Our Honest Review of the Breville Pizzaiolo Pizza Oven

We tested Breville's $1,000 pizza oven to see if it lives up to the hype.

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May 14, 2023

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This article has been updated since its original publish date.

Everyone has their own opinion for what makes a pizza great — maybe it’s thin, crispy crust, maybe it’s a heaping portion of sauce and toppings or maybe it’s pineapple (hey, no judgement). Whatever your preference, pizza is a classic. And, while you can do your best to recreate pizza night in the comfort of your own home, achieving a restaurant-worthy product can seem nearly impossible without a massive brick oven — that is, until now. In October of 2018, Breville launched the Pizzaiolo Pizza Oven, which can reach an impressive 750 degrees F, promises authentic Neapolitan-style pizza and can sit comfortably on your kitchen countertop. Intrigued? So were we.

Tested by Ginevra Iverson and written by Rachel Trujillo for Food Network Kitchen

How Is the Pizzaiolo Different From Other Pizza Ovens

To put the Breville Smart Oven Pizzaiolo Pizza Oven into perspective, most people are rarely cooking in their standard gas ovens at temperatures higher than 400 to 500 degrees F, typically only reaching that range for things like baking bread or roasting veggies. And hitting temps high enough to make pizza is typically found in outdoor pizza ovens. So, hitting a scorching 750 degrees F on an indoor oven is something we've only found with this machine and the Ooni Volt. When you’re cooking something like pizza, which relies on that level of heat, it’s essential to have an oven that can deliver, especially if you're cooking indoors.

According to a promotional video from the creators at Breville, the Element iQ System is the secret to those high temps. Breville designed it with heat-shield technology to concentrate the heat right where you want it in a pizza oven without wasting energy. With that, they were able to cook a classic Neapolitan-style pizza in just two minutes without a standard pizza oven.

Another key element to achieving restaurant-worthy pie in that short amount of time was cooking the pizza as close to the overhead heat source as possible. This required getting creative with the design and implementing a cooking deck that lowers when you open the oven door and raises when closed. It's how the pizza gets those classic scorched bubbles on the crust you would see at a restaurant.

It's also worth mentioning this oven retails for about $1,000, so if you're considering purchasing it, we can only assume you take pizza-making very, very seriously.

It’s Not Just for Thin-Crust Pizza

There are six pizza settings on the Pizzaiolo including thin and crispy, pan, New York, wood-fired, Neapolitan and — of course — frozen. Breville says the oven will “turn on different heaters that will apply power where you want it” depending on which setting you choose. Along with whatever style pizza you pick, Breville also mentions that this oven is great for baking focaccia bread and flatbreads. The brand recommends against using your own accessories with this oven and includes a pizza stone deck, pizza pan with removable handle and pizza peel with the oven so you can safely cook with each of the settings.

Yes, This Is A Countertop Appliance

With all these features, you might forget the fact that this appliance, albeit on the larger side, is designed for your countertop. Williams Sonoma’s site lists the dimensions to be about 1 1/2 feet wide, 1 1/2 feet tall and a little under one foot deep. Since it gets so hot, you might be concerned about where exactly to keep it, but a rep at Breville told us that during demonstrations, customers are frequently impressed with the lack of heat being emitted from the oven, which the company attributes to how well-insulated it is. That being said, we'd recommend using it on a heat-safe surface and in a well-ventilated area.

Who Should Buy a Pizzaiolo Pizza Oven?

The Pizzaiolo was designed for consumers, but it has also become popular with professionals looking to make cooking pizza more mobile. When it launched at Williams Sonoma, this countertop oven became a favorite appliance for both their test kitchen and customers, according to a representative. If you're looking to up your at-home pizza game — and have $1,000 to spare — this could be a welcome addition to your kitchen.

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