Chalk it up to my lactose intolerance, but I’m just not the biggest fan of pizza. Before you grab your pitchforks and torches: I appreciate a good slice, but I don’t yearn for it like some people. I reserve my yearning for burritos.
I’ve not been terribly interested in learning what it takes to make a great pizza until I started working at The Companion Group (the parent company of Pizzacraft). Here, I got whipped into the fervor and reverence that the rest of the staff has for pizza. I’m also a curious person by nature, and the Pizzeria Pronto Portable Pizza Oven is a cool piece of engineering. The best way to learn about something like that is to put one together and start using it.
As a first time Pronto user, I learned a lot about the unit, and about pizza making in general. Before this experiment, I made maybe only a handful of pizzas in my life. But now, I was about to get down and dirty with all the tools a professional could use to make a killer pie. So what did I learn?
Read the Manual
Before I got started, I read the instruction manual. Yeah, ok. That isn’t the most exciting way to start, but it’s an important one! I was going to be putting together a new Pronto, and cooking a pizza right after. The last thing I wanted was for a user error to derail the whole plan. The manual has pre-heating tips, first time use instructions, and how to put the whole thing together. It’s not just an important step: it’s a crucial one.
Budget Time to Put it Together
All told, the Pronto took about 15 minutes to assemble. The (optional) extended leg kit was a bit more complicated, but I got the whole thing together in just over half an hour. The instructions also ask that you fire up the pronto on high for about 20 minutes before using it for the first time, so be sure to factor that into your plans. I went in blind at about 1pm, so by the time my pizza slid into the Pronto after 2 I was really hungry!
Try Not to Use Too Much Dough
I had a bit of trouble getting the dough to lay flat on the prep surface. I kept tearing it when I was trying to stretch it. The solution? More dough! Except instead of tearing, I wound up with a ridiculous dough bowl filled with pizza toppings. It cooked pretty well in the pronto anyway, but it was more dense than necessary. If you’re trying to watch your carbs, go easy on the dough! (I used store bough dough, but making dough is pretty easy! We have tons of help.)
Turn the Pizza in the Oven
As hot as the Pronto gets, it’s still necessary to turn the pizza while it’s in the oven. Piazziolos do this with traditional brick ovens, we’ve got to do it with the Pronto too! I didn’t turn mine often enough, so I got a little more char than I would have liked.
The ultimate tip with the Pronto is to just have fun with it. Sure, pizza can be serious business, but like anything else you might have a few stumbles when you’re first starting out. Even if it isn’t perfect, at least you’ll still have your pizza, right?