Compare to Similar Products
The Original Baking Steel
|Price||$119 List||$499 List|
$499.00 at Amazon
$299.99 at Amazon
$109.95 at Amazon
$86.02 at Amazon
|Pros||Very consistent surface temperatures, designed for a normal range oven||Unbelievable heat retention, quick baking time, accurate integrated thermometer, multi-fuel system||Reasonably priced, large capacity, heavily insulated firebox, transformable design improves versatility||Affordable, designed for a normal range oven, fast bake times||Affordable, small foot-print, easy to use|
|Cons||Heat profile depends on oven output, lower average stone temperature||Expensive, heavy, wood-fire box is small||Bulky, heavy, slow to preheat||Heat profile depends on oven, heavyweight||Long bake times, sub-par quality pizza|
|Bottom Line||The product that helped launch the at-home pizza revolution is suited for making a near-perfect NY-style pizza in any normal range oven||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 heavy-duty carbon steel slab capable of serious heat transfer to make the best pizza you've ever experienced out of a normal oven||This oven is reminiscent of a hot-plate and is user-friendly but does not provide particularly quality results|
|Rating Categories||The Original Baking...||Gozney Roccbox||BakerStone Original||NerdChef 3/8" Steel...||Presto Pizzazz Plus|
|Cooking Performance (30%)|
|Output Power (30%)|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Specs||The Original Baking...||Gozney Roccbox||BakerStone Original||NerdChef 3/8" Steel...||Presto Pizzazz Plus|
|Fuel Type||n/a||Gas, Wood (w/ conversion)||Gas||n/a||Electric|
|Power Output||n/a||14,330 BTU||25,000 BTU||n/a||1235 watts|
|Size of Firebox||n/a||156 cu. in.||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Average Stone Temperature||479°F||748°F||732°F||686°F||300°F|
|Footprint||228 sq. in.||299 sq. in.||345 sq. in.||228 sq. in.||229 sq. in.|
|Maximum Pizza Diameter||14"||12"||13"||14"||12'"|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Part of the beauty of The Original Baking Steel is the simplicity of its design. This 1/4-inch thick, low-carbon steel measures 14" x 16". While it is technically capable of making a 14" pie, it is easier to stick with slightly oversized 12" pizzas. Although it doesn't offer any handles, it weighs slightly less than other comparable steels, tipping the scales at 16 pounds.
A quality slice of NY-style pizza requires a bit more oven time and a slightly lower surface temperature to achieve the crust texture these particular pies are renowned for. This is exactly what The Original Baking Steel delivers. This steel's average cook time is closer to five or six minutes –- still an amazing improvement over baking stones or cast iron skillets, but not in the same ballpark as the one- to three-minute times of the Neapolitan-style ovens we tested. Though this is a highly subjective matter, our testers and their friends all agree that The Original Baking Steel consistently turns out some of the best quality pizza they've ever had from a normal range oven. And all with a lot less fuss than operating an outdoor pizza oven, we might add.
It's not exactly fair to compare The Original Baking Steel to other pizza ovens we tested simply because the output power is relative to the power of your range oven. We can, however, compare it directly to the other baking steels we tested. In this regard, The Original Baking Steel is far from the hottest oven-baked option in our lineup. We baked pizzas according to the manufacturer's recommendations: pre-heat the steel at 500°F for an hour before launching your first pie. While the average 479°F surface temperatures paled in comparison to other steels, we appreciate this fact. So many companies are attempting to recreate the perfect Neapolitan-style pizza — but what about all the other styles, namely the famed NY-style pizza? Decreased surface temperatures mean you can bake your pizzas for longer, achieving the ideal balance of chewy and crunchy that a New York slice is known for.
Once again, this metric doesn't exactly pertain to baking steels simply because it relies on the quality and capacities of your range oven. However, we feel we can offer some valuable input as our testers baked with this steel in an incredibly average oven. The most noticeable aspect of The Original Baking Steel is the temperature consistency across its cook surface. Compared to other steels — or all other ovens we tested, for that matter — the Original Baking Steel boasts the most even surface temperatures of any model we tested, with a standard deviation of temperature of merely 2.6°F. This is an incredible feat for any cast pan and may be attributed to the high-quality manufacturing process. As a result, you can expect evenly browned pizza crusts every time you bake.
Ease of Use
Relative to some of the other pizza ovens we tested that can weigh more than 30 pounds, and even many baking steels that tip the scales at more than 20 pounds, The Original Baking Steel may seem like a lightweight alternative at a mere 16 pounds. But you may be surprised at just how heavy this 1/4-inch steel plate can be, particularly because it doesn't offer any holds to help move it in and out of the oven. This steel measures 16" x 14", so while it certainly comes much closer to baking a full-size pizza than many other ovens in our lineup, it is still more comfortable making 12" pies. Unlike so many ovens that require more setup or an exhaustive firing process, The Original Baking Steel is more convenient and accessible for most at-home cooks. This steel's user-friendliness makes it much more reasonable to make any night of the week pizza night.
Should You Buy The Original Baking Steel?
If you love making pizzas at home but don't have the space to store or fire a portable-sized pizza oven, a baking steel like this one is a fantastic alternative. The beauty of this product is in its simplicity; rather than setting up and firing an oven, you can focus on making a great pizza. Its simple design also makes it much less expensive. And for those who love a quality New York slice, there may be no better option for making your favorite pizza at home.
What Other Pizza Ovens Should You Consider?
The most directly comparable option is, perhaps too obviously, the NerdChef 3/8" Steel Stone. But it should be noted while The Original Baking Steel excels at turning out NY-style pizzas, the NerdChef steel is more suited to baking Neapolitan-style pies. If this is the style of pizza you are hoping to create but aren't excited about spending top-dollar on an oven, then the BakerStone Original is our choice for an outstanding value.
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