In recent years, outdoor pizza ovens have been growing in popularity thanks to affordable and accessible ovens becoming more and more available. These innovative ovens, which can reach internal temperatures over 900 degrees, allow just about anyone to create authentic, Neopolitan-style pizza at home. Among the more popular pizza ovens available is the Roccbox, manufactured by Gozney. The outdoor oven promises restaurant-grade pizza in your backyard. It’s easy to use, portable, and the thick stone cooking surface, dense insulation, and unique rolling flame design ensure the oven reaches to 950 F required to make traditional Neapolitan-style pizza.
The oven is available with a black or lime green exterior, which is a bit of a differentiator and makes it stand out compared to other ovens that are steel or black. It runs on propane gas like a traditional grill, and there is an additional attachment for wood. The gas burner and wood hopper are easily removed to allow for simple swapping of fuel sources as well as cleaning.
The Roccbox was created by Gozney to complement the company’s ovens for commercial kitchens. Tom Gozney originally launched the company in 2010 as The Stone Bake Oven Company, which became Gozney Professional Ovens in 2012. Tom and his team grew the business from an operation selling hand-built pizza ovens for commercial kitchens, to one complimented by pre-cast, commercial-grade, wood and gas stone ovens. The Gozney commercial kitchen ovens quickly became some of the most popular ovens in the UK. The Gozney team added a residential pizza oven in 2016 when the Roccbox was launched via an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that raised $1.2m in 45 days.
The Roccbox is designed to reach 900F+ temperatures and to make it simple to get up and running.
- Available in lime green or black
- built-in custom thermocouple thermometer probe
- Retractable, fold-out legs for easy storage and transportation
- Detachable burner system. Out of the box, the Roccbox comes with a gas burner. If you want the ability to cook pizza with wood, to closer replicate the flavor of a pizza cooked in the Neopolitan-style, in a traditional wood-fired brick oven, you can purchase a detachable wood hopper.
- Layers of dense insulation between the inner shell and the outer casting allow for open-door cooking with minimal heat loss.
- The .75-inch cordierite stone cooking surface retains heat, ensuring the bottom of your pizza cooks along with the top.
- Safe touch jacket is cool to the touch, making it safer for families
- The oven was designated and is manufactured in the UK
- Pizza peel and bottle opener included with purchase
The Safetouch Silicone Jacket
One of the features that sets the Roccbox apart from other outdoor pizza ovens is its “Safetouch” commercial grade silicone jacket, which envelopes the outside of the oven and prevents it from reaching anywhere near the extreme temperatures inside the oven. So while the temperatures inside can exceed 900 degrees, if you have small children or pets you can rest a bit easier knowing they won’t be harmed if they touch the outside while it is on. Ooni’s, on the other hand, get really hot on the outside. This has the biggest effect on the weight of each oven. Despite the jacket, the front end cap as well as the burners do get extremely hot. So while the Roccbox does stay much cooler than comparable ovens, it’s always important to keep children and pets away from a lit oven. There is also a built-in thermometer on the oven, but I personally always double check the surface temperature with an infrared thermometer.
“Innovative Flame Technology”
The Roccbox was engineered to combine the right height, dome shape, and baffle plate technology to create the proper cooking technology for a rolling flame. Gozney’s patented technology creates a rolling flame by causing the fire in the back of the oven to “reach” for the open door. The flames reach over your pizza at the perfect distance. As Gosney describes it, “Turbulent, powerful, and reaching for the open door, Roccbox’s highly engineered flame is exactly what’s required to create even heat distribution and cook perfect Neapolitan pizza.” From our experience, it’s really cool to watch and sure is hot enough for Neapolitan, but it can almost be too hot. You have to turn the pizza every 20 seconds or so for a proper bake.
Not just for pizza
The high temperatures reached by the Roccbox are ideal not just for pizza. Any food that cooks at high temperatures can be prepared in the oven. A cast-iron skillet is your best bet when cooking on the Roccbox. You can cook steak, fish, chicken wings, bread and more.
- Size – 16.3 x 21 x 18.6
- Weight – 44lbs
- Material – Made with 304-grade stainless steel. Calcium silicate insulation, the outer jacket is Safe-touch commercial-grade silicone
- Cooking surface material – .75” (19mm) cordierite stone
- Cooking surface size – 12.4” x 13.4”
- Max pizza size – 12”
- Max heat – 950ºF / 500ºC
- Total nominal heat output (gas burner) – 14330 BTU/HR
- Injector size – 1.1mm
- Gas Type – Propane
- Gas Pressure – 11” W.C.
- Preheat time – 15 – 20
- Pizza cook time – 1 minute
- Price – $499
- Warranty – 1-year limited
The Roccbox comes ready to use with propane gas. The wood-hopper add-on lets you swap out the gas burner to prepare food with a traditional wood-fired taste.
- Gas – Propane gas means working with your oven is super-simple. The built-in ignitor makes starting the oven easy, and because gas burns clean there won’t be any clean-up. The Roccbox is not for use with natural gas.
- Wood – While it takes a little more work to get the oven started, for many the authentic wood-fired taste is worth it. Wood types recommended to be used with the Roccbox include ash, oak, beech, fruit trees (apple, pear, etc.) You can also use compressed wood briquettes. Don’t use wood that has been recently cut or soft or sappy wood. The following wood types should not be used: pine, fir, cedar, redwood, spruce, old pallets, painted or stained wood. Unlike some of the other ovens that allow for a combination of wood and charcoal, charcoal cannot be used with the Roccbox.
Hands-On: Assembly and First Cook
What’s in the box?
The Roccbox comes with everything you need to get started except the fuel itself (and ingredients). Included in the box are:
- Roccbox oven
- Gas burner
- User manual
- Pizza peel
- Bottle opener
Wood burner sold separately for $100
Setting up the oven
After removing all packaging and the carry strap, place the oven on a flat even surface and unfold the legs. Attach the gas burner or wood hopper to the underside of the oven by twisting the bayonet fitting counter-clockwise.
Important safety information
When dealing with any kind of oven, especially one designed to reach the high temperatures of the Roccbox, it’s important to follow some basic safety precautions.
- The Roccbox needs to be on a secure base when in use
- Don’t store wood or gas within 18 inches of the oven
- Don’t use it in enclosed areas and make sure it is properly ventilated
- Don’t leave the oven unattended while in use
- Don’t use in high winds
- Don’t use lighter fluid or other oil-based liquids to start the oven
- When using gas, thoroughly conduct a leak check on all gas lines and connections before each use
- Never apply water to the oven while it is lit. It is dangerous and could cause cracks
Curing the oven
For both wood and gas, before cooking in the Roccbox you need to cure it. The first time you light it (following the directions below), it’s recommended you bring the temperature up slowly over a 30 minute period at let it burn for another 30 minutes once the internal temperature reaches 900.
Using the gas burner
The Roccbox is intended to be used with Propane LPG.
Before connecting the hose, make sure the Roccbox is off by turning the control knob clockwise until it clicks. With the gas burner fully attached, connect the regulator to the gas. Turn on the gas and check for leaks. If there aren’t any issues with the gas, turn on the oven by pushing on the ignition switch and turning it counter-clockwise. If the burner doesn’t light, wait five minutes before trying again. If the flame goes out for any reason, turn off both the control knob and the valve on your tank and wait five minutes before re-lighting.
When you are done be sure to turn off the gas on the tank first, wait a few minutes to make sure any gas in the hose burns off or escapes, turn off the Roccbox, and disconnect the hose. Wait at least an hour so that the oven can cool down before handling the oven.
Using the wood hopper
While getting the oven running with wood is a bit more work than with gas, the wood-fired taste adds a touch of authenticity and flavor, to the pizza. Gozney recommends using kiln-dried, non treated wood cut to small pieces about 5 inches long and up to an inch thick.
Place a natural fire starter at the center of the hopper, light it and wait for it to be fully lit. Once the starter is fully lit, push it down the hopper shoot, into the wood-burning chamber. Add two or three pieces of wood and let them burn for three to five minutes. Once the initial pieces have started burning, you’ll be able to see a flame at the back of the oven. At this point you can add more wood to start raising the temperature of the oven.
Because wood ash can continue to burn for up to 24 hours, it’s recommended you wait before removing the ash, or use gloves to dispose of the ash. Ash should be placed in a metal bucket with a lid, away from anything that could catch fire.
Overall the Roccbox performed exceptionally well. After about 20 – 25 minutes of preheating, the temperature dial should exceed 900 F and the oven will be ready. It seemed to hold temperature really well between pizzas as well thanks to the thick insulation jacket. Like we mentioned earlier, the heat from the torch-style flame can be really intense in the back of the oven, which can burn a pizza really quick. A good trick to combat this is to turn the gas dial to LOW just as you add the pizza to cook. That way, it’s in a 950F oven but doesn’t have a direct flame blazing on your toppings. The end result was much better; however, this isn’t ideal if you plan on making a bunch of pizzas since the temperature will drop after a few minutes. In either case, always stay next to the oven and keep your eyes on the crust, rotating the pizzas with a peel as needed every 20 seconds or so.
A few tips…
- Good ingredients – The best pizza starts with the best, fresh ingredients. When making your own dough, 00 flour, which has been finely ground, is what is traditionally used for Neopolitan-style pizza. Check out our recipe here.
- Have fun – Making pizza is a big part of the Roccbox experience, so make sure you enjoy yourself! The Gozney website is full of traditional as well as unusual recipes for pizza, meat and more.
- Make sure it’s hot enough – The traditional Neopolitan-style pizza calls for temperatures that exceed 900 degrees. So while it’s tempting to start cooking right away, make sure the oven is hot enough before you start cooking your food. Most manufacturers claim a 20 minute preheat time, but we find 30 minutes is more realistic.
Because of the high-temperatures, any food material should burn off, which means you rarely need to clean your oven.
Keep the hopper clean: With both the hopper and gas burner, you’ll need to keep them clean so that the Roccbox can run optimally. You can use compressed air or a brush to clean around the top of the burner.
Storage: To ensure a longer life, when you won’t be using the Roccbox it’s recommended you store it in an upright position in a dry area away from the elements. A Roccbox cover is available for $49.99.
What we love
With a sleek design and able to reach high temperatures, the Roccbox is a great oven that makes it easy and fun to make Neopolitan-style pizza in your backyard.
- The lime green cover makes the oven stand out and adds some spice to your outdoor space
- The Safetouch technology makes it safer to use, particularly around children and pets
- Easy to use – getting the oven up and running is easy and quick, way easier than wood-fired models
- Great pizza – Of course all the features in the world won’t mean much without great-tasting pizza
How does it compare to other outdoor pizza ovens?
At a similar price-point to the Koda, Koda’s tube burners provide more consistent cooking compared to Rocboxx torch style burner. Additionally, the Roccbox is heavier than the Koda 16 (40lbs for the Koda vs. 44lbs for the Roccbox) and is limited to 12″ pizzas compared to 16” for the Koda. Because of these factors, we believe the Koda is not only a better value for a similar price, but the better performer as well.
When compared with the Bertello Wood Fire and Gas Outdoor Pizza Oven, which was featured on TV’s Shark Tank, the Roccbox retails for $499 compared to $299. These ovens are comparable in performance and both offer flexible fuel types. We don’t believe the value you get from the Roccbox corresponds to its price-point when compared to the Bertello.
If you have small children or pets (or you don’t mind the larger size and weight) then the peace of mind of the Safetouch technology might be worth the extra cost.
Despite preferring the Koda or Bertello in comparison, the Roccbox is still a solid product and we recommend it for cooking great pizza at home.