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Home » Ooni Karu 16 Pizza Oven Review

Ooni Karu 16 Pizza Oven Review

This past summer, we decided to upgrade our outdoor kitchen by adding an Ooni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel pizza oven, and since then, we’ve been putting it through its paces with regular Friday night pizza evenings and the odd backyard pizza party.

Having an outdoor pizza oven was probably already on the increase before 2020, but the pandemic seems to particularly push that debut. With increasing time spent inside, more individuals are interested in finding methods to cook their meals outdoors.

We were interested in the Ooni Karu 16 since we previously had the Ooni Koda 16, which only burned propane. In fact, according to the product’s website, it is “the first and only pizza oven to be ‘Recommended for Domestic Use’ by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, the acknowledged worldwide authority on real Neapolitan pizza.” To me, that’s a very major development.

Neapolitan pizza

How big is Ooni Karu’s pizzas?

Two sizes of Ooni Karu outdoor pizza oven are available. Using a 13-inch by 13-inch Cordierite baking surface, the original Ooni Karu 12 can produce pizzas measuring 12 inches in diameter. The modern Ooni Karu 16 utilizes a 16.7″ × 16.7″ pizza stone to create pizzas of varying diameters up to 16 inches. The opening height of a Karu 12 is 3.89 inches, whereas that of an Ooni Karu 16 is 5.71 inches.

However, Ooni pizza ovens aren’t limited to only pizza cooking. Can you picture the joy of eating bread that you cooked in your own backyard? And you can effortlessly roast meats, flame-cook steaks, and sear veggies with the cast iron grizzler pan (available separately). Our Ooni Karu 16 multi-fuel pizza oven was used to make chicken fajitas only last week.

chicken fajitas cooking in the Ooni Karu 16

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Features of the Ooni Karu 16 Pizza Oven

Product dimensions are 32.9″H x 32″D x 20″W (50cm W x 81.5cm D x 83.7cm H). Weight without packaging is 62.6 lb (28.4 kg). For reference, a table’s footprint (the space it takes up on the floor; also, the area it blocks off for a pizza oven) is 25 inches from the front leg to the rear leg, and 19 inches from the outside edge of the front legs.

The pizza oven has a stainless steel and powder-coated carbon steel body and can be fired up with either wood or charcoal. Both the natural gas burner ($149) and the propane burner ($99) are available as optional extras.

The .6 “The thick cordierite stone is split in two; one half goes beneath the fire tray, while the other half covers the cooking surface of the pizza oven. Ooni recommends “cleaning” the stone by firing it at maximum heat (like the cleaning cycle of your indoor oven) and periodically turning it over to utilize the other side for cooking pizza. Between uses, a good wire brush is useful for clearing away any ash or crumbs that may have fallen.

With its full glass lid, the Ooni Karu 16 multi-fuel pizza oven improves insulation and temperature regulation.

A digital thermometer, displaying the oven’s current temperature in either Celsius or Fahrenheit, is positioned just below the door.

Ooni Karu 16 Pizza Oven, Capable of Using a Variety of Fuels, Includes a 19 “chimney and a rain-proof top to prevent water from entering the oven during rainstorms.

Incorporating all of these elements into your outdoor kitchen will allow you to bake delicious pizzas over a wood or charcoal fire.

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Some of the Reasons Why We Adore Ooni Karu 16

Toggle Hook for Gas Cap Access

It took me a few tries to figure out that there was a stainless steel hook on the back of the pizza oven that could be used to store the hatch door when it was opened to add extra wood. Wow, this is fantastic! While it’s not recommended to put it down due to the heat, having an extra pair of hands is always welcome when adding wood to the fire.

Guarantees and Warranties

Registration on the Ooni website entitles you to a free three-year warranty on your pizza oven. And if you’re not satisfied, you may get your money back within the first 60 days. A complete refund is available during the first 60 days if you purchase an Ooni pizza oven and are not satisfied with the results. Tossing handmade Neopolitan pizzas into a 900° pizza oven is not exactly straightforward and does come with a bit of a learning curve, so this is very cool.

An Updated Take on the Conventional Stove-Hinged Door

The Ooni Karu 16 is a multi-fuel pizza oven with a complete glass oven lid for superior insulation and optimal heat retention. Although the door is closed for the first quarter of a minute after a pizza is launched, it is left open for the rest of the cooking time since pizzas are turned every few seconds. After taking a pizza from the stone oven, the door is closed again so that the oven may reheat properly.

Sheath Made From Carbon Steel

Unlike its smaller sibling, the Ooni Karu 12, the Ooni Karu 16 is constructed entirely of powder-coated carbon steel, making it impervious to the elements in any climate.

Digital Thermometer

The Ooni Karu 16 is the first of the Ooni pizza ovens to have a digital thermometer that displays the oven’s interior temperature and can be put on the wall. Ooni Karu 16 pizza ovens can reach temperatures of 950 degrees Fahrenheit in roughly 15 minutes with careful fire control. (Even if the oven’s interior temperature may be 900 degrees Fahrenheit or more, the stone itself may not be hot enough to cook the crust yet, so it’s a good idea to also pick up an infrared thermometer to assess surface temperature.)

Acceptable for use with Gases

The Ooni gas burner adapter provides precise temperature control. Can I just say how amazing it is to have choices? I prefer pizza cooked over wood or charcoal since I like tinkering with fire, but I know that many people prefer the convenience of cooking with gas.

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Things We Didn’t Love

Extremely Steep Learning Curve

A lot of “failed” pizzas and practice are required before you can succeed. This might be disheartening after spending so much on an outdoor pizza oven.


If you’re used to cooking with gas, you may be surprised at how much more mess you create when switching to wood or charcoal. What I didn’t count on was for the fire to spontaneously explode, showering my pizza with hot coals. It’s not common, but it’s always a bummer when it occurs.

When compared to the Roccbox, how does the Ooni Karu do as a pizza oven?

The Roccbox by Gozney is another option to consider if you’re looking for a pizza oven in this price range. We’re eager to get our hands on a Roccbox and provide a thorough review so we can finally settle this debate once and for all. For the time being, we have collected some of the most fundamental metrics for each unit.

Clearly, the Ooni Karu 16 is so much bigger than the Roccbox that a direct comparison between the two is not valid. Ooni Karu 12 vs. Roccbox is a more fair comparison for a pizza oven. The Karu 12 comes ready to use with wood/charcoal as its fuel source; a gas burner is offered separately. In contrast, the Roccbox is a gas-fueled pizza oven with an optional dual-fuel burner. The Ooni Karu 12 is $100 less than the Roccbox and is somewhat bigger and lighter in size without any extra accessories.

Ooni Karu 16

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  • Power source: various fuels; Ooni gas burner sold separately
  • Dimensions (outside): 32 by 19.6 by 33 inches; cooking surface (16.7 by 16.7 inches);
  • The 5.71-inch opening height “Weight of oven: 62.6 pound
  • Cordierite stone 15 mm thick for the kitchen floor.
  • There are no extras to buy.
  • Return policy of 60 days and 3 year warranty for registered purchasers

Ooni Karu 12

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  • Fuel type: various; gas burner sold separately
  • In terms of its exterior, it measures 30 by 15 by 31 inches.
  • The kitchen’s 13-inch square feet of cooking space.
  • The inside dimensions are 3.89 inches in height.
  • Weight of oven: 26.5 lbs.
  • Cordierite stone 15 mm thick for the kitchen floor.
  • There are no extras to buy.
  • Return policy of 60 days and 3 year warranty for registered purchasers


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  • Powertrain: gas only standard, dual fuel for $100 more
  • Its outside measures 16.3 by 21 by 18.6 inches.
  • 12″ x 13.7″ cooking surface, 3.3″ opening height “A typical oven weighs in about 44 lb.
  • 19mm Cordierite stone for the kitchen floor.
  • Extras such as a high-quality pizza peel and a bottle opener are also included.
  • Five-year limited warranty on all purchases when registered

Will you recommend Ooni Karu 16?

Using our Ooni Karu 16 wood-fired pizza oven in the backyard has been a lot of fun. It’s a great way to get some exercise while still enjoying pizza baked over an open flame. It’s as powerful as a full-sized pizza oven yet much easier to transport.

Having said that, once you have an Ooni pizza oven, you will need to learn some new abilities. That, in all candor, is part of the excitement of it all.

Making dough is the first step, so feel free to play around with it. The question is, “Can you use store-bought dough?” Of course you can. However, it won’t compare well to the handmade Neopolitan pizza dough recipes that call for 00 flour. You will also find out where to get your hands on the finest 00 flour and which brands are worth the investment.

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