Made by Gozney, the company behind the super popular gas-powered Roccbox (which many pro-chefs swear by), the Gozney Dome premium outdoor oven has been three years in the making and is the brand’s latest launch. When the Dome first became available this summer, the initial stock sold out instantly. While the next drop of stock is still unconfirmed, you can now register your interest to find out when that is.
Touted as more than just a pizza oven, the Dome promises to make great pizza, as well as roast, smoke, steam and bake a wide array of dishes, both quickly on a high heat, as well as low and slow. We were keen to give the Dome a thorough test and see how it fared against other buys our best pizza oven list.
We managed to get our hands on a Dome on loan for a few weeks. Our main aim was to put it through its paces and basically see if it lived up to all the hype.
Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5/5 stars
The Dome can be placed on any heat-proof surface, but as it weighs 58kg, it’ll need to be one that can bear such a hefty load, and as such, it isn’t something you’ll want to have to move around once in place. Gozney sells a stand that has been made specifically for the Dome. At £289, it’s not cheap, but it raises the Dome to a really comfortable height, so you don’t end up constantly bending to look inside.
It’s extremely sturdy, features two drop leaf side tables, two further shelves underneath and handy ‘S’ hooks for hanging all sorts from. Finally, it features lockable castors so you can move it around on a flat surface without too much trouble, which is a huge bonus for something so heavy.
Reasons to buy:
- Easy to use
- Look super stylish
- Extremely versatile – you can cook so much on it
- Integrated thermometer
- Makes delicious stone-baked pizzas in 60 seconds
Reasons to avoid:
- Lots of extras (which cost extra)
- Not the best choice for novices
While it looks like a modern pizza oven, the Gozney Dome outdoor oven is that, and plenty more. It comes in two colourways – cream and olive green – and also two fuel choices: just wood or dual fuel (wood or gas). You can also use charcoal in either, but for that you’ll need a charcoal box which you’ll need to buy separately.
The Dome is relatively easy to use, but if you’ve not used a wood oven before, it may take some getting used to.
Fuel-wise, you should use small chunks of kiln-dried wood and natural firelighters for a wood fire, while Gozney recommends you use at least a 9kg (ideally a 13kg) tank of gas. Consumption works out at around two hours per kg.
- Type: wood (kiln-dried) or dual fuel (kiln-dried wood or gas).
- Pizza size: 16in/40cm
- Oven opening size: H12cm x W41cm
- Cooking surface: W55.8 x D45.7cm; 3cm thick cordierite stone
- Overall dimensions: H19cm x W55cm x D47cm
- Weight: 58kg
- Temperature: 500ºC/950ºF
What’s in the box?
It comes with a detachable flue and cap, a digital thermometer, display unit and batteries, two temperature probes, an air vent/ashtray and a dock and accessory port (more on that later).
They’re both pretty essential pieces of kit to have (and the pizza peel is by far the best I’ve ever used) so it’s a shame Gozney don’t include these in the price, but if that seems too pricey, you can easily find similar versions elsewhere for less.
It also doesn’t come with a weatherproof cover, which – unless you buy the stand and are able to wheel it into a shed or garage when not in use – is a must-have too.
Setting up the Dome outdoor oven
The Dome was delivered to my front door in a mammoth box. Living in a terraced house, we don’t have direct access to the back garden from the front, so it took my husband and I the best part of half an hour to move the beast through the house and outside into the back.
The box has plastic reinforced carry handles on either side which sadly didn’t last long and made the carrying it all the harder once broken. This is categorically NOT a one person job and might even be too much for those who aren’t accustomed to lugging heavy weights.
Assembling the oven
The Dome requires just a few simple bits of assembly and then it’s pretty much ready to go. We both took it out of the box using the single use lifting straps and put it on the stand where it sits snugly. The Dome needs to sit on a heat-proof surface with 30cm clearance around the back and sides and at least 100cm clearance at the front. So while the stand is a great option, you don’t necessarily need it.
As the instructions suggested, I assembled the flue, inserted the steam plug and ashtray and added two AA batteries (supplied) to the temperature display unit. The display then just needed to be turned on, connected to the sensor lead and slotted into place on the front of the Dome.
Duel fuel ovens also need an AAA battery installed into the ignition module. None of the set up is very taxing or time consuming and is explained clearly in the instructions.
Understanding the fuel set up
The Dome dual fuel oven gives you the option of cooking with wood or gas, with means it has two holes in the cooking stone, one on either side. The hole on the left is the gas outlet, while the one on the right is where airflow can be regulated when cooking with wood. This also leads into a small drawer where you can collect any ash after use.
Depending on which fuel you use, there are three additional pieces of kit that you need to install. An air inlet puck, a burner guard and a stone puck – the latter is placed over the hole that you’re not using to give you an uninterrupted cooking space.
For instance, when you’re cooking with gas, you should have the burner guard (a metal ring) placed on top of the gas hole and the stone puck covering the right hand side hole. The burner guard ensures nothing falls into the gas inlet. You’ll obviously need to connect the gas regulator connected to the rear of the oven, too but this is all clearly explained in the instructions and isn’t difficult if you’ve cooked with gas before.
When cooking with wood, you should have the stone puck covering the gas inlet and the mesh puck covering the ash chute, again so no debris falls into the chute. This all may sound fiddly and far more complicated than it is. After doing it a couple of times, I found it became second nature.
Before using it to cook, though, Gozney recommends seasoning the cooking stone. Not doing this may damage or even crack it. Seasoning just means firing up the oven on a medium to low heat for around 30 minutes. Once that’s done, I was good to go.
What is the Gozney Dome Outdoor Oven like to use?
Which is better to cook on? wood or gas?
This is the third wood-fired pizza oven that I’ve cooked on, so I’m no stranger to lighting a wood fire. It takes some getting used to but once you’ve mastered it, it’s a very satisfying experience and it’s perfect for those who like to tinker, poke and prod the flames when cooking.
Wood gives food – particularly pizzas – a specific wood-fired taste that you don’t get with gas. However, gas don’t takes half the time it takes a wood fire to get up to the temperature you need to make pizza. So wood is preferable if you have the time, gas is best if you fancy a quick fix or you’re not cooking lots.
Cooking with wood
When building a wood fire, I would always advise that you don’t improvise with the ingredients. They probably won’t work, they likely won’t last and worse still, they might even damage the oven you’re using. Gozney recommends using natural firelighters. From experience, the chemical ones blast out horrid, foul smelling smoke so are best avoided. Kindling wood is a handy must-have too, as are small pieces of kiln-dried wood.
I placed a firelighter in the centre of the oven, then stacked kindling around and upwards Jenga-style. Once lit, and when the fire got going, I added some kiln wood. Then (as per the instructions) I moved it over to the left hand side using the turning peel.
After half an hour or so, I moved it to the other side, to sit on top of the metal mesh puck, then added more wood. I then opened the ash tray fully by turning the control dial to the open position. This allowed oxygen to get to the fire which boosted the heat and flame.
To make the best pizza, you need to do it in an extremely hot oven, around 450ºC. Ideally the flames should be rolling over the top inside of the oven, too. The majority of pizza ovens don’t feature a temperature gauge. This means there’s a lot of guesswork as to whether the oven is hot or not. That is, unless you have a (separate) infrared thermometer. The Dome however, has a digital temperature gauge, which gives an accurate reading every time and stops you from having a soggy-bottomed pizza.
All in all, I would recommend you sit down and have a good read of the booklet the oven comes with before you light it up. It’s packed with lots of essential information and handy tips that will make your enjoyment of the oven all the better.
Cooking in the Gozney Dome outdoor oven
Making pizza was a cinch. If you’ve done it before, you’ll know that success is all in the prep. Have everything ready to go so you can make everything run smoothly as pizzas take so little time to cook. After prepping my dough and adding my toppings, I placed my topped base on a wooden chopping board, ready to go.
From the board, I slid my prepped dough onto the pizza peel and then popped it straight into the oven. Again, I’m fortunate enough to have done this a good few times so I tend to know what consistency the dough needs to be for it to work. Too wet and it’ll stick to the peel. In all honesty, a LOT of pizzas were harmed in the making of this pizza chef..!
Once in the oven, you can instantly see the crust bubble up. Using the turning peel, I edged the pizza slightly clockwise every 20 seconds or so until it was cooked. Two more pizzas followed, all with different toppings. I also made a Pizza Bianca (a base topped with fresh rosemary, EV olive oil and Maldon salt) for good measure. And yes, they were all delicious!
What else can you cook in the Gozney Dome Outdoor Oven?
The following day, I cooked a large steak in the oven, this time using gas. And oh, is it easy to use! Much like a regular gas hob, you push in the gas dial and turn the dial 90º to the left to light the pilot light. Once that’s on, you whack it up to full flame. After 15-20 minutes, the temperature had reached 400ºC and it was ready to cook on.
Unlike pizzas, it’s best not to cook other things directly on the pizza stone. If you do, you run the risk of staining it and the surface can become greasy and possibly catch fire. For this you’ll need a cast iron pan or skillet. The Gozney team kindly provided me with one (unbranded) but they’re widely available to buy. Make sure you buy a pre-seasoned one or remember to season it yourself before cooking.
I put the empty pan in the oven and while that was heating up, I placed the two external probes into the steak. The trick is to get the probes into the coldest part of the steak. And to always remember to take the meat out of the fridge for at least half an hour before cooking. The other end of the probes are then plugged into the oven beside the temperature display.
When you have one or both probes attached, the temperature gauge display flips between the oven temperature and the probes. The booklet features a list of optimum internal temperatures for meat, poultry and fish so you’ll know when it’s perfectly cooked.
The steak took around 10-15 minutes to cook and I turned it occasionally. Following one of the brand’s recipes, I aimed for an internal temperature of 51°C for a medium rare steak. Once the probes hit that mark, I took the meat out to rest.
Bear in mind, when cooking anything other than pizza, you’ll need to invest in a good quality thick, long armed oven or barbecuing glove. My kitchen glove wasn’t nearly enough protection as the oven reaches crazy hot temperatures.
Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of the steak when cooked. Total greed fail. Led by hunger, I completely forgot to snap it before it was scoffed the second it hit the dinner table.
I also cooked corn on the cob in the oven. Using a rack from a roasting dish I owned, I turned it upside down to make a grilling rack for the cobs. They, too, came out perfectly cooked and deliciously slightly charred.
If you’re a fan of cooking on direct heat, you may still not want to part with a basic charcoal barbecue. Despite that, the Dome certainly certainly fares well against any best BBQ on the market right now.
What else can you cook in the Gozney Dome outdoor oven?
You can use the Gozney Dome outdoor oven to cook a wide array of dishes. The company will be bringing out a while array of extras you can buy to widen its cooking opportunities. Extras include an oven door for low and slow cooking, as well as a steam injector that ensures a super crispy crust when baking bread.
A host of new attachments (all bought separately) promise to make the oven all the more versatile. Unfortunately, none of these were available to me at the time of reviewing so I was limited to just making pizzas and roasting meat and vegetables.
Cleaning the Gozney Dome outdoor oven
Cleaning the Gozney Dome outdoor oven is incredibly easy. Much like a domestic pyrolytic oven burns off dirt at a very high temperature, so does this. So if a bit of cheese pops off your pizza onto the stone, don’t despair. It’ll eventually burn away.
After burning wood, there will be a little ash left over, but when the oven is completely cool. To clean the ash out, remove the mesh puck and sweep all the ash down the hole into the ash tray, which slides out like a drawer.
The oven I tested suffered from a lot of smoke staining to the outside (just above the oven opening). The booklet suggested this was because I had overfed the fire. Oddly though, this happened when I used both wood and gas. Regardless, the exterior of the oven can be cleaned with kitchen roll or a damp cloth.
Is the Gozney Dome outdoor oven with the money?
This is all really down to personal preference. If style and performance are really important to you and you’re willing to pay top dollar for both, then yes, I’d definitely recommend it. It’s a fantastic piece of cooking equipment. And now that we’re all spending more time outdoors, it’ll raise your entertaining game to a whole new level.
The wood only version is cheaper, but for an extra £300, dual fuel will give you the option of cooking with gas if you don’t have the time to build a wood fire.
Provided you plan to use it often and it’s replacing an old barbecue or pizza oven, it’s a superb investment. It’s made to commercial specifications, built to last and you know when you see it, that you’ll be using this for decades.
My only gripe – and why I haven’t given it top marks – is that Gozney is charging so much for all the extras. These extras may have all been made to commercial grade spec, but they are still being sold to a residential audience.
The verdict: should you buy a Gozney Dome outdoor oven?
If you’re a good cook and keen to expand your outdoor cooking repertoire, then you should buy a Gozney Dome outdoor oven. It is, by a long shot, the best outdoor oven I have ever used at this price point.