It’s a well-known fact that homemade pizza is one of the best foods in the world. Well, okay, maybe it’s not exactly a fact, but here at NA Pizza, it’s something we strongly believe in.
The trouble is, mastering the perfect pizza is notoriously tricky. It’s a delicate and precision-based process that can easily be thrown off by the wrong pan, a second’s inattention, or even the slightest slip of the hand during transfer.
But don’t be put off! Once you’ve got into your stride, making your own pizza will be one of the most fun and rewarding cooking experiences you can think of, and KettlePizza has developed just the product to help you out!
A few years ago, KettlePizza released their Pro 22 Outdoor Pizza Oven Kit. The kit contains everything an enthusiastic home chef needs to bake delicious pizza in a standard kettle grill.
Once you get the hang of your new grill kit, you can even use the setup for cooking other delicious foods like grilled vegetables or seafood!
Today, we’re going to be reviewing the KettlePizza Pro 22 Kit from 2 perspectives: its design and build quality and its ease of use.
We hope that this comprehensive review will help you to decide whether the KettlePizza Pro 22 should be the next step on your pizza-making journey!
Design and Build Quality
In our years as pizza experts, we’ve learned that what really sets a great product apart from a mediocre one is the design and build quality.
With that in mind, we’re going to be analyzing each component of the Pro 22 Outdoor Pizza Oven Kit with a focus on physical and structural quality.
KettlePizza Oven Sleeve
The main component of the KettlePizza Pro 22 kit is the 304 Stainless Steel oven sleeve, which is what allows you to transform your kettle grill into an outdoor pizza oven.
The stainless steel material holds up very well against high temperatures and is strong enough to ensure that neither the heat nor any component inside your grill will cause it to warp.
Because the oven sleeve is made of stainless steel, it also conducts and retains heat inside the kettle grill extremely well.
This helps to kit to make your grill system more energy-efficient, which compensates for some of the minor practical issues we’ll discuss later.
If we had to critique one thing about this oven sleeve, though, it would be the fact that the steel becomes quite quickly and easily discolored.
As we’ve mentioned, though, its structure isn’t affected by high temperatures, so the discoloration doesn’t impact the functionality of the kit.
The wooden handles connected to the sleeve on either side by stainless steel standoffs provide ideal hand placements for maneuvering the sleeve without burning yourself - although it’s always best to wait for it to cool down if you can.
Try not to expose them to too much heat or water if you can avoid it, though, because they haven’t been finished with any kind of resistant coating.
The ProGrate supplied by KettlePizza is designed to replace the existing grate in your grill to fit with the oven sleeve.
Like the sleeve, the ProGrate is made from 304 stainless steel, so it’s strong, heat-resistant, and won’t corrode when exposed to moisture.
However, again, don’t be surprised if you find that this ProGrate becomes discolored after just a couple of uses.
It’s not an indication of any structural weakness, but if you like your grill components to look shiny and new in the long-term, you might have an issue with this grate.
Individual sections are built into the grate so that you can slot the tombstone and fire basket (see below) into the grate in the perfect positions and slot the whole thing into the oven sleeve.
We know what you’re thinking, but don’t panic - the KettlePizza Pro 22 tombstone isn’t where your food goes to die. In fact, it’s quite the opposite!
The tombstone is an extra-thick, professional-grade pizza stone or baking stone.
Made of thick cordierite, this stone can withstand extremely high heat and rapid temperature changes without being damaged.
Not only can the KettlePizza tombstone tolerate more heat than your average baking surface, but it also does a better job at retaining that heat.
Heat retention is one of the things that Al Contarino, KettlePizza’s founder, wanted to improve about pizza grills as a whole when he entered the market, so it’s fantastic to see KettlePizza utilizing high-quality materials to achieve this.
The quality of the material used, combined with the smooth, rounded edges, makes this a very impressive piece of pizza-making equipment, far superior to many of the baking surfaces included in most pizza oven kits these days.
If using the heavier and more cumbersome tombstone to cook your pizza on isn’t your style, don’t worry because KettlePizza has also included an aluminum pizza pan in the Pro 22 kit.
This aluminum pan is, of course, durable and thermally conductive, so it’ll serve you well for many years to come and will help speed up your cooking process.
The fire basket, or firebox, that comes with the Pro 22 kit is designed to fit inside the grate and add some extra heat to the inside of your grill when filled with wood chips.
This basket is also made of stainless steel, so it may suffer from the sain discoloration issue as the other steel components, but it’s a highly functional piece of equipment with perfectly-placed slots that allow for effective heat distribution while keeping wood chippings contained in the box.
Aluminum Pro Pizza Peel
While some of KettlePizza’s grill kits come with a wooden pizza peel, the Pro 22 includes an aluminum peel.
We’ll go more into the ergonomic impact of aluminum vs. wood in our Ease of Use section (see below), but purely in terms of quality, we have absolutely no complaints about this component.
The metal is of high quality, and the handle has smooth wooden overlays on both sides, held securely in place by 2 bolts so they won’t come away.
The metal of the peel itself continues throughout the handle in the same way as a full-tang kitchen knife for extra durability.
KettlePizza’s brand name and logo are inscribed on the wood of the handle, providing a reassuring mark of quality and uniqueness.
Ease of Use
A good pizza-making kit shouldn’t just supply you with the tools you need and send you on your way! It should also be designed to make the baking process easier and more ergonomic.
We’ve established that the KettlePizza Pro 22 has excellent design and build quality, but how does it fare in the ease-of-use category?
Of course, the first step in using your new KettlePizza Pro 22 kit will be setting it up.
Often, a complicated, unergonomic set-up can be the undoing of an otherwise fantastic product, but luckily, this isn’t the case here!
The main part of the assembly process for the KettlePizza Pro 22 is putting together the oven sleeve, which comes disassembled.
Thankfully, the extent of this procedure is fixing the separate parts of the sleeve together with the hardware, which is provided by the manufacturer.
You don’t even need any tools for this part, so it should be a breeze. Then, you’ll need to slot the temperature gauge into place.
Once you’ve done this and inserted the sleeve into your grill, you just need to slot either the tombstone or the pizza tray into the ProGrate and place it inside the sleeve.
And there you have it: your very own kettle grill pizza oven!
The main premise of the KettlePizza Pro 22 is to make the process of cooking homemade pizza easier.
We’re happy to confirm that the product does exactly what it set out to in this regard.
The temperature indicator displays the ideal temperatures for different types of outdoor cooking, including ‘BBQ’ and ‘grill.’
It shows you where your temperature is in relation to this so that you can monitor the process easily.
However, it does take a little bit of patience and experimentation to get to grips with all the settings.
Once you’ve mastered them, they’ll become second nature, but expect your first couple of times using this kit to be more about learning than producing perfect pizza (that will come with time!)
Using the tombstone, you can create piping hot, crispy pizza with that authentic stone-baked taste, while the pizza pan will have you whipping your pizza in and out of the oven in no time!
Insertion and Removal
Maneuvering your pizza in and out of the KettlePizza Pro 22 is really easy because of the openings on the side of the oven sleeve.
These openings are just the right size: large enough to allow you to access your food easily when you need to, but small enough that most of the heat will stay trapped in the grill.
We briefly mentioned earlier that the quality of the tombstone provided in the Pro 22 kit has rounded edges, which improves the overall quality of the kit by eliminating rough edges.
However, this also has an impact on how ergonomic the kit is to use - namely, it makes inserting and removing your pizza from the kettle so much more comfortable to handle.
The wooden handle of the pizza peel will also prevent you from burning yourself during removal, so your experience of this pizza oven kit won’t be marred by injuries.
Cleaning up after using the KettlePizza Pro 22 is so much easier than with other pizza ovens and conversion kits.
All of the components are corrosion-resistant, and the metal parts (both aluminum and steel) are super easy to wipe clean.
The only words of caution we’d impart on the cleaning front is to avoid getting the oven sleeve handles too wet and to allow the tombstone (if used) to cool before cleaning since it’s more susceptible to breaking when heated.
- Reaches temperatures of 700℉
- Cooks fast
- High-quality steel and aluminum components
- Minimal assembly
- Makes for ergonomic handling
- Easy to clean
- Only works for 22.5-inch kettles
- Steel components discolor easily
- May require some initial experimentation
Overall, we’ve been very pleased with what we’ve seen of the KettlePizza Pro 22 grill conversion kit. It’s an innovative product idea that’s been well-executed to a high standard and is suitable for outdoor cooks of all abilities to use.
We have pointed out a couple of issues relating to the color changes of the steel parts of this kit and the fact that it might take users a few tries to master the process completely.
Additionally, this kit is exclusively designed to be used with 22.5-inch kettles, and it won’t work for pizza ovens of other sizes.
However, if you do own a kettle in this size, you can rest assured that the fit will be absolutely perfect. Besides, KettlePizza does manufacture other kits for grills of different sizes.
Aside from these small criticisms, we can’t stress enough how impressive the KettlePizza Pro 22 Kit is in terms of both its design quality and ease of use!
From the high-quality materials to the easy assembly and ergonomic construction, this kit is perfect for anyone looking to simplify and enhance the process of pizza-making without breaking the bank.
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