Choosing the best pizza oven in 2023

Choosing the best pizza oven in 2023

A Portable Pizza Oven Revolution: The Perfect Solution for Home Cooks

Pizza Oven

Are you a pizza lover with limited outdoor space? Or perhaps you’re always on the go and want to take your pizza game with you? Look no further than small outdoor pizza ovens! These versatile cooking options have become hugely popular in recent years, offering a compact and portable solution to satisfy your pizza cravings. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned pizza connoisseur, these innovative ovens are the perfect addition to your kitchen arsenal. Let’s dive into what makes them so appealing and explore some of the best options on the market.

The Key Features to Consider

When purchasing a home pizza oven, there are a few important factors to keep in mind. First and foremost, consider the type of pizzas you want to make. Most portable outdoor pizza ovens, such as Ooni and Solo Stove, utilize wood and are specifically designed for the high-heat cooking required for light and airy Neapolitan-style pizzas. These ovens can reach temperatures up to a scorching 900 degrees Fahrenheit! While they can cook different styles at cooler temperatures, the best results come from running them at full speed with a load of wood.

Alternative fuel options are also worth considering. Investing in a propane or natural gas burner allows for easy temperature adjustments with just a turn of a knob. This dual-fuel option offers greater versatility and ensures you can have a freshly cooked pizza even when you don’t feel like dealing with wood or charcoal. However, if you prefer to cook exclusively with gas, there are models available that cater to this preference.

Size is another crucial aspect to factor in. Most pizza ovens on the market are designed to fit 12-inch pizzas, making them perfect for personal pan pizzas or pizza parties where everyone can customize their own pie. However, if you want to make larger pizzas or use your oven for other cooking purposes, consider investing in a larger version that can accommodate more than just small pies. Be sure to check the interior dimensions or the pizza stone size listed on the product pages to find the right fit for your needs.

Setting Up Your Pizza-Making Station

Making quality pizza at home requires ample counter or table space to work comfortably. You need room to stretch and prep your pizza dough, lay out your toppings, and load the pizzas onto a peel. While some may manage in the tight confines of a small kitchen, creating extra space streamlines the process and avoids unnecessary movement during the various steps.

Ideally, set up your pizza-making station in close proximity to the oven. Running back and forth from the kitchen to the back porch can be cumbersome and can negatively impact the heat distribution of your oven. To create a convenient and efficient setup, convert a patio table into a designated pizza station with a large cutting board. This not only provides extra space but also elevates your oven, making it easier to access and monitor while cooking.

Pizza Station

Certain manufacturers offer dedicated tables for their ovens, equipped with shelving and storage compartments for peels and other accessories. For example, Ooni provides tables that cater to their ovens’ specifications and include thoughtful features like shelving and storage. Alternatively, you can find other tables and stands that suit your needs, ensuring they can withstand the heat radiating from the oven. Opting for a stainless steel or metal surface is a wise choice for outdoor models as they offer durability and heat resistance.

Once you have your station set up, it’s essential to have all your pizza-making essentials within easy reach. These ovens cook pizzas quickly at high heat, sometimes in just two minutes or less. Having everything nearby allows you to keep a close eye on the oven and efficiently transition to the next pizza. With limited cook time, you don’t want to venture too far, and having a well-organized setup ensures a smooth and enjoyable cooking experience.

The Best Outdoor Pizza Ovens

Looking for the crème de la crème of outdoor pizza ovens? Here are our top picks for the best options available on the market:

A Good Multi-Fuel Outdoor Pizza Oven: Ooni Karu 16

Ooni Karu 16

If you’re seeking the ultimate outdoor pizza oven experience, you can’t go wrong with Ooni’s Karu 16. This versatile model is the largest multi-fuel offering from Ooni, allowing you to choose between wood, charcoal, or gas (propane and natural gas burners sold separately). With a hinged glass door, you can easily monitor your pizza’s progress, while a digital thermometer keeps track of the oven’s ambient temperature. Besides cooking large pizzas, the Karu 16 can also accommodate pans and cast-iron cookware, expanding your cooking possibilities. Its versatility, ease of use, and superior performance make the Karu 16 our top recommendation.

A Solid Outdoor Pizza Oven: Solo Stove Pi

Solo Stove Pi

Known for its fire pits, Solo Stove also offers a superb multi-fuel pizza oven called the Pi. Made from stainless steel and adopting the signature round shape of Solo Stove products, the Pi reaches impressive cooking temperatures of 850 degrees Fahrenheit with wood and 900 degrees with a gas burner (sold separately). This oven remains open throughout the entire cooking process, similar to a brick oven, allowing for increased airflow. With its exceptional craftsmanship and versatility, the Solo Stove Pi is a reliable choice for any outdoor pizza enthusiast.

Small Pizza Oven Option: Ooni Fyra 12

Ooni Fyra 12

Compact and convenient, the Ooni Fyra 12 was the first outdoor pizza oven many fell in love with, and it continues to be a favorite. Weighing only 22 pounds, the Fyra 12 occupies minimal storage space, making it an ideal choice for those with limited room. Unlike other wood-fired ovens, the Fyra 12 runs on wood pellets, reducing the need for constant fire tending. This innovative design allows you to focus on creating and cooking your pizzas effortlessly. With the ability to deliver high-heat bakes at temperatures up to 950 degrees in as little as a minute, the Ooni Fyra 12 is a true game-changer in the world of outdoor pizza ovens.

Taking Pizza Indoors: The World of Indoor Pizza Ovens

Indoor Pizza Oven

While outdoor pizza ovens offer incredible versatility and convenience, there are also excellent options available for indoor enthusiasts. You may already have a capable indoor oven, but with some affordable accessories, you can elevate your pizza-making game without splurging on a dedicated appliance. Let’s explore two compelling indoor pizza oven options:

A Versatile Indoor Pizza Oven: Ooni Volt 12

Ooni Volt 12

Renowned for its outdoor pizza ovens, Ooni has made a splash with its first electric indoor oven: the Volt 12. Boasting weather-resistant construction, this versatile oven can be used both indoors and outdoors. With a rapid 20-minute heat-up time, the Volt 12 reaches temperatures up to a blistering 850 degrees Fahrenheit. The oven features adjustable top and bottom heating elements, cooking presets, and a Boost function to quickly restore the stone’s temperature between pizzas. Its 13-inch square stone caters to various cooking styles, allowing you to explore recipes beyond pizzas, such as Detroit-style pan pizzas and delectable baked goods.

A Solid Indoor Pizza Oven: Breville Pizzaiolo

Breville Pizzaiolo

For those seeking a dedicated indoor pizza oven, the Breville Pizzaiolo is a remarkable contender. With a perfect stone size for 12-inch pies and a metal heat reflector panel to ensure precise cooking surface temperatures, the Pizzaiolo delivers exceptional results. Offering presets for different pizza styles, including “Wood Fired,” New York, Pan, Thin & Crispy, and Frozen, this oven allows for customization and experimentation. Its Element IQ technology automatically adjusts the heating elements based on the selected style, creating the ideal cooking environment. Advanced users can take advantage of the manual mode, offering endless possibilities for perfecting their preferred pizza styles.

Enhance Your Pizza-Making Experience with Essential Accessories

If you’re determined to create mouthwatering homemade pizzas without investing in a dedicated oven, fear not! You can still achieve remarkable results with the oven you already have, along with a few key accessories. These additions will elevate your pizza game and rival the quality of your favorite pizzeria:

  • Baking Steel or Stone: Invest in a high-quality baking steel or stone, as they are crucial for achieving better browning on the bottom of your pizzas. These versatile tools not only improve your pizza cooking but also come in handy for baking bread, cookies, and other items. Baking stones excel at absorbing heat quickly, offering a brick oven-like experience with charred crusts. On the other hand, baking steels provide higher heat conductivity, ensuring faster cooking times. Choose the option that best suits your baking preferences.
  • Pizza Peel: A pizza peel is a must-have tool for seamlessly handling and transferring your pizzas. Whether made of bamboo, wood, or metal, a peel allows for easy topping and launching of pizzas into the oven. Using a bamboo or wooden peel during pizza preparation minimizes dough sticking, while a metal peel works best when turning or retrieving finished pizzas. Perforated peels offer the additional benefit of allowing excess flour and steam to escape, resulting in crispier crusts. With a peel, you can effortlessly load, turn, and retrieve pizzas from your hot oven, taking your pizza-making skills to the next level.

Embrace the Portable Pizza Oven Revolution

Lively Pizza Making

Whether you’re a passionate pizza enthusiast or an aspiring home cook, the world of portable pizza ovens offers endless possibilities. Their compact size, versatility, and ease of use make them a game-changer for those with limited outdoor space or a desire to take their pizza creations on the road. With a diverse range of options available, from multi-fuel ovens to compact wood pellet models, you can find the perfect fit for your pizza-making needs. Additionally, for indoor cooking, there are exceptional electric ovens that bring the thrill of brick-oven pizza right into your kitchen. Upgrade your pizza-making experience, explore new recipes, and delight your taste buds with the exceptional results these pizza ovens deliver. Whichever option you choose, be prepared to wow your family and friends with slice after slice of irresistible homemade pizza.