For those of you that enjoy good pizza from time to time, and have always wanted to make your own, or feel that you need a new pizza oven, awhile back, I came across a pizza oven from Cuisinart. Sure, you can always go out there and buy one of those big pizza ovens that are fueled by wood, but that’s not something that is suitable for all of us. Today, I would like to introduce you to the Cuisinart CPO-60 Alfrescamore pizza oven so that you can see if it’s something you’d be interested in or not.
This pizza oven is portable, which is what originally caught my eyes – I was looking for the type of pizza oven that was portable, but could be used outdoors and I preferred something that too propane as a fuel source. The Cuisinart pizza oven fit everything I needed – it is small, which makes it portable, and runs off of propane. How do I feel about the Cuisinart CPO-600 Alfrescamore portable pizza oven? Is it worth the money? Let’s begin …
Outdoor Pizza Oven
Hands down, this is a great outdoor pizza oven. If you want your pizza to cook quickly, you’re going to love this, because it can cook pizza within 5 minutes. So, not only is the oven portable, it can also cook your pizza in no time at all.
Weight – Since this pizza oven is portable, you can expect it to be light. This pizza oven only weighs 40 pounds, and it takes a 1 pound propane tank.
Handle – To make it even easier to carry around, it features a handle.
Built-in Warming Tray – The built-in warming tray ensures that your pizza will stay warm.
Pre-Heat Time – To preheat the oven, it will take between 10 to 15 minutes, which is decent.
This oven is capable of cooking a pizza that is up to 13 inches in diameter, so you can cook a decent sized pizza.
Now that you know about the basics, I want to really go into depth on the specifications.
As I previously said, this pizza oven runs off of propane. Propane is really easy to buy – you can find it in most stores and gas stations. By using propane, you will be able to use the oven almost anywhere. All you have to do is get a 1 pound propane tank and connect it to the pizza oven and it’ll be ready to use from there.
The Warming Tray
The warming tray is definitely something I want to talk more about because I feel that this is a unique feature. If you decide to cook another pizza, you don’t want the first pizza to get cold, do you? For this reason, you can put the cooked pizza in the tray while you’re waiting for the second pizza to cook. I personally love this feature because it means that I can have two cooked pizzas that are warm when it’s time to serve both of them.
Since this pizza oven has handles, you will be able to easily carry the oven wherever you need. As I said, the oven is light (only weighs 40 pounds), so you can move it anywhere you please without having to struggle with it.
What’s with the reflective surface? Well, the reflective surface makes it so that the pizza oven has more heat in the oven. This is what is responsible for making your pizza cook faster. If the oven didn’t have a reflective surface, it wouldn’t cook as fast as it does, so I feel this is a feature that pizza ovens should have.
Since this is a portable oven, you’d expect it to be very light, and that is exactly what it is – only 40 pounds. Since it’s so light, you can take the portable pizza oven around with you. If you want to take it on a camping trip, to your neighbors back yard, or anywhere else, it won’t be hard to do.
Comparing the weight with other pizza ovens on the market, you’re going to have a hard time finding one that is this light.
It will take between 10 to 15 minutes for this oven to preheat – once the oven has preheated, all you have to do is slide your pizza inside. I don’t mind waiting 10 to 15 minutes for an oven to preheat – I’ve had pizza ovens that took much longer.
Once the pizza oven has preheated, it’s time to get started cooking your pizza! It will take around 5 minutes for your pizza to cook, which is pretty fast considering this is an outside pizza oven.
Who is This Oven Suitable for?
This oven is suitable for those that are looking for a portable pizza oven that is capable of cooking pizza within 5 minutes – 20 minutes if you were to include the time it takes to preheat the oven. Looking at this oven, it is obvious that the manufacturers worked hard to replicate an authentic pizza oven environment.
Conduction Heat – The pizza stone is capable of conducting heat from itself. This heat goes right to the crust of the pizza, which is obviously in direct contact with the pizza stone.
Convection Heat – From below the oven, cool air is pulled in. It heats the air at the burners and then spreads it around the pizza. From there, the air goes out the front.
Reflected Heat – The steel inner lid reflects the heat down to your pizza and the way the oven is shaped, it does it evenly.
What I Like
Cook More than Just Pizza
Not only is this pizza oven great for cooking pizza, but you can also use it for cooking other things! Here’s a hint – calzones! Who here doesn’t like calzones?
The Accessories – There are numerous accessories that come with this pizza oven. Yes, I’m the type of person that gets happy over accessories and all of that. In this case, you will get a cleaning brush, stand and spinners.
Price – The budget price point is certainly something I don’t mind, especially for such a high quality pizza oven.
Propane – I love the fact that I can use a one pound propane tank, which makes it even more portable. Many people have recommended the 20 pound tank so that you don’t run out of propane while you’re cooking pizza or have to refill the tank often. Yes, the 20 pound tank is great if you plan on using the pizza oven in your yard, but if you want it to be really portable, I recommend the one pound propane tanks.
Frozen Pizza – Okay, so many of you may be wondering if this can be used to cook those popular frozen pizzas you buy in the store. Yes, you can use this. However, I recommend keeping the temperature a tad bit lower, at 350 degrees. Personally, I don’t have anything against those frozen pizzas, but I feel homemade pizzas are the best – you can find many recipes for recipes for homemade pizzas online, and believe it or not, they’re really easy to make. Long story short, I feel this pizza oven does best when you use it for homemade pizza.
Warming Tray – The warming tray is definitely something I wouldn’t want to skip out on. This warming tray does a nice job at keeping the pizza warm while you’re waiting for the second pizza to cook.
Well-Built – Except for the plastic handle, this pizza oven is well built and I feel that it is sturdy.
Wood Chip Container – The wood chip container in the oven is pretty cool. This will help add a smokey flavor to the pizza.
Quickly Heats Up – The oven quickly heats up. I like how it only takes 10-15 minutes for it to heat up, then it’s ready to cook pizza.
Utensil Holder – The pizza oven has a built-in utensil holder, which comes in handy for storing your utensils while you’re cooking the pizza.
Folding Pizza Peel – This product comes with one of those neat folding pizza peels and I feel that it works pretty good.
Easy to Get Started – The auto ignite is definitely something I like having on my pizza ovens. With auto ignite, it’s easy to get started.
Crispy Crust – When cooking pizza on this oven, you’re going to get nice crispy crust, which is what most of us prefer.
Hinged Lid – With hinged lids, cleaning is easier, and you can cool it down faster.
Thermometer – There’s a thermometer mounted on the lid. You can use the mounted thermometer to know when the oven is ready to put your pizza in.
What I Don’t Like
Maintaining Temps – I have seen reports where reviewers had a hard time keeping the oven at high temperatures unless the outdoor temperatures were just right – no wind, warm day and so on.
Plastic Handle – The plastic handle is obviously going to be a problem and this is something that I assumed from the beginning. From past products, I learned that plastic handles aren’t a good thing to have on cooking products. Mind you, I love the fact that the oven has a handle because it makes it easy to carry the oven around. However, when the handle melts off because it’s made of plastic, they’re no longer going to be useful.
Hotter Temps – I love that this product takes a one pound propane tank, because it makes it portable. However, with a one pound propane temp, it may be harder for you to achieve hotter temperatures. For this reason, the 20 pound propane tank is recommended.
Opening the Lid – When you open the lid up, it’s going to lose heat, which is common with ovens. For this reason, during the pre-heating or baking stages, make sure you keep the lid closed.
Cooking in Higher Elevations – If you’re using the pizza oven in higher elevations, you may have some problems with the heat getting higher than 400 degrees.
Small Opening – The opening of the pizza oven is a tad bit on the small side. Some may find it hard to put the pizza in the oven and take it out. This is something that I going to take a bit of practice.
How about the Taste of the Pizza?
Oh yes, we can sit here and talk about the pizza all day, but what it really boils down to would be the taste of the pizza when it’s done. Honestly, it all depends on how you prepare the pizza, but the oven will do a great job at cooking it. You’re going to have nice, crisp crust and there’s not going to be any of that metallic or chemical after taste in your pizza. Chemical or metallic after taste, I have noticed, is fairly common with those cheap pizza ovens, which is why I avoid them.
Included with the Cuisinart outdoor pizza oven, you’ll have a 13-inch pizza stone which does a great job at maintaining the temp oven between pictures. Underneath the oven, you have a warming tray that slides out – it does a great job at keeping the pizza warm. Since the pizza oven only weighs in at 40 pounds, it is easy to move it around – if you want to take it to your friends back yard or on camping trips with you, that’s not going to be a problem at all. It doesn’t require any electricity, so you can easily use it anywhere you please, as long as you have a propane tank.
Ending to the story, the Cuisinart Alfrescamore Portable Outdoor Pizza Oven is worth every penny. It’s one of the lightest outdoor ovens you’re going to find on the market and like I said, the warming tray is a great feature to have. The only real downside to this pizza oven is the fact that it can only cook pizzas up to 13 inches in diameter, but if the size of the pizza isn’t that big of a deal to you, then this product is definitely something that you should buy.