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Review: Camp Chef Pizza Oven Accessory

Discussion in 'Slicers, Grinders, Tools, Equipment' started by johnmeyer, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Master of the Pit

    SmokinAl got me interested in converting my grill into a pizza oven when he reviewed an attachment for his Weber charcoal grill.

    Trying Out My New Kettle Pizza Attachment

    I wanted to do the same thing for my old Weber Genesis gas grill. I looked at the company that made his device, but the version they made for a gas grill was stupidly expensive ($250) and was nothing more than a sheet metal enclosure that sits on top of the grill. No stone, no thermometer, nothing underneath, etc.

    To cut to the chase, after a LOT of research I ended up getting a pizza oven made by Camp Chef:

    Italia Artisan Pizza Oven Accessory

    It is the model PZ90 and is $120 on Amazon (click on the link or picture above), less than half the price of the other unit. The build quality is amazing: it is a lot of kit for that price.

    Here's what it look like in real life:

    Camp Chef Pizza Oven_01.jpg

    And here's what it looks like mounted on top of my Weber:

    Camp Chef Pizza Oven_02.jpg

    As you can see, it includes a built-in thermometer and a stone. The bottom, below the stone, is enameled sheet metal that protects the stone from direct flames. This is important when using it on the Camp Chef cooktop (it is designed specifically for their cooktops), where the flames are directly beneath the unit.

    It is designed to be used with the front opening uncovered, but since my Weber normally cannot get much above 525º F, I found that I need to cover the opening with aluminum foil (I'll make a proper door for it some day). Using the aluminum foil "door," I can get the oven temperature close to 700º F. This is what the built-in thermometer shows. I also get similar readings off the stone with my point-n-shoot infrared thermometer.

    I normally preheat my grill for about twelve minutes, but this takes quite a bit longer to come up to temperature, so I preheat for about twice that amount of time.

    The opening is the perfect height, making it easy to slide pizzas in and out, and turn part way through. I have been cooking my pizzas for about four minutes, then turning, and cooking for another 3-4 minutes. At these high temperatures, it is no surprise that the cooking goes quickly.

    It comfortably fits the largest pizza that will fit on my 14"-wide peel. I have also done two small pizzas side-by-side.

    What about the result? In a word:


    It is a ten out of ten. I honestly don't know what else I would get if I were to have built or bought my own dedicated pizza oven. The crust is wonderfully crunchy, with a perfect char. The toppings get browned, without being burned.

    Here are a few pieces that we didn't eat last night:

    Camp Chef Pizza Oven_04.jpg
    I used the Costco pre-cut fresh mozzarella which I just break into pieces and scatter over the sauce. That is what gives the pizza that "pools of cheese" look. I used a no-cook sauce I made from Tony Gemignani's absolutely fabulous The Pizza Bible cookbook. I have used dough from Safeway, from Trader Joe's, and my own dough. The Trader Joes dough is the best, but I'm going to try a recipe from that cookbook. I think that may top them all.

    When using Trader Joe's pizza dough, the pre-cut fresh mozzarella, and the no-cook sauce, it takes virtually no time to create a homemade pizza.

    I highly recommend this pizza oven.
    Camp Chef Pizza Oven_03.jpg
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
    Jabiru and shoebe like this.
  2. chopsaw

    chopsaw Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I was interested in this the first time you posted , but forgot about it . Thanks for the review .

    Also , if you don't already do so ,,, try holding your homemade dough in the fridge for 3 or 4 days . Big difference .
  3. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Master of the Pit

    Yes, almost all the modern recipes for pizza dough call for "rising" in the fridge and specify a minimum of 24 hours, but preferably the time you describe. It is supposed to help create more "complex" flavors, and also make the dough easier to work (normal pizza dough insists on snapping back to a small circle every time you attempt to form it into a circle).

    The latest recipe I found is in that Pizza Bible cookbook I mentioned and it uses malt as a key ingredient. Years ago my dad, who helped small businessmen sell their companies, had a client in the bakery business and he told my dad about a "secret" ingredient that commercial bakers use. I believe this is it:

    Diastatic Malt Powder

    I'll let everyone know if it makes a difference.
  4. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Great looking pizza & the oven looks first class!
    You just can't beat a homemade pizza cooked at high temps!
    BTW Judy uses that powder in her breads, and it does make a difference.
  5. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Master of the Pit

    Thanks! You're the one who got me started down this road.

    Good to hear that this malt will make a difference. I'm going to try it on a simple bread machine recipe that I've made before, just to get an idea of what it does.
  6. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Judy says it helps with the rise & helps to brown the crust.
  7. Co4ch D4ve

    Co4ch D4ve Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I’m curious if that unit would fit on top of my firebox opening.

    If I could ask a few questions:
    What does the bottom of the unit look like and what are it’s dimensions?
    How far does the stone sit above the heat source on your grill?
  8. SmokinVOLfan

    SmokinVOLfan Master of the Pit

    Thank you for the review! I’ve been eyeing this unit on amazon for awhile now but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. I think you just convinced me. I’ve watched YouTube videos and read reviews on ovens like crazy and this one seems to be the most bang for your buck
    chopsaw likes this.
  9. solman

    solman Smoking Fanatic

    sorry to hijack this thread, but can you post a recipe she uses for bread? i'm trying to get a sense of how much to use when making my homemade pizza doughs.
  10. solman

    solman Smoking Fanatic

    your pizza looks great. making homemade pizza is another one of my favorite things to do at home besides smoking meats. when done right, you'll never want to go out for pizza again. it took me awhile to find a dough recipe that i like, and now what i do is make a bunch of dough balls and freeze them.
  11. chopsaw

    chopsaw Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Dave , if you go to the link above , click on compare items . It gives outside dimensions .

    This must be a shipping box dimension ,,,
    The 16 " is 26 x 19 out to out .
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
  12. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    She uses very little, about 1/2 tsp per 3 cups of flower. That is for any bread recipe.
    She said to go to King Arthur flour & search for Diastatic Malt Powder. They have a very concise explanation about how it should be used and the results you will get.
  13. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Master of the Pit

    First of all, my apologizes to everyone for the broken links in my review. It is not my fault: the site keeps changing the links.

    I pulled out the unit and measured it to get the exact dimensions. Length: 23-5/8". Width: 15-7/8".

    Camp Chef Pizza Oven_05.jpg

    I didn't measure how far the unit sits from the flames on my 1995 Weber grill, but it is sitting on the grates. I would guess they are about ten inches from the flames, separated by the flavorizer bars.
  14. chopsaw

    chopsaw Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Which model do you have the 90 ? Looks like there is a 30 , 60 and 90 . The size I posted was from the link , but must be shipping info . I have a Genesis 310 , but was wondering if it would fit a 28" Blackstone .
  15. bregent

    bregent Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You need to be aware that not all Diastatic Malt Powder (DMP) is the same - they have various degrees of diastatic power. Most pizza dough recipes I'm familiar with call for low diastatic malt power (ldmp). So just know that you can't substitute one for another 1:1, you might have to make some adjustments of rates and or fermentation times.

    I use LDMP from AB Mauri, which adds a nice flavor and good browning for long ferments. For pizza and bagel dough, I use 1% (bakers percentage).
  16. bregent

    bregent Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I had the Camp Chef 90 pizza oven for several years. It worked great on my Weber E-330. I often removed the flavorizer to get it up to temp faster. I only got rid of it because it was too small for my needs, but it made great pizza

    pizza oven.jpg tempgauge.jpg pizza1.jpg pizza2.jpg
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
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  17. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Master of the Pit

    Wow, that is great-looking pizza!

    I thought about removing the flavorizer bars, but I'm not sure it would speed things up that much. I guess I should try, just so I know for sure. There isn't any dripping from the pizza oven, so I shouldn't have to worry about exposing the burners (the flavorizer bars not only vaporize drippings, but also protect the burners from those drips).
    I don't know if the malt powder that just arrived is "low diastatic." However, it is one of the brands specifically recommended in the wonderful "Pizza Bible" recipe book I keep quoting, and the amounts given in the author's recipes assume you are using one of the brands he lists.

    My malt is from Hoosier Hills Farms, and there is no "low" statement anywhere on the label. It is a huge amount (I couldn't find anything smaller), so I've put most of it in glass jars, vacuum sealed, with an Oxy-Sorb packet added to remove every last trace of oxygen (a really cool trick I picked up from survivalist sites). So, it should last for many, many years.

    I looked around at half a dozen sites about how much to use and the recommendation I kept seeing repeated was "½ to 1 teaspoon per 3 cups flour." Al said his wife uses ½ tsp. per 3 cups. I am just now making a bread machine recipe that I've made a dozen or more times over the years and decided to go with the 1 teaspoon per 3 cups, just to make sure the effect isn't too subtle. As I said in an earlier post, I'll let everyone know what happens.

    Yes, I have the model PZ90 (I just fixed that link in my first post, so you can go directly to the Amazon listing). Just to repeat what I said earlier, the measurements I gave you were ones I made myself this morning, on the actual unit.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
  18. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Master of the Pit

    This evening we ate the bread made with the malt powder. The crust was definitely crunchier and crisper, a great sign for what this may do for pizza crust. Because I made it in a bread machine, a device which does not generally get things as brown as a conventional oven, even when put to the "dark crust" mode (which I did), I can't say for sure whether the crust was darker. The taste may have been a little more "complex," which is a good thing.

    So, since I have a lifetime supply, I'm going to try this in all sorts of things, just to see what happens.
    chopsaw and solman like this.