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Robbie
January 18, 2024
9
min read

The Best Ways To Elevate Your Outdoor Cooking Game

After several years of testing frustrations, has Adrian actually found a turkey hunting vest that she is going to hunt with more than one season? Could the Tethrd M2 Turkey Vest actually be the perfect turkey hunting vest for her?

4.9

Imagine with me for a minute…

You just sat down in your favorite wood-fired pizza restaurant. From your table you can see the oven where all the goodness is happening, and the waitress just brought you a basket of garlic knots. They are full of all the buttery flavor you’ve been waiting for, and the taste of artisan style pizza is soon to be tickling your taste buds.

After consuming way more pizza in one sitting that anyone should in a week, you have the thought…

Why can I not make pizza this good at home?

Let me solve all your life problems with one statement, You CAN make pizza that good at home!

Enter the Solo Stove Pi Prime Pizza Oven.

Solo Stove Pi Prime Pizza Oven right after our first use

When we saw the SoloStove Pi Prime pizza oven, we were pretty excited to try it out. The folks over at SoloStove were kind enough to send one over with some accessories for our testing. Now, as always, SoloStove does not pay us for our videos or reviews, and they’ve had no input into this article.

We’ve had the opportunity to use it for a few months, and we’d like to share some of our experience with you.

Specifications: 

  • The Pi Prime is made of 304 Stainless Steel with a total weight of 30 pounds.
  • It’s 15.5 inches tall with a diameter of 21.5inches.

At this size it isn’t super compact, but we found that it doesn’t take up too much space for us. The Pi Prime is lightweight enough to be carried by one person but also awkward enough that you don’t want to carry it too far.

  • The opening for putting your pizza into the oven is 13 inches long by 3.5 inches tall.
Bamboo Peel that is 12" wide and fits perfectly into Pi Prime

The main reason I tell you that is because the opening is going to limit the size of pizza you can bake. Solo Stove has a Pi Prime Starter Bundle that comes with a twelve inch Bamboo Peel for stretching dough, placing your pizza in the oven, and even serving the pizza. Pretty much, if the pizza is hanging over that Bamboo Peel, it likely won't fit in the oven.

  • The pizza stone itself is made of cordierite, which is commonly used for pizza stones because it is lead free and non-absorbent. 
  • It also retains heat really well and is resistant to changes in temperature, so putting something cold on it shouldn’t crack it.
  • The stone is made of two pieces so you can take it out of the oven if you need to to clean it or something, and they’re reversible, so you can use both sides.

Solo Stove has three different pizza oven options based on heat source. We chose the Pi Prime because it is a propane-only fuel source and seemed like a much more practical option for us.

Propane tank providing fuel for Pi Prime Pizza Oven
  • The Pi Prime does have a Lifetime warranty. So if there happens to be a manufacturer’s defect, they should take care of it for you.

The main thing you want to know, though, is - Does it make good pizza?

While I want to eat the pizza too, there are a few other things we should talk about first.

Solo Stove advertises that the Pi Prime is “Simple enough to be your first pizza oven.”

Except for the regular oven in our kitchen this IS our first pizza oven. 

So, I would agree with them. The Pi Prime is very easy to use. Being propane-powered, all you have to do is make sure it is hooked up properly, turn the ignitor knob, and set the temperature.

We’ve noticed that it usually takes about fifteen to twenty minutes for obtaining their recommended pizza stone temperature of 750 degrees. 

Bringing the pizza stone up to temperature

While you’re waiting on the pizza oven and stone to heat up, you basically have the perfect amount of time to get your pizza ready.

Now when it comes to baking, we are by no means experts, but we did learn a lot about baking artisan style pizzas at home during this adventure. 

Spreading cheese on one of our first pizzas!

Our main discovery: It takes some practice!

Hopefully, we can shortcut the system for you as we’re willing to share what we learned. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have other tips or tricks that we could use in making the pizza baking process easier. 

Our Top Tips for the Best Pizza

  • Keep your pizza less than 12 inches.

As we mentioned earlier, make sure your pizza isn’t too big that it folds over that Bamboo Peel. If you keep the width of the pizza below 12 inches, it will make placing the pizza in the oven and maneuvering it around much less frustrating. 

  • Make sure there is a lot of flour on the bottom of your pizza.

If the dough is at all sticky, it is much harder to turn the pizza, because you basically have to scrape it off the stone so it will turn.

  • Follow their directions.

Solo Stove recommends when you put the pizza in, leave it for 10-20 seconds so the bottom will firm up a bit. After that, make sure you turn the pizza about every 10 seconds.

          Trust me, if you leave it too long in one place, the part closest to the fire will burn, so pay attention to that!

Their recommended total baking time is about 90 seconds total. Keep it moving and turning to lower the risk of burning one side.

  • Think about the size of your pizzas.

Don’t forget the size pizzas you will be making. For us, a 12 inch pizza is about right for two people. If you’re trying to feed more than that, you may need several pizzas. Thankfully, in this oven they cook fast. The pizza stone stays hot for quite a while so it’s not difficult to bake several in a row.

For an actual full review of this pizza oven, we wanted to try a couple other baking / cooking options.

First, we tried a take and bake pizza from our local grocery store.

Obviously this option is significantly easier than rolling out dough and actually making the pizza. We were pleasantly surprised with the results, as it took a less prep time and a lot less flour on the bottom of the pizza.

Baking a "Take and Bake" pizza from our local grocery store

The take and bake option took a little longer to fully cook, but it tasted similar to the “homemade” option we described above. And, you can easily add any extra toppings before baking if you’d like.

We also wanted to try other food besides pizza!

Now Solo Stove has a cast iron cooking set if you want to try other foods, but we used a Lodge Cast Iron Grill Pan and Griddle to do our cooking.

If you haven't been cooking in cast iron, you're missing out.

We made hamburgers in one of the pans that turned out excitingly tasty and downright amazing. We let the oven cool down after its initial warming to about 350 degrees while we also set the pan on the stone to be warmed. The burgers took a little longer than expected (8-10 minutes total), but I think we could just raise the temperature a bit the next time we do burgers, and they’d cook faster.

Cooking hamburgers in the pizza oven - they were delicious!

We also made venison fajitas complete with peppers and onions in the skillet. One thing we learned quickly is that you should cook the vegetables quite a bit before adding the meat. The vegetables definitely took longer to cook than we expected, but that could have been because they were frozen when we added them.

Venison fajitas were amazing cooked in the Pi Prime pizza oven using Lodge Cast Iron Griddle.

Mainly, it was nice to find out that the Solo Stove Pi Prime is for more than tasty artisan style pizzas!

We haven’t tried a frozen pizza in there because after reading the directions, they clearly say that frozen pizza will not do well in this oven

Before we move onto the next section, we do have an affiliate link AND a coupon code with SoloStove. You can also purchase any of the items mentioned through our Amazon Store. If you decide you want to buy one, click one of our links, and we earn a small commission on the sale at no cost to you. AND if you use the code REVIEWTHISTHING10, you can get an extra $10 off your order on Solo Stove.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Easy to use and bake your own "wood-fired" pizza at home
  • Uses propane for fuel - easy and quick to ignite
  • Pizza stone heats up fairly fast
  • Can cook up to 12" pizzas
  • Cleans up easily, and pizza stone is reversible
  • Simple to use when cooking foods other than just pizza
  • Especially when they’re on sale, Solo Stove has a lot of accessories that are actually pretty reasonably priced
  • Lifetime Warranty
Cons
  • Slightly awkward to carry for longer distances. An addition of handles would possibly be a nice touch to make this easier.
  • Not necessarily a con, but know that you need a lot of extra flour on the bottom so it doesn’t stick to the stone.
  • You will need something like the Bamboo Peel and Steel Turner included in the “Starter Bundle” so if you don’t have that, the price goes up.
  • Propane line on the back could have a 90 degree elbow to offer some relief to the hose
  • The cover that comes with it is nice, but not completely waterproof. A PVC acrylic waterproof cover is available for extra cost.

FAQs

Q: Is Pi Prime portable?

A: Weighing in right at 30 lbs, Pi Prime can be taken wherever you want to take it, including spicing up your neighbor’s dinner party, crafting artisan pies at your team’s tailgate, or elevating a weekend picnic.

Q: What kind of fuel does Pi Prime use?

A: Pi Prime operates exclusively on Propane Gas (LPG).

Q: Can I cook things other than pizza?

A: Absolutely! We enjoyed the burgers and fajitas we cooked with the Pi Prime.

Should I Buy This Thing?

I know you're probably get tired of what has become one of our favorite lines, but…whether you should buy this pizza oven or not “it depends” on you and what you are wanting.

Pizza just tastes better this way

Here are a few things to consider:

  1. If you want to cook with wood for the true “wood-fired” experience, then the pi Prime isn’t your oven. You could take a look at the dual fuel pi from Solo Stove or the Fire Pit Pizza Oven that actually fits over your Solo Stove Bonfire, Yukon, or Ranger. 
  2. Also, if you want to make big pizzas or multiple pizzas at the same time, this may not be the one for you. There are a couple of options from other companies to make up to 16 inch pizzas, or you could always build a brick oven for a few thousand dollars.
  3. This is a SoloStove product, so you know it’s not going to be on the inexpensive side. MSRP is $349, but they pretty much always have a sale. As of the writing of this article, they were on sale for $299.
  4. But, if those sales are over by the time you read this, you can use our affiliate link, and our coupon code “REVIEWTHISTHING10” for another $10 off!

With full confidence I can say we’ve been very pleased with the Pi Prime and the pricing seems fairly comparable to other propane pizza ovens.

It took us a couple of tries, but now our pizza tastes amazing!

We've had fun making our own brick oven style pizzas, and it’s super easy to use. If outdoor cooking and pizza making is something that interests you, I think you’ll be happy with it. Plus you can also use it to cook other things like we did.

So if that’s what you’re looking for, as far as “should you buy this thing,” we give it a 4.9/5!

Written by
Robbie

Robbie has enjoyed the outdoors since he can remember. His earliest memories include hours upon hours of squirrel hunting and learning how to enjoy all aspects of hunting season in God's wonderful outdoors. Now he is always working hard and testing gear in the field to give you the best review and most thorough information he possibly can.