Pros: Convenient, portable, ease of use and cleaning.
Cons: Not good for all pizzas, should be used with a little caution.
Since we are a family on the go, it is not unusual to see several frozen pizzas in our freezer waiting for a harried day and tight schedules.
I opened the box and read the instructions and had my doubts about this thing. However, with the influx of infrared cooking devices now on the market I had to see what this thing could do.
There is no preheating. Just plug it in, place the pan on the little motor and set your pizza settings.
It has 3 settings. Lower, Dual, and Upper depending how you like the pizza. Great function, as I like my pizza crispy and well cooked, but a teenage daughter who could almost eat the thawed pizza by itself.
Using an oven, even a large oven, we have to cook them at separate times anyway because if hers is on top and mine is on the bottom rack, something never quite cooks properly.
So I slapped a Tombstone on it and let it go on the Dual setting. After 16 minutes the top was cooked very well, but the bottom was not near as done as I prefer. Serving the first pizza to a friend of mine during a movie, as he is not picky, I put the next one on. This time I used the Dual function for 10 minutes, turned it to Lower for 3, and the last 3 minutes used Dual again.
I was amazed at the quality of the cooking. The crust was not burned, but very crispy. The top was as close to perfect as it gets. Now I am a happy man!
The size of it makes it not so easy to store in the kitchen, but can be put on a basement shelf. Portability? As light as it is there should be no issue grabbing it and taking it wherever you need to.
It takes an average of 15 minutes to cook from start to finish. My oven would have to preheat, and takes about 21 minutes to get it like I prefer. That's an easy half hour from start to finish. I see it as saving half the time.
There is no residual heat you worry about, especially in summer where the oven is best used less frequently.
So I decided it was going in the basement to my private cave on top of the bar. This way I can grab a pie, slap it on, have it piping hot the way I like it in 15 minutes flat!
Coupled with a cold beer from the bar, and a movie raging on the Home Theater, can it get much better than this?
Ease of cleaning? AHA! Take the platter off, and it is a Teflon coated device that cleans so easy it's scary.
Now, my daughter can have hers done on dual for less time, and she gets a hot pizza with doughy crust and no burning on the top. Mama gets hers as she prefers, so burned the taste is gone. And the dogs get the crumbs from them all!
Now, if there are bad sides to this device, this is how I see them.
Try cooking an extra fat, double stuffed or Pan pizza on it and you may be disappointed. The pizza comes way to close to the top heating element and either is too fat to spin and cook, or creates a fire hazard.
One touch on that element and you can easily have a fire. I have not seen any splattering, but one might assume the possibility and take caution.
For pizzas up to an inch thick you can get away with it. Anything fatter, use the oven. I would also take precaution in how close to any flammable material this is near as those elements are open and can ignite something in a flash.
Though the design is good, caution is always desired when using something that can cause a fast fire. A crust that comes very close to, or can touch the element is a fire hazard. The manual also states similar caution.
However, ladies...if you have a man who likes his football, or his Home Theater, this is a lifesaver for you as well. Have it handy enough for him and his cronies to use ( I suggest no longer than 15 steps from the sofa and near the beer ). With a few beers stashed away and a couple frozen pizzas, he will be too occupied to pester you while you get the real work done around the house!
I do suggest having a cordless vacuum handy in his den area if you do not have dogs.
I would suggest this little beauty in a heartbeat to the family who is rushed, or a nice gift to the King Of The Castle who will be so occupied cooking his pizza, the Queen Mum of the House can actually toss him a DVD, a Tombstone, a Beer, and have an entire day of rest without ever turning the oven on!