Just last month we had Father’s Day in Australia and aside from having a fantastic Father’s Day BBQ, Dads also get presents. And there are few gifts that please Dads as much as a gift card to a hardware store. Especially if that hardware store stocks BBQ accessories. In my case, I had a $50 gift voucher burning a hole in my pocket and an hour to kill so I headed to my local hardware store to see what damage I could do to it. What I stumbled upon was the Smash Pizzeria: an accessory that turns a trusty kettle BBQ into a pizza oven.
The first thing that struck me was the Smash Pizzeria’s cleverly constructed packaging. Despite being physically larger, it is identical in design to a pizza box, which was a cute touch.
Opening up the box, the efforts in design continue to be obvious. The logo on the hardware is attractive and looks hard-wearing. The Smash Pizzeria also comes with a very cleverly placed thermometer. Placing it near the mouth gives you a more accurate idea of what’s happening inside. But how accurate is it?
I lined up my battle-scarred oven thermometer for a comparison against the Smash Pizzeria thermometer. In my little test, both thermometers were sitting at 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
While the finish is great, it is the fit which lets the Smash Pizzeria down. You can see from the photo above that the fit at the front is great. Unfortunately, it’s not the same story at the back.
The lip sadly doesn’t fit on the back of the kettle. You can wriggle it around so that the back will fit, but then the front doesn’t. At first I was frustrated but it occurred to me that the problem might be that the Smash Pizzeria was designed for modern kettles and mine are pre-loved vintage: designs and specifications change over time, such as metal thickness, which would affect the overall diameter of the kettle. To test my theory, I tried it on my other two Webers.
Having already tried it on my 1984 brown Weber, I tried it on my Frankenkettle. The base of Frankenkettle is from a 1999 Bar-Be-Cue. Like the brown one, one side fit perfectly, but the other didn’t. That said, it did seem to fit better.
Next I tried it on my Weber One Touch Gold. This one is the baby, only dating back to 2008: it’s still a spring chicken. Not surprisingly, the fit was better, though still not perfect.
One more issue I have is that the mouth seems to be a little too small and the grill sits significantly lower than the mouth. This makes it quite difficult to manoeuvre the pizza stone and I found myself constantly feeling like I was going to drop it.
Speaking of pizza stones, if you’re going to make a pizza on a grill, you’ll need a pizza stone. Fortunately these are also available at the hardware store and brought my total purchase up to a gift-card busting $50.
The design does, however, make for easy storage: a regular kettle cover slides right down over the BBQ and the Smash Pizzeria, protecting the whole lot.
At the end of the day, the Smash Pizzeria, whilst flawed, is a good value proposition. None of the problems are game-enders, and it is a cheap, mostly cheerful accessory which adds another suite of menu items to your repertoire: I’ve already used mine twice this week. It will definitely be joining my comp-kit so I can make sure I’ve got food to feed the team and don’t let them go hungry again!
What’s your favourite accessory? Let me know in the comments below.