Gozney Roccbox portable pizza oven

Hands-on gadget review: Gozney Roccbox portable pizza oven

Image credit: Gozney

Be the envy of the campsite with this dual-fuel alternative to a boring old barbecue.

The Roccbox pizza oven sells itself on two things: versatility and portability. Versatility because it comes complete with two interchangeable burners: one for cooking with wood, the other for gas. Portability because the tripod legs fold away for travel and a large carry-strap means it can be lifted with one hand.

Unpacking is very simple; there’s no assembly required, bar screwing your choice of burner to the underside. But right from the start we could see that it’s not as portable as you might wish for when you ogle it online. It’s just too heavy to be lugged any distance to the park or beach.

This level of portability is best for stowing it in the shed or in the car boot. If you have the boot space, for example, it would be great at a campsite. You can lift it. A very wide strap with Velcro closure holds the oven tightly, adding a carry handle to the top. It felt secure.

Gozney Roccbox portable pizza oven

Image credit: Gozney

We tested the oven with gas first. It comes with rubber pipe and a regulator, you just need a canister of propane LPG: the same sort of big canister you’d use with a gas barbecue.

It lights easily and on advice we turned the flame down low and let the Roccbox go gentle for half an hour on its first use. Then we turned it up high ready for pizza.

The only fault with our review sample was that the oven’s built in thermometer didn’t work at all. The needle didn’t move once. So we were temperature-blind, with no way of telling if it hit the claimed 500ºC-plus (double the range of the temperature probe we use for testing kitchen kit). We ambitiously put the first pizza (margarita on sourdough) in after about 20 minutes and crossed our fingers...

We were not disappointed. Even though the oven hadn’t been heating up for long, the back half of the pizza was cooking quickly: we could see and hear the mozzarella bubbling. After a minute, it was clear the pizza needed to be turned around, using the pizza peel, for it to be cooked evenly. 

Cooking pizza with Gozney Roccbox portable oven

Image credit: Gozney

After a few experiments, we found pizzas cooked best if turned twice, as the third at the back gets the most heat from the burner and its rolling flames. Each pizza took less than two minutes to cook and the results were outstanding. Toppings were hot and cooked perfectly, the base was crispy, the crust was a little bit charred, just right.

You can only cook one 13-inch pizza at a time, but they cook quickly. You could roll and top all the pizzas first, while the oven heats up, then fire enough to feed a family in a matter of minutes. But, rather like tending a barbecue, feeding a whole party of people is a full-time job.

The wood burner was very fun but more of a labour of love. The design is simple and clever: you throw a lit natural firelighter down a small chute into the burner and then add a couple of thin pieces of kindling. Once these catch you can continue to add small pieces of wood to the chute every few minutes. Hardwood is recommended because it burns hotter and cleaner, but that could be tricky: often shop-bought kindling doesn’t say what sort of wood it is.

With no working thermometer, we again simply tried cooking after around 20 minutes, but this time the oven was nowhere near hot enough. It did cook the pizza but slowly. To get the same high temperatures as the gas burner, you might stoke the fire for an hour. It doesn’t use much wood, but stoking it regularly is a chore.

In all, we felt that most Roccbox owners would find themselves predominantly using gas. It’s quick and convenient and gets good results. While wood can be fun if there’s no rush... or even if you run out of gas.

£499 gozney.com


Ooni Pro

The only portable pizza oven that you can fuel four ways: wood, gas, wood pellets or charcoal. But budget extra for the gas burner (£70), pellet burner (£35), even the pizza peel (£32.50).

£499 uk.ooni.com

Uuni 3

Don’t let the spelling change put you off. The Ooni Pro’s predecessor is smaller (13-inch pizzas instead of 16-inch) but a total bargain and again you can add a gas burner (£65) if you prefer.

£199 uk.ooni.com

Morsø Forno

The Danish-designed Forno is the most stylish wood-fired pizza oven money can buy. It takes time to get up to temperature but is versatile to cook with: everything from steaks to smoked fish.

£1,099 morsoe.com

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