Gozney Roccbox review: perfect pizza making with a compact, clever design

I couldn't eat another thing, but if someone were to fire up the Roccbox again I might be convinced...

T3 Platinum Award
Gozney Roccbox review
(Image credit: Alex Cox / T3)
T3 Verdict

The Gozney Roccbox blew us away, both with a 500-degree blast of heat and the quality of the pizza it's able to produce. It's excellent, and portable enough that you don't have to build your entire garden around it.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Produces excellent pizza

  • +

    Easy to set up and use

  • +

    Option of wood firing

  • +

    Portable (if slightly weighty)

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Needs costly extras to really shine

  • -

    Could benefit from better instructions

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Gozney is, so says its press department, the leading UK name in commercial pizza ovens. I wasn't able to contact every restaurant to check, but I tend to believe that claim. Why? Because it's clear that considerable expertise has gone into not only the very hefty Gozney Dome but this, the Roccbox, a portable dual-fuel oven which (despite its smaller size) doesn't exclude the stone floor that pizza pros rely on.

T3 has tested it briefly before – indeed, the Gozney Roccbox features on our list of the best pizza ovens for a reason – but given that it's T3 Garden Month, it's time to give it full scrutiny. Does the comparatively cheap end of Gozney's home line up have what it takes? Well, you'll find out, but yes. It absolutely does.

If you're more of a takeaway regular than a dough-spinning pizza chef, check out our guide to cooking pizza at home so you know what you're getting yourself into.

Gozney Roccbox review: Unboxing and setup

The Gozney Roccbox is supplied in a large box, and packed super-securely within a stiff liner which appears to be some kind of polystyrene. This is tough enough that you can easily return the unit to the box for storage without making a mess, though it's maybe not the most eco-friendly option. To be fair, I'm sure cardboard wouldn't work given the weight of the Roccbox. It would be obliterated.

Open the box, and you'll first find the pizza peel, which is a rather essential extra sold separately by Gozney for £65, as well as a bottle opener and a limited selection of manuals (I'll come to those later). Beneath the top layer hides the main unit wrapped in a handy sturdy hook-and-loop carrying strap, as well as its gas burner, disconnected by default.

Setting up the Roccbox isn't tremendously difficult, but there's a knack to it. Place it opening-side down, unfurl one of its three folding legs, and you gain access to the burner port on its base. Installing the gas burner (or, if you opt to pay the extra, the wood option) means aligning three pins and rotating the burner to lock it in place. The insulation around the pins and the tight build tolerances make this a finicky procedure, one which took about five minutes every time. Better that than a loose fit, though.

From there, just unfold the other two legs, place the oven where you're planning to cook, connect the gas line (in the UK this comes with a standard Patio Gas attachment) and you're ready.

Gozney Roccbox review

(Image credit: Alex Cox / T3)

Gozney Roccbox review: Design and features

The Roccbox is a pizza oven, and as such its formula doesn't diverge from that of any other pizza oven. Hot thing at the back, insulation around the edges, opening into which to insert dough and (shortly after) remove pizza – the usual. There's no great reinvention here, and the most notable design choice is the lack of the chimney you might find on some competing products.

What there are are some very clever touches. The outside, for example, is covered in silicone which adds a nice colourful touch and also makes things a little safer. Ideally it's enough to prevent the outside of the Roccbox from getting fry-your-fingers hot. You'll still need to keep kids and pets away, of course – with a fire blazing away inside the outer is not, by any means, cold – but it's the right choice of outer.

On the left side there's a built-in temperature gauge, which helps you time the warm-up cycle and know exactly when the oven is ready to accept a slab of dough. I can only presume mine was somehow misprinted, given that it relates Fahrenheit to Celsius in a completely incorrect 2:1 ratio. I'm not deducting any points, because pizza-making is the kind of inexact science for which the colours around the edge of the thermometer are far more useful than any specific number, but it's still odd.

I've mentioned the folding legs, and they're really very sturdy and easy to both stow and deploy. What's extra handy is that the stone base of the Roccbox is an incredible insulator. I played safe and conducted my testing at ground level on patio tiles, but a wave of the hand underneath suggests there's little to no heat transfer from even a fully-fired oven onto the surface below. You could likely set up the Roccbox on whatever surface you like as long as there's room for it to spread its legs, and you have the arm strength remaining to lift its very heavy form. Picnic-friendly this isn't, carrying strap or not.

Overall, the design of the Roccbox is outstanding, from the oven itself to every peripheral component around it. It's clear that Gozney fully understands the relationship between premium tech and premium looks. This is visually stunning, even in the olive version I was sent – which happens to be my least favourite of the options, which include grey, black and (through certain retailers) a lovely yellow.

Gozney Roccbox review: Accessories

Gozney got slightly overexcited when sending over our review unit. Not only did the company send the main Roccbox, which includes a pizza peel and cute little bottle opener as standard, it also sent over a ream of extras. It seems only fair to give each a little attention.

The Roccbox Mantel (£59) is perhaps the most important addition you can make to the Roccbox; it adds a little shelf at the front of the oven's opening, onto which you can slide your pizza-in-progress to check its progress or use the extra space to give it a slightly less confined turn. I wouldn't want to use the Roccbox without it. It feels very expensive for what is essentially a single piece of stamped and bent metal, but it is at least easy to hook on and remove for cleaning. 

Speaking of turning one's pizza, the Roccbox Turning Peel (£49) makes the task somewhat easier, even if you're giving it a shuffle within the oven. Again, it's pricey, and while the round head makes things a little easier, you could probably do the same with a long-handled spatula. I loved it, but it might not be 100% necessary.

Next, a combo: the Pizza Rocker (£35) and Pizza Server (£39) combine to give you somewhere to put your oven-fresh pizza and a device with which to chop it. Both are excellent: the board is made of super-tough black fibre board, easy to hand wash and hard wearing enough to not leave too many deep grooves when cleaving one's pizza; the rocker feels extra-premium, slices neatly without an issue, and really makes you feel every part the pizza wizard.

Finally, Gozney also sent over the Roccbox Wood Burner 2.0 (£100), which allows you a choice of fuels. It's theoretically quick to install – as I've discussed, the attachment method is simple if fiddly – and it's absolutely traditional. That said (purists, look away) we'd argue the convenience and cleanliness of gas might be our preferred option as far as running the Roccbox regularly goes.

Certain accessories escaped Gozney's fit of excited warehouse-emptying, most notably the £39 Roccbox Cover which'll be useful if you're planning to leave this outside. Were the Roccbox to stay with me, this is an investment I'd definitely make. The main unit is compact enough to put away in a shed, but giving it a permanent home and having it ready to go would make delicious pizza all the more accessible.

Gozney Roccbox review: Performance

As effusive as I've been about the Roccbox's design, accessories, and everything else surrounding it, the pizzas you can make with it are by far the best bit.

For our tests, I mixed up Gozney's recommended dough, included in a (very limited) recipe book in the box. I'm so glad I did: it differs from the usual thin-base recipe I'd normally use in a home oven, and involves giving one's dried yeast a treat by allowing it to wallow in warm sugary water for a while before mixing it into the flour. The end result is a chewy, airy, delicious dough that's possibly the best I've ever tasted, home-made or not.

Getting the Roccbox ready isn't difficult, though it does take a little while for it to build up the requisite heat – around 25 minutes on low to gently warm up, followed by five or so minutes blasting on high to reach its final cooking temperature. After that, you're good to cook: at around 500 degrees, the full-blast Roccbox can take a pizza from raw to your jaws in a couple of minutes or less.

I'd have appreciated slightly more direction and advice be included in that recipe book, or at least in the box, as it did take a couple of disastrous pizzas to realise I was doing something wrong. It was only after an annoyed bit of Googling that we learned that the pizza peel needs a good covering of flour to help the dough make its dismount onto that scorching stone base. This is something we probably should have worked out through intuition, given the stickiness of the raw dough, but we'll happily take our place as the lowest common denominator in this case. Once we'd been properly informed (as we would have been if we'd read T3's guide to home-cooking pizza more closely) the remainder of our first test batch came out beautifully.

There's a fair bit of clean up afterwards, though it's nothing too difficult. The heavy insulation of the Roccbox means it takes a number of hours to cool, at which point you can wipe away any soot from the stainless surround. I found the stone base became quite carbonised, too. You don't actually need to clean this if you don't want to – I'm sure it adds character to future pizzas, and the residual heat will burn off anything nasty – but you can get in with a wire brush if you like.

Gozney Roccbox review: Price

The cost/benefit analysis on this one really depends on how much value you place in amazing home-cooked pizza. For its £399 base price, which at least includes enough to get going if not every accessory you might want, that's a lot of easy takeaways you'll need to replace with a long-winded dough-making process and shopping for the requisite ingredients.

Make no mistake, it's absolutely worth its money. Find it at a discount, like the 20% saving that's running on Gozney's website as of writing, and you shouldn't hesitate. This is brilliant, and it even feels reasonably affordable compared to (for instance) the far bulkier £1,500 Gozney Dome. There are cheaper options, though, so it's possible to save if you know you're not going to need portability, or you're happy to sacrifice on style.

Gozney Roccbox review: Verdict

Well-built, brilliant looking, and highly adept at producing delightful pizzas (as well as other foods, if you can find a frying pan or high-temperature dish which can fit inside its opening) the Gozney Roccbox is a superb pack-away pizza oven that doesn't disappoint. You know those cooking gadgets which you buy but will never really use because the results are less than ideal? This isn't that.

You could argue that I've been swayed by a stomach full of pizza. Heck, maybe you'd be right. But that's the best way to be swayed, if you ask me.

Alex Cox

T3 magazine's own Gadget Guru is a 25-year veteran of the tech writing wars, and has the scars to prove it. He's written for the UK's biggest technology publications, and knows everything from smart doorbell voltage needs to how to bend Windows to his every whim.