It’s amazing the number of times people ask me what’s the best product to complete a task. And what’s the best outdoor pizza oven is one of the more popular questions. But they don’t want me to answer that question.
What they want to know is ‘what’s the best outdoor pizza oven to fit their needs?’ Surprisingly, the answer is often not a pizza oven but a BBQ or an attachment for a BBQ.
There are many questions to answer before I can give advice on what’s the best pizza oven. Knowing your budget is probably the most important factor, there are cheap options and ovens that cost several thousand.
What BBQing equipment to you already own? Your BBQ might already be good enough to make a pizza. And all you need is a pizza stone or another add-on to make great pizza. What other foods do you intend on cooking? This will dictate what size oven (or BBQ) you’ll need to buy.
And by size, I also mean oven height and not just floor space if you intend to bake loaves of bread. Do you plan on taking it camping, picnics or festivals? In which case you’ll be looking for a light portable pizza oven.
These are just some of the most obvious questions you’ll need to answer. You know better than anybody what you need, so it’ll pay off in the long run if you have a good think about what will make the best outdoor pizza oven for your needs before jumping in and making a purchase.
- 1 Best Outdoor Pizza Ovens
- 2 Great Outdoor Pizza Ovens
- 3 Best Outdoor Pizza Ovens Roundup
- 4 Alfa Forno Pizza Oven Range
- 5 How I Tested the Best Pizza Ovens
- 6 What to Look for When Buying an Outdoor Pizza Oven
- 7 Best Alternatives to a Dedicated Pizza Oven
- 8 Wood-Fired Pizza Oven Vs Gas Pizza Oven
- 9 How Pizza Ovens Work
- 10 Pizza Oven Fuel Sources
- 11 Outdoor Pizza Oven Kit
- 12 Outdoor Pizza Oven Tools
- 13 Best Outdoor Pizza Oven Brands
- 14 Types of Outdoor Pizza Oven
- 15 Outdoor Pizza Ovens aren’t Just Pizza Ovens
- 16 Final Thoughts
Best Outdoor Pizza Ovens
Homemade pizza can be enjoyable to prepare and tasty to eat, but it can’t quite compare to the pizza served in restaurants, which is cooked in ovens that reach temperatures of more than 900 degrees. An outdoor pizza oven comes in handy in this situation, and below are my current favorites.
Gozney Roccbox Portable Outdoor Pizza Oven
The million dollar question for most of you visiting this page. What’s the best overall outdoor pizza oven? Let’s not drag this out. I believe it’s the Roccbox oven.
The founder of Roccbox, Tom Gozney, was already a major player in the commercial pizza oven marketplace when he decided to pursue his long-term dream of making quality wood-fired, stone-baked pizza ovens available to the masses.
This meant making a small, portable oven that could achieve high temperatures, made from commercial-grade materials and at a price the average outdoor cooking enthusiast could afford.
These were lofty goals yet surprisingly these goals weren’t just met but surpassed. How were they surpassed you ask? Well, not only does the Roccbox offer you the ability to cook authentic wood-fired pizza but for days when you’re feeling a little lazy, you can switch to the gas burners instead. All Roccbox’s come with both options available.
Were the rest of Tom Gozney’s goals met? The Roccbox can get to temperatures of 930°F (500°C) in 15 minutes, allowing you to cook a pizza in one and a half minutes. Its beautiful design is both compact and light, weighing in at 44.1lb (20kg), which shouldn’t be a struggle for the average person to carry.
Being made of the highest commercial-grade materials means it’s very durable. And the cost! Well at the time of writing this article, you can buy the Roccbox unit for just under $600. While this isn’t chump change, compared to the cost of other models and the quality of this pizza oven, it’s an absolute bargain.
So were all the goals met? Yes, yes, yes, and yes! But that’s not all the plus points in buying a Roccbox pizza oven. If you’ve ever cooked on a BBQ before you’ll know the equipment can get extremely hot.
To counter this, the Roccbox has been designed with a high-heat silicone jacket. And a lovely little bonus is the Roccbox pizza peel. Just like the oven, you can tell the peel has been made by someone that knows the pizza industry inside out and has put all this knowledge into the design.
The peel is made of pressed aluminum, which makes it very light. The edges are tapered (reduces in thickness at the edges) which allows you to easily move the pizza from the preparation area to the oven.
The final touch for this pizza peel is the grate-like hole that allows any excess flour to fall off before being placed in the oven (burnt flour doesn’t taste the best).
Editor’s Note: The first negative below is no longer an issue. I have left this here just so you can see how Gozney has moved forward as a company compared to when I first reviewed this product. You no longer have to get this item shipped and can buy it directly from Amazon.
Negatives! There have to be some negatives, right? Yes, nothing is perfect, we must always strive for improvements. The major issue with Roccbox has nothing to do with the pizza oven itself, but with the company’s distribution network.
For a relatively new company and product, this isn’t surprising. Roccbox is made by a UK company and sells its amazing oven via its website. This means you’ll have to get it shipped to the US (Roccbox ships to the US and EU countries) which comes with a $50 charge. This extra cost should by no means be a deal-breaker. But it does mean you can’t get your new pizza oven as quickly as you might have liked.
Size? Is this a negative? For some people, the small size of the Roccbox is an issue. For me, it’s one of the points that make it stand out in the marketplace.
It’s great to have an oven you know you can pack for day trips and is easy to store away after use. But if you want to bake bread or have a couple of pizzas on the go at the same time (remember the Roccbox can chuck out a pizza in 90 seconds, so doing lots of pizzas shouldn’t be a problem) then this isn’t the oven for you. For everyone else, this is the best choice.
Ooni Koda 16 Gas Pizza Oven
The Ooni Koda 16 is a pizza oven that runs on propane or natural gas and is very simple to use straight out of the box. It can reach temperatures of 950°F and features an extra-large cooking area for pies up to 16 inches.
Ooni offers the widest selection of ovens with options for burning wood, pellets, and gas as fuel. This is a feature that is uncommon in other oven companies, which use largely gas. Additionally, you can buy ovens like the Ooni Koda for pizzas at both 16 inches in diameter and 12 inches.
It weighs 39 lbs, which is 10 lbs less than the Gozney Roccbox. This pizza oven has a really sleek and contemporary design, and it just looks beautiful.
When compared to a conventional oven with a single burner coming from the back, the L-shaped gas burner offers more evenly cooked food. It is portable and easy to store, and it starts up quickly thanks to the built-in gas ignition.
The process of lighting the pizza oven for the first time was simple and quick. Building the oven was simple. Simply take the oven out of the box, release the legs, and connect the gas. It was a nice option to have the 16-inch space for cooking extra-large pizzas because it makes it simple to slide most pizzas in and out.
The oven seemed to take a little longer than normal to heat up. The Ooni took longer to reach temperature than the other portable ovens I tested, closer to 20 minutes. Probably as a result of the oven’s size.
It was all fired up in approximately 20 to 30 minutes, and the pizza cooked fast and uniformly. I did rotate the pizza a couple of times and had no trouble getting it inside. To cook each pizza to your preferences, you can move it closer to or farther from the heat source thanks to the spacious cooking area.
The pizza stone may be inserted and removed with ease, and it is not secured by a cover plate or screws. I could easily slide out the stone and clean it once the pizza oven had cooled. It offers excellent value for the money given its size and durability.
The dome, which was introduced in April 2021, is simply a smaller version of the ovens that Gozney installs in commercial kitchens. Although it is the same size as a conventional Neapolitan oven, it is nevertheless a sizable piece of equipment.
I used the dual fuel model, which reached cooking temperatures of around 900 Fahrenheit in about 45 minutes (the solely wood-fired model costs approximately $300 less), and I monitored the heat build-up using the mounted digital thermometer, which was really precise and matched what my stand-alone dual probe thermometers were reading. Due to the large opening, a 15–16-inch pizza may be cooked in just two minutes beneath the attractive, rolling, golden flame. Or you could fit a few smaller pizzas and have enough room to spin the pizza as it cooks for the best results.
Regardless of size, the dome created superb Neapolitan pizzas with the ideal leopard-spotted crust (puffy, airy, and pleasant to bite) and traditional thin but equally tasty toppings. The steak I finished off in the oven was also delicious, and if you want to add some smokiness to the classic Sunday roast, there is enough room to roast a chicken as well.
It’s obvious why there has been such a high demand for the Dome because the insulation was excellent and contributed to my stress-free pizza party by removing my constant concern over temperature regulation.
With this model, you should allow extra time because it took 45 minutes to achieve the maximum temperature during my testing. Because the oven is so large, you can experiment with placement depending on how close to the heat you want your pie to be. The oven’s temperature was 770 degrees in the rear, 730 at the front, 920 on the left, and 720 on the right after 45 minutes. Fortunately, the large opening of the Dome makes it simple to rotate the pizza for even cooking.
Even though it takes a while for the Dome to heat up, the results are worthwhile. Although pricey, it’s enjoyable to use. A thinner pizza with few toppings can be prepared in just 30 seconds or so! Although I personally preferred the smoky flavor of cooking with wood, I thought that using gas was significantly easier. Testing revealed consistent outcomes for both approaches and a variety of pizzas.
This oven has two probe thermometers that plug into jacks on the front of the oven and can be used for various baking or roasting tasks in addition to pizza. Gozney also frequently releases new pizza tools and other accessories to enhance the functionality of its ovens. Anyone wants to improve their outdoor cooking throughout the course of the summer.
Ooni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Outdoor Pizza Oven
The Ooni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven, the largest of Ooni’s multi-fuel pizza ovens, is an investment, but if your budget will allow it, I believe it’s worthwhile.
First of all, by choosing this multi-fuel option, you can avoid having to choose between cooking on a wood or gas stove. For a truly authentic chargrilled flavor, you can choose to heat the oven with wood or charcoal, or you can choose to enjoy the even consistency of gas cooking. But given the price, it’s a little disappointing that the gas burner isn’t included.
Having said that, I praised the oven’s performance, earning it the top rank in my comparison of other ovens. Testing revealed that this oven heated up more quickly than the majority of the models I’d tested, and even better, it has an integrated temperature indicator so you can know precisely when to add your dough, which is a feature many comparable models lack.
With lots of room to rotate your pizza for even cooking and a roomy interior, it’s also a breeze to operate (although you’ll need to buy a pizza peel separately as one isn’t included). The hinged oven door with a viewing panel enables checking on the progress of the pizza easier than closed-door models, meaning you are unlikely to burn your pies.
The Ooni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven is an investment, and you will need to purchase other accessories separately, such as a pizza peel and that gas burner, but if you want to cook pizza outside like a pro, I give it my highest recommendation.
Blackstone Portable Pizza Oven
Blackstone Products unveiled a brand-new outdoor pizza oven at the start of 2023. You add this pizza oven to a 22-inch Blackstone, it is formally known as the Blackstone pizza oven conversion kit or the Blackstone pizza oven add-on. It is only available on the Wal-Mart website and is just for the 22″ tabletop models.
I had the good fortune to get one. I’ve developed a pizza-making obsession over the past few years – ever since I bought the Ooni 3. And I must admit that I had my doubts when I first saw the Blackstone pizza oven.
The pizza oven accessory itself weighs a lot. About 50 lbs. Installation is not that difficult. The 22″ Blackstone griddle top is taken off, along with the leg stubs on the bottom. Then the pizza oven accessory kit, which is placed directly onto the base, and the handles for the sides, door, and the small base on top, all of which are installed using a screwdriver.
According to my tests, you can heat the oven to 600 to 700 degrees with the door closed in approximately 20 minutes. You may increase this up to in excess of 800 degrees in 30 minutes.
The fact that this pizza oven is so big is one of my favorite things about it. A large family-style pizza can be cooked on the 15-inch round pizza stone that you use. The hole is also large enough to accommodate pans. You can subjectively set the temperature to perfectly cook pan pies with the help of the two temperature control knobs and a little practice.
Solo Stove Pi Pizza Oven
When it comes to outdoor fire pits, Solo Stove is a well-known brand, and its new Pi Pizza Oven has a similar appearance to some of the wood-burning fire pits the firm currently sells. A closer glance reveals that there are more than just flames going on here; this is a pizza oven that is prepared to compete for space in your outside cooking area. I grabbed the ingredients for the pizzas, prepared my go-to dough recipe, and got to work.
The Solo Stove Pi’s initial setup requires very little effort. My model didn’t come with a cart when it was delivered (a cart is available to buy separately), so it needed room on a solid, non-flammable surface before the pizza stone could be attached. The stone fits snugly, yet placing it there is not difficult.
Both gas and wood were used to test the oven, and both times it worked as expected. It was easy to attach the gas accessory; now all that’s needed to do is switch on the gas, wait for the oven to heat up, and select the appropriate temperature for the kind of pizza being cooked. Pizzas that are thinner can be cooked quickly and at very high temps, while pizzas that are thicker must be cooked at lower temperatures for a longer period of time. To get it perfect takes some practice, but the process is delightful.
Pizzas were most easily prepared with propane gas since the temperature remained constant during the cooking process and it was simple to alter the heat level for various pizza styles.
I had to keep an eye on the fire when using wood and add extra when I needed to make several pizzas at once. However, working with live fire is enjoyable, so the extra work may be worthwhile—and the smokey flavor is really pleasant.
Access to the wood-burning section is through the oven’s back. Although relatively modest, it is adequate for the size of the oven and produces the necessary heat without using up a lot of fuel. However, due to its size, you won’t be able to utilize much wood, and you’ll need to keep the fire running for extended periods of time when cooking.
Since the back of the oven is where the heat is coming from, less heat should be escaping via the front. However, this also means that the back of the oven is the hottest and that pizzas cook more quickly there, where you can’t see it occurring. But it doesn’t really cause much trouble. Since the pizza cooks so quickly at a high heat, it must be often rotated, making it simple to monitor the development.
Great Outdoor Pizza Ovens
Outdoor pizza ovens are a booming business area with new innovations happening on a yearly bases. So my list of best outdoor pizza ovens changes very often. Instead of just deleting the old selections I have decided to create a new section of “great outdoor pizza ovens” where I will put older models of pizza ovens. These are still amazing pizza ovens and if you can find them at knocked-down prices or second hand they will make a great purchase.
|Uuni 3 Portable Pizza Oven
|Buy from Ooni
|Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza Oven
|Buy from Amazon
Best Outdoor Pizza Ovens Roundup
Normally I’d recommend buying stuff from Amazon (due to the convenience and the fast delivery times), but as many of these pizza ovens are really expensive, I’ve put the shop where I think you can get the best deal – Along with a link to the page of the item.
- Gozney Roccbox – Buy from amazon.com
- Ooni Koda 16 – Buy from amazon.com
- Gozney Dome – Buy from gozney.com
- Ooni Karu 16 – Buy from amazon.com
- Blackstone Portable Pizza Oven – Buy from walmart.com
- Solo Stove Pi Pizza Oven – Buy from amazon.com
Remember, this list is based on which pizza ovens best meet several criteria – portability and cost for example. These might not be considerations for you, and therefore your top ten will be different.
All ten of the pizza ovens in this list are excellent quality and you can’t go wrong with whichever one you buy.
Alfa Forno Pizza Oven Range
If outdoor space, money, and portability isn’t an issue for you, then getting an Alfa pizza oven is the way forward.
These ovens will be top of all outdoor cooking enthusiasts wish list. Unfortunately this sort of quality comes with a hefty price tag. If you buy any Alfa Forno pizza oven you’ll be getting a quality bit of kit.
I’ve recommended the Alfa Forno 4 as the best of the bunch and the Alfa Forno 5 Minuti second. The Alfa 4 is a bigger oven, with the vertical space to bake loaves of bread, it’s why I have given this oven the edge over the 5 Minuti.
That luxury comes a premium, so if you’re not planning to bake loaves you might be better off with the 5 Minuti. More details here
|Some more great outdoor cooking gear
|Best Pizza Peel
|Best BBQ Knife
|Outdoor Prep Station
How I Tested the Best Pizza Ovens
I used the manual’s assembly, setup, ignition, cooking, and cool-down procedures to test each oven. I also restricted myself to using the peels, utensils, etc. that came with that specific oven in order to achieve the most realistic experience. I also wanted to test each oven’s performance with various dough kinds.
I prepared numerous pizzas for each oven, using the following pizza doughs: homemade, store-bought chilled, store-bought frozen, and dough acquired from a nearby pizza joint that specializes in thin-crust pizza.
In order to maintain simplicity and fairness, I tested each oven by making pepperoni pizzas with just tomato sauce, hand-torn mozzarella, and a few slices of pepperoni.
In addition to how well each oven cooked, I also considered how simple it was to set up, how hot it got inside and out, and how simple it was to regulate the temperature. For models made to use wood, charcoal, or wood pellets, I also considered how simple it was to add fuel.
Additionally, I noted the following standards:
Value for money: Items that didn’t feel like they were priced fairly didn’t make my list of the best outdoor pizza ovens.
Overall construction quality: Because pizza ovens are expensive investments, they should be made to last. Additionally, they must be capable of sustaining the high temperatures needed to cook pizza.
Safety: Because pizzas must be cooked at extremely high temperatures, I sought superior insulation and safety features to make using the pizza oven simple.
Managing and storing: How simple is it to transport ovens that make the claim they are portable? Are ovens safe to handle? How quickly do they cool down?
What to Look for When Buying an Outdoor Pizza Oven
Pizza making in the backyard is no longer the notoriously difficult task that it once was. You can actually compete with eateries that have skilled dough makers and high temp ovens if you have access to your own pizza oven from my list.
A short web search for the best pizza ovens for backyards returns a number of devices in different forms, sizes, and capacities. Two of the most well-known brands with a variety of portable, gas, or wood-fired pizza ovens to choose from are Ooni and Gozney. Pizza ovens are no more dangerous to use when it comes to safety than charcoal barbecues, especially if they are equipped with practical extras like wooden or metal paddles for adding and removing the pizza dough. So what should you consider while choosing one of the top outdoor pizza ovens?
For a high-quality, portable pizza oven, budget between $300 to $2,500. A permanent brick and clay, wood-fired pizzeria oven may cost considerably more. There are less expensive models available, but they may not be as durable as they appear.
Watch out for what the pizza oven comes with. All will come with the stone and oven, but you will almost always need to buy fuel separately. Take this into consideration. Frequently, the gas attachment for multi-fuel ovens must be purchased in addition to the oven itself.
A good quality pizza peel and thermometer are sometimes included in pizza oven kits. Even though they are not absolutely necessary it is much more difficult to achieve the proper temperature without a thermometer and extremely difficult to place a pizza in the oven without a peel. A cover is a lovely bonus, to finish. It will imply that you can safeguard your oven outside throughout the winter.
The primary consideration when purchasing a pizza oven, aside from the cost, is the fuel source. You can use gas, charcoal, or wood pellets to heat ovens and there are also electric options for indoor models. Choose the ideal heat source for your personal needs before selecting an outdoor pizza oven. In my tests, propane ovens were simpler to use, but pizzas baked in wood, wood pellet, or charcoal ovens had a smokey flavor like that of a quality pizzeria. Additionally, if you intend to take your pizza oven camping or to a tailgate, it is simpler to transport a bag of charcoal or wood pellets than a tank of propane.
When heated, the ceramic pizza stones in the ovens can maintain very high temperatures, giving your pie a lovely bottom char. The heat source and how it influenced the pizza’s top throughout my tests were the primary differentiators; without a high temperature, you won’t get the dotted char known as “leoparding” in the industry. I discovered that the Ooni Koda 16 and the Gozney Roccbox gas ovens with an open flame worked best for creating a good char.
Additionally, you should consider the oven’s size. Most outdoor pizza ovens can produce pies with a diameter of around 12 inches, but others can produce larger pizzas with a diameter of 16 inches, which may be a better choice if you’re trying to feed a crowd. Some are more suited for baking other foods, like bread, because their interiors are taller.
Last but not least, think about whether you have enough room for an outdoor pizza oven before you get one. The majority advise against placing these ovens beneath another enclosure and advise setting them up at a solitary table at least a few feet away from any other structures (a wooden fence, for instance). Make sure you adhere to instructions for using a pizza oven safely.
Hotter is nearly always preferable when baking pizza. The traditional method for making authentic Neapolitan pizza calls for cooking it in a wood-fired oven at a minimum temperature of 800 degrees for only 60 to 90 seconds to produce a fluffy, crispy, barely-burnt crust and wonderfully melted cheese. You need a specialized pizza oven since it needs to be much hotter than a standard oven to make outstanding pizza. Indoor electric ovens can’t quite match the power of outdoor wood-burning models, which can achieve temperatures of up to 900 degrees. Nevertheless, indoor oven succeeded in reaching 750 degrees, a temperature high enough for decent pizzas.
Many ovens include an insulated or double-layered ceiling to keep heat contained in the oven, which helps to retain heat and achieve those high temperatures but also means the exterior of the oven isn’t as hot to touch. To control the baking of the crust and toppings, some ovens contain twin heating sources on the top and bottom of the oven.
Even with pizzas that just cook for a minute or two, you will probably still need to rotate the pizza once or twice as it bakes to get even cooking, despite the claims of many pizza ovens that heat is spread completely uniformly throughout the oven. Using a pizza peel to move the dough around may take a few tries to get used to, but that’s all part of the craft of making pizza.
Today’s small and medium-sized pizza ovens all have a sleek, modern appearance with a stainless steel finish and an inside baking surface for pizza stones. While some versions are available in black or gray instead of silver, the majority leave the steel untouched.
Smaller pizza ovens frequently have their heat source at the back of the oven. In open-flame ovens, the flame is frequently allowed to cross the oven roof partially in order to heat the pizza more. The vaulted roof of the oven is designed to replicate the heating pattern of conventional brick ovens.
For gas-powered ovens, the ignition knob, which typically has a dial to regulate the flame output, is used to turn on the pizza oven. Like their grill siblings, wood and charcoal-fired ovens are started with matches and need a starter. Electric pizza ovens frequently contain an indicator light to let you know when the preheating process is complete and are dial-controlled to a certain time or temperature.
Integrated or Portable
Smaller pizza oven models come with foldable legs and removable components so you can cook outside in the park, while camping, or at a friend’s backyard BBQ. The components of portable pizza ovens are typically kept together by a carrying bag, and they are made to be easily assembled and disassembled. Remember that even if the oven you choose is described as portable, it might not necessarily be light. While some ovens only weigh 25 pounds, others top the scales at more than 50 pounds. Larger, stationary ovens are too large to frequently move, and some are built to connect to your home’s gas line, rendering them virtually fixed.
On my list, almost all of the pizza ovens are somewhat portable. Many may be set up on a table (or other heat-resistant surfaces) and then folded up and stored at the end of the season. These are not particularly large (although you will need space to keep them in a shed or garage), and if you want to have a pizza party somewhere else, you can take them camping or to a friend’s house.
There are several fantastic pizza oven stand suggestions so you can make it a focal point in your yard for the warm-weather seasons. One of my choices is perfect for occasional use because it just sits atop a griddle for cooking. Most portable models will sit nicely on an outdoor grilling table.
An integrated pizza oven requires a higher investment. For starters, you need a roomy area to create your pizza oven that is safely free of fencing or trees. Additionally, you need to be rather certain that you’ll use it extensively. However, many will also double as outdoor fireplaces, making a Trattoria-style brick pizza oven an excellent centerpiece for any outdoor dining area.
Care and Upkeep
Since the temperatures inside your wood-fired oven reach such high levels that bacteria cannot survive, you won’t need to worry about cleaning the insides.
It is better to avoid using water, especially while the oven is hot, because even using only water can harm the oven. Any food crumbs or spills will be reduced to ash in any case, which you may vacuum up or brush away. Make sure to do this each time you use it because accumulated ash increases the risk of food burning. It’s also a good idea to clean out the chimney of your oven at least once a year.
Use a brush and a small amount of hot water to remove any leftover stains after gently scraping off any food from the pizza stone. Again, cleaning agents should be avoided in this situation since they could seep into the stone and end up in your food as you cook.
Smudges and fingerprints can be cleaned from stainless steel on the outside of the oven with a damp cloth, and then the surface can be polished with a microfiber cloth to maintain the oven’s best appearance. You should heat a stone or brick oven for a few hours before using it to lessen the possibility of cracks. Finally, it is advised that you spend your money on a pizza oven cover to shield it from the weather and reduce maintenance.
When evaluating each of these pizza ovens, I considered how simple they were to set up. While you should keep this in mind when purchasing, I also advise determining the ideal location for your pizza oven. To avoid having to transport pizzas up and down the backyard, it is better to locate your pizza oven where your social spaces are.
They may be a stunning focal point for parties and look beautiful on contemporary outdoor tables. Pizza ovens are most secure on stone or concrete patios, but they should also be completely secure on wooden decks if they are supported by some heat-resistant material. Place your pizza ovens a few meters away from anything that could catch fire, like low-hanging trees and fences. You’re good to proceed as long as there is room above your oven for smoke to escape. Also, take into account a location with sufficient surface area for both building your pizzas and serving them after they are cooked.
Take into account the available area. The smallest pizza ovens I’ve tested are perfect for storing in a garage, shed, or even inside. Many of the models on my list have simple foldaway legs, so when not in use, they will also take up very little space. Some of the larger versions I’ve tested will have to be kept outside in all types of weather; in this situation, a cover is a necessity.
If your oven isn’t hot enough, you’ll never get a delicious pizza. It will take a very long time to cook and have a floppy foundation. Knowing when your oven is at the ideal temperature is helpful because a pizza needs to be cooked at a minimum temperature of 660°F (350°C). The more you use your pizza oven, the better you will get at it because it’s frequently a guessing game. But a built-in temperature gauge is a useful bonus if you want to remove any element of guesswork from the situation. You may always spend money on the best pizza oven accessories and get an additional infrared thermometer if your pizza oven doesn’t come with one.
Look at the extras that your preferred pizza oven includes. A pizza peel is necessary in my opinion, however, some brands charge extra if they don’t include one as standard. All pizza ovens should come with a good-quality pizza stone. Other nice accessories to have included are a thermometer, a cleaning brush, and a pizza-cutting wheel.
The majority of pizza ovens have a one-year warranty, while some have longer warranties that go up to three years. Your pizza oven should survive for many years, but if you discover that it requires repair after the warranty has passed, several businesses sell new parts, and nearby expert kitchen equipment repair firms are probably able to assist.
Best Alternatives to a Dedicated Pizza Oven
If you’ve read this far you’ll know pizza ovens are great. They come in an array of price ranges, styles and sizes and you can cook many different types of food in them, not just pizza.
But in the same way you don’t have to cook pizza in a pizza oven, you don’t need a pizza oven to cook good quality pizza. There are many different options and below I’ll outline the most popular.
Kamado Grills – Kamado grills are very popular among the “low and slow” backyard pitmasters. But kamados can also reach very high temperatures, making them ideal for making pizza.
So if you have a kamado or are looking for a piece of kit that can cook in more than one style, then a kamado is probably a better option than a pizza oven.
Kamados are the most versatile bit of equipment I’ve ever used. From low and slow to hot and fast and everything in between. If this interests you read our best kamado grill article, all you’ll need other than a Kamado is a good pizza stone.
Traeger Timberline – Fast becoming the number one item on every BBQing enthusiasts wish list is the Traeger Timberline. This is good for smoking, grilling, searing, roasting, braising and of course, baking.
So it’s therefore perfect for cooking pizza, you just need a pizza stone to go along with it.
Weber Kettle – The Weber kettle grill is the number one BBQ you’ll find in people’s backyards across America. It has an entry-level price tag, comes from a brand you can trust and is still a favorite amongst seasoned grill masters.
And yes, you can bake a pizza on it. You can simply make pizza with the kettle and a pizza stone, or you can “pimp” the grill with a kettle pizza attachment kit. This kit gives your standard BBQ the look of a specially made pizza oven.
The kettle option is probably the cheapest of all options (for quality pizza), you can buy the original Weber kettle for around $100 but if you can afford it, I’d recommend getting the Weber Master Touch.
Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza Oven Accessory – If you already own a gas BBQ, you might want to consider getting the Camp Chef oven accessory. You just sit this accessory on top of your burners and you’ve turned a standard gas BBQ into a nice little pizza oven
Wood-Fired Pizza Oven Vs Gas Pizza Oven
Which do you prefer: a wood or gas-fired oven? This question has no clear answer because it is merely a matter of personal preference. The two fuel types do, however, result in significantly distinct cooking and eating experiences. Therefore, it is ultimately up to you to determine what you want from your new pizza oven.
Gas – Since there is no ash to tidy up after use, gas-fired pizza ovens are typically cleaner to operate. Additionally, they heat up more quickly than their wood-fired equivalents. Since gas-fired pizza ovens operate similarly to gas hobs and include a dial to control the flame, you have more control over how the pizza cooks and can use the oven for other things besides only pizza. However, you obviously need to purchase gas, and if you don’t already have a bottle, the initial cost of the bottle can further increase the cost.
Wood-fired – The only option for an authentic flavor is a wood-fired pizza oven. Gas cooking cannot replicate the mouthwatering smoky flavor that the burning wood pellets, charcoal or wood chucks offer. Another benefit of wood-fired pizza ovens is that you don’t need to purchase a gas canister because wood pellets are readily available at supermarkets and online. They can be a little trickier to use when it comes to temperature regulation and wood-fired models do need some skill.
Multi-fuel – Choose a multi-fuel model if you can’t decide or if you enjoy the sound of what both fuel kinds have to offer. Although you can’t cook with gas and wood at the same time, we think the two fuels are best for various scenarios. When entertaining and need to produce a large quantity of consistently delicious pizzas, use a gas stove. Use wood and take your time for relaxing evenings with your loved ones.
How Pizza Ovens Work
How pizza ovens work isn’t rocket science, you simply need a heat that’s hot enough to bake the pizza base. But working with such high temperatures can be tricky and that’s where having a better-designed pizza oven will greatly improve the taste.
A well-designed oven will maximize the use of three different heat sources – radiant, convection, and conduction.
Radiant Heat – A heat from a direct heat source. This will be the heat given off by wood, gas or coals that are often at the back of the pizza oven.
Convection Heat – The heated air that circulates the oven. This is necessary for great pizza as you need the top of the pizza cooked as much as you need the bottom cooked. This is why most pizza ovens are made in a dome-like shape and have a chimney or other means for hot air to escape allowing cooler air to be sucked in via the oven opening – creating convection heat.
Conduction Heat – When heat passes from one object to another. For great pizza making, this will be when heat passes from the oven’s base ( the hearth) to the bottom of the pizza base. This is also why it’s important to get a good pizza stone if cooking pizza with a BBQ.
Pizza Oven Fuel Sources
The majority of pizza ovens, and the type I’d recommend, are wood-fired pizza ovens. And for good reason. The obvious reason is woods ability to achieve high temperatures that will give a fast pizza with a crisp, slightly charred crust. But the main reason is wood passes on a nice smokey flavor to the pizza.
Adding hardwoods such as oak, maple, birch, ash, cherry or apple give a deep smokey flavor. And being hardwood, they also have a nice long burn time. Softwoods such as pine or cedar can be used to give you a slightly less smokey flavor. They are also great for smaller ovens.
Gas ovens are also popular. The reason some people prefer gas is because it’s a lot easier to cook with. You can change temperature, either up or down, relatively quickly. And once you have the desired temp, you can leave the oven to look after itself. You’ll not get any great fluctuations and the heat will hold nice and steady.
If you’re using a BBQ to make pizza you’ll normally have the same options as you’d use to grill your food. You can use charcoal or pellets as well as wood or gas like most dedicated pizza ovens.
Outdoor Pizza Oven Kit
Another option for having a quality outdoor pizza oven is to make one yourself. And for this, there are several pizza oven kit suppliers to give you a helping hand.
I’ve personally never gone down this road as I’m more than happy with the ready-made options available, so can only recommend companies I’ve heard good things about (not ones I’ve experience with). Such as Forno Bravo and Brick Wood Ovens
Outdoor Pizza Oven Tools
Just for completeness, I’ll add all pizza tools you’ll need for the entire journey of your pizza, from raw ingredients to hungry guests plates. These aren’t solely pizza oven tools, but a list of pizza making tools.
Pizza Peel – The most important of all the pizza making tools. You don’t want to risk burning yourself putting your hands in a baking hot oven, so a pizza peel is a must. And I’d say get the best one you can get.
The amount of pizza I’ve seen wasted due to having a poorly made pizza peel is crazy. Seeing a grown man with the face of a child that’s dropped their ice cream is mildly amusing. But it does mean you’re not going to be eating for a while.
The main problems are the pizza not sliding off the peel into the oven. Or once in the oven the peel not going under the pizza and just pushing it into the flames. Read our best pizza peel article.
Pizza Stone – A must if you are cooking pizza on a BBQ. You will need a good pizza stone to supply the conduction heat that will cook the pizza base.
Infrared Thermometer – The safest way to measure temperatures in an oven without having to come into contact with it is to use an infrared thermometer. Most ovens will have a temperature gauge. But if you want to get pinpoint readings of any hot spots you might have, you’ll need an infrared thermometer.
Ash Shovel – A long handle shovel is used simply to help keep your oven clean. Obviously, if you’re cooking on gas, you’ll not need one of these.
Brass-bristled Brush – The best practice is to clean your oven floor after use, while the floor is still warm. A brass-bristled brush makes this job so much easier. Look to get a duel-sided brush, with bristles on one side to remove small particles.And a scraper on the reverse side for more stubborn stains.
Turning Peel – Turning pizza is essential in a small oven, due to one side of the pizza being really close to the heat source. So in order to get a nice evenly cooked pizza, you’ll need to rotate it while cooking. This is where a turning pizza peel comes in handy. GI Metal make a nice turning pizza peel.
Dough Cutter – A great tool for portioning your dough. Using a dough cutter makes it easy to cut and scrape dough on your work surface resulting in less waste.
Cleaning Scraper – Used for cleaning, yes. But also good for scraping those bits of food that contain loads of great flavor that stick to your cooking equipment.
Pizza Cutting Wheel – You could use a knife to cut your pizza, but this often makes a bit of a mess. So get perfectly cut pizza every time with a pizza cutting wheel.
Dough Trays – This might not seem very important, but to make great pizza you should learn to make your own dough. This process requires you to let the dough rest and rise. A nice set of dough trays makes this so much easier to manage.
Best Outdoor Pizza Oven Brands
Following the popularity spike and to accommodate the demand, there are numerous outdoor pizza oven brands available. Only the greatest outdoor pizza ovens will be reviewed on my list. But be aware there are lots of low-budget, low-quality brands with great marketing.
The first brand on the list is the outdoor pizza oven company Ooni. In recent years, this brand has completely dominated the market. Ooni is a preferred option for backyards due to its modest profile and reasonable cost.
So let’s look at Ooni closely. Pizza ovens powered by gas and wood pellets are available from Ooni. They also provide a multi-fuel type that lets you utilize gas, wood, or charcoal in one single unit!
A computerized temperature control and a glass door on some models are included. It’s crucial to remember that the gas models lack a door. In that case, you’ll lose a lot of heat!
In relation to heat retention some Ooni pizza ovens contain insulation made of ceramic fiber. One such is the Ooni 3. If you select a model devoid of insulation be aware that you will lose heat much more quickly.
Materials-wise, I have nothing to grumble about! Ooni is built entirely out of stainless steel. Steel that has been powder coated for the exterior’s vibrant appearance.
Ooni is a reliable portable outdoor pizza oven maker. The only downside is they don’t come with a pizza peel, but since they are offered separately, you should get a one.
Take a quick glance at Gozney’s product lineup and you’ll quickly be aware that what you are witnessing is the most stylish pizza oven company.
There are several outdoor pizza oven variations offered by this brand. The Roccbox and Dome versions of pizza ovens from Gozney are the most widely used.
The more compact, transportable pizza oven is the Roccbox. You can buy it with either gas or a hybrid fuel source. Although it doesn’t appear to be much bigger than a mailbox, This tiny device is nonetheless capable of reaching peak temperatures of 950 degrees.
Insulation is present in the Roccbox, and the exterior is silicone-coated. The remainder of the unit is made of 304 stainless steel.
The Roccbox’s larger, more adaptable sibling is the Gozney Dome. The Dome can be powered entirely by wood or, in a hybrid configuration, by gas. It will attain a similar peak temperature to the Rocbox. however, it has a bigger pizza baking surface and enough hight to bake bread.
Alfa is the most genuine option available. Made by hand in Italy, the history and traditions of pizza are really honored by this collection of the top outdoor pizza ovens.
However, Alfa is much more than just genuine. Some of the fastest heat-up times on the market can be found in this brand of pizza ovens. In as little as 20 minutes, you’ll be prepared to bake!
Additionally, given that the pizza baking only took roughly 90 seconds, in no time, you’ll be rewarded with delicious pizza.
There are several solutions available as well. Whether you want to cook 5 pizzas at once or 1 at a time. Alfa also offers a portable pizza oven to suit your requirements.
Although Alfa’s wood-fired oven is their expertise they also sell outdoor gas ovens.
Alfa also doesn’t compromise on quality. Their pizza ovens have 304 stainless steel exteriors that have been double powder coated. This indicates that your wood-fired pizza oven is durable and can handle anything the weather may throw at it.
Alfa uses DoubleDown Ceramic Superwool® as insulation which is more effective than normal insulation made of rock wool or ceramic. High temperatures and excellent recovery between bakes are guaranteed.
Also, may I just say, these ovens have a lovely look that complements almost any backyard. With Alfa, there are countless possibilities for an outdoor kitchen and pizza oven.
Despite being well-known for their recognizable camp stoves and fire pits, a new player in the field of outdoor pizza ovens is Solo Stove. But don’t be fooled by this new oven, it’s not a novelty item!
The brand-new portable pizza oven from Solo Stove is a great and cost-effective choice for camping trips.
Due to its design, this oven is a terrific topic of conversation. Alternatively, this tiny oven is simple to pack while going somewhere. For your upcoming picnic or tailgating event, you’ll be prepared!
This little pizza oven, cleverly dubbed “Pi,” has a dual fuel source. Whether you like gas or wood, You can do it both ways!
Are you interested in the construction? The Pi pizza oven has a cordierite pizza stone, ceramic insulation, and a stainless steel body.
Peak temperatures are also competitive. The maximum ambient air temperature for wood burning is 850 degrees Fahrenheit. 900 degrees Fahrenheit is considered high heat for gas.
In general, if you’re searching for a versatile, reasonable alternative to the main companies, the Pi pizza oven is a fantastic choice. You can even get a kit that includes everything else you could need, such as a pizza peel.
Types of Outdoor Pizza Oven
Portable pizza ovens – A portable pizza oven would be ideal for you if you have a small backyard and don’t want to make pizza frequently. This market is dominated by companies like Gozney and Ooni and their ranges have some remarkable ovens.
These miniature pizza tools can frequently reach temperatures that rival those of larger ovens, can be kept indoors or in a shed, produce outstanding cooking results, and are quite simple to use.
Freestanding pizza ovens – A bigger pizza oven might be the ideal choice for you if you anticipate preparing pizza frequently and have room in your yard. They don’t have to be built-in for these enormous ovens.
Large, mobile, freestanding pizza ovens that can cook multiple pizzas at once are available for purchase. Although you’ll probably have to pay more for a cover, these typically have protective covers so you can leave them outside all summer.
Hybrid pizza ovens – Some hybrid pizza ovens also function as barbecues, and vice versa. In general, I discovered that equipment made solely for creating pizzas produces the finest cooking outcomes.
Grill and griddle pizza accessories – Buying a barbeque attachment, such as a pizza stone or box that sits on top of your gas or charcoal BBQ, is one inexpensive method to create pizzas at home in your garden. They may also reach amazing temperatures to produce the required flavor and finish of stone baking.
These barbecue-top goods excel at storage, they are not often strictly speaking pizza ovens. I’ve included my favorites in this list to show the variety of DIY pizza tools available for a wide range of costs.
Outdoor Pizza Ovens aren’t Just Pizza Ovens
All these great ovens are marketed as outdoor pizza ovens. And when you first buy one, of course, the first thing you’re going to cook with them is your favorite pizza. But these pizza ovens are ovens and you can, therefore, bake anything you would in a conventional oven.
The general second step once you’re all pizza’d out is to move on to making your own bread. Normally buns or baguettes for your burgers and hot dogs. But you can easily cook fish, pies, chicken, the list goes on and on.
The Ooni Koda 16 is incredibly easy to use, has a flawless design that makes it nearly impossible not to produce delicious pizza, and is so portable that no location is off limits for a pizza party (and there is also a 12-inch Koda available if you need even more portability).
The Gozney Dome, an oven I had great expectations for after the significant demand for the oven last year, is on the other end of the spectrum in terms of cost and intricacy. Thankfully, it didn’t let me down; it truly is the pinnacle of top-down, authentic Neapolitan pizza excellence.