The Solo Stove Pi is a compact, portable pizza oven you can use for outdoor stone-baked pizza cooking in your backyard or anywhere else you can take it – including camping, the beach and tailgating.
In this Solo Stove Pi review I cover an overview of the Pi’s key features, what makes it one of the best pizza ovens you can buy and what it costs.
I also explain some of the accessories you will need if you choose to buy one for yourself to make gas or wood-fired, stone-baked pizza at home.
As you’ll expect if you’ve read some of our other outdoor gear reviews (including Solo Stove’s smokeless Bonfire firepit), this review also includes plenty of photos of the Solo Stove Pi (as pronounced in the Greek letter, or as in ‘pizza pie’), including close-ups of its key features and it in use.
Table of Contents
- About the Solo Stove Pi
- Key features
- Baking pizza in the Pi pizza oven
- Video review and demo
- Cost and where to buy (and which bundle to choose)
- Review summary
- Image gallery
About the Solo Stove Pi
The Pi is a stainless steel, compact backyard pizza oven, in a cylindrical design – much like Solo Stove’s popular smokeless firepits like the Solo Stove Bonfire.
Unlike a stone or brick oven you may build in your backyard, this stainless steel pizza oven is something you can take with you if you enjoy car camping or have big family and friends get-togethers where you’ll be doing the cooking.
The Pi undoubtedly has an attractive design, but we’re also quite taken by how efficiently it heats up and how quickly you can get from setting it up to being able to eat your own stone-baked pizzas!
It’s available in a wood-burning version, as well as a ‘dual fuel’, gas or wood-burning option.
The dual-fuel option is more expensive but allows you to switch out the wood-burning components for a gas burner that you simply attach to a propane tank as you would do with a grill or BBQ.
What’s great about a gas-fired pizza oven?
The gas-burning option is nice to have if you prefer the efficiency and mess-free cooking that it offers.
A gas-burning backyard pizza oven is also safer and more appropriate if you live somewhere that does not permit wood-burning at certain times of year, such as where we live in California.
It’s very simple to attach, and you can also adjust the temperature when cooking with propane, using the dial on the back of the oven, which is a luxury you don’t have when cooking with wood as the fuel source.
How long do stone-baked pizzas take to bake?
Spoiler alert – it only takes around 15 minutes for the Pi to heat up ready for baking your pizza pie, and 2 minutes to cook a pizza.
This is a crazy-fast way to make your own wood-fired pizza at home.
By comparison, the other way I would cook a pizza at home is in my range. The range takes at least 15, if not more like 20+ minutes to heat up, it’s pretty slow (despite being very new).
Plus, to my knowledge, you can’t easily replicate that stone-baked pizza look and taste in a home oven without the special pizza-baking cordierite stones.
There’s a reason stone-baked pizza is a THING, because it has to involve baking the pizza on a stone 🙂
Solo Stove Pi’s key features
Here are some of the Pi’s key features that stood out to me. For a full list and more details, see the product page on their website.
The design is in such a way that the ceiling of the oven is in a ‘demi dome’ shape, which creates an even 360 degree cooking surface.
Another engineered design feature is Solo Stove’s ‘signature airflow’, which draws air in through the front of the oven and pulls it to the back where it’s heated and pushed out into the cooking chamber.
Both of these features set it apart from simply getting a cooking stone and placing it on your grill, for example, where you may not get the same standard of efficient heating and airflow and the 360 degree cooking surface described above.
It is, however, worth noting that unlike the Solo Stove firepit, the Pi pizza oven is not a smokeless burn. That said, if you use it with gas, there is no smoke anyway.
It’s made with ceramic insulation and uses a two-piece Cordierite pizza stone. It’s in two pieces for easy insertion and removal.
It has a large, wide opening, which means you can bake pizzas of up to 12 inches in diameter.
The large opening also provides good access for you to turn (rotate) your pizzas while they’re baking.
Baking pizza in the Pi home pizza oven
Once you’ve set up the Pi on a stable location in your backyard, and turned on the gas or started your wood fire, you have a short wait for it to heat up.
The best way to find out if your pizza oven is hot enough is by using the infra-red thermometer that comes in the Essential Bundle Solo Stove offers for the Pi, together with other ‘essential’ accessories.
What temperature should you cook pizza at?
To check the temperature, point the thermometer at the stones and check the digital display reading. The best temperature to cook a pizza on is within the 650 to 800F range, so wait for it to get to at least 650F.
To cook the pizza shown in the pictures throughout this review, we timed it and the oven was ready to use after just over 16 minutes, when the thermometer showed 680F.
Making wood-fired pizza
If you use the wood-fired option, you’ll need to tend to the wood while cooking your pizzas, so it helps to have your extra firewood cut to size and ready to load into the wood hopper to replenish it as needed, and the stove comes with the tools necessary to do that.
With continuous use, the wood burning run time is up to around 3 hours, which is dependent on how quickly and how much ash builds up.
Launching your pizza
Using a ‘peel’ – the large shovel-like accessory shown in the photos throughout this review – launch your pizza into the oven.
Make sure you cover the peel with some flour so the pizza doesn’t stick to it and slides off smoothly!
Set your two-minute timer, and make sure you use the ‘turner’ accessory to rotate the pizza within the oven at least once during that time, to get an even stone-baked result.
The pizza should be ready in around two minutes, or when the edges are bubbling and starting to blacken, and the toppings look melted and cooked.
Retrieving your stone-baked pizza
Using the peel, remove your pizza and slide it onto a plate. If you get the bundle, you’ll also get a pizza cutter wheel to slice it up with. Then – enjoy!
Now, I’m not a chef (just someone who really likes stonebaked pizzas!) so my first efforts didn’t quite get that all-over stone-baked result on the outside crusts (and could have been a bit thinner when I rolled the dough out in the first place) but they were pretty good and certainly tasted delicious.
What else can you cook in the Pi?
As well as pizza, you can use the oven to cook other non-fatty, non-greasy baked items – they can’t have grease otherwise you risk affecting the integrity and function of the stone.
Good candidates for baking in this oven are pizza’s cousin, flatbread, pita breads, or food in heat-proof dishes such as warming olives in a terracotta dish – which make a great starter before tucking into a stonebaked pizza, by the way.
How to clean a stainless pizza oven
The Pi is easy to clean up using warm, soapy water – once it’s cooled down.
If you’ve been using it with wood fuel then you can wipe soot away once cooled, using a dampened cloth.
Solo Stove Pizza Oven video review & demo
Cost and where to buy
Solo Stove periodically offers sales and discounts when you shop directly on their website. At the time of writing this review, the stoves cost $470 and $645 for the wood and duel-fuel options respectively.
As the discounts often change, head over to their website using the button below to check the current prices:
The cost of the Solo Stove Pi pizza oven varies depending on whether you go for the wood-burning only option, or the dual fuel option, with the latter being more expensive as you get the gas-burning add-on.
So – if you don’t feel the need to cook using gas, and budget is a consideration, then get the wood-burning option, as it’s up to $270 cheaper (depending on what promotions they may have running).
That being said, we really enjoyed using this oven using gas for the efficient and fire-safe baking option it provides, plus the ability to adjust the cooking temperature at the turn of a dial.
Should you get a Solo Stove Pi Bundle?
There are a number of accessories that make your experience of using this portable pizza oven much more efficient and enjoyable.
You can buy them individually so you don’t have to get them all in a bundle, but if you need a lot of them then you will save money when you buy them all in a bundle on Solo Stove’s website.
For all the accessories you’ll need, I suggest you check out the Essentials Bundle, which costs $625 / $795. The Starter Bundle is less expensive and may also appeal to you – this costs $555 / $730 at the time of writing this review.
Like other Solo Stove products, the Pi comes with a lifetime warranty, so you can be confident that you’re buying a product that’s built to last and enjoy many years of use.