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Breville Pizzaiolo Smart Oven review: Perfect pizzas, for A LOT of dough

Great homemade pizzas, at a price

(Image: © Tom's Guide)

Our Verdict

This oven bakes pizza as good as the best restaurant, but it's not cheap.

For

  • Makes amazing pizza
  • Cooks fast
  • Has customizable temperature settings

Against

  • Expensive
  • Takes up a lot of counter space

If I could, I would eat pizza every day. It's probably the world's most perfect food, a deceptively simple combination of dough, sauce and cheese working in epicurean harmony. But aside from my expanding waistline, there's another big barrier to making great pizzas at home: my oven. It simply can't get as hot as the wood- or coal-fired ovens you'll find in restaurants and pizza shops, so it's a lot harder to get the nice, charred, bubbly crusts of the best Neapolitan-style pies. 

The Breville Smart Oven Pizzaiolo pizza oven is the pricey answer to my at-home pizza-making dilemma. The Pizzaiolo can heat up to 750 degrees, so it can bake a ‘za in as little as 90 seconds. At $1,000, though, this oven will burn a hole in your wallet, too.

Breville Smart Oven Pizzaiolo pizza oven price and availability

The Breville Pizzaiolo pizza oven is available exclusively through Williams Sonoma for $1,000.

Breville Smart Oven Pizzaiolo pizza oven design

The stainless-steel-clad Pizzaiolo pizza oven has a modern aesthetic that will fit in with the other appliances in your kitchen. That is, if you have the spare counter space for the Pizzaiolo. Measuring 18.5 x 18.3 x 10.8 inches, it's about the size of  a typical microwave or a large toaster oven. Unless you have a kitchen as large as Ina Garten's, you're not going to leave this 37-pound contraption out on the counter. 

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The front of the Pizzaiolo is a spring-loaded door that snaps shut with conviction. The center of the door has a glass window that lets you peer in to see how your pizza is cooking. But it's a little dark inside the oven, so I often found myself opening the door a crack to see just how charred the crust was.

Inside the oven are two electric heating elements: one on the roof of the oven, and one directly underneath the pizza stone. The stone is removable, so you can clean it easily.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Three knobs on the door control the oven. In automatic mode, the leftmost dial functions as a timer, while the middle dial has presets for several types of pizza: 350 degrees (Fahrenheit), Frozen (ugh), Pan, New York, Thin & Crispy, Wood-Fired and 750 degrees. The rightmost knob lets you fine-tune each setting if you prefer a lighter or darker crust.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

In manual mode, the two large dials let you control the temperature of the two heating elements. In this mode, you have to slap a small magnetic label with temperature markings atop the dials.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Pizzaiolo comes with a metal pizza peel, as well as a metal pan for making pan pizzas.

Breville Smart Oven Pizzaiolo pizza oven performance

To the delight of my co-workers, I made about two dozen pizzas in the Breville Pizzaiolo, using both store-bought and homemade pizza dough. (For the latter, I followed Marc Vetri's Naples Dough Recipe at 70% Hydration from his book "Mastering Pizza". I made pizzas with fresh mozzarella, pizzas with pre-shredded mozzarella and pepperoni pizzas. All of them came out great, with nicely charred crusts and bubbling cheese. On average, it was able to bake a pizza in about two minutes when set to either Wood-Fired or 750 degrees.

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

One thing to note: Benny Tudino's this isn't. The size of the Pizzaiolo means you're limited to making 12-inch pies, so if you're cooking for a crowd, you're going to be slinging dough for a while. 

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

As with any oven, the Pizzaiolo needed a few minutes to heat up — 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how hot you set it. And, as with any pizza stone, the one in the Pizzaiolo needed a few minutes between pies to come back to temperature; if I rushed it, I wouldn't get the nice charring on the underside of the pizza.

While not cool to the touch, the oven's exterior wasn't so hot that I was afraid of burning my hand if I accidentally touched it. Still, you'll want to use this oven in a well-ventilated space. Enough smoke poured out of the oven when I opened the door that I was afraid I'd set off the fire alarms in the office. After I pulled a pizza out of the oven, any flour that remained inside would spontaneously combust, which was both alarming and awesome to watch. (It would burn off within a few seconds.)

Bottom line

There's no doubt that the Breville Pizzaiolo Smart Oven makes great pies, but you have to really, really love pizza and have the dough to drop $1,000 on this device. Not including the cost of ingredients, you could order 59 pizzas from Razza — possibly the best pizza in the New York area — for the price of one of Breville's ovens. But if you'd rather stay in, and you have the counter space, this is a fantastic pizza oven.