Solo Stove Pi Pizza Oven Review

A backyard pizza oven with a sleek, modern shape

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4.7

Solo Stove Pi Pizza Oven

Solo Stove Pi Pizza Oven empty and not on

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

What We Like
  • Attractive design

  • Gas attachment available for dual fuel

  • Wood burning is accessible from exterior

What We Don't Like
  • No front door

  • Stand is sold separately

  • No temperature gauge

Bottom Line

The Solo Stove Pi Pizza Oven is a worthy contender in the backyard pizza oven world. It looks good and produces great pizzas.

4.7

Solo Stove Pi Pizza Oven

Solo Stove Pi Pizza Oven empty and not on

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Our reviewer was sent a sample of the Solo Stove Pi Pizza Oven to test in her backyard. Keep reading for our full product review.

When it comes to flaming things in the backyard, Solo Stove is a familiar name and its new Pi Pizza Oven is a familiar shape—with a quick look, you might mistake it for one of the company’s wood-burning fire pits. Another look lets you know that there’s more going on than simple flames—this is a pizza oven that’s ready to compete for space in your backyard cooking zone. We readied our favorite dough recipe, gathered toppings, and started making pizzas. After multiple doughs and several pizza styles, we’ve got our results.

Solo Stove Pi Pizza Oven with back open, exposing wood burning

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Performance: Fast and hot

There’s very little involved in the initial setup of the Solo Stove Pi. My model arrived with no cart, so it required space on a stable, nonflammable surface, then the split pizza stone needed to be installed. It’s a snug fit for the stone, but not a problem getting it into place. (Since we tested, a cart has been added as an accessory item and we recommend it.)

I tested the oven with both wood and gas, and it performed well either way. Attaching the gas accessory was simple, then it’s just a matter of turning the gas on, letting the oven preheat, and choosing a temperature based on the type of pizza being cooked. Thinner pizzas can cook hot and fast, while thicker pizzas need lower temperatures and longer cooking times so they cook all the way through. It might take a little practice to get it right, but it’s a delicious process.

Using propane gas was the easiest way to cook pizzas, since the temperature stayed stable throughout the cooking time and it was easy to adjust the heat level for different styles of pizza.

Testing Insight

I tested the oven with both wood and gas, and it performed well either way.

With wood, I needed to monitor the fire and add more when I wanted to churn out multiple pizzas. Working with live fire is fun, though, so the extra effort can be worth it—and the smoky taste can be welcome, as well.

The wood-burning area is accessed from the rear of the oven. It’s fairly small, but sufficient for the oven’s size, and it’s enough to get the heat required without wasting a lot of fuel. However, because it’s small, you’re not going to be able to use very large chunks of wood and you will need to feed the fire during cooking for longer sessions.

Since the heat comes from the back of the oven, less should escape through the front, but this also means that the back is the hottest and pizzas cook faster at the back—where you can’t see it happening. That doesn’t cause much trouble, though. The pizza cooks so fast at high heat that it needs to be rotated often, anyway, so it’s easy enough to check the progress.

Design: It’s a tube!

Most outdoor pizza ovens resemble igloos, with a wide base and domed top—although some of those domes are more square than round. The Solo Stove Pi breaks that mold, with a cylindrical shape that looks much like the company’s outdoor fire pits. The oven is made from shiny stainless steel that looks modern, but that shine won’t last forever. Smoke and heat will darken the metal over time, adding a patina to the surface.

Solo Stove Pi Pizza Oven a lit with a pizza inside cooking

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Since the wood is added through the back of the oven, it doesn’t get in the way of cooking, and it keeps most of the ash out of the cooking zone. While it doesn’t seem to hold a lot of wood, it’s more than enough to send flames over the top of the oven to cook the pizzas. Eventually, the ash could accumulate to the point where there’s not any more space for fresh wood, but I never even got close to that during the tests. The ash for each cooking session should be discarded once the oven cools after cooking.

There’s no door, so it may be necessary to reposition the oven on windy days to avoid wind blasts interfering with the flames. A door would also be handy for pizzas that have a longer cooking time. But for most pizzas, the cooking is so fast that there’s no time to place and remove a door in between turns, and the cooking space is large enough to retain heat, even with the front open.

Testing Insight

Since the wood is added through the back of the oven, it doesn’t get in the way of cooking, and it keeps most of the ash out of the cooking zone.

Solo Stove Pi Pizza Oven on a side table with pizza inside, small vase of flowers next to it

The Spruce Eats / Solo Stove

Care and Storage: Like your outdoor grill

Technically, this oven is portable in that it can be lifted and moved. Practically, though, it’s likely to find a spot and stay there during the outdoor cooking seasons. While the weight is one deterrent against putting it away after each use, heat is another. It stays quite hot even after the flames have died down, so it’s not going to be moveable right after cooking. 

Since this is made mostly from stainless steel, it just needs a wipe down. The pizza stones are practically self-cleaning because the heat burns off any spilled food, and the ash can be swept or wiped away. When cooking with wood, the ash needs to be disposed of once it’s cold, but it collects neatly, so disposal is simple.

If the stones get messy enough to need extra cleaning, they can be removed from the oven. They fit rather snugly, but there’s just enough wiggle room to reach in and lift them out.

Solo Stove Pi Pizza Oven Test 3

The Spruce Eats / Donna Currie

Accessories: So many options

Besides choosing between wood-only or wood and gas, the stove is available in several different bundles. The starter bundle includes an infrared thermometer, a pizza peel, and a pizza cutter, while the essential bundle includes those three items plus a turning peel and a cover for the oven. The ultimate bundle adds a silicone mat and a wooden peel.

The gas burner and the bundle items are also available for separate purchase, and you can also buy gloves, mini oak firewood, frozen pizza dough balls, and a Neopolitan pizza kit that includes dough, sauce, cheese, and pepperoni. 

I sampled the Neapolitan kit, which included pizza dough, sauce, and pepperoni. It arrived safely and solidly frozen, and with instructions for thawing and cooking. The dough needed an overnight nap in the refrigerator to thaw before it could be stretched and cooked, and it can also be held for several days at refrigerator temperature to be cooked when it’s most convenient. For cooks who don’t want to make their own dough, it’s a tasty option, and, since the dough balls are frozen individually, it’s easy to grab the right number.

Testing Insight

The pizza stones are practically self-cleaning, since the heat burns off any spilled food, and the ash can be swept or wiped away.

Price: Average

The price of this oven is in the same ballpark as many of the other backyard pizza ovens on the market, and it seems a fair price for the quality of the product. Adding accessories can up the total, but you can pick and choose the extras you really need. 

Solo Stove Pi pizza oven on with cooked pizza on a peel in front

The Spruce Eats / Solo Stove

Competition: Solo Stove Pi Pizza Oven vs. Ooni Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven

At first glance, the Solo Stove Pi and the Ooni Karu 12 couldn’t be more different. The Solo Stove Pi looks like a short, fat, shiny silo, and the Ooni Karu looks like metal igloo with spindly legs. In use, though, these ovens are very similar. Both can use either wood or gas, and both are somewhat portable, but can be left outdoors, if preferred.

Both ovens turned out good pizzas in testing, and both had a similar learning curve when it came to practicing to get the perfect pie. The Ooni may be slightly more portable and storable since the legs can be folded underneath, but the difference is minimal. On the other hand, it looks a bit lightweight and delicate compared to the more solidly built Solo Stove Pi. We prefer the aesthetics of the Solo Stove Pi and give it the nod, although we still recommend the Ooni for cooks who prefer its look.

Final Verdict

It’s a winner!

There’s a lot to love about this oven. It’s simple to use, it looks sleek and modern, and it turns out great pizzas. In the end, it may come down to aesthetics since this oven definitely makes a different statement than its peers.

Specs

  • Product Name Pi Pizza Oven
  • Product Brand Solo Stove
  • SKU PIZZA-OVEN-12
  • Price $500.00
  • Weight 30.5 lbs.
  • Product Dimensions 20.5 x 15.125 x 20.5 in.
  • Cooking Space 289 sq. in.
  • Material Stainless Steel
  • Warranty Lifetime
  • What's Included Includes the oven, pizza stone, and the gas burner assembly, if dual-fuel option is selected.