September 5th is National Cheese Pizza Day, honoring the original modern pizza, the Margherita. It was named after Queen Margherita, consort to Umberto I, King of Italy from 1878–1900.
As the story goes, during a visit to Naples, she asked the best pizza maker in town, Don Raffaele, to make her a pie. He made it in the colors of the Italian flag, a simple but delicious pie of basil, mozzarella and tomatoes. Here’s the history of pizza.
WHAT’S A STOVETOP PIZZA OVEN?
Simply this: a steel case that sits on top of a gas burner and cooks your pizza atop pizza stones. There’s no electricity, no wood chips, no nuthin’ but the Pizzeria Pronto and your gas range.
We love it: from the pizza stones that create an oh-so-delightful crust to the top quality ingredients we used. As long as we have dough in the fridge, we can have a pizza anytime we want, better than anything delivered. efficient new way to make pizza at home.
Pizzeria Pronto is made by Companion Group, a company that began more than 30 years ago with the original Charcoal Companion charcoal chimney starter. The line now includes other grilling tools and accessories, and the Pizzacraft® line of artisan-quality pizza stones, pizza ovens, tools and accessories.
In 2013 the company launched the first propane-fueled outdoor portable pizza oven, which pre-heats in 10 minutes and cooks the pie in 5 minutes. In 2016, the indoor Pizzeria Pronto® Stovetop Pizza Oven was released nationwide—the first gas range-powered indoor oven.
Small but mighty, Pizzeria Pronto transforms your favorite dough and toppings into perfectly-cooked pizzas in just minutes (after all, the name means “pizza in a hurry”). With its heat-efficient design, it traps and reflects heat to harness the power of your gas range, creating an optimal cooking environment of up to 600°F. Yet, the room is no warmer than if you used your oven.
Simply place the round oven over a gas burner and turn on the flame.
The inside of the oven reaches 600°F, much higher than a conventional oven.
It preheats in 15 minutes and cooks a personal-size pizza in 6 minutes. TIP: If you want to keep the first pizzas hot while you cook more, keep them warm in a conventional oven preheated to 500°F.
You also need a personal-size pizza peel to insert and remove the pizza from the oven. The company sells one separately.
How To Use Pizzeria Pronto Stovetop Pizza Oven
The electric plug-in pizza ovens we’ve tried can’t hold a candle to it.
It’s well worth the space it requires if you’d like to make pizza weekly or more often. We don’t have extra room in our kitchen so we did a bit of housecleaning. So long, old backup food processor and biannually-used waffle iron.
WHERE TO FIND IT
Pizzeria Pronto is available at major retailers such as Bed Bath & Beyond, Sur La Table, Williams-Sonoma and online. Williams-Sonoma carries a gray-top model instead of the standard red-orange model shown in the photos.
Prices vary but it’s currently $106.27 on Amazon (a deep discount off the MSRP of $179.99).
 Place the oven on the stovetop and turn up the flame to preheat. Add the pizza.  Close the oven door.  Cook for six minutes.  Remove the pizza, fragrant and bubbling. Photos courtesy Pizzeria Pronto .
Before buying, take a minute to look at the bottom of this page to see if your gas burners will work.
OUR FIRST PIZZERIA PRONTO PARTY
We invited the crowd over for a pizza party and bought (or over-bought, as is our won’t) the ingredients: regular and whole wheat doughs, sauces and cheeses for red and white pies.
We provided lots of toppings: anchovies, garlic, jalapeños, mini meatballs, mushrooms, olives, onion and zucchini. But the crust (dough purchased from Fairway), sauce (the Classico brand Riserva line [not Bertolli Riserva]), mozzarella and ricotta (Bel Gioso) were so good that most people opted for a plain pie.
We personally, however, had anchovies from Cento: not salty, just right.
FEATURES & TIPS
Steel casing with a heat-efficient design (you won’t feel that it’s 600° of heat).
Ttwo Cordierite baking stones diffuse the heat and deliver a perfect crust.
Very little assembly required. You need no technical skill whatsoever.
The built-in thermometer tells you when it’s time to add the pizza.
A moisture vent on top prevents the crust pizza from becoming soggy.
Dimensions: 16.93 inches x 14.25 inches x 6.69 inches. Weight: 14.7 pounds, which we (non-athletic female) had no trouble lifting.
Not for use with electric or induction stoves.
You’ll need cornmeal (semolina), so the bottom of the crust doesn’t stick to the stone plate.
Be sure to have a good pizza cutter and a brush to clean the pizza stone afterward.
One package of store-bought dough (we bought the fresh dough that comes in a plain plastic bag), meant for one large pie, makes two personal pizzas.
HAVE FUN WITH IT!