Good luck saying that five-times-fast. Ubergizmo knock's the Pizzaky, a similar contraption, for being a very un-green way to bake a pizza. Although we were inclined to agree--heat escaping all over the place was the thought--we've also heard great things about how fabulous the pizza is when it's baked on the Pizzazz--and apparently 147 reviewers on Amazon.com agree, because it has a rating of 4.5 stars.
So we decided to do a little research to find out which is consumes less energy when baking a pizza: the Pizzazz, or the oven? The answer may surprise you...
Bear with us as we explain: after finding out that the Pizzazz uses 1235 watts, we also found out that electric ovens use about 5,000-6,000 watts (one source here, though we looked at numerous sources).
Then we found a great resource that saved us from trying to decipher confusing equations (math was definitely not our favorite class): The Appliance Energy Estimator from Southern California Edison. If we used the lines for a microwave (1500 watts) for the Pizzazz and the oven (3000 watts), we can use the form.
From here we can incorporate time actually used: Amazon reviewers say it often cooks faster than normal, and without the preheat time. For the sake of ease, let's say it takes 10 minutes to cook a pizza on the Pizzazz, and 15 minutes in the oven. Then, we need to allow preheat time for the oven, and again, for ease, say 5 minutes. The SCE form doesn't allow for portions of an hour, so we entered 1 hour for the microwave (Pizzazz) and 2 hours for the oven, as 20 minutes of cooking time is 2x as much as 10 minutes.
The end result: The Presto Pizzazz uses less than 1/4 the electricity of the oven to cook the same pizza. Whether or not this product is worth having is up to you to decide--what else could it be used for? Do you have the space for it? Do you like pizza that much?
As for the arguement that heat escapes while cooking vs. a contained oven, both reviews and the Presto site say this isn't the case. The heat is concentrated on the pizza, and while we would imagine that some would be given off by the pizza over time while baking, after our comparison, it's probably similar to what an oven looses to inefficiency while cooking.
Note: The basic equation (not considering time of use) is:
Amps x Volts = Watts
It's unclear on the page whether or not the 3,000 watt oven in SCE's equation is the same as doubling power consumption to 6,000 watts running on 220V power: most appliances run on a normal 120 Volts that is available in a "regular" outlet. Ovens run on 220V, which is basically 2-120V outlets in one, at the same time. But 3,000 watts is also 1/2 of the 5,000-6,000 watts we found for the oven estimations, so we'd say this is taking the 220V/120V issue into consideration (3,000 watts = 6,000 watts/2 [for each 1/2 of the 220V]).
Pizzazz picture from Amazon.com's Custmomer Images by Phillip Roncoroni.