In reviewing (and comparing) pizza ovens in this class, most seem to focus on similar specifications and features. This often makes it tough to figure out which oven ranks higher than another. This idea is especially true when reviewing the Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza Oven. In many ways, it is similar in price, quality, and features to the Pizzeria Pronto oven which is another decent buy in this class. So which is better? Well, instead of doing a head to head comparison, I’d like to break down the good and bad of the Camp Chef, and see where the chips fall!
- Double layered ceiling enhances heating dynamics, bakes like a brick oven
- Built-in valve ignition/micro-adjust valve give you total flame control
- Built-in temperature gauge monitor internal air temps
- Ventilated oven door with handle
- Stainless steel construction is easy to clean
- Perfect for pizza, baking bread, roasting meats and more
- Preheat and ready to cook in 15 minutes
- Oven can reach temperatures upwards of 700° F
- Runs on a 1-lb disposable propane bottle with no need for adapter
- Regulator and 5 ft. hose included to adapt to a standard bulk propane tank
- Cordierite pizza stone included
- looks great!
- Potential to rust fairly quickly if left to the elements
- Maximum temperatures may not be easy to reach according to several owners (17,000 BTU could be a bit low)
- Some owners report issues of the pizza bottom burning while the top is not as crispy as it could be (no reflective heat shield above the pizza)
- Construction quality could be better
Quality and Durability
The exterior shell of the oven is made from stainless steel, and while it is generally durable and easy to clean, it is not thick, so it’s not indestructible for sure! The other issue we discovered is that the removable door itself is laser cut from a sheet of stainless steel (exactly like many stainless steel or aluminum pizza peels). That means that the edges are very sharp and can easily slice into a soft finger. We were able to use a fine steel file along with sandpaper to remove the sharpness and make it feel like we thought it was when we first saw it. I know they don’t do it at the factory since that’s just an extra step which would cost more money. I get it, but I believe it’s something that should be considered in the manufacturing workflow at the factory. I feel the same way with any aluminum or stainless steel pizza products like peels and steel ovens.
Even if the Camp Chef Italian Artisan Pizza Oven is kept out of direct weather (ie. on a covered porch), there is the possibility of rusting or staining as was reported by a number of users. At 47 lbs, it’s a bit heavier than some small, portable competitors.
The current retail price is all over the board as I write this, and it ranges from the low $200’s to nearly $400. We’d suggest doing a full online search for the best price, but so far we’ve found the lowest price on Amazon (that’s actually true – I’ve done the search myself, but that doesn’t mean it won’t change over time). At the lower price point, we think it is a fair deal and you’ll definitely get crispy pizzas (as long as you don’t use super thick dough and load it up with tons of sauce and wet veggies!)
So What Do We Say?
Despite some potential issues with the quality of materials used, I’d say it’s a good competitor in this space (outdoor, gas-powered, portable ovens). Most customers were thrilled with their units and overall we are fairly certain you’d have a good experience with the unit. Though around 12 inches seems to be the biggest pie size possible, that seems to work for most people. I like the unit and would be happy to own one permanently.