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Everyone loves a delicious slice of pizza — it’s versatile enough for some people to eat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, thanks to its wide array of toppings and availability.
Pizza restaurants are plentiful throughout the country, but nothing beats a fresh pie you make within the comfort of your home. Outdoor Ooni pizza ovens transform your backyard into a pizza-making oasis that can rival any pizzeria.
Here is our Ooni pizza oven review and why we think they’re worth the investment.
Ooni: A Pizza Oven for Your Backyard?
One reason why pizzas taste so good in many restaurants, aside from their choice of ingredients, is how they cook the pizza dough. Many establishments use special ovens that produce high temperatures that melt cheese, char the toppings, and give the dough a chewy yet crunchy bite.
It’s a challenge to mimic those cooking conditions at home without expensive pizza ovens, but Ooni Koda and Ooni Pro make it possible.
Both Ooni pizza ovens are designed to cook pizzas in your backyard. Both models have a relatively simple assembly process, so you can set up the oven any time you’re craving fresh pizza, or you need to feed the guests you’re hosting at home.
The Ooni Koda is the smaller of the two ovens, and it’s gas-powered, so it gets its fuel from a propane tank. It comes with a cover that acts as a carrying case, meaning you can fold the legs down and take it with you anywhere, including the beach, tailgating events, or a friend’s home for a party. If you’ve never used an outside pizza oven, the Koda is a decent entry-level product.
Even if you don’t have much room in your backyard, the Ooni Koda is small enough to fit comfortably on a small patio, provided you have enough room for the propane tank.
The Pro is a thin, relatively lightweight backyard pizza oven with more interior room than the Koda. It produces and maintains its high heat with the ceramic fiber insulation within its stainless steel frame, walls, and door. The Ooni Pro is a sleek-looking appliance with short legs and a tall chimney.
The Ooni Pro can be gas-powered like the Koda, but it uses charcoal, wood, and wood pellets as fuel, which is fantastic if you prefer the taste of wood-fired pizza.
The Ooni Pro is a portable pizza oven, but it’s not as convenient as the Koda. It weighs 48 pounds, so it’s a little trickier to disassemble, and transporting it can be an issue, but if you have patience, you can take this outdoor pizza oven wherever you plan to go.
The Karu is the latest release from Ooni, and is probably their best pizza oven ever. According to their website, it’s the “first and only pizza oven to be recommended for domestic use by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, the acclaimed international authority on true Neapolitan pizza.
It features multiple fuel options, can reach 950°F in only 15 minutes, and even has a mounted digital thermometer so you can keep track of your cooking temp in real time.
It’s large cooking area can fit up to 16-inch pizzas, and other larger food item.
What We Love About Ooni
Convenience is the most significant benefit of using Ooni portable pizza ovens. You can move both models with relative ease, though our experience suggests the lighter weight Koda is more comfortable to transport.
The interior cooking surface and high temperatures give pizza dough a tasty brown crust without burning it. No more do you have to visit your local pizzeria or restaurant for high-quality pizzas. You can entertain guests in the comfort of your home and enjoy exceptional food that you can prepare and cook quickly after preheating the oven for as little as 15 minutes.
The gas-powered Koda maintains consistent temperatures, but the Pro makes pizzas with a delicious woody flavor often attributed to classic Neapolitan pizza. If you want the cooking space of the Ooni Pro but prefer propane for fuel, you can bundle your pizza oven with a gas burner that conveniently attaches to the back.
If you want to cook more foods in your pizza oven, Ooni Pro is an excellent choice. Its wide insulated door and spacious interior allow you to cook other meals in a cast-iron pan, like cobblers, bread, poultry, or steaks.
Think Ooni sounds like a good fit?
The Process: Is It Hard To Make Pizzas Using Ooni?
Using the Ooni Koda is a relatively simple process because it’s designed to be an outdoor pizza oven anyone can use. Once you connect it to the propane tank, you can use its built-in knob and starter system to ignite a fire.
It doesn’t take long for the Koda to reach the desired temperature, and once it does, it will maintain that heat for a considerable amount of time. Unlike a conventional pizza oven, the Ooni Koda doesn’t require you to monitor the heat continuously. You can easily make pizza back-to-back for your family and friends, and each one will come out of the oven with a crispy, unburnt crust.
The Koda comes with two cordierite pizza stones, and each pizza stone can exceed 800°F. With its cordierite tiles, carbon steel shell, and dome shape, the Koda can reach 900°F in about 20 minutes.
With a Pro, you can choose between propane fuel or use its wood and charcoal burner to make wood-fired pizza. Regardless of your fuel method, this outdoor pizza oven does have a learning curve for making pizzas or other foods.
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If you choose wood or charcoal to cook your pizzas at home, you can’t merely set the temperature and walk away. The oven will heat unevenly, and temperature differences can be as significant as 100°F. The Ooni Pro comes with four cordierite pizza stones that can reach 800°F in 20 minutes.
Regardless of the Ooni product you use, it’s best to let it preheat, which can take about 15 minutes for the gas-powered ovens. Though a Pro can get incredibly hot within that time, it’s best to preheat for an hour before you attempt to make a pizza so that its stones retain heat for cooking multiple pies. When a pizza stone is hot enough, you won’t have to worry about your pie sticking to the stone or have a problem getting it onto a pizza peel.
To make two pies with the Ooni Koda, it will take less than 30 minutes, including time for preheating. Once you get the hang of regulating temperatures, you can make a pizza in 60 seconds, which you can’t do in a typical home oven. With the Pro, you can cook multiple 10-inch pizzas at once within 60 seconds or take advantage of the oven’s 17 inches of cooking space and bake a 16-inch pie instead.
Can You Use an Ooni Pizza Oven Indoors?
Though you may want to make several pizzeria-quality pizzas inside your home, you can’t do it with the Ooni Koda or Ooni Pro. People use natural gas inside their homes to operate their furnaces or stoves, but propane tanks require outdoor use because they are unsafe to keep inside.
The same goes for the Ooni Pro. The outdoor pizza oven is not only too large to fit inside most kitchens, but it also produces smoke that can quickly fill a room.
Which Ooni Is the Best: Tips for Picking the Right Oven for You
Size is a factor to consider if you can’t decide between these pizza ovens. The size and weight of the Koda make it one of the best portable ovens available. It’s perfect if you have kids, occasionally entertain guests, or like the idea of cooking fresh pizzas in other locations besides your home.
The Pro is the heavy-duty model you want if you don’t intend to transport your pizza oven often, but do expect to host frequent pizza parties at home. It’s also the best choice if you, your kids, or your friends like the dough’s charred flavor that comes out of a wood-fired pizza oven. The interior is spacious enough to cook multiple pies at once, and you can make other meals using a cast-iron skillet, making the Ooni Pro a more versatile option for people who cook and entertain guests regularly.
If you want the best-of-the-best, then their new Karu model should probably be at the top of your list.
Ooni vs Uuni
If you’ve seen some pizza ovens pop up during your search using the name “Uuni” they’re actually an Ooni! Ooni used to be branded as the Uuni, but as their popularity grew and they expanded into more and more countries, they realized people were mispronouncing their name. Thus, their current name of Ooni was born.
Price: How Much Does an Ooni Pizza Oven Cost?
Both products are quite an investment, but if you like the idea of a quality portable pizza oven, Ooni will be worth every penny. The Koda 12-inch pizza oven’s current price is $350, and the Pro is $599.
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If you want to add the gas burner to your Pro, you will need to include an extra $99 to its base price. To help you fully entrench yourself in the pizza-making experience, the pizza oven company offers some other products and accessories you can buy, like a perforated pizza peel ($59.99), a 12-inch bamboo peel and serving board ($29.99), and a cast-iron skillet ($39.99). You can still shop around elsewhere for your supplies if you want more than what the company offers.
*Prices current at the time of publication, but subject to change at any time – see most up-to-date Ooni prices at their website.
So, to answer the product review question, “Are Ooni pizza ovens good?” the simple answer is yes. If you’re a pizza lover and have visions of making pizzeria-quality pies at home, look no further than Ooni Koda and Ooni Pro. Though both models will cost a few hundred dollars, these portable pizza ovens are substantially cheaper than others on the market, and you can’t beat their quality.
As backyard pizza ovens, both the Pro and the Koda provide the extreme temperatures needed to cook pizza in minutes. Whether you choose the gas-powered Koda or the wood-burning Pro, you can expect temperatures to exceed 800°F, but the larger size of the Pro will give you more cooking options besides pizza.
No matter which model you choose, you can be confident your outdoor pizza oven will produce excellent results.
Is Ooni Made in China?
Yes and no…While the Ooni Pizza ovens are designed in Scotland, they are manufactured in China.