There's plenty of time for flowery language, but we'll shoot straight to the point: our Editors' Choice Award winner, the Gozney Roccbox, is simply a superior pizza oven. From the moment you unbox this hefty portable appliance, you can tell there is something formidable about its construction. The first time you easily push the oven past the baseline standard of 800°F, producing a golden-tinged, perfectly puffed Neapolitan-style pizza in genuinely less than 90 seconds, you'll be sold on the unique oven design. And whether you're running the Roccbox as a wood- or gas-fired oven, the ease of use combined with its unparalleled performance will leave even the backyard pizza amateur feeling like a master Pizzaiuolo.Editor's Note: The Gozney Roccbox review was updated on February 14th, 2022, with added tips on who we recommend this product to and better comparisons between models.
Gozney Roccbox Review
Pros: Unbelievable heat retention, quick baking time, accurate integrated thermometer, multi-fuel system
Cons: Expensive, heavy, wood-fire box is small
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|Pros||Unbelievable heat retention, quick baking time, accurate integrated thermometer, multi-fuel system||Reasonably priced, large capacity, heavily insulated firebox, transformable design improves versatility||Fantastic crust quality, high-fire temperatures, compact and portable||High-fire temperatures, amazing airflow, multi-fuel option||Affordable, designed for a normal range oven, fast bake times|
|Cons||Expensive, heavy, wood-fire box is small||Bulky, heavy, slow to preheat||Steep learning curve related to control, prolonged cook times||Dangerous flame blowback, awkward attachment of the gas adaptor||Heat profile depends on oven, heavyweight|
|Bottom Line||Superior design precedes superior performance in this professional-grade oven made for the common cook||Top-notch cooking performance, output power, and versatility, all at a fraction of the cost of direct competitors||The brand that put portable pizza ovens on the map lives up to its name with outstanding performance||A powerful pizza oven with the special capability to cook with gas and wood simultaneously||A 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||Gozney Roccbox||BakerStone Original||Ooni Koda 12||Bertello Outdoor||NerdChef 3/8" Steel...|
|Cooking Performance (30%)|
|Output Power (30%)|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Gozney Roccbox||BakerStone Original||Ooni Koda 12||Bertello Outdoor||NerdChef 3/8" Steel...|
|Fuel Type||Gas, Wood (w/ conversion)||Gas||Gas||Gas, Wood (w/ conversion)||n/a|
|Power Output||14,330 BTU||25,000 BTU||13,648 BTU||Not listed||n/a|
|Size of Firebox||156 cu. in.||n/a||n/a||97.5 cu. in.||n/a|
|Average Stone Temperature||748°F||732°F||733°F||777°F||686°F|
|Footprint||299 sq. in.||345 sq. in.||368 sq. in.||301 sq. in.
441 sq. in. (w/ gas attachment)
|228 sq. in.|
|Maximum Pizza Diameter||12"||13"||12"||12"||14"|
Our Analysis and Test Results
In its gas-powered form, the Gozney Roccbox is lit by a single 14,330 BTU propane injector that snaps into the "quick-fit gasket" on the bottom of the oven. It is easily interchangeable with their Wood Burner 2.0 accessory attachment for those "looking to master the art of wood-fired cooking." Whether fired with gas or wood, the innovative baffle plate design above the flame injector sends a rolling flame out over the 12" stone to cook pizzas with an unmatched efficiency that truly holds to the 90 seconds-or-less tradition of Neapolitan-style pizza ovens. Once you are accustomed to it, the Gozney may end up feeling as essential as a grill in your outdoor kitchen.
Gozney is a British company with a relatively short but substantial history of developing exceptional professional-grade pizza ovens for both commercial and residential use. From the outside, this portable version has the appearance of a 1960's avant-garde design à la the Jetsons. While it may look futuristic, the Roccbox draws upon design foundations intended to mimic the insulation, heat retention, and forward-drawing airflow of a traditional Neapolitan-style pizza oven — and it does so beautifully.
After a standard preheating period of approximately 20 minutes, this oven pushes temperatures that pushed the 800°F limits of our infrared thermometer. The internal air temperature of the oven chamber hovers near 795°F, with an average reading of 748°F across the pizza stone. Using those two temperatures to determine the mean cooking temperature, the Roccbox secures itself squarely as the hottest oven in our review. With the notable exception of being a gas-fired oven, this is one of the few that genuinely matches the standards set forth by the AVPN for a Neapolitan pizza oven: capable of baking pizzas at a minimum temperature of 806°F in just 60-90 seconds. This impressive cook time and quality earned this oven an above-average score in this metric.
Based on an insulated construction that combines a thick 19mm cordierite pizza stone at the base with a calcium silicate backed dome, this result is none-too-surprising. What is truly remarkable is the relative ease with which you can turn your homemade dough into gracefully singed, delicately fluffed crusts of a near-perfect Neapolitan pizza the very first time firing this oven. While other ovens took a little while to feel out, the Roccbox was approachable from the get-go, immediately churning out superb pizzas that we couldn't wait to cut into.
The savvy reader may notice that our average temperature readings don't quite make the AVPN cut. But we took those numbers just after the preheat period — in fact, both the oven and pizza stone temperatures continue to rise during use. The Roccbox is outfitted with a thermometer built into the pizza stone. As a thermocouple probe, we trust it to be incredibly accurate, and it routinely recorded temperatures in the range of 860°F after a half-hour of firing pizzas.
While the secret behind the intensity of this oven is the insulation, perhaps the most distinguishing design feature is the burner — or rather, propane injector. Unlike other gas ovens where a standard burner commonly produces a series of small flames, the single burner of the Roccbox forces propane through a 1.1mm injector, generating the flamethrower-like torch emanating from the back of the oven. Positive airflow from the open-front draws this flame forward, simulating the convective heat transfer of a traditional wood-fired oven that effectively cooks Neapolitan-style pizzas. It is the only oven that earned a perfect 10 out of 10 in this metric.
Although this is a multi-fuel model, the capability of this as a gas-powered oven far outstrips its ability as a wood-fired oven. Since the flame injector is built into the oven chamber, a wood fire will still burn quite hot, generating that rolling "true wood flame" we expect from an all-natural fuel source. However, like all portable, wood-fired ovens we tested, the amount of fuel is limited by the size of the firebox. Even though the 156 cubic-inch box is the largest of any conversion we've come across, the unfortunate combination of the limited firebox size and the efficiency with which it burns makes it difficult for even a dedicated fire-tender to keep up with stoking it.
For those with a basic understanding of how one should work a pizza in a high-fire oven, the Roccbox is surprisingly easy to fire, particularly when compared to its direct competitors. Unlike other models, the unique design of this oven produces the same type of flame regardless of whether it is fired with propane or wood. A baffle plate just above the fuel injector blocks the flame as it rises, artificially creating turbulence that causes it to spread out, resulting in an even flame distribution over the extent of the oven chamber. The Roccbox is not the highest scorer in the group but is still above average in this metric.
The baffled design is engineered to replicate the natural way that wood-flames fan out and roll over the ceiling of the oven chamber, carrying essential heat forward and ever-so-gently kissing the upper crust and fresh toppings. The intense flames give your pizzas that sought-after, "artisanal" look, with just the right amount of char so that your guests know these pizzas were made fresh. We know it is a long road even to understand the subtle skill of a master Pizzaiuolo, but this oven inspired us with the confidence to fully pursue the art of pizza making.
The Roccbox stands out among powerful, gas-fired options as an accessible oven that will likely appeal to novices and professionals. However, for all of the praise heaped onto this oven so far, it is not without its flaws. While the insulation is crucial to retaining vital heat, this oven is so insulated that it is difficult to dump when the moment calls for it. Even with the fuel output turned all the way down to the lowest setting, the oven chamber continues to gain heat, making it challenging to manage the temperature of the pizza stone in particular.
Ease of Use
While the continually rising temperature is certainly a control issue to be aware of, when viewed through the lens of functionality, the thermal inertia of this oven becomes more intriguing. Traditional pizza ovens were first fired into the same extreme temperature range we know the Roccbox is capable of. But after they were "shut off," chefs then pivoted to other cooking and baking tasks as the oven radiated away that heat over the next few hours. Similarly, the well-insulated Roccbox takes hours to cool down, which makes it a compelling option for those also interested in baking bread.
Like other multi-fuel models, the Roccbox is easier and more convenient to fire as a gas-powered oven. But unlike other models we tested, this is one where we actually prefer the gas-fired option over the more traditional — and often more satisfying — wood alternative. Its unique burner design produces an appealing and effective rolling flame regardless of the fuel source, so why not choose the more convenient option? In its gas-fired format, you can easily operate this oven solo, where you can prep dough and fire pizzas simultaneously, whenever the mood strikes.
A heavy-duty lifting strap makes this 44-pound oven a little more reasonable to transport — though based on the weight, we aren't planning on carrying it to a picnic anytime soon. The detachable burners are surprisingly more of a burden than a blessing when it comes to storage. While the legs fold up to make the oven body more compact, we fear that the fuel injector could be accidentally damaged without an included storage box for the gas burner. The Roccbox earned an average score for the group.
Should You Buy the Gozney Roccbox?
A restaurant-grade oven in a portable format, the Gozney Roccbox consistently delivers professional quality, Neapolitan-style pizzas from the comfort of your backyard — or wherever your cooking adventures may take you. It went above and beyond when put to the test against other top pizza ovens. If perfection is what you're after, and you don't mind paying a premium for an exceptionally well-made kitchen tool, it is easy for us to recommend the Roccbox.
What Other Pizza Ovens Should You Consider?
With all of these distinctions, it hopefully won't come as much surprise that the Roccbox falls at the top end of the price spectrum. This professional-grade pizza oven is built with materials designed to last. As such, Gozney backs this oven up with an unprecedented five-year warranty with product registration. If you want professional quality pizza, but don't want the labor-intensive process, the Breville Smart Oven Pizzaiolo takes all of the guesswork out of firing. However, you will pay a premium for this luxury. If you are just beginning to dabble in the art of home pizza pies, you may want to start with something that is not such a significant investment. The BakerStone Original is one of our favorite ovens that shows top performance in most metrics at a much lower cost than other models.
— Aaron Rice
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