Pizza ovens are great for having cookouts in your backyard or just for a simple dinner. This ALFA One pizza oven review features a deep dive into the performance of the ALFA One.
Alfa is a brand that has been producing pizza ovens for the past decade. However, unlike most brands, they do not release models or products as frequently or not as many models.
Ten years after they released their first stainless steel oven, they now introduce the One oven, a revolutionary stainless steel pizza oven with two different versions or types.
This pizza oven is unlike most pizza ovens on the market. When you order, you choose between two types: the wood-fired pizza oven version and the gas-fired pizza oven.
It can be a little confusing, but we will be talking about it later on. This pizza oven is one of the most powerful ovens on the market, and it does not matter which model or type you choose.
What I mean by that is that both versions can get up to the same maximum temperature. But if you would like to cook more on a wood-fired or a gas-fired oven, then let us see how they do.
How Do I Set It Up?
Pizza ovens usually come assembled with all the parts installed already. That is also true with the Alfa One, but there are two different kinds of setup since it has two different versions.
So to set up the wood-fired version, you will need a wide tabletop or area. First, install the leveling legs by inserting them in each corner’s four holes under the pizza oven.
Then, screw the handles of both the pizza peel and the pizza oven door. You will also need to assemble the chimney; you can do it by putting the flue inside the pizza oven first.
There, you will see the dedicated hole, and then you can install the chimney fowl on top. From there, you can place the wood basket in the middle of the pizza oven and then start firing it up.
As for the gas option, you will need to put the handle on the oven’s left-hand side first. Then screw the button on the other side, which will leave the battery on the right side of the oven.
Just like you did with the wood-fired option, install the leveling feet and the chimney. You can then connect the gas tank afterward and then start firing it up by turning the knob on the left.
Where Can I Use It?
This pizza oven is a bit heavy at 50-55 kilograms, depending on your chosen model. The gas-fired model is a bit heavier since it includes the large burners inside and the connections.
With that said, I would not advise bringing this pizza oven on camping and tailgating trips. They can be transferred from one place to another for an emergency, but it is better to let them stay in place.
The colors available are copper and black, which means that they will match and compliment the colors in your backyard. You can also bring them to your patio or terrace.
If you have a small patio, then you can opt for buying the oven base from Alfa. This accessory is a shelf and leg extension that allows you to fit both the oven and your choice of fuel in it.
That means that if you have a small patio, you can use this extension and place the gas tank or pile of wood underneath the oven. You will then be able to cook in the oven, rain or shine.
Can I Combine The Fuels?
Pizza ovens allow you to combine wood and propane gas to heat the oven’s interior uniquely. However, that is not possible with the Alfa One.
There are two different types of fuel that you can use, but that does not mean that you can combine them. Think of the two versions as two different types of a pizza oven with one name.
So if you choose the wood-fired pizza oven, you will only be able to use wood to fire it up. The same goes with the gas option, as you will not have the proper burner attachment for wood.
Nonetheless, both pizza ovens can heat up in the same environment, and with the same maximum temperature, you will be able to cook your pizzas with little to no difference at all.
How Do I Start The Fire?
Now, this part is a bit tricky since you will be dealing with different ovens. Depending on the model you choose, you need to know how to properly start the fire and preheat the oven.
Wood-fired One Oven
To preheat the wood-fired option, you need to place the wood basket in the middle of the pizza oven. This model is unlike most wood-fired pizza ovens as it has a moveable burner.
From there, you can put three to four small logs on the basket and then start the fire with paper or any firestarter that you have. There, you can wait for 10 minutes for the oven to heat up.
After 10 minutes, you can then move the wood basket on the side of the oven’s cooking chamber. Place the cover or door of the pizza oven and then leave it again for another 10 minutes.
To keep the flames going, add a small log, about 2 inches thick, every 15 minutes. That way, you will maintain the temperature inside the pizza oven to cook more pizzas.
Gas-fired One Oven
This option is pretty simple, and most of us will know how to do it. After connecting the gas tank to the hose at the back of the pizza oven, heating it is as simple as a twist of a knob.
The left-hand side of the pizza oven has a white push-and-turn knob. Heating the pizza oven can be done with this, and you will see the flames go up from the same side of the oven.
To enhance or make the preheat process faster, you can close the door of the pizza oven. After 10-15 minutes, you can check the temperature and then cook the pizzas right away.
There is also a thermometer opposite to the knob, and you will see the temperature of the oven. If you want a more accurate reading, you can always use a separate surface thermometer.
Do The Outer Parts Heat Up?
Yes, the oven heat’s outer parts up, but because of certain features, it does not overheat. The Alfa One pizza oven’s cooking chamber is made entirely out of reinforced stainless steel.
With that, the heat inside the oven will have a hard time escaping. Two layers of ceramic fiber insulation then support the stainless steel construction on the inside of the shell.
This is the same material used with commercial ovens, and it does a great job of preventing the heat from escaping the cooking chamber. That way, the shell does not heat up.
The pizza oven’s doorway is designed in a way so that the heat stays inside the chamber. You do not have to worry about the loss of heat when the oven opens up.
When you are cooking, I would suggest keeping your hands away from the shell and the outer parts. If accidentally touched, you do not have to worry as the shell does not heat up too much.
How Do I Cook In It?
After preparing the pizza you love, you can then use the pizza peel that comes with it to slide it inside the pizza oven. This is a large pizza oven, and it can also handle heavy ingredients.
The pizza oven’s cooking interior can handle up to 16-inch pizzas with enough room to manage or move the pizza when needed. That way, you do not burn one side of the pizza.
Aside from helping keep the heat inside the cooking chamber, the door has a design such that the pizza peel can move with enough space to turn it or place the pizza with no hassle.
The Alfa One can get up to a temperature of 500 degrees Celsius in just 10-15 minutes of preheating. This temperature can cook your pizza in just 90 seconds or sometimes even less.
This special feature called the Alfa Forni pyrometer keeps track of the accurate measurement of the temperature. It also facilitates this measurement to keep it in line.
That means that even if you put too much fuel inside the pizza oven, this feature will heat the cooking chamber at the right temperature according to the type of cooking you want.
How Well Does It, Cook?
As far as I have experienced, this pizza oven can match the best commercial pizza ovens. It is very powerful and can make authentic pizzas, especially the wood-fired model.
All pizzas that I cooked in this pizza oven cooked evenly. The crusts are crispy, and the toppings are cooked to perfection, with the cheese caramelized slightly.
How does it do it, you may ask? Well, it all comes down to the construction, placement of burners, and the pizza oven’s actual cooking capabilities in making the pizza perfect.
See, both the wood and gas burner attachments are on the pizza oven’s left-hand side. That way, the fire heats up the pizza oven’s interior upward and down the other side.
The shape of this pizza oven helps in making the heat travel evenly. The dome ceiling means that the heat travels freely at the top, which then radiates the heat down to the pizza.
Since the burners are near the pizza oven floor, it also heats the pizza stones inside. The heated pizza stones will also then help in distributing the heat evenly.
This pizza oven has four oven floor fire bricks, which are half of an inch thick. That means that they absorb the heat pretty well and quickly before evenly releasing it into the chamber.
So when it comes to cooking, the Alfa One is made to cook the pizza evenly. You just need to turn the pizza around now and then to prevent direct contact with the flames on the side.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Since this pizza oven is made mostly out of stainless steel, you can wash it with water. However, you need to make sure that the pizza stones or fire bricks do not get wet when cleaning.
You can wipe the shell carefully with a paper towel to remove ashes or dust and then brush the pizza stones. You can also pyrolyze them by letting the oven burn at maximum temperature for an hour.
That will burn all the food residuals, and then you can easily brush them away. You will also need to get rid of the ashes if you use the wood-fired model for the next use.
Pizza ovens are great since they can do what other types of ovens cannot. They can create the perfect, authentic pizzas, so you no longer have to order one over the phone.
If you want something fast, consistent, and practical, then you should choose the gas-fired option. This is the perfect pizza oven for people who do not have much time to spare.
However, if you love a more authentic or traditional flavor in your pizza, then the obvious choice is the wood-fired Alfa One. So decide which one you prefer and start cooking the best pizzas!
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