The Porto Pizza Oven Review
I spent a long time researching which pizza oven was right for me. I considered the number of pizzas I’d be cooking and which type of fuel I’d like to use, gas or wood. In the end, I decided I wanted a wood-fired pizza oven that could cook at least one pizza at a time. But for the purposes of my Porto pizza oven review, I’ll stick to portable wood-fired pizza ovens which are stainless steel. I’ll give an overview of the Porto Pizza Ovens’ features and functionality. Plus, I’ll detail how its assembled, how it performs and most importantly, how’s the pizza?!!
|First impression: This looks slick.
|Pro: It’s portable
|Con: The door handle is dangerous
|Cooking area: 60 x 60 cm (26 x 26 inch)
|Light-up time: 15-20 mins
About the Porto Pizza Oven
The body and chimney of the Porto pizza oven is constructed from stainless steel, with four ceramic tiles making the floor. The roof is insulated with ceramic wool and the door is heavy steel. Fueled by kiln dried hardwood, it’s is available in two colours, red or black. It’s manufactured in and imported from Portugal and described as a portable pizza oven.
Features & specifications
- Internal dimensions: 60 cm / 23 inch cooking area
- External dimension: 66 cm / 26 inch outer footprint
- Chimney height: 29 cm / 11.4 inch
- Body material: stainless steel
- Pre-installed stainless steel thermometer
- Wooden feet
- A choice of colours; red or black
I did a lot of research before buying this pizza oven. I’d realised that there are dozens of different pizza ovens on the market. And some seem to be more style over substance. Also, others prioritise their portability over their functionality. So I knew I didn’t want a pizza oven simply because it was trendy or portable. The Porto Pizza Oven was the perfect fit for me. It was made from heavy stainless steel, was portable and was wood-fired.
The main competitors to the Porto Pizza Oven are:
- Ooni Karu Multi Fuel Pizza Oven at €799 (42 cm / 16.7 inch)
- Nonno Peppe pizza oven at €990 (60 cm / 23 inch)
- Naples Pizza Oven at €825 (60 cm / 23 inch)
I collected my Porto Pizza Oven from The Stove People (StovesIreland.com) in County Wexford. It was supplied well packaged on a single pallet, wrapped in plastic wrap and further protected by corrugated cardboard walls. Delivery is available at an extra cost of €65 nationwide. I collected my pizza oven and I didn’t need any of the packaging. So, the people at Stoves Ireland were kind enough to dispose of the packaging for me.
What’s inside the pallet?
- The stainless steel body of the pizza oven
- The heavy steel door
- 4 square ceramic fire bricks
- A stainless steel thermometer
- Chimney with valve
- Chimney top
- Iron stand
- Dog stand
Locating & Setting up the Porto Pizza Oven
Once I had the stainless steel body of the pizza oven in place, I installed the four fire bricks into the oven. Next, I attached the chimney and inserted the dog stand. The dog stand acts as a shelf for the firewood to sit on during cooks.
There are three considerations when figuring out where to locate your pizza oven:
- Firstly, this pizza oven weighs in at a fairly hefty 50 kg so it’s essential that the oven lives on a sturdy and flat surface that will be able to hold the weight of the oven. Also, be sure to get some help for lifting it into place!
- Secondly, wood-fired pizza ovens can occasionally spit out bits of burning embers. So, it’s best located on a durable surface
- Thirdly, wood-fired pizza ovens produce a lot of smoke when you light them at first. And the smoke and exhaust coming from the chimney is super hot. So, with respect to your neighbours, locate your pizza oven somewhere which considers where all that smoke will go!
Recommended pizza oven accessories
I recommend buying some essential accessories for use with any pizza oven.
- A small pizza peel (Amazon, €20.99)
- Heat resistant gloves (Amazon, €20.99)
- An infrared thermometer (Amazon, €15.00)
- A lint-free towel plus a 1 m length of hardwood (for cleaning)
What else you need to start cooking pizza
You just need three more things to get cooking:
- A wood-wool firelighter which will burn for about 10 mins
- Dried kindling to build a small tower around the wood-wool firelighter
- Some kiln dried hardwood: use natural untreated firewood and never use old pressure treated or painted wood
Note: You should never use lighter fluid to get your pizza oven lit. If you’d like to find out more, you can read my post about why you should NEVER use lighter fluid in your kamado grill. The basic idea is exactly the same.
This pizza oven has exceeded all of my expectations. The crust is always crispy and has leoparding. Plus, the base is always thoroughly cooked. I’d previously cooked on a gas fired pizza oven and it would crisp the crust really nicely, but always leave the base under-cooked. So, I was very pleased when I tasted the pizza from the Porto Pizza Oven!
Each cook consumes about 10 pieces of kiln dried ash. And it takes between 15 – 20 minutes for the fire to get established and a further 10 -15 minutes for the temperature to stabilise at about 400 °C for cooking. Granted, that’s longer than it takes for a gas oven to come up to temperature, but you’ve to remember, it’s wood-fired and that’s how they operate. The flavour from the wood is delicious. So, it’s worth the extra time and clean up which is required after ever cook.
Cleaning & maintenance
All pizza ovens need some cleaning and maintenance on both the inside and outside. And it’s super important to wait until the oven is completely cooled before attempting to clean it.
- Exterior: wipe down external surfaces with soapy water and a soft sponge
- Interior: the floor of the oven should be cleared of ashes and embers when fully cold. Once the embers are removed, clean the refractory brick with a brush so as to remove any dust or ash. Doing this will keep the brick of your oven in the best condition and will ensure that your oven will be ready for use when you come to use it next time.
THE Porto Pizza Oven Review RESULT:
I love this pizza oven. I’ve been cooking pizza on the Porto Pizza Oven for almost a year now and it consistently delivers crispy, thoroughly cooked pizza every time. Compared to some of its competitors, it’s excellent value for money and delivers excellent pizza. The build quality is excellent, this is a very sturdy pizza oven.
However there have been some of minor defects I’ve encountered. However, none of them have been important enough for me to be unhappy with this pizza oven. The installed thermometer failed and the wooden feet came apart after a moving the oven a few times. As I have an infrared thermometer, the installed thermometer was redundant. Also, I simply replaced the wooden feet myself.
If I’d to highlight one thing I don’t like about this pizza oven, it’d be the handle on the oven door. Basically, the door handle is made from the same stainless steel as the body of the oven, which gets scalding hot. I discovered this the hard way, scalding myself the first time I used it. A simple design solution would be to use a composite material on the handle. I use a pair of heat resistant gloves and that’s an easy fix.
WHERE CAN I BUY the Porto Pizza Oven?
The Porto Pizza Oven is available from StovesIreland.com for €930.