Gemelli, a smaller company that focuses on unique countertop appliances, launched an indoor pizza oven that caught my attention for its sleek design and slate color.
Ever since the launch of the Ooni Volt, more and more indoor pizza ovens are being made in black instead of typical stainless steel colors, and I’m all for it!
This pizza oven offers 1,700 watts of power between dual, independently adjusted, burners. But only after unboxing the oven did I realize that it’s nearly identical to the Chefman Home Slice that I reviewed. The Chefman was decent for the price but it had a few issues; so in this Gemelli pizza oven review, I’ll see if it performs any different – better or worse.
The oven is delivered in a clearly marked brown shipping box, with a plain white retail box inside. It should be the complete opposite, if you ask me, just for porch pirate issues.
Inside, you’ll find a metal 12” pizza peel and the cordierite pizza stone. Then there’s another box inside the oven which contains a rocker blade and a round pizza pan. Again, we have another company giving a freebie pan with a weird beveled edge on the bottom. I don’t want that in a pizza. But at least this one has an edge wall that resembles a pizza pan; better than the casserole dish that came with the Cuisinart oven.
Setup is basically non-existent; just remove the tape, insert the pizza stone, and plug it in. Nice and easy.
This logo on the front is a sticker with foam backing – I’m curious how long it will last with the heat of the oven. So far, there is no issue, but I might rip it off anyway because I think it will look better.
Like I mentioned earlier, the body of the Gemelli and Chefman are exactly the same. These are Alibaba-designed products where the body and burners are exactly the same, but both companies went different paths for the controls.
And I’ll tell you right now, Chefman wins that battle. The controls on the Gemelli oven are downright awful. The touch-sensitivity is low, so it sometimes doesn’t recognize your input. And to make matters worse, the temperature changes in 5 degree increments, so it takes forever to go from 450 degrees to 750.
The user interface is also bad. For example, you have to push the settings icon to change between pizza presets rather than just clicking the name of the pizza. And the top burner selection is shown below the bottom burner. And I still can’t figure out how to change the timer from the default 2 minutes!
As much as I hate the controls of the oven, what matters most is how it makes pizza. So let’s turn this on and find out.
I set the oven to preheat on the default Neapolitan setting, and after 18 minutes the stone temp read 741. This isn’t the max temperature it can reach, but it’s obviously what’s recommended by the manufacturer. And it seems accurate, because even though people always talk about max temps for pizza ovens, you really don’t want a stone temp that high for an indoor oven. The reason is because the top burners are (in most cases, particularly in the US) much less powerful than a gas-powered burners. So if you launched a pizza at 850F in this oven, the bottom would burn up before the top can cook.
Neapolitan Test #1
I launched a pizza and cooked it for 2 minutes 20 seconds. I could have left it in longer until the crust browned, but honestly, I’ve never had a good Neapolitan pushing a 3 minute or longer bake. So I tried to make some changes.
Neapolitan Test #2
I left the oven on for a bit to increase the temp, and timed it so that I launch the pizza when the top burner is actively on. This time I only cooked it for 2 minutes, with the same result. So it was a 20 second quicker bake, but again, the cheese is cooking faster than the crust, which is exactly the same as the Chefman.
New York Style Test
Like most indoor pizza ovens, New York style works great. I know a lot of people like to hate on others about buying an indoor pizza oven for this style when your home oven performs the same. But this definitely holds heat better between pizzas, and you can shorten the bake time by going to 600 degrees.
Overall, I don’t love the top burner in this oven for Neapolitan style. It takes too long to get crust color, resulting in the cheese finishing first. A common issue among indoor pizza ovens is the top burner shutting off due to safety limitations – but you can often work with this by launching the pizza when you see the burner red hot. Even with doing this, the power seems a bit too weak for good Neapolitans.
And I simply hate the touch controls. The interface of the Chefman is quick and responsive, and you can often find it at a cheaper price, so by default that is a much better pick. But if you are open to spending a bit more, the Breville Pizzaiolo, Ooni Volt, and Effeuno are my top picks for indoor pizza ovens.