I think it’s fair to say that pizza ovens were hands down THE kitchen gadget of the summer. Whether people were banging out the margs in their Roccbox, hashtagging the hell out of their Ooni on Insta, or scouring the middle aisle for Aldi’s budget pizza oven offering, it seems they were the gadget of the moment.
But if I’m going to invest in an outdoor oven with a hefty price tag, I want something that offered a little more oomph.
Introducing the Gozney Dome. One of the most sought-after kitchen gadgets out there (it sold out within 8 hours) that describes itself as the world’s most versatile outdoor oven.
Note, the usage of outdoor oven here. While Gozney, founded in 2010 by Tom Gozney, began its journey as a quality pizza oven brand (and still champion their usage for a good pie), the brand has grown beyond that, proving you can do so much more with one.
While wood-fired cooking is at its core, you can also opt for a dual-fuel that allows both wood and gas usage. I opted for the latter, as although wood-fired cooking is undoubtedly super fun, sometimes you do want and need the quicker option.
When it arrived, I was a little shocked. The box was huge, and I quickly began to rethink whether my quest for a snazzy new oven was really worth what looked like a huge amount of work to put together. But not long after, and with the help of my dad, I had it put together and on its stand in no time. It took around an hour, and that included moving it into position, and my dad’s very meticulous read over the instruction manual.
So, let’s start with the design. Opening everything up ignited sheer excitement in me. I’m a sucker for great packaging. The sleek opening of an iPhone box, untying the bow on a gift-wrapped Jo Malone candle, I’m a geek for clever packaging, and Gozney does just this.
Everything screamed indulgence, and I must admit I enjoyed unwrapping each element of the Dome almost as much as the first pizza I cooked in it.
There’s no denying this is a swanky looking piece of kit. It stands in the corner of my garden begging to be looked at and admired. It’s the ultimate conversation starter, and when it’s fired up, the flames lash inside the opening of its mouth in a show-off like display of light.
Firing up the Gozney was easy, thanks to a set of handy instructional videos, and a super sleek manual guide, I was lighting my kindling in no time at all. Yes, cooking with wood takes MUCH longer, but there’s something quite magical about cooking this way - not to mention the flavour it imparts. I went for kiln-dried, 15% moisture beech wood logs (at the recommendation of Gozney) and all-in-all, including feeding the fire, took around 45 minutes to come up to temperature.
Here I came across my first hurdle. The Gozney Dome is not something you just leave to its own devices. Especially when initially firing it up. This bad boy needs TLC, so grab a drink of your choice and prepare to stand dome-side as it does require attention to keep it going. Yes, I stupidly faffed in the kitchen too long trying to roll out my pizza dough and allowed my oven temp to drop a little too low for my liking, but once I got the hang of it, it got a lot simpler to use.
This is where the added built-in digital thermometer comes in, a huge win in my eyes. Not only does it allow you to see the internal temperature of the oven, but also tracks the temperature of your meat with its Meat Probes accessories. This is particularly perfect if cooking a large piece of meat, as the cooking time will differ greatly from oven cooking (as I learnt the hard way with a beautiful piece of sirloin).
Yep, this is learning number two. Your food will cook A LOT quicker than in your oven, obviously as you’re cooking in double the temperature to a conventional kitchen oven. To put this into perspective, when cooking with wood, my pizza took about 90 seconds to cook, with gas, around two minutes. It was speedy.
So what have I actually cooked in the oven? While pizza nights have been a favourite in my household since the arrival of our Dome, I’ve also cooked everything in it from steak, to prawns, apple tarte tatins to veggies. The possibilities are endless. In fact, there’s a hotly anticipated release of a Dome Steam Injector which will make bread baking perfect.
How much is a Gozney Dome?
The wood-fired only option costs £1,199, but for an additional £300 you can upgrade to the multi-fuel, something I really think you should do. This price includes the digital thermometer and probes, integrated gas burner and regulator, stone floor puck and all the other things you need to use your Dome.
Obviously, you can buy a whole host of other accessories, from a Dome Stand (£289) and Wood Loader (£40), to a Turning Peel (£59), and Pizza Rocker (£25). In fact, the Gozney website offers SO MANY add-ons you could practically open a pizza pop-up in your back garden.
What can you cook in a Gozney Dome?
I mean, just like an oven, you can cook literally anything in the Dome. Alongside pizzas, whole cuts of meat (especially utilising the smokey, wood flavours) are perfect, while skillets can be shoved inside to cook everything from skillet-pan giant chocolate chip cookies to mussels. In fact, at Wilderness Festival this year, I spotted a whole row of Dome’s charring up leeks whole.
What gas does a Gozney Dome use?
The Gozney takes Propane gas, the same standard patio gas as most barbecues.
How do you clean a Gozney Dome?
This was SO easy. The best way to clean your Dome is by burning off any of the food and debris inside. Once the oven is completely cool, you can use a soft brush to dislodge any remaining crumbs, or even a vacuum cleaner.
Externally, a bleach-free cleaning spray is recommended to keep the outer casing pristine. And it goes without saying but you should be covering up your Dome when it’s not being used, especially in cold and rainy weather.
How many pizzas can a Gozney Dome cook?
If you’re using gas, you can easily cook two pizzas at a time, but if you’re using wood, I recommend sticking to one.
Can Gozney Dome ovens be used indoors?
Gozney does state that it can be used indoors with gas fuel only when correctly ventilated, so we recommend fully reading their advice before attempting this. In our opinion, the Dome is so well made and protected, it can be used outdoors all-year-round, even if you are cooking your pizzas in thermals!
Can I leave my Dome outside?
Absolutely! Most pizza ovens are designed to withstand all of the elements, but we do recommend investing in a Dome Cover, made from marine grade, weather resistant material to give your dome complete protection from rain, wind, frost, UV, insects and wildlife.
Is a Gozney Dome worth it?
Now this is the million dollar question. On the surface the £1,499 price tag may seem staggering, but if you’re seriously considering investing in an outdoor oven, the Dome is unquestionably worth that price point. It’s in the same price band as any other good-quality barbecue, yet I think its design, usability and versatility is hard to beat.
Yes, I had a few hiccups, but practice makes perfect and before long I was shovelling pizzas like I had just taken a shift in my local pizzeria. When using the wood option, the flavour was fantastic, smokey, woody and charred, and my pizzas always came out blistered and bubbling, exactly how they should be.
I also think it’s worth mentioning the support you get, the guides, the videos and the recipe inspiration all add to the experience of owning a Dome.
If you get your hands on one of these, you’ll undoubtedly become the envy of every amateur BBQ-er and professional chef. Just expect to be hosting way more dinner parties for your friends.