Time once again to dip into the world of kitchen gadgets. Kambrook’s Rotating Stone Pizza Oven promises pizza perfection, but it’s up to you to make it happen.
There are few foods that are quite as divisive as pizza. Really great pizza is sublime stuff, and really woeful pizza reminds you exactly what throwing up tastes like, but there’s not all that much accord as to what makes a “good” pizza, besides people generally agreeing that fresh ingredients are a must. Some people will put just about anything on a pizza and declare it “artisinal”, while others stick to more “traditional” pizza recipes. There’s little agreement there, although I’ll put my pizza cards down and say that I tend towards the more traditional pizza types. Once you’re putting, say, sour cream on a pizza, it stops being a pizza in my view.
Any kitchen gadget that wants to prove its worth in the great pizza debate has another challenge ahead of it, because good pizza can be had from a large variety of restaurants, as well as (if you’re lazy) generally average-to-terrible pizza from the big chain places. I won’t name them — I’m sure they can afford better lawyers than I can — but if you want good pizza, I’d suggest going elsewhere, or making your own — which brings me back neatly to the Kambrook Rotating Stone Pizza Oven.
As the name suggests, the heart of the Kambrook Rotating Stone Pizza Oven is a rotating pizza stone upon which you place your ingredients. There’s a heating element that covers half the stone (top and bottom), and a regular rotation mechanism that ensures that all of the pizza is gently heated while it cooks.
Actual operation is very simple, consisting of simply setting a temperature from low to high, and choosing a time to tick down from. Like the recently reviewed Kambrook Air Chef, the timer is entirely mechanical, which means once it’s set, you can only wait for it to go off, although lifting to the top tray will stop rotation and heating, so you can always lift cooked pizzas off the stone and power the unit down. The clock will eventually reach its bell point regardless.
There’s something quite delightful about making your own pizza, and the fun of watching the pizza spin is also lightly hypnotic. Depending on your ingredient choice, you can also stand nearby and take in the aromas of your cooking ingredients, as vents on the side of the Kambrook Rotating Stone Pizza Oven allow the pizza smoke to escape.
OK, it’s steam, or it should be. If your pizza is smoking, it’s probably overdone.
Kambrook provides a pair of paddles with the Kambrook Rotating Stone Pizza Oven to lift your finished pizza out of the Kambrook Rotating Stone Pizza Oven when you’re done. They’re noted as not being suitable for pizza cutting, and they’re not wrong. You’d have to be slightly daft to think that they were, frankly.
The Kambrook Rotating Stone Pizza Oven is stated as being suitable for fresh pizza dough, pizza bases and even frozen store bought pizzas, although I’d again refer to the benefits of actually good pizza there. If you’re going to the expense of buying a specific pizza oven, putting a four buck cheap store pizza into the Kambrook Rotating Stone Pizza Oven might just be sacrilegious. It’s certainly not likely to be tasty.
The Kambrook Rotating Stone Pizza Oven is reasonably easy to clean, with the one note that you shouldn’t clean the pizza stone with any kind of detergent. A quick wash and clean once cold is enough. The rest of the Kambrook Rotating Stone Pizza Oven can simply be wiped down, making it one of the easier kitchen gadgets to keep clean I’ve hit recently.
The big question with the Kambrook Rotating Stone Pizza Oven is whether it’s worth its asking price. It typically sells for around $79, which isn’t much for a kitchen gadget, but then this is one that replicates something you’ve most likely already got, namely an oven.
You’ve got to like pizza, and be willing to serve it out one pizza at a time, because unlike an oven, you can’t stack pizzas in the Kambrook Rotating Stone Pizza Oven in any real way. That has its social benefits for larger groups, because it’s easier to mix and match ingredients to suit the tastes of the crowd you’re feeding, but it also means it’s less of a set-and-forget-kind of gadget than many others.