I tried this amazing indoor pizza oven — and now I know why it’s one of Oprah’s favorite things

Ooni Volt 12
(Image credit: Future)

I’m not a newbie to pizza ovens. I’ve tested out a several over the years, but I’ve always had the same problem. When the weather turns cold, my family and I go months without enjoying our homemade pies. 

But when I saw that Oprah Winfrey named a $999 indoor pizza oven — the Ooni Volt 12 — as one of her favorite kitchen gifts for this year, our lack-of-pizza-induced winter blues faded faster than the sun goes down these days. I called it in to test, and while I’m working on a full Ooni Volt 12 review, I can report back on my first tryst with an indoor appliance that reaches 850 degrees for speedy pizza making.


♬ s a n t a t e l l m e - 🎅🏻❤️||🦌🍪
Ooni Volt 12 Pizza Oven: was $999 now $899 @ Amazon

Ooni Volt 12 Pizza Oven: was $999 now $899 @ Amazon
This electric-powered indoor pizza oven made Oprah's coveted list of favorite things for 2023. It reaches 850 degrees but traps smoke and has an automatic shut-off timer, so it's safe to use inside your kitchen.

Now, it’s important to understand that the Ooni Volt 12 isn’t your average countertop appliance. In fact, the Ooni Volt 12’s size shocked me. At 24.2 inches long and 20.8 inches wide, I'm glad I had an island large enough to accommodate the oven without taking up all my prep space. But I’ve lived in apartments where it simply couldn’t fit. 

When you get a new pizza oven, you first have to season the included pizza stone. I cranked up the heat, and using my thermometer gun, I tracked the oven’s internal temperature to nearly 800 degrees in just over 15 minutes. Once I let the stone stay hot inside the Ooni Volt for a few minutes, I turned the oven off and waited for it to cool down. 

After preheating the oven again, it was finally pizza time. My family has a tradition of turning our leftovers from the week into pizza toppings, so we whip up some inventive pies. This time we had some brisket, cranberry goat cheese, caramelized onions, chicken cutlets, pepperoni and more to play around with. All that I had to worry about was how this indoor oven would handle our culinary combinations.

Launching the pizzas in the oven was exactly like it is with the Ooni Koda 16 and any other outdoor pizza oven. I used a floured pizza peel to bring my pies from the counter into the oven. But different than with the Koda 16, which has a L-shaped flame, you don’t need to turn the pizzas in the Ooni Volt 12 while it cooks. It also has a door that traps the heat and smoke, which is a necessity if you're using this indoors. I liked how I could actually see any escaped smoke being sucked back in through little vents around the oven door. 

Once I shut my pie inside, I didn’t open the door until the pizza looked done. The see-through window let me keep an eye on its progress, though. To my surprise, just like my outdoor pizza oven, the pie looked browned and bubbly after 90 seconds.

Ooni Volt 12

(Image credit: Future)

Removing the pizza, I noticed it didn’t look quite like the pizzas I make outside. The crust doesn’t have the same puffy Neapolitan pizza-look, meaning it’s a bit flatter around the edges. That said, the bottom came out perfectly crispy, with a more overall even cook that I usually get with the open-flame oven.

Needless to say, the pizza tasted delicious. But even more satisfying was knowing we could now enjoy pizza night during the winter. That is, right after we clear enough room in our garage to store it.

Again, the Ooni Volt is no small investment in terms of size and price. Its closest competition is the Breville Smart Oven Pizzaiolo ($999, Amazon); in our Breville Pizzaiolo review, we found it also cooked pizzas just as quickly as the Ooni — and like the Ooni, costs a lot of dough.

If you’re looking for an affordable, smaller indoor pizza oven, the Cuisinart Indoor Pizza Oven ($399, Amazon) is a cheaper alternative, but it takes closer to 5 minutes to cook each pizza. 

Stay tuned for my full review of the Ooni Volt. I've lots more testing to do.

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Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.