BioLite PizzaDome Review

Meet the portable camping stove that can spark up an outdoor feast . . . and charge your phone

An outdoor pizza oven—one that produces super-crisp, piping hot pies at your command—should be on your list of life goals. Space and cost may prohibit most of us from attaining such a backyard fixture, but BioLite has whipped up a little something for aspiring pizzaioli everywhere. That's right: It's time to party with the PizzaDome.

Specifically designed for outdoorsy types bored by burgers and dogs, the BioLite Pizza Stone and Lid ($70) is an add-on for BioLite's BaseCamp wood-burning grill ($200), which uses small firewood and sticks to generate enough heat to safely cook chicken, roast s'mores and complete other alfresco cooking tasks. The PizzaDome, in turn, combines a ceramic stone for cooking, a thermometer and a dome for trapping heat.

At 22 pounds, the entire setup is portable; however, with a combination of stainless steel, cast iron and high-temperature plastic, it's sturdy enough to keep from blowing over and, you know, setting your painstakingly planted perennials ablaze. And despite its girth, the BioLite PizzaDome can fire up quickly, going from zero to pizza party in about 25 minutes.

Yet its most unique feature is its ability to charge your phone. Here's how it works: The BaseCamp transforms the burning wood into electricity to power a fan, which then helps fuel the cooking process. The excess power is used to juice up the BaseCamp's battery pack, which has a USB port.

Setup is easy, but using the PizzaDome may involve a little trial and error. Our first pizza burned quickly, but let's chalk that up to poor dough and bad timing. Subsequent attempts proved delicious; we achieved hot, crispy results in under five minutes. The PizzaDome even managed to take some of the toxicity out of a frozen pizza, giving it that ultra-desirable smokiness. And while it's not going to replace a backyard kitchen or even a grill, it's hard to find a contraption that's this much fun.

One word of caution: The wood for the PizzaDome needs to be tiny. Don't bother buying firewood; your best bet is to stuff the four-by-six-inch burn chamber with small stumps and twigs. But it's a small point, and we're certainly not about to cry foul on anything that turns out pizza this delicious.