Use


The Italia Artisan is one of the few pizza ovens in our lineup that requires much assembly. As this small amount of work seems to help keep price points low, we've given Camp Chef a break in the past. But other options at this same price point are practically ready to bake right out of the box. Camp Chef includes a regulator for smaller propane bottles and a hose to connect to a full-size propane tank, allowing you to choose your fuel type. However, we would never consider the Italia Artisan a 'portable' option due to the sheer size and weight. It is, however, incredibly easy to fire and is one of the only options on the market that allows you to bake pizzas up to 18" in diameter. While it may take a minute or two more to bake a full-size pie, the ability to cook larger pizzas makes it much easier to feed a crowd.

camp chef italia artisan pizza oven review - another unexpected result of not having flames move through the...
Another unexpected result of not having flames move through the chamber is that the Camp Chef Italia Artisan is surprisingly dark to work. We actually had to use a flashlight to check on how our pizza was cooking.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Should You Buy the Camp Chef Italia Artisan?


So many ovens on the market are trying to recreate the specialty Neapolitan-style pizza, including the Italia Artisan. But what about all of the other wonderful styles of pizza out there? There is a niche to fill by offering people the chance to make a crispy New Haven apizza, or a perfectly foldable New York slice, right in their backyards. While this oven doesn't produce the types of temperatures required for a Neapolitan pie, it is plenty powerful to recreate these other two beloved styles.

camp chef italia artisan pizza oven review - the camp chef italia artisan is one of the few ovens on the market...
The Camp Chef Italia Artisan is one of the few ovens on the market that can fit a full-sized 16" pizza peel, with room to spare, making it a great option for anyone hoping to cook larger pies.
Credit: Aaron Rice

What Other Pizza Ovens Should You Consider?


There are only a few other ovens on the market capable of tuning their temperature output down to make a NY-style pizza. Surprisingly, The Original Baking Steel turns out this style of pizza more consistently than any oven we tested and only requires the power of the range oven in your kitchen. But if you are set on making Neapolitan-style pizzas, then it is worthwhile checking out the Ooni Koda 12, our top choice for a portable oven.

Aaron Rice
 
You Might Also Like

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More