- Handcrafted, solid construction includes 304 grade stainless steel
- Reliable and steady temperature zones offer heat peaking over 1000ºF
- Awesome 3–4 minute pizza bake times keep the party strong all day
- Lightweight build and small counter footprint make setup simple
- Included pizza peel and ash rake offer great added value
With over 20 years providing outstanding BBQ products and serious grilling know-how to 1 million customers like you (and counting!), you could say we’ve been around the block. That’s how we can can say this with a straight face: there’s a mad scientist running around out there, and they’re obsessed with pizza parties. How else could we have the Cru 30 portable pizza oven? With this level of affordability and maneuverability, this is the mobile machine for molten meals.
The Cru 30 is lightweight, handcrafted, and a baking battery for any adventure beyond the backyard. Need to feed your Mediterranean fix with a satisfyingly crispy crunch in every bite? Craving the wood-fired flavor of tasty toppings swimming in a lake of gooey cheese? Want that exact sentence, but with charcoal instead? Then boy, do we have the thing for you! And if that taste tinkerer is still out there, designing fantastic pizza ovens on their way to that pizza-powered death ray? Give us a call. Seriously, we’ll get your face carved on a mountain lair if it gets us more equipment like this.
The best portable pizza ovens aren’t just mobile — they’re sturdy. Busting out our favorite calipers and XRF analysis guns for the Cru 30 pizza oven, we found plenty to smile about. For starters, we learned its interior and exterior walls measure in at 1 millimeter of thickness, constructed from 304 grade stainless steel. We also discovered 304 grade stainless steel in the detachable chimney (6 millimeters thick) and the removable front door (1 1/2 millimeter thick). Cue those cheesy smiles.
Now, let’s talk pizza power. There’s the refractory ceramic pizza stone at a thickness of 10 1/2 millimeters — that’s excellent for a portable oven at this price point. Refractory ceramic similarly blankets the double walls of the oven. What does this all mean for you? In a word: insulation, and lots of it. When you fire this thing up, it’ll rev up and retain plenty of roasting heat. To wit, the exterior walls don’t seem to be heat treated, which screams confidence to us.
That brings us to the two biggest things we love about the Cru 30 portable pizza oven’s construction: it not only uses premium materials where they count, but is handcrafted from start to finish. We don’t exactly see this all the time, especially not in pizza ovens. While rare for the market, it’s not so for the brand; at time of writing, every Cru Oven ships from their home country of Portugal, completely assembled by hand.
To see how easily this pizza oven gets going, we measured temperatures after the first 15 minutes. Unsurprisingly, the center-back heats the fastest — but we were pleased to see it had already hit the full 900ºF mark. Meanwhile, center-middle measured 750ºF; both center-left and center-right were breathing down its neck at 700ºF; finally, center-front clocked in at 580ºF. Not shabby for a third of the recommended startup time.
Of course, it’s a different story after a full 45-minute preheat cycle. For instance, the center-back clocked in just over 1000ºF, which is spectacular; the center-middle sizzled along nicely at 845ºF; center-left and center-right closed the gap at 820ºF; the center-front section ran piping-hot at a great 720ºF of heat. Frankly, that’s impressive for an affordable wood-fired pizza oven, let alone a portable one.
But the real superstar here isn’t speedy heating or consistent temperatures, it’s that impressive output. This oven just plain performs. With next to no issues, we steadily baked 3–4 minute pizzas for hours; the efficiency here at slinging slices of molten pizza means you won’t want to step away. And then there’s the rest of the cookbook we can throw at it: load up some cast iron cookware with salmon, sizzle stupendous steak straight on the embers, or melt that secret weapon: your family’s own bacon-topped macaroni and cheese recipe. Everything we tossed into that sweltering heat, the Cru 30 handled like a champ.
Now, we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk accessories: included in the box are a handheld pizza peel and an ash rake. The latter tool, of course, makes it a breeze to reposition those crackling wood or charcoal embers, whether you’re pushing them to the back to bake pizzas or dragging them forward to broil like a pro. For a pinch of extra class, we quite love the vertical wooden handle on the front removable door; it’s a nice aesthetic touch that calls brings its Portugal roots to mind.
But we haven’t even touched on the Cru 30 pizza oven’s minimal countertop footprint and relatively light frame, sitting at a mere 33 pounds. Throw in another nod back to the removable chimney and detachable front door, and we think you’ll agree: this is an oven made to be transported easily, lugged around, and planted right at the center of the action. Considering those factors — and everything else we enjoy about this machine — and we can confidently name the Cru 30 portable pizza oven one of the best portable pizza ovens around today.