The Effeuno P134H is my ultimate pizza oven
In 2019 I wrote about my search for the ultimate pizza oven for the last time. I concluded then that I would buy an ordinary electric built-in oven, the AEG BPB351020M, which could reach 300 °C. This would be an improvement over my current built-in oven, which has a maximum temperature of 230 °C. Some time ago I discovered the Effeuno P134H however, a freestanding electric oven which can reach 450 °C. This is the oven that I ultimately bought and which I’m very satisfied with.
The AEG BPB351020M would certainly have been an improvement over my current built-in oven, but not as good as the P134H. A difference of 150 °C is a lot and 450 °C is the temperature which is reached by the wood-fired brick ovens of good pizzeria’s. Just like in a brick oven, the P134H can bake pizza’s in 90 seconds, which is ideal for good quality Neapolitan pizza. It also allows you to feed larger groups of people quickly.
In comparison with the wood- and gas-fired ovens which I wrote about in 2019, the P134H has important advantages. The oven is well isolated and it’s enclosure doesn’t get too hot. So it’s safe if one of my smaller daughters would touch the oven. The oven is electrical, so it can be used inside. Despite it’s considerable power of 2,8 kW the oven can be connected to a normal plug in my kitchen. You’re not dependent on fuel like gas, wood or wood pellets. The electricity which powers the oven can be produced sustainably, while gas usually isn’t sustainable and wood often needs to be shipped from far away. With electricity the result is very consistent, while the wind outside often made the behavior of my Ooni 3 unpredictable.
Two stones are delivered with the oven: a thick one for baking pizza and a thin one for baking other dishes. The thin stone is unsuitable for baking pizza at high temperature, because the bottom of the pizza will burn. Why this is I don’t understand, because the Ooni 3 also used a thin stone. The thin stone does heat up more quickly than the thick stone, which takes around 45 minutes to reach 450 °C. I know this because I measure the temparature with an infrared thermometer.
Even though it’s not mentioned in the manual of the P134H, it’s important to evaporate the moisture from the stone before you start using it. This prevents cracking of the stone. This is done by heating the stone in the oven in phases, gradually from lower to higher temperatures.
The P134H has two heating elements, one on the ceiling and one on the floor, on which the stone is placed. Both heating elements can be controlled independently. I’ve noticed that I get good results with 350 °C in the ceiling and 450 °C in the floor. With both elements at 450 °C I notice that the bottom of the pizza didn’t bake long enough, while the top already needs to be taken out of the oven to prevent burning.
The P134H bakes good pizza’s which are nearly a match for what you get from the brick ovens of the better pizzeria’s. While you need to turn a pizza in a brick oven because the burning wood lies in the back of the oven, this isn’t necessary in the P134 H. The heating elements spread the heat quite evenly.
What’s also well possible in the P134H is preparing other dishes in it, like farinata. Past attempts to do this in my Ooni 3 failed miserably, the fierce flame in that oven burnt my farinata then. In the P134H farinata can be prepared perfectly in the traditional round teglia pan which I use specifically for this dish. Baking bread is also an interesting possibility, but the P134HA would be the better choice for that. This variant has a higher oven chamber. In the P134H bread, with the exception of flatbread, would be too close to the heating element in the ceiling.
The sole disadvantage of the P134H is its weight. The dimensions of the oven are reasonably compact, but the weight of 23 kilos is hefty. I stored my Ooni 3 in my attic and I could easily walk it up and down the stairs, but the P134H is stored in the pantry on the ground floor. From there I have to lift it just a few meters to the countertop in the kitchen. I don’t have issues with this, but for others it may be too heavy.
For my P134H I paid € 500 plus € 130 for shipping to the Netherlands. I had to arrange the purchase via e-mail with Effeuno, because they only shipped to Italy, France, Austria and Germany via their webshop in December 2020. Because it’s a heavy oven it was delivered on a small pallet by a courier service with a truck.
Even though the P134H approaches perfection closely, Effeuno is quite far from it. The English manual of the P134H is badly translated from Italian. Their website is still not completely translated to English. Shipping to other countries than the four mentioned above still can’t be done through the automatic ordering process in their webshop. Their customer service can be slow with answering e-mails and seems to use an old-fashioned mailbox rather than customer service software with case numbers. Most annoying however was that my thick oven stone arrived broken in two pieces.
Effeuno made an effort to send me a replacement stone. The second one arrived broken as well. At that point I told them that the packaging material of cardboard and expanded polystyrene didn’t offer adequate protection to the stone. This material to protect the stone from shock and impact apparently couldn’t stand the handling of the box during the shipping process. This message didn’t land with them and the third stone arrived broken in the same package as well. At that point I told Effeuno that I preferred to leave it at that and would use the first stone in my oven. This one had a relatively clean break which isn’t very visible if the two halves are close to each other in the oven.
I suspect that Effeuno didn’t make a profit on my order due to the stone debacle. Since I use the broken stone I didn’t have any issues with it, especially because I never remove it from the oven. Should this change in the future, I’ll find another stone elsewhere.
In spite of these problems I’m still impressed by the P134H. With the other pizza ovens I used I quickly experienced limitations, but not with this oven. The oven could be improved further with an integrated thermometer (which Effeuno has done in the meantime with the P134H Evo) and lighter weight, but I’m already very satisfied. I don’t have any desire anymore to look for a better oven because this is a top product.