Ever since I had my first brick oven baked pizza I have dreamed of having a brick oven of my own. But, with brick oven’s costing as much as $60,000 and factoring in the amount of space one would take in the backyard and the amount of time to learn how to use it properly I resigned myself to never having one.
Well, I have happy to say I have one now, it cost $200 it uses my existing gas oven and it makes bread and pizza that rivals the best pizzerias and artesian bakeries. It took less than a minute to install and about 20 minutes to learn to use. The product I am talking about is Hearth Kitchen’s HearthKit. This incredible product does all of the above and more.
Once you put it in your oven you don’t have to remove it. You use it to bake everything from cakes and cookies to breads and pizza to chickens and casseroles. Everything baked in the HearthKit comes out better, it cooks faster, and it looks better and tastes great. The key to a hearth oven’s great results is its unique ability to absorb heat and redistribute it evenly. Pressed at over 175 tons from cordierite, a sturdy, specialized blend of earthen materials, HearthKit is fired at over 2,300°F and has excellent conductive properties. HearthKit features two slightly curved sidepieces and a thick, tapered base designed to form a chamber much like that of a wood burning beehive or brick pizza oven. This balances the heat in the oven and releases it relentlessly back into the food, making it possible to safely bake or roast at higher temperatures without burning, or to slow cook more gently and evenly at lower temperatures.
HearthKit can make even the oldest oven work like a new one. Hot and cold spots aren’t a problem as the thick stone of the HearthKit will even out the heat and focus it on what’s most important, the food you’re cooking. The HearthKit works equally in a gas or electric oven.
I have tried many times over the years to make home-made pizza. While they have been ok, they are not anywhere close to what I get at my local pizzeria. Then the HearthKit came along and finally I can make pizza that is better than my local pizzeria. As it turns out it is all in the baking and the HearthKit gives you the proper method of baking.
I haven’t made a lot of bread in the HearthKit yet (too much pizza to worry about that right now). But, the 5 loaves I have made have all come out with wonderful light crispy, crackly golden brown crusts. I will definitely be doing more bread in the near future.
I have baked a ham in it as well as a couple of cakes and some cookies. The ham didn’t come out good at all, but that wasn’t the HearthKit’s fault as it was a really bad chunk of ham. It was baked nicely, but the ham itself was really poor. The cakes, well I have never had cakes come out so light, fluffy and well risen. The cookies came out nice done and evenly cooked. Not burnt edges or bottoms, just a lovely golden color.
Installing the HearthKit is very easy and took me less then a minute to do. You simply adjust one of your oven shelves so that when the HearthKit is placed on it the top of the HearthKit is 3 to 4 inches from the top of your oven. You then place the two side pieces on the bottom of the HearthKit and then slide it on the oven rack making sure it is even with the front of the rack and centered between the oven walls. You then put the included thermometer in place (it is used to measure the temperature of the stone) and you’re done.
Each HearthKit includes the three stone pieces (two sides and one bottom) a cooling/baking rack, thermometer, cleaning brush, introductory video and instruction guide, all for $200.
In the coming month’s Hearth Kitchen will be releasing an add-on steam attachment that will allow you to inject steam in the HearthKit Baking chamber. This will give real artisan bread results. This unit will cost around $50. Also, coming soon is a digital thermometer that replaces the one included with the HearthKit. This one will have the main readout on the outside of your oven for even easier reading. It should also feature a timer and a feature to let you know when the HearthKit has reached temperature. It will be a lot like a Polder probe thermometer, but will be able to handle the higher temperatures. The price on this is unknown at this time.
The HearthKit is a very worth while investment for any one with a bread machine or any one that likes to bake, be it bread, cookies and especially pizza. It is easy to install, easy to use and is one of the most incredible cooking innovations of the 20th and 21st century. Imagine a $60,000 brick oven for $200 that fits right in your kitchen oven. Incredible!