So you want to make pizza in the middle of your campsite – who doesn’t? Do you hate hooking up propane tanks and want a simpler style stove? Then the BioLite Basecamp pizza dome may be just what you need!
The BioLite Basecamp Pizza Dome is a complete campfire cooking experience. The BioLite stove uses only wood to cook delicious pizzas. No need to lug around propane tanks or find an electrical outlet; this stove can make pizza anywhere with just a few logs.
The Basecamp Stove and the Pizza Dome are two separate units. You can grab them as a bundle or purchase them separately. The Basecamp stove can cook so much more than pizza but, of course, we are most interested in the Pizza Dome features and performance. That is what we will be exploring today because pizza. is. life.
What started out as a Kickstarter project has turned into one of the best camp style pizza stoves on the market. Let us tell you all about it and who needs (and who doesn’t need) the BioLite Campfire Pizza Dome.
We are going to dive deep into the BioLite Basecamp Pizza dome, reviewing every part of this amazing stove. However, if you want a quick look at the good and the bad, here’s a quick snapshot of our thoughts.
|The Good||The Bad|
|Convenient folding legs makes travel and set up easy||Pizza will have a smokey flavor that is unavoidable|
|High quality stainless steel construction||Wood for the stove needs to be the right size- too big won’t fit in the oven, too small won’t burn hot enough.|
|Lithium-ion battery works for the oven fan and can be used as a charger for other electronics||Keeping the temperature steady can be tricky|
|No need for propane||Performance isn’t fully up to par with a standalone outdoor pizza oven|
|Very lightweight and portable|
|Cooks more than just pizza|
Designs and Features
The BioLite camp stove uses only natural wood to cook pizza. Any kind of hardwood will work best. Just a few pieces will generate enough heat to power the stove and the high powered fan circulates and regulates the heat. You will need to find wood that is the correct size to fit into the stove. However, if you are camping in the woods, this shouldn’t be a problem.
The BioLite stove is capable of burning coals rather than wood but the company does not recommend this option since they are all about preserving the environment and decreasing pollutants. Coals tend to release pollutants into the air and will also be much smokier when burning. We think sticking to burning only wood is a great idea, since this is a staple to traditional pizza.
Size and Weight
One person can easily transport and set up a BioLite Basecamp Pizza Dome. The entire stove only weighs 18 pounds with the pizza dome add-on being just 4 pounds. The pizza dome and Basecamp stove can be transported separately, making it easy to pack up and bring with you on your next camping adventure.
The cooktop are of the BioLite Basecamp is about 13.25” in diameter. It can fit about 8 burgers or one large pizza. While you can cook on the Basecamp without the pizza dome, you do need that dome to trap heat and make the stove hot enough to cook a pizza. If pizza making is your goal (which we think it should be!), you need the pizza dome to bake your pizza to perfection!
Usability and Appearance
The BioLite BaseCamp Pizza Dome has a sleek polished look. It is sure to turn heads at your campsite! The stove has a stainless steel exterior which can be cleaned and polished to stay shiny and looking new. The cast iron interior is designed to heat quickly and cook evenly. Cast iron is easy to clean and only needs to be wiped with a wet cloth to get it looking like new. The grill plate is also removable for easy cleaning.
It is easy to set up the BaseCamp stove and get it burning with just a few pieces of wood. The folding legs enable you to cook on any surface. The stove has an open insert tray where you add the firewood. There is an extended rack which comes out of the stove to help support larger logs. Below the fuel rack is an ash collecting tray that will grab all the burning ashes, making clean up super simple.
The battery pack and fan hand on the side of the stove. When the battery is not fueling the fan, helping cook your pizza evenly and quickly, you can use the battery as a charging port for your electronic devices. A stove that cooks pizza and charges your phone?! It’s almost too good to be true!
Max Heat and Preheat Time
It can take a little bit of time to get a wood burning fire nice and hot. That is just the nature of using wood as fuel. Using the Pizza Dome on top of the BioLite Basecamp stove, the unit should reach about 450 degrees F in around 20 minutes. This is significantly less heat than a real pizza oven puts out, so cooking pizzas on this will closer resemble the results from a home oven. Once at this temperature, your pizza will cook in about 5-7 minutes. You may need to play around with the settings and quantity of wood to get the stove burning at a consistent temperature. The unit does have a nice, intelligent LED screen which monitors the fire’s temperature which can range from 100 degrees F to 600 degrees F. You can switch between a cook setting and a grill setting to get the temp just right.
Set Up and Use
BioLite Pizza Dome Set Up
It does take a little bit of assembly to get the BioLite Basecamp Pizza Dome working. The manual is very helpful and will walk you through each step. It should take about 10 minutes to put the stove together when using the guide. The stove and pizza dome are two separate units but with the stove being the more complicated piece to put together. The pizza dome is the easy part!
Be sure to read the directions regarding the folding legs for the stove. Make sure the stove is on a flat, level surface before lighting. The legs on the stove ensure the surface under the stove will not burn. It also helps with aeration and keeping the fire lit.
Using the BioLite Pizza Dome
The BioLite stove has a big fire chamber where you can add the wood. Use shorter, thinner sticks to start the fire or a BioLite FireStarter. Once the fire is burning, you can add more wood, increasing the temperature.
Place the pizza stone on top of the grill grate and place the pizza dome on top of the stove. Let the dome heat up, using the LED thermometer gauge to tell you when it is hot enough to add your pizza. Keep in mind that the entire unit is made of stainless steel and will be very hot to the touch. Use a pizza peel or tongs to help you add food to the stove.
Cooking a pizza over wood can be tricky. It requires a stove to not only be able to hold a high temperature, but also to be properly ventilated. Proper ventilation will ensure the stove heats up quickly and has proper air circulation. The BioLite is designed with ventilation in mind! There are lots of ventilation holes in the dome to maximize the air coming in and going out.
Cleaning The BioLite Pizza Dome
You want to be sure to keep your pizza oven clean and looking like new! Not only will that shiny stainless steel look good, but a clean stove will function better and more efficiently.
Once the stove has completely cooled, you can take the stove apart, piece by piece. The whole stove can be washed in water or with a damp cloth. Wipe down the outside to keep it shiny and spot free.
After testing out the BioLite Basecamp Pizza dome, we have a few tips and tricks we’d like to share that will help you get the most out of your stove.
- The stove makes a great grill. Cook burgers, veggies and or steaks right on top of the grill.
- Never submerge the pizza stone in water. It will absorb the water and this can cause it to crack later on. Simply wipe the stone surface with a damp cloth.
- Thick, short, dry wood is best for keeping the temperature of the stove consistent. A thicker piece of wood will burn longer and keep the stove hot. Little sticks will burn too quickly and cause the temperature to fluctuate. We recommend using pieces of wood that are at least 4-5 inches thick for a consistent burn.
- Know that your pizza will have a smoky flavor. This is unavoidable when cooking over wood however it can be delicious!
- The heat from the stove will charge the lithium ion battery while you cook your food. The battery captures the energy and stores it, allowing you to charge your devices simply using the energy created from making your meal.
What We Think
After reviewing the BioLite Basecamp Pizza Dome, we can definitely say it is a stove we recommend when camping. The ability to cook a delicious pizza using just gathered wood is pretty amazing. The fact that the heat from the stove can also charge your phone is a huge bonus. This BioLite stove is fantastic for camping, traveling or just for making smokey, food fired pizza in your backyard. However, the performance is not up to par with a full outdoor pizza oven like Ooni.