Classic Wood Fired Pizza in Your Backyard – Bertello Pizza Oven

Even before Covid had us thinking about honing our culinary skills, we knew there was a general trend toward more hands-on approach to dining. Instant coffee from powder, for instance, has fallen away to brewing cups one at a time. Pizza can now fall into a similar category, now we can create, cook and enjoy world class pizza at home. Woodfired pizza has long been the state of art for pizza purists, whether you are from Naples, Buffalo or elsewhere. I was therefore incredibly excited to unpack the Bertello Pizza Oven and see what kind of mess I could make. As with any new project, the learning curve is much of the fun.

There’s not too much assembly to the Bertello Pizza Oven, and soon I had the oven ready to go. As any pizza cook will tell you, heat is your friend. Although the Bertello gets pretty hot via liquid propane, its very clever design allows for wood to be used to bump up the temperature.

Bertello offers free shipping, a three year warranty and 100% satisfaction guarantee, all of which I found very compelling.

Given the oven time to heat up (about 20 minutes), we turned our attention to building the pizza.

There are many places, from Trader Joe’s to your nearest favorite Italian restaurant, which will happily sell you pizza dough. The main trick, as emphasized by Eric Thomas at Bertello, is to knead the dough thin enough for light to come through. This is where patience comes in, as kneading the dough is an art into itself. Naturally, my daughters and wife had more patience and managed to create some ideally opaque pie crusts. I resorted a rolling pin.

I admit to also liking a deep dish pizza loaded with contents, but the trick here is less is more.

A couple tablespoons of pizza sauce, some shredded Parmesan, several chunks of mozzarella and you should be good to go. Have some fresh shredded basil ready, because in 90 seconds your pizza will be done.

Using the peel (which the civilian might otherwise call an oversize spatula), you load the pizza into the oven. Within 20 seconds you extract the pizza using the peel and turn it 90°.

What you were aiming for is leoparding, that tell tale black spotting on the crust.

We quickly had a system down, and almost as fast as I brought out the pizzas, they were consumed. A nice Grenache or Chianti, some sparkling water, squint your eyes and you could be on the Amalfi coast. Molto bene indeed!


Here are some videos we found helpful:

This video shows stretching out the dough and flouring the pizza peel:

And this video shows cooking a pizza unedited:

Vito using the Oven 



Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.