There’s something truly special about a traditional stone-baked pizza. The flavors are unparalleled, and they transport you to the streets of Italy with each bite. I’ll never forget the first time I experienced authentic Italian pizza. It was during a romantic getaway to Rome with my partner Sharon. After a long day of sightseeing, we stumbled upon a charming local Italian restaurant near our hotel.
Sharon decided to try a pasta dish and was pleasantly surprised by the option to choose her preferred type of pasta. On the other hand, I opted for a pizza and was astounded by its sheer size. Italians are known for their generosity, and this pizza was no exception. To this day, I have yet to encounter anything quite like it.
While we’re fortunate to have a delightful little Italian restaurant in our neighborhood, we’re not always able to get takeout, and they’re not always open when we’re craving a slice. That’s why we’ve been searching for alternative options. Traditional pizza ovens, however, tend to take up a lot of space. But now, that’s about to change.
Pizza United: Your Pizza Connection
When it comes to pizza ovens, Pizza United is the go-to supplier in the UK. They are known for being the largest distributor of Effeuno ovens and the exclusive provider of the Optima Pizza Express Napoli oven in the country. Pizza United is passionate about pizza, and their ovens can truly make all the difference in creating the perfect pie. Recently, they invited us to review one of their incredible pizza ovens, and needless to say, we were thrilled.
The Optima Pizza Express Napoli oven is a domestic pizza oven that perfectly captures the essence of a professional oven found in every traditional Italian pizzeria. Designed by Gabriele Ferrari and manufactured in the picturesque city of Modena in Italy, this oven seamlessly combines modernity and tradition.
When our delivery from Pizza United arrived, we were delighted to discover that they had included all the necessary ingredients to make not just one, but multiple epic pizzas. They even provided a handy recipe, which you can find on their website here.
Also included in the package were:
- Optima Pizza Express Napoli pizza oven
- Wooden spatulas for easy dough transfer
- Recipe for excellent pizza
- Power cable
- Made in Italy
- 1200W power
- Maximum temperature of 450˚C
- Pizza baking time of 3-5 minutes
- Stone tabletop
- Thermostat with signal lamp
- Diameter of 32 cm
- 2-year warranty
For our first meal with the oven, we decided to make our favorite pizzas. I went with the classic and controversial ham and pineapple, while Sharon and I chose a mouthwatering combination of goat cheese and caramelized onion. As a little appetizer, we also wanted to try making some garlic pizza bread.
But before we could start, we needed to make the dough. Luckily, Pizza United had included everything we needed in the box, although you can also find the ingredients at your local supermarket. Making pizza dough is surprisingly simple – all it requires is time.
To enhance the flavor, we prepared the dough a day in advance, allowing it to develop alongside our excitement. We even involved our friend T in the dough-making process. It was a fun bonding experience that made us even more eager for pizza night.
Once our dough was ready (we even had some leftover for later in the week), we moved on to making the sauce, which was equally simple. With all our preparations complete, it was time to fire up the oven.
Within the Optima Pizza Express Napoli oven, there are two heating elements – one at the bottom and one at the top. This setup enables the oven to reach a scorching 450°C in just 10-15 minutes. This temperature is the average between the stone surface and the top heating element, similar to what you would find in professional pizzerias.
To cook your pizza, simply slide it onto the wooden spatulas and place it on the stone surface (removing the spatulas, of course!). Close the lid, and within a mere 3 minutes, your pizza will be ready. The refractory stone base absorbs any excess moisture from the dough, resulting in a crispy and perfectly baked crust. Cleaning is a breeze too – just heat the stone and gently wipe away any burnt remnants.
To call the result delicious would be an understatement. The crust was crispy on the outside and wonderfully soft on the inside. The aroma of freshly baked pizza lingered in our house for hours, transporting us back to the streets of Rome.
Not Just for Pizza!
In addition to their pizza oven, Pizza United provides a variety of recipes in the instruction manual. You’ll find all the classics like Margherita and Ai Funghi, as well as regional specialties such as Napoletana and Siciliana.
If you ever find yourself craving something other than pizza, the Optima Pizza Express Napoli oven has got you covered. You can use it to prepare other Italian delicacies such as focaccia pies, grissini, and small rolls. Additionally, you can even cook frozen pizzas (after letting them reach room temperature for 10-15 minutes) to elevate their flavor and make them taste even better!
The Optima Pizza Express Napoli oven by Pizza United is also suitable for cooking a variety of other foods such as vegetables, fish, and chicken. Just make sure to use aluminum foil trays or similar containers for these dishes.
We were fortunate enough to receive an Optima Pizza Express Napoli oven from Pizza United in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts, opinions, and imagery in this article are our own unless stated otherwise.
So, if you’re a pizza lover like us and want to experience the joy of professional-grade pizza in the comfort of your own home, do yourself a favor and check out the Optima Pizza Express Napoli oven from Pizza United. Your taste buds will thank you.