Solo Pi Fire review: Pizza over an open fire

Pizza al fresco

Solo Pi Fire pizza oven
(Image: © Future)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Solo Pi Fire lets you make pizzas atop your Solo Stove pizza oven, but you’ll get better results from a standalone pizza oven, like the Solo Pi or Ooni.

Pros

  • +

    Attractive, thoughtful design

  • +

    Easy to assemble

  • +

    Cooks pizzas evenly

Cons

  • -

    Too much wood can cause pizzas to get sooty

  • -

    Takes longer than standalone pizza oven

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One of the most popular pandemic purchases were smokeless fire pits, but other than warming yourself and making s’mores, what else can you do with them? Enter the Solo Pi Fire, an add-on for the Solo Stove that lets you bake pizzas atop your fire pit. I had the chance to cook several pizzas — and a couple of calzones — for this Solo Pi Fire review; here’s what I think, and how it compares to the best pizza ovens

Solo Pi Fire pizza oven

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Solo Pi Fire review: Price and availability

The Solo Pi Fire is available in three sizes; the standalone oven includes a carry bag and a pair of heat-resistant gloves. 

  • Ranger Size - $199.99
  • Bonfire Size - $259.99
  • Yukon Size - $349.99

Solo also sells the Pi Fire with a Tools Bundle, which includes two “peels” - those big paddles that you use to slide a pizza in and out of the oven. The Bamboo Peel is used to insert and remove the pie, and the Turner 2.0 peel is used to rotate the pizza while it’s in the oven.

  • Ranger Size - $249.99
  • Bonfire Size - $299.99
  • Yukon Size - $409.99

Lastly, if you don’t already have a Solo Stove, you can purchase it with the pizza oven and the Tools Bundle. 

  • Ranger Size - $434.99
  • Bonfire Size - $539.99
  • Yukon Size - $834.99

Solo Pi Fire: Design

Solo Pi Fire pizza oven interior

(Image credit: Future)

The Solo Pi Fire is an attachment that sits atop a Solo Stove on three metal legs. It has a slightly larger diameter than the Solo Stove, so that hot air can travel up and into the oven. The bottom of the Pi Fire has a gentle conical shape that points downwards; inside is a 1/2 inch cordierite pizza stone 12 inches in diameter. 

The upper section of the Pi Fire is enclosed, but there are a series of holes to allow air to escape out the top. On the very top, you’ll find two handles so that you can easily remove the Pi Fire from the Solo Stove.

The Pi Fire comes in three sizes, for Solo Stove’s three different fire pits. Obviously, the larger Solo Stove you have, the larger the pizza you can make.  

  • Ranger Size - 15.7 inches tall x 15-inch diameter; 12-inch diameter stone
  • Bonfire Size - 16.9 inches tall x 19.3-inch diameter; 14-inch diameter stone 
  • Yukon Size - 19.1 inches tall x 26.5-inch diameter; 20-inch diameter stone

Solo Pi Fire pizza oven

(Image credit: Future)

Solo Pi Fire review: Performance

Solo Stove recommends you let the pizza stone heat up for a good half-hour to 45 minutes before launching your first pie; This turned out to be pretty accurate; it gave me plenty of time to prep all my ingredients, and just to enjoy the fire itself. 

Unlike standalone pizza ovens — including the Solo Pi — the Pi Fire can’t cook pizzas in 90 seconds. Rather, it takes a good 5 to 10 minutes to fully cook a pie. As someone who’s used to the super-fast times and blazing heat of pizza ovens and fire pits, this took some adjustment.

Solo Pi Fire pizza oven pizza

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

When I first started using the Pi Fire, I made the mistake of creating too big a fire in the Solo Stove. The flames were flowing up through and licking the inside of the oven, which looked neat, but resulted in pizzas that cooked too quickly and were coated with soot. Very unsightly.

Solo Stove recommends a much lower flame; for the last pizza, I let the fire die down until it was just over the top lip of the fire pit before throwing another pie in. This time, it came out well - there was a little bit of soot at the top (I threw another log in mid-cook, as I thought my fire was dying out), but the pizza was cooked, with a nice crisp bottom.

Solo Pi Fire pizza oven pizza

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

I also made a couple of calzones with some leftover pizza dough. These turned out well, but as the dough rose, they nearly got stuck inside the oven, due to its somewhat low clearance. 

Because the Pi Fire cooks at a lower temperature than other pizza ovens, you won’t get the leoparding on the top crust that’s a trademark of a Neapolitan-style pizza. I did get a nice lift out of my crust (a 60% hydration dough), but it was more browned than charred. 

Solo Pi Fire review: Bottom line

Solo Pi Fire pizza oven

(Image credit: Future)

Solo Stove makes a range of accessories for its smokeless fire pits — including cast iron griddles and woks — but the Pi Fire might be the most fun. While I definitely do not prefer it over some of the best pizza ovens I’ve tested — you can get the Ooni Fyra 12 for around the same price —  it’s a fun add-on for those who want to get more use out of their Solo Stove. Just be prepared to wait longer for your pizza to be ready.

Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.