Review – Uuni 3:
I almost called this: “Review – The Uuni 3 Pizza Oven”. But with the option of cooking on cast iron pans the Uuni is so much more than just a Pizza Oven!
How did I end up with an Uuni pizza oven?
When I bought my Weber gear I tried to do pizzas on a pizza stone in the grill and whilst it was OK, it was never a great pizza. I went on to buy the Weber pizza oven attachment which was better but it took an incredible amount of effort to get it hot enough, burnt a lot of fuel, took ages to cook each pizza and didn’t cook the top or crust up the sides properly.
I was playing with the idea of buying a proper Italian pizza oven when I noticed Uuni on Kickstarter. It looked cool and quite different, they had some great pictures of pizzas but I wasn’t convinced it could be as easy as they said it was. Gradually, more and more folk in the BBQ community were buying Uuni pizza ovens and raving about how easy they were to light, use and cook with and were posting pictures of awesome looking pizzas. I placed my order! (It is as easy as they say it is and the results are fantastic!.)
Here is a picture of my Uuni 2S when it lived outside and when it was still shiny! 4 legs, one on each corner. Pellet tray in the back, temperature adjustment and pellet top up through the funnel at the back.
With each cook on the Uuni 2s I kept notes to try and improve the pizzas each time. All of my notes went onto this page:
Over time I had quite a few hints and tips on the page and it became a listed resource on the Uuni Community page!
Thanks to the popularity of the Hints and Tips page with Uuni users, Uuni were kind enough to send me the Uuni 3 so that I could update the page to cover both the 2s and the 3.
As with the Uuni 2s, the 3 is pretty easy to put together. Follow the instructions and it’s about 10 minutes work. No drama.
Major differences on the 3 are:
- It has 3 legs rather than 4 (2 at the front, 1 at the back in the middle)
- The chimney clips on to the body rather than twists and locks in
- The back end tapers down slightly,
- The pellets are “housed” in an almost seperate box attached to the back.
- The pellet funnel is square rather than round and is a bit lower.
- Temperature adjustment is done by altering a screw that alters pellet flow.
- You get a flame guard to stop your pizzas hitting the lit pellets and to control the fire a little.
This shows the new pellet box on the back of the Uuni 3:
Here is a picture of the back of the Uuni 2 – I apologise for the state of it but it’s lived a very busy life and was outside for 2 years too!
Here is the back of the Uuni 3. Notice the sloped back and set back pellet tray.
Back to back comparison. Lighting the Uuni 3 is a little easier than the 2s.
Lighting the Uuni 2s:
Bit easier on the Uuni 3, just place the flamer in with the pellets, light it and slot it back into the Uuni.
The pellet hopper is square on the Uuni 3 and round on the Uuni 2s. I find it easier to fill on the 3 as it’s at a better height and easier to access so I tend to spill less pellets when filling up too.
I might have imagined it but I think the Uuni 3 heats up quicker than the 2s and I think it stays hotter easier as well. The flip side is that it feels like it burns through more pellets but if that’s the price to hit temp and maintain it then so be it!
The quality of Pizza you can cook on the Uuni is fantastic. Trust me, once you start cooking pizzas on this you won’t buy fresh/frozen pizzas from the supermarket again, you won’t order takeaway again and you won’t order pizza from a chain restaurant either! They are so easy to make and cook but the taste is awesome. What works really well is getting folk round for pizzas and let everyone put their own toppings on, kids love this as well. 60 to 90 seconds later their pizza is cooked and ready to eat.
With the addition of a flame guard in the Uuni 3 I have found that I haven’t burnt so many pizzas. On the 2s quite often when pushing the pizza back or trying to lift it to spin it I would nudge it against the pellet tray and the flame guard helps to protect against that. If you push the pizza against the flame guard for long enough it will still burn but it feels easier to avoid on the 3.
Click the picture below to see all the Pizza cooks on the Uuni 3 so far:
This is where the Uuni comes into it’s own. It’s not just a Pizza Oven because by cooking on cast iron pans a whole world of meals are available! The cast iron gets incredibly hot so you get a great sear and char on meats. The lamb chops and steaks cooked this way are some of the best I have eaten.
To see the dishes cooked in Sizzle Pans to date click the picture below:
You can probably guess from this post that I love the Uuni 3. For £200 it’s an absolute bargain. The quality of Pizza you can cook on it is fantastic but with the sizzle pans it opens up a whole new world of cooking which is pretty simple but results in fantastic tasting food.
I didn’t pay for the Uuni 3 as Uuni sent it to me to update my hints and tips page but I did pay for my 2s and that is also a cracking bit of kit so hopefully folk can see I haven’t been swayed in my review by accepting free kit!
The design upgrades on the 3 such as the clip on chimney, upgraded hopper, set back and updated pellet tray are all good updates. Nice to see a company evolving and improving an already great product.
If I didn’t have an Uuni I would definitely buy the Uuni 3. If you have a 2s already I don’t think you need to upgrade to the 3. The design tweaks on the 3 certainly make life easier than cooking on the 2s but you can get the same quality of pizza and sizzler cooks out of the 2s as you can with the 3.
Straight out of the box the Uuni does take a little while to learn how to get the best out of it. My hints and tips page lists the lessons I have learnt so far and also some extra bits you can buy to make things a little easier. Uuni also sell a gas attachment for £50 which simplifies things even further. I personally prefer the taste of cooking with pellets than gas but for simplicity and speed the gas attachment is worth getting.