I was never big on cooking pizza at home. Homemade pasta? Yes. Homemade pie crust? Absolutely. That is, until a few years back when I took a virtual class with Scott Wiener, the unofficial king of New York pizza. His workshop inspired and reinvigorated me in the kitchen, forever changing the way I view homemade pizza.
Preparing homemade pizza can be simple. You just need the right recipes and the right tools. Heck, my homemade pizza sauce is nothing more than crushed tomatoes mixed with salt, pepper and olive oil. And when it comes to the latter category, tools, I rely on my 3-in-1 Cuisinart pizza oven.
What is the 3-in-1 Cuisinart pizza oven?
The 3-in-1 Cuisinart pizza oven is an outdoor pizza oven—and then some. As the name suggests, this one-of-a-kind propane-fueled appliance has three functions. It includes a cast-iron griddle, cast-iron grill grate and 13-inch cordierite pizza stone that fits snugly between built-in pegs on the grill grate. Whichever surfaces aren’t in use can be neatly stowed underneath.
The griddle is perfect for delicacies like eggs, paninis and pancakes. And the grill grate has you covered for favorites such as steaks, sausages, vegetables and burgers. And the pizza oven function is pretty self-explanatory. In sum, it’s your one-stop pizza-making tool for outdoor cooking.
The squat appliance is 20 inches deep, 25 inches wide and a little more than 17 inches tall; it weighs 45 pounds. And on Amazon (where tons of pizza ovens are available), there’s the option to include a pizza peel and oven cover on your order.
3-in-1 Cuisinart Pizza Oven Features
The pizza stone, made of cordierite, measures 13 inches in diameter. So, for reference, it can hold the standard small-size pie from a pizzeria or the typical frozen supermarket pizza. The stone’s natural material can withstand high temperatures without the threat of thermal shock, so it’s ideal for retaining and distributing heat.
Grill grates are often made of stainless or porcelain-coated steel or cast iron. These grates, in particular, are made of cast iron, meaning they’re durable, produce impressive sear marks and distribute heat evenly. The 3-in-1 Cuisinart pizza oven boasts 260 square inches of grilling space—you’ll just want to make sure you season the surface before using it.
Unless you have a Blackstone, it’s not often that you get to griddle outside! This cast-iron griddle offers 223 square inches of cooking space for any of your remaining culinary adventures. Think burgers, grilled cheese and omelets.
This clever lid/door does double duty. For grilling, the lid lifts from the bottom like normal. Or, when you’re cooking a pizza, keep the lid closed and use the flap door on the front to check the pie’s progress.
How We Tested It
To set up the pizza oven, I followed the manual’s instructions. There wasn’t so much “assembly” as there was fitting together pre-built parts. It was so easy and took only a few minutes. Then, I placed it on a safe, sturdy surface—a metal table in my backyard—and connected it to a propane tank (not included) like I would any other gas grill.
I didn’t season the grill grates because I knew the pizza would go directly on the nonstick stone; I just went straight at it with the pizza. First, I preheated the oven, with the stone inside, while I prepared my pie directly on a pizza peel.
Then, I formed the homemade dough onto the peel. (I quickly found that this pizza oven was too hot for cornmeal, so skip sprinkling it underneath the dough.) Then, I added my aforementioned four-ingredient sauce (store-bought works too!), a handful of part-skim shredded mozzarella and my desired toppings of olives, red onions and pepperoni.
This oven got so hot so fast that I actually needed to turn the dial down to get the temperature gauge within the conveniently labeled “pizza” range. I then used a pair of tongs to shimmy the uncooked pizza off the peel and onto the already-sizzling stone. (You want the stone to be hot, hot, hot to immediately char the bottom crust.)
I ended up cooking my pie at about 600°, and unlike a few super-speedy ovens, it took a few minutes to bake all the way through. No complaints here—I was able to grab a beer and sit down for a sec.
After enjoying some char-kissed slices, I waited for the oven to cool down. This took less than an hour. Once it was safe to the touch, I removed the pizza stone, rinsed it under hot water, removed any of the stuck-on bits with a nylon pan scraper and let it air-dry.
Of course, it didn’t go back onto the grates looking pristine, but that’s the sign of a well-loved pizza stone. Plus, much like a cast-iron skillet, it becomes increasingly nonstick with each use.
During the off-season or rainy weather, I store the pizza oven, covered and unhooked from the propane tank, in my garage. Otherwise, I leave it outdoors, out of reach from pets and children.
Easily maneuverable door and temperature dial
Modest price point
Heats quickly and consistently
Multi-functional grill, griddle and pizza oven
Slightly longer cook time
On the heavier and bigger side
How long does it take to cook pizza in a Cuisinart pizza oven?
When cooking my pizzas at 600°, they took about 3 minutes to bake. The cook time will vary depending on the temperature of the pizza oven and your preferred bake. (I like my crust extra browned and crispy!)
What temperature is the Cuisinart pizza oven?
The Cuisinart pizza oven gauge reads temperatures between 200° and 700°. The ideal range for pizza, which is between about 525° and 650°, is clearly marked. Furthermore, I was able to max out the temperature gauge and heat the oven to about 800°, but I like to stay in the designated pizza zone.
Can you cook a frozen pizza in a Cuisinart pizza oven?
Yes, you can cook a frozen pizza in a Cuisinart pizza oven, though I’d recommend following the guidelines provided on the pizza’s packaging. If the directions say to bake the pizza at 425° for 12 minutes, then do that, rather than toying with the temperature and cook time. This is your safest bet for a yummy bite to eat.
What Other Reviewers Had to Say
There are so many reasons to love the 3-in-1 Cuisinart pizza oven. Here’s a slice of what satisfied customers are saying.
Verified Amazon purchaser Chris McManus has ditched dining out thanks to this product. “I wasn’t sure if I was really going to like or use this,” he comments. “We’ve used it four out of five weeks. No more Blaze, Mod or Pieology. We’ve got it better at home.”
Another five-star reviewer has tried various types of pizza ovens, and this propane-fueled one is among his favorites. “So far, this is an awesome pizza oven,” Markie writes. “I’ve tried the pellet ones, and there is no comparison.”
And one pizza-lover with seven mouths to feed has gotten super creative with her use of the oven. “I don’t use the stone because we often make deep dish,” Kayla says. “We can fit two 9-inch rounds in the oven at a time, and the bottoms come out crispy every time. It was worth every penny.”
I’ve tested three pizza ovens at this point. One ran on wood pellets, and the other two (i.e., this Cuisinart pizza oven and the Ooni Koda) ran on propane. The Cuisinart was my favorite for a few reasons.
Although setup of the two gas ovens was comparable, I felt the Cuisinart was a bit sturdier than the Ooni, which had collapsible legs that made me a little nervous. Moreover, the Ooni has open flames that feel a little intimidating to a novice pizza maker like me. I preferred the Cuisinart heating system, as it felt safer.
And let’s not forget the versatility! This pizza oven isn’t just a pizza oven like so many others on the market. It comes with a grill and griddle to fulfill all your outdoor cooking fantasies. Plus, it’s such a fair price, especially when you consider its multi-functionality. (Keep up with more pizza oven deals!)
I have nothing but good things to say about the 3-in-1 Cuisinart pizza oven. In fact, I was hard-pressed to come up with a single con. The pizza it produced was incredible.
Although it takes up a bit of space (unavoidable!), it’s absolutely worth the couple hundred bucks if you’re big on entertaining, pizza or dining al fresco. Its multi-functionality softens the blow of its decent-sized footprint because, really, it’s the only cooker you need in your backyard. I’m hooked!
Where to Buy the 3-in-1 Cuisinart Pizza Oven
The Cuisinart pizza oven, which costs between $225 and $300, is available from multiple retailers: Amazon, Williams Sonoma, Walmart and Home Depot. When it comes to pizza ovens, trust this is the upper crust!
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The post We Tried the 3-in-1 Cuisinart Pizza Oven, and It Really Does Do It All appeared first on Taste of Home.