Nothing says summer like cooking food outside. The air is balmy, the pace slows down, and life is good. But if you’re like me, at some point you begin to wonder just how many ways you can skewer meat or dress up a steak.
Have you wondered if there’s life beyond your grill? If you’re looking to change it up, adding a pizza oven to the mix of outdoor cooking options is the way to go.
I decided to give the Summerset Pizza Oven a try. You can order it with the stand or in the tabletop configuration. Either way, be sure you’ll have a buddy or spouse on hand to help put it in place. It weighs over one hundred and fifty pounds.
Once you’ve got it in place, however, setup is a breeze. It is just about fully assembled, so you won’t be tinkering with parts.
It’s an imposing, solid piece of equipment. It’s built out of 304-grade stainless steel and is equipped with three porcelain enamel steel racks. The 16,000 BTU heat diffuser makes this oven’s top temperature capacity in the 450-degree range, more than enough for anything you want to cook up.
Plus it’s just plain beautiful. It has a slightly futuristic and minimalistic aesthetic that makes your outdoor cooking area look updated.
The inside halogen lights make even night cooking a breeze. Just be sure to set it up close enough to an outlet to plug it in, but far enough from the house and any structure to prevent fire hazards.
The oven itself is powered with your choice of natural gas or propane (be sure to pick your preference at checkout). I got the propane version. I also found the electric starter button to work exceptionally well, a feature I particularly appreciate, as I’ve had trouble with that in previous models I’ve owned.
Once you’ve got the oven set up and running, it’s time to try some of your favorite recipes.
We opted for a Neapolitan pizza recipe, one of my favorites, on fresh dough (the trick is tipo 00 Italian flour) and topped with high-quality mozzarella cheese in round slices.
The other thing about making great pizza is getting the pizza stone hot. While the Summerset Pizza Oven reaches 450 degrees, the stone itself gets much hotter if you leave it in. In that sense, it is a great appliance to make a perfect pizza.
What’s more, its roomy interior means you can make full-sized pizzas to feed the whole family or a good number of guests. Nothing like fresh pizza under the stars.
The one thing I’d warn about is to resist the urge to make more than one pizza at a time. The oven looks roomy enough for it, so I decided to give that a try.
Because of the need for even heat, putting more than one pizza in the oven didn’t result in the kind of even color and consistency I like in my pizza. I’d recommend sticking to one pizza at a time.
The happy surprise of the Summerset was that although our main goal in getting it was to make pizza, once we saw the size of the interior it became obvious that it can cook a lot more than pizza.
Honestly, the oven is big enough to cook a twenty-pound turkey and certainly big enough for a juicy rotisserie-style chicken.
It also comes with a wood chip smoker box, adding that smoky flavor you just can’t get with an oven indoors. We made epic ribs with this feature. They were so tender the meat fell right off the bones.
One of the downsides of outdoor cooking is clean-up. In this, the Summerset also excelled.
We just needed to run the oven at maximum heat for ten to fifteen minutes to burn off anything we needed to clean up. And, of course, the pizza stones come out in case you want to give them a more thorough cleaning.
Pros & Cons
Overall, the Summerset can add a lot of versatility beyond your grill. Here are a few pros and cons.
Overall, the Summerset is a versatile, powerful, and beautiful addition to our outdoor cooking area. We’ve already had a lot of good meals thanks to it. If you’re looking to expand your capacity to make good food outside, I’d recommend you check out the Summerset Pizza Oven and all it can do.