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Breville Crispy Crust Countertop Pizza "Oven"--Like it

I would never have bought this myself...but my husband bought this for me knowing I am in constant pursuit of making pizza with a perfect crispy crust at home (and probably also so I would make him more pizza). I had to share in case anyone has been considering this product.

The technique advised is to roll out the dough onto a piece of parchment paper and then directly lift that onto the stone inside the oven. I have a spare 12" stone that I put under the parchment when rolling this out just so I make it the right size.

You then slide the pizza off the paper after it has set up. I always fumbled trying to slide pizzas onto a stone in my oven... To cut down on clean up, I have been putting plastic wrap over the top of the dough and then rolling it out to eliminate the need for flour.

It does only make 12" pizzas, so that might not be for everyone, but I am surprisingly happy with it! Thin pizzas are done in less than ten minutes and the bottom is perfectly crispy and the top is done well.

Sure, it's not a necessity and is just another gadget, but now that I have it, I will definitely use it.

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  1. Thanks for the review! What sort of doughs and pizza's do you make?

    1. I'm wondering how it compares to pizza made in the Breville Smartoven.

      3 Replies
      1. re: DuffyH

        According to the Breville website the pizza oven heats to 660 degrees. I'm pretty sure my full sized smart oven only goes to 450. I personally wouldn't spend the 150 dollars for it, because I already can do pizza at 800+ on the big green egg and I'll just use my smart oven when I don't feel like firing it up. But it seems like a decent pizza cooker.

        1. re: rasputina

          Pizza is the one thing I routinely use my full-size oven for, because the Breville doesn't put out the heat. My cheap range gets up to 550º with no trouble.

          It's not 800, but it makes very good pizza all the same.

          1. re: DuffyH

            At the Williams-Sonoma demo, the homemade pizza's were very good. The crusts were a little better than what I get in my Smart Oven but, not dramatically so.

            For a single tasker and its relatively small size, I think the vast majority of people are better served with a good Cordierite stone or heavy steel. With either of those, you can make whatever size or shape pizza you want, bread and, many other things.

      2. Suppose this would be a good time for an update.

        After 5 months of use, I’m not quite as crazy about the unit. It is either losing some of its heating capabilities or there it has an issue that it shuts itself off when it gets to a certain temperature. The last few times I’ve used it I let it pre-heat for over an hour and think longer is not better. The manual says pre-heat for at least 30 minutes, but I think once it is getting to a certain temperature the top element shuts off and the retained heat in the stone causes the bottom of the pizza to cook much faster than the top. Like I said, I wouldn’t have bought this for myself, but once I had it, it was pretty handy…now I just need to troubleshoot this issue or file a warranty claim as it is definitely not putting out pizzas like it did during the first few months.

        16 Replies
        1. re: bte576

          I just got one for Christmas. I've made 7 pizzas so far and they have all come out fine. I read somewhere (trying to find that reference again) that it helps to keep the lid up for at least 10 seconds when loading a pizza so the top element will come on to heat the top. Do you know if your element is still working? That's the first thing I would check.

          I took some parchment paper, laid the stone over it and traced with pencil. Then I cut the parchment paper to the size of the stone. I put the pizza on the parchment and it is easy to see how it fits and then slide it all on the stone. After 2 minutes I take a pair of tongs and pull the parchment paper out. It comes out easily and I can re-use it.

          My pizzas have been baking in 8 minutes. I've been using a 65% hydrated bread flour pizza dough made into about 7 oz. balls to give me an 11" pizza. Here are some photos.

           
           
           
          1. re: Davydd

            Thanks for the tip on the lid!

            1. re: bte576

              I should add the reason I pull the parchment paper out after two minutes is because the box says it will burn above 420 degrees. In two minutes the paper doesn't. It looks like this.

               
              1. re: Davydd

                I've had parchment burn in my oven while cooking pizza before. I don't mean it caught fire, but it did char to black and fall apart as I was sliding the pie out of the oven.

                I've since switched to permanent parchment and cut it to fit my stone. No more worries whether I take it out or leave it in place.

                1. re: DuffyH

                  What's permanent parchment? These Breville ovens we are discussing heat up to 660 degrees. The famous novel, "Fahrenheit 451" referring to book burning said paper auto ignited at 451 F degrees. The parchment paper box says 420 degrees.

                  1. re: Davydd

                    http://www.amazon.com/Kitchen-Supply-...

                    It's rated to 500ºF, but I routinely use it at 550º in my main oven. I know the temp on my stone can be higher than 600º, but I figure the stone will dump heat into the crust, lowering the temp considerably. I've used mine maybe 30-40 times since summer and it's still going strong, showing no signs of brittleness. I expect it to last another 6 months easily, perhaps longer.

                    Like other parchment used in high heat, it's important to make sure it's cut to be no larger than your stone, to avoid scorching.

                    Note: I paid ~$5 for mine (Amazon Prime also) and received one piece. In the questions, someone has answered that there are two pieces, while everyone else says one. Given the doubled price, it might be that they're now shipping two pieces.

                    1. re: DuffyH

                      Ah, I see. It is a silicon impregnated sheet. The paper I have is Reynolds and cost about $4 for a 50 foot roll. I cut mine as you can see in my previous photos using my stone as the template. I've now baked with the same piece twice and think I can get a third baking yet for sure. Don't know after that. It is not difficult to prepare a piece. I don't need to use parchment paper but it does make for a nice template to size the dough on and does eliminate some cleanup because to deliver a pizza from a peel you are going to have some loose flour to clean up afterwards. Even if I used the reusable parchment I think I would still yank it after two minutes in order for the crust to bake directly on the stone and get the desired charring like this.

                       
                      1. re: Davydd

                        I think mine is also silicone covered and it says not to use over ~400F. But I use it all the time on my 630F+ baking steel with no ill effects other than dark brown corners where the paper isn't covered by the pizza base.

                        1. re: Davydd

                          I used to cut paper, too, but got tired of spending that time every time I wanted a pizza. I couldn't get into a reliable routine. I'm just not that organized, sadly.

                          My stone resides in my oven, so often it would be hot before I'd remember to cut the parchment. That would often result in funky cuts that might overhang the stone and burn. It guaranteed a counter covered not only in flour, dough, sauce and toppings but paper scraps and slivers, too. I also often forget to pull the parchment after a few minutes because I'm busy making the next pie. Charred paper, ugh.

                          So for me permanent parchment was the solution. I really like it because it's ready when I am, it doesn't care whether I take it out or leave it in, and I don't have paper scraps everywhere from trying to cut those blasted circles.

                          1. re: DuffyH

                            As I mentioned I'll for sure get three uses out of standard parchment paper. I'll have to check into that reusable parchment.

                            You don't really need to use your stone for a template. You can take any round bowl or plate that is 12" or less and make a trace and cut it out. That's what I did for my first pizza then realized why not use the stone.

                            I read another guy's comments in Pizzamaking.com that he cut his parchment paper to be 100% covered by the pizza and it does not burn. The whole idea is to be able to slide the pizza off a peel onto a stone easily. In my range oven I use the gritty semolina flour to do that. With this Breville I am just trying to keep it cleaner without a build up of loose burned flour. The pizzas are small enough I can pick them up by hand with the parchment under and drop on the stone without a peel. With the range oven and larger pizzas I need the peel.

                            There are so many techniques. One of the more intriguing that I doubt I'll ever try is a product called the Super Peel which delivers a pizza off a wood peel with a sliding cloth. I suppose with it you could eliminate the flour problem and dealing with parchment paper.

                            http://superpeel.com/index.html

                            1. re: Davydd

                              I looked into the super peel, too. It seemed like a good idea, but then some of the reviews convinced me it seems to have quite a learning curve. I don't own a peel, instead using a flat cookie sheet that I've had for years. I really want a peel, because it's just so right, you know? But the cookie sheet works so well I can't justify it.

                              1. re: DuffyH

                                Anyone that thinks the SuperPeel has "quite a learning curve" probably shouldn't be allowed to operate an oven. Compared to a traditional peel (which definitely has quite a learning curve), the SuperPeel is a piece of cake to operate. The three households in my immediate family have been using it for a few years and I guarantee you none of them has ever thought of going back to the old peel. No mess and you can drop a 14" pizza on a 14" stone time after time. Try that with a regular peel or a cookie sheet. Also, you can prep your pizza right on the counter top and pick it up easily with the SuperPeel. Try that with a regular peel or a cookie sheet. Even Cook's Illustrated gave it a glowing review and they seem to be pretty good at recognizing gimmicky products.

                                1. re: grampart

                                  Whoa, grampart. "...shouldn't be allowed to operate an oven." is a bit harsh. But still, I did look at it over a year ago, so am perfectly willing to concede a faulty memory chip. Here is a sample of what some other owners wrote:

                                  "The is a very good peel, but the canvas sleeve that is supposed to aid in slipping a pizza into the over or in retrieving it from same is kind of a hassle. Might work for you is your oven is the higher one of a double oven, or if your oven if much larger than the one in my apartment-sized stove."

                                  "I tried this with video and enjoyed the results, but keep to a small size pizza or it falls off the edge of the peel."

                                  "The board arrives in a fairly rough, unsanded/unpolished condition. As it was, it was actually VERY difficult to slide the conveyor belt back and forth when a pizza was on it, even with a lot of flour underneath the belt. It was no-where near as easy looking as the videos online make it seem to be,"

                                  "The slider works well it just takes a a bit of reprograming how you normally would use the peel. Once you get over that the peel works great."

                                  So I'll rephrase that and say that some users have had trouble using it at first. Better?

                                  <Also, you can prep your pizza right on the counter top and pick it up easily with the SuperPeel. Try that with a regular peel or a cookie sheet.>

                                  That's how I do it. I prep my pizza on parchment (and remember, we were discussing parchment when this item came up) and slide it right onto the cookie sheet. I imagine the process is identical. And identically easy.

                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                    "The is a very good peel, but the canvas sleeve that is supposed to aid in slipping a pizza into the over or in retrieving it from same is kind of a hassle. Might work for you is your oven is the higher one of a double oven, or if your oven if much larger than the one in my apartment-sized stove."

                                    I have a regular sized electric kitchen stove. I have no problem placing the pizza in the oven. I don't use the SuperPeel when I remove the pizza. A regular peel or a pizza screen seems to be more convenient. The canvas sleeve is a hassle? Have no idea what that means.

                                    "I tried this with video and enjoyed the results, but keep to a small size pizza or it falls off the edge of the peel."

                                    I partially agree with this point. I usually make 14" pies and pull them into a somewhat rectangular shape to fill the area provided without any overhang.

                                    "The board arrives in a fairly rough, unsanded/unpolished condition. As it was, it was actually VERY difficult to slide the conveyor belt back and forth when a pizza was on it, even with a lot of flour underneath the belt. It was no-where near as easy looking as the videos online make it seem to be,"

                                    The tension of the canvas "conveyor belt" is adjustable. From day one, it has operated every bit as smoothly as the video demonstrates.

                                    "The slider works well it just takes a a bit of reprograming how you normally would use the peel. Once you get over that the peel works great."

                                    Just as an electric-start rider mower took a bit of "reprograming" after years of using a rope-pull starter. Improvements are like that.

                                    1. re: grampart

                                      It kind of gets down to the right tool for the job.

                                      For my Breville table top pizza maker delivering 11" personal pizza I would think a SuperPeel would be overkill as I can handle those small pizzas very easily with a wood peel or a cookie sheet for that matter. I have been using the parchment simply because it is cleaner and you can pick a small pizza up with the parchment and drop it straight down on the stone. I would think I could do the same technique on that grill the SuperPeel people use to demonstrate in the videos.

                                      For my electric range with a stone, I want to always minimize how long I have the door open and I am more likely going to bake larger pizzas. Here I have to slide the pizza in with a peel and it takes a lot more skill. I think the SuperPeel might have some use here.

                                      My next goal is to build a wood fired outdoor masonry or cobb oven. With this I would want a long handled wood peel to deliver the pizza and a long handled steel peel to manipulate the pizza while baking and to take the pizza out. A SuperPeel would not be very practical, IMO.

                                      I've also baked pizzas in a range oven directly on pizza pans and pizza screens. I rarely do that anymore now that I bake on stones and there is no need for a peel of any kind.

                              2. re: Davydd

                                Just an update. I have gotten four uses out of the same piece of standard parchment paper. I might go for a fifth. It seems to hold up if you pull it out after two minutes.

            2. I wonder how the ~$150 Breville Pizza Maker compares to the ~$100 Petite Pizzeria that has gotten decent reviews on the site (Chow Product Reviews)? The seem reasonably similar, but the Breville is 50% more expensive.

              3 Replies
              1. re: josephnl

                It is hard to tell. Just looking at them the Breville just seems a little more substantial in construction. They are both 1200 watt heaters. I think the Breville might have a slightly larger diameter stone. The Petite has a deep dish insert option. I imagine they would perform similarly.

                I'm not sure where one could go to actually physically look at a Petite. The Breville can be checked out at any Williams Sonoma.

                I was a skeptic but it came as a Christmas present and so far the Breville has done the job. In some ways I am happy because I am forced to make 11" personal pizzas instead of 14-16" pizzas in the oven. My wife is happy because I finally conceded to put anchovies on hers. :)

                1. re: josephnl

                  The other thing I noticed and forgot to mention is the Breville has a little window to view the baking pizza without needing to lift the lid. I suspect that might be nice at the beginning but with any experience I think one would have a good idea how long their pizzas will need to bake and lifting the lid toward the end to check wouldn't affect the heat all that much.

                  1. re: josephnl

                    I really like the Breville. I got mine over the summer and I haven't had a bad pizza since. It gets much hotter than my standard oven and produces a delightfully crisp crust.

                  2. Although the Breville pizza oven sounds like a nice gadget, I'm wondering why I would want it. I have an Emile Henri pizza stone which I got on sale for $40. I store it in the oven on a bottom shelf so it takes up no space in my kitchen. It takes about 15" to heat my oven and stone, and the stone makes very nice crispy pizzas and flatbreads, and is a snap to clean. Is there some reason I should consider getting the Breville?

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: josephnl

                      Only 15 minutes to heat oven and stone? At what temp do you cook?

                      1. re: grampart

                        425-450 convection. The EH stone is only ~ 1/2" thick, heats quickly, and seems to work pretty well!

                      2. re: josephnl

                        I too have a stone in our oven. In fact our double oven range has a top oven designed for pizza baking. But it gets to up to 550 degrees vs the Breville 660 degrees claim. The Breville does bake a Neapolitan style personal pizza faster with less fuss. That's about all for me. Keep in mind some of us received these as gifts and like them.

                        There are some other table tops that claim to get hotter and some people have modified them to make them hotter. I think you need to get close to the 800 degree range to bake a Neapolitan pizza properly. VPN Certification says 905 degrees. It is just a quest for a perfect pizza, challenge, experiment and hobby for me.

                        Here is a photo of my GE Profile electric double oven. It even has separate pizza control settings for fresh or frozen pizza.

                         
                        1. re: Davydd

                          An update. I got around to making two absolutely identical pizzas but cooked one on the Breville and one in my oven. Both bakes were about 8 minutes long. The oven bake on the right ended up with a puffier cornicione crust. With the Breville I started out with parchment paper and then pulled the paper out after about 2 minutes. I suspect the paper and the combination of lifting the lid to take it out may have contributed to the difference. So next time I am going to try without parchment paper. I'm finding making 11" pizzas that there is little problem delivering a pizza with a wood peel as opposed to my 14-16" pizzas.

                           
                          1. re: Davydd

                            I got around today to make a Margherita pizza on the Breville. This time as promised, I did not follow Breville's recommendation to use parchment paper. I think doing so keeps the lid open causing a rapid heat loss and then another loss in pulling the paper after about two minutes. So this time I delivered the pizza with a small peel and opened the lid only as high as necessary to slip the pizza in. The results were pretty good. I got the puffy Neapolitan cornicione that I was hoping for.