Finding the best outdoor pizza oven can be tough since there are so many options. Not only that, but you may not realize all the different features and factors you should be checking to ensure you get the best one. Our handy pizza oven buying guide is going to show you what to look for, and then we’ll show you some of the most popular models today.
Read on if you want that delicious, home cooked pizza flavor. These ovens are easy to use, easy to install, and there is a lot of variety to ensure you get the perfect one for your needs.
Outdoor Pizza Oven Buying Guide
At first glance you might notice that most pizza ovens look very similar. The majority of them are squat, have metal legs, fit one or two pizzas, and have the same overall shape. However, there are several factors you should consider and look at to ensure you’re getting one that fits your needs. This section will cover the most important factors.
Cooking Space: Just like any other kitchen or cooking appliance, cooking space determines how much food you can cook at once. A larger pizza oven allows you to cook a larger pizza or two pizzas at once (depending on their size). It’s fairly uncommon to find an oven that can cook more than two pizzas simultaneously. Be sure to check the interior dimensions.
Wood or Gas: How do you want to heat your pizza oven? There’s something romantic (and tasty!) about a wood-fired pizza oven. It gives you that classic pizzeria flavor, and the aroma of wood burning can’t be beaten. However, wood can also be less convenient than gas. Some pizza ovens are equipped to handle both, but others only work with wood or gas.
Cooking Area: Most outdoor ovens assume that you have a table to set them on, so they only have short legs to keep them stable. If you have a table or similar cooking area, then this is perfect. It ensures the oven is easy to store and doesn’t need much space. However, if you don’t have a cooking area, then consider a cart-style pizza oven with wheels like the U-Max.
Max Temperature: If you’ve only used a conventional oven before, then temperatures like 350-500F might seem adequate, but a pizza oven fires much hotter than this. The minimum range you should consider is 700F while ideal temperatures are closer to 800-900F.
Heating Time: Lastly, you should consider the heating time. While this isn’t the most important factor, it could help you decide between two similar models. Most pizza ovens reach maximum temperature within 12-20 minutes. If it takes much longer than this, then you may want to consider another oven.
The Camp Chef Italia pizza oven is recognized as one of the best in terms of flavor and convenience. This oven is designed to function like a brick oven, but it’s made from stainless steel and uses double-layered walls to trap heat for efficient cooking. This ensures you get those dark brown spots that only come from true pizza ovens.
There is a micro-adjust valve by the back for flame control, and you can also adjust the heat with a dial at the front of the oven. This oven only uses propane that you can easily connect at the back. One thing we don’t like is that the Camp Chef Italia says it “replicates wood-fired ovens”, which seems deceptive because it doesn’t take wood. That aside, propane is more convenient and you’re still getting great flavors.
The stove dimensions are 13.25”x20”, which should be large enough for two small or medium pizzas. It reaches slightly over 700F and needs about 15 minutes to fully preheat. It fires at 17,000 BTUs and weighs around 47lbs with solid metal legs that keep it stable on any flat surface.
Aside from the confusion of “replicating wood-fired ovens” and only taking propane, this is a fantastic gas pizza oven that cooks pizzas fast, has a good amount of cooking space, and it’s simple to use.
While most of the other ovens on this list need a flat surface, this is a freestanding or cart-style oven that supports itself. This is ideal if you don’t have a nearby table to set the oven on. The cart has wheels for convenience along with a log shelf to store extra wood. You will have to assemble the oven, but the instructions are simple and it shouldn’t take too long to do.
This wood fired pizza oven allows you to burn your favorite wood to get those smoky, delicious flavors and aromas only wood can provide. You’ll find that this oven can reach about 700F in about 20-30 minutes. It takes a bit longer than some other pizza ovens, but that’s fairly common for wood. The built-in thermometer will tell you the exact temperature, and you can precisely control the flame.
The interior ceramic pizza stone is 12”x12”, so you can easily cook one 12” pizza. While this is intended for pizzas, you can of course cook other items like breads, meats, pies, and more.
If you want a wood-fired oven with its own wheels and cart, then the U-Max Freestanding Oven is ideal. It takes a little longer to heat than some other ovens, but it’s otherwise a great buy.
We mentioned before how 700F is a good starting temperature for pizza ovens, but you may want hotter if you really love those dark, caramelized spots on your pizza. If so, then the ROCCBOX might be right for you. This pizza oven has a tremendous maximum temperature of 932F with a thin base. You’ll find that this delivers maximum heat to your pizza and it’ll be fully cooked and ready within 60 seconds. In fact, leaving it in much longer might burn the pizza, so keep a close eye on it.
Now you might be worried about touching this oven since it gets so hot. This uses an outer silicone skin that makes it safe to touch and reduces the odds of burns to your hand or anything else that touches the oven while it’s firing. The interior cooking space is a little smaller than some other ovens and you should be able to fit an 11” pizza.
You can choose between either wood or propane. The propane option is standard, but you’ll need an additional accessory to burn wood. It’s easy to use either and it should only take around 15 minutes or so until the oven is at an ideal temperature. There is a built-in thermometer, but the control isn’t quite as precise as with other ovens on this list.
The retractable legs are sturdy and sit comfortably on any flat surface. This is a simple, safe, and very hot pizza oven that you’ll love to use. Plus, you can have pizzas finished in 60 seconds, which ensures that you can keep plenty of guests happy.
This is similar to the ROCCBOX oven above, but with one distinct difference. The ROCCBOX was able to use both wood and gas, but you needed to buy an optional accessory to burn wood. The Bertello pizza oven is able to natively burn wood and charcoal, but you’ll need an optional attachment for gas.
Aside from that, this is a very similar outdoor oven that cooks pizzas quickly and evenly. It reaches temperatures of 930F and only needs about 15 minutes or so to preheat. The thick walls are able to trap heat for fast and delicious cooking. You also get a scoop for wood chips and pellets along with a tray to store them.
The cooking space is 12.5”x13.5”, which ensures you can cook a whole 12” pizza with ease.
If you liked the ROCCBOX’s maximum temperature, but felt that it was either too small or would prefer wood over gas, then Bertello might be a better choice for you. It’s a versatile and hot pizza oven that is very simple to use.
Last up is the Ooni Koda oven. This is the hottest oven on the list reaching temperatures of 950F. It only takes gas, so no wood fire with this model. At the same time, they bill themselves as being highly versatile and being able to cook fish, meat, vegetables, and more.
This oven takes about 15 minutes to fully preheat and you can cook a 13” pizza very quickly. There is a temperature dial on the back that allows you to control the flame. While the dial is precise, we would prefer it on the front so that we could see the flame at the same time.
The insulated steel walls easily retain heat to ensure that your pizzas cook quickly and get those tasty dark spots everyone loves.
Finding the best outdoor pizza oven isn’t hard when you know what to look for. Just consider the temperature, cooking space, cooking medium (gas, wood, or both), and how the grill stands (legs or cart). After that, it’s as simple as picking the features that you like. No matter which one you choose, you’ll be able to enjoy professional pizzeria flavors from your own backyard.