This year, I decided to splurge a little on my husband for his birthday and Father's Day and decided to get him an Ooni Pizza Oven. I had been hearing about them for a few months in my Mom Facebook groups and everyone raving about them so I decided to go for it and get one!
We've been using our pizza oven for a few weeks now and are so happy with it! In this blog post, I'll go over which pizza oven we decided to get, what accessories we learned are essential, and if the Ooni Pizza oven actually lives up to the hype.
What is an Ooni Pizza Oven?
First of all - what exactly is an Ooni Pizza oven? An Ooni Pizza Oven is a portable pizza oven designed for cooking pizzas in about 90 seconds. The ovens come in both wood-fired and gas versions, and they also have dual ones that can be powered by wood and gas. Most of the styles of ovens come in 2 different sizes - 12" and 16".
Currently, there are 4 main types of ovens available:
- Frya - 12" Wood Pellet
- Koda - 12" and 16" Gas Powered
- Karu - 12" Multi-Fuel (a 16" version is coming soon)
- Pro - 16" Multi-Fuel
- Ooni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven
- Multiple fuel options for maximum cooking versatility
- Cook with wood or charcoal out of the box, or use gas with the Ooni Karu 16 Gas Burner (sold separately)
- Reaches 950°F (500°C) in just 15 minutes
- New hinged oven door design with ViewFlame™ technology to boost visibility
- Mounted digital thermometer displays internal ambient oven temperature (batteries included)
- Large cooking area fits up to 16-inch pizzas and other substantial cooks
- Ooni Fyra 12 Wood Pellet Pizza Oven
- Ooni Pro 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven
- Multiple fuel options for maximum cooking versatility
- Fire with wood or charcoal right out of the box, or with gas with the Ooni Pro 16 Gas Burner (sold separately)
- Reaches 950°F (500°C) in just 20 minutes
- Cooks incredible stone-baked fresh pizza in as little as 60 seconds!
- Extra-large cooking area for 16” pizzas, roast meats, fresh bread and more!
- Ooni Koda 12 Gas Powered Pizza Oven
- Ooni Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven
- Multiple fuel options for maximum cooking flexibility
- Fire up with wood or charcoal right out of the box, or with gas with the Ooni Gas Burner (sold separately).
- Reaches 950°F (500°C) in 15 minutes, for fresh stone-baked pizza in just 60 seconds.
- Portable at just 26.4lb (12kg), with all the power of a large pizza oven
The first and only pizza oven to be ‘Recommended for Domestic Use’ by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, the acclaimed international authority on true Neapolitan pizza.
The biggest difference between all the models is the size as well as the fuel source.
Deciding Between Ooni Frya vs. Koda vs. Karu
It was really tough deciding which oven to buy for my husband. I kept watching YouTube reviews and reading comparisons trying to decide which would be the best. At first, I really liked the Ooni Karu because it can do both wood fire AND gas, but then I realized you had to buy a separate adaptor (which is another $100 and sold out) to do the gas part.
After deciding against the duo, I had to decide between the Frya and Koda - basically wood-fire vs. gas. After doing more research, it looked like the Frya didn't heat as evenly as a gas oven would so cooking times would vary a bit. With the gas, my husband could have more control over the oven and temperature so ultimately I decided to go with the 12" Ooni Koda.
- Gas fueled for the ultimate ease and control
- Reaches 950°F (500°C) in just 15 minutes
- Cooks stone-baked fresh 12” pizza in just 60 seconds
- Fits in any outdoor space, weighing only 20.4lbs (9.25kg)
Ordering the Ooni Koda
Once I decided which oven I wanted, I went on to Ooni's site but found out that the oven had a 1-2 month estimated ship time. I wanted this to arrive before Father's Day so needed to guarantee something sooner!
I ended up finding that Williams-Sonoma had them in stock online and purchased through there. The oven ended up arriving about 3 days after I ordered. Thankfully, my husband was on a trip when the oven arrived because it arrived in a box that had Ooni's logo all over it! Make sure you keep that in mind if you end up ordering it as a gift.
I also ended up ordering a few accessories I read would be really helpful, but bought them through Ooni. Surprisingly a lot of the accessories aren't sold at retailers. Those arrived within a week and arrived just in time for Father's Day!
Ooni Koda Review
My husband was so surprised and excited when he opened his gift! The instructions the Ooni came with are pretty straightforward - hook the oven up to gas, allow to heat for 15 minutes, and then cook for about 90 seconds.
We decided to give the oven a try the following weekend and made a batch of homemade margarita pizzas since we had a ton of fresh basil we needed to use up. We wanted to keep the first batch easy so we picked up some of our favorite pre-made pizza dough from Trader Joe's, cut it in half, and made 2 personal pizzas.
The oven took about 15 minutes to preheat and we were able to tell by using an infrared thermometer one of my husband's friends had gotten him (highly recommend getting one - there isn't an indicator on the oven when it reaches temperature). He carefully put the pizza into the oven and waited 90 seconds.
We quickly realized the pizza was starting to burn on the side closest to the fire, so we looked for something to help rotate it as it cooked. My husband attempted to use the pizza peel I got him and was able to somewhat rotate it, but not as easily as he probably could've with a turning pizza peel. While he was working on cooking the pizza I ordered one on Amazon.
After a minute or two, he took out the pizza and it looked done! He put it off to the side and cooked the second pizza. This one seemed to cook even quicker - I'm not sure if it's because the oven heated up faster or because we knew to rotate the pizza every few seconds. After about 90 seconds, the pizza was done and he pulled it out.
When it came time to eat we quickly realized the first pizza wasn't actually cooked all the way through. This ended up being more of our fault because the dough we used was too thick. Lesson learned!
Pizza Attempt #2
The next time we made pizzas we made sure to make the pizzas even thinner (we did this by not only cutting the Trader Joe crust in half but also cutting a little extra off - we ended up making these into breadsticks!). We did the same process - this time with our new turning pizza peel - and the pizza came out much better!
We noticed again that the second pizza cooked faster and more evenly than the first, and again I think it's because the ovens had even more time to heat up. This attempt at pizzas was much more successful than the first and the pizzas came out perfectly cooked.
Must-Have Ooni Accessories
After using the Ooni pizza oven more, we've come to realize these are the must-have accessories. Looking back if I had known this when I ordered it I would've ordered all these accessories because they really are essential to making the pizzas come out perfect.
Ooni sells most of these accessories, but I've found you can also find them on Amazon for almost ½ the price.
- Pizza Peel
- Pizza Turning Peel
- Infrared Thermometer that can go up to 950 degrees
- Pizza trays (or something that can hold the pizzas)
- Cornmeal - this makes sliding the pizza into the oven a lot easier
I did order a carry cover for the grill as well but we haven't used that yet. I'm sure that'll become essential when we start traveling with it or storing it away for winter.
Best Store-Bought Ingredients to Use
So far we've been using store-bought ingredients and our favorites have been:
- Trader Joe's Pizza Crust (make sure it's cut up and roll out to be thin)
- Rao's Pizza Sauce
Where to Buy an Ooni Pizza Oven
Ooni Pizza Ovens can be bought directly through their website, but during popular times they sell out really fast. I originally wanted to buy mine through the website but shipping times were estimated to be 1-2 months so I decided to buy it somewhere else.If you do have time, I would recommend ordering direct through them because they will include a 3 year extended warranty for free.
If their website is sold out, Ooni is sold on a few other retail sites like:
- Williams-Sonoma (this is where I bought ours! I got mine in 3 days during the Father's Day rush)
- Best Buy
- Crate and Barrel
Ooni Pizza Oven Tips and Tricks
We've had our pizza oven for a few weeks now and here are a few tips and tricks we've learned from using it:
- Invest in Accessories from the Beginning - You don't need everything recommended, but there are some that are essential like the pizza peel, turning pizza peel, and infrared thermometer. If you do get one of the hybrid ones I would recommend buying the gas adaptor as well.
- Give Yourself Time to Learn How to Use It - There's a small learning curve so allow yourself time to learn the oven. Youtube and the Facebook groups really help!
- Order Directly from Ooni for a Free Extended Warranty - I was in a time crunch when I ordered mine otherwise I would've ordered direct. Ordering direct gives you a free 3 year extended warranty!
- Plan Ahead if You're Getting One for a Birthday or Holiday - These things sell out SO FAST! If you're planning to buy one for Father's Day or Christmas, order a few months in advance so you definitely get it in time. If Ooni's sold out, you can try other retailers as well.
Is the Ooni Pizza Oven Worth It?
Ultimately, I do think the Ooni Pizza oven is worth it. Once it's heated up it does make pizzas in about 90 seconds and they really are much better than when we've made them in our regular oven. The Ooni oven is nice and compact too and I can see us bringing it to family gatherings and events (and it's easy to clean!).
There definitely is a learning curve to it so I do recommend watching a few Youtube videos or just giving yourself time to learn and practice with the oven. But once you get the hang of it, the Ooni pizza oven is a really fun addition to your backyard kitchen!