Although many people like making and eating homemade pizza, it’s hard to beat the flavor of pizza baked in a restaurant’s 800-degree pizza oven. A pizza oven is perfect for this.
An excellent pizza oven may become quite hot without requiring as much time to heat up or clean as a regular oven. Also, despite its name, a pizza oven may be used for a wide variety of purposes. It may be used to make steaks that are seared to perfection, fish with extra-crispy skins when roasted, and vegetables that are bursting with flavor.
Indoor countertop versions sit alongside outdoor brick, gas, and wood-fired options in the pizza oven market. Some are compact and easy to move, while others can make a bold statement in your yard. After researching available options, we settled on 21 different models to compare in our lab. We baked hundreds of pizzas in different styles and evaluated them for reproducibility. In addition, we recorded the longest period of preheating and the highest possible temperature. Putting together, temperature control, cooking efficiency, and portability were all evaluated for each pizza oven. We also sent many models to our seasoned in-home testers for additional examination, since we are aware that pizza ovens are used in a wide range of ways by home cooks, and we wanted to collect even more first-hand information.
We’ve compiled the results of our research into the top pizza ovens for your perusal.
1. Best Overall: Ooni Koda 12 Gas-Powered Outdoor Pizza OvenGet it now on Amazon.com
What We Like
- Pizza is ready in 60 seconds.
- There’s no need for assembly
- Conveniently transportable
What We Don’t Like
- Pizzas might be difficult to turn around.
Since Ooni is such a well-known pizza oven brand, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it ranks first on our list. Although the Ooni Koda 12 is one of the company’s more reasonably priced versions, it emerged as our top pick following extensive testing in both The Lab and at home. Firstly, it has a very low learning curve and is a breeze to actually use. Simply remove from packaging, unfold legs, and use!
This stylish oven has a smooth design, no chimney, and three legs for stability. Powder-coated, cold-rolled steel makes up the body, while stainless steel is used for trim. We discovered that its lightweight design (under 30 pounds) made it convenient for travel. The legs fold down for easy packing and portability. This pizza stone is 13 1/4 inches in diameter, thus it can accommodate pizzas with a 13-inch diameter.
Laboratory tests showed that the Ooni Koda 12 needed 15 minutes to attain the optimal temperature. Despite our measurements showing the rear of the oven only reached 830 degrees Fahrenheit after 15 minutes, we found this to be adequately hot and one of the shortest warmup periods of all the ovens we tested. We observed that the Ooni Koda 12, with to its very high heating temperature, could successfully cook our whole wheat pizza in only 1 minute. It only added 30 seconds to the time it took to make the ultimate pizza that we cooked.
We also tested its ability to reliably produce a number of consecutive pizzas with flawlessly melted cheese and cooked toppings. While our tasters did find a tiny learning curve in rotating pizzas for evenness, they found that utilizing a smaller peel made a big difference. Even cooking is achieved with this method, but the pizza has to be turned every 20 seconds or it would burn. The first period of learning to turn is brief, but once mastered, pizza making is a breeze.
Our in-house taster was so impressed with its versatility that he cooked a wide variety of foods in it, not only pizza: entire fish, steak, lamb chops, pineapple, tomatoes, maize, sweet potatoes, beets, and more. Our in-house examiner proclaimed this model to be “an amazing oven at a reasonable price,” making it ideal for baking pizza and other foods.
Although it is not completely waterproof, it can be quickly relocated out of the way of bad weather, and it requires no maintenance. If you buy an Ooni from its official website, it comes with a three-year guarantee.
2. Best for Indoor Pizza: Breville Smart Oven Pizzaiolo Pizza OvenGet it now on Amazon.com
What We Like
- Resembles traditional ovens that use wood
- There are many options
- Possibility of limitless customization thanks to manual control
What We Don’t Like
- There is no automatic power-off feature
For many people, the ease and convenience of an indoor pizza oven outweighs the risks associated with cooking pizza outside due to weather, fire, or lack of adequate illumination. This Breville pizza oven, unlike a regular oven or countertop oven, can go up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit—ideal for making real pizza. Due to its high level of insulation, the exterior remains relatively cool to the touch even when subjected to very high temperatures; nonetheless, smoke may be produced.
This smart Breville appliance, like their others, features simple controls that make it easy to choose from a variety of pizza styles, including thin-crust frozen pizza, deep dish, and wood-fired. In addition, you may adjust the settings to your liking to produce delicious pizzas in accordance with your own tastes. The frozen pizza we cooked in the lab had a beautifully browned crust and golden cheese using the oven’s preset setting and only took 15 minutes to bake. Our in-house baker was able to effectively bake a pizza from frozen, a thin Margherita, and a pan pizza topped with cheese and beefy Bolognese. You won’t get the same smokey taste as you would from a wood-fired barbecue, but the Breville is hard to match when it comes to simplicity of use and portability.
Convection heat evenly cooks the cheese and toppings while radiant heat creates the distinctive leopard-spotted crust characteristic of wood-fired pizzas. This oven provides more granular control than standard ovens by allowing users to independently adjust the temperature of the top and bottom racks. The Breville was deemed “the ultimate nacho machine” by our taste tester after he utilized its settings to prepare nachos.
It has a carbon steel pan with a detachable handle and a stainless steel pizza peel for transferring pizzas to and from the oven. While our home tester found that frozen pizzas could be removed from the oven using a metal peel, she advised against using cornmeal on the peel and instead used a wooden one. The oven is elegant enough to have out on display, and while being quite big for a toaster oven, it can be easily relocated or stored away.
3. Best for Wood-Fired Pizza: Ooni Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza OvenGet it now on Amazon.com
What We Like
- Prepares pizza in less than a minute
- Fueled by wood or charcoal briquettes
- Fitted with a gas adapter
What We Don’t Like
- Rapidly consumes petrol
- Preparation requires careful monitoring
- Preheating time may be lengthy
The Ooni Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven, like many barbeque grills, is powered by wood or charcoal, which allows for the delicious taste of wood-fired cooking. You may use charcoal, charcoal briquettes, or flavorful woods like hickory, mesquite, or maple. If you buy the gas burner attachment, you may also use it with gas (sold separately). The pizzas baked in this oven tasted great in both the lab and at home.
Multi-fuel capability adds a few additional parts to keep care of during setup, but overall the process is straightforward. The Ooni baking stone that comes with the oven also keeps heat in, so you can get a perfectly baked crust every time. The oven’s body is made of stainless steel and insulated with ceramic fiber.
Despite the fact that the box boasts a 950 F temperature in only 15 minutes, we discovered that it really took much longer. When properly preheated, however, the oven maintains a consistent temperature and cooks pizzas uniformly so long as they are turned often (every 15 seconds). In our tests, we found that both the supreme and whole wheat pizzas, as well as the vegetable pizzas, were cooked to perfection. These pizzas may be baked in as little as 45 seconds!
The chimney baffle may be adjusted to allow for either intense heat or low and slow cooking by changing the amount of oxygen entering the chimney. With the convenient fuel-adding outlet on the rear, you can easily add extra wood for a fresh taste profile or fuel for a longer cooking session. Even though there is a little learning curve and some wiggle room for experimentation in terms of temperature control (for example, moving the pizza from the rear to the front of the oven), both the Lab testers and our home tester found using this oven to be a lot of fun. And if you want to branch out from pizza night, our house tester cooked up a storm in the kitchen, making cornbread and hot dogs.
The foldable legs provide for a compact profile for packing or storing, and the overall weight is low enough to make handling a breeze. If you buy an Ooni from its official website, it comes with a three-year guarantee.
The Ooni 3 came before the Ooni Karu and could also make pizzas in a wood fire. The Ooni 3 was one of the first affordable pizza ovens on the market, and its release sparked a movement toward making better pizza at home. In 2020, production ceased so that space could be made for the Karu and the Fyra, two newer, more sophisticated variants. The same gas burner adapter used with the Karu 12 may also be utilized with the Ooni 3, for those who are interested.
4. Best for Grill: Onlyfire Universal Stainless Steel Pizza Oven KitGet it now on Amazon.com
What We Like
- Consists of a 14-centimeter stone
- Fast and simple cleanup
What We Don’t Like
- Standard pizza ovens don’t produce nearly as much char
It’s possible you won’t need a separate pizza oven if you already have a gas grill. As an insert, the Onlyfire Pizza Oven Kit may be used inside a gas grill while the lid is propped open. If you want perfectly cooked pizza on both the top and bottom, you can’t get it by cooking it on the grill grates or even a pizza stone. Making sure it will fit your grill by measuring its base (which is 17 inches square) is a good idea, but otherwise, it’s ready to use right out of the package and on your barbecue.
The stainless steel insert includes a double-walled canopy to retain heat and a thermometer in one corner for convenient monitoring of the cooking environment. Both our in-house and in-lab testing revealed that using this insert yielded far better outcomes than grilling the pizza alone. We found that the pizza stone did a good job of retaining heat and that it took around 15 minutes to reach 690 F at the front of the oven. You may cook pizzas slowly and low using this method. While testing revealed that the oven took longer to bake than other options (nine minutes for a supreme pizza), the results were pleasing and the bake was consistent.
No issues arose when our at-home tester used the Onlyfire kit with both a Weber and a smaller pellet barbecue. A 14-inch pizza stone and a 13.5-inch pizza peel are provided for easy handling of the pizza before, during, and after baking. In addition, flipping the pizza while cooking is a breeze.
Even while our in-house tester agreed that using this kit was easier than attempting to grill a pizza from scratch, she cautioned that there was a learning curve and was frustrated by the absence of instructions. Keep in mind that not all of our Lab testers had the same problems.
The highest safe temperature will be determined by the strength of the grill, since it uses the grill to generate heat. For those who want to use charcoal, there is a corresponding kit.
5. Best Budget: Presto Pizzazz Plus Rotating OvenGet it now on Amazon.com
What We Like
- Alarm clock with timer
- Modifiable top and bottom heaters
- Easy to carry and transport
What We Don’t Like
- Doesn’t get hot enough to cook
Presto Pizzazz Plus Rotating Pizza Oven is great if you want to cook pizza indoors but don’t want to turn your oven on and make your kitchen unbearably hot. The low pricing and convenient mobility of this model are its main selling factors.
The pizza is baked evenly and without scorching thanks to the pizza tray’s constant rotation. It warms in two ways, from above and below, and its heating components can be adjusted independently, so you may brown the crust before the cheese melts.
Testing in a laboratory setting revealed that although the frozen pizza took a long to thaw and the crust browning was inconsistent, the cheese melted well and the pepperoni cooked up nice and crispy. An automated shutoff of the heat and an audible notification when the pizza is done cooking are also features that we like. The pizza pan may be removed and cleaned separately thanks to its nonstick surface.
When searching for pre-owned models, you could have come across more than one Presto Pizzazz. Aside from minor cosmetic updates here and there, the pizza maker and its controls have remained mostly same across all models.
6. Best Multipurpose: Cuisinart 3-in-1 Pizza Oven PlusGet it now on Amazon.com
What We Like
- Grilling and griddling capabilities.
- Facilitated usage
- results in consistent, even cooking
What We Don’t Like
- Tense configuration
The Cuisinart 3-in-1 Pizza Oven Plus is one of the more economical alternatives on the list, and it combines adaptability, portability, and performance to get the most out of your outdoor pizza oven. This Cuisinart oven may be used as a grill (260 square inches of area) or a griddle (233 square inches of space), and it comes with a 13-inch cordierite pizza stone for creating pizzas. Despite its many features, this model’s ease of use as a pizza oven and its consistently delicious results were the things that most pleased our Lab testers.
In testing, it took 15 minutes to achieve 600 degrees Fahrenheit at the front of the oven. The pizzas only need to be turned once, halfway through cooking, and our testers found the oven-style opening and folding cover to be quite convenient. This means you won’t have to constantly check on your pizzas to make sure they don’t burn, but you’ll still get perfectly cooked cheese and a crunchy crust.
There is a dual-hinged cover that can be flipped up and down, as well as built-in storage space, to keep the grill grate and griddle plate safe and out of the way while you sear steaks, prepare hamburgers, or fry eggs.
The only issue we had with this device was getting it set up, but once it was ready to go it was a breeze to use. It may not be the lightest option, but it can be disassembled and stored in a vehicle for tailgating, camping, and other outings.
Authentic results, mobility, and a sleek design come together in the Ooni Koda 12 Gas-Powered Outdoor Pizza Oven, making it our top selection. Its pricing is fair and it performed better than competing models in laboratory tests. The Breville Smart Oven Pizzaiolo Pizza Oven is a fantastic choice for those who want to cook their pizzas inside. It performed very well in both laboratory and real-world environments, offering precise temperature regulation and intuitive controls.
Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Pizza Oven
Putting Size and Placement into Perspective
Locating and measuring the available area for your pizza oven should be your first order of business. It’s likely that you’ll want a more compact electric indoor oven if you reside in a house or apartment with little outside area. The normal electric oven can fit a pizza up to 12 inches in diameter and doesn’t take up too much room on the kitchen counter.
An outdoor pizza oven gives you a lot of flexibility. A flat, level surface made of wood, metal, or stone is all you need for the vast majority of the pizza oven designs discussed here. The size of the oven’s cooking surface is a major factor in determining the oven’s total footprint. Most pizza ovens have a maximum pizza size of 16 inches, however the normal size is 12 to 13 inches.
When it comes to pizza ovens, the hotter the better. To get the most out of your pizza, you should cook it for at least 7.5 minutes at 750 degrees Fahrenheit. Typically, it takes around 60–90 seconds in a wood-fired oven preheated to at least 800 degrees Fahrenheit to cook a standard Neapolitan pizza to perfection. That may seem excessive, but keep in mind that most of those pizzas are baked in enormous brick wood-fired ovens that produce hundreds of pizzas daily. Several outdoor types meant to burn wood can achieve up to temperatures of 800 to 900 F, getting you quite near to that kind of heat at home.
Many modern ovens include an insulated or double-layered ceiling to assist concentrate heat and maintain such high temperatures during baking. In order to control the baking of the crust and toppings, some ovens contain separate heating sources on the top and bottom.
Even while many pizza ovens boast that the heat is equally spread throughout the oven, you will still need to rotate the pizza at least once or twice throughout the baking process. Just a few practice rounds with a pizza peel and you’ll be able to effortlessly shift your dough from one location to another.
Small and medium-sized pizza ovens available today all have a sleek, modern design, often including a stainless steel outside and a pizza stone baking surface within. A few exceptions exist, such as black and gray versions of devices otherwise available only in silver.
Typically, the rear of a pizza oven is where the heat comes from. In order to more evenly cook the pizza, open-flame ovens often allow the flame to spread over the oven’s ceiling. The oven’s vaulted ceiling is designed to mimic the heating pattern of conventional brick ovens.
It is common for gas-powered pizza ovens to include an ignition knob with a dial for adjusting the flame strength. Ovens that utilize wood or charcoal for fuel are lighted using a starter and matches, much like their grill relatives. Most electric pizza ovens include a dial where you can adjust the cooking time and temperature, as well as a light that turns on when the oven is ready to be used.
There are a number of portable pizza oven versions available, with foldable legs and removable pieces for use in the park, while camping, or at a friend’s backyard BBQ. Portable pizza ovens have a simple design that allows for fast assembly and disassembly, and they often include a carrying bag to keep all the parts together. However, bear in mind that even while the oven you choose may be portable, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy to carry about. Depending on its features, portable ovens may range in weight from 25 to 50 pounds.
The cost of pizza ovens varies widely, depending on factors such as functionality and portability. The price of a small gas-powered outdoor oven may range from $300 to $400, with a wood and gas combo oven costing roughly $700. You may think of these ovens as being equivalent to an investment in a high-quality grill in that you will get a lot of usage out of them.
Electric and indoor pizza ovens may range from as little as $50 for a compact model like the Presto Pizzazz Plus Rotating Oven to as much as $900 for a high-end model like the Breville Smart Oven Pizzaiolo.
There is typically a one-year guarantee on pizza ovens, however some manufacturers provide longer coverage (up to three years). You should anticipate your pizza oven to endure for many years, but if you discover that it requires repair after the warranty ends, some companies provide replacement parts, and local expert kitchen equipment repair firms are likely able to assist.
Types of Pizza Ovens
Propane and Gas
Gas-fueled ovens should be used entirely outdoors and are typically regarded the simplest pizza ovens to operate with amazing outcomes. By connecting to a gas source, the oven can achieve the peak temperatures needed for producing great pizza much more quickly than one heated with wood. Since there is far less ash and wood debris to deal with when using a gas pizza oven, many people find that it is more convenient.
Most gas ovens may be hooked up to either a propane or natural gas supply with little effort. If choosing for a natural gas connection, the gas line should be connected by a professional to prevent any complications.
Lumber and coal
Wood and charcoal ovens, like gas ovens, are best utilized in the open air. For many people, nothing beats the flavor of a meal cooked over an open flame. Maple, hickory, and mesquite are popular wood-burning alternatives, all giving various smoky tastes to your pizzas and roasted foods. While maintaining a fire at the ideal temperature requires some work, most wood-burning models of pizza ovens make it simple to add extra wood after the fire is established.
Many modern pizza ovens that traditionally used wood for combustion have gas conversion kits available to make the changeover easy. However, this adaptability comes at a price, as it drives up the price of the ovens to $700 or more, not including the extra parts. All-inclusive outdoor chefs should invest in a hybrid oven.
Countertop models of electric pizza ovens are designed for usage in the home. Pizza ovens typically have one heat source at the bottom and another at the top. The additional power from the top heat source allows you to control the baking time for the crust and toppings separately.
A pizza oven grill insert might be a good alternative to purchasing a new oven if you already own a gas grill. A grill insert is similar to a pizza stone in that it utilizes the same fundamental cooking principles and is built with a pizza stone base and a double-walled canopy to keep the heat in the oven. The main difference is that instead of using a separate heat source, your grill will be generating the heat from below.
Ooni, with headquarters in Scotland, is a well recognized Scottish brand that exports its pizza ovens worldwide. Starting with a successful Kickstarter campaign by current owners Kristian Tapaninaho and Darina Garland in 2012, Ooni has rapidly expanded since its inception. Ooni has expanded its pizza oven offerings to include not just five different models, but also a range of accessories including pizza peels, griddle plates, pizza cutters, totes, and more.
Tom Gozney, a pizza aficionado, started the company Gozney Gozney, which produces classic and modern pizza ovens. Because of its cutting-edge style, reasonable cost, and ability to function as a hybrid wood/gas-fueled oven, the portable Roccbox has become a phenomenon all over the world, with its roots in the United Kingdom. For individuals who want to show their individuality while still producing great, steaming pizzas, Roccbox is now available in a lime green hue in addition to the standard gray. Recently, Gozney introduced its Dome pizza oven.
While Presto may not have the name recognition of other small kitchen appliance manufacturers, they do provide a broad variety of useful countertop cooking gadgets, such as canning kits and cookers, indoor smokers, and turkey fryers. Starting in 1905, Presto became famous for making pressure canners and, later, the first “saucepan-style pressure cooker.” Presto, a company that has been making kitchen appliances for decades, is still on the cutting edge of innovation today.
Breville may be most known as the premium line of home café equipment among coffee connoisseurs, but the company’s product line extends much beyond that. Breville has diversified into producing a wide variety of countertop appliances, such as food processors, juicers, griddles, bread and ice cream makers, and even high-tech wine decanters. Their whole product range, which is packed with high-end machinery, has a sleek, consistent appearance thanks to the use of a brushed stainless steel finish.
Onlyfire has developed a modest line of goods meant to make your existing grilling tools more versatile. It sells pizza oven kits and inserts, rotisserie motors and accessories, supplies for making fire pits, and components for many other kinds of grills. For those who enjoy cooking outdoors and would like to upgrade their current equipment without breaking the bank, the company offers a wide variety of products at reasonable prices.
High temperatures in pizza ovens make it simple to remove burned-on food and debris after baking. Let’s pretend some melted cheese dripped down the pizza’s edge while it was baking; the tremendous heat of the oven will likely have completely annihilated it. Pizza stones may be easily cleaned by wiping them down and placing them back in the oven after they have cooled down to a safe temperature. While the oven is still hot, you may use a soft metal grill brush to carefully clean away any stubborn residue. The pizza stone must never be washed in water or put in the dishwasher. Stones are easily damaged when exposed to moisture, since it causes them to become brittle and break. After it has cooled down, you may use a sponge and some soapy water to clean the exterior of your oven.
It’s possible that your pizza oven already has the accessories you need, but if not, you can always buy them separately. To begin, you should check how well you can sense the heat coming from your pizza oven. A built-in thermometer is a useful addition to any outdoor oven. If not, you should get an infrared thermometer so you can check the oven’s temperature without risking injury by reaching inside.
If you’ve never used a peel before, you may be apprehensive about putting it to use, but you’ll find that it’s more easy to manage than you would expect. Peels tailored to the dimensions of the oven are often included as standard equipment. Wooden or metal peels with perforations can be used to scoop out excess flour from the bottom of a baked good. A smaller, circular peel is included for use in rotating the pizza within the oven.
When the pizza is done cooking and has cooled for a few seconds, you may cut it. There are two primary types of pizza cutters: the traditional wheel and the rocking cutter. In comparison to a wheel cutter, the rocking cutter has a tendency to be a little more precise in its slicing. Unfortunately, it can only cut pizzas as big as it is long and may grow bulky or difficult to store when it’s past 12 inches. Miniature in size but capable of slicing through pizzas of any size, the cutting wheel is both cheap and convenient. When slicing a pizza, you should pay care to cutting it uniformly and you may need to use additional pressure to cut through a thick crust or heavy toppings.
The temperature inside a pizza oven
As an example, some pizza ovens claim to be able to heat up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit. Most of these ovens run on gas, although some wood-fired ovens may become rather hot as well. The typical temperature range for an outdoor pizza oven is 700–800 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas the typical temperature range for an interior electric pizza oven is 600–750 degrees Fahrenheit.
Where do pizza ovens get their heat?
Pizza ovens are constructed differently from standard ranges and ovens seen in kitchens and eateries. Typically, these structures are small, with a stone foundation and a rounded, dome-shaped roof. The stone bottom keeps in heat, making it simple to cook the pizza’s foundation, while the domed top evenly distributes the heat throughout the pizza’s surface. As a result of its construction, a pizza oven can reach much higher temperatures than regular ovens while still retaining and maximizing its heat.
Some pizza ovens include a front door that may be removed to keep the heat in, but many do not. When the front entrance of a pizza oven is kept narrow, the oven can maintain a consistent, high temperature. Due to the high temperature of the oven, many pizzas may be cooked in rapid succession without much heat being lost.
Some pizza ovens use propane gas to heat the oven, while others use wood, charcoal, or electricity to generate heat. As a rule, it is better to use higher-heat equipment outside, thus the vast majority of pizza ovens designed for domestic use are intended for the garden or patio.
To bake what other foodstuffs in a pizza oven?
Though they are designed primarily for baking pizzas in a high-temperature environment, pizza ovens can be used for a wide variety of other foods. The temperature settings on most pizza ovens allow you to safely cook various meals at high heats without risk of burning. Anyone with an interest in making breads like sourdough, focaccia, and other dough-based delicacies that thrive in higher-temperature ovens like those found in professional bakeries may find this to be a great resource.
Many people appreciate the smokey taste that is imparted to dishes by cooking them in a wood-fired pizza oven, and these high-temperature ovens are not only for pizza. Pizza ovens are great for preparing meats and sides that can be cooked in a cast-iron or ceramic pan. You shouldn’t put greasy foods or ones that use a lot of oil or fat on the stone of your oven and cook them directly. To get your preferred smoked taste, experiment with a wide range of hardwoods. Woods such as maple, oak, walnut, hickory, and ash are all good choices.
To bake pizza, what do you use a special stone?
The standard pizza stone is a hunk of clay or porcelain that has been baked at a very high temperature so that it can hold and distribute the oven’s heat evenly. While clay stones provide excellent insulation, they may easily break if not handled with care.
Cast iron and cordierite are used to create oven stones because they are more durable than clay and ceramic stones. Almost any kind of stone you choose with will be cumbersome and delicate when it comes time to clean.