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Hot Commodity

I live in Chicago, the land of deep-dish pizza. Of course not everyone is as fortunate. There are people sequestered on the coasts, deprived of the gooey, thick goodness of a three-inch pie. And that's a real shame.

Fortunately, the kitchen wizards at Cuisinart have cooked up an invention that enables you to prepare the artery-clogging delicacy--among many other delicious eats--right in your own home.

The Cuisinart Brick Oven is a nifty countertop invention that will quickly claim the real estate formerly devoted to the flavor-destroying microwave oven.

Upon opening the packaging, you'll be relieved to find that no assembly is required. The handy little oven is ready for baking, toasting or broiling right out of the box. It comes with its own baking/broiling pan, two oven racks and a baking stone, an amazing add-on that absorbs excess moisture and distributes heat evenly.

Already, the oven has gotten a ringing endorsement from celebrity chef Laurent Gras, whose Chicago restaurant L2O recently nabbed a James Beard Award nomination. Gras named the Cuisinart one of his kitchen essentials on If it's good enough for him, you know it's no joke. But I wanted to give it a real test, so I decided to cook up the famous Chicago-style pizza. After preparing the dough and prepping the pizza, I preheated the baking stone for a little more than 30 minutes and then placed the pizza in the oven. After almost an hour had passed, I removed the pie from the oven and let it cool. The pizza was absolutely delicious. The crust was light and flakey, something my conventional oven could never accomplish. The baking stone prevented the dough from becoming soggy and dense.

Whether you're a total foodie or just an occasional cook, the Cuisinart Brick Oven is a good buy, ranging in price from $199 to $249 depending on the model. Just make sure you have enough counterspace because its size prevents easy storage.

Technology Editor

Keith Ecker

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