An Al Fresco Pizza Oven Worthy of Napoli
When developing recipes for our issue #156 Neapolitan pizza cover story, it occurred to us in the Saveur test kitchen that, hey, it’s almost going to be summer once this issue comes out. And how great would it be to cook these fabulous recipes outdoors? Pizzaiolo Roberto Caporuscio of New York’s Don Antonio by Starita pizzeria recommended the Kalamazoo Artisan Fire outdoor pizza oven. He said it’s the closest thing to having a Neapolitan wood-burning pizza oven at home. When I balked at the near $6,500 price tag, he assured me that it was worth every penny. When I tested the equipment out, I understood what he meant. I slapped the raw pizza onto the ceramic base, and after about 3 minutes, was rewarded with a puffed crust with the slight char I was hoping for. I slid a peel under the pie and lifted it up into the intense heat of the oven’s stainless steel dome, mimicking a pizzaiolo‘s finishing touch. The result: a harmony of just-melted milky mozzarella swimming in a shallow pool of simmering tomato sauce. This pizza was as close to perfect as it gets. When I bragged about my success to Roberto, he laughed, and said it was all about the oven.