First of all, pizza is bread, with stuff on it. It is baked like bread, but unlike most of the breads baked in your oven, the secret to the perfect pizza is high temperatures, temperatures higher than your oven can probably reach. What pizza needs is high dry heat, and a smoky environment. Yes, those ancient ovens where pizza was born where wood fired. To make a great pizza what you need is a grill. I've talked about grilling pizza before, but now I'm going to talk about an accessory that can take your pizza to a whole new level.
The KettlePizza Pizza Oven Kit
The Weber Kettle charcoal grill is the iconic grill of our time and one of the most popular ever sold. If you have a 22.5-inch Weber Grill (including the Weber Performer), the 26.5-inch Weber, or even the new Napoleon Charcoal Kettle then this accessory, might just be the perfect pizza solution. The limitation of grilling pizza is keeping the temperature high. Trouble is, you build the fire, set the pizza stone, and then open the lid to put in the pizza. This causes the grill to lose a lot of the heat it has built up. What Al Contarino has done with his Pizza Oven Kit is figure out a way to convert the kettle grill into a more traditional pizza oven that keeps the lid on and allows the heat to build up and convect around the inside. Fully assembled and fired up, the grill can easily reach temperatures over 700 degrees, the ideal temperature for cooking pizza. Add a pizza stone (an option with this package) to give it the high temperature surface that is going to crisp the crust while the cheese melts.
Putting it Together
The KettlePizza Pizza Oven Kit is basically a metal ring with an opening in the front. There are six bolts that go through the 8-inch tall insert. These bolts hold the ring on the grill body and the lid on the insert. The bottom three bolts hold the cooking grate on the same level as the 17 by 3.25 inch opening so that the pizza slides straight in. This also lifts the cooking grate up, away from the fire so that the grill acts more like an oven, heating by convection and less like a grill, heating by direct heat. Build a fire in the back of the grill just like a traditional pizza oven. Place the insert with the cooking grate on the grill and top with a pizza stone (you can use a pizza pan as well which can make getting the pizza in and out easier). Now, put the lid with the vent closed on top of the insert. The fire heats the top section to temperatures above 700 degrees F. There is a thermometer just above the opening to tell the temperature you are cooking at. Simply slide the pizza in through the opening and let it cook. In less than 10 minutes a 14-inch pizza is cooked to perfection.
Perfect for the Pizza Lover
The KettlePizza Pizza Oven comes in two different versions. The basic setup includes the 304 stainless steel insert ring with its two handles and thermometer and a 15-inch pizza pan. This runs around $100USD. The deluxe version adds a 15-inch pizza stone and a wooden pizza peel (that large wooden spatula you see in pizza places). The deluxe package runs around $140USD. While a 22.5-inch can be had for less than the basic version of this Pizza Oven this is a quality product and if you are serious about pizza then this is an accessory worth considering. In my tests I found that this was easy to use and lived up to all its promises.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.