I have always loved wood fired pizza. If I could choose one type of pizza crust, that is probably the one I would choose. So, after a lot of research and indecision, I finally made the call to buy the Gozney Roccbox portable pizza oven. I chose it mainly because of the high quality construction and I also really liked the look of the oven compared to others. After using this oven for 4 months, I feel like I am qualified to give you a thorough review of the Gozney Roccbox, and give you some great tips to make amazing pizza with this little oven.
Gozney Roccbox Key Features and First Impressions
This oven just looks cool! I love the overall design of the pizza oven body and the legs of the oven. It looks futuristic and the legs of the oven remind me of a well designed tower or bridge structure.
The materials of the Roccbox are all very high quality. I think this oven will last for many years, as the exterior is mainly stainless steel, with the exception of the silicone jacket that surrounds the body. The silicone jacket is a nice touch, as it does not get crazy hot, making the hot oven less of a safety hazard.
High Quality Build – 64 lbs of quality materials – you can feel the quality of the Roccbox as you unbox it! This oven is well insulated and stays hot for a long time once it warms up.
I love that this pizza oven has a temperature gauge integrated into the oven on the left side. I will talk more about this below, but for a pizza oven that costs $500, this is a welcomed feature.
The gas burner lights easily and warms up quickly. You can start making pizzas about 30 minutes after starting the burner.
On the down side, the gas line that comes attached to the roccbox is a little short, measuring around 38″. If your propane tank is not located right by your oven, you are out of luck.
How Large of a Pizza can you Make in the Gozney Roccbox?
So, the roccbox is a high performance pizza oven. That being said, the maximum pizza diameter that will fit in the roccbox is 12 inches. The pizza peel that comes with the oven is about 12″ wide, so you can use the peel as a guide for how wide to make the pizza. However, it does make turning the pizza a little tricky during the cook. I find I have to use the pizza peel to pull the pizza, give it a turn by hand, and then put it back in the oven. So… it slows the cooking process a bit.
The 12″ pizzas do turn out nice though… I have been very impressed by the quality of pizza I am able to make in this little oven, even with the size restrictions
Gozney Roccbox Temperature Control
The roccbox can be heated by a gas burner or small wood chunks if you decide to purchase the wood burner attachment. I have only used the gas burner, and have found it to work flawlessly.
The gas burner lights up with a quick “click” as you turn the knob on the back of the roccbox. It puts out a impressive and mesmerizing flame that quickly heats the oven up to 800°F. The only down side to the temperature control knob is the location, which is on the back of the oven. This makes the control knob a little tough to reach from the front.
The roccbox has a nice temperature gauge on the left side of the oven that works quite well. I have found it to correlate with the middle of the pizza stone pretty well. After using it a few times, you can easily get a feel for the oven, making the temperature gauge quite useful. However, I still use an infrared temperature gun to check the pizza stone temperature most of the time.
I personally have found the sweet spot of the temperature control to be in the halfway point between high and low on the control knob. This easily heats the oven up to 800°F, making crisp pizza crusts that do not get too overdone. If you have the burner on high, you can easily torch a few pizzas pretty quick from my experience.
Gozney Roccbox Pros and Cons
After making a lot of pizzas on the Roccbox in a lot of different weather conditions, with a variety of dough recipes, I can attest to the quality and general high performance of this pizza oven. However, it does have some definite highlights and lowlights to point out. This list of pros and cons are the features worth weighing when looking to purchase this oven:
Overall, I think you cannot go wrong with this oven. The real limiting factor is the size of the oven, if larger pizzas are important to you. If 10-12″ pizzas are acceptable, I think you will find the performance of the Gozney Roccbox to be superior to similar sized ovens. If you have any questions about this review of the of Gozney Roccbox, leave me a comment here and I will be sure to respond. Below you will find some tips on using the Gozney Roccbox to make amazing pizzas the first time you use it! If you have a roccbox or another pizza oven, you may be interested in my Compact Outdoor Pizza Kitchen Plans.
Roccbox Tips for Great Pizza
I made a few bad pizzas the first time I used the roccbox. After making some adjustments, I am pretty confident making great pizzas every time. If you follow these guidelines, you will be on your way to a successful pizza party.
1. Pizza Dough Recipe & Dough Ball Size
I use the following ratios when making pizza dough for the roccbox and pretty much any other pizza oven.
- 1000 grams Bread Flour
- 650 grams room temperature water
- 25 grams salt
- 3 grams dry yeast (1 teaspoon)
Mix together to form a ball. Let it rest for 30 minutes in the bowl. Work it again, this time on the countertop until it is smooth. Then let it sit covered in a big bowl for 45 minutes at room temperature. Then put in the refrigerator overnight, and up to 3 days. It must be at least overnight. The long fermentation time is the key to great dough with little effort.
Take the dough out of the fridge the day you want to use it 4 hours or more in advance. Divide into 220 gram dough balls for 12″ pizzas. This will give you a thin pizza crust that is fairly easy to stretch.
2. Roccbox Setup and Temperature
I like the roccbox temperature control knob set at medium. However, there is a specific threshold I am looking for when adjusting the flame. I want the flame to crawl along the roof of the pizza oven, but stop just short of the front of the oven by an inch or so. If I have this setup, I know the pizzas will come out crisp on the bottom, and the top will not get burnt before that happens. Typically the stone temperature will be around 800-850°F in the back and closer to 600° in the front.
3. Choosing the Right Cheese for the Roccbox - avoiding burnt pizzas!
Beyond the cheese, you can choose whatever toppings you want. But… I only recommend high moisture content cheese, such as Buffalo Mozzarella for the Roccbox and other high temperature ovens.
I made the mistake of trying to practice with “cheap” standard shredded low moisture mozzarella, and it was a disaster. Shredded low moisture cheese simply melts too fast and becomes charred way too fast.
For the best results, buy the logs or large balls of buffalo mozzarella and rip them into little chunks that are about the size of dice or small marbles. They will melt slower and allow you to leave the pizza in the oven longer for that crisp crust. Experiment with the size, but definitely go with the real deal mozzarella.
4. Don't Overtop your Pizza!!
Along with choosing the correct cheese, another big mistake you can make is overtopping the pizza with cheese and other toppings. I would challenge you to use about 50% of the toppings you think you need, if your pizzas have not been successful yet. Just give that a shot and see if they are improved.
5. Roccbox Cooking Time
Cooking time definitely depends on the dough and the temperature inside the roccbox. From my experience if you are in the 800°F range in the back of the oven, the pizzas will cook in about 2-3 minutes including some time to remove, turn, and put back in the oven. As I get more skilled, perhaps I can cook at higher temperatures and reduce that time. However, I really have enjoyed the pizzas I have cooked at these medium/hot temperature ranges.