Ease of use

The most important factor after perfect cooking has always been hassle-free use. We looked at many different existing pizza-cooking ovens and contraptions before deciding we needed to design our own. This research and testing highlighted many issues that we needed to solve for The Firepod:

Most existing pizza ovens take from 20 minutes to a couple of hours to be ready for the first pizza to go in. Not for us! We wanted it ready by the time we had our first pizza prepared, so we set a maximum time of 10 minutes.

A few years back, I returned from working in the Italian Alps, where I had been enjoying pizzas cooked by two guys who study pizza and train chefs. They make pizzas to die for so I asked for their advice: “Cooking at 320ºC for a few minutes is perfect, the base will rise and crisp, the toppings will cook thoroughly.” They went on to say, that many pizza ovens reach 500ºc which is way too hot for homemade dough, not only making cooking  difficult but, can leave you feeling bloated after eating your pizza!”

Ovens with an opening that couldn’t be closed caused us two problems – we had to keep turning the pizza by hand or we ended up with an uncooked area by the opening, and in windy weather the heat was whisked out of the oven making it very difficult to get the toppings cooked properly before the base burned. We therefore added a simple but effective flap to close The Firepod up when in use. This also helps keep the heat in if you want to keep food warm or turn The Firepod off temporarily.

One of the most annoying problems we came across in other ovens was that if cheese, grease or food accidentally found its way on the hot stones, for example if the base had a split in it, the pizza could stick to the stone.Inevitably, trying to get it out, we would crease the pizza with the peel and push it off the back of the stone. This doesn’t happen often but, in some models that we tried, it can render the oven useless until it cools.We included a clever little stopper at the back of the stone, positioned so the peel can slide under it but the pizza cannot slide off. We also made sure the lid could easily be lifted off, even when hot, to get at the stone and scrape it clean.

We soon realised that The Firepod needed to do more than Pizza to justify taking it camping or to events. We have therefore designed a clever reversible griddle, ridged on one side and flat like a skillet on the other.

We wanted something that was quick to set up and easy to use with no fuss, so we would use it regularly all year round. Therefore the only real option was propane. Also, with the new lightweight gas bottles available (that are transparent so you can see how much gas is left) carrying and set up is simple for anyone.

The Look

Lava Red Firepod
Aubergine Firepod
Cream Firepod
Azure Blue Firepod

Then there is the look! What good is something that works well if it doesn’t make you feel proud to own it?

We wanted The Firepod to turn heads whether standing boldly in your garden, being fired up round at a friend’s place, or wherever else you take it.

Well, this is where Gavin excelled! We gave him drawings and described how we thought it should look. Thankfully, being the professional designer he is, he listened politely and then ignored us completely. He then produced something way way better than we could ever have dreamed of – the Firepod as it stands today!

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We have designed tested and perfected The Firepod and the manufacturers are ready to ‘fire up’ the production line.

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