A good pizza oven is a cornerstone in any chef’s arsenal, who is looking to dabble in the arts of homemade pizzas. But with the market saturated with numerous options, it’s hard to differentiate between options.
In comes the CARBON PIZZA OVEN, a solid contender for the top dog in the race of the portable pizza ovens. The Carbon pizza oven boasts one of the most stylish finishes we have ever seen, and a dual flame source design that easily sets the competition on fire.
Here you go! Have a little glance over this beauty and speak your heart out. Isn’t it just WOW?
The oven is designed by the company Proluxe, who have been in the pizza oven making business for quite some time now (37 years at the time of this article) and is the newest representative of the company in said market.
UNIQUE SELLING POINTS
Well, well, well. Honestly, this one is the main contender that gives a tough time to big names like Ooni and Gozney’s most famous ovens. Don’t believe me? Have a look at its USP’s:
- Manufactured and designed in USA
- First-one to introduce two burner design ( patented under-brick burner)
- Commercial grade quality
- Cooks near to perfect pizzas
- Base of the pizza cooks perfectly due to under-brick burner
- Dual flame control regulators ( for both burners)
- Free shipping
- 1 year warranty
- 30-days free return policy
A Quick Glance on Specs
- Weight: 27.2 kg / 60 lbs (as claimed by company) [My finding was just over 50 lbs]
- Volumetric Dimensions: 23.2”L x 18.38” W x 14.4”H
- Internal Dimensions: 15″ wide and 3.4″ tall
- Cooking Surface Dimensions: 15″x15″
- Fire Brick Thickness: 5/8″
- BTUs: 13,000
- Max Temperature: 950 degrees Fahrenheit / 510 degrees Celsius
- Fuel Type: Propane Gas (company plans to introduce a natural gas compatibility in future)
Design & Build Quality
Build quality of the carbon pizza oven is just superb. The body of the carbon pizza oven is made up of powder coated steel which is why this oven is a lot sturdy.
There is no denying it, the design of the carbon pizza oven sets it apart from the competition. The boxy squared off design stands out no matter where you are, making a statement to the world, as if proclaiming, ‘notice me, cook pizza with me’.
Without further ado, let us just have a look at this beauty from various angles.
The curved roof up top is specially engineered to maximize uniform heat distribution in the cooking area.
The thin legs of the carbon help it stand up and go mostly unnoticed due to how thin they are.
The Carbon pizza oven comes in two distinct colors, black and stainless steel. While the stainless steel offers a more natural look, my review unit, the black variant absolutely blew me off my feet.
However, here is how a stainless steel variant looks like.
The black variant offered so much more sleekness in terms of aesthetics and looks like premium product. Honestly, I often found myself staring at the oven for long periods of time. Proluxe really outdid themselves with this color choice.
Another design choice that makes the carbon pizza oven the best looking pizza oven out there is the executive decision to have all functional knobs and hoses in the back, away from plain view, so that you, the chef could watch your pizza cook without any eyesore of a knob in the way.
This may seem like something small, but it is absolutely noticeable if you cook pizzas for every day (like me) and like to watch them cook (like me).
What I loved the most about the design however was how Proluxe doubled down on their branding. The name ‘Carbon’ is not etched or engraved into the metal, it is rather cut out completely from the metal, leaving a permanent marker.
Lets talk dimensions. This is a portable pizza oven; it needs to follow through on the first part of its name as much as the second to be a real contender for the top spot. And the carbon pizza oven does just that.
The oven comes in at 23.2”L x 18.38” W x 14.4”H as specified by the packaging. These were confirmed to be accurate figures when I did some testing on the unit I received myself.
The legs account for approximately of height real estate, so in theory, it could just only be high if you wanted to go for the ultra sleek, leg less look, though I would not recommend that as it has a chance to permanently mark your cook surface, what I learned the hard way.
The entry into the oven area is an open window that is 15″ wide and 3.4″ tall. Giving you plenty of room to add and remove pizzas as you deem fit.
The cooking surface is a massive 15″x15″ area, so you can cook some pretty big pizzas in there. I managed to cook myself a 4 person pizza in this thing. So, if you are planning on having big get togethers, this one is definitely right for you.
The Carbon pizza oven comes in at a weight of 60 pounds or 27.2 kg, but in my independent testing, it came out to just over 50 pounds. I suppose we can chalk that up to the weight of the pizza peel.
Now onto the juicy bits. The carbon pizza oven is the first, that is right, the first pizza oven ever to have not one but two different burners to maximize heat transfer to your pizza.
The first burner, according to tradition, heats up the overhead space of the pizza, making the environment itself hot for the pizza.
However, the second burner is where the ingenious of the carbon pizza oven really shines most. The added burner is placed right underneath the cook surface.
A decision so obvious. I was a little surprised that it took this long for us to see it in an actual, commercially available portable pizza oven.
The extra burner helps the carbon pizza oven heat up to higher temperatures, heat up quicker, and most importantly, give your pizza the even heating it deserves for that incredibly crispy crust.
The added burner helps the carbon pizza achieve yet another feat previously thought to be impossible.
Normally, before putting a pizza into the oven, the oven cook space is heated up to high temperature to ensure the best cooking of the pizza. This includes heating the cook surface. However, when you take the pizza out, the environment stays warm, but the cook surface is actually cooler and needs to be reheated.
In comes the carbon pizza oven, raising its second burner in triumph. Not only does the second burner help heat up the cook surface quicker, but it also helps retain a massive chunk of the heat that was absorbed by the pizza.
In fact, the carbon pizza oven is so good that I was actually able to cook back to back pizzas with a delay as small as one minute. This in my book is one of the greatest aspects of this pizza oven.
What’s in the box
Before we set up the oven, we need to know what comes with the box when we order the oven.
Despite the many pros of the carbon pizza oven, this is one is its cons. The box itself contains nothing but the oven itself, along with its four legs and a long propane gas line with an adapter that effectively stretches into a long line.
Additionally, the oven comes with a pizza stone, and a cover strip. The strip is there to anchor the pizza stone in place, and has accompanying screws to help you adhere it firmly to the frame.
But that’s where the goodies end, and any other extra you want needs to be an additional purchase.
The set up process for the carbon pizza oven is very streamlined and simple.
The oven does weigh quite a bit so you would want a sturdy wooden or metallic surface to set up for pizzas to come.
A glass or plastic table is an absolutely terrible idea as the heat from the pizza oven could radiate out onto the surface and cause it to malfunction. So remember, always cook on wood or metal.
Now, you have your metal box on an appropriate surface. Flip it to its side and unfold the legs underneath, this will help it stand up straight, and is my recommended way of placing it, for easier access to the bottom.
Once stood up straight, you need to insert the pizza stone inside. For this, Proluxe provides a pizza stone cover piece, a jig that’s engineered to hold the pizza stone in place inside the oven.
It is also easily attached to the pizza stone, simply slide it on at the indents and screw in a bunch of screws.
Now, onto the power supply. Remember, whenever dealing propane or any type of flammable fuel source, exercise extreme caution in your approach. I recommend doing this in a well-ventilated area, with no open flame nearby to catch on to the propane.
Connect the propane line to your propane tank and hand tighten it. Once done, you can double check for any leaks, although there should not be any, by spraying soapy water on the joint and looking for bubbles that may form.
And there you have it, your very own dual burner carbon pizza oven is all set. To start it up, all you have to do is push and turn the two dials in the back marked upper and lower, for the two burners.
I would recommend starting in the maximum position for both initially to get to that cooking temperature as soon as possible. The uniqueness of the dual burner design will make sure that happens blisteringly fast.
Not to forget that unlike Stoke pizza ovens, the accessories do not come along with the standard purchase of carbon pizza oven. Instead, you will have to spend a few bucks to get your hands on them. Anyhow, if you are buying this much worthy pizza oven, I recommend you the following accessories with it.
Premium Oven Cover
An oven without its protection cover is like a tender meat in front of predators. Spending a handsome amount of money on an oven and not buying a cover for it is something very unwise.
A cover protects the oven from any sort of weather conditions and risks of damages to the body, thus enhancing its life and keeping its looks fresh for a longer period. So, a premium oven cover is a must buy. You can buy it by clicking here.
Essential Pizza Oven Tool Set
Cooking a pizza does not only require just an oven but some handy accessories too. Trust me, if you don’t have the desired and necessary accessories, you’ll just ruin your pizza.
If you already have a pizza peel, you are still good to go. But, without a pizza peel, there is no chance that you can use any other thing to slide in the pizza to your oven.
Experienced cooks may use a pizza peel for pizza rotation if they don’t have a turning peel, but for newbies, turning peel is a must have to ensure even cooking of the pizza from all sides.
Last but not the least, oven brush will help to scrape off the residue after cooking is done. I have developed a strict routine to clean my pizza oven’s stone after every cook. This ensures that the stone remains clean every fine day when cooking is required and gives me a peace of mind.
You can also buy the individual items from the official site if not interested in the bundle.
For a perfect evenly cooked pizza and ensuring a crispy base, it is recommended that you should have an infrared thermometer. As carbon pizza oven does not have a built-in thermometer for temperature monitoring, it becomes extra important to have a digital infrared thermometer so that you know when is the right time to launch the pizza.
You can buy it from clicking this link.
Carbon Oven Stand
To cut down all the hassle of managing pizza cooking related accessories, it’s a wise decision to invest in a good quality oven stand. You get to place your propane tank on the stand and other accessories like pizza peel and pizza turning peel too.
Secondly, it is not recommended to place your outdoor pizza oven on a stand/table that is made of plastic or any other fire catching material.
Carbon has designed the stand exclusively for the carbon pizza oven. You can buy it from here.
Cooking your pizza
Good, you have your oven set up and are ready to start churning out pizzas for everyone. How do you do it?
Firstly, turn on both burners to the maximum setting and let the oven heat up to at least F. As soon as it is reached, turn down the lower burner. This will prevent the underside of the pizza from getting extra hot and burning to a crisp.
If you feel the stone getting much cooler, just turn it back up. This is honestly a feature I will never get tired of bringing up, it is just too convenient.
Slide in your pizzas and wait.
Now you might be scared if you are cooking a bigger pizza about how close the crust is to the edges, but do not worry, the flame is pushed up above the surface quite a bit and will not burn any crusts under its watchful gaze.
Portability & Storage
Lets be honest. You will not be cooking pizzas with your pizza oven every day or other. It will be resting quite a days in a week or a month.
For this purpose, Proluxe did leave a lot to be desired. The legs fold to make it into just a box, and you can detach the propane line, but that is as far as it goes in terms of making it ‘more portable’.
Though, the oven weighs just over 50 pounds and is a little lighter than Ooni’s KARU 16, it is still manageable to transport it from on place to another easily.
You can however purchase an extra oven cover for your pizza oven to protect the finish and gas lines from the elements and increase its longevity. The cover is easy to slide on and off and is water proof and will keep most dust particles out.
The carbon pizza oven is priced at $699 (as of writing this article). However prices may fluctuate over time, so it’s always best to confirm the price form the manufacturers store.
Carbon Pizza Oven VS Ooni
This one is a tough one to answer. And Kudos to the Carbon pizza oven that is not a very old player in the market, yet gives a tough time to the most renowned players in the market.
Carbon only offers a single pizza oven while Ooni has a whole lot of pizza ovens in various price ranges. Ooni is an old and a renowned company whereas Carbon is a new one, yet it is making its name in a very short time.
If you are interested in reading about all Ooni ovens, this article about best Ooni pizza ovens will help you a lot.
Keeping in mind the price of the carbon pizza oven, I will be comparing it with the Ooni’s flagship pizza oven; Ooni Karu 16.
Carbon pizza oven takes the lead from the Karu 16 in the following points:
- Has a dual burner
- Designed and manufactured in USA
- Uniformity of cooking better than Karu
Though, Carbon pizza oven is a $100 cheaper than Karu 16 (as of writing this article), here’s what it has more to offer than carbon pizza oven:
- Karu 16 is a multi-fuel pizza oven
- Has a built-in thermometer
If you ask me to choose one from these two, my answer would be that it depends upon the situation. If you are a newbie and find it hard to cook the pizza base and crust evenly, go for the Carbon pizza oven.
Else, if you plan to cook more frequently and already have a little experience with cooking pizzas, I would recommend you to go for KARU 16.
What surfaces are okay to use this on?
The best surface would be any metallic one as that has the least chance of malformation under the radiated heat, but any wooden surface will do just as well. AVOID GLASS AND PLASTIC tops because they will almost definitely crack (pun intended) the heat pressure.
Can I cook without the legs extended?
While it is not recommended to have your oven body directly in contact with the cook surface, there is not much that can go wrong if you are using an appropriate cook surface. However, it is my wholehearted endorsement that you do not operate it without the legs extended.
How long does the carbon oven take to cook pizzas?
This question honestly depends on what kind of pizza and what size you are cooking. The bigger the pizza, the longer the cook time, however the carbon pizza oven does dust the competition in cooking speeds of any pizza.
Are there any alternate fuel sources?
Unfortunately no, as of yet Proluxe’s Carbon pizza oven only supports propane as a fuel supply. Hopefully, it may expand in the future to accommodate a wider selection of fuels especially natural gas, as claimed by the company.
The Carbon pizza oven is an extremely well built, sleek looking and quick cooking pizza oven. The dual burner design and separate knobs to control each flame add a lot value to the oven making it unique than its competitors.
No accessories come with the box and no built-in thermometer is there. Anyhow, built-in thermometers of almost all pizza ovens are not accurate. Chefs still use infrared thermometers despite of oven having any built-in one.
Carbon pizza oven’s blisteringly fast warm up and cooking times are further complimented by its heat retention on the pizza stone.
The ease of use and set up makes it an easy recommendation for anyone looking to make homemade pizzas part of their culinary arsenal.