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The Sage Smart Oven Pizzaiolo is a 400° countertop pizza oven that can be used indoors (and outdoors, if you wish) for perfect authentic pizza in minutes. I got the chance to put the Pizzaiolo to the test, making thin and thick crust pizzas for my whole family, as well as a garlic bread starter. It’s hard work, but someone has to do it!
This is a daunting machine. It gets (very) hot, gives off a fair bit of smoke, and takes up a lot of counter space. Despite all of that, it deserves a five-star rating without question. The Pizzaiolo gives you all of the satisfaction of using the best pizza ovens, and even though it’s electric, the pizza had an authentic taste and required none of the hassle of a wood-fired pizza oven.
If you’re someone without a substantial garden, the Sage Pizzaiolo can absolutely fill that pizza oven-sized hole in your life. It has settings to cook from frozen and (while I think it’s a bit too good for a ready-made option) it can absolutely elevate your supermarket pizza. If you like to entertain, there is truly no better option for hosting a pizza party.
Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars
For nights in or hosting pizza parties, the Sage Pizzaiolo is easy to use and can make pizza after pizza to cater to a crowd.
Reasons to buy
- Easy to use
- Makes amazing pizza
- Plenty of modes
- Indoor or outdoor use
- Small enough to be stored indoors
- Not hot to touch
- Pizza peel, stone, and deep dish included
Reasons to avoid
- Too big to live on the countertop
- You may not use it regularly
Sage Smart Oven Pizzaiolo
- Size: 47 x 27 x 46cm
- Pizza size: Up to 30cm
- Modes: 7 preset modes, and manual
- Temperature: 175-400°C
- Cleaning: Clean by hand
How does the Sage Smart Oven Pizzaiolo work?
Traditional pizza ovens use wood or wood pellets to create the piping heat you’ll need to achieve a traditional pizza. While the Sage Smart Oven Pizzaiolo is far from traditional, it does get incredibly hot – hot enough to char your Neapolitan and crisp up your pepperoni in minutes. It can reach heats of 400°C, replicating a brick oven by creating conductive, radiant and convective heat.
When you put your pizza in the Pizzaiolo, it will be heated by an overhead element, and the base will instantly crisp on the pizza stone insert, which is heated by an element on the heat deck.
The Pizzaiolo is smart, too. It can detect its ambient temperature and advise you to wait before placing in another pizza, giving it time to come to temperature for a flawless crust every time. It does this using a flashing light, which goes solid when the oven is at your desired heat.
How to use the Sage Pizzaiolo
Plug it in, and off you go! The Sage Pizzaiolo comes with a pizza stone that needs to be inserted onto the base of the machine, which is then heated from the underside cooking element. You can use the preset modes or go rogue with manual controls. The manual controls work by placing a magnetic sticker over the controls, which converts them into a temperature and timer as opposed to straightforward settings.
The oven took around 25 minutes to reach the 400°C mark. You can choose this heat in manual mode, or opt for a preset mode that can create New York style, thin crust, and “wood-fired” pizza. You can adjust the timer in these settings, although it will automatically select the right amount of minutes you’ll need for each one. Simply press the timer button to receive an alert when your pizza is done cooking, open the door, and slice it up.
Unlike a traditional pizza oven, there’s no turning required in the Pizzaiolo. The temperature remains even throughout, which means no uneven cooking or charred crusts. The oven comes with a perfectly sized pizza peel to help insert your pizzas and scoop them out again. This is an easy enough method, and I never once worried that I would burn myself (which given just how hot the oven gets, is a miracle).
I was also concerned about placing this machine on top of my wooden counters, but they were completely fine. The back of the machine has a vent to help regulate the heat, but the actual exterior stayed perfectly safe to touch. We even used the top of the oven to line up the next pizza in our little assembly line.
Is the Sage Pizzaiolo good?
The Sage Smart Oven Pizzaiolo is shockingly good. I made my dough ahead of time and stretched out a slightly misshapen base to create the first attempt. For this I simply mixed basil, butter and garlic together before spreading across the base. As advised in the instructions, I made sure the pizza peel and base of the pizza were liberally covered in semolina flour, to prevent it sticking to the peel as I slid it into the oven.
Within two minutes, I had a sizzling garlic flatbread. It was a thing of beauty, and went down very well with the whole family.
I started my Sage Smart Oven Pizzaiolo review by making a classic thin crust, progressing towards a thicker crust as time went on and the oven cooled down. The first pizza gave off a lot of smoke thanks to the coating of flour and semolina on the base. I had to keep the kitchen well ventilated to prevent my (very sensitive) fire alarm going off, but while the smoke is a little worrying at first, you wouldn’t be able to cook a pizza in just three minutes without a smokey ambiance. The first pizza was my mum’s, which had goats cheese, spinach, mushrooms, and pesto. Not a conventional choice, but evidence of how versatile the Pizzaiolo can be and the potential this brings to a pizza party or those with picky kids. The base came out crisp and with a beautiful char, and the goats cheese was runny but with a little bit of bite remaining.
To sample a slightly thicker crust I made a spicy diavola. It had salami, chilli, and plenty of fresh mozzarella. While the base came out crisp and charred, I would have liked more crispy toppings. The mozzarella was melted, but probably needed longer to crisp up. While the option to go rogue and use the manual settings is fun, I would advise using a preset option when making your own pizzas unless you’re a seriously experienced pizzaiolo. Keeping your toppings minimal and traditional will yield the best results with the Pizzaiolo, so maybe order your next meat feast from Domino’s instead.
How easy is the Sage Smart Oven Pizzaiolo to clean?
Given the assembly station, floured work surfaces, and piles of empty plates my family had after our pizza night, the Pizzaiolo was actually the easiest part to clean. Prepare for some discolouration on the inside of your pizza oven. Mine had a smokey tinge around the door, and the pizza stone was black in places (likely thanks to any oil that made it onto the stone as I was cooking). The pizza stone and machine itself needs to be carefully hand cleaned, and only when completely cooled.
I was surprised at how fast the Sage Smart Oven Pizzaiolo cooled down. We had barely finished our pizzas when the fan shut off and sure enough, while it wasn’t cold to touch, the pizza stone was only a little warm and easy enough to retrieve and clean. There is also a lot of flour and semolina that makes its way into little spaces in your Pizzaiolo, but don’t worry if you can’t get it all out. It will burn off the next time you light the oven, which is a little smokey but totally safe.
Should you buy the Sage Pizzaiolo?
I would definitely recommend this pizza oven, with a few caveats. As a foodie who makes pizza on a semi-regular basis, I could see myself getting a lot of use out of the Pizzaiolo. It is quite large (although no larger than a generous air fryer or multi cooker) and it isn’t very versatile, so if you’re short on space it may not be the best option for you. That said, I am somebody with a relatively small kitchen, and I would definitely try to find the space for this pizza oven so I could have it on hand for entertaining or authentic homemade pizza whenever I want it.
The other glaring caveat here is the price. This pizza oven is more expensive than some actual ovens, so it’s not for those on a budget. If you have a bit of dough to spend and you enjoy your pizzas, it’s worth the splurge. However, if you have outdoor space there are plenty of outdoor pizza ovens that cost a lot less and can still deliver authentic pizza whenever you need it.
About this review, and the reviewer
Millie Fender heads up all things small appliances at Future. There’s nothing she loves more than testing out the latest and greatest cooking gadgets, for indoor and outdoor use, from toasters to air fryers. Millie lives in South London and is constantly squeezing more appliances into her modest kitchen. If it makes it onto the kitchen counters full time, you know an appliance is worth the hype.
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