Pricey home pizza oven brings the heat for gourmet pies

Hankering for homemade pies of your own? General Electric's new $9,900 Monogram Pizza Oven could be just the ticket for aspiring domestic pizzaioli.

Brian Bennett Former Senior writer
Brian Bennett is a former senior writer for the home and outdoor section at CNET.
Brian Bennett
2 min read

Using an ordinary home oven to duplicate the work of top-notch pizzerias is a tall order. That's true even if you have impressive pizza-making skills, seasoned experience and quality ingredients all at your disposal. General Electric's new $9,900 Monogram Pizza Oven, however, just may tilt the odds in your favor.

Brought to life by the FirstBuild microfactory, the Monogram Pizza Oven is definitely an extravagant purchase. GE promises that this appliance offers performance rivalling commercial ovens, making it worth every penny to aspiring domestic pizzaioli.

GE's new Monogram Pizza Oven turns up the heat (pictures)

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The power for good pizza

The biggest problem with conventional home kitchen ovens is heat, or lack of it. Basic ovens typically top out at 600 degrees Fahrenheit (315 degrees Celsius) which is well below the temperature required for gold standard Neapolitan pizza (905 F, 485 C). This intense heat creates one of the telltale signs you've got exceptional pizza on your hands, at least of the Neapolitan variety -- the touches of black char adorning the crust. Pizza aficionados avidly seek out this attribute because it often heralds a pie with deliciously complex and smoky flavor.

According to GE, the ceramic cooking surface inside the Monogram Pizza Oven has the oomph to hit 800 F (427 C). The machine achieves its high temp thanks to four heating zones that include an array of seven electric heating elements in total. Yes, that's right: this sucker is electric. Not to worry, claims GE, since despite the dogmatic belief that superb pizza must be baked in a traditional wood-burning oven, attaining crust with satisfactory char demands high heat and is fuel-source agnostic. I'm inclined to agree, since some of the best pizza I've consistently tasted came from Nick's, my longtime local joint and its gas ovens (char and all).

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Will there be space in your kitchen (and budget) for the Monogram Pizza Oven?

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Another impressive stat GE touts is the Monogram Pizza Oven's quick preheat time of 30 minutes. And because the machine also uses temperature sensors hooked up to sophisticated electronics, GE claims its gadget is able to tightly control heat levels for pizza pies cooked with excellent evenness. Also futuristic are plans for a companion mobile app, envisioned as a way to automatically run custom or suggested baking programs based on specific pizza recipes.

Hankering for homemade pies of your own? You'll have to wait until May, which is when GE expects the Monogram Pizza Oven to arrive on showroom floors and inside catalogs.

GE Monogram Pizza Oven specs:

  • Home kitchen wall oven footprint
  • Powered by 240 volt electric connection
  • 30 minute preheat time
  • No hooded or external venting required