I was excited to try out the Pizzeria Pronto, as the videos I had seen of it looked pretty amazing. They claim that once the unit is pre-heated you can bake a pizza in about 5 minutes. Putting it together was simple and only took about 10 minutes. It appears to be well constructed and sturdy.
To light the unit simply press in the heat control knob and turn almost to the high mark count to 5 to allow gas to get to the burner and then continue turning the knob until the piezo igniter clicks. Once lit it only takes about 5 minutes for the oven to reach 700 degrees.
Another 5 minutes and it reached over 1,000 degrees. The instructions say to preheat the oven for at least 10 minutes but not more than 15 minutes. While the oven and pizza stone are preheating you have plenty of time to make your pizza.
To make things easier, I picked up some premade pizza dough from my local supermarket. The dough I bought was in batches that would make one of their 16 inch pizzas. I made the sauce using this pizza sauce recipe.
You build the pizza on a heavily dusted pizza peel. Place the flattened dough on a heavily flour dusted the peel, add the sauce and topping and you are ready to slide it into the oven. You only have about 5 minutes to do this or it seems that the dough starts to stick to the peel and trying to shake it loose can rearrange your toppings and cause a mess.
My first attempt at making a pizza I used half the dough and made a pepperoni and baby Portobello pizza.
It was tasty but the crust came out thicker than I like it and it took around 10 minutes to fully cook. I rotated the pizza 180 three times at 2 1/2 minute intervals during this cook.
The next few I used about 1/3 of the dough and the crusts turned out delightfully crisp and the cheese and toppings bubbly and crusty. I was starting to get the hang of it and was really pleased with the results. My favorite one of the day had diced tomatoes, diced pepperoni, basil leaves, mushrooms and feta cheese. It was fantastic. The thinner crust only took about 7 minutes to bake. The dual cordierite stones and the heat reflective lid do a good job at cooking both the top and the bottom of the pizza at the same time. The top vent lets moisture escape which can otherwise make your pizzas soggy.
The crust looks black on the left side but it was perfectly done. The sun was low at this point and casting deep shadows. The oven seems to perform best when cooking thin pizzas. The uncooked dough for these were about 1/4 inch thick.
Overall I was very pleased with the pizzas I made with this unit. Once hot you can cook pizza after pizza without any waiting between pies. I highly recommend this product.
- The directions say to use flour on your peel instead of cornmeal. I am not sure why, but the flour seemed to work well so I stuck with that method. In the past I have always used cornmeal.
- The back of the oven is hotter than the front so after about 2:30 minutes you have to slide the pizza out with the peel rotate the pizza 180 degrees slide it back onto the pizza stone. I found that even with the thinner crusts I would have to turn the pizzas twice for a total bake time of about 8 minutes. Again, I like my pizzas a bit more on the crispy side, so I may not take as long to bake if you like your pizzas a bit less cooked.
- The cooking chamber is not very tall, so a thin metal peel will work much better than a thicker wooden one.
- While the legs allow you to use the Pizzeria Pronto on any surface the outside of the unit gets very hot. Make sure you set it up in a place where people will not accidentally touch it.
Addendum: During further testing I was able to use an infrared heat gun to get a more accurate temperature reading. It turns out that the built in thermometer was not very accurate. I found that if you left the unit on high the pizza stone would reach a maximum temperature of around 675° F. At this temperature the pizzas were completely cooked in 5 minutes.