I Have an Italian Family, and the Alfa Nano Pizza Oven Is an Outdoor Kitchen Must-Have

Updated: May 06, 2024

The stylish and sturdy Alfa Nano pizza oven bridges the gap between portable and built-in.

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I’ve lived in Italy for 13 years and, in that time, I’ve become something of an expert on pizza—at least on eating it! My Italian husband and mother-in-law are the pizza-making experts. She used to own a pizzeria, and he worked there as a young man. Now he’s a stonemason and has built custom-made pizza ovens for several clients. So between the three of us, we know a thing or two about pizza and pizza ovens.

I was offered a chance to try the Nano pizza oven from Alfa, an Italian manufacturer of professional and home pizza ovens. The Nano is the brand’s entry-level oven, available in North America and Europe.

What is the Alfa Nano pizza oven?

The Nano (which means dwarf in Italian) is a small pizza oven that’s marketed as portable. I tried the gas version of the Alfa Nano pizza oven, which connects to a propane tank (purchased separately). It can also be connected to a natural gas line. My model was shipped with a separate wheeled cart that holds the propane tank. The Nano is also available as a wood-burning oven, in which case the cart serves as a place to store firewood. Both models can function without the cart, although they do need a sturdy flat surface to rest on.

According to the manufacturer, the Nano (formerly called the Alfa One pizza oven) is capable of quickly reaching high temperatures and turning out real Italian-style pizza, as well as bread, roasted meats and vegetables.

We Tried It

Alfa Nano Pizza Oven

The Nano pizza oven uses patented Alfa Forninox technology that allows you to reach desired cooking temperatures with very little fuel in as little as 10 minutes.

Alfa Nano Pizza Oven Features

Here are my (and my family’s) first impressions of the Alfa Nano pizza oven as we unboxed and assembled it:

  • It’s a solidly built oven: “Wow, this is a serious pizza oven,” my husband said when he saw the shipping pallet on our front patio. The oven is weighty (more on that below) and shows details of good craftsmanship with smoothly welded joints and seams and quality parts.
  • It’s easy to assemble: Assembly was as simple as unwrapping it and sliding the chimney into place. The cart was also easy to assemble with simple-to-follow instructions. The hardware for attaching the propane tank was included.
  • It’s attractive: The bronze-effect coating and streamlined design of the Nano make it an attractive addition to a patio or backyard.
  • The cart makes it portable: At 110 pounds, the Nano on its own stretches the limits of portability. It took two of us to lift it out of the box and set it on the cart, which has heavy-duty casters. Without the cart, moving the oven from place to place would be a chore, and always a two-person job.

How We Tested It

Alfa Nano Pizza OvenElizabeth Heath for Family Handyman

On our first test run, we fired up the Nano, closed the oven door and watched its thermometer climb to around 400 degrees Celsius (about 750 degrees Fahrenheit) in roughly 15 minutes. And I’ll confess: The first thing we cooked in the Nano wasn’t a pizza, but a whole chicken with potatoes in a baking pan. It cooked up nice and crisp in about 45 minutes.

On the second try, we made pizza. The manufacturer’s instructions say to let the oven heat up for 45 minutes with the door closed. This allows the firebrick cooking surface to heat thoroughly and retain heat as the door is opened and closed to insert and remove pizzas, which cook one at a time.

Another confession: The first time we made pizza in the Nano, we only gave it 20 minutes to heat up. As a result, our pizzas were cooked more on top than the bottom. Moral of the story? Take this as a pizza oven tip to pay attention to the instructions!

Our next attempt at pizza was much more successful, because we gave it the full 45 minutes to heat. Just as we’d done the first time, we rolled out thin-crust pizza dough, added the toppings and slid each one into the oven on the pizza peel that Alfa provided. With the oven properly heated, the pizzas cooked more consistently, leaving us with crispy-crust pizza fully cooked through.

Bonus: Because of its high temperatures, the Nano is self-cleaning. Any drippings left on the brick surface burn off the next time you fire up the oven.

Pros

  • Dome shape for better heat distribution
  • Reaches cooking temperatures in 10 minutes
  • Gorgeous copper exterior
  • Built-in thermometer
  • Compatible with both natural gas and propane
  • Includes the conversion kit for natural gas
  • Heavy-duty at 123 pounds
  • No curing required prior to use
  • Cooks with gas, but uses a firebrick cooking surface for authenticity
  • Incredible insulation allows for 10-minute preheating
  • Two-year warranty on parts

Cons

  • Pricey, but frequently on sale

FAQ

pizza from Alfa Nano Pizza OvenElizabeth Heath for Family Handyman

What temperature does the Alfa Nano pizza oven reach?

The Alfa Nano reaches temperatures of up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit in just 10 minutes, with a maximum temperature of up to 1,000 degrees in around 30 minutes. These ripping hot temperatures allow the Nano to fire up pies in under 90 seconds.

How do you use an Alfa pizza oven?

Setting up and using the Alfa Nano pizza oven is easy as, well, pie. Full setup directions for all Alfa ovens are found here.

To begin, simply screw in the four legs, put the chimney into the slotted hole in the top and attach the door. Note that when setting up the oven, you’ll need a sturdy table that holds up to the oven’s immense weight.

For the wood-fired version, it’s a matter of filling up the oven with some wood and getting a good burn going. A gas oven requires a few additional steps. It’s important to first insulate the gas connection with some teflon tape. Then, connect a flexible hose to the back of the oven on one end and your pressure regulator on the other (both not included). Always turn on the valve without igniting the oven to check for leaks before proceeding. For natural gas connections, you need to first connect the included natural gas attachment. This should always be done by a qualified technician when the oven has completely cooled down. After the natural gas attachment is installed, connect a 0.5-inch galvanized pipe, flexible piping or copper pipe to the burner inlet hole after applying the teflon tape for insulation. This then connects to the wall gas supply. Alfa recommends also installing a gas tap between the wall power supply and the connection pipe to the oven.

Once the unit is set up, simply fire it up and watch the thermometer climb as it preheats. Once the oven reaches temperatures around 700 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s ready to cook your first pie.

How do you light an Alfa gas pizza oven?

For the gas oven, just press and turn the knob to the spark symbol at the front of the oven, then push the ignition and gas buttons at the same time to spark the pilot light. This may require a few attempts. Once the pilot light is lit, let go of the ignition button, but keep your fingers on the burner knob for an additional 15 seconds. To adjust the flame, turn the knob counter-clockwise for a high flame, and clockwise for a lower burn.

What Others Reviewers Had to Say

Boasting over 2.9 million followers, TikTok user, @cookingwithdarryl, is a fan of the Alfa Nano pizza oven, and shows how he serves up a delicious trio of pizzas in just minutes.

@cookingwithdarryl

ALFA oven pizza’s!! #pizza #fypシ #PUBGMOBILE #halloween #rukiddingme

♬ original sound – dpostelnick

Product Comparison

We’ve tried many different outdoor pizza ovens, from home-built brick ovens to pizza oven kits and enchanting pizza oven fireplaces. So how does the Alfa Nano compare? Let’s break it down.

Ninja Woodfire Oven

The Ninja Woodfire Oven is a better pick for folks who want to use their outdoor oven for more than just pizza. This eight-in-one appliance uses the smoky, rich wood-fired flavor to add oomph to a meal via smoking, dehydrating and roasting. As a trade-off, it only reached up to 700 degrees Fahrenheit, which means pies take a bit longer to cook than in the Alfa Nano.

Solo Stove Pi Prime

Another counter-friendly option, the Solo Stove Pi Prime operates on gas just like the Alfa Nano. It also reaches seriously hot temps of up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s smaller than the Alfa Nano and arguably more portable, but it lacks the elegant look of the Nano. However, it’s also more budget-friendly at around $350.

Solo Stove Pi Fire

The Pi Fire is Solo Stove’s wood-fired alternative to the Solo Stove Pi Prime. Aside from the difference in fuel, it offers similar functionality as the Pi Prime with the added bonus of authentic wood-fired flavor. This one sits atop a Solo Stove fire pit (there are different size options for the Bonfire, Yukon and Ranger), and offers incredible portability at only 20 pounds.

Ooni Fyra

Potentially the fiercest competitor on this list, the Ooni Fyra is inexpensive, portable and ideal for dough-slinging beginners rather than pizza fanatics. Ooni ovens come in both gas and wood-fired varieties (the Fyra uses wood pellets as fuel). While both the Ooni Fyra and the Alfa Nano offer exceptional pizzas, the Fyra is certainly a bit more approachable for first-time pizzaiolos.

Final Verdict

With a suggested retail price of $2,200, plus an additional $679 for the pizza oven base, this Alfa Nano is an investment. If you’re just dipping your toes into the idea of a home pizza oven, you might want to start with a less costly model.

But, as my husband observed, the Nano is a serious pizza oven — hefty and high quality, delivering an uncompromising pizza-making and -baking experience. On its wheeled cart or as a fixed addition to a backyard or patio, it’s a feature and focal point, as much as any built-in grill or outdoor kitchen.

I would recommend it to anyone who’s ready to invest in a real outdoor pizza oven, yet wants portability and a smaller footprint.

Where to Buy the Alfa Nano Pizza Oven

We Tried It

Alfa Nano Pizza Oven

If you're ready to get serious about your at-home pizza making, look no further than the Alfa Nano pizza oven.

The Alfa Nano pizza oven is available on Amazon, Ace Hardware and BBQ Guys for $2,200. A pricey investment? Yes. But when you consider that you get quality at-home pies without calling for takeout, it makes it all worth it.