Pizza Oven Delivers Pizzeria Quality Results for under $250

The Camp Chef Italia Pizza Oven Delivers Pizzeria Quality Results at Home

I purchased two Camp Chef Italia Pizza Ovens and this is my honest and enthusiastic review of the product!
Making pizza at home can be a fun and rewarding experience.  Making your own dough and perfecting your own pizza recipe in the comfort of your own kitchen can be a fulfilling journey, but it can also be incredibly frustrating when your home oven can't cook your pizza properly.  I've used my residential oven for years along with a variety of pizza stones and baking steels along with baking methods that include turning the oven up as hot as it can go and even using the "broiler method."  The problem with home ovens is that they usually don't get hot enough, don't cook consistently enough, and have long heat recovery times between pizzas.  I've also used my outdoor grill along with some smaller portable pizza ovens with limited success.  Overall, it has been a struggle to cook pizzas consistently with these various ovens and grills.


Margherita Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella and San Marzano Tomatoes cooked in the Camp Chef Artisan Pizza Oven.
Frustrated with constantly babysitting each of the above mentioned methods of cooking while trying to host people at home, I sought an a better, yet affordable solution.  I was shopping on Amazon and stumbled upon an oven about the size of a full-size microwave called the Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza Oven.  It looked pretty simple, but the reviews (which you can't always trust) were largely good, and it had used the propane heating source like I was seeking.  The price was well under the $250 I was looking to spend and with free returns on Amazon Prime, I figured I had nothing to lose and bought it.


I also filmed a video demonstrating how the oven works, so check that out on my YouTube Channel as well!


Want to order your own Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza Oven?  Click this link which will take you directly to Amazon to purchase.  It won't cost you anything additional, but I'll earn a small commission that will help me provide giveaways and grow the website!


This White Clam Pizza made in the Camp Chef oven was inspired by my trip to Frank Pepe's in New Haven, CT.
What's in the Box?

The oven comes with just about everything you need to get started except for the pizza itself and a propane tank.  Included in the box is the oven itself, the oven door, a gas hose with adapter for grill tank or small propane bottle, thermometer, and instructions.  Assembly takes about 10 minutes, and you're ready to go.  The ability to use a small propane bottle and a full size grill tank right out of the box cannot be understated because it isn't necessary to buy a $25 adapter.
I loved my Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza Oven so much, I bought a second one!
Oven and Stone Size

The oven itself offers a relatively small form factor, but accommodates comfortably a full size 12" by 18" Old Forge pizza.  It can also easily fit two 10" round pies.  The official measurements and specifications are:


    • Overall Dimensions without shelf: 15 in. x 26 in.x 16 in.
    • Stone Dimensions: 13.25 in. x 20 in.
    • Oven Opening Dimensions: 22.25 in. x 4.25 in.
    • Shelf Dimensions: 5 in. x 23 in.
    • Total Output: 17,000 BTUs/Hr.
    • Overall Weight: 47 lbs.
Hot Wing Old Forge Pizza Cooked in the Camp Chef Italia Pizza Oven.
Temperature and Controls

The great thing about this oven, and the primary reason a person can attain pizzeria quality results at home is that it can reach temperatures in excess of 750 degrees.  Although this level of heat is not necessary for all styles, the heat is stable, distributed evenly across the stone, recovers quickly, and has virtually no hot spots.  After testing some other similar pizza ovens in this market, I've found that it is very common to have to constantly babysit and adjust the temperature in other models - that is not the case here.  You essentially choose the high, medium, or low setting that you want and monitor the temperature atop the oven.  I also recommend monitoring the temperature of the stone with an infrared thermometer which will really help dial in consistent results.


Old Forge Pizza baked in the Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza Oven.
Cooking Performance
I have tested 2 of these ovens for about a year now, and have found them to generate high quality results time and time again.  I've made New York, Detroit, Old Forge, Grandma, Deep Dish, and Old Forge Pizza time and time again with ease.  Check out my YouTube video for a variety of pizzas created in this oven.  The bottoms consistently come out crisp, pizzas are evenly cooked and ingredients cook at a similar rate of a professional pizzeria oven.  
This New York Style Pizza was cooked directly on the stone in the Camp Chef oven.
Have you ever spent a ton of time making pizza in your home oven and pulled out the pizza because the cheese was starting to burn, but the crust was still soft and undercooked?  That is because the temperature is not high enough and the source of the heat is coming from above and around the pizza, not from the bottom where a stone makes direct contact with the dough and cooks from the bottom up.  A baking stone in a residential oven usually helps this somewhat, but once a cold pizza is applied to the stone, it cools down significantly and never recovers until well after the pizza is removed.  Because the stone in the Camp Chef Italia is heated directly by perimeter flame directly below the deck, the pizza continues to cook in a manner that very closely resembles a professional pizza oven.


A look at the fried texture on the Pan Fried Sicilian Pizza cooked in the Camp Chef oven.  Want to get an oven of your own?  Click here to order from Amazon.

Another benefit of high and direct heat is that cooking times are really fast.  A 10 inch new york style pizza can be cooked in as little as 3-4 minutes depending on your recipe and oven temperature.  A neopolitan pizza can be cooked in under 2 minutes!  I also found that this little oven bakes other foods much more quickly and much better than my traditional range.

More Than Pizza

The results with all of the different types of pizza have been fantastic, but the more I used the oven to bake pizza, the more uses I found for it.  I first tried cooking bacon in it because I didn't feel like splattering my stove top and counter with grease.  Using a broiling pan, I found that the bacon cooked very quickly, evenly, and was super flavorful without sitting in the grease.  I used the same process with a full pan of meatballs, which came out better than any meatball I've ever cooked (fried or baked).  


The sear on this T-Bone steak after preheating the cast iron skillet in the Camp Chef Italia oven was incredible!  So juicy inside!
The curved oven top creates a convection-type cooking and really "sears" in flavors by cooking the outside quickly and also cooking thoroughly and leaving the inside juicy and flavorful.  This was extremely evident when I cooked a t-bone steak in this oven with amazing results.  Check out the video on how I cooked the steak!  I've also cooked ribs and chicken in the oven with fantastic results as well.  Because of the quick preheat time of around 10 minutes, I found myself cooking regular items in the Camp Chef because I didn't have to heat up my whole kitchen in the summertime with the residential oven, and there's something fun about cooking outside and not having to clean up as much afterward!


The high direct heat allows for rapid expansion of air pockets in the dough.  Check out the pretty bubble on this pizza!

Accessories

The product comes with just about everything you need.  I did buy the Camp Chef Pizza Spatula, after returning two other brands of inferior quality and found it to be a sturdy and reliable tool that can handle small pizzas and heavy full size old forge trays.  I highly recommend the spatula.  They also offer an custom size oven cover if you're going to be leaving it outside.  

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that this oven is an exceptional value at around $230 on Amazon.  I'd also consider it a great value at $300 because of the high level of performance, versatility and portability that this appliance provides.  I have put this oven to the test with so many different types of pizza, meats, and more and it has delivered exceptional results each and every time.  Whether you want to use it at home, tailgating, camping, or even on a boat this oven won't let you down.

I give this product my highest recommendation.  One question I consistently receive is "What recipe did you use to make this pizza?"  The easiest way for me to answer all of those questions is by recommending the only pizza cookbook I ever use, The Pizza Bible by Tony Gemingani.  I've owned many pizza cookbooks over the years, but none even compare to the Pizza Bible.  You will gain so much pizza knowledge with this book and take your home pizza making to the next level, so skip asking me and just grab the book!

Products Referenced in This Article



I certify that I have personally purchased these items (except the Oven Cover) with my own funds and was NOT provided any products, compensation, or discounts of any kind.  This review was motivated by high quality products which I wanted to spread the word about.  The links above are amazon associates links.  Clicking them will take you directly to each product on Amazon.  Should you order one of the products, it will NOT cost you anything additional, but I will earn a small commission to help fund NEPA Pizza Review giveaways and help grow the website and social channels!

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