Italia Artisan Oven by Camp Chef: Review

Pizza

May 24
Camp Chef Italia Outdoor Pizza Oven

Camp Chef Italia outdoor pizza oven can give you the best results without the need to run an actual pizzeria.

Our Breakdown

The Camp Chef Italia artisan pizza oven is, without a doubt, one of the best ovens you’ll find on the market today, with many great features and options that make this one of our favorites. While not perfect, it often comes close.

The Pros
The Cons
  • User-friendly simplistic design that allows for easy and quick assembly and use
  • Quality cooking for artisan-style pizza at high temperatures
  • Temperatures get very high within as little as 10 to 15 minutes
  • The small size isn’t for everyone, especially if you want to cook pizzas larger than 12 inches or multiple items at once
  • No wood flavor that you might get with a traditional wood oven

 

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The Camp Chef Italia Features

The Camp Chef Italia oven is designed with wood-fired brick oven operation in mind. It even features a somewhat recognizable dome that you would find on traditional brick ovens along with a double-layered lid to further improve cooking. This design makes it capable of producing results that are very similar to what you would get with an ordinary brick oven, sans the wood flavor and quantity.

1. Temperature

Temperature in built in thermometer

The oven features a 17,000 BTU burner that is specially designed for the Camp Chef Italia, which enables it to reach temperatures exceeding 700 degrees Fahrenheit. At these temperatures, you can easily cook pizza to get the best results with every use, especially if you prefer more charred pizza using Neapolitan-style crust and toppings. The oven’s heat plates can further optimize the cooking experience by allowing for more even cooking throughout.

You can also spend a lot less time cooking than you would with a conventional oven, with the ability to reach high temperatures ideal for cooking within around 15 minutes. Many people shopping for the perfect outdoor oven consider the quick heating time a deciding factor in their purchase, and you won’t be disappointed with the pre-heating speed you get with the Camp Chef oven.

To give you even more control over the temperature of the oven and the overall cooking experience, the oven also features a built-in ignition along with a micro-adjust value that allows you to easily control the flame within the oven. In many cases, you might have to buy an infrared thermometer gun that you would aim at the stone to read the temperature of the oven, but another nice feature you’ll get with this oven is a built-in thermometer that provides a relatively accurate reading. The thermometer also helps you regulate temperatures if you would prefer to cook another type of food using this oven if you ever tire of pizza. The oven also includes a ventilated door and handle for even more control over temperature and storage.

2. Fuel

You can fuel the oven using multiple methods, as long as you use propane in place of wood or wood chips. You can use either a 1 lb. propane bottle or a standard-sized propane tank via the included hose and regulator.

3. Build Quality

Build Quality

What also makes this oven one of the most durable and dependable is its top-quality stainless steel construction, though this does detract a little from its visual appeal We’ll take build quality over aesthetics any day, though. We think this oven could benefit from being a little bit more reinforced, but it’s sufficient in its construction. The oven also features a nice finish with an equally nice-looking front panel, but the biggest sacrifice is the cooking space: we wish it was slightly larger to accommodate more variations and quantities of food, but it’s not bad as is.

We really like what all is included with this oven. One of the keys to its performance success is the cordierite ceramic stone. You can get a better understanding on the types of pizza stones by checking out our complete writeup on them here: https://artisanpizzakitchen.com/best-pizza-baking-stones/.

Whether you’re out camping or at a party with dozens of people you need to cook for, this oven can give you the consistent results you want and its lightweight design makes it one of the most reliable portable models.

How the Oven Performs

How Camp Chef Italia Outdoor Pizza perform

The Camp Chef Italia is one of the easiest ovens to use. You shouldn’t have much difficulty at all when setting the oven up, with easy assembly for the most part, with the exception of the gas connection, which is a little difficult to figure out at first. If you can’t seem to figure it out using the manual (which isn’t really very helpful), you can always find videos on YouTube explaining how to install the oven’s gas connector. However, once you’ve got the propane connected and the oven is set up and ready to go, the oven is incredibly easy to use.

When pre-heating and cooking, keep an eye on the thermometer and make any adjustments when needed. Once the oven has reached the ideal temperature setting, it’s time to cook. You can use a floured pizza paddle to place the pizza over the stone and move the pizza around for even cooking. Just make sure you don’t burn the pizza and rotate it periodically.

Within minutes, you can enjoy great-tasting pizza straight from the oven, but keep in mind that you won’t be able to cook pizzas much larger than 12 inches in diameter. You can also cook other foods if you want to use the oven for various meals when cooking outdoors. Whether you’re cooking steak, hot sandwiches, or other items, you can cook much more than pizza using this oven.

Issues We Experienced with the Camp Chef Italia

While this oven is pretty great overall, there are certain shortcomings that might make this a little less than ideal based on your specific preferences.

Issues We Experienced with the Camp Chef Italia (1)

The biggest issue we had was with the oven’s size, which is a common complaint among outdoor pizza ovens because of the compromise needed for portability. You can cook one or two smaller pizzas at a time using this oven, but you won’t be able to cook larger pizzas exceeding 12 inches for larger groups of people, which can make it inconvenient at large gatherings. The small size also means that you may need to invest in a smaller pizza peel instead of a standard 12-inch peel. The roof of the oven is also considerably lower than other ovens, which limits the types of food you can cook in it if you have larger food items you want to cook.

The other small complaint we had was a lack of wood flavor, as the oven can give you some good-tasting pizza, but if you’re used to wood-fire brick oven cooking, you may notice a distinct lack of flavor that comes with that cooking method. On the other hand, this is something you might not even register if you’re not used to a wood-fire oven.

The manual, as mentioned, is also relatively useless in helping you set up the oven, but you should be able to figure out how to put the thing together on your own or look up various videos online to help you get it up and running.

Some Helpful Tips for Getting the Most from the Oven

This purchase is great, no doubt, but there are some additional tips to help you get even more from this oven. We recommend that you:

  • Purchase an IR thermometer, which will give you a more accurate reading than the built-in thermometer. Simply aim it at the stone for an instant temperature reading.
  • Get all of the accessories you need for the perfect cooking experience, including any peels and cutters.
  • Keep the oven protected from the rain with a cover.
  • Try to avoid using too many toppings, which will slow down the cooking process and lead to generally uneven cooking.
  • Keep the oven cleaner and cooking smoother by cleaning the peel between uses.
  • Scrape the stone of sauce or other residue to make it easier to remove the pizza.

Keeping these tips in mind can help make sure you use the oven to its full potential and keep it in great condition.

Alternative Purchase

You can look at picking up a Campchef stove and their add-on Artisan Outdoor Oven for less than the price Italia oven. The nice thing about purchasing this combo is you’ll end up with a great portable stove you can use when you feel like cooking outside over gas, or even load it up for a camping trip.

 

In Conclusion

For the ideal cooking experience whether at home in your backyard or out on a camping trip or other outing, the Camp Chef Italia pizza oven is one of the most reliable options you’ll find. It’s also relatively affordable, so you can enjoy delicious pizza without exceeding your available budget. We ultimately found it to be a great way to enjoy authentic artisan pizza if you don’t have the money or space for a full brick oven, and its portability and easy setup make it great for any outdoor occasion.