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See our high-level takeaways below, or skip to our full review!Our Take:
- Incredible Value
- New Brand
- Accessories Included
- 365-Day Trial Period
- Never-Ending Warranty
- 4th Leg For Stability
- Heat-Resistant Shell
Jump to: Full Review
Looking for an affordable and durable pizza oven that doesn’t take up a lot of space? Look no further than the Stoke pizza stove. Our Stoke pizza oven review left us impressed with the sleek looks, easy set-up, and ease-of-use. We took this pizza oven for a test drive, and here’s what we thought…
Stoke Pizza Oven Review: Good Pizza, Great Value
The first thing that you need to know is that the Stoke brand offers incredible value. Not only are the pizza ovens cheaper than the competition, but the base packages include all of the accessories you need. That means fewer unexpected add-ons at checkout.
Beyond value, a Stoke stove just works well. Cooking pizza in the backyard has never been so fun. It only took me 10 minutes to set up the oven, and then it was ready to go.
A Stoke pizza oven is perfect for Neapolitan-style pizza, but it will work well for everything from California style to Chicago style, as well.
Gas Pizza Oven
The gas-powered pizza oven is popular because it is much easier to regulate the temperature of the oven than it is when you cook with wood fire as the heating element.
This is the model I tested, and I must say, it worked splendidly. The oven heated up quickly, and it maintained a consistent temperature while I cooked four pizzas.
This oven will work great for weeknights when you are in a rush or if you plan on pumping out a slew of pizzas.
Cooking with wood offers plenty of benefits, which we will mention below, but it is more challenging to cook with, especially for novice backyard chefs.
The Stoke Gas-Powered Pizza Oven reaches a sizzling 900 degrees Fahrenheit in only 15 minutes and then will cook each of your pizzas in only 2 minutes.
While some of the main competitors feature stainless steel shell, the Stoke oven is sold in a handsome, black powder-coated steel with a heat-resistant steel shell.
The Stoke stove also sets itself apart from the competition with the addition of a fourth leg, which adds stability. Many of the alternatives only feature a folding third leg, which generally gets the job done, but when you are dealing with fire, a fourth leg seems like a brilliant addition.
Gas-Powered Pizza Oven Available in Two Sizes
If you have a small crew that you plan on firing up pizzas with on the weekends, then the 13” model will work just fine. That said, the Stoke Gas Pizza Oven is available in two sizes. If you are interested in making slightly larger pizzas, you can also choose the 16” model.
The 16” Stoke model is recommended if you have a family or plan on feeding large parties, but here is a quick secret: You may actually prefer the 16” model even if you are only cooking pizza for yourself.
Since the interior of the 16” model is a little larger, and the surface of the pizza stone offers a little more real estate to work with, some people will find that it is easier to manage the pizza with that extra space.
Yes, you can definitely cook a larger pie in the 16” model, but the larger model also gives you more room for turning the pie and placing the pizza exactly where you want it in relation to the heat. In our minds, choosing the 16” model is win all around.
Wood Pizza Oven
The wood-powered pizza oven is only available in one size (for now), but it is absolutely worth considering the wood oven if your main goal is authentic tasting pizza.
Gas pizza ovens are honestly a little easier to use. Wood pizza ovens may be slower to reach maximum temperature and harder to regulate as you cook. This is especially true if you plan on cooking more than two or three pizzas because heat will escape as quickly as you add wood and stoke the fire.
But the extra hassle is totally worth it if you want deep flavor. Wood-fired pizza may take some practice and patience. If you are willing to invest the time and effort, there is no better experience than cooking a wood-fired pizza in your backyard.
Based on our experience with the gas stove, it is extremely easy to use. If ease-of-use is your top priority, choose the gas stove. On the other hand, if flavor is your top priority, choose the wood-fired oven.
Wood-Fired is Flavorful and Authentic
When properly used, the smoky wood flavor bakes right into the crust. If you’ve ever ordered a brick oven pizza at a restaurant, you know exactly what I am talking about. The flavor is unique and undeniable.
Using a wood-fired oven is the key to unlocking that flavor , and there is just something about cooking over an open flame that makes food taste better.
Any pizza cooked on a Stoke will taste fantastic with proper care, but a wood-flavored pizza oven will take your taste buds to the next level.
Stoke Pizza Oven First Impressions
The Stoke team knows exactly what they are doing. They’ve created a value brand focused on simple innovations that make a Stoke pizza oven a no-brainer . What do I mean?
Consider the fourth leg’s simple addition, which adds stability to the pizza oven. Consider the 365-day-risk-free-trial, which gives you enough time to learn how to use your oven and evaluate its performance.
Consider that all of the accessories are included, so you won’t have to spend extra money on a pizza peel, pizza cutter, or carrying case.
The ovens are handsome and work well. You can find other ovens with more bells and whistles, but you won’t find a better overall value in a backyard pizza oven.
For this reason, we recommend purchasing aStoke pizza oven sooner than later. And since the brand offers a never-ending warranty, you can make your purchase with confidence.
Considerations for Outdoor Pizza Ovens
If you’ve never cooked with portable outdoor pizza ovens, there are a few things you need to understand. Cooking pizzas properly is a little more complicated than your experiences with indoor ovens, where you set the temp to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and set a timer.
The good news is this: If you learn to master piping hot authentic pizza, the learning curve is worth it.
If there is one crucial tip worth sharing, a reliable pizza dough recipe is the cornerstone of a good Neapolitan pizza or any other pizza you might fire upon your pizza stones.
Portability and Size
Pizza ovens come in all shapes and sizes. Some are big enough to cook for a party, while others are only big enough to pump out personal-size pizzas. Stoke offers pizza ovens in two sizes.
At just under two feet wide, the Stoke the smaller oven is quite portable. But don’t let its size fool you - this oven can churn out enough pizza for the entire family.
It’s also on par for size with other portable pizza ovens, including the Bertello outdoor pizza oven and the smaller Ooni pizza ovens.
The best pizza ovens are not necessarily the biggest. The key in comparing pizza oven models is to think through how you plan to use the oven. Decide on which fuel source makes sense for your situation, and then choose the size you are most comfortable will meet your needs.
Room to Maneuver
If you are only cooking for a small family, or if you are fine managing the temperature for long periods, the smaller Stoke stove will dow quite well. On the other hand, if you want to cook a larger pizza the family can share, consider the larger oven.
The last consideration we will note is that it takes time to get used to turning the pizzas in the oven. Some may find that the extra space from a larger oven makes it easier to hone your craft.
The smaller Stoke stove is the perfect size for a small family that stays on the move, while the larger oven is great for hosting friends and gatherings.
Stoke makes a gas stove and a wood-fired stove. So in determining whether a Stoke stove is right for you, you may need to decide whether or not you want to cook pizza with gas or wood.
There are pros and cons to both. Cooking with a gas-powered stove makes it easier to control your cooking temperature.
When cooking with a wood-fired oven, it is significantly more challenging to maintain an even temperature. It can be done, but it takes a bit more practice.
On the other hand, enthusiasts may only cook pizzas with a wood-fired oven. Wood-fired smoke provides an element of flavor that a propane tank just doesn’t match.
When pizza night rolls around, enthusiasts will only use hickory and mesquite wood in their outdoor oven. Fortunately, Stoke offers options for any preference.
Great pizza requires high cooking temperatures. When pizza is cooked at a high temperature, the result is a nice, crispy crust.
Still, this can be a challenge for beginners because if you are cooking at 900 degrees, the top of the pizza starts to burn if you aren’t extremely careful.
Know that it might take a few pizzas to practice the technique. If you struggle with burning your pizzas at a high temperature, you can always try at lower temperatures.
Most outdoor pizza ovens will cook at a temperature as high as 900 degrees, but you can bake your pizza at a lower temperature, which makes it easier to manage.
Portable pizza oven enthusiasts may prefer the high temperature, resulting in the perfect crust. That said, when you are just getting started, give yourself some slack and try cooking around 700 degrees.
In our minds, there are three things you need for the perfect, crispy crust, regardless of which style of pizza you decide to bake.
The best outdoor pizza ovens reach as high as 950 degrees Fahrenheit. Your pizza oven doesn’t need to get that hot because that high of heat makes your pizza challenging to manage. Still, your oven needs to be hot.
A hot oven is step one in creating the perfect crust. Use an infrared thermometer to ensure the baking stone hits at least 700 degrees Fahrenheit.
But first, find a high-quality pizza dough recipe.And no, pizza dough is not all created equal. Using an authentic 00 flour helps tremendously because it adds elasticity to your pizza dough that traditional flour doesn’t allow for.
This enables you to roll out your dough in a thin pie shape properly. If your dough is too thick, your ingredients will cook in the oven before the dough cooks, which isn’t the desired outcome.
Learn how to use a pizza peel properly. Wooden pizza peels work, but we recommend using a stainless steel pizza peel. You will need to lightly flour your pizza peel so that the pizza properly slides off and onto the cooking surface.
If you have to force your dough off of the peel, you will end up with a glob on the cooking surface equivalent to a failed calzone. Small details and forethought matter.
The last thing is this: Don’t overload your pizza with toppings. More on that to come.
Hardwoods & Smoky Flavor
Traditional brick ovens are popular because they infuse a unique wood-fired flavor into the pizza crust. You can achieve the same with portable outdoor ovens, but you need to use hardwood for the best flavor.
Propane gas doesn’t cut it for flavor infusion. Wood pellets provide some wood-fired pizza flavoring you desire, but cooking with hardwood is the most reliable way to infuse a flavorful smoky taste.
Which hardwood should you choose? Well, that’s a matter of great debate and preference, but the most popular hardwoods include hickory and mesquite wood. Some users also like apple and cherry woods.
If you get crazy inventive, you might also decide to create your own signature wood chip mix.
In American pizza culture, toppings get crazy. Everyone knows what a meat lover’s pizza is or a supreme pizza, but don’t try that with a pizza oven in your backyard.
If you overload a pizza at home, your pizza won’t cook evenly. And that’s a best-case scenario. The more likely scenario is that your crust will tear, the sauce and toppings will fall through, and you will have a big mess.
Learning to cook pizzas at home is pretty awesome. Outdoor pizza ovens can be a great addition to the backyard, but it takes a little practice to learn the dos and do-nots. Keep at it, and don’t give up.
Is the Stoke Outdoor Pizza Oven Worth It?
The Stoke outdoor pizza ovens are a great value, which is the big differentiator compared to Ooni, Solo Stove, or Roccbox. First of all, Stoke comes with a mind-blowing 365-day trial.
Beyond the trial that is long enough to perfect authentic pizza, the basic Stoke pizza oven package comes with a pizza peel, pizza cutter, and carry cover. No add-ons.
That all comes with the Stoke pizza oven , which is even more impressive when you compare the price of a Stoke to the mainstream competitors. In some instances, we are talking about a $200 price difference for comparable models.
We mentioned that the Stoke pizza oven comes with all of the accessories that you might need, but it is also worth noting that the Stoke pizza stove has a “never-ending warranty.” Your Stoke stove is backed for life.
So let’s recap all of the reasons you should consider a Stoke outdoor pizza oven. If you want a pizza oven, this might be a no-brainer.
- 4th Stabilizing Leg
- Heat-Resistant Body
- Better Value
- Functional & Reliable
- Accessories Included
- Multiple Sizes
- 365-day Trial
- Never-Ending Warranty
Alternative Portable Outdoor Pizza Oven Options
If you are trying to decipher which is the best outdoor pizza oven, the Stoke outdoor pizza oven wasn’t the first stove on the market, and it is far from the only option.
You might have seen a Breville pizza oven if you first considered an indoor pizza oven, but we are all about the backyard. In the past, most people would have compared Ooni vs. Roccbox, but here we consider Ooni and Bertello because they are the most directly comparable products here.
Stoke Pizza Oven vs. Ooni Koda
Ooni is interesting as a competitor because it has been THE pizza oven company for several years.
Ooni has an oven for every situation and every preference. The Ooni Koda is the brand’s gas grill, and it is available in two different sizes. The Stoke gas oven is also available in two sizes.
In many ways, the ovens are very comparable. The Ooni Koda is probably slightly more refined, but the Stoke pizza oven is significantly more affordable. And not only is the Stoke gas grill cheaper, but it comes with all of the accessories you might need.
That’s a big difference.
Stoke Pizza Oven vs. Ooni Karu
Stoke is still growing as a company, but if there is one place where Ooni still holds a significant advantage, it’s with the Karu multi-fuel. The Ooni Karu multi-fuel is like the holy grail of pizza ovens.
Many outdoor pizza ovens claim to be multi-fuel, but the Ooni Karu works with wood, a gas burner, or a wood pellet hopper.
The beauty of a multi-fuel outdoor pizza oven is that gas cooks pizza quickly and evenly on nights when you need a quick pizza. On the other hand, you can either cook with wood or wood pellets when you want a nice smoky flavor.
The Ooni Karu is a good pizza oven, but it is significantly more expensive than any Stoke products.
Stoke Pizza Oven vs. Bertello Pizza Oven
The Bertello outdoor pizza oven is probably the most directly comparable to a Stoke stove. Not only is the appearance somewhat similar to the Bertello, but both also have a strong presence on Amazon.
Bertello was once on Shark Tank, so it has a little name recognition for that reason alone, but they never seemed to launch. For a long time, Bertello only had one size. They recently launched a larger oven, too.
So which is better? We are partial to the Stoke stove for its design and overall affordability since the Stoke comes with all of the primary accessories you might need. The original Bertello oven often also received complaints about the opening being too small.
Stoke Pizza Oven Accessories
When you start comparing outdoor pizza ovens, one thing that immediately stands out about Stoke is that they include all of the necessary accessories in the price of the pizza oven.
This is impressive given that the Stoke stoves are already cheaper than the competition. Beyond impressed, you will also be grateful when you see how much the competitor accessories cost.
Sure, there will always be upgrades to consider, such as a steel baking sheet or the addition of a cast-iron skillet to go with the larger pizza oven. Still, Stoke includes everything necessary, from the pizza stone to the carrying case.
If you have thought about trying to use tongs or some accessory you already have for a traditional grill, we recommend that you reconsider.
A well-built pizza peel is essential for grilling perfectly crispened and evenly cooked pizzas. Not only does the pizza peel help to get the pizza into the oven, but it also is vital for turning the pizza while cooking.
If you are cooking at a high temperature, north of 750 degrees Fahrenheit, you will need to turn the pizza at least once so that the side closest to the fire doesn’t burn.
You will learn quickly that one of the keys to cooking great pizza is to pay attention to the details.
Pizza Cutter Wheel
Of course, while it’s not new technology, you have a proper pizza cutter. A wheel is the best type of cutter to use.
You must have a sharp pizza cutter wheel to make clean, precise slices without crushing the crust.
You don’t want to end up with a mangled mess on your hands - or worse yet, on the pizza.
A good pizza cutter wheel is an essential part of the pizza-making process. Make sure to have one that is easy to grip, and that feels comfortable in your hand, but fortunately, stoke includes a pizza cutter wheel with their base package.
While most outdoor pizza ovens are built to withstand the elements, they aren’t designed to stay outside permanently. This isn’t a Weber grill that sits outside year-round.
Stoke includes a carry case that works for both the gas pizza oven and the wood pizza oven.
Since these pizza ovens are intended to sit on top of tables, they are also reasonably lightweight, so they are often considered portable.
The included carry cover makes it easy to move the Stoke stove and protects it, as well.
Wood Fired Outdoor Pizza vs. Gas Fired Pizza Oven
The Stoke brand offers both a gas-fired grill and a wood-fired pizza oven. So which should you choose?
The temperature on outdoor ovens is much more challenging to manage with a wood-fired pizza oven. The temperature and cooking time on a Stoke gas pizza oven will be more easily regulated.
Still, if you are looking for authentic flavoring, wood-fired pizza can’t be beaten. So, here is what we recommend:
For Convenience - Gas-Fired Grill For Authentic Taste - Wood-Fired Grill For Both - Wait For Multi-Fuel Unit
What Type of Wood For Pizza Oven?
Go to your local hardware store, and find chunk wood that might typically be used for a traditional grill or smoker. If you purchase a unit with a pellet hopper, your focus might be on flavoring.
That said, you might be wondering how to fit wood logs into your pizza oven. That’s where chunk wood comes into play. Chunk wood is about the size of your fist, or maybe a little larger. It’s small enough to fit in a pizza oven but will burn longer than wood chips.
As noted previously, we recommend hickory or mesquite wood. Apple or cherry may work as well. Stick with hardwood.
Stoke Pizza: Awesome Pizza or Overrated?
On many levels, a Stoke outdoor pizza oven is a no-brainer because of the value it provides (accessories included) compared to other brands.
The biggest question might be whether to get a gas-fired or wood-fired stove and what size to get. Keep in mind that you can use the oven for more than just pizza.
Utilizing a cast iron skillet with the larger model, the possibilities are almost limitless. Make calzones, pizza rolls, pizza desserts, and on and on.
Needless to say, we are big fans of portable pizza ovens, and the Stoke pizza ovens are among the best values you can possibly find.
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