outdoor pizza ovens were as mythical and unobtainable as a golden unicorn. Only the super-wealthy could afford one, let alone have space to actually build one. But now the longing is a thing of the past. The elusive golden horned pizza oven has been transformed into an affordable, compact, beautiful reality.
These new outdoor pizza ovens deliver the goods. There is nothing as delicious as a pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven at extremely hot temperatures. But these ovens do so much more than make pizza. They can be used to cook meat, bread, cheese, and veggies too. Basically,it will make anything you would traditionally cook in your standard oven, but it will be so much better. Because anything cooked in a wood-burning stove will taste amazing.
Traditionally, outdoor ovens were made with brick and mortar and took up half an acre. But luckily for us, we live in a world with better options. You can find a miniature replica of the brick and mortar oven or an innovative portable model. Whatever you’re looking for, we’ll help you find the best on the market. Consider your budget before you jump in. Pizza ovens vary in style and features.
Prices range as drastically as your options; you could walk away with spending as little as $200 or as much as $1,700. It all depends on what your specific requirements are.
WOOD VS GAS: WHICH IS BETTER?
The larger ovens typically use logs or large chunks of wood as their heat source. Logs are known for burning hot, rising to temperatures over 900 degrees, which is perfect for pizza. To make outdoor ovens affordable and compact enough for average Joes like us, the fuel sources more commonly used are wood pellets and propane gas. These fuel sources require less room, but can still reach temperatures close to their logs fueled counterparts. Most pizza-making aficionados swear by pellet stoves. They believe you can’t get a true representation of wood-fired pizza without the wood — “wood made it good“— this seems like a fair point. But, gas fueled ovens reach very high temperatures, and perhaps more importantly, they maintain those temperatures better than wood or pellet ovens. The best choice for you depends on your perspective. If you already have a gas grill, then a propane sourced oven is more convenient. But if you believe, like many do, that the aromas associated with burning wood are essential to great pizza, then opt for a wood pellet oven. The real factor here is whether you prefer to haul around a propane tank or stock up of loads of pellets.
Before you splurge on the new oven you saw at Home Depot, you should consider what makes a good pizza oven. Not all ovens are equal, and if, in your eagerness, you grab the first one you see, you may suffer from buyer’s remorse.
So what makes a good pizza oven?
To make outdoor ovens affordable and compact enough for average Joes like us, the fuel sources more commonly used are wood pellets and propane gas
The size of the oven will determine how large your pizza can be. But if you’re limited on outdoor space, there are still many options available for you
The design of the oven will be the real test of quality. The best ovens have a vent
above the opening to help draw the heat up through the entire oven
Quality insulation is paramount because of the necessity of maintaining very high temperature throughout the cooking process.
You need to consider the size of the oven. If you throw pizza parties every Friday night, you need a large oven, one that can house a 16-inch pizza. If you are cooking just for yourself or your family, a smaller oven might be just right for you.
The size of the oven will determine how large your pizza can be. But if you’re limited on outdoor space, there are still many options available for you. And don’t worry, a smaller oven does not necessarily mean an inferior oven. Some pizza ovens are made with limited space in mind, being perfect for terraces or balconies.
These also usually require less fuel, and because of their small size, they tend to heat up more quickly. Not to mention, they are typically portable, making them much easier to store than their bulkier counterparts.
Here’s a homemade oven that’s a perfect size for all our backyard baking needs
The design of the oven will be the real test of quality. The best ovens have a vent above the opening to help draw the heat up through the entire oven. The smoke from the rear of the oven will also be sucked through the vent, circulating heat and flavor throughout the whole oven.
is essential for evenly cooked, high-quality food.
The most important thing to consider when looking at pizza ovens insulation. Quality insulation is paramount because of the necessity of maintaining very high the temperature throughout the cooking process.If the insulation is faulty, the oven will not remain hot enough to produce quality food. You will end up with spotty and unevenly cooked pizza every time, basically disappointment every time. The exterior of the oven should be fully insulated, that means the hearth and the dome, both. Not only will this ensure consistent high temperatures, but it will also prevent the dome from setting fire to your backyard
There are a few different types of outdoor ovens, we’ll take a closer look at each kind, so you can figure out the right fit for you.There are two main categories of outdoor ovens is:
A stationary oven is large and basically immovable. It is usually built into the backyard; the designs and style vary as widely as the prices. You can hire a professional or try your hand at building one yourself. These are usually too expensive for the average Joe, but if you’ve recently won the lottery, then enjoy your new pizza oven. Nonetheless, we have collaborated some of the best high-end pizza ovens that won’t require a second mortgage.
Portable outdoor ovens are the most compact and affordable. In fact, all of our ‘Value Ovens Under $500‘ are all classified as portable. Typically, these types of outdoor ovens are made of metal instead of brick and are fueled with either wood pellets or propane gas. Building the ovens out of metal instead of brick offer obvious advantages.
First, brick ovens are massive, while metal ovens are smaller and lighter. Their small, compact frames make them more mobile and convenient for storage. Metal ovens can also incorporate a variety of features such as convection motors or rotating cooking surfaces.
Other portable ovens are approximately the size of your outdoor grill and are known as stand-alone ovens. This category has some of the best and worst options out there. Too many companies produce inferior models but cleverly pass off their stand-alone to unsuspecting buyers.
Portable oven manufactures are known for advertising insane high temperature and short cook times. They explain their products something like this:
What you will find is that most portable outdoor pizza ovens will max out at around 800°F and it will take about 20 minutes to them there. With that being said, even though your ambient temperature is good enough to cook after 20 minutes, you really should let the oven preheat for about 45 minutes. By allowing the oven to preheat you ensure a crispy crust that doesn’t stick when trying to slide it out. Another factor that manufactures never mention in their calculations of how many pies you can turnaround in a short period of time. They never calculate the 10 – 15 minutes it takes your oven to bounce back to an ideal cooking temperature each time you remove a pie.
The Ooni 3 Outdoor Pizza oven is the perfect outdoor oven. Not only does it make great pizza, but it’s also portable. You can take it to barbecues, family parties, or even out to the beach. Once you light the Ooni up, it’ll be ready to make crispy, tasty, pizza toot-sweet. It’s fueled by wood pellets to give your pizza that authentic wood-fired taste. See the our complete review on the Onni 3 here.
As for heat, the Ooni 3 reached 780°F in around 15 minutes.
As for size, you can try to stuff a 13-inch pizza in there (as the
manufacturer claims) but it is more appropriate for the smaller, 10 or 11-inch pizza
Setup can be a little tricky. The pellet grate has caused a lot of confusion for many users, but a quick YouTube search will guide you in the right direction if you find yourself struggling to put things together. Another downside is the lack of temperature control. Since the oven is fueled by pellets, controlling, and maintaining the the temperature takes a skilled hand.
Priced right for someone who isn’t serious about spending a small fortune. The Onni 3 is designed well, and utilizes cordite stone.
The Kettlepizza Pro 22 is a kit you insert into your grill, which transforms it from barbecue to pizza oven. Grilling an edible pizza takes skills and practice. Every time you open the lid, you lose tons of heat, which is one of the real struggles people have when trying to bake pizza on a grill. The Kettlepizza Pro 22 solves this problem.
The Kettlepizza Pro 22 solves this problem. But the real star in this show is the pizza stone. Pizza stones collect massive amounts of heat, which is the key to a great pizza crust.
This made in the USA kit comes with a solid stainless steel ring that fits perfectly into a standard Weber kettle, but it will also fit several other kettle style grills. The oven has a place to set wood chunks to burn that will create the aroma and flavors of an actual wood-fired pizza oven.
With only a small opening in the pizza oven, temperatures can reach over 700 degrees, so you can finally grill a perfect pizza.
So here’s the most practical pizza oven if you own a kettle style grill (which many people do). While it’s not the best overall method/oven on the list, it is affordable and makes on okay pizza.
The problem is, well, not sure the kit is really necessary as you can grill a pizza without it —especially, if you have a pizza stone — it just makes the process a little easier.
And, unlike most other pizza ovens, this one isn’t ideal for anything other than pizza. Additionally, you’ll have to find a safe place to store it whenever you’re actually grilling.
Bertello has taken the market by storm with their sleek and multifunctional pizza oven. Whether you like cooking with pellets, wood , or gas you’ll have your choice. Boasting temperatures of 900°F (we reached 800°F) you can cook a pie in under 2.5 minutes.
The Bertello comes with a 13.5 x 12.5-inch cordierite pizza stone, which is perfect for 10 to11-inch pizzas. Each oven also includes a tray for pellets, charcoal, or wood chunks, and they offer a gas burner attachment so you can fuel your oven by any means.
A Kickstarter success story, the Bertello Wood Fire and Gas Pizza Oven is a good mid-range product. Solid construction and compact design make this pizza oven versatile and portable. It’s great for Neapolitan style pizza but can also be used to cook fish, veggies and pretty much anything you can put into a cast iron skillet.
The small front opening helps keep temperatures high and consistent, but it also makes placing a pizza in the oven a little tricky. Finesse, and a steady hand are needed to prevent your pizza from crashing and burning.
The Camp Chef Italia pizza oven tries its best to replicate the authenticity of an Italian wood-fired brick oven. It’s double-walled construction, specialty burners, and ventilation design all work together to raise temperatures to the extreme. It has a manual micro-adjust valve, which allows for precision heat control.
It is portable, versatile, and easy to use. It’s fueled by a one-pound disposable propane bottle and is small enough to travel with you wherever you go. But it also includes an adapter to fit a standard propane canister. Since it is a propane-fueled only oven, your pies will lack the aroma of a wood-fired pizza.
The cordierite stone is 13.25 x 20 inches, wide enough to make two small pizzas side by side. However, you can cook a single larger pizza when wanted. The ceiling of the oven is a little lower than other models, which reduces its versatility some, as other pans or food items won’t.
The oven is easy to assemble and use. The instruction manual is a little tricky to understand, but it’s easy enough you might not need it.
Simple and easy to use, the PizzaCraft Pronto is portable and safe to use on any surface. It connects to the standard refillable propane tank and heats up to over 700 degrees in just 10 minutes. When on the road or out camping, the rain cap will securely hold a 1 pound disposable propane tank. That little tank will keep your oven running for 2 hours, enough time to make pizzas for the whole family.
The Pronto has a heat containing visor and a stainless steel reflection plate that helps raise temperatures and keep them consistent throughout the baking process. Two 14-inch Thermabond stones ensure even heat distribution and uniform cooking.
If you’re looking for something a little cheaper, you can consider Pizzacraft’s PC6500 model (the PizzaQue). It doesn’t feature the heat visor, heat plate, rain cap, and it won’t hold a 1 lbs. propane tank.
Unlike pellet or charcoal ovens, this gas oven maintains high temperatures with little effort. You can crank out one pizza right after another without waiting for it to re-heat. The rear of the oven can become hotter than the rest, so remember to rotate your pizza during cooking.
The PizzaCraft Pronto has a narrow opening for placing and removing pizza. Unfortunately, the Pronto does not come with a peel, you will need to make sure you have one that will fit in the oven, or you’ll lose your pizza over the edge.
The Onni Koda Gas pizza oven is a great mid-range portable oven. It comes pre-assembled and ready to use, just flip the legs open and set the stone in the oven. It preheats to over 900 degrees in 15 minutes(although we have not yet had a chance to put run this oven through the Artisan Pizza Test Kitchen) so this means you’re able turnaournd several pies in under 15 minutes which is a nice selling point when you’re looking to entertain. The Koda is also good for steak and fish.
The thick cordite stone is 13 inches wide, but 10-inch pizzas bake best in the oven. Pizza larger than 10 inches will be difficult to place and rotate in the oven. Sometimes the rear of the oven can be too hot, so keeping the pizza near the front of the oven can prevent burning. Another option is to lower the temperature just before placing the pizza in the oven. But changing the temperature will increase the cooking time.
The overhead flame is hot enough to cook a small piece of meat safely, so no pre-cooking is necessary.
The Koda connects to a regular 20-pound propane tank. If you want to take it camping, an adapter can be purchased from other retailers for the 1 pound tanks.
This outdoor oven is not weather resistant, the rain will ruin it for good. Ooni sells an optional storage/carrying case that is worth the price to protect the oven. If you choose not to get the case, store the oven in a dry place.
The Mont Alpi portable tabletop pizza oven is a great find. One of the best things about it is that it arrives ready to use out of the box, no assembly is required. It’s designed to bake a 12-inch pizza to perfection but is excellent for roasting chicken and other meats also. It preheats to 620 degrees in just 5 minutes for the perfect pizza. It’s easy to clean, with a removable front door, pull out floor pan and fat trays which are both dishwasher safe.
There is no insulation on the Mont Alpi oven, so the temperature can fluctuate depending on the weather outside. While the temperature rises quickly, the lack of insulation and ceiling stone, leave the max temperature at around 600 degrees.
Again, depending on the weather, it will most likely max out closer to 500 degrees. However, it is large enough to add an additional stone, which helps regulate the temperature.
The Biolite was specially designed for the outdoorsman. Instead of burgers and dogs on your next camping trip, you can look forward to a fresh, piping hot pizza. It’s intended to be fueled by small pieces of firewood or sticks, so you can send your kids out hunting for firewood while you set up camp. It gets hot enough to cook pizza, smores, and even chicken safely.
The Bolite dome comes with a thick cordite stone and an insulated dome for maximum heat retention. Although it’s made from stainless steel and cast iron, it only weighs about 22 pounds and is sturdy enough to stay upright through those mountains breezes.
Once lit, the BioLite is ready to bake in 25 minutes.
Unlike any other oven, this oven features an unusual hidden gem. It can charge your phone. The Basecamp transforms burning wood into electricity. The electricity is used to power the fan of the dome, which circulates the air and heat. The electricity also charges the battery pack housed in the Basecamp. Lucky for you, the battery pack has a USB port. It can be used to power anything with a USB adapter.
Set up is a little bit of a bear, it requires some assembly and care. Once you’re all set up, you might need to run through a few pizzas until you have found the perfect process. But the learning curve is worth the effort to have such a fun appliance at your disposal.
The options vary widely in style and design, but they all have one purpose, making great pizza. The style you choose will depend on your needs and your specific situation. If you have the space, a stand-alone oven might be the right choice, but if you only have a balcony, then a smaller mobile option might be the way to go.
Pizza is our passion, but we would be remiss if you didn’t highlight the versatility of an outdoor oven. Their design means you can cook a variety of items to perfection, not just pizza. Steaks, hamburgers, and roasts cook well in these high-temperature environments. The piping hot oven sears the exterior while keeping the interior moist and tender. If you want to keep your electric bill down, you can use the outdoor oven at a lower temperature to cook things like bread and cakes.
Whatever your cooking, remember these ovens operate at very high temperatures, so keep an eye on them. It’s not the type of thing where you can just pop food in the oven and then take a shower while you wait. If you do, you’ll be eating a charred, blackened block of sadness for dinner.
If you have more money to spend on the ideal outdoor cooking experience, there are some high-end outdoor pizza ovens that you can buy and avoid going over-budget. The following are our top five picks, depending on your cooking preferences and the amount you’re willing to spend.
Searching for the best outdoor pizza ovens with a budget of $500 to $1,500 to spend? There are plenty of solid options out there for you to choose from, but to help narrow down your choices to some of the best on the market, the following are our top five based on their overall quality, durability, and features included for the price.
Ooni, formerly Uuni, is known for manufacturing some of the best pizza ovens available, and the Ooni Pro is no exception.
The Ooni Pro is Ooni’s larger portable oven, and it’s designed to cook a pizza within as little as a minute. The oven reaches a maximum heat of 932 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it ideal for heating authentic Neapolitan-style pizza, and it can preheat to the max temperature within around 20 minutes. You can cook pizzas up to 16″ using this oven, or you can use it to cook a variety of other meals such as fish, steak, and vegetables. The oven can retain and evenly spread heat easily thanks to its insulated stainless steel design and cordierite pizza stone.
The only issues you might find somewhat inconvenient with this oven are the lack of any kind of weatherproof cover, gas burner, or pallet burner, and you may need to preheat for longer than the advertised 20 minutes if you really want to prevent sticking on the stone.
Apart from requiring a few extra purchases and time to cook, this oven is one of the most cost-effective and reliable you’ll find.
Another great option that we enjoyed was the Roccbox portable outdoor pizza oven, which also reaches high temperatures and features durable construction.
The Roccbox can heat up to 932 degrees Fahrenheit, which is great if you want to cook a pizza with artisan crust. It also includes both wood and gas burners depending on your cooking preferences, along with a built-in thermometer. You should be able to enjoy the perfect pizza within a minute after preheating the oven, and it’s also designed with body insulation that helps keep the oven’s exterior cool. With a weight of around 44 pounds, it’s also pretty easy to transport.
One potential problem with this oven is that it can take a bit of trial and error to figure out which settings work best for you. You may need to wait longer than the preheating settings recommend to prevent sticking, for example, and playing around with different temperature settings might be in order.
All in all, the Roccbox is another dependable outdoor pizza oven that can give you some of the best results.
Though a little pricier than either the Ooni or the Roccbox, this Thor wood-fired stainless steel oven is not only great for cooking pizza, it can also cook many other delicious meals.
Featuring 430 stainless steel construction with a polished steel exterior, this durable oven is also highly portable. You get everything you need with this pizza oven if you want to enjoy authentic artisan-crust pizza, including a top-quality pizza stone surface, wire broom/brush, pizza peel, cutter, and spatula. It reaches temperatures of up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit within minutes, with enough space to cook two to three pizzas or other items at a time, which makes it great for serving large groups of people on any occasion.
One inconvenience that you may experience with this oven is the assembly required, as it can be confusing when setting up the legs based on the specific order in which you need to install them. The directions may be a little unclear, but you should be able to find videos on YouTube that can clarify installation if needed.
For a great cooking experience at a still-decent price, we definitely recommend the Thor.
The most expensive on this list, the Nonno Peppe gives you plenty of bang for your buck. Still less expensive than many outdoor pizza ovens on the market, the Nonno Peppe is built to last and give you the results you want with every use while helping you stay within your budget.
The Nonno Peppe uses handmade terracotta bricks that keep the oven properly insulated, with stainless steel construction that resists corrosion even at the highest temperature settings. The oven reaches over 800 degrees Fahrenheit, and it features a built-in F/C thermometer to help you monitor the temperature. One of the things we like most about this oven is its spacious cooking area, with a 24″ x 24″ cooking surface that allows you to cook multiple dishes at once, which makes it great for larger parties and other occasions.
The only real pain point we experienced with the Nonno Peppe had to do with assembly, as the smoke stack’s gasket on the top of the oven took multiple people to lift and install. Otherwise, it’s relatively easy to set up and you should have the oven up and running in no time.
While this oven is on the higher end in terms of cost, the Nonno Peppe is a great value and you’re sure to get plenty of use out of this model.
Last but far from least is the Maximus Arena Apomax countertop wood-fired pizza oven, which is very portable and reliable to leave all of your friends and family impressed.
You can set the Maximus Arena Apomax out on your patio or bring it with you on a camping trip to enjoy authentic pizza anywhere. The combination of steel and aluminum construction makes it one of the most durable models, with a ceramic tiled baking dish that allows for easy cooking of pizza and many other food items, from lasagna and fish to veggies and bread. You get a great wood-fired taste with every use and the fast cooking time and large 23.5″ x 23.5″ internal dimensions can cook as many as 30 pizzas every hour.
The sole issues we found were that the thermometer wasn’t properly attached and you may need to glue it to the oven, and the pizza peel included with the oven is also somewhat flimsy, so you may need to take some care to avoid breaking it.
In the end, this pizza oven was one of our favorites. It’s portable, efficient, and can produce some great results without breaking the bank.
While this oven comes with the lowest price tag on this list, don’t think that you’re compromising quality with this purchase. You get a good deal with the Forno Venetzia.
Unlike a lot of other pizza oven models, the Forno Venetiza FVP200C comes fully assembled and ready to use, which means you can avoid the hassles of setup. The oven also comes with a fire brick hearth made with double-layered ceramic insulation, which allows for better heat retention and more even cooking. Like every other Forno Venetzia product, you get some authentic Italian design and engineering with the oven, particularly in its oak door handle and chimney cap. It’s really one of the best models you’re likely to find for premium outdoor cooking at home.
The only potential downside of this oven is its relatively small size compared to other outdoor pizza ovens. If you want to be able to feed a lot of people at a family gathering or other occasion, you may be better off looking for a larger oven. The smaller size also accounts for its comparably lower price.
If you want a convenient ready-to-use oven, you can’t go wrong with the Forno Venetzia.
The ilFornino Professional Series wood-fired pizza oven one of our favorites for a number of reasons, and it’s one of the less expensive ones in this price range if you’re trying to avoid going over $2,000.
the ilForninio Professional Series is a nice upgrade from their previous basic pizza oven model. It features high-grade 430 stainless steel construction of a thicker gauge, which gives it more insulation and maintains the internal temperature more consistently for better cooking. In fact, the insulation is potentially 5 times greater than what you would get with a traditional pizza oven. The ceramic blankets and an additional layer of ceramic further optimize heat retention for more even cooking. Ultimately, you should be able to cook a delicious pizza within around 25 minutes of starting this thing up. With a cooking area of around 1,007 inches, there’s plenty of space for up to six small pizza pies or three larger pies, which makes this oven great for cooking for larger groups.
Our only complaints with this top-quality oven are that the oven could use a longer handle, maybe a foot longer, and assembling this oven takes some work because of its size and weight. You may need some help from friends or family when putting it together.
Other than a couple of small downsides, there’s a lot to love about this oven and it is definitely worth the price.
ilFornino makes this list once again with the Platinum Plus wood-fired oven, which can give you the perfect cooking experience.
The Platinum Plus wood-fired oven features over 1,000 square inches of cooking surface for around six smaller pizza pies or three larger ones. The one flat cooking surface maximizes both heat retention and distribution, which helps ensure your pizzas are cooked evenly. You can also heat the pizza up to over 850 degrees Fahrenheit within 25 to 30 minutes, so if you’re looking to cook authentic Italian-style pizza, this oven can do the job. The 3-layered ceramic interior also ensures the oven stays consistently hot for up to three hours.
In all honesty, we personally found nothing wrong with this oven. It’s easy to set up, it cooks as advertised, and it’s consistently reliable. Though the price tag might seem a bit on the high end for an outdoor pizza oven, you’re paying for premium quality through and through.
We were very happy with this oven, making it one of our biggest recommendations.
The Bella Medio28 is another great option if you want to enjoy a great outdoor cooking experience with some portability built in.
The Bella Medio28 portable oven features a stainless steel dome core along with a powder-coated wrap and a cooking floor made with high-grade ceramic. It’s also sufficiently insulated for consistent heat retention, with a large cooking space of 28″ x 24″. What makes this model particularly portable is its four wheels installed beneath the stand, allowing you to wheel the oven anywhere with ease. The oven can heat up to its max temperature and cook around 40 pizzas per hour if you need to feed a large and hungry crowd. The oven also comes with gloves as well as a stainless steel and wooden pizza peel.
Like the ilFornino Platinum Plus, there really isn’t anything bad about this model in terms of functionality, construction, or ease of use.
Sure, it’s pricy and it’s not truly portable if you want to bring your cooking experience on the go for your next outing, but you pay for what you get, which is a lot in a single convenient and dependable oven. We definitely recommend the Bella Medio28 if quality and larger size are what you want.
If you have a lot to spend on the perfect wood-fired pizza cooking experience, the ALFA Cupola pizza oven is sure to give you the results you want with every use.
This outdoor oven features a tall base and a refractory clay exterior and dome, along with a thick ceramic cooking floor. The construction helps maximize heat retention and keep the oven consistently hot. The compact design makes it great for use in smaller spaces to help save room whether for a home or a restaurant. You can also get this oven heated up within 30 minutes to a max temperature of 840 degrees Fahrenheit for authentic Italian cooking.
If you’re looking for a sleek stainless steel design to add some visual appeal to your oven, this isn’t the model for you. The orange and black look might not be a total eyesore, but it’s not going to evoke a classic Italian pizza oven feel or serve as an architectural centerpiece. If you’re willing to forgo looks for quality cooking, this is definitely worth the buy.
It may be the most expensive we recommend, but you’re definitely getting premium quality when you buy the ALFA Cupola, with plenty of cooking space for large gatherings.