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Mont Alpi Portable Review

A large-bodied, versatile option that flaunts the good looks of much more expensive pizza ovens
Mont Alpi Portable
Credit: Amazon
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Price:   $275 List | $275.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Aesthetic, large and versatile, easy to operate
Cons:  Lower average internal temperature, lack of insulation, long preheat times
Manufacturer:   Mont Alpi
By Aaron Rice ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 3, 2021
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63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 10
  • Cooking Performance - 30% 6
  • Output Power - 30% 5
  • Control - 25% 7
  • Ease of Use - 15% 8

Our Verdict

The Mont Alpi Portable is designed as a price-point pizza oven, with all of the charm of much more expensive models, but with a cooking performance relative to its expense. An integrated thermometer allows you to accurately maintain internal temperatures up to 630°F, and a single gas-burner allows for quick and simple adjustment of pizza stone temperatures. Even though its output power doesn't put it in the realm of much hotter Neapolitan pizza ovens, the large baking chamber of this Tuscan-style barrel vault oven makes it more forgiving for the novice chef, and more versatile for those looking to cook more than just pizza.

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Pros Aesthetic, large and versatile, easy to operateUnbelievable 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 portableHigh-fire temperatures, amazing airflow, multi-fuel option
Cons Lower average internal temperature, lack of insulation, long preheat timesExpensive, heavy, wood-fire box is smallBulky, heavy, slow to preheatSteep learning curve related to control, prolonged cook timesDangerous flame blowback, awkward attachment of the gas adaptor
Bottom Line A large-bodied, versatile option that flaunts the good looks of much more expensive pizza ovensSuperior 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 powerful pizza oven with the special capability to cook with gas and wood simultaneously
Rating Categories Mont Alpi Portable Gozney Roccbox BakerStone Original Ooni Koda 12 Bertello Outdoor
Cooking Performance (30%)
6
9
9
9
8
Output Power (30%)
5
10
7
7
9
Control (25%)
7
6
7
7
6
Ease Of Use (15%)
8
7
9
7
5
Specs Mont Alpi Portable Gozney Roccbox BakerStone Original Ooni Koda 12 Bertello Outdoor
Fuel Type Gas Gas, Wood (w/ conversion) Gas Gas Gas, Wood (w/ conversion)
Power Output 12,000 BTU 14,330 BTU 25,000 BTU 13,648 BTU Not listed
Size of Firebox n/a 156 cu. in. n/a n/a 97.5 cu. in.
Average Oven Temperature 586°F 772°F 756°F 756°F 723°F
Footprint 306 sq. in. 299 sq. in. 345 sq. in. 368 sq. in. 301 sq. in.
441 sq. in. (w/ gas attachment)
Maximum Pizza Diameter 12" 12" 13" 12" 12"

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Mont Alpi is a miniaturized — or table-top — version of larger, more powerful, gas-fired pizza ovens. The full stainless steel frame houses a single, 12,000 BTU burner situated below the 12" pizza stone. Relative to other designs, the most obvious difference with this oven is the oversized front door — measured at 107 square inches, it is more than double the size of other oven fronts. This detail alone makes it more of a versatile oven, and one that is certainly not confined to only baking pizza.

Performance Comparison


The Mont Alpi puts up a good fight for the most classically stylish...
The Mont Alpi puts up a good fight for the most classically stylish oven in this review.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Cooking Performance


The shape of this pizza oven really sets it apart from the majority of the pack. Instead of the sleek designs that seem ubiquitous amongst modern, portable pizza ovens, the Mont Alpi has a higher vaulted ceiling more akin to a Tuscan-style barrel vault oven. In fact, the 1.13 cubic-foot chamber of this oven is nearly double that of other ovens we tested.

The enormous front opening is guarded by a disappointingly...
The enormous front opening is guarded by a disappointingly lightweight front door. Which, as you can see around the edges, could benefit from a tighter fit and some insulation.
Credit: Aaron Rice

As a result, you may imagine that it takes longer for this oven to heat up than others — and you would be correct. A 5-10 minute preheat will get the internal temperature up to an average of 630°F, but it is going to take more like 20-30 minutes to pull the pizza stone temperature up to an average hovering around 575°F. While it is duly capable of producing golden-tinged, thin-crust pizzas in 5-7 minutes, it takes nearly that same amount of time to recover those ideal New York-style temperatures in between firing pizzas.

Even though it may take longer to bake than most of the other...
Even though it may take longer to bake than most of the other gas-fired ovens we tested, it certainly produces a quality thin-crust pizza.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Output Power


The lack of insulation incorporated into the stainless steel construction of the Mont Alpi is a curse, but the inherent reflectivity of stainless steel is at least a bit of a blessing. Even without a thicker oven body, the heat radiated around the chamber settles comfortably around 500°F during normal operation. This won't be hot enough to cook Neapolitan-style pizzas, but it is certainly enough power for low- to mid-fired pizzas, like a Detroit- or New York-style pie.

The stainless steel oven chamber is highly reflective, and draws...
The stainless steel oven chamber is highly reflective, and draws heavily on this capability to cook the upper crust. However, you can also see that the burner is ideally located directly underneath the pizza stone, for effective conductive heating.
Credit: Aaron Rice

The largest benefit to the power of the Mont Alpi oven is the positioning of the U-shaped burner directly underneath the pizza stone. This means that the loss of internal heat isn't as detrimental as it may seem. Instead of having to rely on the convective heat of the oven to reheat the stone from the top, its conductive-cooking capability is backed up directly by a gas burner. Unlike many other ovens that can easily burn pizzas with flames rolling over the top, you have to manage the burner to make sure that the bottom of the crust doesn't overcook first.

Not quite as hot as we would have liked, but still quite impressive...
Not quite as hot as we would have liked, but still quite impressive based on the general lack of insulation this oven carries.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Control


Beyond the lack of insulation, the fact that the door must be removed to maneuver or even check on the status of a pizza results in a significant loss of heat each time it is opened. The thermometer integrated into the door does an incredible job of accurately reading the internal temperature, but without an additional infrared thermometer, it is tough to find that optimal balance between the pizza stone and internal temperatures.

It is an unfortunate consequence of design that this pizza oven...
It is an unfortunate consequence of design that this pizza oven loses so much heat each time you need to turn a pizza.
Credit: Aaron Rice

The shape, power, and positioning of the single gas burner ensures that you will always have adequate heat from the bottom — just make sure to give this oven plenty of time between pizzas to regain optimal internal heat. But to the benefit of aspiring Pizzaiuolo, there is much less of a chance that you will end up with an inedibly charred pizza while you hone your skills. That said, it will likely take time to learn the temperature tendencies of this oven before you are able to achieve pizza perfection.

The single U-shaped propane burner does a solid job of controlling...
The single U-shaped propane burner does a solid job of controlling both the temperature of the pizza stone and the overall internal air temperature of the oven.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Ease of Use


The Mont Alpi is much easier to fire — and much more forgiving — than other gas-fired models we tested. The position and even distribution of the heat source mean that once you learn how to manage the burner, this oven requires very little attention, unlike others that require you to constantly monitor and turn the pizza to avoid burning. And the fact that it takes an average of seven minutes to bake a pizza makes it more reasonable to fire alone — you will likely have enough time to prep, stretch, and top the next dough well before the currently baking pizza is ready to come out.

The oversized front opening makes it much easier to launch pizzas...
The oversized front opening makes it much easier to launch pizzas onto the stone.
Credit: Aaron Rice

It may be obvious — based on appearances alone — that this oven is more of a pain to store than many others we tested in this review. Despite its relatively light weight, at just under 30 pounds we would be hard-pressed to recommend this bulky oven as a portable option. Rather, this beautiful oven should earn its place as a mainstay of your outdoor kitchen.

Although it is lightweight, the bulk of the Mont Alpi oven makes it...
Although it is lightweight, the bulk of the Mont Alpi oven makes it less of a portable option, and less user-friendly to store. At the same time, why would you want to hide this beautiful oven?
Credit: Aaron Rice

Value


The size and shape of the oven chamber make the price-point Mont Alpi a much more versatile oven than most. Though we focused on pizzas for the sake of this review, it is one of the few we would also recommend to bread bakers. While it might not be capable of producing high-fire pizzas, the opportunity for creativity certainly increases its already reasonable value.

The Mont Alpi oven presents a formidable aesthetic, sure to become...
The Mont Alpi oven presents a formidable aesthetic, sure to become the focal point of any outdoor kitchen space.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Conclusion


From pizzas to bread, the Mont Alpi Portable presents solid performance that aligns well with its value. For those who love the classic aesthetic of Tuscan ovens, there is no other option that even comes close to touching the beauty, never mind the value, of this approachable and versatile pizza oven.

Fresh pizza anyone? While it might not be suited to producing...
Fresh pizza anyone? While it might not be suited to producing Neapolitan-style pizzas, the Mont Alpi oven is still capable of churning out delicious pies.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Aaron Rice