Pizza is the perfect food. This is not up for debate. Whether you’re a stickler for authentic Italian pies, you fold a slice like a true New Yorker, you can’t live without the deep dish crust and tomato chunks of Chicago style, or you have a guilty pleasure for ooey-gooey Pizza Hut. It’s hard to find fault with bread, sauce, cheese, and toppings that are just as good cold as they are hot.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could make your own pizza at home? We’re not talking about the cardboard crap you find in the freezer section at the grocery store. We mean those made-from-scratch, baked in a pizza oven, homemade slices of heaven.
Unfortunately, most people don’t have the space or budget to accommodate a wood-fired pizza oven…until now.
AMAZING pizza ovens are what Ooni is all about (not just amazing – AMAZING – because according to the company, lowercase adjectives don’t do their products justice). They’re designed to be compact, convenient, portable, and affordable.
Ooni will make you a believer the first time you pull a perfect, restaurant-quality pie from the oven (and every time after).
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Husband-and-wife founders Kristian and Darina weren’t planning to make a pizza oven. They were actually busy running an education company, helping school communities to incorporate creativity, innovation, and problem-solving in their operations. What could be more fulfilling?
For Kristian, who was struggling to replicate the professional pizzas he loved at home, a personal passion ended up becoming a professional pursuit. It wasn’t long before he realized the difference between his pizza and restaurant-quality fare came down to using a consumer stove versus a wood-fired pizza oven.
Sadly, there was a downside to upgrading – he’d have to get a monstrously large outdoor appliance that would set him back thousands of dollars.
He started to wonder, why wasn’t there a more convenient way to create the quality pizza he loved at home? This was the start of a bumpy yet brilliant undertaking, and the outcome was the world’s first portable pizza oven, one that offers a hot, fast, affordable way for literally anyone to make pro-level pizza pies.
The original Ooni, a portable pizza oven that uses pellets for heating, is still as popular now as it was when it hit the market in 2012. When you look at the Ooni Fyra 12 Wood Pellet Pizza Oven — the successor to the award-winning Ooni 3 — you’ll immediately notice how much smaller it is than the massive wood-fired ovens of old.
The exterior measures just 15.5” x 22.7” x 11.5” (WDH), not including the smokestack, which brings the total height to 28.6”. The cooking surface is 13.2”, which means it will easily accommodate a 12” pie.
What makes it portable? For starters, it weighs just 23 pounds (1.5 kilos). The legs fold flat to the body underneath. The chimney, pellet burner, flame keeper, and hopper (to add pellets during cooking) are detachable. You can store parts in a bag that goes into the oven, shove the whole kit and caboodle into a handy carry cover, and head to wherever you plan to wood fire some dope Neapolitan-style pizza.
Despite diminutive dimensions, Ooni pizza ovens deliver the one thing conventional ovens can’t: Incredibly high temperatures. No matter what kind of fuel your particular model uses, your oven is guaranteed to reach a minimum temp of 932°F (500°C), and generally, it can easily go over 950°F.
These high temperatures are perhaps the essential factor in ensuring the ability to make pizzas like a pro. The oven takes about 15 minutes to reach optimal cooking temperature, and when you slide your pie in the oven, it cooks incredibly fast. In as little as about 60 seconds, your tasty pie could be ready to eat.
There’s no comparison between pizza cooked in a conventional oven versus pies fired in a wood oven. Sorry to say, but the pizza stone alone isn’t going to cut it.
If you want that perfectly puffed, crisped crust and woody, flame-cooked flavor, topped by perfect puddles of fresh mozzarella floating on broiled tomato sauce, there’s just no substitute for the real deal. Luckily, you can skip the old-school hardware in favor of a smaller, simpler, and far more affordable Ooni.
So you’re basically sold on this appealing alternative, but you still have to choose the right options to suit your needs and preferences. Ooni is nothing if not dedicated to innovation and ease of use. In addition to ovens that fire on pellets, you’ll also find options for gas-powered and multi-fuel products.
As noted, the Fyra 12 uses pellets. It can be yours for $299, considerably less than the thousands of dollars you might spend for an authentic wood-fired pizza oven. The gas-powered Ooni Koda 12 goes for $349, while the Koda 16, which offers significantly more cooking surface, is $499.
Finally, there’s the Ooni Karu 12 for $349. If you’re looking for a portable option that can run on gas, charcoal, or actual wood, this versatile pizza oven is the gourmet appliance you’ve been waiting for.
Even minimalists are sure to want at least one oven accessory: An adequately sized pizza peel to insert and withdraw their pies from the oven. Ooni offers perforated versions in 12” and 14”, as well as non-perforated options in 12”, 14”, and 16”.
If you’re planning to go places, a carry cover is also handy, or you can simply spring for cover bags that don’t require disassembly.
Ooni also offers a range of cast iron pans that will fit your oven, modular tables to set ovens on (with storage racks below), pizza cutters, pellets, fire starters, baking stones, serving boards, and so much more.
There are accessories designed for prep, cooking, and serving, as well as cookbooks, apparel, and so on. Pretty much everything you need to get your backyard pizza cookout underway is on the menu at Ooni — except for the actual pizza ingredients.
Pizza is always a good idea, but there’s no denying some pizzas are a lot better than others. If you’ve been pining for a way to make genuinely delectable, restaurant-quality wood-fired pizza at home without shelling out a stack of hundos and giving up a sizable chunk of your yard space, Ooni is the obvious solution.