With two bank holiday weekends coming up, we've all got one eye on the weather forecast and the other on the BBQs languishing in the back of our garages or under covers and dust in the garden, right? Come rain or come shine, the Brits will grill outdoors! I'm not mocking. We've had many a winter hot dog and burger party. It's rather nice with a beer in hand as long as you wrap up warm. However, if you fancy giving the meat a miss (ish) this year or simply want to try something that little bit different, let me introduce you to the VonHaus Portable Pizza Oven from Domu.co.uk.
Pizza is probably my favourite food. And having spent many summers staying with my aunt, uncle and cousins in Italy, I know how it should taste. Yes, I'll admit it, I'm a little bit picky. But I've learnt from the best ... an uncle that's happy to spend the day scouring the streets of Naples for a restaurant with perfect pizza!
To be honest, because I'm so particular, I was a little bit nervous about reviewing the pizza oven. I've declined restaurant reviews in the past for similar reasons. But I really, really wanted to try the oven - summertime pizza parties are the best, particularly if you can turn your garden in to a makeshift outdoor cinema and have friends over. It's just a lovely way to spend an evening.
The VonHaus Portable Pizza Oven arrived flat packed and was really easy to assemble. Or to watch being assembled. Following the instructions, it took my husband less than half an hour. It's made from strong and durable steel to ensure its longevity ... and those steel doors keep the heat at the right temperature whilst the chimney regulates the heat. It's so well designed.
The oven comes with a pizza stone and two grill trays, meaning that you can also use it just like a traditional barbecue. I love that it's multi-functional as it means that you get a lot more for your money, even though the £149.99 price tag isn't all that high.
To create our pizzas, we used dough from The Northern Dough Co. You can buy it from Waitrose and it's so easy to hand stretch. Simply pop some passata on top, shred some mozarella and have some fresh basil to hand to sprinkle over once it comes out of the oven. But the boys like their pizzas covered in pepperoni ... lots and lots of pepperoni ... there's never enough pepperoni for them.
There's little guesswork involved when it comes to using the oven to create delicious stone baked pizzas. After letting it heat up for about twenty minutes (keep an eye on the thermometer until it gets to the correct temperature), we used the VonShef Cake Lifter (if you're tempted by the oven, the definitely add one of these to your order, too) to slide the pizza on to the hot stone and then shut the door for ten minutes to let the top bubble away and the base crisp up.
And out it came. The perfect pepperoni pizza. Straight in to the hands of my two little taste testers. Taste testers with pickiness to rival their mother's when it comes to pizza. I'm not lying.
Not the most flattering photos, but the pizza was a huge hit. In fact, we subsequently made three more that very evening. The portable pizza oven might not quite rival the pizzas of Naples, but my goodness, it produces the best ones I've tasted in the UK. I think I might open up pop up pizzeria for the summer. What do you think? Let me know if you want to book a table!
A huge thanks to Domu.co.uk for sending us the oven to review. If you have an questions about it or want to know anything about creating the perfect pizza, let me know in the comments and I'll get back to you asap.