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There is nothing like pulling a blistered and crispy pizza out of your own oven at home. But this can be very tricky to do if you are relying on your standard kitchen oven to cook the pizza as they don't usually get hot enough for great charred crust or quickly melting all the toppings.
Luckily, these days there are a number of reliable and wonderful pizza ovens that get very hot and are specifically engineered to give you that brick oven pizza finished product, but without the brick oven. The majority are outdoor only ovens that work off of gas, wood, or charcoal to get hot enough. You definitely want to have an oven that can reach 700 degrees or higher for the perfect Neopolitan pizza. If you plan on bringing this oven along to your weekend cabin or on vacation, keep the size and generally portability in mind.
Most of the ovens here are for the outdoors, though we do have a couple of countertop picks for the regular home kitchen. Here are the best pizza ovens to have on hand for pizza night.
Best Overall: Ooni Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven
Dimensions (LxWxH): 28.7 x 15.7 x 26.6 inches | Maximum Temperature: 932 degrees | Heat Source: Wood, charcoal, or propane gas | Maximum Pizza Size: 12 inches
For the price point, ease of use, and the variety of cooking options, the Ooni Karu is a winner. I love that you can choose to fuel it with charcoal or wood pellets or purchase the add-on gas burner. It heats up to a blazing 932 degrees in about 15 minutes and can cook a perfect pizza in 60 seconds. No joke!
The body of this 26-pound pizza oven is stainless steel, but it is insulated with ceramic fiber and has a thick baking stone to retain heat. The legs are collapsible and the chimney is removable for when you're bringing it to a friend's house or storing it away for the winter. Inside that chimney is an adjustable air vent to increase or decrease the temperature.
While the 12-inch cooking size may seem like a small surface, it’s perfect for medium-sized pizzas and the smaller size allows for super-fast cooking times and great reheating time. It has a 3-year warranty after you register it with Ooni.
Best Budget: Presto Pizzazz Plus Rotating Oven
Dimensions (LxWxH): 17.75 x 13.25 x 9 inches | Heat Source: Electric | Maximum Pizza Size: 12 inches
To be honest, this pizza oven looks half from the future and half gimmick. But the 1235-watt rotating oven cooks the pizza (or other foods like chicken wings) in about half the time as a standard oven as it heats from the top and the bottom.
Those heating elements are separate, which means you can cook just the top, just the bottom, or both at the same time. This means the 7-pound countertop machine can handle fresh and frozen pizza, making any kind to your specific tastes. The nonstick removable pan is easy to clean and can be stored separately from the machine. Using 60 percent less energy than an oven, this is a great option for those who want homemade pizza in the summer, but don't want to turn your house into a sauna.
Best Indoor: Breville Smart Oven Pizzaiolo Pizza Oven
Dimensions (LxWxH): 18.5 x 18.25 x 10.75 inches | Maximum Temperature: 750 degrees | Heat Source: Electric | Maximum Pizza Size: 12 inches
If you don’t have access to a deck or outdoor space, it might be worth it to splurge on the cream of the crop for indoor pizza ovens, the Breville Smart Oven Pizzaiolo.
Much better than a standard oven, this 1800-watt pizza oven can preheat to 750 degrees and cook a pizza in just a few minutes. The smart active heating element is complemented by a double-paned front window, stainless-steel body, and brick oven base to retain heat. That base, made of natural cordierite stone, makes the perfect bottom crust char and is removable for easy cleaning. It has 7 settings and a manual mode for whatever your personal favorite pizza style is.
It does come with a pizza peel, a carbon steel pan, and a 2-year limited warranty should anything break. Of course, the biggest downside is the price, but if you’re a pizza fan, just think of all the money you’ll save skipping delivery!
Related: The Best Pizza Stones
Best Portable: Ooni Koda 12 Gas-Powered Outdoor Pizza Oven
Dimensions (LxWxH): 23.2 x 15.5 x 11.7 inches | Maximum Temperature: 950 degrees | Heat Source: Propane Gas | Maximum Pizza Size: 12 inches
For portability, Ooni’s gas-powered pizza oven is a great option. The foldable legs and lack of a chimney keep the weight down to only 20 pounds, skipping all the bulk that is required for wood cooking.
Of course, the design is similar to other popular Ooni pizza ovens, so it can produce really exceptional pizza as well as fish, vegetable, and steak dishes. Inside the steel oven's wide opening, you'll see the cordierite stone base, perfect for pulling moisture out of your pizza dough. At the base of the oven is the L-shaped flame which has a waterfall effect for even cooking. Once the gas is hooked up, all you have to do is turn the dial and the oven will be ready in 20 minutes.
Be sure to invest in the carrying case for the pizza oven to keep it safe during travels if you are hauling it around often. You’ll get invited to many parties if you offer to bring this pizza oven along!
"My family is obsessed with pizza night. I recently purchased the Ooni Koda and oh man, it makes pizza that is 1,000 times better than anything you can get out of the oven. It works right out of the box, takes about 20 minutes to heat up, and then you can cook a pie in about 60 seconds. Truly pizza place style pizza at home." — Eric Handelsman, SVP, Dotdash Food & Drink
Related: The Best Pizza Cutters
Best Wood-Fired: Bertello Wood Fire Pizza Oven
Dimensions (LxWxH): 23.25 x 14.25 x 11 inches | Maximum Temperature: 930 degrees | Heat Source: Wood, charcoal, gas | Maximum Pizza Size: 12 inches
The Bertello is a popular Shark Tank product that has a rabid fan base of pizza makers. Similar to the Ooni pizza ovens, it has a sleek stainless-steel design with a cordierite stone base and is heated by wood, charcoal, or gas (the gas attachment is sometimes sold separately).
As with some of the other pizza ovens on this list, it can pump out over 900 degrees and, once preheated, can cook a pizza in 2 minutes without a problem. The differences are the flame rolls along the top of the oven inside the Bertello, and there's no chimney when cooking with wood or charcoal. You simply load your wood chunks or pellets into the back of the oven and start cooking away. The lack of a chimney and weighing only 27 pounds means the Bertello is also easy to move around, whether it's to your friend's house or simply into the garage.
The surface area of this pizza oven is slightly larger than others, but not by a noticeable amount, so you'll be basically cooking the same size pizzas in it. Again though, the genius of the design is that you can pump out many smaller pizzas in the time it would take to cook one normal pizza in a standard oven.
Best Gas: Roccbox Portable Wood and Gas Pizza Oven
Dimensions (LxWxH): 21 x 16.5 x 18.5 inches | Maximum Temperature: 932 degrees | Heat Source: Propane Gas | Maximum Pizza Size: 11 inches
Technically, the Gozney Roccbox is a multifuel pizza oven as it comes with a gas and wood fire option. The hopper for the wood is on the smaller side though and I think the gas option is where this pizza oven really shines.
The 45-pound Roccbox is beautifully designed with stainless steel and a silicone jacket making it one of the better-insulated (and safer) pizza ovens. The three legs are not only sturdy and collapsible but are also taller than other pizza ovens. The fuel here is placed below the oven with the rolling flame produced at the back. That's also where you'll find a dial for controlling the flame and temperature, which you can monitor with the built-in thermometer.
I've personally heated the inside to 950 degrees, making it one of the hotter pizza ovens out there and it consistently produces stunning pizzas.
Related: The Best Gluten-Free Flours
Best Grill Kit: Onlyfire Universal Stainless Steel Pizza Oven Kit
Compatible With: Propane and natural gas grills | Maximum Pizza Size: 13 inches
If you don’t have room for another appliance in your backyard or deck, this pizza kit allows you to turn your gas grill into a pizza oven! It’s not quite as efficient as standalone pizza ovens, but the engineering is pretty great and you’ll be happy with the results over cooking pizza in your kitchen oven. They do also have a kit available for charcoal grills.
This stainless-steel kit measures 17 x 17 inches, so it actually has a decent amount of room to cook a large pizza on its 14-inch round cordierite stone. The chamber sits right on top of your grill grate and locks in the heat, which means it can get up to 800 degrees very quickly (there are about 10 minutes of preheat time until you can cook a pizza on it). Since the kit doesn’t have top-down heat like true pizza ovens and instead relies on the grill as a heat source, it does take slightly longer to cook a pizza, but it's still much faster than a standard oven and produces a great crust.
Related: The Best Propane Gas Grills
With the ability to use any fuel, capacity for high temperatures, and portability, it's easy to see why the popular Ooni Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven (view at Amazon) is an all-around winner. If you want the best gas-powered outdoor pizza oven, and the one I have in my own backyard, pick up the Gozney Roccbox Portable Pizza Oven (view at Willams Sonoma).
What to Look for in a Pizza Oven
This is truly the first thing you should answer when choosing a pizza oven at home: How are you heating it? Pizza ovens need a lot of heat to operate efficiently and the standard options will be wood, charcoal, or gas. Some ovens allow for more than one choice, but you should be aware of how your pizza oven is powered. Each fuel source has its own limitations. You'll be able to experiment more with wood and charcoal, but they are more finicky with heating and you'll need to constantly monitor the oven. Gas is easiest to learn how to operate your pizza oven, but you'll also need to have a gas canister at the ready.
Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to pizza ovens. Compact ovens actually help retain heat and heat up faster. A larger oven will require longer to come up to temperature and you’ll have to constantly feed the beast to keep it hot! As important as the size of the pizza you'll be making is the oven's portability. Think about whether you'll want to move the oven around or need to store it during bad weather.
A little airflow is good but too much will kill your heat. Most pizza ovens these days will have this figured out in the design of the oven, but it should be in the back of your mind as you are choosing the oven. Like with grills, the vents on your pizza oven can help you maintain the temperature you want while you prep the food. This is most important with wood and charcoal-fired ovens.
A good pizza oven will have a sturdy base or stone on which the pizza cooks. This retains heat and guarantees that sought-after crispy crust! Beyond that look for how the pizza oven is insulated and how it is constructed. Ceramic is good for holding in heat while stainless steel is nice for a sturdy construction.
What else can you cook in a pizza oven?
There are many choices! Treat it as a high-heat version of a regular oven. "You can cook almost anything in a pizza oven," says Crystal Reinwald, culinary instructor and private chef. "Everything from bread, vegetables, cedar-planked salmon, and if you add wood chips you can even turn it into a smoker."
Can you leave outdoor pizza ovens outside all the time?
You can, but they’ll fare better in drier climates than in wetter ones. "Most outdoor pizza ovens can be kept outside year-round but it's important to keep them dry so make sure to keep the door shut and put a cap on the chimney," says Reinwald. Taking these steps will help keep your pizza oven in good working order.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Nick Evans has been developing recipes for the home cook for over a decade both on Simply Recipes and his personal blog, Macheesmo. He makes a lot of pizza!
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