Do you love woodfire pizza? Juicy steaks with that enviable restaurant-quality char? The best slow-cooked lamb you’ve ever eaten in your life? Welcome to my test run of the Gozney Dome.
While the hybrid model of this very slick-looking outdoor oven has only just become available in Australia, I got to test it out for a couple of weeks beforehand. Before we begin, here are some specs on the Gozney Dome:
- You can roast, smoke, steam or bake in it
- There are two models — a pure woodfire, and a hybrid that gives you the option to use gas
- The outside of the oven measures 660mm high, 630mm deep and 732mm wide (without the stand), so you can fit quite a bit in
- It weighs 58kg (more on that later)
- There’s a digital thermometer to monitor the inside oven temp, plus temperature probes for checking the internal temperatures of food (more on that later too)
- The ceramic bonded outer coating makes it extra durable, water resistant and UV stable, so you can use it year-round
- It comes with a 5-year warranty
- Prices start at $1,999 plus extras like the stand and accessories
The Gozney Dome is super easy to get going, especially with the hybrid model. It was as easy as connecting the gas bottle, firing it up and allowing the oven to cure for about 30 minutes on the first go before you start cooking anything. Mind you, I don’t know how I would have gotten this monster oven onto the stand without the two delivery men who were built like front-row forwards. In saying that, having the oven on wheels makes it easy to move around and the locking caster wheels stop it from rolling away while you’re cooking.
I put the Gozney Dome through its paces with a family feast. I slow-cooked lamb forequarter overnight and then popped it in the Dome for about 15 minutes to get a nice crust on it. I’m not gonna lie… it was damn delicious. There was nothing left, and I’d been looking forward to a sandwich of leftovers.
We also cooked a few whole fish in the Gozney Dome — a leather jacket and two flatheads that my brother caught the day before. He stuffed them with lemon and herbs and wrapped them in foil. And here’s where the meat thermometers that plug into the Dome are a godsend for working out when your protein is cooked without having to cut it open. The fish was also devoured.
The Gozney Dome is also great for backyard pizza parties. Now, I’ve already made pizza in the Gozney Roccbox, but the Dome gives you more space to control the cook by moving the pizza around. I tested it out with flatbreads in three different flavours, just for something different, to go with this massive T-bone steak that I definitely did not eat in one sitting.
I left the hardest part ’til last — trying to start an actual fire. The gas option is just so easy, convenient and quick to heat up that it’s almost like using a conventional oven in your kitchen, only way more fun. But using wood fire means you have to allow a lot more time for the oven to heat up and the wood to burn down to the right cooking temp. However, I had a massive advantage in my brother (the fisherman), who has a smoker and happens to work in temperature controls, so I employed him to get the fire going because he already had the tools (you really need to start the fire outside the oven so the oxygen can get into it). It’s easy enough to switch the Dome from the gas mode to the wood fire mode — you just have to change the pucks on the floor of the oven.
The biggest pro of using wood fire is that you can impart extra flavour into dishes with specialty timbers. To finish off the roast pork my brother had pre-cooked overnight, we used apple tree chunks, and it worked a treat. If you want to stick with the gas mode, you can still add some special smokiness by using cedar planks. I tried it with a salmon steak and it gave it a subtle smokey flavour that worked well with the roasted potatoes on the side, too. You do have to soak the cedar planks for at least 6 hours beforehand, though, so plan ahead.
Both modes of the hybrid Gozney Dome are easy to clean — the ashtray takes care of a lot of the wood fire mess, and I just wiped down the stone floor of the oven with a damp cloth after it cooled down. Mind you, I did use roasting pans to sit the meat on to try and cut down on mess in the first place.
Verdict: if you’re someone who loves entertaining, then the Gozney Dome is definitely worth the money. It’s great for cooking pizzas, steaks and whole fish. But if your idea of a barbecue is a standard sausage like you get at Bunnings, then the Dome is wasted on you — just buy a basic four-burner BBQ and be done with it.