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I’ve always been a sucker for pizza, but then again, who isn’t? It’s the perfect food for almost any occasion. Although previously I would never have considered myself to be a pizza maker beyond the occasional sheet pan flatbread, after a month of testing the Gozney Dome for this review, I have officially attained full pizza-hobbyist status.
It’s easy to see why modern pizza ovens have gained popularity over the past few years, with many DTC brands jumping on the bandwagon. (Check out BA’s review of the $350 Ooni Fyra here.) Traditional ovens can rarely achieve the temperature needed for pizzeria-level pie, and with these convenient, beginner-friendly options from brands like Ooni, Solo Stove, and Gozney, the gap between fancy pizza parlor and your backyard is starting to close. But within the category of home pizza oven, there’s a wide range of price points and designs. The Dome is one of the few professional-grade options; it’s not portable like the Ooni Fyra or Gozney’s other oven, the Roccbox, meaning it’s an investment in not only money but space. It’s much larger than competitors, requires a permanent spot in your yard or porch, and costs $1,999.
Upon arrival, the Gozney Dome showed up at my doorstep in an intimidatingly massive package (to be fair, I had ordered the bamboo-and-steel Dome stand as well, although you could place the Dome on any sturdy, heat-resistant outdoor table). But the unboxing and setup was straightforward—no more difficult than assembling your standard piece of Ikea furniture. The most difficult part was actually hoisting the oven onto the pizza stand—at a whopping 128 pounds, it requires two strong people to lift the pizza oven out of the package and onto a surface.
From there, it’s pretty much ready to use out of the box. The oven comes with a few design functionalities that make for a slightly more beginner-friendly experience—the electric thermometer with digital display connected to the oven, the removable ashtray built into the frame for easy cleanup, and the dual fuel function that allows the oven to be heated by wood or gas.
But there is a learning curve to the Dome, because cooking with live fire is frankly a little scary if you’re not used to it, which I was not. Getting accustomed to the airflow and flames, which bounce off the side and top of the oven, takes practice, as does learning how to slide pizzas in and out without losing your toppings. While the latter is a challenge that will confront all first time pizzaiolos, the flames and high temperatures feel more intimidating than entry-level outdoor pizza ovens due to the size and heft of the Dome. All in all, I found the Gozney Dome to be easy on the eyes and pretty fun to cook with—but at this price point, it will likely only appeal to serious outdoor cooking enthusiasts who are looking to take their pizza game to the next level. If you’re renovating your big, beautiful backyard and live in a climate where you can cook outdoors year-round, the Dome will be a worthy addition. Read on for my full Gozney Dome review.
The Dome is the higher tier of Gozney’s two at-home outdoor ovens, the other being the Gozney Roccbox. It comes in two hues of ceramic coating, olive or bone, and you can pick between a wood burning oven or a dual fuel option that heats with both wood and gas. (I opted for the dual fuel.) At 26"H x 24.8"D x 28.8"W, it's fairly large, but still fits comfortably on my porch. It’s heavy—128 pounds heavy, attributable to the double layer of stone on the cooking surface, which makes for greater heat retention and even cooking.
The oven can reach an internal temperature of 950 degrees Fahrenheit, and with the right accessories—most sold separately—you can steam loaves of bread, cold-smoke salmon, slow-roast brisket, and cook a wide range of other dishes in the oven, from proteins to hearty vegetables.
My model of the dual-fuel oven connects to a standard propane tank (not included), but there’s also a version that can attach to a natural gas hookup. The gas burner clicks on with an easy-to-use dial, and the flame emanates from the left side. The removable ashtray, which sits under the area where you build your wood fire, is on the right. So depending on your heat source, you’re either getting gas-fueled heat from the left side of the oven or wood-fired heat from the right. Because of the dome shape, the flames rise up the side and cook your pizza from above, while simultaneously the hot stone heats from the bottom.
Even as someone with plenty of cooking experience, I had to use the Dome three times before really getting the hang of it. But once I got over the hump of the learning curve, it became easy to use, and the results speak for themselves: You truly can achieve restaurant-quality Neapolitan pizzas with perfectly blistered crust and fire-kissed bubbly cheese at home. The oven gets hot fairly quickly—although to get the stone floor properly preheated, you’ll need to wait up to 40 minutes—and I found that cooking with gas and cooking with wood had different upsides. Gas allowed me to control the temperature at the turn of a dial and was altogether an easier experience, but I turned to wood when I wanted a smokier, more flavorful taste.
The design is not only functional, but stylish. Every element is well designed and has purpose. The ashtray that catches the remnants of a wood fire is conveniently hidden. The sleek digital thermometer, probe, and igniter are front and center for easy use. The ceramic-coated dome is smooth, minimalist, and elevates an outdoor space.
The pizza oven alone starts at $1,999, with the pizza stand costing an additional $299. Useful accessories like a wide pizza peel for sliding the pie into the oven and another, nimbler turning peel with a longer handle for adjusting the pizzas don’t come with the oven and need to be purchased separately.
The weight and size of the permanent oven works for me, as I have a porch large enough to house the oven year-round, but this isn’t an oven that would work for folks who need something more mobile or lack sufficient outdoor space. It’s heavy, big, and stationary, so if you buy it, it’s staying right where it is—and taking up a bit of real estate too.
If you can swallow the cost of the Dome and have space for it, all in all, it’s pretty awesome. I’ve been having a lot of fun cooking pizza with it, especially when friends come over for a party. If you’re merely curious about home pizza ovens or live in a climate where you can’t see yourself cooking outside year-round, there are other excellent options at lower price points. But if you’re committed to that pizza life and can see yourself hosting monthly wood-fired pizza nights in your big backyard, the Gozney Dome is a worthy investment.
By The Bon Appétit Staff & Contributors