The best pizza ovens for 2024


In recent years, outdoor pizza ovens have become popular options for upping your culinary game at home. Whether it’s on the deck, patio, porch or anywhere else in your backyard, these products are more versatile and easily stored than a permanently installed setup. All the options I’ve selected in this guide are portable, though you might need some help lugging a few of them around due to their size and weight. These pizza ovens are versatile options for aspiring pie pushers with limited space or those who want to take their skills on the road as needed. And if the great indoors is your domain, I’ve got a candidate on this list for you too. But before you make a purchase, here are a few things you’ll want to consider ahead of time.

When shopping for a home pizza oven, you’ll first want to consider what types of pies you plan to make. Most portable outdoor pizza ovens from the likes of Ooni, Solo Stove and others use wood and are primarily designed for the high-heat cooking required for light and airy Neapolitan-style pizzas. We’re talking high temperatures up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit. These units can certainly cook different styles at cooler temperatures, but the learning curve is easiest when you’re running them wide open with a full load of wood.

You’ll also want to consider alternate fuel types. If you purchase a propane or natural gas burner, you can adjust temperatures easily by turning a knob. For this reason, I recommend you spend the extra $100 or so on that accessory. This dual-fuel option makes your pizza oven a lot more versatile and gives you the option to still have a freshly fired pie when you don’t feel like messing with wood or charcoal. If you only want to cook with gas, there are models available that only use propane or natural gas.

The other key consideration for aspiring pizza makers is size. Most companies make ovens that fit 12-inch pizzas, a perfect size for a personal pan pizza. They’re also great for pizza parties, since people can customize their own without having to pick off toppings they don’t like. If you want to make larger pizzas or plan to use your oven for other things (pans, etc), consider a larger version that can accommodate more than just small pies. The interior dimensions – or at the very least the pizza stone size – will be listed on most product pages.

The best pizza ovens for 2023The best pizza ovens for 2023

Photo by Billy Steele/Engadget

Making quality pizza at home requires a considerable amount of counter or table space. You’ll need room to stretch and prep your pizza dough, lay out your mozzarella, other cheeses and toppings and load pies onto a peel. Of course, some folks will be comfortable working in the tight confines of a small kitchen, but I’ve found it much easier to use extra space to make sure I’m not constantly moving things around during the various steps in the process.

It’s also less hassle to set up your pizza-making station in close proximity to your oven. As a pizza-baking beginner, I did the running back and forth from the kitchen to the back porch. It’s far from ideal. It’s difficult to maintain your fire (if using wood or charcoal) when you’re unable to watch it closely. The good news is a patio table can be easily converted into a pizza station with a large cutting board. This also gets your oven off the ground so it’s easier to access.

Ooni sells tables for its ovens that also offer shelving and storage for peels and other accessories. Solo Stove has a rolling stand for its Pi oven too, with small side shelves and a spot for your propane tank underneath. Of course, you can find other tables and stands to suit your needs, just make sure they can withstand any heat that may radiate from the bottom of the oven while cooking. Most ovens are either well insulated or don’t project too much excess heat toward the table, but you can never be too careful. For that reason, a stainless steel or metal surface is a good choice to set up an outdoor model.

Most of these ovens cook quickly at high heat, especially if you’re making Neapolitan pizza. Having everything you need nearby so you can keep tabs on the oven and quickly make the next pizza will ease a lot of unnecessary headaches. When your cook time is two minutes or less, you don’t want to venture too far.

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Photo by Billy Steele / Engadget

If you’re looking to go all-in on an outdoor pizza oven, you can’t go wrong with Ooni’s Karu 16. It’s the company’s largest multi-fuel model, which means you can choose between wood, charcoal or gas (propane and natural gas burners sold separately). This one is equipped with a hinged glass door for keeping tabs on your progress and a digital thermometer monitors the ambient temperature inside. The larger size means you can not only cook bigger pizzas, but the Karu 16 can also accommodate pans and cast iron, so baking, roasting and searing are all possible here. It’s this versatility and ease of use that makes the Karu 16 our top pick.

Pros

  • Supports wood, charcoal and gas fuel sources
  • Glass door lets you keep an eye on your pizza while it’s cooking
  • Built-in digital thermometer
Cons

  • Expensive
  • Large footprint
  • Gas/propane burner sold separately

$799 at Ooni

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Photo by Billy Steele / Engadget

Solo Stove may be on your radar for its fire pits, but the company also makes a solid multi-fuel pizza oven. Dubbed the Pi, this unit is made out of stainless steel and is round like the company’s trademark products. Solo Stove says Pi can hit cooking temperatures of 850 degrees Fahrenheit with wood and 900 degrees with a gas burner (sold separately). It explains that those figures translate to maximum stone temps of 750 and 800 degrees respectively. The Solo Stove Pi’s big difference from the Karu 16 and other Ooni ovens is that it doesn’t have a front door and stays open the whole time like a brick oven to allow more airflow.

Pros

  • Supports wood and gas fuel sources
  • Open-front design
Cons

  • Propane burner sold separately

$389 at Solo Stove

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Solo Stove

Ooni’s pizza ovens are outstanding and Solo Stove’s Pi is a solid second option, but when it comes to ease of use, the latter company’s Pi Prime is where it’s at. This is the best outdoor pizza oven for most people, combining the ease of a propane burner with a wide curved opening for unrestricted access when rotating pies. The Pi Prime has a similar circular dome design to the Pi, which is an aesthetic the company borrowed from its fire pits. That big opening on the front also allows you to monitor progress without opening a door. Front-mounted temperature controls make for easy adjustments and the gas-burning setup means you can focus on making great pizza rather than feeding wood to the flame. The Pi Prime can hit up to 950 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a great option for Neapolitan-style pizzas that bake in as little as 90 seconds.

Pros

  • Open-front design
  • Uses propane fuel
  • Front-mounted temperature controls
Cons

  • Doesn’t support wood fuel source

$350 at Solo Stove

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Photo by Billy Steele / Engadget

The Ooni Fyra 12 was the first outdoor pizza oven I used and it remains one of my favorites. It’s compact compared to some of the alternatives (22 pounds), so it won’t take up quite as much storage space. It also runs on wood pellets instead of chunks, and once you get the fire going, you just refill the chute from the top. This means there’s much less tending a fire on the Fyra than other wood-fired pizza ovens, so you can focus on making and cooking your pizzas. The Fyra does all the things other Ooni pizza ovens do well, including high-heat bakes (950 degrees) in as little as a minute.

Pros

  • Small footprint
  • Easy to refuel wood pellets
Cons

  • Limited to 12-inch pizzas

$349 at Ooni

Let me preface this section by saying you probably already have an indoor option that you can use to make some great pizza. Whether that’s the main oven in your kitchen or a multi-function countertop unit, with some affordable accessories, you can easily up your game without spending $1,000 on a dedicated appliance. For example, my Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer has a convection pizza setting that automatically adjusts cook time based on the size, oven temperature and whether the pie is fresh or frozen. A key consideration here is size. These things are massive, about the size of a large microwave, so you likely won’t want to keep them out all the time unless you have a huge kitchen.

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Photo by Billy Steele / Engadget

Ooni made its name on outdoor pizza ovens that primarily burn wood or run on gas. The company took things indoors last year with the Volt 12. Ooni’s first electric oven can also be used outside thanks to weather resistant construction, but this behemoth brings the company’s design and efficiency to your kitchen for the first time. Capable of temperatures up to 850 degrees Fahrenheit in as little as 20 minutes, the Volt 12 can fire up Neapolitan style pies in 90 seconds. Controls on the front give you the ability to adjust both the top and bottom heating elements. There are also cooking presets and a Boost function to quickly get the stone back to temp between pizzas. The 13-inch stone inside is square, so you can slide in pans for Detroit recipes or other baked goods.

Pros

  • Can be used outside as well as inside
  • Front-mounted controls let you adjust top and bottom heating elements

$899 at Amazon

If you want to make good homemade pizza that rivals that of your favorite pizzeria (and without spending hundreds of dollars on a dedicated oven), you can definitely do it with the oven you already have in your kitchen. With a few gadgets, you can improve your game without splurging on a Breville, Ooni or Solo Stove. First, I’d recommend a high quality baking steel or stone.

Baking stones are great for getting better browning on the bottom of your pies than a pizza or sheet pan. You can also use them for bread, cookies and other items. The stone absorbs heat to cook pizza quickly, like the inside of a brick oven, which leads to a charred crust. They’re also more affordable compared to baking steels. Those metal slabs do have one key advantage: higher heat conductivity. This means a steel will cook your pizzas faster since it can absorb more heat from your oven. While baking steels can be used as griddles on your stovetop and for other types of baking, they’re not ideal for some leavened breads.

The second item you’ll want is a pizza peel. These come in all shapes and sizes, made out of a variety of materials. I typically use a bamboo or wooden peel when topping and launching my pizzas and then a metal one for retrieving them. I’ve found that dough doesn’t stick as easily to bamboo during prep and the metal resists the high heat of the oven when turning or retrieving a finished pizza (bamboo will burn). There are also perforated peels which allow both steam and excess flour to escape. A peel is a great tool for loading and turning pizzas, getting them in the back of the oven, and since you’ll typically be cooking them with your oven at 500 degrees or hotter, using something like parchment paper to move them around won’t work.



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