AmazingRibs.com is supported by our Pitmaster Club. Also, when you buy with links on our site we may earn a finder’s fee. Click to see how we test and review products.

Blaze 26-Inch Freestanding Outdoor Pizza Oven Review

Share on:
Blaze 26" Pizza Oven

This gorgeous outdoor oven makes a nice, big pizza and comes with several other perks.

Blaze makes some of the sleekest stainless-steel outdoor cooking equipment on the market. You can outfit the kitchen of your dreams with their high-quality gas and charcoal grills, griddles, side burners, vent hoods, refrigerators, sinks, and storage cabinets. Blaze’s newest option is a premium outdoor gas oven with a rotating pizza stone and vertical rotisserie.

Like many Blaze grills, the new oven is available as a drop-in unit for your custom outdoor kitchen, a portable unit with a footed base, or a freestanding unit with a cart. We tested the freestanding unit.

Blaze Pizza Oven Cooking Racks

Construction

Gleaming with 304 stainless steel, the Blaze Outdoor Pizza Oven cuts a figure impressive enough even for the most lavish outdoor kitchens. Its 688 square inches of cooking space consists of two removable 20- x 16-inch oven racks that rest above the 17-inch round cordierite pizza stone.

Blaze Interior Rotisserie

Blaze provides a 10-inch tall spit rod with 2 spit forks for holding birds or other roasts on the turntable. The spit rod screws upright into a 12-inch diameter x 1 3/4-inch deep drip tray and can be removed if you want to use the round tray simply as a roasting pan. Ever dreamed of being a gyro hero, slicing a hot stack of shawarma meat off a vertical spit? Here’s your chance.

The oven is fueled by two U-shaped burners beneath the rotating stone and one straight burner along the oven’s back wall for a total of 24,500 BTUs with an included propane-to-natural gas conversion kit.

Blaze at night

Internal lights and a double-pane glass window make this oven ideal for nighttime outdoor roasting without opening the oven door. A digital control panel displays the ambient oven temp as well as two food temps when using the provided meat probes. The temp knobs, power button, internal light switch, and rotisserie on/off buttons each light up red when activated, another useful feature for cooking at night.

Like what you’re reading? Click here to get Smoke Signals, our free monthly email that tells you about new articles, recipes, product reviews, science, myth-busting, and more. Be Amazing!

In the image above, you’ll notice that the display panel reads out the ambient “Grill Temp.” With its U-shaped burners and back rotisserie burner, the Blaze Pizza Oven is constructed somewhat like a grill. But make no mistake, this is not a grill. No grill racks or burner covers are provided for direct cooking over the burners. This is an outdoor oven. The turntable and oven racks are clearly designed for pizza, baking, roasting, and rotisserie cooking. Unlike your indoor oven, however, the Blaze temp knobs are not marked with numerical oven temperatures. They’re simply marked from LOW to HI, and they reach those extremes with just a quarter-turn of the knob. With an advertised temperature range of 270ºF to 550ºF, that makes the knobs very sensitive to minor adjustments. Once dialed in, though, the Blaze holds a steady temp like a champ.

The Freestanding model we tested includes a stainless steel cart with four locking caster wheels, two stationary side shelves (each about 25 x 11 inches), and a double-door cabinet below. The cabinet features soft-close hinged doors (a luxe touch), a cut-out inside for your 20-lb propane tank, plus a little extra room for utensils and such. The oven racks can be stored inside the cabinet when you remove them to, say, launch pizzas directly onto the pizza stone. With the whole shebang assembled, the Blaze Freestanding Pizza Oven With Rotisserie and Cart stands about 51 inches tall, 54 inches wide, and 25 inches deep—plus a few inches for the temp knobs.

Assembly

The entire unit comes well-packed on a shipping pallet. Assembling the cart alone took me three hours. Half of that time was spent peeling off the protective film from all the stainless steel. Assembly itself went pretty smoothly, although the printed instructions could use a bit of updating. They picture an older, simpler style of door, but my unit came with the newer soft-close doors and no instructions on how to assemble them. I did find this Blaze video to help with door installation. Here’s a helpful cart assembly video too. Pay close attention as you work: the order of operations matters. The printed instructions say you need two people to assemble the cart, but I did it myself. You definitely need two people to lift the oven onto the cart. The oven itself weighs 75 pounds and you need to line it up perfectly with the slot on top of the cart. 

Blaze stone

Up your game: Join our Pitmaster Club. Try it out for free for 30 days. No credit card is needed. No spam. Join now and Be Amazing!

Pizza tests

When the Blaze arrived, I was working on a Detroit-style pizza cookbook, so those were the first pizzas I launched. These recipes call for a 700ºF oven temp and Blaze’s max advertised temp is 550ºF. Would it work? I set all three burners on medium to bring the pizza stone gradually up to temp, and within 10 minutes, the display panel read 500ºF ambient temp. Then I cranked all burners to HI, and after 45 minutes, the stone temp registered 753ºF on my IR gun—a pretty good temp for Detroit-style pizza. I also tracked temps with my trusty Fireboard inside the oven and the Fireboard figures remained within just a few degrees of Blaze, a good sign. 

Blaze meat lovers pizza

In went a meat-lovers pie with homemade fennel-scented beef sausage, beef pepperoni, blanched kale, and pickled banana pepper rings. The pan was slightly off-center on the pizza stone, which made the motor groan a bit with each turn. I centered the pan and, after 10 to 12 minutes, the pie cooked nicely but was more done on the bottom than the top. To cook the sausage through on top, I had to run the pizza under the broiler of my indoor oven, an extra step I’d be troubleshooting in later tests. This pizza got a honey-chipotle drizzle on top after cooking, which sends all those meaty, peppery flavors into the stratosphere. It was delicious.

Next up was a jerk lamb sausage square pie with ricotta cheese, za’atar, and roasted garlic honey drizzle. I had the same issue with the sausage not cooking through, so I ran this pie under the broiler as well. When I cut this one up, it disappeared so fast, I couldn’t get a picture!

Blaze Margherita top

Time to test Neapolitan-style pizzas. Strictly speaking, Neapolitan pizza should be cooked at temps of 800ºF to 900ºF on the oven stone and dome. The hottest I could get Blaze’s stone was about 750ºF, so these pizzas would probably take a bit longer than the customary 90 seconds or less. I used my favorite Naples-style dough at 60% hydration and started with a simple Margherita pie with fresh tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, and fresh basil. Before launching the pizza, I let the rotating stone recover to a stone temp of 700ºF on the IR gun.

Blaze Margherita bottom

I launched the Margherita and, after 3 minutes in the oven, the bottom of the pizza was burnt and the top had barely finished cooking. It also didn’t have those crusty bits of char on the rim, a hallmark of Neapolitan-style pizza. 

What’s going on here? Simply put, it’s a lack of top heat, the Achilles heel of many backyard pizza ovens. That makes it a challenge to achieve what Meathead calls “simultaneous pizzagasm,” that magical moment when the top and bottom of the pizza are done at the same time. 

Blaze vented dome

In the Blaze, there are three main issues causing pizzagasmus interruptus: 1) the distance between the pizza and the dome—nearly 12 inches, 2) no mechanism to deliver additional top heat, such as a rolling flame, and 3) heat escaping through the dome. Blaze’s dome is generously vented to allow combustion gases to escape, which is absolutely necessary, but it sacrifices top heat. Look up through the oven dome and you can see clear through the vents, where your top heat is escaping. That also means the oven gets pretty hot up there on the stainless steel. Don’t burn yourself! 

Time to start troubleshooting for top heat. Maybe the back burner could help even out the heat? For the next pizza, I cranked the back burner to HI, and left the bottom burners on medium-high. Result: marginal gains. The pizzas from this cook session were all pretty similar and more done on the bottom than the top.

Blaze stone and steel

Could a baking steel placed on an oven rack above the pizza stone deliver more top heat? Let’s find out. On a calm 42ºF evening, I lit a fire in my fire pit to keep warm, and then got the stone-and-steel setup in place inside the Blaze. I fired her up with all 3 burners on medium and when the display got to 450ºF, I cranked them all to HI to saturate the pizza stone and steel with heat. About three beers later, I came back, and the temp display read 150ºF. Oh no—the burners had gone out! I tried re-lighting them, and the igniter worked fine, but only a minimal flame appeared in the burner tubes, and the flame gradually petered out. After repeated tries, all three burners were like this. Was there a clog in the gas line? A kink? A leak? Was it too cold out? Was I drunk? I couldn’t find the answer and had to pivot to cooking that night’s pizza in another oven.

The next night, it was about 53ºF and sunny, and I tried again. I switched propane tanks, tightened all the hose connections, checked for leaks, then fired her up again. Success! There must have been an issue with the LP tank – something to troubleshoot later. After a quick preheat to bring the temp up gradually, I cranked all three burners on full bore. An hour later, the ambient display temp was 650ºF and my IR gun clocked the pizza stone at 720ºF. Very promising!

Blaze buffalo chicken pizza

I launched a Detroit-style pizza in the center of the stone—just below the hot steel—and let it go for 10 minutes. This recipe came from Philadelphia chef Michael Solomonov: a harissa buffalo chicken schnitzel pizza. That might sound like a wall of confusion, but believe me, these flavors were fantastic. And, indeed, the hot baking steel did help get the cooking closer to simultaneous pizzagasm. The pizza crust was only slightly more done than top. 

Blaze pesto chicken top

For the next pizza, another Detroit pie, I tried lowering the temp and extending the cooking time to even things out a bit more. I set the under-burners to medium and left the back burner on HI. After 15 minutes of recovery time for the stone, the oven temp climbed back up to 600°F on the ambient display. My IR gun registered 675ºF on the stone and 600ºF on the steel above it. I launched a creamy pesto chicken and roasted red pepper pizza. After about 11 minutes, the top was bubbling and the cheese “crown” around the perimeter looked brown and crunchy. The toppings needed just a little more browning, so I let it go for another minute and then pulled it.

Blaze pesto chicken side

By that time, the crown was perfectly brown and crispy. The bottom crust was crunchy but not burnt. The toppings were cooked through. It was great! If you like creamy pesto chicken pasta dishes, I highly recommend trying this combo on pizza. It’s a total slam dunk. 

The baking steel was clearly helping. Time to test that method on a Neapolitan-style pie. For this test, I preheated the whole setup on HI for 40 minutes, then turned the burners under the stone to medium and kept the back burner on HI, as before. After 10 minutes of stabilizing, the ambient temp was about 615ºF, the stone temp was 630ºF and the steel temp was 605ºF. All good signs.

Blaze sausage pepper underskirt

I launched a sausage and roasted pepper pizza, re-started the turntable, closed the door, and started my stopwatch. At these temps, I knew this was not going to be a classic 90-second Neapolitan pizza. After two minutes, the dough was just starting to bubble up on the rim, and the cheese started melting. After five minutes, the cheese was bubbling, and the top was browning, but the bottom wasn’t quite done. I cranked up the bottom burners from medium to HI and let it go another two minutes. 

Blaze sausage pepper pizza

After seven minutes total cooking time, the pizza was done. The rim was not charred with leopard spots the way I like it. But it was evenly cooked, similar to a New York-style pizza with some browning on the rim and a nice crispy crust. 

After testing a few more pizzas with this stone-and-steel setup and slightly different temperature configurations, I came to the following conclusion: this oven makes great Detroit-style, Sicilian, Roman al taglio, tavern-style, and grandma pies. With its 17-inch stone, it’s especially well-suited to large, New York-style pies. It’s less ideal for Neapolitan style pizza, but I made my Naples-style dough work: it just took a little longer to cook and came out slightly closer to a New York-style pizza. 

 

Blaze chicken enchiladas

Other cook tests

Versatility is a huge selling point for this oven, so I began other cook tests with a softball: chicken cheese enchiladas. After stabilizing the oven temp to about 375ºF, I assembled the enchiladas and set them in a glass baking dish on the middle oven rack. After about 30 minutes of bake time, the bottom was starting to bubble, but the cheese on top had barely melted. Same top heat issue. It tasted great, but I had to run the dish under the broiler in my indoor oven to brown the cheese before serving. 

Blaze brussels

Next up: shredded Brussels sprouts. I tossed them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roasted them in a carbon steel pan on the pizza stone at 400ºF ambient temp. After 20 minutes of roasting, and tossing a few times for even browning, they came out great. 

Time for the big test: a Thanksgiving turkey. I picked up a small (11-pound) organic turkey from Jaindl Farms, an award-winning turkey farm near my house. After pulling the neck and giblets, I dry-brined the bird in Meathead’s Tuscan Herb Poultry Seasoning in the fridge for 36 hours.

Thanksgiving was a 50ºF day, and my chef-friend Lee Chizmar invited me over for his annual oyster and champagne fest on Thanksgiving morning. Around noon, I came back and fired up the Blaze with all three burners on medium. The ambient oven temp stabilized to 475ºF, and I spitted the turkey vertically on the Blaze spitrod, securing it with the spit fork. The bird sat up nicely and looked ready to go. 

 

Blaze turkey too tall

But it didn’t fit! Damn. The Blaze manual says the rotisserie can handle anything up to 20 pounds, but I hadn’t double-checked the vertical height of the bird. The spitrod itself is only 10 inches tall and the oven mouth is about 10 1/2 inches tall. Moral: Take some rough measurements before you get your meat all spitted up and ready to roast! 

Plan B: I de-spitted the bird and laid it on its back on the drip tray/roasting pan. For rotisserie roasts like this, the manual recommends using only the back burner, so I kept the under-burners off and turned the back burner to medium-low. After some knob fiddling, I got the temp stabilized to about 325ºF, right where I wanted it. About that fiddling: it’s pretty easy to undershoot or overshoot the mark with set temps in this oven, so I took some measurements to see just how sensitive the temp knobs are. The main burner knobs are 2 inches in diameter and the back burner knob is 1 3/4 inches. On the main knobs, every 1/4-inch turn of the dial changes the temperature by about 50ºF. That means if you want to adjust your oven temp from 325º to 350ºF, it requires just a 1/8-inch turn. It’s even less on the smaller back burner knob. That’s pretty sensitive! Proceed slowly, my friends.

Blaze Thanksgiving turkey

I estimated about 3 hours for the bird to cook, but it actually took 4. Damn organic birds must have firmer meat! Still, the turkey came out with beautifully bronzed skin and tender, juicy meat.

Blaze Thanksgiving plate

I presented the bird to our guests (a small gathering of family and friends), then carved it up. With homemade Parker House rolls, mashed potatoes, a simple turkey gravy, roasted shredded Brussels (this time tossed with roasted garlic and aged balsamic vinegar), homemade cranberry orange chutney, and a rich, vegetable-and-cheese-stuffed puff pastry dish, our Thanksgiving feast was a hit. Thank you, Blaze.

Conclusion

I continued testing the Blaze Pizza Oven through the winter with much the same results. The lowest temp I could maintain was 250ºF with only the back burner on and set to Low, perfect for low and slow cooking. The highest ambient temp I could maintain was 650ºF with all burners cranked to HI. That’s a slightly wider temperature range than Blaze’s advertised 270ºF to 550ºF, a nice surprise.

The best thing about this outdoor oven is its incredible versatility. You can bake everything from cookies to casseroles; roast big hunks of meat; pan-roast steaks and vegetables; and rotisserie-roast everything from chickens and pineapples to shawarma meat and a crown roast of pork. The drip tray is a nice addition so you can capture flavorful juices to make gravy. And the 17-inch rotating pizza stone is perfect for big, New York-style pizzas. 

My only gripe is that the oven could use more top heat—especially at this price point. A baking steel set on an oven rack above the stone helps but requires an additional purchase. Still, this oven’s versatility, quality build, and stunning good looks earn it a solid Silver medal. 

Warranty

Blaze pizza ovens have a lifetime warranty that warrants against any defects in the manufacturing and workmanship on the control valves, cooking grids, stainless steel housing, stainless steel burners, flame tamers, heat zone separators, and all other stainless steel components. All electrical and ignition components are covered for one (1) year after the date of purchase. (Labor not included.)

We thank Blaze for providing a 26-Inch Freestanding Outdoor Pizza Oven With Rotisserie And Cart for our tests.

Haven't found what you want?
Click the buttons below to search our complete database of reviews:

Product Information:

  • Model:
    26" Outdoor Pizza Oven With Rotisserie And Cart
  • Item Price:
    $ 3,699.98
    *Price Subject To Change
  • Where to buy (buying from this supplier supports this website):
  • Made in USA:
    no
  • Review Method:
    Cooked On It
    We have hands-on experience testing this product. We have also gathered info from the manufacturer, owners and other reliable sources.
  • Primary Function:
    Pizza Oven
  • Fuel:
    Propane Gas, Natural Gas Capable
  • BTU:
    24,500
  • Heat Flux:
    38.28
    Heat Flux is the BTU per square inch and is a more useful measure of how much heat a grill delivers than BTU alone.
  • Main Burners:
    3
  • Primary Capacity:
    640 square inches
    Mid-Size (about 31 burgers)

Related reviews

Published On: 2/29/2024 Last Modified: 4/24/2024

  • Dave Joachim, AmazingRibs.com Contributing Author - Editor of AmazingRibs.com, David Joachim has authored, edited, or collaborated on more than 45 cookbooks, four of them on barbecue and grilling, and his Food Science column has appeared in "Fine Cooking" magazine since 2011. He’s a perfect match for a website dedicated to the “Science of Barbecue and Grilling.”

 

High quality websites are expensive to run. If you help us, we’ll pay you back bigtime with an ad-free experience and a lot of freebies!

Millions come to AmazingRibs.com every month for high quality tested recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, product reviews, and inspiration. But it is expensive to run a website with more than 2,000 pages and we don’t have a big corporate partner to subsidize us.

Our most important source of sustenance is people who join our Pitmaster Club. But please don’t think of it as a donation. Members get MANY great benefits. We block all third-party ads, we give members free ebooks, magazines, interviews, webinars, more recipes, a monthly sweepstakes with prizes worth up to $2,000, discounts on products, and best of all a community of like-minded cooks free of flame wars. Click below to see all the benefits, take a free 30 day trial, and help keep this site alive.


Post comments and questions below

grouchy?

1) Please try the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can’t help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.

5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.

Moderators

  Max

Click to comment or ask a question...

Spotlight

These are not paid ads, they are a curated selection of products we love.

All of the products below have been tested and are highly recommended. Click here to read more about our review process.

Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

Many merchants pay us a small referral fee when you click our “buy now” links. This has zero impact on the price you pay but helps support the site.