I just tried out my new Presto Pizzazz Oven...and I can see it is going to be very well used in my kitchen. I decided to try some wings for my first cooking venture with the oven. I was curious to see how it would do with non pizza items. I had uncooked chicken wings, that I seasoned and placed on the tray. I did let them cook a bit longer than recipe called for (about an hour), I turned them twice during the cooking process, and they came out just perfect!
The oven is very unique...the tray can be stored separately or upright behind the oven. The oven will not function if the tray has not been positioned right, so there is no guess work about whether it is seated correctly or incorrectly. Place your food on it. Plug it in and if the tray rotates then it is seated properly...if it does not rotate then reseat the tray. Now you just select the heating type, upper, lower or duel and set the dial timer. That's it. So easy.
I am looking forward to creating a lot of fun meals with the Presto Oven.
UPDATE: I gave this oven to my son after I had it ia year or so... as his oven was not working well and after four years, this little oven is still working well and he uses it often...and he is just as happy with it as I was. He got his oven fixed but still uses this instead of heating up the big oven. !
First of all it's not perfect. The non-stick coating is thin on the pan, and can get scratched off easy. Plus, there's no easy way to clean off the brown, spots you get from baking. All that aside, this is a great device if you like homemade, and frozen varieties of pizza.
I used to try all kinds of tricks to get a frozen pizza to taste good. I'd microwave them partially first, I'd bake them directly on the oven rack; I'd try greasing the pan, or not greasing it. I had some success with these techniques, but it was a lot of work. This oven does the job, and gets the pizza cooked the way you want it. An easy flip switch on the top, can turn the heat on both sides, just the top, or just the bottom. You control the crispness, and the degree of browning on your pizza.
This oven is also great for baking those commercial, "take and bake" pizzas, from shops like Pappa Murphy's. Further, its better for reheating leftover pizzeria pizza than your microwave. What more can you want? I wanted just one thing, a 14" model. While most frozen pizza is 12" or smaller, you cannot heat one any larger. One final caution, rising crust pizzas will sometimes bubble, or rise into the top-heating element. It's a good idea to stay in the general area while the pizza is cooking, or it can potentially start a fire.
on November 29, 2003
My in-laws gave us one of these as a gift. I thought it was a joke. Then we used it. The Pizzazz consistently cooks frozen pizzas well.
The nonstick disk is simple to clean. I don't understand how anyone would scratch it, unless he's using steel wool or something to clean it. And that is hardly necessary: it washes clean with a bit of soap and water (or even just a clean towel).
Even with rising crust pizzas, we have never had the food come anywhere near the heating element.
My only complaint is that you cannot accelerate the timer. You can adjust it to add time, but once it's set, you have to wait for it to run down. This is a minor inconvenience, though I would like to be able to turn off the heating elements when the pizza is done rather than take the pizza off the disk and wait for the "ding" at the end of the cooking cycle. (You could unplug the machine, but the residual heat from the elements might cook the disk, which obviously stops rotating when you unplug the machine. The elements stay hot for a little while after the cycle ends.)
All in all, this is a surprisingly effective product.
on May 8, 2007
We received this as one of "those" (you know what I mean) Christmas gifts. I thought it was destined to sit on some out of the way shelf in my kitchen, taking up space, until I could rationalize re-gifting or donating. 3 years and many, many, many pizzas later; I am now here to replace it. It has become one of the most used appliances in my kitchen! It is fun to use and watch, something the kids can safely use, and creates great tasting pizza. Can't beat that!
on December 8, 2003
As a single man who eats 2-3 frozen pizzas a week, this was a better purchase than my microwave. Frozen pizzas cook in 15 minutes or less, as compared to 20-23 minutes with a conventional oven. When you wait until the last minute to start cooking, 5 minutes is a long time. Additionally it cooks the pizza perfectly evenly. There are also controls that let you choose between crisp, normal, and light crusts.
**I still have mine over 3 years later and it works like the day I opened it. I sill use it 2-3 times a month (I'm married now, frozen pizza doesn't see itself on the menu 3 nights a week now), and have used it with almost all varieties and brands of pizza with equal success. The nonstick coating is a little scratched however (even though I've taken special interest in keeping it intact). But its still the best oven I own.**
on April 18, 2015
Update: Here are a few photos of some fresh pizza made with Pillsbury Thin Crust Pizza Dough. Not as crispy as I like, but better than an oven and not bad for a first try. Also, package portion sized for two people: Frozen Tater Tots, chicken nuggets, Quorn "Chik-nuggets (Vegetarian)
Now, on to the review:
I was looking for a pizza maker/air fryer. They were all expensive. This little gadget kept popping up as highly rated. After a lot of thought and even discounting it after seeing one at a local store, I decided to take the plunge. I'm glad that I did. Is it perfect? No. Does it work as advertised? Yes! Use it for the advertised purpose and I doubt that you will be disappointed. It does offer a lot of control with the dual heating elements. You will need to tinker with it. Get to know it. It is just like any other cooking appliance. You have to experiment to find the right settings for your preferences. You might have a couple of failures, but don't give up. The first small pizzas that I made didn't turn out well. However, after I experimented a little more, I couldn't believe the wonderful taste.and crispiness.
I expected to use the unit much less than I have. I place it on my smooth stove top. No worries about heat damage that way. The Pizzazz Plus, to my mind, is a PERFECT snack reheating gadget. It does a wonderful job. It isn't something that a "real" cook would want. It allows for adding crispiness to everything that is a precooked, frozen product: chicken nuggets, fries of all varieties, pizzas. You get the idea.
You don't add much fat so I suppose some people will feel the food gets a little dried out. I think they are probably correct. It doesn't make a lot of difference. If you want a moister food, just adjust the cooking times or buy a high fat content frozen product. There are plenty of those on the market.
I've been a vegetarian for over 30 years, but I live with a meat/junk food eater. I didn't think that I'd use the Pizzaz Plus much for myself. I was wrong. It makes some of the vegetarian frozen nuggets, burgers, and other mock meat products crisp up nicely too. I couldn't believe the difference between using it and the microwave. I find that I actually do cook a lot more frozen products than I thought that I did.
The Pizzaz does have a few quibbles. That is the "why" of my four star rating. As many other reviewers have pointed out, the tray is awkward to place on the unit. I guide it on with my index finger and thumb. It isn't that bad, but it is fiddly. The other thing that you need to watch is the tray wobble. The food needs to be balanced when it is placed on the tray. I also leave the food outside of the center as the element doesn't necessarily reach there for heating (though the pizzas all seemed to cook just fine).
The tray is small. I'd say that it can be used to prepare enough for a couple of people, but if you have more, you will be, as others have pointed out in their reviews, cooking in shifts. As an example, I can place the per person serving size recommended on the frozen fries package for two people. Then I can also place the per person size of chicken nuggets for one person. Finally, I can place 4-5 vegetarian nuggets. That quantity totally fills up the unit. What if you have big eaters? What if you want more than two servings? You could make 4 servings of french fries, but you'd have to cook the additional foods in another way. Not a big deal, but something to think about.
Finally, the Pizzaz, as others have also pointed out, doesn't have an on-off switch. This isn't a big issue for me, but it would be nice not to have to keep plugging and unplugging it from the wall socket. Thinking safety here. Speaking of safety, be sure to use pot holders, oven mitts, or something when removing the tray.
People have reported issues with cleaning the tray. I've had no issues, but I preconditioned it with a light wiping of virgin olive oil. Not sure if that took care of the reported issues, but I do tend to do that with all of my coated gadgets. I also don't cook anything that isn't recommended. I'm not much of an adventurer with new gadgets. I did try a fresh sliced zucchini. I was hoping to make crisps. That was a flop. Really, I do think this is a machine, at least in my case, that reheats previously prepared food well. Everything tastes better, but IMO, it isn't a cooker. It is a snack, precooked frozen food, sandwich, pizza, or crisper gadget.
I've made cookies, biscuits, and cinnamon rolls as well as frozen pizzas and everything in the accompanying recipe book. It all came out beautifully. After I used the unit and got to know it for a while, nothing that I "cooked" was bad.
I won't be giving up my crock pot, oven, or other cooking products soon, but this is a nice addition to my arsenal. It stores well in my cupboard. I did make a place for it. Some people with smaller kitchens may find storage to be an issue. On the other hand, regardless of the size of our kitchens, we gadget collectors seem to always find storage to be an issue.
For some good video reviews on the Pizzazz, check out Youtube. I enjoyed watching them. The videos will give you a good idea of what to expect. There are also a few videos that show some alternative uses for the unit. HTHs.
on January 3, 2005
I received this for Christmas and have tried it out using both regular and rising crust frozen pizzas. It does save time but the results aren't like those that you get from an oven. For one thing the pizza is never done at the end of the recommended cooking time. I always have to add on 4 or 5 minutes. Also, the outer rim of the crust doesn't get crispy like it does in a regular oven. The bottom of the crust cooks okay but the edge of the crust really doesn't get any heat. I baked a Digiorno rising crust pizza on it for the maximum time and the outer edge of the crust was still white. Yes, I followed the instructions on the proper way to cook a rising crust pizza. If you don't like a crunchy crust then this won't be a problem. I would recommend this product for a college student living away from home or for anyone who eats a lot of pizza and doesn't want to heat up their kitchen with a big oven. For the occasional pizza eater though, you might want to pass on this one.
New info: I discovered that if you place the cooked pizza on a cooling rack that's covered with a paper towel the pizza won't get soft and will remain crispy. Before I would just slide the pizza on to the cardboard it came with but that didn't allow any of the the steam from the crust to escape and the crust would become soft. By placing the cooked pizza on a paper towel on a cooling rack that allows the towel to absorb the steam and the rack allows air circulation around the pizza crust. Here are the settings I've been using. On a standard Tombstone pizza I set the control on Lower and set the timer between 17 and 18 minutes. After about 2 minutes I switch the control to Dual. I've found in most cases that the crust always takes longer to cook than the toppings so I start cooking the crust first and then switch to the Dual setting after a few minutes. For a homemade pizza made with raw dough I set the control on Lower and set the timer for 20 minutes. When I switch the control to Dual depends on how many toppings I have on the pizza. If I have just cheese then I wait 10 minutes before switching the control to Dual because the cheese only takes about 10 minutes to melt and start to brown. With more toppings I slide the control to Dual after maybe 5 to 8 minutes.
on December 12, 2014
Currently on my second one and have no problems with that. You can reheat and cook so much more than pizza and it does not heat up your house during the summer like the oven will. I use this on average once a day to cook, crisp or reheat food. My first one died after about a year, but I would say I definitely got my money's worth.
Lessons learned from my first one:
The non stick pan coating is thin, so be sure not to use anything but wooden utensils on it.
Also, this can easily be wiped off to clean, instead of scrubbing; that can also scrape off the non stick coating.
Do not spray any Pam on the surface, causes it to create a sticky nasty film. Use an oil sprayer if you need oil.
Let it cool on its own, running under cool water hot will cause it to warp.
And remember it's an open burnet, so watch the kids if they are helping you cook.
on November 9, 2006
I was pretty excited to get this item. I never had any success with my oven and frozen pizza. I never could get the middle cooked and many reviews said the Pizzazz would do this.
- Creates a crisp bottom crust
- Center of pizza and toppings cook better than with an oven
- Doesn't heat up the house
- Cleanup is a breeze
- The outside crust is more breadlike (could be a pro for some)
- Turntable on mine seems slanted and crooked
- Doesn't perform miracles. Some reviewers imply that the Pizzazz transforms frozen pizza into real pizza. It improves frozen pizza, but you won't forget that you're eating frozen pizza.
- Rising dough frozen pizza works, but the dough itself doesn't seem to bake fully. It tends to taste doughy even when the bottom and top are done.
- 12" is too small considering the better tasting 16" fresh dough pizzas available now
I like this gadget, but I can't give it five stars. Presto created a pretty cool kitchen appliance here, but I think they could improve it. They should make a XL 16" model that would accomodate "Costco" take and bake. I think the heating elements could be designed better to improve coverage as well.
As far as frozen pizza goes, Freschetta baked better than Di Giorno for me. Tombstone tasted like Tombstone. Frozen is what it is. There's UNO in my local deli case and I plan on trying that.
I think the Pizzazz is worth it overall. I don't regret the purchase in any way, and I don't use my oven for pizza anymore.
on January 23, 2015
I have cooked all week on it. Pizza, chicken, quesadillas, fish, fried. Tonight I'm going to try chicken wings. It has a timer so shuts off when done. No more running to grab your dinner out of the oven. This machine is no joke. I love it. I'm bringing it into work to make appetizers for fun. I'm already thinking of buying another one. Why, I dunno, I feel I need two. Lol.