A pizza maker is a small electric pizza oven that has top and bottom heating elements and which incorporate a ceramic pizza stone. Due to their size and power output these ovens can reach 550-650 °F (c. 300-350 °C) operational temperature in as little as 5 minutes and can cook a fresh thin crust pizza in 8-10 minutes, or a thick crust pizza in or 12-14 minutes.
Countertop pizza makers are very easy to use. You simple turn the temperature control to the desired pre-heat option, wait for the temperature light to indicate the operational temperature has been reached, place your pizza base and toppings on the pizza stone either by hand or with a pizza peel, and close the lid. The top and bottom cooking elements and built-in ceramic stone means the pizza is cooked very evenly.
What to look for when buying:
There are a variety of brands and models of pizza maker available however the key features you should look for when buying a pizza maker are:
- Look for an oven with the highest possible temperature – ideally 550 ° F + (c.300 °C +)
- A removable stone is much easier to clean than a fixed stone
- Look for an oven with a heating indicator light that shows you when the oven has reached desired temperature (not all have this)
- Most countertop pizza ovens come with a 12 inch pizza stone however larger units that have a 15 inch stone are better suited to making family-size pizza
- Look for a large clearance between the top element and the pizza stone if you want to make calzone in your oven. This will prevent the top element touching the dough as it rises during cooking
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