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Wonderchef’s pizza pan

1:25 PM

I’m functional again this morning, but not to the extent of tackling a home decor post, so instead I will give you the review of a nifty little appliance I got for my birthday : the electric pizza pan from Wonderchef.
My birthday was last June, but I needed a few trials with my new toy before I could share it.
I came upon that gizmo while doing some e-window shopping, and thought “why not” when hubby asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I had my reply ready, and because we aren’t really doing in the height of romanticism when it comes to gifts I ordered the stuff around my special day.  Here is a picture of it in action :

DSC02835

Now, for those not knowing, Wonderchef is endorsed by Sanjeev Kapoor and sells all kind of new age kitchen tools for the modern Indian kitchen, from silicon moulds to spatulas, passing by small appliances and pots and pans. I figured out that while the picture on the site and on the box showing a pizza with a roasted crust and cheese was an oven baked pizza placed in the pan for a more photogenic result, I figured out that the result would not be bad, and that 2000 bucks I was not risking much really.

I haven’t found a single review of the product anywhere, so it could be that this blog post is the first review ever made of the pizza pan sold in India.

I received it promptly, opened the box, and the first thing I noticed was that apart from the basic instructions that pretty much state the obvious: plug before use and do not place your hand on the hot surface there wasn’t anything helping the pizza novice make a pizza in there.
Fortunately I am no pizza novice and I have a pizza dough recipe I use all the time, so I did that one, and did the rising time and punch down just like I did in my oven. then I put it straight in the already hot plate. and placed the topping on top.
The first thing I noticed was that in the exact same way brick ovens in traditional Italian pizzeria, the smell of gently chargrilled dough was filling the kitchen, bringing me instantly home to my favourite local pizzeria. Then realised that the cooking time in that plate is super quick. And I mean QUICK, it takes minutes to go from cold to 240 degrees and a few minutes more to roast the bottom of the crust, not enough time for a dough that has been knocked back to fluff again, so my pizza ended up being a true blue thin crust Italian one. Very tasty by the way, but not the pizza on the box. And while I love pizzas with a thin almost crunchy crust a lot, sometimes I want a more fluffy one too. A few trials and I have the magic formula to do it:

1) Do not let your pizza dough rise in a bowl before rolling it down, the minute your yeast is activated knead to a dough and immediately roll out to a pizza base.

2) Do NOT switch on the hot plate before you intent to cook the pizza, it doesn’t need preheating being so super fast at heating in the first place. Place your pizza base in the cold plate and put the lid on it, let the dough rise in there for 10 minutes, the time you need to grate your cheese, cut your veggies and have all your topping at the ready.

3) Switch on the pizza pan but only set the thermostat to about 180 degrees and immediately spread all your toppings ingredients on the base while it starts heating. Put the lid back on and turn the thermostat to max. And let it cook, if the smell of chargrilled dough gets too strong and the cheese hasn’t melted yet, reduce the heat a little.

4) Your pizza will be cooked in just about 5 minutes, that’s how fast this thing is.

Do not expect the top to be roasted, that won’t happen in this plate, because the heat is at the bottom, and there are no direct heating source on top, it having a glass lid, but then not many real Italian pizzas have grilled top anyway. The picture on the box is misleading here, but common sense should let anybody know that the golden cheese and crust is not possible in a hot plate that has only a glass lid.

I love the fact that the cooking time and prep time of a home made pizza made from scratch is cut in half in that plate. But I seriously think giving a recipe book along with the appliance would have been much welcome here.
And now for the best thing ever about it…are you ready? It also let you make…Naans!!!!! The real tandoor like ones, the soft thin and still puffy ones. Naans have been something that always ended up failing miserably in my convection oven because the heat even at maximum was never hot and concentrated enough for them to cook well, leading to me having to lengthen the cooking time a bit, and ending up with or too puffed naans or too hard and crunchy ones to pass as naans to begin with. This pan just make them perfect in minutes, I just briefly flip the naan  toward the end of the cooking process to get a few grilled spots on top and they are ready.
The plate has a non stick coating, so keep metallic utensils away, and only gently wipe with a wet cloth or sponge (no scrubber) once you are done. I am seriously starting to think that is one of the best 2k on a kitchen item I have ever spent.
This post contains an affiliate link. but, I only endorse products that I can vouch for personnaly. 

12 comments

  1. Amanda1:37 PM

    I definitely adding this to my wish list!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You'll love it, and seriously the best way to have pizza ready on short notice, anytime.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Navya2:19 PM

    Hi Cyn,
    Been so long :) I need to read so many of your posts !!! Life got busy... I have been contemplating buying a traditional OTG for the last few years - I spend so much more on a daily basis but I keep going back and forth about spending 5k for a Morphy Richards OTG ! Ironies of life I tell ya..

    Anyway, I was bookmarking this device just yesterday and even checked Google for any reviews - so nice to see you review the product here :) Just wondering if that picture is of the pizza yet to be baked ? Because the crust looks all dough-like and the cheese seems to be melted - so I m kinda clueless.

    I am familiar about italian pizzas not being browned like our Pizza Hut ones - so I am not sure if this is what you explained there. Checking with you again on that point :D

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  4. That pizza was nearly cooked when I took the picture, it's one of these with a thicker crust, the top will not brown but the dough was cooked all the way through, this appliance will give you italian style pizza. if you want the true italian one, you need to heat the plate as soon as you put the dough in with the topping, if you want a thicker more yeasty looking crust you need to let it rest in the cold pan for 10 minutes like it was the case for the pizza above, the bottom of the crust ends up being grilled and full of flavour like an Italian pizza.

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  5. Saruchi4:57 PM

    Hi Cyn


    I tried using this pan once with ready made pizza base but it ended up with over cooked base and the cheese does not melt by that time. How to use efficiently? Also this pan can be used for other recipes too ?


    Saruchi

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  6. I never tried it with a redymade pizza base, these are already cooked and the pan cooks things very fast, I always make my own dough and cook it from the raw form. if there is a lot of topping on the pizza, I usually do not set the thermostat high, leave it in the yellow to pink area, that way the cheese does melt and the dough doesn't burn, then once the cheese has melted set it to the max temp for a minute or two to cook the base properly.
    I do naans regularly in it too, just find a good naan dough recipe and set the temp to max, then once the naan starts bubbling flip it on the other side to roast both side, it cooks in just a few minutes.

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  7. sagarika panda7:46 PM

    loved this review..so detailed..please ma'am if u could review the wonderchef bullet mixer..because like this pizza pan that mixer also doesn't have any review..and many many thanks for this review...i wonder why nobody writes about wonderchef products..one more thing.. can we make cookies and cakes using this pan??

    ReplyDelete
  8. I don't own the bullet, so can't review it :-)

    I never tried making cookies in the pan, but I think on medium heat it could be possible, but they might not be golden on all side. I would not attempt a cake, the heat is far too strong in the pan, and the bottom would likely burn before the inside of the cake even cooked.

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  9. Anonymous12:59 PM

    Do you think it would work for frozen pizza? I like to make my pizza beforehand, i semi cook the base, load it up with toppings, sauce and cheese, and clingwrap it before freezing. Currently, these frozen ones turn out beautifully when i put them in my oven. Wondering if I can replace the need for an oven with this pan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think it would work, the pan heats quickly and will probably burn the bottom of the dough before the middle or even the topping had a chance to thaw. Ovens do have a more gradual and even heating than the pan that only heats at the bottom. What this pan does wonderfully is reheat pizzas and pies leftovers that have been stored in the fridge though. No more soggy microwave pizza slices.

      You could try putting the frozen pizza in the pan on low heat setting, maybe it will allow the whole thing to thaw and then once it is warm on top yank the heat to maximum for a minute or two to cook the base.

      Delete
  10. It was a horrible experience making a pizza in this machine. The toppings were absolutely messed up. However it was excellent in making tandoori naans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes! It excels at making naans. To have a good pizza with this pizza pan you really need to make sure your topping isn't layered on too thick, and the cheese need to be good quality enough to melt.

      If I have the time, I much prefer an oven baked pizza over the pizza pan.

      Delete

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