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Make great pizza at home. It’s a simple statement, but one that Ooni pizza ovens might make more profound than it initially sounds. Cheap take-out pizza just isn’t as satisfying once you graduate from a dorm room, and the local spots serving authentic New York-style pizza get more expensive by the day. Even then, nothing compares to stone-baked fresh pizza, especially in the convenience of your own home.
There are plenty of reasons to buy a pizza oven, so we reviewed Ooni’s pizza ovens to help you determine whether an Ooni pizza oven is a worthy investment of your hard-earned dollars. Heads up: We think you will be pleasantly surprised.
Complete Ooni Pizza Oven Review
The Ooni brand offers a 60 Days Great Pizza Guarantee. The company believes it has dialed in the perfect combination for making great pizzas at home. When you combine ovens that heat up to 950 degrees with stone baking boards and a live flame, the result is perfectly crisp crust and piping hot toppings. It might take you a few attempts to get it right, but if you are making pizza that you love within 60 days, the company will buy back the pizza oven.
Ooni makes our favorite outdoorpizza oven on the market, so we’re not surprised they have such an impressive guarantee. Whether you are looking for a portable pizza oven or the perfect backyard pizza oven, perfect for hosting a pizza party, this pizza oven review has you covered. Here are our favorite pizza ovens for any situation:
While the Roccbox is a formidable alternative frequently utilized in restaurants, the Roccbox only comes in one size, and it doesn’t get as hot as the Ooni ovens. If you would like a larger cooking surface, there’s little competition. Ooni has better options than nearly all of its competitors combined.
Ooni Pizza Oven Options
What’s the secret to great pizza?Cook ‘em hot and fast. It’s this combination that creates delicious Neapolitan style pizzas that are famous around the world. The trouble is, it’s not easy to do this at home, and most people can’t afford a built-in, wood-fired pizza oven. Ooni solves this problem. All of Ooni’s pizza ovens reach an incredible 950°, reducing cook type to a mere 60 seconds. Ingredients are essential, but so is methodology.
So start with one of Ooni’s pizza dough recipes, add on quality ingredients, and fire up delicious pizzas on a piping hot stone baking board. But which Ooni pizza oven should you choose? Here is some additional information to help you decide. You’ll be eating perfectly charred artisan pizza in no time.
Ooni Karu Review
If there is one thing I appreciate in life, it is versatility, which is exactly what the Ooni Karu offers. Initially, the Ooni Karu was available only as a 12-inch model, and if you were in the market for a portable pizza oven, this was one of the best options. The Karu 12-inch weighs less than 27 lbs. and is designed to work with wood or charcoal.
While we appreciate the authentic flavoring wood and charcoal provide, we also realize cooking with wood and charcoal requires a lot more maintenance to reach and maintain the maximum cooking temperature of 950°. Fortunately, the Ooni Karu is compatible with an Ooni gas burner attachment, allowing you to cook with wood or charcoal when you want authenticity, and connect with propane tanks when you need speed and ease.
The Ooni Karu 12 features a stainless steel body and a thick baking stone. Combined with higher cooking temperatures than the competitors, the result is a perfectly cooked crust that all pizza lovers appreciate. The Ooni Karu 16 features innovative insulation and a powder-coated finish that makes it more durable at high temperatures and more weather resistant.
We love the Ooni Karu 12, but the Ooni Karu 16 is an absolute game changer. The Ooni Karu 16 is also a multi-fuel pizza oven allowing for wood, charcoal, or propane, and the Karu 16 boasts several design options no other Ooni has to date. In fact, no other domestic-use pizza ovens have some of these features.
First, the Ooni Karu 16 features a hinged oven door with ViewFlame glass so that you can still see your pizza. The ability to close the door helps regulate even temperatures while you cook and in-between pizzas. Better yet, the Ooni Karu 16 also features a mounted digital thermometer that enables you to keep a constant eye on the temperature without needing to check manually.
Add all of this with a 16-inch pizza stone that provides more cooking surface, and it’s no wonder that the Ooni Karu 16 is the first and only pizza oven that the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana designates as Recommended for Domestic Use. The bottom line is that the Ooni Karu 16 provides a level of control that you won’t find from any other personal pizza oven, and the larger size makes it much more functional.
Ooni Pro Review
The Ooni Karu 16 has taken reign as the brand’s flagship pizza oven, but before the larger Ooni Karu was around, the multi-fuel Ooni Pro 26 was the flagship pizza oven. It shares several qualities with the Ooni Karu, including the multi-fuel source system, a door that traps heat inside the oven, and a tall cooking area big enough for meats and loaves of bread.
Will the brand continue making the Ooni Pro 16 indefinitely? We’re not sure, but for now, they are still shipping units, and if you are looking to save a few dollars off the price of the Karu 16, the Ooni Pro 16 is an excellent option. The Pro 16 was the brand’s flagship for years, for many of the same reasons the Karu is now the flagship. Both pizza ovens offer authentic tasting flavors provided by wood and charcoal, additional control when paired with a propane gas tank, and the flexibility to choose between the two.
So, what’s the difference between the Ooni Karu 16 and the Ooni Pro 16? Great question. Remember, the Ooni Karu 16 has upgraded features, including a larger window on the hinged door, and built-in temperature gauge, and increased weather resistance. The Ooni Pro was already considered the pinnacle of outdoor cooking for pizzas, and the Karu upped the game.
Still, the Ooni Pro also heats to 950°, and pizza cooks in only 60 seconds 🔥, and the tall chimney is designed to carry any smoke away from the cook. The Ooni Pro 16 is an original masterpiece in any way, so while the Karu 16 has upgraded features, we wouldn’t blame you for saving a few bucks and sticking with the OG. If you spend much time in your outdoor spaces, Ooni just makes your experience that much better.
Ooni Koda Review
If you are unsure about managing your pizza oven’s temperature with wood or charcoal, or if you prefer convenience over the authenticity of the wood or charcoal flavoring, then the Ooni Koda is the best pizza oven on the market. Moreso, the Ooni Koda 16 will be the best option for most families looking for an appliance they can use weekly or even nightly.
The ability to cook at a consistent temperature makes the Ooni Koda Pizza Oven one of the most straightforward pizza ovens to use. Pizza ovens with a gas supply are generally lower maintenance than managing wood or charcoal while you cook. Not only is it easy to manage the heat, but it is also easy to control your pizza. The Ooni Koda’s unique L-shaped flame eliminates the need to rotate your pizza more than once. Everything about the Ooni Koda Pizza Oven is designed for ease and control.
Like several other models in Ooni’s growing line-up, the Koda comes as a 12-inch pizza oven or as a 16-inch pizza oven. Ooni’s competitors offer pizza ovens near the smaller 12-inch size, so if you are only cooking for yourself or just want to save a few dollars, the Ooni Koda 12 is an excellent option. Still, if you have friends and family over, you will have to make a bunch of pizzas because the Ooni Koda 12 works well for personal size pizzas.
Of course, if you don’t want to pump out a dozen pizzas, the Ooni Koda 16 is the better option. It doesn’t have the built-in thermometer that the new Ooni Karu 16 has (yet), but the Ooni Koda still represents one of the best-built pizza ovens on the market, and it is sold at an affordable price because of the streamlined design. It doesn’t have the extra bells and whistles or multi-fuel capabilities, but it stone-bakes a near-perfect pizza.
Ooni Fyra Review
Start with classic pizza dough, add your favorite pizza toppings, and cooky with a smokey wood-flavoring for an authentic piece of Neapolitan pizza heaven. That’s possible with the Ooni Fyra. The wood-pellet Ooni Fyra is currently only available in a smaller model that is 12 inches wide, but that also means this is Ooni’s most portable unit.
Since the Ooni Fyra operates as a wood-pellet oven only, you don’t need a propane tank or gas attachment like you would for Ooni’s other models. And while the tall chimney looks like it would be a pain to deal with, it detaches and neatly fits inside the Ooni Fyra Carry Case.
Don’t be fooled by the close-up images, though. This is not a very big pizza oven. As discussed at length, the limited oven space might be inconvenient when you’re cooking for more than one person, but it’s more challenging to turn the pizza in the oven. There’s just less room to work with, reducing the model’s versatility.
You certainly won’t be able to fit a cast-iron pan in the Ooni Fyra if you want to mix things up. Still, while the Ooni Fyra won’t make the largest pizza, it stone bakes delicious wood-fired pizzas. The Ooni Fyra shouldn’t be discounted entirely as an option. The portability alone might be reason enough for some of you to consider.
To make your cooking experience more manageable, you need to invest in a good pizza peel and infrared thermometer. Ooni has you covered. You might also consider one of Ooni’s modular tables and a cover bag if you plan to keep your pizza oven in the backyard.
Since Ooni has established itself as the pizza oven company, it shouldn’t surprise how many options they have for accessories. For example, you can choose from a solid aluminum peel, a perforated peel, and a bamboo pizza peel. Our biggest recommendation is that you thoughtfully consider how you plan to use your Ooni because you could blow a fortune on the number of accessories Ooni has in its online store.
Still, getting the basics like the pizza peel and infrared thermometer are excellent investments. And adding on a well-designed pizza cutter and oven cover makes a lot of sense too. The brand also offers a series of cookbooks that might help you get the most out of your oven if you can afford it.
For future reference it’s also worth noting that the brand offers certain replacement parts like a pizza stone, should you ever need it. They claim to be the preeminent pizza oven brand because they are. About the only thing they don’t sell is propane gas 😎. But, of course, they do sell the gas burner attachment. Ha!
Ooni vs. Alternatives
Ooni’s closest competitor is the Gozney Roccbox, though the Bertello pizza oven that debuted on Shark Tank also has its share of fans. The Gozney Roccbox and Bertello Outdoor Pizza Oven each come in one size and make a personal-sized pizza.
Of the two, the Roccbox is the more portable oven because the legs fold, and it is built with more advanced technology, including an insulated body and thermocouple probe. The insulated body and outer silicone skin make the Roccbox family-friendly, reducing the chance of burn. This is probably the main reason someone might choose a Roccbox over an Ooni. Nonetheless, the Roccbox only comes in one size (a smaller size), and has fewer fuel options than the Ooni.
The Bertello Outdoor Pizza Oven is the most affordable brand, but it only takes glancing at a few product reviews to see it is also the least popular pizza oven. In our minds, this is for a good reason. The cooking space is comparable to the smaller Ooni pizza ovens or the Roccbox, but the opening to get pizza in and out is frustratingly small. It’s also challenging to turn the pizzas, so they often burn.
The Gozney Roccbox is popular in some restaurant settings because it is safer in small spaces where many people are moving around, but for most people, Ooni is the best option. Ooni’s pizza ovens are made with premium materials, and their line-up of products offers more options than Roccbox, Bertello, and all other competitors combined.
Tips, Tricks, & Favorite Recipes
Successfully using your Ooni takes a little getting used to, so here are some tips and tricks to help shorten your learning curve:
As long as you are patient with yourself, the great-tasting pizza will come. Plan on cooking a few extra pizzas on the front end as you learn the ropes. After all, that’s why Ooni offers a 60-dayGreat Pizza Guarantee. It might take you a few tries, but soon your at-home pizza will taste better than pizza from your local pizza joint.Not sure what to cook? That’s ok.
Ooni Pizza Oven Review Summary
Options. Ooni offers more options than nearly all other competitors combined. Ooni makes pizza ovens for any preferred fuel source, including the new multi-fuel Karu 16 that works with charcoal, wood, or propane. Choosing a multi-fuel model provides flexibility to cook up authentic, wood-flavored homemade pizzas and the temperature control and convenience gas grilling provide.
Of course, none of these options would matter much if Ooni pizza ovens didn’t create the perfect pizza, but they do. Remember, cooking hot and fast is the key to delicious and authentic Neapolitan pizza. Ooni pizza ovens reach a flaming hot 950°, allowing for a short 60 second cook time.
And by the way, 950° is the ideal temperature for perfectly cooked Neapolitan-style pizza, but that doesn’t mean pizza is the only thing you can cook on your Ooni. You can sear a steak or use Ooni’s cast iron skillet to get even more creative. Naturally, this will be easier on the 16-inch pizza oven models. A 12-inch pizza is excellent as a personal pizza or perhaps for two to share, but a 16-inch pizza works well for families, and the bigger ovens make it easier to try non-pizza recipes as well.
The bottom line is that if you are in the market for a personal pizza oven, Ooni stands tall above the competition, and is a worthy investment. Don’t forget that the Ooni Karu 16 is the first and only pizza oven that the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana designates as Recommended for Domestic Use.SUMMARY PROS
- Multiple fuel sources
- Turning pizza is learned skill
- Multiple sizes
- Cooks pizza in just 60 seconds
- Advanced technology
- Versatile cooking
Frequently Asked Questions
Ooni offers free shipping for orders over $35 in the mainland of the USA.
Ooni will accept returns within 60 days 😀.
Ooni offers a generous 1-year warranty on all of their products, and if you register your pizza oven with Ooni, they offer an extended 3-year warranty on the registered pizza ovens.
The Great Pizza Guarantee is basically part of the brand's return policy. It might take you a few tries to master your new Ooni, but the brand is confident that once you figure out your new pizza oven, you will love it. So, if you can't make great pizza within 60 days, they will let you return your pizza oven for free.
Well, no one likes excessive emails, but Ooni does send recipes that work well with your pizza oven, along with exclusive offers.
This will depend on your region. Ooni ships a 28 Mb regulator with most products, but you may need to choose a regulator that works for your region. The propane tanks are available at local hardware stores and gas stations.
The secret to making great pizza with an Ooni pizza oven is to cook at high temperatures. Cooking with gas will make this easier to regulate, but cooking with wood or charcoal will infuse your pizza with a subtle, smokey flavor that some find irresistible.
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