Cru Champion Pizza Oven Review: Pros, Cons, and Overall Performance

Cru Champion Pizza Oven

In this review of the Cru Champion Pizza Oven, I’ll explore its features and whether it’s worth the high price tag. This oven is known for keeping heat inside really well and heating up quickly. But it’s expensive, costing about $1,700, which is much more than other ovens. So, is it really worth it to spend that much on this oven? 

Features Of Cru Champion Oven

  • Heirloom Quality: It is built tough using high-quality AISI304 Stainless Steel for long-term performance.
  • Fast Pizzas, Slow Roasts: Bake pizzas fast by opening the door or closed-roof cook meats and artisan loaves.
  • Large Cooking Surface: It gives a large cooking area to use it according to your choice like baking, roasting, grilling, etc.
  • Made in Portugal: It is made using good manufacturing practices and premium material using traditional craftsmanship.

Product Specifications


L30″ x W31″ x H38″


Insulated dual walled ANSI 304 stainless steel

Fuel Type

Wood and/or Charcoal

Cooking Surface

24” L x 24” W

Heat Up Time

20 minutes

Max Temperature


Main Dome Height

12″ H

Assembly And Usability Of Cru Champion Oven

Assembly And Usability Of Cru Champion Oven

The Cru Champion oven was easier to set up than I thought it might be within 5 – 10 minutes by myself. Still, on account of its large size and weight, I needed someone with me when the moment arrived to put it into position.

When I opened the box, most of the parts were already put together, like the base, dome, cooking bricks, and thermometer. The sole things not attached were the door, wood burning rack, chimney (in two pieces), and extra stone.

To set it up, just do these steps: 

  • Take the oven out of the box
  • Put the chimney pieces together and attach them to the dome.
  • Remove the cardboard spacers between the bricks.
  • If I want, I can put the wood-burning rack inside.

I find it handy to keep one extra brick because these bricks can break easily. They come with cardboard spacers between them, which I could take out if I needed to.

And remember to place the oven on an appropriate surface that’s not at risk of being damaged by heat, such as something nonflammable and tough enough to handle high temperatures with ease.

Unboxing And First Impressions Of Cru Champion Oven

From what I saw, the Cru Champion oven combines old-school style with the new for convenient cooking. Tough bricks give you a big cooking space, 24” x 24”, ideal for all kinds of food.

I noticed too the wood rack changes how heat spreads, making it useful for different cooking styles. An 18” pizza or two 10” ones will fit in there, which is great if you have many people to feed.

The built-in thermometer is a nice touch, making it easy to check what the temperature is while cooking. And the oven looks good too, with its shiny metal and stone finish.

Lastly, the feet can be adjusted so your oven is perfectly positioned.This oven can potentially help making cooking easier and more fun.

Quality And Materials Of Cru Champion Oven

Quality And Materials Of Cru Champion Oven

The dome of the Cru Champion oven is made with a layer of thick ceramic stone sandwiched between stainless steel, and covered with aluminum on the outside. It looks traditional yet modern. Cru says the outside remains cool no matter how hot it gets inside, which is largely true, but If you are in doubt, expect that there are some heat issues.

The table under the oven does not get too warm, but the front of the oven can cause burns.

Pizza stones are of high quality—thick and made of cordite, which holds heat well.A small blemish is that the chimney of this oven deteriorated after a while. The rest of the oven remained nice. My only small issue is with the chimney, it showed some wear after a while, unlike the rest of the oven which stayed nice.

Shape And Its Importance For Pizza Cooking

The oven with a semi-round oven dome is really helpful for those cooking: they means it. It is composed of an inch thick layer of ceramic stone, surrounded by stainless steel and then coated in lacquered aluminum. The outside can get quite hot whenever the inside reaches temperatures of 900 degrees. It also has impressive plates made of four separate layers one inch think each of cordite like material, but capable for retaining the heat you have been using to cook your food.

Temperature Control Of Cru Champion Oven

Temperature Control Of Cru Champion Oven

The oven kept its heat really well. It was able to retain good warmth without taking much attention from me so that I could put my concentration on making pizza. And it really tastes better than any other pizza. There aren’t many adjustments that need to be made with insulation. The spacious design is right for cooking and also gives you ample space to work with it to cook food.

Using Cru Champion Oven For The First Time

The Cru Champion Pizza Oven is good at making food. It heats up quickly and stays hot, leading to fast cooking. It takes about 13 minutes for this oven to heat up the inside temperature but only 96 seconds are needed after that in which it turns out a pizza perfectly baked pizza. The oven has a dome shaped like 1⁄2 of a circle, which is helpful for cooking. The outside is made of lacquered aluminum and stainless steel, with ceramic stone on the inside. Although when the temperature is really high, you can hurt yourself if you accidentally touch the outside. It cooks pizza at 900°F. Despite some things to be required for learning, it is really very simple to use and cooks amazingly well.

Power Source Of Cru Champion Oven And What Makes The Best Pizza?

Power Source Of Cru Champion Oven And What Makes The Best Pizza?

The Cru Champion oven can cook pizza using either wood or charcoal, whichever you prefer. This gives people a choice in taste and cooking method to make the kind of pizza they think best. Some people prefer the slightly smoky flavor in wood fire pizza, while others prefer char-grilled perfection. The best pizza is different for everyone, but with the Cru Champion Oven you can have it your own way.

Size Of Cru Champion Oven

With a 17.5-inch opening and 4-square feet of fire place inside the entrance, I can roast dishes which are up to 18 inches in diameter or two ten inch sized pizzas at once. Ideal for barbecues and small events. The maximum pizza size it can handle is 18 inches. But because it’s quite big this oven isn’t for on-the-go cooking and is more suited to cooking for many people at once.

How To Clean The Cru Champion Oven

How To Clean The Cru Champion Oven

Cleaning the oven is easy. Soot on the dome can be wiped off with a wet sponge or cloth once it has cooled down to room temperature. After the stones have cooled, you should remove the ashes that’s built up. And be sure to brush or wipe off all the fine ash residue on the brick or stone cooking surface. Just be careful not to wash them too much to keep from cracking your pizza brick or stone. If you happen to get them wet accidentally be sure they are dry before using the oven again.

Is It Possible To Use Cru Champion Oven Inside The House?

Using Cru Champion oven inside is a big no. It is heavy and big compared to other ovens making it hard to move it. Plus if you use any wood or charcoal it makes a lot of smoke making it dangerous to use it indoors. Rather than using it in your indoor kitchens, it will be better to keep it in your backyard or front yard whenever you are making it. You will get more space to work with.

How Much Time Does The Cru Champion Oven Take To Make A Margherita Pizza?

How Much Time Does The Cru Champion Oven Take To Make A Margherita Pizza?

In my tests, I saw that the Cru Champion oven cooks Margherita-style very fast. It takes around 90-120 seconds, and when I am using the side wood-burning tray with it, it adds extra heat. So, I got the pizza all cooked evenly really fast at 96 seconds.

I found some tips on Cru’s official site about making different styles and other foods. I found that when using lower setting heat, it gave me a crispy crust like the one I prefer for a Margherita style pizza. You can also modify the crust by adjusting the humidity percentage of the dough to your likings.

Pre-Heating Time On Cru Champion Oven

I started a fire in the middle of the stones to fire the Cru Champion oven. Once the oven was hot enough (800–900 degrees), I moved the logs to the back. For my first test, I used the side wood rack but it is not needed. I used eight pieces of kindling to make the fire and the oven heated up faster than I thought. Although Cru says it takes 20 minutes to heat up, my test measurements actually indicate it’s less than 15 minutes. The thermometer hit 850 degrees after only 12 minutes and 50 seconds. It might have been helped by using the side rack. If you want to do two pizzas at once, don’t use the side rack because you need space for both pies.

What Else Can You Cook In The Cru Champion Oven?

What Else Can You Cook In The Cru Champion Oven?

The variety of foods you can cook in Cru Champion Oven is remarkable. It is spacious enough to accommodate an 18-inch pizza, some ribs, or even stackable things such as skewers of vegetables and kebobs. Also I’ve used it to cook several batches of chicken wings and even a whole roast chicken. 

Drawbacks Of Cru Champion Oven

In my experience, the chimney was the only thing I didn’t like too much about it. Although most of the oven looked good after hours of labor, the chimney got discolored. Since it’s heavy, most people will probably keep the oven in one place. As long as you put it somewhere safe and sturdy, it should last for many years without needing much fixing. The design of the Cru Champion oven has a rugged quality with some minor flaws but nevertheless, considering its price range, it is overrated.

Price Of Cru Champion Oven

The Cru Champion Oven is now on sale, making it a great time to consider adding it to your outdoor cooking setup. Normally priced at $1,995.00, it’s currently available for $1,750.00, that’s saving you $245.00 or 12% off the total price. If you act fast and buy one of your chosen Cru Ovens before the 1st of July, you can get a Cru Gourmet Bass Wood 22 pizza peel free with every order which is worth the $50.00. So don’t miss the chance to enjoy the champion oven with all your family and friends for years to come! Or alternatively, you can use one of ShopPay’s options and buy it with a minimum of $157.95 per month.

How Does The Cru Champion Oven Compare To Other Outdoor Pizza Ovens?

The price of this oven is around $1,700. It is almost five times more expensive than most of the other kinds of ovens available in the market. When I compared it to the Cru 32, I realized that the Champion oven was far better. Unlike the Cru 32, which had a problem on losing heat and requiring a lot of attention to achieve the right temperature, the Champion kept the heat well inside the oven. This resulted in less effort spent maintaining the fire and more time for cooking. 

But if compared to the Ooni Koda, the Ooni Koda is much smaller than the Champion. So, cooking 1-2 pizzas at a time is not ideal with Koda.

It uses propane gas and doesn’t require a wood-lit fire. The Champion oven is really big compared to the Ooni Koda. You can cook two big pizzas at once. This fire oven can do more than just pizza. The wood flame gives your dishes and bread the perfect smoky flavor. It’s perfect for a big party outside. You can cater to a large group outdoors with the help of this oven. Not only that, but you can also bake bread, grill anything inside it or cook anything slowly for that smoky flavor.  I liked this oven’s excellent heat retention power the most. It’s a top choice for outdoor cooks who want great results.

User Reviews Of Cru Champion Oven

User Reviews Of Cru Champion Oven

Based on what I’ve seen and experienced, the Cru Champion Oven is really good. It’s easy to use and heats up fast. People like how it can cook lots of different foods and how strong and solid it is. Plus, the company’s customer service is great. But it’s pretty expensive, not easy to move around, and the chimney can change color quickly. Still, if you don’t mind those things, it’s a great oven.

My Cooking Tips For Cru Champion Oven

I have several tips to make cooking easier with the Cru Champion Oven:

  • Get a long peel, turner, ash scraper, and BBQ gloves for best results.
  • Start the fire in the middle. It takes 15-20 minutes to heat up
  • Adjust fire and check stone temperature for even cooking.
  • Clean soot from dome and clear ash from stones regularly.

Is the Cru Champion Oven Worth It?

Is the Cru Champion Oven Worth It?

The Cru Champion Oven is one of the better ovens in the market. Despite costing more, I can say that the Cru Champion Oven is a better investment.


  • Great heat retention
  • Faster preheating times
  • Able to cook larger and more dishes at once


  • Expensive
  • Heavy

Chef’s Opinions

The Cru Champion Pizza oven is a remarkable wood-fired oven to keep in your house. It’s not light or portable at all. However, the vessel cooks excellent food. It heats up super fast, and you can also cook a pizza in 90 seconds if done correctly.

The pizza oven comes along with a big opening and a big cooking area. Hence, you can cook one big pizza or two small pizzas at the same time using the oven. It’s perfect for backyard parties and when you have friends over.

What I liked most about the oven is that it stays very hot after you have finished cooking a bunch of pizzas, and you need to give it very little attention. But the one big drawback is that you can’t travel with the oven. I wouldn’t even say it’s a little portable. Also, it’s a little expensive in comparison with others. However, you get a fantastic oven for making some delicious pizza.

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