Covid 19 were depressing times when other businesses saw a downward slope; many pizzerias in the USA, UK, and Europe came to their final spell. However, a blessing in disguise for Ooni pizza ovens, as they saw a colossal brand boost during these pandemic times. With its inception in 2012, the Ooni consists of 6 most potent outdoor pizza ovens in its squad.
But what is the best OONI pizza oven? There is a very basic Ooni 3, a step up from this, an OONI FYRA, gas-based Kodas, and versatile KARUs; which Ooni pizza oven is best to buy for quality family time?
Factually, we have Roccbox, Gozney, and Alfa, which do the same job as OONI, and home chefs find it mind-boggling seeing the tough competition between these brands. Before we nosedive in the Ooni pizza oven reviews, let me ask you some basics to allow you to identify your best appliance against your needs.
Which Ooni Pizza Oven To Buy – Quick Notes Before The Ooni Pizza Oven Reviews
Well, this buying guide didn’t get crafted all of a sudden. Believe me, it took around 3 weeks to complete the testing of the entire Ooni pizza oven range, and with every product trial, I came up with some questions in mind while setting myself as a user.
Let me also ask you some of these to massage your buying goal with the right product.
What’s your goal with the oven? I mean, many people have the wrong perception about pizza ovens; some think these are huge appliances, while some take pizza ovens as the last investment in their pizza-making goal. Are you that guy? If that is the scene, Ooni pizza ovens are not the right appliances for you.
Secondly, Ooni gas vs. wood? What fuel do you love to bake pizza at? There is propane and natural gas, wood and charcoal, and then wood pellets. Many ask, does keeping a pizza for 60-90 seconds at a wood fire genuinely induce flavor? It does; it really does. In a fight between Ooni gas vs. wood, Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (or AVPN) has recommended Ooni Karu 16 as the first-ever pizza for domestic use. So Karu 16″, as Ooni’s first-ever dual-fuel pizza oven, would be your choice. And yes, it’s obviously a hybrid system that can also run on propane gas.
And lastly, what do you love the most about outdoor pizza ovens? Is it Portability, Size, pizza oven accessories, or design? Well, in my experience, 12-inch pizza ovens become a little narrow to rotate the pizza during cooking.
Also, it links with speed, as you can’t cook multiple family-size pizzas in one go. However, portability here is a good point as Smaller the size will make it easier for you to move it around in different places apart from your backyard. If portability is the top priority, OONI FYRA and KODA 12 are your products.
On the other hand, if you prefer size, speed, and overall better operations, Koda and Karu 16” will be the winner.
So, this is somewhat a bigger picture of the objectives of the Ooni product lineup. But to see through our eyes, which OoniI pizza oven is best to buy, below is the detailed OONI pizza oven review guide;
In a Time Crunch? Want to Make Quick Decision? Here is the Best Ooni Pizza oven for In 2 Minutes!
We perfectly know some hyperactive souls may not feel comfortable while going deep into each Ooni pizza oven review in a quest of which Ooni pizza to buy for their pizza journey. So, here is a quick overview;
We Picked Ooni Karu Series, specifically the Ooni’s 16-inch pizza oven in this series, as overall the best Ooni oven among the rest, while Koda Series is the Runner Up. Yes, we can tell you the characteristics of Our Winner at our fingertips;
- Multi-fuel capability with the highest 950F temperature reach
- Simplistic but attractive aesthetics with most premium materials
- Most spacious baking area in the category
- Get recommendations By APVN (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana)
It’s the most upgraded version of Ooni and replaces the Ooni Pro. The upgraded Aesthetics and addition of a digital thermometer (16”) enable the Karu series to fill a huge market gap. Though we typically say it is the best Ooni wood-fired pizza oven due to the separate purchase of a gas burner, but ultimately, its multi-fuel capability enables it to reach a highest of 950F. This certainly grabbed the attention of APVN, and it got a Recommendation for domestic use.
On the 2nd spot, there is an award-winner Koda series lacking some points due to the unavailability of a hybrid fuel system and some widgets. However, it has a bigger burner than the Karu series, which slightly gives an edge over its younger brother.
Ooni Pizza Oven Comparison
To see things more closely and in quick overview, here we compare Ooni pizza ovens.
|Ooni Karu 16
|Ooni Karu 12
|Ooni Koda 16
|Ooni Koda 12
|Ooni Fyra 12
|Quadra fuel -Wood, Charcoal, Propane Gas & Natural Gas (with optional adaptors)
|Three Fuel Option Including Wood, Propane (optional adapters), charcoal
|Propane and Natural Gas (with optional adapters)
|Only Propane gas
|The lightest Weight in the Line, 9.25Kg/20.39lbs
|Heat up time
|Yes for both Propane and Natural (with Gas Burner)
|Only Propane (with gas burner)
|The largest 15mm cordierite stone featuring 42 x 62cm
|15mm cordierite stone, 33 X 33cm
|15mm cordierite stone, 41 X41 cm
|10mm cordierite stone, 33 X 33cm
|10mm cordierite stone, 33 X 33cm
|Powder coated carbon steel & Brushed 304, 409, 430, Stainless steel
|Brushed 430 stainless steel
|Powder-coated carbon steel
|Powder-coated carbon steel
|Powder-coated carbon steel
|The Widest 145mm/5.70”
|Most advanced in Ooni lineup, widest baking surface, Viewflame technology wih digital thermometer, Hybrid fuel system
|Hybrid fuel system, well built, light weight
|Award winning Pizza oven, Top-notch performance, Good value for money
|Lightest weight means sweet portability, runs very hot, easiest usability, great value for money
|Good built quality, reach highest temperatures, easy maintenance and usability
|Bit costly, heavy
|No built-in thermometer
|No built-in thermometer, a bit expensive being single fuel oven
|The stone thickness is low
|Maintaining temperatures requires a skill
|Where to Buy
|Check prize on Amazon
|Check prize on Amazon
|Check prize on Amazon
|Check prize on Amazon
|Check prize on Amazon
1. Ooni Karu 12/16 – Overall the Best Ooni Pizza Oven Series
Why Do We Choose This? The face of the Ooni multi-fuel pizza oven category; here is the Ooni Karu series, which is a level-up from the Koda series. Taking many heavy duties on its shoulder, the Ooni Karu means flexibility, power, and class. While the long-awaited built-in thermometer (only 16”) broadens its scope, it also impacts the cost. But cost becomes a number when we see this Ooni dual-fuel pizza oven gets a recommendation for Domestic Use by APVN. Also, it carries the most extensive cooking surface of 16.7 x 24.5 to give you spacious room to bake bigger pizzas freely.
Who’s It For: The Neapolitan Lovers, Smoke and Flavor conscious, mobile kitchens facing diversified cooking conditions, domestic chefs with weekend pizza parties, and kitchens with diversified menus
Who Should Avoid It: Budget users and beginner chefs who are not good at maintaining temperatures.
The Best Selling Points of OONI KARU:
- Versatility at Its Best: While Propane gas gives you soaring temperature to thin crust pizzas, wood fuel changes the game while boosting the temperature and deep baking to delicate menus.
- Largest Cooking Surface: Along with the widest 5.71” opening height, the spacious 16.7 x 24.5” cooking space gives you a whole ocean for baking.
- Built-in Thermometer: For the chefs who usually complain even the best Ooni pizza ovens are feature restricted, here the Karu 16 answers back with a built-in digital thermometer.
Ooni Karu 12/16 is literally a step up from the Koda series featuring admirable optimizations in space, cooking operation, and features. In that case, we witnessed it with Napoli Bertello, Gozney Dome, and Alfa Nano.
Design and Ignition:
With the Ooni pizza oven review pacing toward much more advanced pizza ovens, Leonard reports that it still has a straightforward but futuristic approach in the design category, like its sister series Koda.
With no big army of dialers and meters, our eyes continuously got stuck on the latest Karu 16” digital temperature meter. However, this has been a much-anticipated move in the Ooni lineup; the manufacturer has done it with style and elegance while making digital instead of analog to comfort the feature-hungry chefs.
The Karu 12 comes in stainless steel material; the bigger 16-inch brother gets a transformation with a carbon steel body that feels extraordinarily luxurious and robust to hands. The 12” Karu remains doorless, while Ooni named a glass door in Karu16 “ViewFlame Technology” for the purpose of heat retention and having a check on flames.
Leonard dug much deeper into this technology, summarizing maximum heat retention as the most incredible practicality of this technology. However, when you burn wood, this glass door gets covered with ashes, which makes visibility difficult, slightly a down point for sure!
But overall, the design is highly alluring and welcoming for experts to intermediate chefs.
Temperatures and Performance:
Both Karu 12/16 are Ooni’s dual-fuel pizza oven and the 1000F club members. But we primarily say this series is Ooni wood-fired pizza oven series due to a separate purchase of a gas kit. But anyways, the weather matters a lot, and Karu pizza ovens can struggle a bit to reach the height, which is a common factor in all outdoor pizza ovens.
We tested Karu 16 under 10c night with propane; it took around 20 minutes to reach a final of 930F. But then the good news is, it achieved 942F in fairly 15:30 minutes in a 16c Daylight while Oak hardwood was used in combination with gas to boost the temperatures.
So, picking the highest temperatures with a quick pace, that’s why APVN recommended it as the first-ever Oven for Domestic use. Undoubtedly, this is a massive shout-out for its Neapolitan pizza-making abilities.
Moreover, Karu 12 retains the standard 10MM 13” Cordierite baking stone; we measured massive changes in Karu 16” regarding the baking surface. A tremendous 16.7 x 24.5” baking space in its category and 15mm stone thickness is one of the Karu 16 cores that really ingrained us while testing the heat retention. Consequently, from delicate desserts to vegetables, the long-lasting residual heat will save you good money on fuel.
Overall, Karu Series comes in style featuring absolute power, easy usability, oceanic baking space, and some unique knick-knacks to comfort all types of chefs.
Alternatives to Karu 12/16 – Gozney Roccbox, Bertello
While there are many multi-fuel pizza ovens in the market, we consider Gozney Roccbox as a fine competitor for both Karu iterations. The ability to reach 900+F temperature, dual-fuel capacity, and being considerably cheaper than Karu 16 makes it a great position to place itself side-by-side with the Karu series. The only shortcoming here is Roccbox only comes in a 12” version which might be a thumbs down for users looking for more space. Yet, it may be joyous for the chefs as it comes with the free gas kit, which Ooni offers separately. So, you can save some extra bucks here.
2. OONI Koda 12/16 Pizza Oven – The Most Value for Money
Why do we choose this? With tons of outdoor gas pizza ovens in the market, The Ooni Koda series grabs a significant market share. The two awards-winner, Koda 12” is a strong performer but lacks extra cooking space to handle moderate to high volumes. Yet, things get better with an upgraded Ooni Koda 16-inch pizza oven due to more stretch in the baking area and improved cooking times. While Koda 12” is a strong all-rounder for users looking for portability and performance, Koda 16” does it better, but the price can give budget users second thoughts.
Who’s it for? Moderate to upper-moderate volumes, Neapolitan lovers, upgrade from wood pellets fuel, domestic use
Who Should avoid it: Low gas pressure places, dual-fuel lovers, high volumes like parties and outdoor restaurants.
Best Selling Point of Koda 12/16 Pizza Oven:
- Ease of Usability: Even a beginner chef can handle it easily with a very straightforward design and ease of regulating temperatures.
- Good Cooking Quality: With high-quality cordierite baking stone, the heat retention and distribution ability are supreme, so food comes out baked evenly in less time.
- Sturdy Build: The powder-coated carbon steel not only makes it durable and aesthetically cool, yet it also support to lock heat for maximum output
Both ovens in the Koda series are almost similar except for the size, weight, and burner layout. While testing it with competitors like Alfa Nano, Gozney Roccbox, and Bertello, the only complaint we had with the Ooni Koda series, was not having a built-in thermometer.
Design and Ignition:
Ooni has always been known for giving its product’s design a minimalist touch, and it did the same for the Koda series. The powder-coated carbon steel body not only charmingly raises its aesthetic profile, we also tested it as an excellent shield for heat retention. So, the long-lasting residual heat will be advantageous to cook many desserts without lighting up the oven.
Taking both Koda 12 and 16 in front of each other, apart from cooking space, weight, and size, the most notable difference we found is the placement of the temperature control knob and burner settings. Koda 12 has a temperature control dialer at the rear, while Koda 16” comes with side placement.
However, the response of this feature in both appliances is exceptionally responsive to maintain suitable temperatures, and we actually loved playing with it.
While it’s a Koda 12 vs. 16, it’s also a rectangular vs. L-shaped burner. Koda 12, with a smaller size and single burner, is pretty quick to heat up and reaches the height within 15 minutes. The L-shaped burner has to cover more space, so it’s slightly slower than its little brother in pre-heating competition, taking 19 minutes to reach the height in our testing.
Temperature and Performance:
Ooni has made its mark due to its ability to reach soaring temperatures that also suit the authentic Neapolitan and artisan pizza chef needs. Brian, with his report, stated that Koda 12 reached 920F in almost 15 minutes while Koda 16 touched 925F in nearly 19 minutes.
So, if you are a Neapolitan Enthusiast, The Koda series says Hello with a big smile.
What Koda 12 does, Koda 16 does it on a bigger scale. The Koda 12 is not actually a 12” pie-maker; it has only a 10” stone plate to make only somewhat 11 inches of pizza. We tried pushing exactly 12” pizza into this machine, and we had some trouble rotating it.
Also, with some narrow space, you’ll be required to rotate the pizza after every 10-15 seconds. Nevertheless, this adds to the Koda 12 efficiency as it supplied us with a hot-piping pizza within 75 seconds. This can immensely satisfy your tummy in extreme manic and hunger circumstances.
On the other hand, the Koda 16 is more extensive in space, free from all the space struggles you can face in Koda 12. The pizza rotation extends to 30-35 seconds due to the L-shaped burner, and a bigger pizza size of around 15 inches can unquestionably save you in a high pizza volume and demands.
To be honest, we feel less burdened, and our arms breathe more while working much more freely with Koda 16.
Alternatives to Koda 12/16 – Alfa Nano, Gozney Roccbox, Bertello
With lots of competitors trying to catch Ooni’s best pizza oven series, Alfa Nano is the closest opponent coming head-head. The main intent is the fuel type, as it’s also a single-fuel gas oven. Overall, the dome shaped Alfa Nano looks bulkier than Koda, and why shouldn’t it be? as it weighs 65 lbs. A tiny little oven and 65 pounds? We gave it to our analysts, and Candie found out the reason for such bulky weight as for astonishing safety, Alfa nano uses Refractory fire bricks instead of Cordierite baking stone to make it durable against Scorching temperatures. So full marks for safety. On the other hand, it has a built-in thermometer and the same temperature range of over 1000F. It beats the Koda series but on the cost way broader price difference.
3. OONI Fyra 12 Review
Why Do We Pick This? Fyra 12” pizza oven with the no-frills design would be the perfect choice for users who are in the very initials of the chef marathon. The simplest design, ability to rise to 450-500C, and sturdy build are a joy for amateur chefs who don’t want to go premium but want to execute tastier pizzas.
Though there are some red flags in the design and operation department, price and portability are what make it the foremost choice in the competition.
Who’s it for? Budget users, only for small volumes, beginners, travelers, hikers,
Who should avoid it: Large volume, for professional chefs handling various other kitchen chores, gas or wood pizza oven users
The Best Selling Point of OONI Fyra 12:
- Easy Portability: Only 10KG or 20lbs in weight, and the detachable chimney goes in the cavity when not in use, making it super space-saving and portable for mobile kitchens and situation
- Reaches High Temperature: While many other expensive pizza ovens don’t get the limit of 1000F, this little boy does it with ease (subject to weather conditions and other factors)
- Quick to cook Pizzas: As temperatures soar and you have the right cooking conditions, your pizza will be ready to serve within 60-90 seconds.
As OONI Fyra is a step up from Ooni 3, you can see a more oversized compartment for pellets in this latest iteration. But to see where this little Ooni buddy stands, we tested it against its very close but infamous competitors, including Vonhaus, Dellonda DG10, Burnhard Nero, and Argos Home tabletop pizza oven.
Design and Usability:
Things are very straightforward in the design section. It would have been a nice punch by Ooni if an analog or digital thermometer for temperature status got added in the oven, as we see in Dellonda DG10 and Burnhard Nero ovens.
However, there is a tiny hole in the door to keep a check on the flames, and you need an infrared thermometer to measure the oven temperatures. Moreover, Leonard’s testing report tells us that the oven opening height is just 3.34”, which is slightly narrow for cooking food other than pizzas like bread rolls or baking some desserts.
Overall, the design may not impress those searching for more widgets incorporated in the design sense. Yet on the 2nd side of the equation, it’ll be a sign of relief for those who don’t love lots of dialers, knobs, and meters.
Performance and Temperatures:
Assuming the performance part, Fyra plays big shots in many departments beating many expensive pizza ovens with the ability to reach temperatures above 900F. This tiny boy reaches a height of 950+F in somewhat 15 minutes which is fantastic news for Neapolitan pizza lovers.
However, a little twist here, breezy weather and freezing temperatures may lead Fyra to struggle a bit to attain the claimed temperatures.
Similarly, we assumed the said temperature capability was only attainable using the Ooni wood pellets. We don’t know if it’s a known fault with this model, but our testing reported this matter.
Fyra 12” pizza oven is a bit of a pellet-hungry appliance. Plus, Brian mentioned that an electric auger to regulate temperatures would have been a Marvelous addition to this cheap Ooni pizza oven for more control over temperatures and less fuel consumption. For the consumption part, around 7lbs of pellets for 2.5-3 hours will be enough.
But to maintain a constant temperature, one may need to stand at the pellet hopper side to keep a check on the fuel and refuel it once there is a temperature decrease.
So, for entirely beginners, this may be a steep learning curve, but for adventure lovers and pizza enthusiasts, it’ll definitely be a good learning experience that’ll keep you active while baking. But lastly, the baking quality seems superb; the crust cooked evenly with cheese bubbling over the surface under 2 minutes of baking which seems worth the effort.
Alternatives to Fyra 12” – Vonhaus, Dellonda DG10, Burnhard Nero, Ooni 3, Koda 12, and Argos
Fyra runs in tough competition even though there is an Ooni Fyra vs. Koda tussle. Still, we choose Dellonda DG10 as the closest competitor, posing the same sturdy build, almost similar pizza capacity, and easy usability. While these are some of the similarities, Dellonda wins the fuel department as it’s a dual fuel (charcoal + wood), a built-in thermometer, and a relatively lower price. But Fyra has a substantial edge over 350-380C vs. 500c temperature, bigger hopper size, and 10kg lighter weight than 14kg.
Which is the most popular OONI pizza oven?
If we consider sales as the criteria for popularity, Koda 16 may be the most popular Ooni pizza oven. But if we consider practicality and versatility, Karu 16 would win the race marginally. However, if you ask about the value-to-money. Koda 12/16 may be a preference for many of the chefs.
Where are Ooni pizza ovens made?
Ooni being a brand, based in Edinburg, Scotland and was started by a Husband and wife. As the company grew with the very first outdoor portable Oven that could reach 500c, the operations expanded and now Ooni product manufacturing gets done in China.
Ooni Fyra vs Koda, which is the best?
The main difference here, if you compare these Ooni pizza ovens, is the category. Ooni Fyra is a wood pellet oven, while Koda is a gas thing. But to see a bigger picture, Koda is a much better and advanced choice than Fyra.