It’s easy to see why people are shelling out dough on the best outdoor pizza ovens: They're compact, relatively portable, easy to set up and use, and, because they can reach temperatures upwards of 900 degrees Fahrenheit, they can turn out delicious pies in minutes.
Plus, they’re affordable. Most outdoor pizza ovens will set you back a couple hundred bucks, a small investment compared to the old days of building tricked-out backyard brick ovens. Lastly, little more than a table and a propane tank or some wood are needed to get many of them up and running.
Interested in tossing some money at an outdoor pizza oven? Let’s slice and dice through the best models that we've tested.
Ooni has recently released two new models: the $429 Ooni Karu 12G, which can use wood, charcoal, and propane, and the $999 Ooni Volt 12, an electric-powered oven that can be used both indoors and out. If you want a deeper dive into Ooni's models, check out which Ooni pizza oven is best for you.
We're currently testing the Ooni Karu 16, the company's top-of-the-line model, which can fit pizzas up to 16 inches in size, has a glass door, and has more room on the inside to make it easier to bake taller items, such as bread. The Karu 16 burns wood, but you can purchase a propane adapter for an extra $120. So far, the results have been delicious, so stay tuned...
The best outdoor pizza ovens you can buy today
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Ooni has seen booming business for its line of outdoor pizza ovens, some of which operate on gas, and others a combination of gas and wood. The Koda 16 is the larger of its two propane-powered Koda models — with a 16-inch cooking area vs. the Koda 12’s 12-inch cooking area — and for its ease of setup, relatively lightweight construction, no-fuss functionality, large cooking space, and powerful L-shaped flame, we felt it’s the most versatile, family-friendly model for cooks who might want to experiment with different pie sizes, as well as cooking other non-pizza items in the oven. That why it took home the Tom's Guide 2022 Award for Best pizza oven.
Because of the L-shaped heat source, pizzas cooked near the back left corner of the oven took only a couple of minutes to come out perfectly charred and bubbly. And unlike other ovens with a singular flame or radiant heat, you really only need a turn or two of a pie to get an evenly cooked crust.
Read our full Ooni Koda 16 review.
Gozney is known for its professional-grade pizza ovens — and the Roccbox puts the pro-level know-how to use for home cooks. Its sleek, modern, almost space-age shape and choice of two exterior colors (slate gray or olive green) make it the top choice for design lovers. Because the Roccobx doesn’t take up a lot of space, it’s a powerful option for those with a smaller outdoor patio and limited storage space — and because it just looks cool, it’s a also great option for impressing guests at pizza parties.
By putting the gas source at the back of the dome-shaped oven, pizzas get a nice char both on the top and the bottom, cooking in only a matter of minutes. We also really liked the height of the dome, which made it easy to see inside without bending down, and the compact, perfectly shaped stainless steel peel made sliding pies in and out of the oven relatively effortless.
Read our full Gozney Roccbox review.
If you’d rather not mess with propane, the Ooni Fyra is the best pizza oven to get. It runs on wood pellets — the same as used in grills like the Traeger Ironwood 650 — but can still reach temperatures upwards of 950 degrees (we measured more than 1,000 degrees on occasion). And, its small size and 22-pound weight make it easy to pack up and take with you virtually anywhere.
A feed tube in the back of the oven lets you pour in pellets to keep the fire going. It’s a little harder to control the temperature than with propane-powered ovens — you have to nudge the flue damper tiny bits to get the temperature you want — but the Fyra turned out nicely leoparded Neapolitan-style pizzas in around 90 seconds.
The Fyra is also the least expensive of Ooni's ovens — and one of the cheapest pizza ovens overall — so it won't burn a hole through your wallet while it's cooking your pies.
Read our Ooni Fyra hands-on review.
The company that makes one of the most popular smokeless fire pits is applying its know-how to pizza ovens. Solo Stove's Solo Pi looks a lot like the company's fire pit, and works just as well; we were able to cook up pizzas in minutes. We liked the Solo Pi's wide mouth, which made it easy to see and turn pizzas, and its stainless steel exterior was not only attractive, but easy to clean.
If you do go for this model, we recommend purchasing the optional propane attachment; we found loading wood into the Solo Pi's fire box was a bit cumbersome, and it burned wood so fast and efficiently that we needed a second person to restock it, so we could concentrate on making pizzas. Otherwise, though, we were really pleased with how well it cooked our pizzas.
Since our initial review, Solo Stove has released the Pi Stand ($249 at Solo Stove (opens in new tab)), which stands about 38 inches high, and lets you rest the oven on top. It also has wheels so you can move it around, a dock for a propane tank, and two small tray areas on either side.
Read our full Solo Stove Solo Pi review.
The BakerStone Pizza Oven Box pulls double duty: Since it was originally designed as a box to place on a grill, you can actually detach the top portion from the bottom “firebox” and do your pizza-cooking on a grill. The interior of the oven, composed of five sides of pizza stones, performed surprisingly well when up against the open-flame Ooni Koda and Gozney Roccbox. Because the five stones maintain and radiate a lot of heat, the pizzas we made came out with a good amount of char and were cooked evenly.
We also liked that there are two gas burners within the firebox, which each have their own knob, so you can really experiment with the heat of each side of the oven. Gaze into a hole on either side of the firebox, and you can see the flames flickering away, giving a good idea of the heat they’re generating. Plus, an easy-to-read thermometer on top of the pizza box lets you keep an eye on your temperature levels while you’re cooking.
Read our full BakerStone Pizza Oven review.
The Gozney Dome is the much larger, much more versatile, and much more expensive brother to the company's Roccbox. Weighing in at 128 pounds and retailing for $1,499 ($1,799 for the dual-fuel option), this pizza oven can't be moved easily, but it can cook with both wood and propane, and its large opening means you can cook more than just pizzas in this oven.
Despite its size, we liked the look of the Gozney Dome, as well as the fact that it could get up to scorching hot temperatures and stay there for as long as we were slinging pies. And, the pizzas it made were impressive: great charring all around, and just two minutes from start to finish. If you can swing the price, it's worth the dough.
Read our full Gozney Dome review.
The Alfa Nano pizza oven bakes pies as good as it looks, which is to say, excellente. You can order this pizza oven to use either wood or gas — though not both at the same time, as with the Gozney Dome. It heats up to searingly high temperatures, so we were able to cook our pies in around two minutes. The large interior space inside the oven also made it a cinch to turn them to make sure all sides were being cooked evenly. The Nano's large opening also made it easy to see what was going on inside, too.
The Nano's temperature control allowed us to precisely adjust the flame inside the oven, but the knob did get hot to the touch. Also, this is a heavy and expensive oven, so once you set it up in your yard, you're not going to want to move it, unlike some of the more portable options from Ooni and others. But, it's a good option if you're looking for a pizza oven that will be the centerpiece of your outdoor kitchen.
Read our full Alfa Nano review.
While Solo Stove already makes a standalone pizza oven, it has also come out with the Pi Fire, an accessory that fits atop the company's range of smokeless fire pits. The Pi Fire is small and light, and has two handles at the top to let you place it atop and remove it from your Solo Stove.
Unlike the other pizza ovens on this list, the Pi Fire cooks pizzas at a much lower temperature, so it takes longer until it's ready to eat — 5 to 10 minutes, versus as little as 90 seconds. We also found that if you let the fire get too big, your pizza will get sooty — yuck! But, if you don't mind its more leisurely pace, the Pi Fire is a fun addition to your Solo Stove.
Read our full Solo Pi Fire review.
If you’re in love with your countertop toaster oven and/or air fryer, the Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza Oven might be the right choice for you. It has the feel and functionality of a more traditional countertop appliance, with the power to get up to high temperatures. That said, we did have some issues with keeping the oven hot, as the large front opening and domed interior let in a lot of air, and the door provided with the oven didn’t trap enough heat inside.
But this is a sturdy, well-designed oven that’s easy to use and easy to clean. It’s also been lauded for its ability to cook things other than pizza, so more experienced cooks might want to try it out for making roasts, breads, and more.
Read our full Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza Oven review.
Bertello became an instant hit after appearing on Shark Tank in 2020, and has since also felt the effects of a growing market for outdoor ovens. The company manufactures an oven with an insert for charcoal and wood, which is a great option for those who love smoky flavors. It’s also a more lightweight option among the ovens we tested, making it a good choice for taking on camping trips and the like.
That said, using charcoal vs. gas is a less exact science, and makes maintaining a high temperature more difficult. Unlike the gas ovens, it does feel like a more traditional method of cooking, though, so if you’re up for experimentation, this might be the oven for you. Try various types of wood to add different flavor notes to your pies, and be prepared to keep re-stocking the charcoal chamber as you cook multiple pies. (Note: Bertello also sells a gas burner separately.)
Read our full Bertello Outdoor Pizza Oven review.
How we tested the best pizza ovens
To test each oven, we followed its manual for instructions on assembly, setup, ignition, cooking, and cool-down. In order to get the most authentic experience, we also only used the peels, tools, etc. that came with that particular oven. We also wanted to see how each oven would perform with a variety of types of dough.
For each oven, we made several pies, using at least one of each of the following pizza doughs: homemade, store-bought refrigerated (Trader Joe’s), store-bought frozen (Wegman’s), and dough purchased from a local pizzeria that specializes in thin-crust pies.
But to also keep things simple (and fair), we tested each oven with Margherita pizzas topped only with tomato sauce and hand-torn mozzarella, with a little basil and olive oil drizzled on after cooking.
In addition to its cooking performance, we also evaluated each oven on its ease of setup, how hot the oven got (both on the inside and outside), and how easy it was to control the temperature. For wood or wood pellet models, we also looked at the ease with which we could add fuel.
What to look for when buying a pizza oven
Outside of price, the biggest factor to consider when buying a pizza oven is the fuel source. Ovens can be heated by either propane, charcoal, or wood pellets (there are also electric options for indoor models). Before choosing an outdoor pizza oven, decide which heat source is right for you. In our tests, the propane ovens were easier to control, but pizza ovens that used either wood, wood pellets, or charcoal gave the pies a smoky flavor reminiscent of good grills. Plus, it's easier to carry a bag of charcoal or wood pellets than it is a tank of propane, especially if you're planning to bring your pizza oven to a camping trip or tailgate.
The ovens’ ceramic pizza stones, when heated, can hold very high temperatures, giving your pie a nice char on the bottom. The main differentiator in our tests was the heat source and how it affected the cooking on top of the pie; without a high temperature, you won’t get the dotted char known in the industry as “leoparding” (because it looks like a leopard, get it?). We found that the gas ovens with an exposed flame — the Ooni Koda 16 and the Gozney Roccbox — were best for getting a nice char.
You’ll also want to think about the size of the oven itself. The majority of outdoor pizza ovens can make pies that are about 12 inches in diameter, but some can make larger, 16-inch pizzas, which may be the better option if you’re looking to feed a crowd. Some have a taller interior, which makes them better suited for baking other types of food, such as bread.
Lastly, one thing to consider before you buy an outdoor pizza oven is whether you have the proper space for it. These ovens should be set up at a standalone table at least a couple of feet away from any other structure, and most recommend not setting them up underneath another enclosure (an upstairs deck, for instance). Make sure you follow our steps on how to use a pizza oven safely.
Pro tips for pizza making
Every oven is slightly different; we highly recommend thoroughly reading through the setup manual to ensure proper safety precautions and usage. Every propane-fueled oven we tested recommended doing a soapy water test to make sure there were no leaks, and a few stressed the importance of running the oven for up to 30 minutes on its first use to burn off any impurities. Give yourself time to get acquainted with the oven — and keep in mind that chances are you won’t be a master pizzaiolo immediately. With pizza, as with many things in life, practice makes perfect.
Each time you use the pizza oven, you’ll want to start it at least 15 minutes before throwing a pie into the oven; you need to give the pizza stone at the bottom of the oven time to heat up, so you get that nice char on the bottom. And, you’ll want to let it “recharge” between each pizza, too.
Another note on becoming a pizzaiolo. Even if you’re not an expert at making pizza dough — we certainly weren’t! — you’re better off trying your hand at making homemade dough or buying dough from a local pizzeria that specializes in thin-crust pies than buying store-bought refrigerated or frozen dough. In our tests, both store-bought doughs we tested (Trader Joe’s for refrigerated, Wegman’s for frozen) were difficult to roll out to a desired thinness, and had a tendency to burn on the outside while not getting fully cooked inside. If you do use store-bought dough in one of these ovens, a good rule of thumb is to use a floured rolling pin to try to get it as thin as possible before cooking. (But really, avoid it if you can.)
One pizza-making book we like is Mastering Pizza by Marc Vetri ($17.59, Amazon (opens in new tab)). It has recipes for a number of different style pies, from Neapolitan to focaccia and more, and they're all very easy to follow.
If you're a fan of take out instead, check out how to reheat pizza properly.
Other equipment you’ll need to make pizzas
A pizza peel are those long, flat wooden shovels you see that are designed to glide the pizza in and out of the oven (others are sold separately). Don’t try to make pizza without one. We’d recommend sticking with the peel that comes with your oven, as they’re sized correctly for the cooking area.
If you want to get more gear, then you can also pick up a "turning" peel. These are smaller than a traditional peel, and are usually made of a flat, circular piece of metal. Typically, they're a smaller diameter than the pizza itself, so that you can easily rotate the pizza while it's still in the oven. It takes some practice to use it properly.
Whether you’re working with a stainless steel or wooden peel, we found that flouring the surface (semolina flour works best, especially for hotter ovens) and building the pizza right on the peel, then sliding it into the oven, led to the best results. You’ll also have to use a peel to pull out your pizza and turn it while it’s cooking, because you want a nice, even char. So get comfortable with your peel — it’s your pizza’s BFF!
Another thing that might be worth investing in is an infrared or laser thermometer to measure the temperature of your stone (Ooni makes a good one) (opens in new tab); you’ll want one that can measure temperatures up to 1,000 degrees F if you plan on making Neapolitan-style pies.
You’ll also want a few wooden peels or boards for cutting/serving, and a good pizza cutter. Many of these companies sell quality accessories that will make living your best #pizzalife that much easier.
If you're planning to make your own dough, you'll need a kitchen scale to properly weigh out the ingredients. Measuring cups aren't as accurate, which could throw off the proportions.
Yes, you can knead dough by hand, but one of the best stand mixers makes the job go a lot easier. If you plan on making large batches of dough, just be sure to get a mixer whose motor is powerful enough to stand up to all that mixing.
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