Patio party coming up? How about making it a pizza patio party?
Now we’re talking. Combine the best combination of good friends, good food and a great location and you’re going to create some lasting memories.
How would you like to do this without spending a fortune on building a special installation in your backyard or on the patio?
Even better, how about something that you could take camping, tailgating, even to the beach?
Read on, because our Camp Chef Italian Artisan Pizza Oven review might just be your ticket.
What Is the Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza Oven?
The Camp Chef is a portable pizza oven that bakes artisan-style pizza in as little as 3 minutes.
The Camp Chef pizza oven can do this because it heats in as little as 15 minutes to the desired 600° to 700° temperature. Slide your pie in the oven, close the door, and 3 to 7 minutes later you’ll be enjoying that delicious, sizzling, mouthwatering pizza.
Not a pizza dough swirling pro?
No worries, it’s as easy as store-bought pizza sauce and dough or pizza from a take and bake place – even frozen works. But, if you feel like trying your hand at it, go ahead and use any specialized pizza dough and sauce.
Then pack it up and take it camping or to the beach, it’s that versatile.
If you’re a pizza aficionado, this is a unit that you’ll want to check out.
Let’s do just that…
No smoky flavor
Somewhat uneven heating
Oven doesn’t get to highest temps with bottle propane
Easy to assemble
Front cover not hinged
Here Are the Standard Features of the Camp Chef Pizza Oven
- Stainless steel body with double wall insulation in the ceiling
- Easy electronic ignition
- Micro adjust 17,000 BTU gas burner in the base of the unit
- Built in temperature gauge on top
- 13.5″ x 20″ Cordierite ceramic pizza stone
- Uses 1lb disposable propane bottles
- Uses standard bulk propane with supplied 5ft hose and regulator
First Off, How Does It All Work?
Electronic ignition gets The Camp Chef Italia started quickly. The oven gets up to temperature in as little as 15 minutes. You control the temperature by using the micro adjust gas burner that is situated below the pizza stone.
The stone is a 13.5” by 20” piece of Cordierite ceramic. It’s the same material used in kilns so you can be assured that it’s more than ready to take the heat.
The burner heats up the stone while the gap around the stone allows hot air to move up and heat the oven dome.
The oven mimics a wood-fired brick oven by contact cooking the pizza dough on the stone while cooking the pizza toppings with convection heat via the double walled stainless-steel dome.
But, no smoky wood flavor. Here’s why…
What Kind of Fuel Does It Use?
The oven runs on propane and is ready to accept gas from two sources. For portability, you can use the easily found 1-pound disposable bottles.
Or you can use the supplied 5-foot hose with regulator to connect to a standard bulk propane tank.
So, no woodchips, pellets or wood chunks to fuss with — that’s why no smoky flavor — and no ashes to spill all over your patio, campsite, or beach site.
Be aware, some users have said that you’re not able to get the highest temperatures with the disposable bottles.
Not a problem, you’ll just need to vary the type of pizza you’re going to make. You can still cook at lower temperatures, though it may take a minute or so longer.
Can I Use Natural Gas?
That’s a common question many users ask. The Camp Chef pizza oven isn’t made to run on natural gas. Currently, there isn’t a connector or adapter available from the manufacturer to allow natural gas use.
A couple of notes to keep in mind:
The Camp Chef is meant to be used outdoors only.
Be certain to read the instructions on disconnecting the gas supply when the oven is not in use.
Ok, the electronic ignition makes it fast starting, we know it’s fast heating so…
How Long Do I Have to Wait Between Pizza Batches?
You can make one 12-inch or two 10-inch pies at a time. So, figure about 10 minutes on the high side between batches. This is because every time the door is opened, heat escapes and the oven must come back to temp.
Not a big issue because the stone holds heat for a long time. It’s the air that needs to be reheated and that happens quickly.
TIP: If you prep your pizzas ahead of time, the process will be a lot faster. Be sure to keep the oven door closed even when not cooking to keep those temperatures up.
Can I Use this in a Commercial Setting?
Another common question, but officially, no, the unit isn’t intended for commercial use. However, there are some pizza restaurant owners who have used the Camp Chef Italia pizza oven at open-air events. They’ve reported good results after a little practice and experimenting with time and ingredients.
Here are the measurements and weight if you’re going to be moving it around:
- Shipping weight is 47 pounds.
- Assembled weight is 22 pounds
- Assembled, it measures 20″ d x 26″ w x 16″ h
- Add 5” x 23” to the front for the ledge
Speaking of practice and experimenting:
What Else Can I Make in a Camp Chef Pizza Oven?
You can bake bread, calzones, cookies and other smallish baked goods. And that’s not all, you can cook chicken and fish, even roast meats.
The truth of the matter is, if you can fit the food through the opening, you can probably cook it in the Italia pizza oven.
Once the baking is done, it’s time for cleanup. Keep reading for good news there.
What’s the Camp Chef Oven Cleaning Routine?
The body of the oven is easy to clean, just wipe down the inside and outside with a damp cloth. Before cleaning the stone, make sure it has completely cooled. You risk cracking the stone if it’s still hot.
Clean the stone by rinsing in water, but don’t soak it or use detergent. The stone is porous and will absorb water and soap. Scrape off any burnt-on residue like cheese or other toppings. Drips can be wiped up with warm water.
The stone will darken as it seasons. That’s something that you want to happen so don’t try to wash it off.
Alright, those are the basics, so, ready for some secrets?
What’s the Secret to Good Artisan Pizza?
Proper air and stone temperature is the secret. The trick is to get the air temperature to around 700° so that the toppings will be properly cooked while keeping the stone at around 550° to avoid burning the crust but still make it crispy.
The built-in thermometer in the Camp Chef oven top does a good job of measuring the air temperature — so no trick there.
For the stone temp, a good quality infrared thermometer comes in handy. You can measure several spots on the stone to judge overall temperature.
This is especially important if you’re going to be making more than one or two pizzas and need to keep opening and closing the door.
What Am I Getting That Makes Such Great Pizza?
The high air heat and properly heated stone make this pizza oven a standout. Plus, like we said, it does this quickly, in as little as 15 minutes and you’re ready to start baking.
The heat is fully adjustable letting you cook many different types of pizza as well as other foods. The ceramic stone then pulls the outer moisture off the dough for crispness. This ensures that you get a perfect crust while the inside stays fluffy and moist.
Any Tips or Tricks to Getting My Best Pie?
Measure the stone heat separately to make sure you’ve got the right baking temperature. You want the stone to be at 500° to 550°. The air temperature needs to be higher – 650° to 700° – to cook the top.
For thin cracker style crust, bake at a low to med temperature to prevent burning. You will need to adjust the overall pre-heat to a half hour or so.
Use room temperature ingredients and dough. If you use frozen, thaw completely.
If making the dough that’s noted in the instructions, let it proof for 48 hours.
Go easy on the toppings as they may not cook quickly enough if piled too high. Also avoid too many high moisture toppings.
Use fine cornmeal on the peel to make it easy to slide the pie into the oven.
Spin the pizza 180° at least once in the first 90-120 seconds. Pop large bubbles so they don’t burn. Keep turning as needed to evenly cook.
If the crust is cooked but the top isn’t quite done, use your metal (not wooden) peel and lift the pie up near the top of the oven. The hot air will finish the cooking while keeping the crust just the way you want it.
Do I Have to Do Anything Special with the Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza Oven?
The pizza oven is meant to be used outdoors, so don’t use it in an enclosed space. For example, don’t use it indoors, in a camper, or in an RV.
If you’re going to leave it outside, keep it covered. Camp Chef has a custom cover called the Camp Chef Italia Artisan Protective Cover. You can find it on Amazon.
The portable pizza oven can sit on any solid flat surface but if you prefer a cart, Seville Classics makes one that has a shelf for a separate propane canister that you can find on Amazon.
When you’re done baking, make sure the gas is off as directed in the instructions.
What’s the Warranty Period?
Camp Chef has a one-year warranty on the stove and components. This doesn’t include paint or finish. Be sure to activate the warranty by registering online here:
For more information or to file a warranty request go here:
Any Concerns to Be Aware of?
The gauge shows the temperature of the air inside but doesn’t give you the temperature of the stone. Take that in to account when baking as the stone could be quite a bit hotter than you think and burn the bottom of the pie.
Avoid extreme temperature changes to the stone. Don’t place frozen foods on a hot stone as it could crack.
Use oven mitts or gloves when handling the cooking stone and any other hot parts like the front cover.
It’s safe to use outside as that’s Camp Chef’s intended purpose for the oven. Remember to use standard fire safety when cooking outside. A fire extinguisher is a good idea to have handy.
We suggest you invest in the following Amazon Best-Selling tools to make life with your pizza oven a little easier and cleaner.
A peel or spatula like the Kitchen Supply aluminum peel or the Camp Chef Professional Pizza Spatula will make it a simple thing to slide the pizza in the oven. It also helps when you rotate the pizza so that it will bake evenly.
The Janico Pizza Oven Stone Brush is a good stiff bristle brush that helps remove the debris on the stone.
To keep track of the temperature of the pizza stone, the Etekcity Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer does a great job.
Where Can I Buy the Camp Chef Italia Artisan Oven?
The Camp Chef Italia Artisan Oven can be purchased at larger outdoor and home supply stores as well as larger sporting goods stores.
We recommend you purchase it here at Amazon. You can take advantage of their top-notch customer support, easy to use return policy and free Standard shipping. And, if you’re an Amazon Prime Member, you can get FREE 2-day shipping.
Camp Chef Pizza Oven
Ok Then, What’s the Final Word?
Our conclusion is that the Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza Oven would make a great backyard, camping or all-around outdoor propane powered pizza oven. It fits smaller patios and it’s portable. It’s easy to set up on a picnic table or grill stand and you can be cooking in 15 minutes.
It stands out to us for its versatility in baking other foods too. It’s not a one hit wonder.
You can find our complete selection of outdoor pizza ovens here.