Pros: THE best way to cook frozen pizza
Cons: Storage could be a problem, doesn't do deep dish or very large pizzas, expensive
My husband is a pizza junkie. I make it a point to always have some frozen pizza on hand to feed his addiction. Mind you, I like pizza as well, but it probably isn't on my top ten list.
Thoughtful wife that I am, I bought hubby the Presto Pizzazz Pizza Oven so he could have hot, delicious pizza quickly and easily at any hour of the day. He was ecstatic!
~ How Does it Work?
You can use the Pizzazz Pizza Oven to cook all types of pizza, including frozen, regular or rising crust, homemade, or take and bake. The Pizzazz has a flat, rotating tray upon which you place your pizza. As the pizza is rotating, it is heated from above and/or below, to create a crispy crust, and hot bubbling toppings, just the way you like it.
First put the tray on the unit, which is easy. Then place your pizza on the tray. If using a frozen pizza, remove the cardboard disk first. If you're cooking a takeout or rising crust pizza, you may use the baking wheel or baking tray that comes with it, if provided.
Then plug the unit in. The motor turns on and begins to rotate the tray as soon as you plug the unit in. There is no off/on switch. Then set the heat selector to appropriate setting, either Lower, Dual, or Upper. With the Lower setting, only the tray is heated. With the Dual setting, both the tray and the infrared heating element above the pizza is heated. With the Upper setting, only the element above the pizza is heated. You can thereby control the way your pizza is cooked and you can get your crust and toppings just the way you like it.
The upper heating element extends out over the pizza to the middle of the tray. The pizza rotates and the top is heated as it goes underneath the heating element.
Presto suggests in the included instructions, for instance, that for a rising crust pizza to set the heat selector to Lower for 10-12 minutes, then to Dual for 10-12 minutes. For a regular frozen 9"-12" pizza, set it to Dual for 12-15 minutes.
The heating elements do not begin to heat until you've set the timer, even though the tray is rotating. When the time expires, the heating elements shut off. The tray continues to rotate until the oven is unplugged, so that any residual heat is dispersed.
~ Our Experience Using the Presto Pizzazz Pizza Oven
We first tried a regular crust frozen pizza, for which we followed the instructions using the Dual heat setting for 12-15 minutes. You do not need to preheat this pizza oven, which is one reason "you'll be eating while ordinary ovens are heating."
It was fun to watch the pizza go round and round, and see the toppings begin to bubble and turn a golden brown. The smell was intoxicating and we were drooling and anxious when it was done The result? Fantastic! Perfectly crispy crust, and hot, bubbly topping. Best frozen pizza I've ever had.
Our second try was a frozen deep dish pizza, for which I could find no instructions. This was a really DEEP crust pizza, actually in an aluminum pie pan. It was probably and inch and a half deep in fact. Well, we tried it on the Pizzazz, with increased cooking time. I could tell from the git-go it wasn't going to work well, because the pizza was so tall it was almost touching the upper heating element. I tried moving the heat control from dual, to upper, to lower, but the result after a full half hour was almost burned pizza on the top, and not done in the middle. So this pizza oven doesn't do deep dish pizzas.
I've also made homemade pizza with those Boboli pizza shells, and the Pizzazz does great with these. We haven't tried a take and bake pizza because the ones we usually get are too big for the Pizzazz. The tray is 13" in diameter, and you cannot put a pizza larger than than on the tray.
A Couple of Notes: The instructions say that if your pizza is done before the timer has gone off, to just turn the timer to zero. Well, we can't do that. The timer will not turn back to zero, we just have to let it keep going or just unplug the unit. If your pizza needs additional cooking time after the timer has gone off, just reset the timer for additional time. This has worked just fine.
Also, you can slide the heating element from dual, to upper, to bottom at any time during the cooking process - back and forth anytime you wish - to control the way your pizza is cooking.
Except for the deep dish pizza, all the frozen pizzas we've tried have come out beautifully in the Pizzazz. I'm actually becoming a pizza lover!
~ Cleaning and Storage
Cleaning this oven is a snap. The tray is non-stick, and all I've ever had to do is wipe it off, or wash in the sink. Nothing has stuck to the tray, and cleaning has never been a hassle.
The tray comes off for cleaning and storage. We have ample space in our pantry to store the unit. Folks who cook lots of pizza may want to just keep it on the counter, with the tray behind it. The actual unit is nice looking, white, and wipes off easily.
~ Final Thoughts and Other Notes
You should disregard instructions for conventional ovens found on pizza packages. Just follow the Pizzazz instructions, which are found in the included booklet, and also conveniently printed right on the unit for reference.
There is also a reset button which will sense if the oven is overheating and will shut off the unit automatically. This will only happen if you aren't correctly following instructions, such as trying to preheat it.
The tray gets hot! Always use supervision when operating this pizza oven, and do not touch the tray while the oven is on.
I found this at Wal-Mart for about $48.00.
I am giving this four stars, because of the problem of not being able to turn the timer to zero when I want to stop cooking, as the instructions state.
If you use a lot of frozen pizza, or often make your own pizza, this is a great way to cook them. The toppings and crust come out perfect! Makes a great gift for any pizza lover. Doesn't work, though, for pizzas over 12" in diameter. And of course, you can only cook one pizza at a time.
For more info, check out www.GoPresto.com.