If you have considered investing in an outdoor pizza oven for your backyard, it’s time to get the flames rolling. 2020 taught us to cherish the good times and creatively make new memories with our friends and family. There is something special about pizza that brings us together. Perhaps it’s the fact that one pie can be shared by many, but there is no denying that we make great memories while eating pizza with family and friends.
Let’s be honest that pizza is delicious too, and pizza cooked over an open fire has even more complex and irresistible flavoring. So it makes complete sense to combine the pizza tradition with backyard grilling and barbecuing, which are also essential pieces of Americana tradition. What sounds better than gathering with friends and family in the backyard, with a cold drink in hand, enjoying fire-cooked pizzas?
You might have thought that grilling pizza over a fire was an activity reserved for restaurants or the occasional wealthy person with an elaborately designed outdoor pizza oven, but that is no longer true. There are fantastic outdoor pizza oven options accessible for you, and we spent untold hours reviewing the best options on the market. Check out the side-by-side comparison table, read the detailed reviews, and see our recommendation at the end of the article.
Is A Pizza Oven Worth The Investment?
If you have ever had authentic brick oven pizza, the quality of the pizza is undeniably better than pizza cooked in a standard oven. The biggest reason for this is that cooking pizza at high temperatures, with open flames, produces the perfectly crisp crust. Most indoor ranges only reach 500°F, while the best pizza ovens get as hot as 950°F. If you like brick oven quality pizza, but want to spend more time enjoying your backyard with family and friends, an outdoor pizza oven is totally worth it.
What is a Cordierite Stone?
Most of the pizza ovens we reviewed include a cordierite stone, which is essential for several reasons. Cooking the pizza on stone pulls moisture away from the crust while simultaneously cooking the crust on a high-heat surface. This combination results in a crispier crust for you. Cordierite stone is also very heat resistant, so it is less likely to crack if quickly heated over an open flame. Clay and ceramic stones are also made for cooking pizza, but cordierite is the best choice because clay is slow to heat, and ceramic is prone to cracking.
Ooni Outdoor Pizza Oven Review
Ooni’s entire purpose is to bring restaurant-quality pizza right to your backyard, and they designed an elegant and functional pizza oven to make that happen. Ooni makes five separate ovens, spanning multiple heat sources and sizes so that you can find the perfect pizza oven for your taste and needs. Whether you prefer wood-fired, charcoal-fired, or gas-powered, Ooni has a pizza oven for you. And if you are looking for a portable pizza oven that you can take on your next camping trip, Ooni has you covered there too.
While Ooni’s outdoor ovens make the perfect pizza, they are versatile enough to grill everything from BBQ to fish. Ooni is all about community, so they have a wide variety of recipes on their website to guide you in the right direction. The Ooni ovens cook fast and are versatile, so with guidance from their website, you can make a classic margarita pizza or Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, or if you want to get a little more adventurous, you might try Peruvian pork or Spanish prawn skewers.
To make sure you have all of the tools necessary to cook professional pizza from your backyard, Ooni also offers a line of accessories including pizza peels, serving boards, wood pellets, and an infrared thermometer. The bottom line is that an Ooni pizza oven will transform your backyard into pizza heaven.
Ooni vs. Uuni Pizza Ovens
If you have been eyeing a pizza oven for a while, then you might be wondering what ever happened to Uuni pizza ovens. Uuni is suspiciously close to Ooni, after all. As it turns out, Uuni was difficult to pronounce for some, and Ooni is the phonetic spelling for the name of the company. So Uuni officially changed their name to Ooni, but they still sell the same high-quality pizza ovens.
Do Ooni Outdoor Pizza Ovens Work?
Traditional wood-fired ovens are expensive, but Ooni ovens heat up to more than 930°F in less than 20 minutes for a fraction of the cost. The result is smokey and crisp pizza as flavorful as any you have had at a restaurant. And if you like to have big parties, the pizzas cook in 60 seconds, so you can pump out pizza after pizza to satisfy the feeding frenzy to come.
Our favorite product is the Ooni Karu Wood and Charcoal-Fired Portable Pizza Oven because it is versatile enough for multiple heating sources. The smartly designed pellet hopper automatically feeds new wood to the fire as needed, and the chimney design redirects smoke away from your face. And at less than 27 lbs, you can throw the Karu in the optional carry cover and take it pretty much anywhere.
When you purchase an Ooni, pizza will become the new go-to meal, and you will be tempted to use the oven multiple times every week. Our only advice is to be careful who you invite over to experience the Ooni magic, because they may become frequent visitors.
Roccbox Outdoor Pizza Oven Review
The Gozney Roccbox only comes in one model, compared to the five separate models Ooni manufacturers, but the Roccbox is a restaurant-grade pizza oven designed for your home. It’s the restaurant-grade quality that makes the Roccbox a little more expensive than its competitors, but that same quality should give you the reassurance you are getting the absolute best product.
Our favorite Roccbox feature is that the oven is covered in an outer silicone skin that makes the oven safer around your family because it isn’t as hot to touch, but the top-notch features don’t stop there. The pizza oven comes with a built-in thermostat and a detachable gas burner as standard. An optional wood burner is available for those that prefer the wood flavoring to the gas burner. Your guest would assume your pizza was cooked at a restaurant if they didn’t know better.
Do Roccbox Outdoor Pizza Ovens Work?
If you thought that the Ooni pizza oven gets hot at 930°F, you would be impressed to know the Roccbox outdoor pizza oven reaches a whopping 950°F. The additional 20°F might add marginal cooking performance at that high temperature, but it is still impressive. 950°F is even more impressive given the outer silicone skin, combined with body insulation, make the Roccbox safe to touch.
Gozney (the company that makes Roccbox) also offers a series of recipes on its website, so that you can make the perfect pizza. The restaurant-quality oven works tremendously, so your house will become the go-to gathering spot for friends and family.
If you dream of making authentic pizzas in your backyard, the Roccbox will fulfill that dream in every way.
Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza Oven Review
The first thing that stands out about the Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza Oven is the oven is propane-powered, with no charcoal or wood-fired heat sourcing. This could be good or bad depending on your perspective, but it results in a more streamlined design that is easy to clean and maintain.
The Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza Oven fills a unique space because Camp Chef’s intent is to replicate beloved artisan pizzas from Italy, while packaged in a modernized oven that is portable and powered by propane. Features such as the double-walled construction and cordierite ceramic pizza stone are designed to replicate the cooking style of a wood-fired brick oven.
If you are looking for an authentic pizza, but don’t want to deal with wood or charcoal needed to heat many of the pizza ovens, then the Camp Chef pizza oven is your best choice.
Do Camp Chef Pizza Ovens Work?
The Camp Chef pizza oven reaches 700°F, which is hot enough to cook a great pizza, but not quite as hot as Ooni or Roccbox, both of which get over 900°F. If you are on the fence between the Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza Oven and one of its competitors, it comes down to preference.
The Camp Chef isn’t quite authentic, but it is easy to use and maintain. Any time you cook with wood or charcoal, more attention needs to be paid to the fire to ensure the heat stays consistent.
While the Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza Oven has an excellent portable design, it is relatively heavy at 47 lbs, so you probably don’t want to move it around other than for special occasions like a camping trip.
We recommend choosing the Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza Oven if you want to make authentic Italian pizzas at home, but don’t want to deal with storing or using wood and charcoal.
Bertello Pizza Oven Review
If you spend much time on Kickstarter, the name Bertello might ring a bell. The company started up in 2017 when its Kickstarter campaign was funded in less than 24 hours from launch. The Bertello Pizza Oven eventually landed on Shark Tank too, where the founders won a deal with Mr. Wonderful, Kevin O’Leary. With that amount of social movement behind the product, it might be the most recognizable outdoor pizza oven we reviewed.
The design is elegant and straightforward. It is a beautiful looking appliance that would look great as a centerpiece of your backyard and small enough to take camping. We appreciate Bertello’s versatility because it works using gas, charcoal, wood, or pellets as a heat source. If you didn’t catch it already, check out their deal with Kevin to hear how much Barbara and Kevin both loved the product.
Do Bertello Pizza Ovens Work?
The Bertello pizza oven gets up to 930°F, which is plenty hot to cook a personal size pizza in under two minutes. We like that the oven is small and portable, but it doesn’t have any defining features that make it stand out from the crowd. While the Bertellow Pizza Oven may have some name recognition from Shark Tank and Kickstarter, it might not be the best bang for your buck if you are a novice trying to cook incredible pizza at home.
The biggest problem with Bertello Pizza Ovens is that the opening is too small and that the heat is not evenly distributed. Until experienced, sometimes the pizza will burn on the side nearest the fire.
While it takes time and practice to get comfortable using the oven, it is a good option cooking pizza at home. The Bertello Pizza Oven comes at an affordable price and can easily be moved around, making it a great addition to your backyard.
KettlePizza Pizza Oven Review
If you haven’t already figured this out, KettlePizza is a little different than the other pizza ovens we reviewed because KettlePizza isn’t a pizza oven itself. KettlePizza is a kit that will help you convert your existing grill into a pizza oven. If you already have a grill you enjoy, this is a great option. Complaints about other pizza ovens mainly revolve around unevenly distributed heat. Still, if you already know how to use your existing grill, this problem won’t be as big of a deal for you.
KettlePizza sells various kits including a Cordierite stone, and some which don’t, so make sure you buy everything you need to make the perfect pizza at home. Pizza specific ovens are designed to get extremely hot, so the main downside to KettlePizza inserts is that they will only work as well as your grill works. Traditional grills rarely reach above 500°F, which will limit your ability to cook a crispy and slightly charred crust like those at a restaurant.
KettlePizza is an excellent option if you already own a grill you are happy with, so long as you know its limitations. It will still cook a pizza you can be proud of, and is a worthy choice if you want to keep things simple.
Do KettlePizza Pizza Ovens Work?
KettlePizza works as well as your current grill works, which is convenient and reassuring if you already have a grill you are happy with. Keep in mind that you need to purchase the correct size insert that will work with your grill, and if you don’t buy a kit with a Cordierite stone, you will need to buy that separately. The KettlePizza kit comes in three sizes:
- KettlePizza Oven Kit for 26.75 Inch Weber Kettle Grill
- KettlePizza Oven Kit for 22.5 Inch Weber Kettle Grill
- KettlePizza Gas Pro Basic Pizza Oven Kit
If you purchase the Weber kits, buy the baking steel. While the baking steels seem a little expensive, you will need one to produce top-quality pizza. The baking steel traps the heat right above the pizza so that the top of the pizza comes out as perfectly as the crust. All in all, kettlepizza is a good option for people that love their existing Weber grills.
As with the other pizza ovens, it takes a little getting used to, and some may give up frustrated before they perfect their pizza. If you get the baking steel, and practice a few times, chances are you will love the KettlePizza because it works with your existing grill. Your pizza will definitely take it up a notch compared to pizza cooked in an indoor oven.
Our Favorite Outdoor Pizza Oven
Ooni pizza ovens are our favorite outdoor pizza ovens on the market. If you are considering Ooni vs. Roccbox, it’s a tough decision; however, Ooni’s design is sleek and modern, and Ooni offers models in multiple sizes. Ooni’s wide selection also provide you with the opportunity to choose between the convenience of gas and the authenticity of wood or charcoal. And don’t forget that Ooni pizza ovens reach 932°F, perfect for cooking the perfectly crisp pizzas in only 60 seconds.
We are confident your friends and family will want to hang out in your backyard often once they experience Ooni’s pizza magic. If you like big gatherings, we recommend going with the Ooni Koda 16 Gas-Powered Outdoor Pizza Oven. Since it’s gas-powered, you can spend more time focused on your guests and less time focused on getting the heat right in your oven. This is also one of Ooni’s larger models so that you can churn out 16-inch pizzas every few minutes.
The Ooni Koda is a show-stopper statement piece for your backyard that also makes show-stopper pizza on par with restaurant-quality pizzas. If you would prefer charcoal or wood-fired pizza, invest in Ooni Karu Wood and Charcoal-Fired Portable Pizza Oven instead. Regardless of which you choose, backyard dinners just got upgraded.
BONUS - If you are interested in outdoor pizza ovens, you might also be interested in our review of the best smokeless fire pits, including Solo Stove, Breeo, and Blue Sky fire pits. Once you have a smokeless fire pit to go with your new pizza oven, your dream backyard will be complete.
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