backyard basics 7 Best Neapolitan Pizza Ovens For Backyard (2022)
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7 Best Neapolitan Pizza Ovens For Backyard (2022)

Making Neapolitan pizza is an art form, and for years it was hard to do at home. You needed a large and expensive brick oven in your backyard, or you had to go to a pizzeria. But now, there are some tremendous domestic pizza ovens on the market that make it easy to get that authentic Neapolitan flavor right in your own kitchen.

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Best Neapolitan Pizza Oven for Backyard

Making Neapolitan pizza is an art form, and for years it was hard to do at home. You needed a large and expensive brick oven in your backyard, or you had to go to a pizzeria. But now, there are some tremendous domestic pizza ovens on the market that make it easy to get that authentic Neapolitan flavor right in your own kitchen.

We will share seven of the best Neapolitan pizza ovens and help you decide which one is best for you!

7 Best Neapolitan Pizza Ovens For Backyard

Not all backyard pizza ovens are created equal. Some are small and portable, making them easy to move around, while others are large and require a lot of space. Some ovens use

wood or charcoal for fuel, while others use propane or natural gas.

The best backyard pizza ovens are the ones that are easy to use and can reach the high temperatures necessary for cooking a delicious Neapolitan pizza. The pizzas cooked in these ovens have a thin crust with slightly charred edges and are soft and chewy in the middle.

We’ve identified the

seven best pizza ovens, and we threw in a bonus option for fun.

Wood-Fired Pizza Is Most Authentic

Gas grills are great. They are economical, produce quick heat, and sear foods easily. But true steak lovers know that there’s just something about the taste of meat cooked over an open flame. That smell of smoke and charred wood is primal to Americans, as anyone who has ever stepped into a backyard during a cookout can attest.

The same is true of pizza. The flavor of wood-fired pizza just cannot be replicated with gas. If you want to make authentic Neapolitan pizza, you need a wood-fired oven. And while it’s true that wood-fired ovens are more challenging to manage than their gas counterparts, they are worth the investment in learning to use them correctly.

A good wood-fired oven will last you a lifetime, and there’s nothing quite like the flavor of pizza cooked in one. So if you’re serious about making Neapolitan pizza at home, you need a wood-fired oven. This is a significant determinant in our list of seven pizza ovens.

pizza-cutter

1. Ooni Karu 16

The Ooni Karu 16 is the flagship outdoor pizza oven for the brand. It is a multi-fuel pizza oven that will work with wood, charcoal, or propane. One thing worth noting is that the gas burner is sold separately.

Ooni pizza oven models are often more expensive than counterparts, and accessories are usually sold separately. That said, if you have the money to spend, the investment is well worth it.

The Multi-Fuel Gold Standard

It’s been well-documented that the Ooni Karu 16 is both the first and only pizza oven to be Recommended for Domestic Use by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. It’s an honor that is well deserved.

The larger cooking area is big enough to fit pizzas as large as 16”, but the chamber is also taller than many other outdoor ovens. The taller chamber enables you to cook other items, including meats, casseroles, and bread. The possibilities are nearly endless if you buy a cast-iron skillet or cast-iron pan.

Many outdoor pizza ovens either feature a solid door that is hard to see through or no door. The door helps regulate the temperature within the oven. The Ooni Karu 16 features a newly-designed hinged oven door with clear ViewFlame technology.

This clear sight into the oven is more important than you might think. When pizzas are cooked at temperatures as high as 950 degrees Fahrenheit, they both cook quickly and can burn in seconds.

Additionally, the Ooni Karu 16 features a mounted digital thermometer that shows the ambient temperature inside the oven. For most pizza ovens, you will need to buy an infrared thermometer (also called an IR thermometer) to monitor the temperature.

The Ooni Karu 16 is among the best outdoor pizza ovens money can buy.

pizza-in-ooni

2. Solo Stove Pi

The signature stainless steel look has become a mainstay in backyards across America, and for a good reason, as smokeless fire pits have grown in popularity. The fire pits are available in multiple sizes, designed for portability and durability.

The Solo Stove fire pits also offer perhaps the most genuinely smokeless experience, even better than the smokeless experience provided by the original smokeless fire pit maker, Breeo.

The Solo Stove Pi pizza oven follows the same mold of innovative, functional, and beautiful design.

Most Innovative Pizza Oven Design

You might be wondering whether an outdoor pizza oven can really be that innovative. The answer is a resounding YES.

The Solo Stove Pi is a dual fuel pizza oven that works with wood or a gas burner. The wood-only pizza oven is cheaper since it doesn’t include the gas burner, which is slightly ironic since wood-fired pizza ovens actually take more skill to manage. You might assume that the oven that takes more skill to use might be more expensive.

But about that innovation, the Solo Stove Pi features a combination of demi-dome construction and signature airflow that generates a consistent, convection cooking experience. The cooking chamber is also surrounded by ceramic insulation.

This thoughtful design complements a sizeable panoramic opening, making it easy to turn your pizzas and slide your pizzas on and off your pizza peel.

Many outdoor pizza ovens are plagued by a door or a small opening designed for heat retention. The Solo Stove Pi doesn’t need a door and offers a broad, panoramic opening due to the combined design features noted above.

The downside is that for now, at least, the Solo Stove Pi only comes in one size, but it is an adequate size, and the Solo Stove Pi is worthy of your consideration. The Solo Stove Pi isn’t intended as a portable pizza oven that you might take on a camping trip.

Instead, the Solo Stove Pi is a handsome outdoor pizza oven that you can design your patio or outdoor kitchen around. We recommend adding on a Solo Stove Bonfire to complete the backyard experience if you don’t already have one of their fire pits.

panoramic-opening-for-pizza

3. Stoke Wood-Fired Pizza Oven

The backyard pizza ovens sold by Ooni and Solo Stove are incredibly nice, but they are also relatively expensive. In considering the best outdoor pizza ovens, it is important to highlight where you can find a good pizza oven at a more affordable price.

Whether you want a starter pizza oven to learn with before upgrading to a more expensive model, or you just don’t want to spend big bucks on an outdoor appliance that you won’t use every day, the Stoke series of pizza ovens are a great place to start.

Best Overall Value For Affordable-Minded

Stoke offers both a gas-fired grill and a wood oven, but we recommend that you choose the wood oven to make the most authentic pizza.

Stoke builds sleek grills that offer an elegant but understated aesthetic. More importantly, Stoke pizza ovens work great! If you are looking to master artisan pizza, we understand why you might want to go with the Ooni Karu 16 or the Solo Stove Pi.

On the other hand, if you are more interested in mastering pizza night and pizza parties while keeping some money in the bank, then a Stoke outdoor pizza oven is the way to go. You will especially love the fact that all of the accessories are included.

When you purchase a Stoke starter bundle, you will receive the gas burner, a pizza peel, a pizza cutter, and a carry case. A Stoke pizza oven is an excellent way to elevate your outdoor space on a budget, and the included cover will help protect it from the elements.

Beyond all of the included accessories, the design just makes sense. You can put it together in less than 5 minutes, it has four legs (most pizza ovens only have three), and the heat-resistant body helps to keep it safer to be near.

The Stoke pizza ovens are backed for life with a never-ending warranty and offered with a 365-day risk-free trial. If you are on the fence about buying a pizza oven, a Stoke pizza oven might be your best option.

pizza-on-pizza-peel

4. Ooni Pro

If you want a larger cooking chamber for baking bread (or casseroles or meat), but you don’t want to spring for the Ooni Karu 16, the Ooni Pro is another excellent option. Among the portable ovens, the Karu and the Pro are among the bigger options.

An oven like the Solo Stove Pi isn’t really designed as a portable pizza oven. The reality is that if you plan on frequently taking your pizza oven on the go, you would be better off purchasing a smaller device such as the Ooni Fyra.

Still, the Ooni Pro (and Karu) is an excellent option if you want a pizza oven designed to primarily stay in your backyard but can be packed up for the occasional pizza party in the park.

The Predecessor To The Ooni Karu 16

The Ooni Pro was the original do-it-all pizza oven for outdoor cooking. Many pizza ovens have tried to replicate the Ooni Pro’s success through the years, but few have succeeded. Ooni’s new flagship model, the Ooni Karu 16, is one of the few pizzas ovens designed well enough to surpass Ooni’s old flagship model, the Ooni Pro.

Ooni pizza ovens are designed to reach very high temperatures, and the Ooni Pro is no different. Cooking pizzas at a high temperature is essential for creating that great pizza crust we are all searching to create. The Ooni Pro was one of the first appliances designed as a countertop oven capable of reaching north of 900 degrees Fahrenheit.

The reality is that the Ooni Karu 16 has genuinely surpassed the Ooni Pro. Features such as the clear hinged door and the mounted temperature display put the Ooni Karu 16 in a league of its own. Still, the Ooni Pro is entirely functional.

If you want the ample cooking space and multi-fuel capability that the Karu offers but need a more affordable option, then the Ooni Pro is the way to go.

ooni-pro-pizza-oven

5. Gozney Roccbox

While there are countless pizza oven options on the market now, the Gozney Roccbox was one of the first portable pizza ovens. For years, if people were looking for a domestic pizza oven, they had to decide between a Roccbox and an Ooni.

The Roccbox by Gozney garnered early attention due to its smart portable design and its pleasing modern aesthetic. The Roccbox still cracks our Top 5, but the company hasn’t innovated as much as some competitors.

Instead of venturing into different versions of its domestic oven, Gozney created a professional-grade outdoor oven called the Dome. The Gozney Dome approaches $2,000 and is almost twice as expensive as any other oven on our list.

The multi-fuel Roccbox is a steal in comparison. The Roccbox requires no assembly and includes retractable legs for easy transport or storage, a built-in thermometer, and detachable burners to switch between wood and gas easily.

Silicone Skin Adds Safety

The Roccbox is particularly popular for people that have tight spaces. The top of the pizza oven is wrapped with a silicone jacket that is safe to touch. We obviously wouldn’t recommend leaning against it, but if you will have kids and friends around while you cook, this is an obvious selling point.

The silicone skin is just one of the many features that help the Roccbox’s design features stand out above the competition. It is built with professional-grade engineering and materials, including 304-grade stainless steel.

The Roccbox also features a patented baffle plate that creates a rolling flame effect. The rolling flame effect generates heat throughout the oven and helps to ensure your pizza is cooked evenly.

The Roccbox boasts an unusually thick cordierite pizza stone, which retains heat and results in crispy pizzas. The ovens we feature come with a pizza stone, but the Roccbox’s 19mm cordierite pizza stone floor is thicker than most.

The Roccbox works excellent as a wood-fired pizza oven but is often used just as a gas grill. The stove is popular with some restaurants that want to add fire-kissed flavoring, and as a gas grill, the Roccbox is great for everything from vegetables to buffalo chicken wings.

Restauranteurs might consider the Roccbox the most artisan pizza oven on our list, even if it is designed primarily for residential use.

gozney-roccbox-artisan-oven

6. Ooni Fyra

The Ooni Fyra is one of the smaller pizza ovens we listed, and that is on purpose. The Ooni Fyra is highly portable, and it is the only pizza oven we listed that is specifically designed to work with wood pellets.

The Ooni Fyra is big enough for 12” pizzas and comes in a much more compact design than a sister oven such as the Karu. Since the Ooni Fyra only ways 22lbs, it is ultra-portable. This is the perfect oven if you want something that you can easily pack in the back of your car.

One more benefit of the Ooni Fyra is that it is significantly more affordable than some of the larger, multi-fuel pizza ovens.

Wood-Fired Flavoring In Portable Oven

The Ooni Fyra holds a special place in our hearts because wood pellets fuel it. It’s not just that wood pellets offer consistently high heat and low maintenance while cooking. Smaller ovens are often gas-powered because there is less room to place the wood.

The larger multi-fuel ovens use wood chunks instead of logs, but even wood chunks are too big for an oven the size of the Ooni Fyra. Wood pellets solve this problem.

This means that users interested in portability can still experience the great tasting, authentic flavoring that wood smoke provides.

portable-wood-pellet-pizza-oven

7. Bertello Pizza Oven

Bertello rose to prominence on the back of their entertaining appearance on Shark Tank. The Bertello outdoor pizza oven was the simple alternative to the bigger brands before Stoke came around.

The original Bertello caught some slack because the opening for the pizza was tiny, making it difficult to get the pizza in and out of the pizza oven. And you want your outdoor pizza oven hot, but the original Bertello tended to burn pizzas. There is a learning curve with any gas or wood-fired pizza oven, but the learning curve seemed particularly steep with the original Bertello.

Recently, the brand introduced the Bertello Grande 16”, which is much larger and has a much larger opening for you to maneuver the pizza. These enhancements on the larger Bertello model mostly solve the problems many people experienced with the original model.

Based on this, the Bertello pizza oven is a good choice if you want to avoid one of the mainstay brands or explicitly looking to purchase a pizza oven from Amazon. It may not be as much of a refined artisan pizza oven as something like the Roccbox, but it looks good and will get the job done.

Amazon Alternative for Stoke Pizza Ovens

If you are looking for the best pizza oven, you might first consider some of the other options. Still, if affordability is a top priority, then the Bertello outdoor pizza oven is one of the main alternatives to the Stoke pizza oven on Amazon.

In considering outdoor pizza ovens, there are plenty of things to consider. Some people might prefer an indoor pizza oven, while others might prefer something with a more traditional appliance look, like the Camp Chef Italia pizza oven.

In our minds, the best outdoor pizza oven looks as good as it functions. The Bertello Grande 16” pizza oven has nice lines and cooks pizza better than the original Bertello. The fact that both are available on Amazon is an excellent convenience.

bertello-pizza-oven

Bonus: Ooni Koda

We’ve made it pretty clear that the best outdoor pizza ovens provide that nice wood-fueled smoky flavor, but some people simply prefer the convenience of working with a propane tank, and that is ok.

Gas-powered pizza ovens aren’t bad. They are a step above electric pizza ovens. Gas ovens generally reach a much higher temperature than electric ovens. The Ooni Koda is right up there among the best outdoor pizza ovens among gas-powered options.

The result is that you can still get that excellent crispy pizza that you are looking to create. The flavoring might not have that wood smoke taste, but if you utilize high-quality ingredients, the results will still be a delicious and fresh pizza.

The Best Gas Burner Pizza Oven

The Ooni Koda is available in two sizes. The smaller Ooni Koda 12 weighs less than 21lbs and comes in a compact form that will fit in any outdoor space. The gas fuel allows for ultimate control and generally is much easier to use.

Cooking with wood requires constant attention. While you need to pay attention to anything cooking with fire, the Ooni Koda enables you to focus on the pizza itself rather than on maintaining the perfect fire.

The smaller Koda 12 is very portable, but if you want an oven that makes it a little easier to feed a family or group of friends, we recommend stepping up to the Ooni Koda 16.

The Ooni Koda 16 features an innovative L-shaped flame, which means you only have to turn the pie once while cooking. For ovens in which the heat is sourced directly from the back of the oven, you may have to turn the pie up to 4 times to get an even bake.

The extra-large cooking surface in the Ooni Koda 16 is big enough for more than just pizza. Try meats, bread, vegetables, side dishes, and desserts as well.

gas-powered-ooni-koda

Can You Make Neapolitan Pizza With A Gas Pizza Oven?

Gas pizza ovens are easier to regulate and monitor than wood pizza ovens. This is because the heat is more consistent with gas ovens, meaning that your pizza will come out the same every time. Additionally, gas ovens are often smaller in size, making them a good option for those who don’t have a lot of space.

However, enthusiasts argue that you can’t get the same authentic flavor with a gas oven. The wood-burning pizza ovens create a smoky flavor that can’t be replicated with gas. So, if you’re looking for an authentic Neapolitan pizza, you might want to stick with a wood-fired oven.

On the other hand, if you value convenience over authenticity, a gas pizza oven will work just fine, and there is nothing to be ashamed about if you prefer a gas-powered device. Get your propane tank ready, heat your pizza stones, and make great pizza.

Alternative Electric Pizza Ovens

If you search for long on Amazon, you will note that they also sell indoor pizza ovens that simply plug into a nearby outlet. If you don’t have a good space to put one of the above outdoor pizza ovens, it’s reasonable to consider these other options.

You should never use one of the outdoor ovens inside. If you don’t have a place to put one of the outdoor pizza ovens, stick with an indoor pizza oven.

With that understood, there are three significant drawbacks. Indoor pizza ovens frequently cook at a much lower temperature than the best outdoor pizza ovens. Some of the indoor ovens also lack pizza stones. The pizza stones draw moisture out of the crust and help cook the pizza from the top and bottom. The high temperature helps a cordierite pizza stone to accomplish this.

Naturally, the other drawback is that an indoor electric oven won’t provide that authentic and smoky flavor so popular in pizzerias. The best pizza ovens accomplish unique flavoring by infusing that smoke and char.

homemade-pizza

What Makes A Neapolitan Slice So Special?

People love Neapolitan pizza because of its light and airy crust, simple and fresh ingredients, and easy-to-follow recipe. Neapolitan pizza is the original pizza, and many people say it is the best pizza style.

Neapolitan-style pizza is typically made with fresh mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and basil leaves. The dough for a Neapolitan pizza is very lightly leavened, which gives it its characteristic light and chewy texture. The pizza is cooked in a wood-fired oven at a high temperature, which cooks the dough quickly and creates a slightly charred flavor.

Authentic Ingredients

Neapolitan pizza is typically made with fresh mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and basil leaves, but not just any ingredients will do.

When making Neapolitan-style pizza, you should use 00 flour. 00 flour is made from high-quality Italian wheat, and it is ground very finely to create a soft and smooth dough. This type of flour is almost exclusively used for making pizza dough, and it gives the dough light and airy texture.

For tomatoes, try to find San Marzano tomatoes. San Marzano tomatoes are the most popular type of tomato for Neapolitan-style pizza because they have a sweet and flavorful taste. Store-bought tomato sauce just isn’t the same.

They are grown in the volcanic soil near Naples, Italy, known for their thin skin and high acidity. San Marzano tomatoes are also very juicy, making them perfect for pizza sauce.

Ingredients matter, so if your goal is to cook pizzas as delicious as those you might order at the local restaurant or pizzeria, ensure that you start with the right ingredients.

thin-crispy-pizza-crust

The Right Outdoor Pizza Oven

Cooking Neapolitan-style pizza in an outdoor oven can be tricky, but with a bit of practice, you’ll be able to make perfect pies every time.

First, you’ll need to find the right pizza oven for you. There are a variety of ovens on the market that range in size and price. We’ve covered that above, but size and price aren’t the only considerations.

You’ll also need to ensure that your oven can reach the high temperatures necessary for cooking Neapolitan pizza. Most wood-fired ovens can reach 600-900 degrees Fahrenheit, but check your oven’s manual to be sure.

Brick Pizza Ovens

For the highest authenticity, you may consider an outdoor brick pizza oven. The brick base helps maintain high temperatures and absorbs moisture, similar to how a pizza stone absorbs moisture. The result is an extra crispy crust when properly used.

Authentic brick ovens are more expensive than the more portable units listed above, but outdoor brick pizza ovens are much more permanent. You can also buy a fireplace unit that already has a brick oven built in. For the purposes of placemaking, this may be the best option.

How To Cook Neapolitan Pizza

Once you have the right oven, it’s time to start cooking. The first step is to preheat the oven for at least 30 minutes. This will ensure that the oven is hot enough to cook the pizza dough properly.

Next, stretch your dough into a 12-inch circle and place it on a cornmeal-dusted pizza peel. Then, add your desired toppings and slide the pizza onto the baking surface.

Bake the pizza for 60-90 seconds, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly. We recommend rotating once with a turner peel. This is especially true if your heat all comes from the back of the oven.

Remove the pizza from the oven with a pizza peel and let it cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

Now that you know how to make Neapolitan pizza at home.

Tips If You Are Struggling

Cooking pizza well takes practice, but don’t immediately revert to frozen pizza if you get discouraged. Home cooks often face two common problems when learning to cook pizza properly: Soggy dough and burnt toppings.

Pre-cooking your crust is one way to solve both of these problems. If you have friends who come over that are wood-fired pizza lovers, they might give you a hard time, but doing this will help you overcome the learning curve.

Why? Sliding the pizza dough full of toppings off the peel and into the oven is challenging. There is a good chance you will end up with a glob that is more akin to nasty calzone than a pizza. The other thing that happens is toppings will burn even though the dough is still soggy.

Throwing your dough in the oven for a few minutes will ease your pain. Cook the dough long enough so that it doesn’t flop around anymore, and then pull it back out to add the toppings. Over time, you can stop doing this as you become more advanced.

Similarly, if you cook at the manufacturer’s recommended 950 degrees Fahrenheit, you may find that your pizza will burst into the flames. Lower the temperature down closer to 700 degrees if this happens to you.

Soon you will be turning out delicious pizzas, and you remove the training wheels as you get more comfortable cooking your homemade pizzas.

solo-stove-pi-demi-dome-construction

Which Outdoor Pizza Oven Is Right For You?

We recommend that you stick with one of the top three recommended models, as they are the best pizza ovens based on our review.

The

Ooni Karu 16 is the gold standard in pizza ovens. It features a digital temperature reading to help you ensure the oven heats to the appropriate temperature and a clear hinged door that allows you to monitor your pizza as it cooks.

The Solo Stove Pi features a new and innovative design, including advanced air circulation and a demi-dome construction. Alongside ceramic insulation, these features help to maximize heat retention. This enables the inclusion of the large panoramic opening.

Lastly, if you are interested in finding high-quality but affordable outdoor pizza ovens, Stoke is the place to start. Stoke outdoor ovens are very functionally designed but lack some advanced features that pizza aficionados might be looking to utilize.

These are among the best outdoor pizza ovens. Enjoy Pi Day every day!

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