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Solo Stove Pi Review

This beautiful, impressively powerful oven is designed to become the centerpiece of any backyard pizza party
solo stove pi pizza oven review
These gas-fired ovens are good for more than just pizza. The Solo Stove Pi produces temperatures perfect for roasting broccoli as a fresh topping.
Credit: Aaron Rice
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Price:  $895 List
Manufacturer:   Solo Stove
By Aaron Rice ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 17, 2022
85
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 15
  • Cooking Performance - 30% 9.0
  • Output Power - 30% 10.0
  • Control - 25% 8.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 5.0

Our Verdict

Solo Stove took everything they learned from making incredibly efficient fire pits and transferred that knowledge into making an equally efficient pizza oven. The Solo Stove Pi is easily one of the most powerful backyard options in our review, with average pizza stone temperatures pushing 800°F and ambient oven temperatures soaring well above that. Although it quickly turns out perfectly puffed Neapolitan-style pizzas in just a few minutes, this easy-to-use oven can regulate lower temperatures too, making it more versatile for baking different styles of pizza. While it is not nearly as portable as other ovens we tested, the multi-fuel Solo Stove Pi is a stainless steel beauty worthy of its place as a backyard centerpiece.
REASONS TO BUY
Incredible heat output
Even heat distribution throughout the oven chamber
Aesthetic appeal
REASONS TO AVOID
Very expensive
Bulky and heavy
A tendency towards flair-ups
Editor's Note: We added the Solo Stove Pi to our lineup on November 17, 2022.

Compare to Similar Products

 
solo stove pi pizza oven review
This Product
Solo Stove Pi
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $895 List
$709.99 at Amazon
$499 List
$499.00 at Amazon
$1,000 List
$799.95 at Amazon
$350 List
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$109.95 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
85
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Star Rating
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Pros Incredible heat output, even heat distribution throughout the oven chamber, aesthetic appealUnbelievable heat retention, quick baking time, accurate integrated thermometer, multi-fuel systemExceptionally user-friendly, able to bake multiple types of pizza, stylishReasonably priced, large capacity, heavily insulated firebox, transformable design improves versatilityAffordable, designed for a normal range oven, fast bake times
Cons Very expensive, bulky and heavy, a tendency towards flair-upsExpensive, heavy, wood-fire box is smallExtravagantly expensive, bulky footprint, pulls a significant amount of powerBulky, heavy, slow to preheatHeat profile depends on oven, heavyweight
Bottom Line This beautiful, impressively powerful oven is designed to become the centerpiece of any backyard pizza partySuperior design precedes superior performance in this professional-grade oven made for the common cookAn indoor alternative to building your own authentic wood-fired brick oven outside, this specialty pizza oven is the type of appliance to incorporate into a kitchen re-designTop-notch cooking performance, output power, and versatility, all at a fraction of the cost of direct competitorsA 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 Solo Stove Pi Gozney Roccbox Breville Smart Oven... BakerStone Original NerdChef 3/8" Steel...
Cooking Performance (30%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
Output Power (30%)
10.0
10.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Control (25%)
8.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Ease of Use (15%)
5.0
7.0
10.0
9.0
8.0
Specs Solo Stove Pi Gozney Roccbox Breville Smart Oven... BakerStone Original NerdChef 3/8" Steel...
Fuel Type Gas, Wood (w/ conversion) Gas, Wood (w/ conversion) Electric Gas n/a
Power Output 15,000 BTU 14,330 BTU 1800 watts 25,000 BTU n/a
Size of Firebox 128 cu. in. 156 cu. in. n/a n/a n/a
Average Stone Temperature 776°F 748°F 756°F (on "Wood Fired" setting) 732°F 686°F
Footprint 637 sq. in. 299 sq. in. 335 sq in. 345 sq. in. 228 sq. in.
Maximum Pizza Diameter 12" 12" 12" 13" 14"

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Solo Stove Pi is a multi-fuel oven: the standard version is a more affordable wood-burning option, while adding a gas burner pushes the price point up significantly. The gas burner cranks out an impressive 15,000 BTU per hour, capable of making 12" pizzas in just a few minutes. This oven maintains the classic round design of Solo's fire pits, offering a wide opening that makes it easier to observe the baking progress and turn pizzas. Like their fire pits, the oversized footprint of the Solo Stove Pi makes it more of a backyard fixture to gather around rather than a portable pizza oven to pull out at a tailgate.

Performance Comparison


solo stove pi pizza oven review - a beautiful, powerful oven that is capable of producing beautiful...
A beautiful, powerful oven that is capable of producing beautiful pizzas. Like their firepits, the Solo Stove Pi is sure to become the fixture of any backyard.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Cooking Performance


Without a doubt, the Solo Stove Pi is one of the finest backyard pizza ovens we have tested to date. This oven is beautiful to behold and consistently turns out pretty pizzas. In its gas-powered form on its highest output setting, this powerful oven can turn out perfectly crisped Neapolitan-style pizzas in as little as two minutes. It boasts one of the highest pizza stone temperatures of any oven in our lineup, with an average temperature of a searing 776°F.

solo stove pi pizza oven review - high-fire ovens like the solo stove pi produce amazing pizza, but...
High-fire ovens like the Solo Stove Pi produce amazing pizza, but often require a learning period to figure out how to work quickly with such intense temperatures.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Unlike other barrel-style ovens, the Pi is one of the few unconventionally shaped backyard pizza ovens that is still capable of re-creating the heat and airflow necessary to produce a Neapolitan-style pie nearly per the standards set forth by the AVPN for a Neapolitan pizza oven. Although the opening appears wider than most other ovens we've tested –-which, indeed, does help with ease of operation –- the Pi can still only cook a 12" pizza.

solo stove pi pizza oven review - but the result is pizza with a perfectly tinged crust that would...
But the result is pizza with a perfectly tinged crust that would make any Pizzaiolo proud!
Credit: Aaron Rice

Output Power


Although the Pi comes as a wood-burning pizza oven in its original form, like most multi-fuel options we tested, this oven truly shines once you attach the gas burner. With the gas burner installed, it takes a mere 12 minutes to reach an ideal stone temperature of 750°F. By that point, the ambient air temperature within the oven chamber already exceeded the 800°F maximum of our infrared thermometer –- we would not be surprised if this heavily insulated dome is capable of oven chamber temperatures near 900°F, as the marketing material from Solo Stove suggests.

The pizza stone of the Solo Stove Pi is one of the hottest we have...
The pizza stone of the Solo Stove Pi is one of the hottest we have ever worked with. This temperature reading is on the 'medium' setting after allowing the oven to preheat.
The difference between the interior and exterior temperature...
The difference between the interior and exterior temperature demonstrates the insulation value of the oven chamber on the Solo Stove Pi.

But with great power comes great responsibility. From our personal experience, the Pi produces more than enough heat to burn pizzas to a crisp within one minute (and we mean that literally!) Another point of concern is that this oven is so hot that it is prone to flair-ups when the super-heated flour and cornmeal erupt into a burst of flame after removing the pizza. To avoid this phenomenon and to produce more consistent pizzas, once this oven is up to temperature, it is recommended that you use the "optimum heat" range indicated on the burner control knob.

solo stove pi pizza oven review - sometimes, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. on its...
Sometimes, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. On its 'high' setting, this oven can easily heat leftover cornmeal to flash point, resulting in a blowback effect that's pretty alarming.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Control


The design of this oven may appear deceptively simple. But we're certain that all the understated design features were thoughtfully conceived to produce a pizza oven that appeals to professionals and novices alike. Take, for example, the burner control knob we mentioned before: by highlighting the ideal mid-range cooking temperature in orange, you can literally dial in the flame to produce perfectly crisped pizzas consistently –- as long as your turning skills are equally dialed-in of course. Unlike other well-insulated, uber-powerful ovens that we tested that tended to continue to gain heat, the control knob on the Pi does a fantastic job of regulating the ambient oven and stone to an ideal baking temperature.

solo stove pi pizza oven review - the control dial on the solo stove pi is intuitively marked with...
The control dial on the Solo Stove Pi is intuitively marked with orange for its optimum baking temperature.
Credit: Aaron Rice

However, we did notice that flame from the gas burner tended to favor one side heavily. This inconsistency in fire output resulted in quicker browning –- or sometimes blackening –- on just one side. Again, nothing that can't be solved by brushing up your Pizzaiuolo skills. In its wood-fired form, the small size of the firebox requires fairly consistent loading to maintain cooking temperature. But this fact is fairly consistent across all of the wood-fired ovens we tested.

Perhaps it's just the oven we tested, but the draw of air heavily...
Perhaps it's just the oven we tested, but the draw of air heavily favored the left side of the oven, resulting in uneven flame over the ceiling of the oven chamber.
The result was an unevenly cooked - or sometimes burnt - crust if we...
The result was an unevenly cooked - or sometimes burnt - crust if we weren't on top of turning our pizzas.

Ease of Use


The Pi is one of the quickest and easiest ovens to set up. Aside from exchanging the firebox for the gas burner, this oven was practically ready to fire straight out of the box. Like all multi-fuel systems we tested, we heavily prefer the user-friendliness of a gas-powered oven. As an oven that maintains temperature particularly well, it is easy to operate this oven solo (yes, there is a pun in there), offering your regular, at-home baker the ability to fire the oven and bake pizzas while simultaneously prepping without much fuss. The biggest knock against this model is simply the size and heft. With a footprint and volume nearly double that of other ovens in our review, we wouldn't exactly call the Pi a "portable" pizza oven. Instead –- much like their fire pits -– this beautiful, stainless steel oven seems to be designed as a backyard centerpiece to gather around for your next pizza party.

solo stove pi pizza oven review - the solo stove pi looks even better as the sun goes down. this oven...
The Solo Stove Pi looks even better as the sun goes down. This oven is more than capable of turning out even pizzas to feed a whole party.
Credit: Aaron Rice

Should You Buy the Solo Stove Pi?


Unless you are looking for a portable pizza oven, in particular, there is very little not to love about the Pi. This pizza oven is impressively powerful, incredibly easy to use, and aesthetically pleasing enough to design a backyard kitchen around. If you buy this oven in its gas-powered form –- and we think you should –- then the price tag of this expensive oven makes it worthy of incorporating as a fixture appliance into some future home improvement project.

solo stove pi pizza oven review - high-fire temperatures, impressive insulation, and ease of use are...
High-fire temperatures, impressive insulation, and ease of use are all great reasons to buy the Solo Stove Pi. The only real detractor is the expensive price tag.
Credit: Aaron Rice

What Other Pizza Ovens Should You Consider?


The savvy reader will notice that the Solo Stove Pi scores on par with the award-winning Gozney Roccbox, a pizza oven that is just as capable of cranking out professional-grade Neapolitan-style pizzas for a fraction of the cost of this oven. It isn't easy to compare many other models to the quality of these two superb ovens. However, the cooking performance and user-friendliness of the BakerStone Original certainly come close to that of the Solo Stove Pi and is well worth your consideration.

Aaron Rice
 
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