Providing you with two ways to start the fire and keep the heat going, the Bertello Pizza Oven may be the adaptable oven you’ve been looking for. And we’ll tell you why!
Bertello first came to public attention when the brand’s owners, Eric and Andy Bert, appeared on an episode of Shark Tank. The two pizza-loving brothers entered the tank wearing classic Italian chef outfits, complete with white chef hats, seeking $20,000 for 10 percent of their company.
And that’s when everyone learned about one of the show’s best-selling products: the Bertello Pizza Oven.
There are many players in the market for outdoor pizza ovens, but none of them back then used both wood chips and propane. Combining these two expedites the cooking process and allows the pizzas to cook faster. Its unique multi-fuel functionality simply separates it from the rest.
That being said, the real question is whether it is worthwhile to invest in. What can you expect when cooking your beloved pizzas with Bertello? Is it worth the increasing popularity?
We spent hours reading reports from pizza lovers and home chefs who bought into the hype, and we’ve got some tidbits to help you decide. Let’s find out, shall we?
Bertello Pizza Oven Review—Is It Worth It?
Bertello manufactures its outdoor pizza oven with a charcoal and wood insert, making it a nice alternative for those who like adding smoky flavors to their pizza.
You can also easily convert it with a gas burner attachment. And the fact that it still has a wood-burning tray defines such a conversion. This means that you can use the propane burner to preheat the oven and light the wood before baking your pizzas in it as a wood-fired oven.
However, using charcoal instead of gas is a less straightforward process. So this could be a problem for maintaining a high temperature. This wood-fired oven offers a more traditional approach to cooking. But if you’re all about exploring something new, this could be a good oven.
What we love about this oven is that you can try out different woods to impart flavor notes to your pies. That’s something that gas-powered pizza ovens simply cannot let you do. Just make sure to have a stock of wood ready to feed into the charcoal chamber if you’re going to cook a lot of pizzas.
The Bertello pizza oven’s volcanic heat volumes allow for authentic crisp crusts and reheating. However, it also raises the likelihood of burning your pizza and drives its insulation power to the limit.
While everyone praised the oven’s multiple methods for baking pizza, we adored its compact footprint and portability. We consider this a nice option if you want to go camping and you want a lightweight outdoor oven for cooking flavorful pizzas.
Another thing we appreciate about this oven is that, although it’s marketed as a pizza oven, it offers a wide range of cooking possibilities. From cooking meat to roasting vegetables, you can cook and bake whatever you want!
Now that you have a general overview of the product, let’s take a look at the Bertello oven’s specs:
|Charcoal/wood and natural gas
|22 x 14 x 10.5 inches
|30.8 pounds (14.02 kilograms)
|12.5-inch wide and 13.5-inch deep
|Up to 930 degrees Fahrenheit (500 degrees Celsius)
|Oven, cordierite pizza stone, charcoal/wood tray, door cover, tongs, pizza peel
Features and Ease of Setup
The Bertello oven has the basic features of a good outdoor pizza oven. It features multiple ways to cook your pizza. You can use either charcoal or wood, although the gas burner attachment is sold separately. And we really wish this was included in the package.
The cover that comes with it contains the fire inside the pizza oven. And if you’re worried about burning your hands, it includes a useful wooden handle to help you in adjusting the wood pellets as the oven preheats.
Another inclusion we wish the package has is a thermometer reading, so this will entail some guesswork. No matter how experienced you think you are at cooking, a thermometer is a chef’s best friend. This holds true when cooking delicate pizza in the oven.
Make sure to have an infrared thermometer on hand. This way, you’ll have more control over your food. Remember that this is a wood-fired oven. There’s no way to know the temperature without a thermometer.
Setting up the Bertello Pizza Oven is easy and takes less than five minutes. It includes wood/coal attachments in the base configuration.
The four legs easily slide from beneath the body of the oven. Then, you slip the tray that holds the wood or charcoal into the oven mouth and lock it in place. Then you put the pizza stone in to rest on a set of metal tabs.
This Bertello oven is mostly assembled and durable yet light and compact that you can set it up on any surface you can reach, really.
Design and Functionality
The design of the Bertello Pizza Oven is quite simple. It has fewer features than many other outdoor ovens on the market. And due to the oven’s shape, it drives the flame forward. And this heats up its stainless steel ceiling as it heats up the pizza stone, which is made of cordierite.
The oven is easy to use, allowing you to load the chamber with charcoal and wood chips so effortlessly. That chamber also has an opening so you can stick your match or lighter into it and get the fire started.
But there’s a caveat here. The charcoal flames tend to sometimes fire out the back of the oven. So it might be difficult to remove the oven door. Thankfully, a handy tongue makes the job of moving charcoal around easier.
If you decide to cook with the Bertello oven, your main problem will be keeping the oven hot. We’ve read from other customer reviews that some home chefs had to keep adding more charcoal or wood chips into the chamber. So you may have to wait for the oven to heat back up between each pizza.
The brand claims that it can cook pizza in under 5 minutes, without factoring in the time it takes to preheat the oven. While many ovens fail to reach their claimed temperature of up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit, the Bertello seems to live up to users’ expectations. This oven can reach 900 degrees in less than 20 minutes.
With the Bertello pizza oven, it’s recommended to let your pizza cook for 30 to 60 before rotating it for another 30 to 60 seconds. With such speed, we believe it outperforms even a full-sized industrial pizza oven. And it does so without compromising the flavor.
It takes a bit of a learning curve, though, as it’s not a plug-and-play situation. You need to get accustomed to cooking evenly with wood pellets and charcoal. It will take some practice to not burn your dough, but once you’ve mastered these areas, you’ll get a delicious homemade wood-fired pizza every time.
Also, having to pay close attention and refill the charcoal and wood can be quite inconvenient. But the added flavor of smoke and wood to the crust is worth the patience.
Price and Availability
You can get the Bertello Pizza Oven from bertello.com. It’s priced at $309.99 and comes with a specially designed pizza peel, but keep in mind that the gas burner is only available as a separate add-on. You can also get it from Amazon for only $299.99, but it doesn’t come with the propane attachment.
If you want to get everything in a bundle including the gas burner attachment and infrared thermometer, you want to shell out $133 more with free shipping to the US and Canada.
Keep in mind that the indicated prices on these websites may vary.
What We Like
The Bertello oven became a hit for many good reasons. If you’re still on the fence about getting your hands on one, consider the following benefits:
It’s marketed as being able to reach above 900 degrees Fahrenheit. Many users claim they get a heat threshold of at least 800. We think that this is still quite impressive for such a portable oven that’s priced under $500.
Fast preheat time
The oven garnered praise from its users for preheating up to high heat levels between 700 to 800 degrees Fahrenheit in 15 to 20 minutes. And this is true even when it’s used in colder climates. The warming up also gets faster if you use the gas burner attachment. This is probably due to its small size.
This is the winning feature of the Bertello pizza oven. Its capability to work with gas, wood, charcoal, or even a pairing of these fuel sources makes it so efficient. We appreciate that it can cook pizza using both gas and wood simultaneously.
Adds smoky flavors to pizza
Well, it’s actually the wood you used that adds a smoky flavor to your pizzas. The Bertello pizza oven just makes all that magic happen. It allows you to choose from a range of wood varieties depending on the flavors you want in your pizza.
Compact and portable design
Its lightweight and compact design makes it a good option for camping. The oven is compact enough for outdoor spaces like backyards or patios and it’s easy to carry around.
A lot of cooking possibilities
The Bertello pizza oven is quite versatile. Many users have cooked other dishes like meat, fish, and vegetables, which came out so good. According to reports, the cordierite stone works well for retaining juices from the meat. Want to eat a steak in under 10 minutes? This oven will do the trick.
Despite being small and light, it boasts a solid build. The Bertello oven also gets compliments for its modern, sleek design. It’s rather stylish yet minimalist. One of the things we love about it is that its black powder-coated finish hides coal dust and residue. It also easily blends in with most settings.
And despite its matte exterior, the reflective stainless steel interior does an excellent job at bouncing the heat to cook your pizza evenly. But it does so only when it’s burning.
What Could Be Improved
Every good product has its drawbacks. Keep these things in mind when purchasing the Bertello pizza oven.
Size could be bigger
This is one of the few issues many users have. If you intend to bake standard-size pizzas which are 12 inches in diameter, this might not be a good option. Several firsthand users claim that the maximum pizza diameter that can be baked in it is between 10 to 11 inches, which is less than the standard pizza size.
Besides this, its small size only works best for round pizzas. And because it’s small, turning your pizza while cooking may be a bit challenging.
Heat source is too close
Here’s another major stumbling block. The flame is awkwardly too close to the oven’s main cooking station. And it gets worse when using gas. A lot of the pizza makers who had burnt crusts held the proximity of the heat source accountable. And it’s exacerbated by their struggle to turn the pizza due to the oven’s size.
Inconsistencies in the temperature
As much as we hate to be the bearer of bad news, it needs to be addressed. The Bertello pizza oven simply cannot maintain temperature. Its users have often expressed concerns about gaining even and or adequate heat for cooking.
It can be quite difficult to reach a certain temperature, so you’re either left with burnt crust or pizza that is not evenly cooked. There is also a considerable temperature difference between the front and back sections of the oven. This seems to be a common problem, regardless of the type of fuel you use.
Cordierite stone can’t retain heat well
The pizza stone that comes with the oven seems to struggle with maintaining sufficient heat to cook properly. It’s made from cordierite, which is sometimes used in kiln ovens. This is one of a few different materials that can withstand temperatures above 800 degrees Fahrenheit.
This oven is thought to emit heat mainly from its ceiling, though. Which means that when you place your pizza on top of the cordierite, it forms a barrier between the pizza stone and the heat. And this can limit the stone’s capacity to retain heat.
We strongly advise managing the heat output of this pizza oven. If the fire goes out, then both the stone and the internal temperature of the oven will drop really fast.
Lacks some essential accessories
The lack of some essential extras might be another deal breaker for you. The oven doesn’t come with the propane attachment, whether you get it from Amazon or straight from Bertello. It also doesn’t come with a thermometer, which is very useful in gauging your oven’s temperature.
These key accessories are sold separately, so expect a markup in price, of course.
Steep learning curve
According to the reports we’ve read, the Bertello oven won’t produce the finest pizza on the first try. With this oven, it takes practice to make pizzas that are baked to perfection.
If you’re a beginner at using wood-fired ovens, there is a steep learning curve here. But, with trial and error, you’ll eventually learn techniques and get used to this fast-heating oven. A bit of troubleshooting will also help you along the way.
Do We Recommend the Bertello Pizza Oven?
If you love the flavorful taste of pizzas baked out of wood-fired ovens, then we recommend the Bertello Pizza Oven. It’s a nice shift from a gas-fuel oven, which, while convenient and provides better temperature control, doesn’t impart the same smoky flavor as wood-fired ones.
We like the burner attachment of this model. And many users realize the full potential of this small cooking station once they get their desired pizza results in a short time. If you get the conversion kit, it’s a top-notch pizza oven that is ideal for any home chef who would rather not be limited to a single fuel type.
The oven offers superior performance at a competitive price. This makes it a great addition to your outdoor cooking arsenal.
Any Other Alternatives?
If you’re not a fan of small outdoor pizza ovens or want something to accommodate bigger-size pizzas, the Bertello Grande Outdoor Pizza Oven could be a rather better option. This pizza oven allows you to bake 16-inch pizzas. And it also works with both wood and gas.
It heats up quickly with gas to over 900 degrees Fahrenheit in less than 15 minutes, which is nearly the same temperature threshold as the Bertello Oven Pizza we reviewed above. And if you add your choice of wood, you get authentic wood-fired pizza.
The Bertello Grande Outdoor Pizza Oven is designed for use with either gas or gas and wood simultaneously. It comes with a wood tray for a gas burner and a pizza stone but doesn’t include a pizza peel, which you can purchase separately.
Who should get the Bertello pizza oven?
The Bertello pizza oven will be perfect for pizza lovers who want to enjoy making wood-fired pizzas in their own backyards. It’s also an excellent option for home chefs looking to shift from microwaved frozen pizzas. The oven is great if you’re tired of ordering from takeaways and want to make your own.
And if you’re the type who likes to host family dinners and serve food-fired pizzas in your backyard, the Bertello pizza oven is great cooking equipment to have. There are also a lot of pizza styles you can cook with this oven.
Are Bertello pizza ovens worth it?
Capable of being both gas-fired and wood-fired, the Bertello pizza oven is definitely well worth the investment if you’re looking for a multi-fuel pizza oven.
It offers quick cooking time in its gas-powered form. The Bertello oven is among the few models on the market capable of producing the exceptional temperatures required to create a Neapolitan-style pizza. And you can cook it in less than 90 seconds.
How long does it take to cook pizza in the Bertello pizza oven?
It takes only a few minutes, depending on the type of pizza you cook. The actual cooking time is much shorter than that of a standard home oven. If you set it to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, you can expect your pizza to be ready in 15 minutes. But if you set the temperature to 800 degrees Fahrenheit, it will only take three minutes.
Is Bertello the same as OONI?
Bertello isn’t the same as Ooni. The latter is a brand offering multiple outdoor pizza ovens, whereas Bertello only has only a couple of models.
What else can I cook in my Bertello pizza oven?
The Bertello pizza oven allows you to cook a variety of pizza recipes. You can make prosciutto pizza, arugula tomato cheese pizza, smokey bacon pizza, and more.
How hot should the Bertello pizza oven be?
According to Bertello, the temperature should be able to reach up to 930 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooking at temperatures above 930 degrees Fahrenheit allows you to get a crisp outside, soft inside, and excellent crust. This is much higher than your typical in-home oven,
It’s safe to say that the Bertello outdoor pizza oven is a gas and wood-fired pizza oven that is incredibly versatile.
How do you use wood pellets in a Bertello pizza oven?
Simply place a couple of scoops of wood pellets in the hopper and arrange them in the oven’s back tray. Put your torch on for 30 to 60 seconds to ignite the pellets. It will take a few minutes to get all the pellets to burn. And once your oven gets a nice flame, you can start cooking.
Which Shark Tank episode is Bertello?
In Shark Tank episode 1118, Bertello owners Andy and Eric Bert hope to reach an agreement for their Bertello Pizza Oven. The two brothers used to call it the “Napoli” Oven, but they changed it to Bertello.
The oven model is a small outdoor pizza oven that you can run on wood, charcoal, or gas.
The Bertello Outdoor Pizza Oven is definitely a must-have multi-fuel pizza oven. It’s excellent at reaching high temperatures to create a crunchy crust that we all love in pizzas. This oven is capable of cooking your pizza evenly, on all sides.
However, due to the volcanic rolling flames it creates, it might burn your crust. Plus, it has a small opening, which makes it hard to flip your pizzas. So, you need to keep an eye out for the cooking process. Make sure to have an infrared thermometer to gauge the temperature in the oven.
The Bertello Pizza Oven is a compact edition of a Tuscan-style vaulted barrel oven with outstanding air circulation. But with a few tweaks in the design, heat control and convenience of use could be improved, especially for novices.
Overall, this oven provides serious capabilities at a decent price range.
We hope you found this review helpful in getting to know the pizza oven that every home chef adores. And who knows, it might even make the cut for your favorite outdoor cooking equipment!