Are Pizza Grilling Kits Really Worth Your Money?

By the editors of Cook's Illustrated

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We put two kits to the test, and 900 degrees later, we had our answer.

Most ovens can’t reach the 700 plus–degree temperatures of commercial ovens that produce perfectly charred crusts and evenly cooked toppings on pizzas. But this doesn’t mean you can’t replicate those restaurant ovens at home. It just means you’ll have to look to your charcoal grill to do so.

You’ll just need a special piece of equipment: KettlePizza designs kits that turn 18.5- and 22.5-inch kettle-style charcoal grills into wood-fired ovens. All kits include a metal collar that elevates the grill’s lid and has a cutout that lets you insert pizzas without losing heat, and promise soaring temperatures and wood-fired flavor. We fired up the grills, assembled some pizzas, and tested the kits for usability and performance.


Our favorite model we tested was the company’s higher-end kit, the KettlePizza Pro 22 Kit (available on Amazon). It converted our Weber charcoal grill into a pizza oven that sent temperatures inside the dome above 900 degrees, allowing us to crank out impressive restaurant-caliber pizzas. Its tombstone-shaped baking stone and custom-grate replacement have openings in the side that made adding more coals and wood chips easy, letting us keep the temperature in the optimal range and crank out multiple pizzas. A “fire basket” held wood chips right next to the baking stone, ensuring crispy, charred crusts with wood-fired flavor. While it’s not cheap (it costs $299.95), if you’re serious about outdoor pizza, it’s still a far better deal than building a backyard wood-fired oven.

  The Best Gluten-Free Pizza

RECIPE FOR MEMBERS: The Best Gluten-Free Pizza

While you’re in a pizza frame of mind, give our gluten-free pizza a try. It's one of the many groundbreaking recipes featured in The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook (available on Amazon). Our recipe for gluten-free pizza conquers the ultimate challenge: developing a crust that’s crispy outside and light and airy inside.

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