Gozney Arc review: stylish, compact and dead easy to use

Although pricey, the Gozney Arc is a work of art for any garden and it produces mighty fine pizzas, too

T3 Platinum Award
Gozney Arc review
(Image credit: Leon Poultney / T3)
T3 Verdict

You’ll be tempted by the fancy stand, weather cover and numerous shiny accessories, but if the budget can cope, this is a fantastic pizza oven and stylish outdoor cooking device. Ignore the naysayers when they grumble about a pizza oven’s limited lifespan, as this is versatile enough to cook a bunch of BBQ classics and succulent, skillet-based delicacies, too.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Looks fantastic

  • +

    Takes minutes to set-up

  • +

    Simple to clean

  • +

    Makes easy pizza

  • +

    Deep and wide enough to cook numerous dishes

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Awkward to move with one person

  • -

    Accessories sees budget spiral out of control

  • -

    It's pricey

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Whether it’s the perfect cup of coffee or freshly-baked bread, kitchen connoisseurs are increasingly turning to the latest tech in the pursuit of professional-quality produce for the domestic setting.

Just take a look at the list of best pizza ovens, for example, as everyone from Sage to Solo and Ooni to Danish cooking expert Witt are busy innovating to offer the most mouth-watering, crispy-based pizza that would have previously only have been possible with a restaurant-grade wood-fired oven.

Gozney founder, Tom Gozney, was arguably the first to scale down a commercial pizza oven with his top-selling and uniquely portable Roccbox, but the company has now hit back with what it says is the “world’s most advanced compact oven” in the Arc and larger Arc XL models.

Sitting somewhere in the middle of the smaller Roccbox and Gozney’s gargantuan Dome and Master models, the Arc offers a little more versatility (thanks, in part, to a larger cooking area) compared to the smaller, cheaper and more portable Roccbox, as well a professional-grade lateral rolling flame from a revised, gas-supplied burner.

This funky flame is said to replicate the heat source of traditional wood-burning pizza ovens of yore, heating the inner consistently and evenly, so designated chef doesn’t have to continually turn the pizza to avoid burning it.

I’ve been cooking pizza, as well as experimenting with other Gozney recipes, on the Arc for a few weeks now to see whether this sleek and stylish outdoor oven is worth your hard-earned cash.

Gozney Arc review: price and availability

Available (but selling quickly) from the Gozney website, the smaller Arc starts at £599.99 before you start ticking the many very tempting options boxes. Plump for the XL, which seems to be the most popular model, and you’ll have to part with £699.99.

Alongside Gozney’s website, a select number of retailers in the UK, and further afield, offer a range of Gozney products. These include John Lewis, Lakeland and numerous BBQ retailers. Just don’t expect big discounts, as these are - excuse the pun - hot products that quickly find homes.

Gozney Arc review

(Image credit: Leon Poultney / T3)

Gozney Arc review: design

Clearly taking inspiration from Gozney’s much larger Dome, and more bespoke Master and Core series, the Arc looks like little else on the market. Its carefully curved exterior gives way to a solid cooking surface that’s plenty big enough for a 14-inch pizza.

Should you want to produce even larger pies, there’s an XL model that can accommodate 16-inch pizzas. However, we found the standard model perfectly big enough to feed a family of four, thanks to the large aperture at the front and generous height, allowing for large iron skillets and other pans to be easily slid in and out.

The Arc comes decked in a subdued cream, almost stone-like colour, so looks good in any modern garden - even smaller outdoor spaces, like mine. There’s also a limited black version, which is only available in the XL model and will be offered in very small numbers.

Gozney supplied the Arc with its stand, which is a £249.99 extra but places the pizza oven at a handy eye level. Alternatively, there’s a £99.99 booster, which makes wrangling a pizza paddle a little easier. Or the Arc can sit atop any solid surface that’s big enough. You’ll also need to make sure you have plenty of space for the gas bottle to sit safely away from the oven, and bear in mind the Arc weighs 21.5kg, so it’s not exactly easy to move around with one person. 

Gozney Arc review

(Image credit: Leon Poultney / T3)

I’d suggest spending some extra cash and opting for the stand, complete with handy retractable sideboards, as this comes with wheels and makes it much easier to store when not in use and gives you some surfaces to place dishes and utensils.

Aside from the myriad accessories, the Gozney Arc is relatively simple. There’s a battery-powered digital thermometer at the front and a dial that’s used for igniting the flame and adjusting the temperature during cooking. Simply connect the gas, ignite the flame and let the oven get up to temperature, which takes around 25 to 40 minutes, depending on what you’re cooking.

The internal pizza stone is removable, should you need to clean it, but most small pieces of food and crust can be burnt off by leaving the oven on for a few minutes after cooking. Once cooled, the charred stuff can be brushed away.

Gozney Arc review

(Image credit: Leon Poultney / T3)

Gozney Arc review: features

Tom Gozney speaks passionately and openly about the way outdoor ovens transformed his life, steering him away from addiction and alcoholism to a successful life in business. The passion for cooking and the social benefits clearly show in the product.

Not only does the Arc looks fantastic, it also performs, while the company has selected premium and durable materials to ensure the purchase goes well beyond just a handful of novelty outdoor cooking sessions. The lateral gas burner, for example, has been meticulously engineered so its flame rolls around the roof of the Arc and heats the interior more evenly. This means you don’t get awkward charred sections of pizza dough, while the other half is barely cooked.

The built-in digital thermometer is also a nice touch, as it offers greater control over what you can cook inside. Gozney goes well beyond offering a few basic pizza recipes - both on its website and in accompanying literature - encouraging owners to try everything from steak to delicate fish dishes.

Above all else, all the materials selected have been cherry-picked from much more expensive and cumbersome professional-grade Gozney products and it really shows. The removable cordierite stone oven floor is 20mm thick, while the painted shell is made from tough, reinforced and weather-resistant materials.

It will take several years of testing to see if this stands up to the battering of inclement British weather, which is why  we’d highly recommend investing in a cover, but everything feels solid and sealed, as best as it can be, for a life spent outdoors. 

Gozney Arc review

(Image credit: Leon Poultney / T3)

Gozney Arc review: performance

There are some folk that dedicate their lives to making the perfect, wood-fired pizza, often never quite reaching the Neapolitan-inspired nirvana. I am not that person, but I do appreciate the fun involved in selecting toppings and cooking outside.

As a relative newcomer to the pizza-making business, I was thoroughly impressed with how easy the Gozney Arc was to set-up. It takes minutes to get it from box to the perfect temperature.

Upon first use, Gozney suggests curing the thick stone floor on a low-level heat for 30 minutes, so allow a bit of time to get things just right. After this, it takes at least 30 minutes to get it up to temperature, if not more if you want to reach the heady heights of 450-500˚C  where a thin crust pizza will take mere seconds to cook.

Being a bit lazy, and not entrusting myself with dough-making duties, I purchased some ready-made dough and got the kids involved with stretching the bases and then loading them up with favoured toppings. 

Gozney also supplied one of its Placement Peels (£75) for this test, alongside a Turning Peel (£59),  Pizza Server platter (£39) and Pizza Rocker (£35) for slicing the finished product. You can see how all these things easily add up, but every accessory is impeccably built, handles well and feels like it will go the distance. Just make sure you have lots of room to store the long and unwieldy Peels.

Once I covered my kitchen in semolina flour (Google says its the best flour for pizza making) to prevent dough sticking to everything, the family got to work adding a tomato base, fistfuls of mozzarella cheese and toppings - even pineapple went on there at some point - oh the humanity! 

Gozney Arc review

(Image credit: Leon Poultney / T3)

With the Gozney Arc up to 450˚C and the Placement Peel covered in non-stick semolina flour, it was a simple as sliding the odd-shaped pizza in, turning it once after around 30 seconds and then removing from the oven. Without the Peel, this would be tricky, but you can probably pick up a much cheaper option if budgets don’t stretch to Gozney’s slick offering. 

The results were impressive, with the pizza dough neatly charring just a little but with toppings piping hot. I cooked four pizzas on the first run (I could have easily eaten more) and every single one was met with saucy grins and big thumbs up from the family.

Feeling pizza fatigue and opting to get a little adventurous, I invested in a heavy, cast iron skillet and started cooking wild mushroom and short rib dishes, handmade burgers and even crispy Mediterranean veg. The Arc retained its heat (even in the upper echelons) brilliantly, while the dial control allowed for much greater say over interior temps - making it ideal for even long roasting sessions.

Admittedly, the cooking surface isn’t large enough for more than one large pan, but if you’re happy to keep dishes warm in an oven while you move on to the accompaniments, the Gozney Arc goes way beyond its remit as a pizza oven and into the realms of a mini outdoor kitchen.

It takes a little while to get used to cooking at such exceptionally high temperatures, but the versatility here is fantastic. Flexible enough to justify the lofty asking price and you don’t come away from a cooking session stinking of charcoal, like you would tending to burgers and sausages on a BBQ for hours.

Gozney Arc review: verdict

I’ll admit, I was a little skeptical of an outdoor pizza oven at first. I have friends that have bought them, used them a few times and then left them to gather dust in the garage.

But the Arc’s  increased cooking space, the ease at which it can be fired and the lack of messy clean-up operations makes it a fantastically versatile piece of outdoor cooking equipment. The fact it runs on gas means you don’t have to continuously load in wood and deal with the ashy mess that’s leftover, either.

It works brilliantly as a pizza oven, but can also make quite lavish feasts for multiple people if you’re willing to adapt to the cooking style. I’ve always been one for an old-school charcoal barbecue when the summer months hit, but could happily see myself entertaining friends with crispy Neapolitan pizzas and succulent skillet-pan steaks.

Not only is the resulting food delicious, the clear-up and pack-down is also much less of a faff. Invest in the Arc stand accessory and full length doddle, and you can simply wheel it to a corner of the garden or patio, cover it up and forget about it. Only the stone floor will need occasional cleaning.

Yes, it’s expensive, but feels reasonable when compared to Witt’s funky revolving  ETNA or the much larger and generally less portable Ooni Karu.

Leon Poultney

Leon has been writing about automotive and consumer tech for longer than he cares to divulge. When he’s not testing the latest fitness wearable and action camera, he’s out in a shed fawning over his motorcycles or trying not to kill himself on a mountain bike/surfboard/other extreme thing. He's also a man who knows his tools, and he's provided much of T3's drills coverage over the years, all without injuring himself.