Outsunny Outdoor Charcoal Pizza Oven review: affordable and simple to use
We tested the Outsunny Outdoor Charcoal Pizza Oven to see if it could create restaurant-worthy pizzas with minimum hassle. Here’s our verdict…
It’s safe to say that I would definitely recommend Outsunny’s pizza oven. It’s simple to use and the design makes temperature regulation easy and accessible, which is the key to creating a delicious pizza at the end. The price point is also reasonable at around the £150 mark, as a lot of pizza ovens land between the £200 and £300 mark.
Simple to use
Creates authentic tasting pizza
Built in thermometer
Stays hot for 1-2 hours
Reasonable price point
Takes a couple of tries to perfect the cooking technique
Set up process can be time consuming
Add the Outsunny Outdoor Charcoal Pizza Oven to your summertime mix, and your family pizza nights will never be more fun, or better tasting. The summer season is in full flow, which is a happy call for more alfresco dining and time spent in the garden.
It’s no secret that a pizza oven is a great addition to any garden, because not only can they look fabulous, they make the authentic taste of wood-fired pizza possible from the comfort of your own home. So when the opportunity to test the Charcoal Pizza Oven from Outsunny came up, I jumped at the chance to put the product through its paces and see if it was up to the challenge of creating a fun, delicious and hassle-free pizza night.
This outdoor furniture brand doesn’t specialise in pizza ovens, but that doesn’t make Outsunny’s Two-tier Charcoal Pizza Maker any less impressive. After assembling the product, I was amazed at how aesthetically pleasing the oven looked in my garden, with the matte black structure and shiny silver frames complementing each other perfectly. It was a talking point when the family came over, and we quickly agreed to use the oven to host my niece’s first birthday party. My brothers, sisters and their children were as excited as I was about the oven, and they weren’t going to miss out on a chance to use it!
I’ve used Outsunny’s Pizza Oven enough times to give a well-informed review on whether it’s worth your cash. We’re now a few pizza nights down in this house, yet still planning our next one. The joy of making our own pizzas and tasting the delicious results, either outside on the milder evenings or indoors on the wetter, chillier nights, has become one of our favourite weekly rituals. Keep reading to find out how I got on, then head to our buying guide of the best pizza ovens for more options to browse.
Outsunny Outdoor Charcoal Pizza Oven specifications
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- Fuel Type: Charcoal
- Dimensions: H160 x L50 x W36cm
- Pizza Size: 12 inches
- Weight: 24 kg
- Oven heat-up temperature: 300˚C
- Time to reach temperature: 45 mins
- Pizza cooking time: 15 mins
- Accessories included: No
The pizza oven arrived in one fairly large box, which was heavy enough for me to ask a family member to help me carry it to the garden. But given the size of the oven once it has been assembled, overall the packaging was compact. There were 16 individually wrapped parts contained within the main structure, so there was a lot of protective bubble wrap to unpack, as well as big pieces of cardboard, polystyrene, and a plastic cover.
Though the amount of packaging was excessive, it did an effective job of maintaining the pristine condition of the oven’s parts during transportation, and what can’t be recycled can definitely be reused. Once everything had been unwrapped and laid out in front of me, the task of assembling the oven seemed somewhat overwhelming, and I’d recommend setting aside a good couple of hours to put everything together.
I used the instruction booklet to do a thorough stock check before I began assembling. Some diagrams were slightly confusing because they showed parts as pre-assembled, which isn’t how they arrived. This was soon figured out though, and overall I would describe the instruction booklet as comprehensive and accessible. If you have prior experience with flatpack furniture, assembling the oven should be a smooth process, and even those with no DIY practice could put it together without needing an extra pair of hands. I fall into the latter category and managed to assemble the oven in under three hours.
Make a note though that you’ll need your own basic tools to get started, including an Allan key, a pozi screwdriver, and an adjustable spanner. I also had to buy my own pizza peel before I could start cooking any food, though a 12-inch pizza stone was included with the oven.
Lighting the Outsunny Outdoor Charcoal Pizza Oven
If you're thinking of including some pizza oven ideas in your garden, you'll need to consider where to place your outdoor oven. We placed the pizza oven on our flagstones away from any other furniture, so it could be used as safely as possible.
Though the oven is quite large, the two wheels make it easy to move around, so if you find the wind is hampering your experience while cooking, you can move it to somewhere more sheltered. The mobility of the oven is a definite plus if you’re someone who likes to rearrange your garden a lot.
Adding the charcoal into the oven is easy enough as both tiers can be opened fully using the handles on the doors. On our first pizza night, we simply added a 1kg bag of charcoal into the second tier of the oven and lit this using a standard BIC Mega Lighter. After 15 minutes, the charcoal had turned white and we were ready to start cooking our pizzas on the oven’s top tier.
One of the oven’s handier features is the bottom tier drawer which serves as an ash catcher, so you don’t need to worry about messy aftermath in your garden. You can just dispose of the ashy remains later by removing the drawer and emptying the contents into the bin, once they have fully cooled down of course.
Cooking pizza in the Outsunny Outdoor Charcoal Pizza Oven
While the oven grill is spacious, there was still only enough room to cook one pizza at a time using the pizza stone. If your family is making individual pizzas, someone will inevitably be waiting a while to eat, as one pizza takes around 15 minutes to cook. Not only was this an exercise in patience, it was somewhat tricky to maintain a hot temperature inside the oven by the time we got to cooking the third pizza.
We learned that it’s important to maintain a temperature between 180˚C and 200˚C; anything lower will result in a half-crispy, half-soft pizza. The more charcoal you add at the start, the easier it will be to maintain a good level of heat over an hour, which gives you enough time to cook several pizzas – essential if you're hosting a pizza party for family and friends. The maximum weight on the second tier shelf is 10kg, so don’t go stingy with the charcoal and your taste buds will thank you for it later.
Taking all this into consideration, the second time we used the oven the pizzas tasted delicious, worthy of being served up in a restaurant in fact. We added 2.5kg of charcoal and doused it with a firelighter, to help make sure all the pieces caught fire. The result was that the oven stayed hot for much longer, and all the pizzas were cooked through more evenly. Fifteen minutes on the top shelf created a deliciously crispy base, and the cheese melted to perfection. We also turned the pizza half way through cooking this time, another game-changer trick.
The best feature of the Outsunny Outdoor Charcoal Pizza Oven is definitely the thermometer, which means you can easily regulate the temperature inside the oven without opening the doors to check the charcoal is still burning, which is a surefire way to lose heat. Keeping an eye on the temperature means you can avoid burning your pizza too.
Controlling the temperature was also made easy by the vents on the door of the second tier, which slide open and shut via a handle. We kept ours partly open throughout, to keep a healthy amount of oxygen circulating inside the oven, which Outsunny recommends you do for carbon combustion. Plus, the chimney also has a vent which can be opened or closed to either dissipate or retain heat. Judging how much air you want to let inside the oven is pretty straightforward because of the thermometer; if the temperature starts to drop, try closing the vents for a while and let it heat up again.
Cleaning the Outsunny Outdoor Charcoal Pizza Oven
It’s important to keep the inside of your pizza oven clean, so old remnants of charcoal and grease aren’t present each time you cook. The day after I’d used the oven for the first time, I removed the grates from the two tiers and washed them in my sink using hot soapy water and a washing up sponge. Definitely wear rubber gloves at this point, as the combination of grease and charcoal isn’t something you want to be scrubbing out of your fingernails later.
As I mentioned earlier, the ash catcher drawer can simply be pulled out and emptied into the bin. Just make sure enough time has passed since cooking for the ash to completely cool down. Between 24 and 48 hours is ideal.
My aim was for the inside of the oven to look pretty much new the next time I came to use it, and it was simple enough to achieve this. I used a handheld brush to sweep out any lingering bits of ash and charcoal, and went over the outside of the oven with a microfiber cloth and disinfectant. A quick and simple cleaning process I now perform after each use.
Cleaning the outside of the oven can be kept to minimum hassle if you invest in a protective cover. Not only will this keep the oven safe through all weathers, it will keep dirt at bay and make maintaining the product’s tiptop condition a lot easier. That being said, the stainless-steel body is supposedly tough enough to resist scratches and rusting, so purchasing a cover is optional, though something I’d recommend to increase the longevity of the oven over time.
How does it rate?
Online reviews are relatively mixed for this product. There are plenty of people who like me, want nothing more than to sing the oven’s praises, but there are others whose expectations weren’t met and found achieving the desired result difficult. I think it would be helpful if the oven came with some instructions on how to use a pizza oven, as it does take a couple of tries to perfect the technique. Adding more charcoal, waiting for it to go fully white, and turning the pizzas halfway through cooking meant our second round of pizzas were a lot better than the first.
Outsunny has a range of alfresco BBQ products, but this is the only one marketed as a pizza oven. A great selling point is that there are plenty of options for what you can cook in a pizza oven as well as pizza, so you wouldn’t need to have space for both the oven and a regular BBQ in your garden.
There are a few near-identical looking models on the market, from brands like Vevor, Super Grills, and BillyOh, all of which interestingly have a slightly higher price point than Outsunny’s product.
A lot of other pizza ovens in the market are smaller and more portable, such as the Ooni Frya Pizza Oven, but personally, I think the tall design of Outsunny’s oven is what makes it great. It looks fabulous in our garden and we love showing it off when family and friends come round.
About this review and the reviewer
Katie Sims writes for Gardeningetc on a freelance basis, and has been creating ecommerce content since earlier this year. A homebody at heart, she loves making her home and garden as comfortable, enjoyable and fun as possible, so she’s keen to try any products that can help her achieve this.
She currently lives in Lancashire with her mum, brother and sister in the same house she grew up in. The garden has always been her favourite thing about the house, given its spaciousness and natural beauty. Gone are the trampolines and swingball sets which resided there in her childhood, replaced with garden furniture and alfresco cooking equipment for the whole family to enjoy. Katie is the youngest of six, and now that several of her siblings have children of their own, it’s important that her home remains a place where all the family can come round and enjoy themselves.
As with all our reviews, the Outsunny Pizza Oven was tested in her own garden, and used in the same way as you would so that you could know exactly what you were buying.
Katie has recently joined Future's Ecommerce writing cohort after exploring different forms of digital writing in her Media and Journalism MA. She's always been a lover of the great outdoors, and attributes the spacious back garden of the house she grew up in as the home of some of her favorite childhood memories. For her, a garden is a place to soak up the benefits of fresh air while still enjoying home comforts, and in the warmer months, she's rarely seen out of it. She wants to explore the latest gardening trends and see what's worth adding to her outdoor space, and is keen to share her passion with Gardeningetc's readers too!
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