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We Tried Pizzacraft’s $280 Pronto Pizza Oven. See How the Budget-Friendly Model Performed We Tried Pizzacraft’s $280 Pronto Pizza Oven. See How the Budget-Friendly Model Performed
Updated Dec. 5, 2023 5:00 p.m. PT Written by  Pamela Vachon Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and... We Tried Pizzacraft’s $280 Pronto Pizza Oven. See How the Budget-Friendly Model Performed


Updated Dec. 5, 2023 5:00 p.m. PT

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Written by 
Pamela Vachon

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

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Pamela Vachon Contributor

Pamela is a freelance food and travel writer based in Astoria, Queens. While she writes about most things edible and potable (and accessories dedicated to those topics,) her real areas of expertise are cheese, chocolate, cooking and wine. She’s a culinary school grad, certified sommelier, former bartender and fine dining captain with 10 years in the industry. When not sitting at the keys, she leads in-home cheese classes, wine tastings and cocktail demonstrations.

Expertise Wine, cheese, chocolate, cooking.

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oven on table with pizza

Pros

  • Budget-friendly for a gas pizza oven
  • Easy to assemble
  • Simple to operate
  • Made consistently good pizza

Cons

  • Less sleek look
  • The gap between the stone and the oven
  • Relatively small opening for loading pies

Heads up for those whose love language is pizza: a pizza oven for home use isn’t something to gift lightly. Even if you have the ultimate pizza lover in mind, the operation and, frankly, expense of the majority of pizza ovens on the market necessitate that an intended recipient is serious about having one. It isn’t a casual appliance to keep on standby for a once-yearly pizza party. 

pizza oven on table

Here’s how the $280 Pronto pizza oven oven performed in our test.

Pizzacraft

CNET’s list of Best Pizza Ovens for 2023 breaks down the top models for you, but even the budget pick is in the $350 range. So it begs the question: Are there any worthy pizza oven models available for less than $300? Especially if you’re not sure how much use a pizza oven will get. I tried Pizzacraft’s Pizzeria Pronto, a less expensive model with solid user reviews on Amazon to see if saving a few dollars on a pizza oven can still turn out a perfect pie.

Pizzacraft Pizzeria Pronto at a glance

  • Style: outdoor, portable gas-powered pizza oven with built-in pizza stone
  • Dimensions: 15″D x 18″W x 18″H
  • Weight: 26 lbs.
  • Price: $280

Pizzacraft Pizzeria Pronto setup

The Pizzacraft Pizza Pronto took only 10 minutes to unbox and assemble. The most challenging part is attaching the gas hookup and heating mechanism. At first, the geometry of it seemed confounding, but the available screw holes can accommodate only one possible configuration. Even for a geometry-averse brain, (mine) it didn’t take me long to situate it properly and tighten the screws. The oven’s legs are easily attached, and the lid is simply placed on top of the bowl similar to a charcoal grill. The Pizzacraft Pizzeria Pronto comes with a plastic rain cover to place on top when not in use. (Note from user reviews: Don’t forget to take this off when operating your oven.)

Making pizza with the Pizzeria Pronto

pizza cooking in oven

The Pronto has a smaller opening than other ovens we tested. 

Pizzacraft

The Pizzacraft Pizzeria Pronto has a built-in ignition switch that doesn’t require matches. Its instructions indicate that the oven should heat up in about 20 minutes when set on high heat. I was operating it on a relatively breezy day when it was about 45 degrees Fahrenheit outside, and this was an accurate estimate of how long it took to reach the “pizza cooking zone” indicated on the temperature gauge, about 700 degrees Fahrenheit.

In about an hour, I made four different pizzas, utilizing a dough I’d made in our favorite bread machine — a method I recommend for ease, freshness and avoiding having your hands caked with dough. With crusts of varying thicknesses and toppings of various weights, the Pizzeria Pronto produced consistent results in the suggested 5 to 6 minutes, with one turn of the pie during cooking. Most pizza ovens have a hot spot closer to the back away from its opening, requiring a turn mid-way to produce even results.

The outside edge of the crust produced nice air pockets and took on a desirable, telltale char, while the bottom was sturdy and crunchy. Truly, the only challenging part of the operation is getting used to handling a pizza peel. You have to work quickly in assembling your pizza so that it doesn’t adhere to the peel and refuse to slide off. (Utilizing a large grain flour like semolina or cornmeal with the pizza peel is also recommended.) 

What I liked about the Pizzacraft Pizzeria Pronto

peephole on side of pizza oven

A small peephole allows you to keep watch on the flame inside.

Pamela Vachon/CNET

The Pizzacraft Pizzeria Pronto was easy to assemble, easy to use and produced consistent results — the most important qualities when it comes to pizza ovens. It maintained its heat throughout the cooking process, even in cold conditions. It also has a handy peephole in the side of the oven so that you can verify that the burner is lit without threat of injury. The pizza stone is removable for easy cleanup of both the stone itself and the body of the oven.

What I didn’t like about the PIzzacraft Pizzeria Pronto

pizza oven from top

It’s not the sleekest pizza oven on the market, but it got the job done. 

Pamela Vachon/CNET

The bulbous shape of the Pizzacraft Pizzeria Pronto is more akin to a charcoal grill than some of the sleeker, flatter, pizza oven models such as those from Gozney or Ooni, but this is merely a cosmetic drawback, not an operational one.

There is space between the pizza stone and the sides of the oven, which can sometimes make maneuvering your pizza seem treacherous. Once the pizza has been cooking for a minute or two though, the sturdiness of the crust isn’t likely to result in the pizza going overboard. While it was occasionally remarked upon in user reviews, 85% of Amazon users still gave the Pizzacraft Pizzeria Pronto either four or five stars.

The mouth of the oven is both a little low and narrow, so there’s not a lot of wiggle room in the size of the pizza you can make. The small opening is probably key in helping the Pizzacraft model keep its temperature especially well though, so this is potentially a draw.

pizza pronto finished

We’ve found making smaller pizzas in portable at-home ovens often nets better results. 

Pamela Vachon/CNET

The instructions for the Pizzeria Pronto model indicate it’s possible to hook up a 1-pound propane tank with an adaptor, but the orientation of the hose that’s built into the model makes this tricky and potentially hazardous, as it’s difficult to get the smaller gas canister to stand upright when attached. I am willing to chalk this one up to user error on my part, but I’d skip ahead and invest in the full, 20-pound propane tank for safe operation.

Final verdict on the Pizzeria Pronto

pizza being pulled out of oven

PizzaCraft

For those deterred by a niche appliance that costs more than $300, the Pizzacraft Pizzeria Pronto is a lower-risk model. The Pronto retails for $280, but we’ve seen it drop even lower than that including on Black Friday. With ease of setup and use and consistent results, it’s a worthy budget option to consider. 

If you’ve got a few more coins to spare for an oven, we recommend the sleek $400 Ooni Koda. We also had great success with the Gozney Roccbox. The Gozney retails for $500 but can often be found on sale for around $400. It has a very sturdy build (it’s also heavier than most) and a large mouth for easy pie-making. For more, see our list of the best pizza ovens for 2023.

What tools do you need to use a pizza oven?

First and foremost, you will need a pizza peel — the long-handled paddle that slides the pizza in and out of the oven. With the hot pizza stone, you can’t rely on typical kitchen tools for placing and retrieving your pizza. (Note: Pizza peel dexterity is also not a given. This may take practice.) There are also turning peel designed to help you maneuver the pizza once it’s inside the oven.

The stone element also makes them somewhat heavy and impractical to move around a lot, even for a portable model. Neither the peel nor the cover is especially expensive, but factor those into your budget when deciding which or whether to get a pizza oven.

Should you cover your pizza oven?

Some pizza ovens come with a cover, but if not you’ll probably need to acquire one as well. Pizza ovens aren’t intended to be stored inside when not in use, so you’ll want to cover it to protect against rust and corrosion.

How do you clean a pizza oven?

The pizza stone is the element of your pizza oven that may require cleaning, but only after it has cooled completely following cooking. The heat of the stone means that most spilled toppings will burn off, adding character and a well-used look over time. The stone may be scrubbed with a brush and water to remove some charred buildup, but using soap isn’t recommended as it can be absorbed by the pizza stone and result in a soapy taste. Any debris that falls into the body of the oven can be swept out with the pizza stone element of the pizza oven removed. 





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