We Tried the New Pi Prime, Solo Stove’s Most Affordable Pizza Oven to Date

Ready for a new pizza oven? We tested the just-launched Solo Stove Pi Prime and detail how it performs.

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We recently tested the Solo Stove Pi Fire that transforms your Solo Stove Bonfire fire pit into a pizza oven. When we got word of Solo Stove’s all-new, gas-powered Pi Prime pizza oven, we knew we had to get our hands on one to test for ourselves—and for you.

From the pellet fire pit adapter to the tabletop Mesa fire pit, we’ve tested a lot of Solo Stove products at Family Handyman, so we had high hopes for the new Pi Prime—especially since the Pi Prime is a gas-fueled pizza oven and Solo Stove’s most affordable pizza oven model to date.

Without any more delay, we’ll jump right into the thick of what it’s like using the new Solo Stove Pi Prime. Keep scrolling for all the saucy details.

What is the Solo Stove Pi Prime?

Pi Prime Lifestyle Granbury 052323 132 Pi Prime Pizza Oven Solo Stove 1Courtesy Solo Stove

The Pi Prime is Solo Stove’s first gas-only pizza oven, and it comes at a price lower than both the brand’s Pi Fire and Pi pizza oven. Not only is it an affordable investment compared to other gas-powered pizza ovens on the market, but it’s also easy to use. I have very limited experience making Neapolitan-style pizzas myself, and I was able to churn out several edible pies on my first go around with the Pi Prime.

The Pi Prime pizza oven is simple to fire up—simply hook it up to a propane tank and turn the control knob on the front counterclockwise to ignite a flame. After the Pi Prime preheats, you’re ready to launch your pizza. It’s that easy.

Like most standard outdoor pizza ovens, the Pi Prime has a 90-second cooking experience, so pizzas cook ultra-fast at a super-high temperature. Launching and turning the pizza without overcooking it is probably the most difficult part, but once you’ve mastered that you’ll be turning out homemade pies as fast as you can say pepperoni (90 times).

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Solo Stove Pi Prime Features

Oven Features Solo StoveCourtesy Solo Stove

The Pi Prime features the same demi-dome construction and panoramic opening as the original Pi pizza oven from Solo Stove. The demi-dome construction is the traditional design for most pizza ovens because it provides even heat distribution across the oven floor, and has a panoramic opening that gives you an unobstructed view of your pie while it cooks so you can monitor the process and rotate it as needed.

However, the Pi Prime has a new front-facing temperature control knob. The new temperature control feature gives you more control over the cooking process, so you can maintain the perfect temperature whether you’re making a crisp thin crust or deep-dish pizza. And Solo Stove says the Pi Prime can be used for food other than pizza, too, like steak and veggies.

The Pi Prime comes with a durable (and reversible) pizza stone and weather-resistant case to help prevent the elements from damaging your pizza oven if you leave it outdoors. However, I plan to move mine into the garage when not in use, as I’m not sure it would survive a storm.

How We Tested It

When it came time to test the Pi Prime, it wasn’t my first rodeo trying out a Solo Stove pizza oven. I had previous experience working with the Pi Fire, which uses a live fire (either pellet or wood-fueled) to cook pizza. I also made my own dough from scratch last time, using flour, dry yeast, salt and oil. It was a quick dough recipe that didn’t require me to wait around on rising. However, I learned after a few rounds with the Pi Fire that using pre-made dough was the quickest and easiest method. And for a novice pizzaiolo like myself, there wasn’t a noticeable difference in taste.

So, this time I used Nutmeg State Pizza Company’s organic pizza dough mix, which requires the addition water and oil. While it does need at least six hours covered in the fridge after mixing, doing so the night before only required a little bit of foresight and hardly any prep time.

Pizza DoughMary Henn/Family Handyman

As I mentioned in my last Solo Stove pizza oven review, if you want the full Solo Stove experience, you can order a kit of 24 Neapolitan dough balls from the brand. I opted not to do that this time around, either, as the dough balls retail for $110. I do think 24 dough balls would last you a really, really long time. So it could be cost-effective in the long run—who knows?

Anyway, once my pre-made dough was ready, I added a little bit of sauce, mozzarella cheese and some pepperonis for a pretty standard pizza. There are a few artisan pizza recipes included in the guide that comes with the Pi Prime, and I’m eager to test those out—like the Plato with olive oil, sliced brie, basil, figs and drizzled honey.

When it came time to fire up the pizza oven, preheating the Pi Prime proved easier than heating up the Pi Fire. It probably goes without saying that hooking up a propane tank and rotating a dial is easier than building a live fire to cook your pizza. While using the Bonfire fire pit for the Pi Fire was fun (and pretty), I must admit, I appreciated the simplicity of using propane this time. It was quick and easy, and I had more control over the cooking process.

There was virtually no assembly required with the Pi Prime, it was just a matter of taking it out of the box, setting it up on a table and securing it to a tank of propane. I used a small outdoor side table to lift the Pi Fire from the ground, but Solo Stove makes a Pi stand that holds the Pi Fire and propane tank and has extra storage for things like pizza tools. It also has two side tables for easy access to tools you’re using during a cook, pizzas and ingredients. Wheels at the bottom of the stand allow for mobility across a deck or patio, too. What I’m saying is, the Pi Stand seems like it would be super nice to have.

Hooking Up The Propane to ovenMary Henn/Family Handyman

When it came to cooking the pizzas, I made sure the oven had time to reach an internal temperature of about 700 degrees Fahrenheit before I launched my pie. Solo Stove also recommends letting the Pi Prime preheat for at least 30 minutes on the first use, after that the oven should take about 15 minutes to preheat.

I learned from my experience with the Pi Fire that the secret to cooking control is working with smaller pies (under 10 inches in diameter) with fewer toppings, like a classic Margherita pizza. They’re easier to launch and rotate in the oven, which is something to keep in mind if you’re new to the backyard pizza-making game. Another pro tip: Use a lot of flour to keep your pizza from sticking to the pizza peel when you go to launch your pizza.

Putting Pizza In OvenMary Henn/Family Handyman

Cleanup was easy-peasy! After the pizza oven cooled down, I simply wiped down the pizza stone with a towel, and that’s it. There wasn’t any stuck-on mess that required scraping or a deeper clean. I then put the cover on and moved it into the garage, as we’ve been having a series of thunderstorms where I live.

When cooking over a Solo Stove fire pit (a live flame), I found it necessary to wear heat protection gloves. However, with the Pi Prime, the flame is more controlled and the heat more contained, so I didn’t find it necessary to wear gloves while launching the pizzas with the bamboo peel and Pi Ssainless turner 2.0, as they allowed my hands to keep a safe distance from the heat.

It’s important to note that the pizza oven gets incredibly hot, so don’t reach for anything that has had direct contact with the oven before it cools down or without wearing protection. You’ll also want to watch kids and pets around the Pi Prime.

As for extras, there are a few Solo Stove pizza oven accessories I think are essential: The Pi stainless turner 2.0 or stainless turner, bamboo peel, stainless peel, infrared thermometer and gloves (if you’re working with the Pi Fire). I managed to launch pizzas in both pizza ovens with just the bamboo peel and Pi stainless turner 2.0, but I wouldn’t say it was the easiest thing in the world.

I think the stainless peel would have made the launching process a lot easier, as it’s heat-resistant and able to go directly into the oven. I had to shuffle pizzas from the bamboo peel to the Pi stainless turner (which is smaller than a peel and doesn’t hold an entire pizza—it’s not meant to), which was a bit tricky even with a lot of flour. With the stainless peel, I would have been able to put the pie directly into the oven. So, while the bamboo peel is pretty for prepping, cutting and serving, I’d say the stainless peel is necessary for launching.

Pros

  • Affordably priced compared to other pizza ovens
  • Easy to set up, use and clean
  • Portable and only about 30 pounds
  • Compatible with other Solo Stove pizza oven accessories
  • Comes with protective case
  • Designed for backyard cooking and camping trips
  • Stainless steel can handle extremely high temperatures
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with all cooking tools needed, like pizza turner or pizza peel

FAQ

Woman taking out the pizza from Solo Stove OvenCourtesy Solo Stove

How long does it take to cook a pizza in the Solo Stove pizza oven?

It takes virtually no time to cook a pizza in Solo Stove pizza ovens. Once the pizza is launched, you’ll want to rotate it about every 20 seconds or so until it’s done cooking, and it only takes a few minutes to cook. I found that mine cooked in about two to four minutes, depending on how high the temperature of the oven was.

How hot does the Solo Stove pizza oven get? 

Really hot. I found that both the Pi Prime and Pi Fire got anywhere from 600 to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively, depending on how high I cranked the dial and how high the flames were. That said, you should take precautions to limit the risk of burning yourself while using any pizza oven. I also wouldn’t allow children or pets to come within a few feet of either oven.

Final Verdict

For the price tag, portability and ease of use, the Pi Prime is pretty unbeatable. You’ll be pressed to find another gas-powered outdoor pizza oven with the same features at a lower price.

I personally loved the control I had over the oven’s temperature with the Pi Prime. The propane-fuel source ensured a more even cook than an open flame, and is more user-friendly all around than working with a live flame (unless you’re especially experienced with cooking over a fire). All in all, I highly recommend the Pi Prime.

Why You Should Trust Us

Earlier this year, we launched our Solo Stove review series in response to our readers’ increased interest in Solo Stove fire pits. That series has grown to include a variety of products from the brand. So far, we’ve tested Solo Stove’s Bonfire 2.0Mesa, pellet adapter, cast iron grill top, Pi Fire pizza oven and now the Pi Prime pizza oven—and we don’t plan on stopping there.

Currently, we are testing more products from Solo Stove to ensure the brand lives up to its online reputation. That way, you can make consumer-informed decisions based on real-life testing before you buy.

Where to Buy the Solo Stove Pi Prime

Pi Prime Pizza Ovenvia merchant

The Pi Prime retails for $349, and you can shop it (along with the pizza oven accessories) on the Solo Stove website. If you’re looking for a gateway into the world of backyard pizza ovens, this is your chance—and at an unbeatable value.

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Mary Henn
Mary Henn, MFA is an Associate Shopping Editor at Family Handyman. She’s also a national award-winning writer and journalist. Her expertise lies in interior design, home decor, gardening and outdoor trends. When she’s not working on the latest content at FHM, you can find her reading poetry or hiking with her dog, Henry.