Presto Pizzazz Plus Review
Pros: Affordable, small foot-print, easy to use
Cons: Long bake times, sub-par quality pizza
Compare to Similar Products
Presto Pizzazz Plus
|Price||$54 List||$499 List|
$499 at Amazon
|$250 List||$300 List||$110 List|
|Pros||Affordable, small foot-print, easy to use||Unbelievable heat retention, quick baking time, accurate integrated thermometer, multi-fuel system||Reasonably priced, large capacity, heavily insulated firebox, transformable design improves versatility||High-fire temperatures, amazing airflow, multi-fuel option||Affordable, designed for a normal range oven, fast bake times|
|Cons||Long bake times, sub-par quality pizza||Expensive, heavy, wood-fire box is small||Bulky, heavy, slow to preheat||Dangerous flame blowback, awkward attachment of the gas adaptor||Heat profile depends on oven, heavyweight|
|Bottom Line||This oven is reminiscent of a hot-plate and is user-friendly but does not provide particularly quality results||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||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||Presto Pizzazz Plus||Gozney Roccbox||BakerStone Original||Bertello Outdoor||NerdChef 3/8" Steel...|
|Cooking Performance (30%)|
|Output Power (30%)|
|Ease Of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Presto Pizzazz Plus||Gozney Roccbox||BakerStone Original||Bertello Outdoor||NerdChef 3/8" Steel...|
|Fuel Type||Electric||Gas, Wood (w/ conversion)||Gas||Gas, Wood (w/ conversion)||n/a|
|Power Output||1235 watts||14,330 BTU||25,000 BTU||Not listed||n/a|
|Size of Firebox||n/a||156 cu. in.||n/a||97.5 cu. in.||n/a|
|Average Stone Temperature||300°F||748°F||732°F||777°F||686°F|
|Footprint||229 sq. in.||299 sq. in.||345 sq. in.||301 sq. in.
441 sq. in. (w/ gas attachment)
|228 sq. in.|
|Maximum Pizza Diameter||12'"||12"||13"||12"||14"|
Our Analysis and Test Results
It's tough to define the Pizzazz Plus as a pizza "oven." An electrically heated pizza tin cooks the crust as it rotates underneath a second heating element that cooks the toppings. This convenient, indoor option requires no pre-heating, but don't expect to achieve artisan-quality pizza with this price-point alternative. While it will cook a fresh pizza up to 12", it is equally designed to cook pre-made frozen foods, like chicken nuggets and pizza rolls.
The Pizzazz offers ease and convenience, at the sacrifice of quality pizza. The electric elements require no preheating — you can stretch out dough onto the nonstick, 12" pizza tin, top with ingredients, and be baking a pizza in a matter of minutes. The tin is dimpled to improve the reheating of frozen pizzas, but it's easy to end up with a soggy bottom due to condensation.
Although this appliance requires no preheating, expect bake times much longer than the suggested 12 minutes — we regularly had to add 4-8 more minutes, using just the lower unit to get the crust to bake through. Even with the added baking time, we were continually unimpressed with the quality of the pizza. For those who enjoy soft crust pizzas, it isn't altogether bad, but you will have to navigate switching between the upper and lower heating units to keep the cheese from burning.
A primary issue with the Pizzazz Plus that undoubtedly relates directly to pizza quality is the fact that the two cooking units heat at different temperatures. While the pizza tin maintains a consistent 350°F, the upper unit is working closer to 500°F. Initially, we were impressed with how quickly this appliance baked a fresh pizza, only to lift it from the tray to find that the crust was still very undercooked.
The fact that this is a completely open-air oven means that your pizza is entirely at the whim of only these two heating coils. To its benefit, the design of the rotating pizza tin does do a nice job of keeping the top evenly baked. An additionally thoughtful safety feature — more for the safety of your pizza, than the safety of your kitchen — requires that the tray is properly positioned for the heating elements to even turn on. For the forgetful among us, this ensures that it won't just overcook one-eighth of your pizza while the rest remains in its original, raw state.
Even though there is no way to adjust the power output of the heating coils on the Pizzazz, you can at least choose between using just the upper heating coil, the lower heating unit for the tray, or both. This provides a certain level of control over how each portion of your pizza bakes — if you hope to achieve any level of crispy crust for fresh-dough pizzas, we suggest pre-baking the bottom crust before turning on the upper heating unit.
But even after an additional 6 minutes using only the lower element — half the amount of time the manufacturer suggests for total cooking time — it is difficult to achieve much more than a soft, only slightly toasted crust. For an oven designed on the basis of convenience, it takes a fair number of attempts to dial in the baking process and timing.
Ease of Use
At this point, you may have noticed that we haven't yet referred to the Presto Pizzazz as a "pizza oven". While it may achieve the same goal of a cooked pizza, it is difficult to argue that this appliance is even playing the same game as the other pizza ovens included in this review. However, it is incredibly user-friendly and would make a fine addition to "hot-plate" style kitchens that have no other baking unit to speak of.
We consider the Pizzazz to be the "Easy Bake Oven'' option — it is electric, super easy to set up, and safe and simple enough for even a child to operate. When you are finished, only the nonstick baking tin needs to be washed and wiped dry. One of the biggest disappointments relative to versatility is that it isn't really designed to even keep pizzas warm, because the timer runs out after only 20 minutes.
Price point is certainly the draw for this appliance — it lists at nearly one-fifth of the cost of the majority of the ovens included in this review. It is also one of the few electric options that are suitable for indoor use, particularly in those situations when no type of oven is available.
The Presto Pizzazz Plus is convenient and purposefully designed to bake frozen pizzas as well as other convenience foods. It is an affordable, easy-to-use option for those with minimal space and the inability to cook outdoors. But at this price point, just don't expect to produce the same quality of pizza that some of the other true ovens offer.
— Aaron Rice