If you’re looking for the perfect campfire cooking experience without all of the hassles of an actual campfire or looking for a great grilling experience without the need to lug or rely on propane tanks, the BioLite Basecamp and Pizza Dome can give you what you’re looking for by combining the two. BioLite started out as a Kickstarter project in 2015 and today it boasts the most effective environmental friendly oven on the market.
The design of this outdoor stove is what makes it one of the best available if you want a natural wood-fire pizza oven.
The unit is particularly lightweight at around 18 pounds, making it ideal for carrying out to your patio or deck when the weather’s nice or packing with you on a trip. It’s especially useful for car camping if you need an oven that can avoid conflicting with open-fire regulations at campsites without the need for a gas-powered stove or oven.
When it comes to fuel, the BioLite Basecamp is designed to use whatever natural wood is available. You can usually use a few pieces of the appropriate size to generate ample heat, largely because of the high-powered fan. Speaking of the fan, the lithium-ion battery that powers it is a great addition; it also serves as a power bank using a USB port to charge your electronic devices when the stove isn’t in use. So, if you need to charge your phone or tablet on the go, you have yet another use for this stove.
While the BioLite is capable of running on coals, the company doesn’t recommend this. Speaking to BioLite’s commitment to helping preserve the environment, the reason they don’t suggest you use coal is that it releases more pollutants into the air, and you’ll also see an increase in smoke production.
Regarding the overall structure, the stove features a stainless steel exterior with a cast iron-lined interior. The stove’s external battery pack is designed to withstand most of the heat that the stove produces, but it’s still a good idea to keep an eye on it when cooking with it.
The Basecamp is easy to clean thanks largely because of the clean-burning technology built into it. Typically, all that you’ll need to do to clean the stove is to dump the ash once done and soak the grill in water to give it a thorough cleaning.
With the Basecamp stove, we used the Pizza Dome that BioLite also offers as an attachment, which allows for much better cooking of pizzas and effectively converts the stove into an oven. We got the oven cooking to around 45o degrees Fahrenheit within around 20 minutes and we were ready to insert the pizza. You may have to toy around with the settings to get the best results when cooking your pizza, but we were able to enjoy some great-tasting pizza within around five minutes of cooking time.
While there’s plenty to love about the BioLite, there are some issues worth addressing.
For one, locating wood of the right size for the Basecamp can be a challenge. You can use some smaller pieces such as twigs, but these will burn up quickly to the point where you’ll spend more time looking for wood to keep the fire burning than you will actually cooking, even with the extending tray. The key to avoiding this is to prepare beforehand and find the right wood pieces prior to using the stove.
We also struggled to maintain a consistent temperature as the pizza cooked, which could be due to the lack of preparedness when it came to the wood. With ample-sized wood pieces, you can more effectively manage temperature settings.
Also, keep in mind that with a wood-fire stove like this, a smoke flavor on your food will be mostly unavoidable. While this might not matter too much with foods you would normally cook in a campfire, it might make your pizzas and other food items taste a bit different from what you’re used to cooking. However, the Pizza Dome helps mitigate this if you’d prefer to use the Basecamp specifically for pizza.
Apart from enjoying this stove along with the Pizza Dome, we admire BioLite as a company because of the company’s mission, which makes every purchase worthwhile. Every time you buy one of their products, some of the proceeds will go toward providing the resources needed for clean cooking, electricity, and heating in third-world nations. You’ll not only get great products with BioLite, but you’ll also be comfortable in knowing that some of your money is going toward a good cause.
If you’re in need of an efficient, reliable, and eco-friendly outdoor pizza oven, you can’t go wrong with the combination of the BioLite Basecamp and Pizza Dome. Together, they can produce some great results. The oven may not be perfect, and if you really desire authentic Italian-style pizza, you might want to shop around for a hotter oven, but the combined efficiency, durability, and affordability make the Basecamp and Pizza Dome bundle a great purchase overall.