There is something different about a wood-fire pizza: the thin, crunchy, smoky-flavored crust combined with the elements of melted mozzarella, juicy tomatoes, fresh basil…
Kristian Tapaninaho, a London-based pizza enthusiast conceived the world’s first portable suitcase-sized pizza oven in 2011, then spent the following 10 months developing prototypes before he launched his brainchild on Kickstarter.
Uuni, which simply means “oven” in Tapaninaho’s native Finnish, was a hit; he raised £17,136 (roughly $27,000) — far more than the £7,500 goal he aimed for during his month-long Kickstarter campaign.
The secrets to Tapaninaho’s method have, for the most part, been kept under wraps as his newfound company patents the new invention. What we know so far: the stainless steel 12X36X48 cm oven weighs less than 5 kg and uses hard wood pellets that burn cleanly, eliminating excessive smoke. Within 15-20 minutes, the oven heats to 450 degrees Celsius, or 800 degrees Fahrenheit. It is hot, and recommended for outdoor use only.
When pressed on the oven’s safety, Tapaninaho says to think of the process like a barbecue. “It’s safe as long as you don’t touch it, tip it over, or let kids near it,” he says.
It’s the most affordable wood-fired oven on the market, currently costing £180, or $285. And it’s fast. In three minutes, you have a pizza.
The oven also gives aspiring wood-fired chefs the opportunity to cook other meals that require similar high temperatures. Uuni will come with a manual containing about a dozen recipes, including steps for making naan and Finnish rieska, Tapaninaho says. In other words, more bread!
This month, coinciding with the February 28 deadline for pre-orders leading to a slated summer delivery, Uuni will release additional photos and videos demonstrating exactly how the oven works.
We can’t wait.
‘Till then, watch Tapaninaho’s original Kickstarter video.