I’m back with another Blackstone pizza oven! I know, I can hardly believe it myself. Just when I finish reviewing the Blackstone pizza oven with cart and the Blackstone pizza oven conversion, they spin up a new standalone unit.
And this one looks like a promising option for two main reasons:
- Budget-friendly price point. For being a standalone unit, this $300 price tag is a lot easier to look at than their ~$700 large oven which only had an under-stone burner.
- An “overhead” heat source. I rated their other two pizza ovens poorly due to a lack of top burners, which makes the stone hot but doesn’t cook the tops well enough for true Neapolitan.
Could this be the winning ticket? An oven that saves your wallet and can cook a crispy New York and 90-second Neapolitan? Let’s dive right into this Blackstone Leggero review and see how it performs.
Unboxing & Design
Blackstone has perfected the game of “fit as many things as possible inside the smallest box” (after all, they aim for retail). Honestly, it’s a lot like unboxing a new microwave, with a bunch of molded styrofoam and little pockets containing the hardware and parts.
However, I quickly noticed two issues which do not appear related to shipping:
- An indentation or gouge along the top rim of the opening almost looks like it was painted over, or touched up.
- In addition, the front door seems to have a poor paint job. A series of silver specs splatter across the door; hopefully this is just an appearance thing and doesn’t affect the long term durability (increased chance of corrosion).
Moving inward, we have another problem; and this one could be from shipping. The turntable is clearly bent at an angle and very wobbly. I reached out to Blackstone about this one, and they instructed me to submit my serial number for warranty registration. After a few more back and forth emails, we determined the issue was actually the shaft that holds the turntable. They opted to send a whole new main body (everything but the stone and legs, basically).
Out of 30+ pizza ovens I reviewed, I only had two with damage upon delivery. They were both Blackstones.
The cheaper a pizza oven costs, the longer the setup takes. I stand by that rule. 12 total screws for the legs and 8 for the door. I had to break out the instructions for the door hinge assembly which was a bit wonky.
5 AA batteries power the stone rotation and ignition (you only need 1 if you opt to use the power cord to supply the rotation).
Then all we need to do is place the stone into the oven and connect a 1lb propane tank (an adapter is sold separately for 20lb tanks. I really wish it came with it).
All in, setup took about 20 minutes so not too bad.
The materials used for the body of the Blackstone Leggero are a bit unique compared to most pizza ovens. A glossy black steel shell with an inlaid thermometer on top. My first impression is that the overhead room (space to maneuver and view the pizza progress) is severely lacking, but it should at least help retain some heat.
This is also the first time Blackstone designed an oven with the burner at stone-level, rather than underneath it, which should provide more top-down heat for an even bake. The gas burners wrap around the edge of the oven with a few flame diverter shields placed in front.
But after firing it up, the burner doesn’t seem to be that strong. The flames don’t get very high, so my hope for this being able to reach really hot temperatures is quickly fading. Let’s test the temperature and find out.
I started tracking the temperature in 5 minute intervals, and was flabbergasted at how low the temperatures were – until I realized it was my error. 95% of pizza ovens use gas dials where the high marker is closest to the ignition (lightning bolt). On this one, the low flame is next to the ignition, so you need to keep turning the dial around to get to the high.
I let the oven cool off and retested on high with better, albeit subpar results.
I launched my pizza when the center stone read 765 degrees. I knew this was too low for Neapolitan, but I continued anyway, baking it for a minute and 50 seconds.
I mean, it’s not the worst pizza I’ve made. But the bottom…
New York Style Test
I let the stone cool off a bit and launched a New York at 547 which is generally a very good temperature for this style pizza. But I quickly realized the bottom was struggling for color again. This oven seems to have the opposite problem from their last two models.
It’s not a complete loss, though. You can even up the bake by raising the stone temp a lot higher. This was a pretty decent pizza, but the method to achieve it is less than ideal. The stone temperature drops significantly between bakes.
After seeing the Blackstone Leggero announced, I thought this would be the first Blackstone pizza oven that I recommend, just based on how it was designed. But the burners need more oomph to them in order to compete with the $300+ price point. I’d take the Solo Pi Prime (priced the same) ANY day over this. It gets hotter, has way more interior room to maneuver, and a stronger burner to get faster bakes.
While it’s possible to get the Blackstone Leggero pizza oven hot enough for a Neapolitan style pizza, the burner intensity doesn’t bake it as well as other ovens. In addition, and also because of the same burner issue, the stone doesn’t stay hot between pizzas, resulting in a lot of wasted time waiting to reheat.
You can do pretty good New York styles in it, but it just doesn’t come anywhere near the performance of the price-matched Pi Prime.