The pizza industry is a perfect storm of culinary trends and technological disruption. Pizza ovens are one of the most expensive pieces of equipment, but they also have an enormous impact on consumer experiences. In 2022, consumers will demand new and improved pizza technologies for better tasting pies in their own homes or at restaurants.
In 2022, the “best pizza oven” is predicted to be a combination of infrared and convection heating. They will also have a digital interface that will allow for more precise temperature control.
Everyone likes pizza, so why not make it yourself? Whether you want artisan-baked, wood-fired Italian pizzas with fluffy, soft crusts, thin-crust New York slices, or deep-dish Chicago pies, the newest home pizza ovens enable aspiring pizzaiolos to produce pizzas that rival — or perhaps surpass — the quality of those found at most local pizzerias.
We spent ten weeks creating numerous pizzas to discover the best models for any committed home pizza baker, testing nine different leading pizza ovens in electric, gas, wood/charcoal-burning, and multi-fuel configurations to find the best models for any dedicated home pizza baker.
Overall, the best pizza oven
The breville Pizzaiolo, the only electric pizza oven we tested, was our favorite oven overall due to its predictable, consistent outcomes and level cooking.
The best pizza oven for gas
The Ooni Koda 16’s gas-fueled oven offered the most equal heat distribution of the gas ovens we tested, resulting in easy operation and precisely charred and blistered gourmet pizza dough.
The best pizza oven for many fuels
The Ooni Karu 16 was the most user-friendly multi-fuel oven we tested, with simple switching between wood and gas and simple fuel loading — and it baked excellent artisanal pizzas with any fuel source.
The best wood-fired pizza oven
The Cru Model 30 is a wood-fired pizza oven with a simple, solid design and lots of workspace. It produces wonderful wood-fired pizzas.
Table of Contents
- 1 Key Specs
- 2 Key Specs
- 3 Key Specs
- 4 Key Specs
- 5 Cuisinart CGG-403 3-in-1 Pizza Oven, Griddle, and Grill Cuisinart CGG-403 3-in-1 Pizza Oven, Griddle, and Grill
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
- 12 inch pizzas are the maximum capacity.
- The maximum temperature is 750 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pizza peel and deep-dish pizza pan are optional.
- Two-year warranty (three and four-year extended warranties available at an additional cost when purchasing directly from Breville)
Our preferred pizza oven is an electric pizza oven, which is the only one we looked at. We had a lot of fun with the Pizzaiolo and consistently got the greatest results out of it when compared to the other ovens we looked at. It doesn’t get as hot as the competition (it can reach 750 degrees F, compared to 900 degrees F for wood- and gas-fired ovens), but since it can manage the temperature more accurately, it produces uniformly cooked crusts and tastier pizzas than any other oven we tested.
The Pizzaiolo differs from the other pizza ovens we reviewed in appearance. Rather, the hefty stainless steel machine resembles a giant toaster oven, with three push-button knobs on the front — one for choosing pre-programmed baking temperatures, one for setting the baking times, and one for adjusting the darkness.
However, this is all you need to cook excellent pizzas every time: no rotating, positioning, or vent tweaking is required. There will be no tinkering with anything. Simply choose one of the preset settings, wait for it to reach temperature (shown by an LED “AT TEMP” light), then lay your pizza on a circular stone (which can accept pies of 11″ or less) and cook. A “Wood Fired” pizza takes three minutes, a “New York” pizza takes eight minutes, and a “Pan Pizza” takes 18 minutes. And, unlike the gas, wood, and charcoal-burning ovens we tried, you can cook at any time of day, in any weather, inside, in less time than it takes to make a pizza with gas or wood.
Because of the positioning and electronic management of the twin heating elements — one pair of concentric round elements situated below the stone and one above — we preferred the Pizzaiolo to everything else we tested because of its predictable, consistent outcomes and uniform cooking. The presets allow you to precisely manage the temperature of the cooking chamber by managing the heating components and the functioning of the oven’s convection fan separately, with continual fine-tuning thanks to internal sensors. It’s a stunning work of industrial design and engineering. You can manually override the preprogrammed settings and configure the heating elements, although we didn’t do so and don’t anticipate most people to.
You won’t get the noticeable burn scars that give your pies that “artisan” appearance and crust texture, with leopard-skin crust char and huge crust bubbles, owing of the lower and more constant cooking temperatures compared to gas or wood ovens. Instead, you’ll obtain results akin to a steel deck electric arrangement used in an American pizza parlor and slice shop: extremely uniformly baked crusts on top and bottom. Is there, however, anything wrong with that? We don’t believe so.
We also discovered that the temperature signal is exclusively visual and lacks an audio cue, so check for the LED after the recommended 18-20-minute warmup time while prepared in the kitchen. There isn’t even a built-in thermometer to show the current temperature. Furthermore, although the oven emits a tone when the pizza is done, it is not very loud, and the oven continues to cook at the same temperature after the timer has expired. As with the gas and wood ovens, this is probably built so you can reset the timer and add more pizzas, but it’s a good idea to use an external timer just in case.
These are, however, minor concerns. Even though it’s the most costly oven we tested, it’s a clear winner based on the quality of pizzas we’ve received from it. The build quality is excellent, as it is with all of Breville’s devices, and Breville’s 2-year guarantee is generous (longer warranties are available when you purchase directly from Breville).
- 16-inch pizzas are the maximum capacity.
- The maximum temperature is 950 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Propane regulator and hose are included as extras (natural gas regulator and peel available separately)
- Three-year warranty with registration
- Ooni Koda 12, a smaller version, is $399 at Ooni.
If you want to learn the art of traditional pizza-making with the least amount of hassle, we believe the gas-powered Ooni Koda — which we tested in the bigger 16-inch version (it’s also available in a smaller 12-inch version for $399) — would please most aspiring backyard pizzaiolos. Without the hassle of stoking a wood fire, it can reach the 900-degree temperature necessary for Neapolitan-style pizzas.
The Koda may be powered by a 20-pound LP tank or a natural gas connection (a $49 conversion kit is needed). The setup was quite simple for us. We took it out of the box, unfolded the tripod legs, set it up on a sturdy fire-resistant surface (we used the Ooni modular table), set up the pizza stone, and plugged in the tank.
Turning the knob on the side, pushing it in, and flicking it to full power ignition is all it takes to start the Ooni Koda 16. The distinctive L-shaped burner heats the oven to 932 degrees F in approximately 15 minutes, and the cordierite baking stone retains and distributes heat remarkably effectively; the Ooni Koda 16 provided a more equal heat distribution than the more costly Karu and Gozney Roccbox. Although we don’t advocate touching the exterior of the oven while it is hot, the Koda’s insulation — mineral wool placed between the stainless steel inner shell and the outside, powder-coated carbon steel shell casing — performed better than most rivals.
It takes some experience to produce excellent results with this oven, as it does with any gas-fired ovens. The Koda becomes incredibly hot, and a pizza cooks in within 90 seconds at maximum oven temperature, giving you the “leopard skin” and large blisters that pizza enthusiasts want. However, you’ll need to learn how to use a peel to launch and position the pizza, and then pay close attention (you can’t walk away for even a second), rotating the pizza a quarter turn every 15 seconds to ensure that it cooks evenly.
Before cooking a pizza, you may wish to reduce the gas production and use an infrared thermometer to check the temperature. Some pizza crusts don’t need to be cooked at 900 degrees Fahrenheit; you may obtain better results by cooking at 600 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit and cooking for extended periods of time to get even cooking and the required outcomes. However, if you accidentally burn bits of the stone or leave ingredients on it, no worries — just use a high-heat flame to incinerate everything and scrape it off with a wire brush.
Overall, we thought the build quality was good, and it is composed of high-quality materials that should last a long time; however, if you want to leave it outside, we suggest purchasing a cover. It’s even better if you can store it inside between uses. There are a few drawbacks, like the lack of an integrated thermometer and an oven door, but it’s a fantastic gas-only configuration that produces delicious pizzas.
- 16-inch pizzas are the maximum capacity.
- The maximum temperature is 950 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Three-year warranty with registration
- Karu 12, $399 at Ooni, is a smaller version.
- LP burners are $99 at Ooni, while natural gas burners are $149.
While we believe that the gas-fueled Koda is the Ooni for most home pizza makers, certain enthusiasts may desire the option of cooking with wood or gas. Wood oven proponents value the extra taste or just admire the craftsmanship, which more closely resembles the pizza baking techniques employed in Naples.
These choices are available with the Ooni Karu 16 multi-fuel pizza oven. Install a gas burner attachment (the propane kit is $99; natural gas is $149) or use the provided wood fuel tray. A hinged metal front door with a big insulated handle, a glass pane, and a bracket-mounted exterior digital thermometer with a thermocouple are all included with the Koda 16.
The Karu 16 was tested in both a liquid propane gas and a wood arrangement. The Karu features two enormous gas jets that replace the wood fuel box at the back of the oven, unlike the Koda, which has an L-shaped burner. The hinged door, backplate, and thermometer were the three primary components that required the use of the provided Torx wrench during installation, which took roughly 10 minutes.
In gas mode, we received fairly identical results to the Koda 16, however the gas-specific Koda tended to cook pizzas more uniformly and with less effort. With Karu’s two back gas jets, though, we had no trouble obtaining those leopard spots and crust bubbles; all we had to do was rotate our pizzas carefully.
When it came to wood fuel, we couldn’t distinguish the difference in taste since we were only exposed to the hardwood for a short time at such high temperatures. However, we discovered that it was much simpler to overcook the pies, necessitating very cautious heat control. This is achieved using the Karu’s stainless steel vented chimney and in-oven vent control (you’ll want to adjust it with anything other than your hands while the oven is on, like BBQ tongs, since it’s way too hot).
In wood mode, the oven produced some excellent pizzas, and the Karu’s design made the process quite simple. The back cover, in particular, makes it simple to add more wood and charcoal while also preventing the fire from being extinguished by the wind.
When compared to the 40-pound Koda 16, the Karu 16 is too heavy to be termed “portable,” therefore you’ll want to set it up on a stable surface, such a metal table with caster wheels, so you can move it in and out of the weather. If you’re going to keep it outdoors, you’ll also need the cover. The smaller Karu 12 is available for $399 if you don’t need such a large oven but still want to leave your fuel choices open.
- 12 inch pizzas are the maximum capacity.
- The maximum temperature is 900 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pizza peel, embers rake, and other miscellaneous items
- 1 year warranty
Although we like the convenience and simplicity of heat control that electric and gas pizza ovens provide, we believe the Cru Oven Model 30, an all-stainless steel pizza oven produced in Portugal, is the finest option for people who prefer wood-fired pizza baking.
When compared to the others on our list, the Cru Oven Model 30 is as basic as they come: it’s not insulated, there’s no separate detachable tray for removing and loading wood, and there’s no thermometer. It has a unique, almost steampunk attitude, with its huge roof arc and unpolished, laser-cut steel panels – think Mad Max Beyond Napoli. It’s essentially a pizza-making wood-burning stove or outdoor fireplace.
However, the internal heat reflectivity is great, and the oven’s spacious inside with a high ceiling makes maneuvering your pizzas a breeze, and the ceramic stone is readily detachable and replaceable (or you can substitute 3rd-party options if desired).
It’s easy to heat up the oven. We utilized square firestarters and a BIC butane lighter wand to pack the wood in the middle of the stone, build a teepee, and ignite it on fire. When everything is beautifully burning, use the provided ember rake to push everything back to the back of the oven. You add fresh fuel every 15 minutes as the fuel burns down to embers and the pizzas are removed. What’s the deal with vent management? There are none. A stainless steel chimney with no controls is present. You light the fire, it burns, and you cook. You sweep out the ashes after it has cooled. The front door cover of the Cru Oven Model 30 is for extinguishing the flames and concealing the inside from the weather while not in use; it’s not designed to be used for cooking.
The pizzas that came out of this oven were fantastic – you can make artisan-style pies with the Cru Oven Model 30 and get the large bubbles and high char levels that wood-fired pizza fans want. However, since this is the most basic of designs, mastering fuel management abilities is essential, thus it isn’t for everyone. You must acquire a feel of how long to wait for the fuel to burn down to the correct temperature range that will hold for as many minutes as you need to cook the pie since there is no method to modify airflow (there are no vents!).
By the way, you should never touch this since it has no insulation and would quickly burn you, as my wife discovered when she unintentionally touched the edge of it for a few seconds. When using this, keep youngsters away from it, and evaluate whether you should possess one at all if you have curious little children.
Aside from that, there’s not much that can go wrong, and it’s constructed to endure. You’ll be able to feed ravenous hordes some pretty excellent pizza if the world turns into a post-apocalyptic horror.
Underscored by Jason Perlow/CNN
Without having to construct or permanently install a brick oven, the pizza ovens we looked at allow you to return to pizza’s Italian origins, attaining temperatures of over 900 degrees F to execute pies to the exacting specifications of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, on your patio. All of the ovens we looked at had a basic design: a chamber built to hold a flat, thick pizza “stone,” generally composed of ceramic or a synthetic substance containing the mineral cordierite, designed to retain and distribute the high temperatures required to bake a pizza evenly.
We looked at ovens that used a variety of fuels, including wood (hardwood, fruitwoods, hardwood lump charcoal, or wood pellets), gas, and electric (liquid propane or natural gas). Some are “multi-fuel,” which means they may be set up to burn wood or gas by switching out a refillable hopper, propane or natural gas burner as needed. We also tested a single electric model, the Breville Pizzaiolo.
With all of the gas or wood-fueled ovens we tested, we had no trouble reaching the requisite 900-degree-plus F temperature. The decision between gas and wood boils down to personal preference and how much time you want to devote to fine-tuning your technique and monitoring your fuel supply.
Gas is more forgiving in that you don’t have to add fuel during the baking process, and you can control the temperature without having to vent or waiting for the fuel to burn out – just turn a knob as you would on a stove or grill.
Wood requires more expertise and is best suited for serious home bakers eager in learning the art of traditional Neapolitan baking. More effort is required since temperature control is based on the timing of your fuel supply and careful attention to the oven chamber’s venting.
Temperature instability is what gives a pie cooked in a wood-burning oven a more noticeable crust char – temperature spikes and dips provide that appearance, which many connect with a “artisanal” look and flavor. Of course, you must exercise extra caution since timing is crucial not just for the crust but also for the toppings; unless the toppings are modest, you do not want to maintain your oven at a high temperature all of the time.
That takes a lot of skill, and given the difficulties of sustaining high heat on the stones in the ovens we looked at, we had problems generating this effect consistently. We also had to pay less attention to cooking the actual pizzas while we were preoccupied with fuel management.
An electric oven is the easiest to use, and the one we tried was considerably simpler to use and consistently produced delicious pizzas, even if it couldn’t reach hot enough to make an artisanally blackened crust. We believe it’s a reasonable compromise that most home chefs would accept, and one that we favored throughout our testing.
Cooking pizza, like everything else gourmet, is a science that takes years to perfect, but part of the fun is figuring out how to get the results you desire. Working in an extremely hot oven needs continual attention, and your pizzas will need to be rotated repeatedly throughout their limited cooking period.
Despite the fact that all of the gas and wood-fired ovens produced comparable results, various oven designs made the baker’s job simpler. Narrower holes limited our ability to “launch,” or lay our pizzas on the stone, and then rotate and manage them while they cooked, making it more difficult to achieve a flawlessly cooked pie, independent of the fuel technology (the Breville electric oven was an outlier, requiring no interaction during cooking).
While most ovens are basic “open” designs, with no cover over the slot or opening in the front while in use, others, like the Ooni Karu 16 and Cuisinart 3-in-1, have doors or detachable front coverings. When operating at maximum oven temperature, insulated and thick-walled ovens (such as the Oonis or the Roccbox) are safer to touch or be near. Others aren’t insulated and depend on a reflecting heat design to cook pizzas evenly (such as the Cru and the Bertollo).
With the exception of the Breville Pizzaiolo, which is an electric oven that can be used inside, all of these ovens are meant for outdoor usage exclusively. Because their exhaust fumes must be vented correctly while in operation, they should never be utilized inside where they would constitute a major fire danger and a harm to safety.
Underscored by Jason Perlow/CNN
We put all of these pizza ovens on top of either the grill grates of our outdoor gas grill or a hefty, specialized, moveable steel table with lockable caster wheels (the $250 big Ooni Modular Table), with the exception of the only electric model we looked at, which was utilized in our home kitchen.
For the gas-capable devices, we utilized 20-pound liquid propane tanks from our local Home Depot. We utilized 6-inch white oak micro splits created for pizza ovens by Carolina Cookwood, together with modest quantities of Brazilian hardwood charcoal, for the wood-capable machines. With the Ooni Fyra, we were the only ones that utilized just fruitwood pellets.
We made the pizza dough using King Arthur Bread Flour and a 72-hour fermentation recipe based on the Gozney “Perfect Pizza Dough” with minor tweaks.
At least a dozen pies were cooked in each oven at a variety of temperatures. The normal New York-style thin-crust test pizza was made using 240g dough balls, low-moisture Kirkland brand shredded mozzarella from Costco, and canned pizza sauces with little added sugar or other chemicals.
For ease and consistency of results, price point, retail supply chain availability, and overall flavor, we utilized (and recommend) both the Cento Fully Prepared Pizza Sauce and the Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce. We liked Rao’s as a super-premium alternative if you don’t want to process and make your own sauce, but it didn’t taste much better on the final pizza than the canned sauces listed above. However, buying canned ground, crushed, or whole tomatoes is the greatest solution (and the best value), since you may process and personalize your sauce recipe as desired.
We suggest joining the different Facebook groups for home pizza baking (such as those for Gozney, Ooni, and Breville) for inspiration and more reading, as well as Dan Richer’s The Joy of Pizza (November 2021).
- Heating and baking uniformity: What was the quality of the pizzas cooked in this oven? What were the highest temperatures that were reached?
- How long did it take for the pie to heat up from the time it was lit to the time it was ready to be launched?
Construct and Design
- What materials were utilized in the manufacturing process, how does the design effect performance and usage, and are there any difficulties with component durability?
- Any technology used in the construction, such as electrical features or distinctive design aspects that set it apart from its rivals, is referred to as innovation.
- Ease of use: How simple was it to use the product, and what, if any, was the learning curve?
- Effortless cleanup
- Service to Customers
The Gozney Roccbox has a lot going for it; its performance was comparable to that of our best gas oven, the Ooni Koda 16. If that’s what you’re after, the Roccbox made it easy to get those enormous bubbles and lovely crust char.
With a stainless steel inner and outer casing stuffed with ceramic fiber and jacketed in silicone rubber, the Roccbox is also the best-insulated oven on our list, effectively retaining heat and, more importantly, making it more comfortable to work in front of and safe to touch, even when the interior is scorching hot. It also boasts the thickest pizza stone of the ovens we examined, as well as a built-in thermometer. It’s also designed to be portable, with folding legs, a nylon sling, and a handle, making it an excellent option for tailgating (and a favorite among farmer’s market sellers).
While it’s a fantastic oven, it didn’t make our top five for a few reasons. To begin with, it has a tiny oven chamber, and although it’s designed for 12-inch pizzas, you’ll need to know what you’re doing if you want to handle a larger pie. We found it to be more suited to creating 9-inch pizzas in reality, which means more time spent preparing more pizzas for a hungry family or big party.
Despite the fact that the Roccbox is advertised as a multi-fuel oven, we found the wood hopper to be tiny and difficult to fill; maintaining temperature needed regular feeding with little bits of wood. If you want to cook with wood, we propose the multi-fuel Ooni Karu or the Cru Oven.
Finally, the stone is fixed in place, which might be an issue if it fractures since replacements aren’t readily accessible. Users have reported changing the stone with 3rd-party items with minimal changes on Facebook groups, although this is best left to dedicated enthusiasts. Despite the thicker stone’s benefits, novices should remain with the Ooni.
The Bertello 12-inch multi-fuel “All” package has a lot going for it, particularly considering how much less it costs than the equivalent 12-inch Karu and Roccbox for everything it does and provides. A gas burner, two kinds of wood fuel trays (one of which may be used with gas), an infrared thermometer, a wood-handled steel perforated pizza peel, and an outside cover are included.
The black-painted steel oven is similar to the Ooni Karu in that the baker may add a wood burner tray or a gas burner attachment to the back of the oven (with an optional smaller wood burner in front for simultaneous fuel use).
The Bertello’s gas burner (which seems to have been added after the fact) is a little problematic since it is quite long and droops down the rear of the oven. However, this has no effect on its performance; we were able to get the Bertello to well over 900 degrees F, which resulted in some really beautiful pies.
The oven’s entrance, on the other hand, is quite narrow, making it much more difficult to manipulate the pizzas within than in the Oonis or Roccbox. This made for a more difficult cooking process, as we had to bake smaller pies than the oven could handle. Bertello has now launched a bigger 16″ variant with a wider aperture and a higher inner oven ceiling (we were unable to examine the larger model in time for this review), so it’s worth looking into.
While the Ooni Fyra 12″ Pizza Oven is “wood burning,” it utilizes pellets rather than splits, kindling, or charcoal as fuel. It features a vent-controlled smokestack and is built and designed similarly to the 12″ version of the Karu. It does, however, include a rear hopper for putting pellets into the detachable combustion chamber.
While we like the idea of a pellet-based pizza oven because of how evenly and consistently the fuel burns (and many Traeger and other pellet-based grills and BBQ smokers will appreciate this design), the hopper is so small that it requires constant feeding (every five minutes or less) to get the oven up to pizza cooking temperatures. You can bake some wonderful pies if you’re someone who can pay close attention to the procedure. However, with this oven, we were more concerned with the fuel temperature and heat control than with the actual cooking of the pizzas. This oven appeals to campers and people who like experimenting with fuel loading.
The Cuisinart Alfrescamore is the most affordable pizza oven on our list, costing just over $220. While we wish we could recommend it for its affordability, it is simply too low-performance and flimsy in construction for us to recommend it when you can get better results from your outdoor gas grill by simply placing some inexpensive quarry tiles or an aftermarket pizza stone accessory on top of the grill grates. The Cuisinart Alfrescamore is portable since it uses 1-pound LP canisters, but with such a little quantity of fuel, you’ll rapidly run out of it attempting to attain pizza cooking temperatures; you’ll wind up needing a conventional 20-pound LP canister adapter hose anyway (which isn’t included).
Cuisinart CGG-403 3-in-1 Pizza Oven, Griddle, and Grill Cuisinart CGG-403 3-in-1 Pizza Oven, Griddle, and Grill
This pizza oven is just little more costly than the Cuisinart Alfrescamore oven at just under $250, and it’s a lot more flexible; it’s also, in our view, better built and performs. It’s also set up to work with 20-pound propane tanks right out of the box. But, in our opinion, this is more of a tiny outdoor grill (and griddle) with a pizza baking stone and rack that rests atop a low-output gas burner than a pizza oven. Setup was a pain in the neck since the base, which consists of four legs and a storage shelf, requires roughly 20 bolts to be affixed to it. Even so, we loved making a few pies in it after we had it up and running — just don’t anticipate the same results as the Ooni or Roccbox. And, with cooking temperatures ranging from 450 to 550 degrees F, your tiny pies will take longer to cook.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which pizza oven is best?
A: The best pizza oven is the one you have and use. There are many different types of pizza ovens, so its hard to say which one would be better than another. If you come across an old-school coal stove that still works well for baking pizzas, then by all means purchase this!
Which pizza oven is best for commercial use?
A: For commercial use, the best pizza oven is a wood burning brick oven.
Are pizza ovens worth it?
A: If youre looking for a pizza oven that can cook pizzas to the perfect temperature, then yes. However, if your goal is to bake goods such as bread and cookies at home rather than make full-on pizzas from scratch in a restaurant setting then no.
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