Baking your pizza in a regular oven just doesn’t hit the spot the same way that a slice from a pizzeria does. Thanks to the best outdoor pizza ovens, you can experience that wood-fired, restaurant-quality ‘za in no time at all. Outdoor pizza ovens are just as convenient as classic BBQs, but extremely versatile due to the high temperature they can reach.
Pizza ovens are also versatile, with the ability to cook other foods beyond pizza. You can prepare roasted veggies, seared steak, or a crispy whole fish in record time with one of these devices. Step up your home chef and transport yourself to Italy with an Ooni Pizza oven.
What are Ooni Pizza Ovens?
Ooni Pizza Ovens are a line of outdoor pizza ovens that can heat up to approximately 950 degrees, cooking a pizza in a minute. While it takes about 20 minutes to pre-heat, the fact that it can cook your pizza in 60 seconds is impressive. Ooni Pizza ovens contain a pizza stone, which provides that signature crispy yet chewy crust.
Ooni sells various models with different sizes and benefits. Some are wood-burning while others are gas-powered, and certain models even use a blend of wood and gas. All of their ovens are available in either 12” or 16”. Their most popular model is the Ooni Koda 16 Gas Powered Pizza Oven.
Although using an outdoor pizza oven for the first time sounds stressful to some, it’s much easier to put together and use than traditional BBQs and pizza ovens.
Different Ooni models:
- Ooni Karu – The Karu is a multi-fuel oven. It’s also Ooni’s priciest and most powerful offering. It uses a blend of gas, wood, and charcoal and takes 15 minutes to heat.
- Ooni Koda – The Koda is the next price tier down, and only uses propane gas & natural gas.
- Ooni Fyra – The Fyra only takes wood pellets, and is the most affordable Ooni model.
- Ooni Pro – If you still want the multi-fuel experience without the $799 price tag, the Pro offers similar benefits to the Karu.
Why Ooni Pizza Ovens?
Homemade pizzas in the oven often come out unevenly cooked – they can cause underdone, soggy middles, overdone crusts, and generally underwhelming results that take all the fun out of pizza night.
Wood-fired pizza, on the other hand, is hard to get unless you’re at a top-quality restaurant. With these outdoor pizza ovens, you can bring that experience to the comfort of your own home.
Ooni Pizza Ovens take the guesswork out of the process, delivering delicious and consistent results every time. The range of models also allows for you to better customize to your lifestyle, with different sizes and forms of fuel consumption.
The starting price is $349, while the priciest model is $799, making it a bit of a splurge for many consumer budgets. However, while some expensive kitchen gadgets are only used a couple of times before they collect dust in a cabinet, the Ooni Pizza Ovens are a multifunctional must-have for anyone that loves cooking.
They’re a long-term investment purchase than can provide infinite pizzas and other perfectly charred foods, with similar results to an air fryer. Anyone with a backyard or patio will find that this cooking appliance with a focus on craftsmanship is worth the spend.
It’s also important to remember the additional cost of wood pellets, charcoal or propane gas based on which model you buy.
How to use an Ooni
You don’t have to be some kind of culinary wizard to figure out how to use the Ooni Pizza Ovens. Here’s how easy it is:
- Connect the propane tank or put your alternative fuel in
- Set it to high and let it heat for 20 minutes.
- Turn the heat to low and place your pizza inside, letting it cook for a minute or two.
- Every 20-30 seconds, you can rotate the pizza. The time it cooks will depend on how big your pie is and how many toppings you have on it.
All the Ooni models are extremely easy to put together and use – many customers even enjoy watching the pizza while it cooks. They’re portable and lightweight, so you can even take them camping or to the beach.
The oven features different heat zones, based on what model you purchase. For instance, their most popular gas model uses an L-shaped burner. Although the zones take some trial and error, they ultimately let the user have more control over how the pizza cooks. Even the gas models provide that perfectly charred, wood-fired result with the same flavor.
The opening on this oven is very wide, making it easy to access for all users. The inside is also very spacious, allowing the necessary space for fitting a pizza wheel when you’re adding, removing, or rotating your pie.
Another exciting feature of the Ooni is that you don’t need to clean it – since the internal temperature gets very hot, you don’t need to sanitize or disinfect – just wipe down the outside if any dust settles.
The ovens are built differently based on which model you buy. Only the Karu, Fyra, and Pro have chimneys, but all the models have a glass door, stone, fuel hatch, and fuel hatch. The premium 16” Ooni Karu even has a digital-read thermometer on the front.
Every stainless steel Ooni has an exceptionally sleek and streamlined look with attractive lines and angled legs. All models are made from various blends of powder-coated carbon steel and brushed stainless steel, with a cordierite stone.
Which accessories do you need?
While they sell plenty of accessories a la carte, we recommend buying the bundles, which include the oven and the essential add-ons for a lower price. Here is a look at their bestselling accessories.
- Pizza peel – this is the most important part of the process, delivering your pizza to the oven, rotating it, and taking it out. They sell a regular stainless steel peel, a perforated version, and a turning peel, which can help you rotate your pie.
- Modular table – Sold in various sizes, this lightweight table with built-in, adjustable shelves and hooks provides a surface to safely keep your outdoor oven on and store your gas tank.
- Thermometer – Unless you have the latest Ooni model, you’ll need this infrared thermometer, which uses a laser pointer to accurately measure the surface temperature of the pizza.
- Pizza topping station – A must for outdoor parties, this prep station takes the mess out of getting your pizza ready and creates a fun DIY pizza bar experience.
- Cover– If you don’t plan on storing your oven, consider purchasing a waterproof cover, which can help protect it from the elements and keep it clean over time. They even sell portable carry covers for all your adventures.
Do you dread putting things together? Don’t fret, because the Ooni comes fully assembled right out of the box. Just unfold the legs, place the pizza stone inside and you’re good to go.
If you have a gas-powered model, you’ll need to purchase and fill a 1 pound or 20 pound propane tank.
Pro tips to help with the learning curve
- Flour the pizza peel and the pizza, which will make transferring it easy
- Don’t add too many toppings. This will make the cooking process complicated and create sogginess and uneven cooking
- Avoid distractions and keep a close eye on your pizza, as it’s in a very high heat environment at nearly a thousand degrees and can burn easily.
- If you’re looking to store or move the oven, don’t touch it for 90 minutes, as it needs to cool off.
Shipping and other factors to consider
Ooni offers free shipping on orders $35+ within 3-5 working days. This applies to the lower 48 states and unfortunately doesn’t include Puerto Rico, Alaska, or Hawaii. While they do ship to Canada, extra duties and taxes may apply.
They also accept free returns on unused items within 60 days. If you’re wondering where these highly-rated pizza ovens are made, they have warehouses on the East Coast in New Jersey and on the West Coast in Nevada.
Should you buy the Ooni?
Although you may need to save up for it, the weatherproof Ooni isn’t a frivolous purchase. It’s a simple and straightforward essential that can whip up impressive results for a quick weeknight dinner or when you’re having guests over for a meal. It can cook up plenty of wood-fired meals.
If you’re having trouble deciding which model to buy, we’d consider the gas-powered option – although you have the cost of propane to consider long-term, wood and charcoal are both messier and more finicky. Gas can also help you control your temperature more precisely, which is important for gluten-free pies, which need to be cooked at a lower heat than regular ones.
From setup to cleanup, the Ooni is a carefully executed device that all foodies, not just pizza lovers, should consider for year-round usage.
You should buy the Ooni if:
- You have an outdoor space like a patio/backyard
- You want something more space-saving than a BBQ
- You love pizza or crispy/roasted foods
- You’re a home cook that has minimal time
- You do outdoors activities like camping or going to the beach and want a portable pizza option