Pizza Shelf is a pizza baking surface made of stainless steel. Below we will discuss if you really need this expensive tray.
Making a regular pizza is easy, but not in making a crunchy mouth-watering Italian Neapolitan pizza. To make that, a rule of thumb is to always use a good flame to bake it at a short time (3-4 minutes). With that, you’ll need an expensive wood-burning oven like this that is capable of reaching 1000 ˚F and that’s why it’s so hard to do it at home. Secondly, the wood. Not all the woods are suitable, preferably Ork and Birch. Lastly but not least, the ingredient.
But, what exactly is this thing called Pizza Shelf?
Pizza Shelf – Just what does it do?
Pizza Shelf is a thick USA-made stainless steel surface (with a special finish for low emissivity) for baking pizza and other foods without using a wood-fired oven. It turns your 500 ˚F home oven into a 1000 ˚F Neopolitan pizza machine. Unlike the regular stainless steel plate or baking stone which has a temperature limit of 500 ˚F, Pizza Shelf uses a patent-pending Heatflection technology to better reflect the heat all over your pizza.
Review and Discussion – Why you shouldn’t waste money on this?
Nothing fancy in here. I’ll explain.
Pizza Shelf is a solid and heavy (12 lbs) aluminum tray to focus the heat with its “patent-pending Heatflection technology”, which is just a steel with the upright vertical edges. It’s more of a design than a technology. The steel is thick and has a special finish to better reflect the heat onto the food. While that might seem promising, the question is whereby the special finish able to withstand such a high heat for a long time? If so, is it a food-grade material used and tested by the lab? In concern to the health, the project creators should provide the detail.
On the other hand, another concern is about the price. Each Pizza Shelf is now on Indiegogo selling for $119 each, which is quite pricey in the sense that you can get an oven like this one (700 ˚F) on Amazon at a similar price, or with a little upgrade to a Unni 3 pizza oven that is capable of reaching 900 ˚F. Either way, these options are far better than a $100+ pizza steel. Plus, there will be a high shipping cost due to the 12 lbs weight of Pizza Shelf itself.
Interestingly, here is one similar USA-made steel stone that I found on Amazon. Even though it doesn’t guaranty the high temperature and has a potential to rust, It is cheaper and has received quite a number of good reviews from customers. Considering the hassles, I don’t recommend.
Back to Pizza Shelf.
What to take note is that the Pizza Shelf is not workable if you have a broiler drawer underneath the oven (not within). In other words, it works only if you have a broiler drawer inside the oven. Also, it will not be exactly 90-sec said in the description, the blind spot is that you will still need to take roughly 30min until the steel heated up before you can even start cooking. Ultimately, whether it’s able to reach up to the 1000 ˚F claimed is completely depending on your oven type, and under the “ideal” condition.
The last thing before you buy this, you will need to know that your oven is going to be at the max setting (usually ~500 ˚F) and in the broiler state. Also, the creators advise you to leave the oven door wide open to prevent the auto shut-off (over-heating setting) of your oven. Immagine the setting is at max, that greatly increases the heat capacity limit and also the risk of catching a fire and even a small explosion in your home kitchen.