When our kids were younger, a favorite activity was making pizzas. They weren’t great, but the kids didn’t seem to care. Now however, with the new Cuisinart Alfrescamorè Outdoor Pizza Oven,(CPO-600) you can enjoy making your own pizzas AND they will undoubtedly taste terrific. With this oven, even store-bought frozen pizzas taste better than ever. It’s also the perfect reason to get out and enjoy springtime…you’ve been cooped up long enough this winter.
True tales of the Cuisinart Alfrescamorè Outdoor Pizza Oven
The secret to this Cuisinart Alfrescamorè Outdoor Pizza Oven is the combination of conduction, convection and reflected heat that cooks your pizza with a perfect crispy crust every time. When I first got my oven, the snow was still on the ground and it was seriously cold outside. The 20° outside temperature made the pizza take longer to cook, but everyone came out better than the next.
It was boys’ night out, and at first we experimented with store-bought pizzas, straight from the grocer’s freezer. Best frozen pizzas I ever tasted. The best part was the crispy crust – golden brown – right off the pizza stone. Where the box says to bake for 20 – 25 minutes, our first one was done in 8 minutes and the next was perfectly done in 5 minutes.
With that success behind us, we made four more pizzas from scratch. White pizza, red pizza, lots of tomatoes pizza, you name it. The homemade jobs had much thicker crust and lots more toppings. Each was done in about 8 minutes and each again had a perfectly done crust.
Hot Tip!!! When using homemade dough, use plenty of cornmeal under the pizza so it slides easily off the peel when inserting into the oven. On my first try, the pizza stayed stuck to the peel and all the toppings went flying into the oven unaccompanied by the dough. Ooops.
One additional feature to the oven is that it has a warming drawer below the firebox so you can keep your first pizza warm while cooking your second. With all the animals at boys’ night out, each pizza was devoured immediately upon leaving the oven.
The unanimous decision of all seven guys there that night was that the crusts really “made” the pizzas. Cooking from the stone upwards, it really must be the trick to good pizza. Easy to slice, easy to hold, we all truly enjoyed and over-indulgenced.
Setting up the oven
Allow about 20 minutes to unpack and assemble your oven. Nothing complicated that a fourteen-year old couldn’t accomplish, but it did take some finesse to attach the leg assembly to the firebox.
Pick a location where the wind is preferably not blowing directly into the front opening – that will help the oven achieve a higher operating temperature.
If the igniter does not start the grill as you turn it on, there is a match holder conveniently attached to a chain that will enable you to start the burner manually.
After making my first dozen pizzas using 16 oz. propane canisters, I opted to buy a four-foot hose with the proper fittings so I could use my extra 20# refillable propane tanks. Now I can cook all day long without worrying about running out of propane ever hour and a half or so.
Another tip: Don’t transport your oven with the pizza stone in the metal grill. One serious pothole in the road and you could crack the stone. A thick piece of cardboard or a blanket under the stone will minimize any chance of sudden impact ruining your oven.
Final tip: If you want the “wood fired” taste, there’s a wood cup that sits in the corner of the grill. My grandson discovered an ideal way to get plenty of smoke for the duration of the bake. Place some dry wood chips in the cup and they’ll start to smolder and burn in short order. Then, cover them with water soaked smaller chips and those will continue to smoke for some time to come. Lots of smoke makes a great wood fired taste.
Oh, the places we’ll go
It’s not even summer yet, but I’m already envisioning taking this thing to the lake during the summer. And this fall, it’s going to be the hit of every tailgate party. It only weighs 40 pounds so it’s easy to transport.
I’m also looking forward to trying some of the other great ideas Cuisinart suggests in addition to pizzas. It is an oven after all, so we’ll be trying calzones, bread and desserts before you know it.
I’m so glad spring has finally arrived and this Cuisinart oven has given me dozens of reasons to get out and enjoy it. Get one yourself from Cuisinart directly or through Amazon.com. Also check Fulham Group’s site for some handy Alfrescamorè accessories.