The 8 Best Outdoor Pizza Oven To Throw the Ultimate Pizza Party

best outdoor pizza ovens
We Tested the Latest Pizza Ovens to Find the BestTrevor Raab


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Looking to spice up your barbecues and weekends hanging in the backyard? Dedicated outdoor pizza ovens are a fun way to make crispy, craveable pizzas that will taste better than your local slice shop. With a few brands making high-quality countertop or tabletop ovens, it’s never been easier or more affordable to become an aspiring pizzaiolo.

Though there are a limited number of manufacturers, outdoor pizza ovens vary considerably in size, price point, and fuel type, all of which impact what kind of pizza you can make. And while pizza is their signature dish, you can also use them to prepare other types of delicious, smoky meals, from roasts to homemade bread. Whether you're looking to buy the ultimate gift for the ‘za lover in your life, or you’re curious about making pizza as a hobby, we’ve talked to some experts to help you bring home the best outdoor pizza oven for your backyard.

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Best Outdoor Pizza Ovens

The Experts

Steven T. Wright: I'm a lifelong nerd and tech writer with a decade of experience at publications like Popular Mechanics and Ars Technica. In putting this guide together, I interviewed two pizza-cooking experts who have put dozens of hours into using a variety of these devices firsthand to create the ideal home pizza setup for their family and friends to enjoy. I also relied on reviews from both product enthusiasts and everyday users, as well as a number of online tutorials.

Bradley Ford: As a test editor at Popular Mechanics, Brad Ford has tested all kinds of backyard cooking equipment, including grills, smokers and, of course, outdoor pizza ovens. For the past 5 years, he's cooked a whole lot of pie after pie, perfecting his craft and gaining an expansive knowledge of what makes a great oven. He's also conferred with countless manufacturers to learn about new product developments and features as new ovens hit the market.

Derek Gaughan: Derek Gaughan is the owner of Pala Pizza, a publication dedicated specifically to reviewing pizza ovens. A trained pizzaiolo, he’s tested dozens of ovens first-hand and shared expert reviews through his site and YouTube channel. He’s been featured in PMQ Magazine, The Washington Post, and Home & Gardens.

What to Consider in an Outdoor Pizza Oven

Location

Though setting up an outdoor pizza oven in your backyard is easier than ever, it’s still important to plan out your setup before you bring one home. Many of the ovens from trendy brands like Ooni and Gozney are made to sit on a table or outdoor kitchen island, but there are high-end models that take up just as much space as your average grill. Make sure to take a moment and consider where you plan to use your oven, as well as how you plan to store it.

If you don’t have a kitchen island for your stove away from your outdoor dining table, you should also look for a stand. Many of our favorite pizza oven brands sell model-specific stands for their ovens. That said, you can always go a different way and invest in a prep table or moveable cart. If you go this route, Pala Pizza oven reviewer Derek Gaughan recommends looking for a table with a stainless steel surface, which is relatively cheap, easy to find, and well-suited to handle the high heat that comes off the oven.

Fuel Source

The type of fuel you use impacts how you operate your pizza oven, how long it takes to heat up and, to a degree, how your pizza tastes. Gas pizza ovens–which may use either propane or hook up directly to a natural gas line–are the most common option and, we think, the most convenient. They get hot fast, maintain a consistent temperature without tending a fire, and are easy to clean.

That said, you can also find hardwood, wood pellet and charcoal-fueled ovens, all of which require you to stoke and maintain your flame to some degree as you bake. Purists insist that wood-fire ovens produce a better flavor and texture. Others will tell you that charcoal imparts a smokey flavor similar to what you’d get from a classic brick pizza oven. Our experts disagree: Both Ford and Gaughan said that, with these home ovens, taste varies very little from fuel to fuel, so you should choose a fuel type that you feel comfortable using.

If you’re a first-time pizza maker (or you’re shopping for one), we recommend starting with a gas oven to ensure that you can make a great pizza from day one. If you buy a wood or charcoal oven, you'll want to invest in a pair of fire-resistant gloves and tools to safely maintain your fire, such as a copper brush, a rake to move coals, and perhaps even a nice set of tongs.

Size and Temperature

There is a direct correlation between the maximum temperature of your pizza oven, and the quality of the pizza it will be able to make. According to Brad Ford, test editor at Popular Mechanics, your oven needs to get really hot to properly bake a pizza.

"You want to get the pizza stone and oven temperatures somewhere between 750 F and 900 F," Ford says. "Less expensive ovens may have a hard time reaching those temperatures."

In addition to a high maximum temperature, you should also pay attention to how your oven cooks.

"I've tested pizza ovens that reach 900 F but had no overhead heat," says Gaughan. "The result is a burned bottom every time. … These oven[s] need to have the perfect balance of overhead heat to match the stone temperature. It's one of the most important things I test for."

Generally, almost all of the pizza ovens on our list aim for a max temperature of around 950 F, which is considered ideal for Neapolitan pizza. Larger pizza ovens will take longer to reach their top temperatures, though they are often better holding that temperature for an extended period of time because they tend to be better-insulated and more efficient.

While there is a correlation between size and temperature, pizza oven size matters most because it dictates the size of pizza that you can and should make. Smaller ovens generally make 10- to 12-inch pizzas, which should feed two to three people, while larger ovens make 16-inch pies that more closely resemble what you’d order from your local pizzeria. Some massive ovens can even do multiple pizzas at once.

While bigger might look better at a glance, keep in mind that pizza cooks very quickly at a very high temperature. As a result, it is generally easier (and safer) to cook multiple small pizzas, one at a time, in a small oven.

How We Selected and Tested

We called in and tested more than 12 popular outdoor pizza ovens, based on in-depth research and analysis of their specs, surveyed customer reviews, and solicited recommendations from our experts, as well as other reviewers from publications like Good Housekeeping and Gear Patrol, among others. We made sure to test models with many different shapes, sizes and fuel-types, to cultivate a wide range of recommendations.

We tested each outdoor pizza oven by making at least a half-dozen pies over the course of several days. We meticulously examined their construction, made note of the size of their stones, and paid close attention to the size and shape of the oven mouth, which affects your ability to insert or “launch” a pizza into the oven, and rotate it mid-bake.

As we cooked, we assessed the pizza ovens on a number of key factors, including temperature performance, heating time, crust crispiness, and ease-of-use. We also gave extra credit to ovens that were easy to clean, or just looked cool.

In subsequent updates, we solicited more expert advice, both from editors who we’d worked with before, like Ford, and new faces like Gaughan. We also checked online guides, enthusiast forums, and reviews from both professional critics and consumers. No matter what kind of outdoor pizza oven you're looking for, we have you covered.

Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Outdoor Pizza Oven

The Ooni Karu 16 is one of the most versatile outdoor pizza ovens yet. It can run off of gas, pellets, charcoal, or wood, and cooks anything from pizza to bread, meat, and veggies. I was blown away by its performance. The oven reached peak temperatures quickly thanks to a glass-hinged door that offers improved insulation and helps it maintain consistent temperatures.

Its wood and charcoal holder didn't require as frequent refillings as other ovens, and this one will cook fresh pies in as little as 60 seconds. We found that the Karu delivered efficient airflow for evenly cooking pies (you can close the ceiling vent and open the chimney baffle to slow the heat escape if need be). The oven even has a large digital thermometer to help keep track of the temperature, and thanks to its wide opening, you can bake large 16-inch pies and easily pivot them as they're cooking.

It's worth mentioning that although this Ooni oven supports the option of using charcoal or wood pellets as a heating source, the gas burner is sold separately. One more thing: this sleek-looking oven is the first and only pizza oven "Recommended for Domestic Use" by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, the international authority on true Neapolitan pizza. So you can ensure you'll churn out consistently delicious pizzas with this oven almost any time. Really its only fault is that it's heavy and awkward to move around.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B095CJ5KSD?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.g.36546606%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Outdoor Pizza Oven</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$799.00</p><span class="copyright">Brandon Carte</span>

Pi Prime

The Solo Stove Pi Prime is a compact, but intuitive pizza oven that punches well above its price tag. Gaughan specifically recommends the Pi Prime as one of the best performance-per-cost pizza ovens around, claiming that the pies he got out of this model were just as good as ones from ovens that cost nearly twice as much.

The Pi Prime has an aesthetically-pleasing round dome design that stands out in the pizza oven space--it looks like something out of an Art Deco painting. According to Gaughan, it can heat up in around 25 minutes and cooks a 12-inch Neapolitan-style pizza in around 2 minutes. It has no problem sustaining its top temperature for sequential cooks. It can hold a lower temperature for New York-style pizza, though that isn’t its forté.

Naturally, its small size and weight make it perfect for those with limited space. Conversely, it may be too small for families who want to make large pies, and/or advanced pizza-makers who want more precise control. In the end, though, you won’t find a better deal on an oven than the Pi Prime.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CG2MB8YB?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.g.36546606%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Pi Prime</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$349.99</p>

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Pi Prime

amazon.com

$349.99

Versa 16

The Halo Versa 16 is a bit different from other pizza ovens on our list. According to Gaughan, it excels at making New York-style pies like you’d find at your local pizza joint. The Versa’s 16-inch pizzas come out chewier than the Neapolitan-style pies you’ll get from most of our picks.

The oven also has an auto-rotating pizza stone that makes it easier to use than its entry-level competitors, particularly if you don't have a pizza peel. (You should still get one, though.)

Its New York state of mind doesn’t come without drawbacks, though. Since its max temperature is around 800 F, it doesn't get hot enough to make a Neapolitan-style pizza sing: It’ll still come out tasty, but the dough will be softer than you traditionally look for, and it won't get the delicious char that you get from a scorching hot oven. As such, we highly recommend leaning into the Versa 16’s strengths, and focusing on New York-style pizza.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B433CV52?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.g.36546606%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Versa 16</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$449.99</p>

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Versa 16

amazon.com

$449.99

Karu 12G Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven

Little brother of our best overall pick, the Ooni Karu 12G is a heavy hitter in a pint-sized package. At only 34 pounds, it’s about as portable as a pizza oven gets. Ooni even makes a “carry cover” with convenient handles.

While small, Gaughan contends that the Karu 12G brings the heat to make delicious Neapolitan pizzas with little fuss. Its ergonomics and design work well even in the cold and high winds, which may matter a little more if you bring it out to a tailgate.

Despite highlighting it for portability, its most distinctive feature is that it supports three types of fuel–hardwood, charcoal, and gas. Moreover, it’s one of the most affordable multi-fuel options. That said, we found that its charcoal-burning mode is better for deeper-dish or New York-style pies. That versatility, though, is just one more reason why the Karu 12G is the oven you want if you’re planning to take your pizza show on the road.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CB4S7BN9?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.g.36546606%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Karu 12G Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$399.00</p>

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Karu 12G Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven

amazon.com

$399.00

Roccbox Portable Pizza Oven

The Roccbox is a 44-pound propane-powered pizza oven with a small footprint and retractable legs. While we’re a little skeptical about bona fides as a “portable” pizza ovens–44 pounds is pretty heavy–we found that it’s a really accessible pizza oven, and a good pick for first-time pizza-makers. Both of our experts agreed, noting its relatively low price and outstanding performance.

Making 10-inch mini pies, the Roccbox comes with a propane burner, but you buy an attachable wood burner if you prefer the classic wood-fired approach. During our tests, it took just 15 minutes to reach a temperature of 900 F. It retains heat well and the oven body stays cool to the touch, even at high heat, so new pizza-makers (and their kids) are less likely to burn themselves.

Our biggest complaint about the Roccbox is that its pizza stone is attached, so if you accidentally drop it there isn't a way to easily replace it in the event it breaks. Our experts noted that it doesn’t work so well for cooking New York-style pies, so stick to classic Neapolitan.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0823SQY6K?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.g.36546606%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Roccbox Portable Pizza Oven</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$499.00</p><span class="copyright">Trevor Raab</span>

Koda 12 Outdoor Pizza Oven

A smaller and more affordable version of our top pick, the Ooni Koda 12 specializes in making smaller, 10-12 inch pies. For comparison's sake, a large Pizza Hut pizza is 14 inches in size with around 12 slices. It only takes 15 minutes to heat up, and can cook a small pizza in just 60 seconds.

While we generally prefer the Koda 16, the 12 has two advantages: It’s cheaper and it’s lighter, which makes it easier to store. That said, it does not offer buyers the option of purchasing a converter that lets you hook the pizza oven up to a natural gas line. You can't use wood as a fuel source, either. It’s definitely made for beginners, but don’t hold that against it. It’s one of the quickest, easiest ovens we tried.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PN5R5WY?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.g.36546606%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Koda 12 Outdoor Pizza Oven</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$399.00</p><span class="copyright">Ooni</span>

Fyra 12 Outdoor Pizza Oven

If you're a fan of smoky-tasting food, the Ooni Fyra is the oven for you. It's one of the most affordable pizza ovens money can buy and delivers outstanding, delicious results. The Ooni Fyra uses wood pellets as its heating source and reaches temperatures as hot as 950 degrees Fahrenheit. There's a fire pan and chimney you load with pellets and set on fire to get it to the right temperature, which takes about 15 minutes.

The Fyra limits you to smaller 12-inch pies, while Ooni's Koda 16 and Karu 16 can accommodate pies as large as 16 inches. Fortunately, it still heats them quickly just as long as you can maintain a consistent flame. This oven weighs just 22 pounds, plus its legs fold down, and its chimney can be removed, which makes it easier to store and move.

Compared to the best-selling Big Horn Outdoors pizza oven, the Fyra didn't require us to add pellets as frequently, and it was faster to heat up. Despite its significantly lower price point, we think the Fyra is a much better option than the Big Horn because several customer reviewers say its door handle broke off after a couple of uses.

Given its low price point, the Ooni Fyra is certainly appealing to shoppers on a budget, but if you're feeding a large family, I recommend opting for something bigger and gas-powered to lessen the cooking time. Our tester said that it took 3 hours and a lot of pellets to bake eight medium-sized pizzas with the Fyra.

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088385N9Z?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.g.36546606%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Fyra 12 Outdoor Pizza Oven</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$259.99</p><span class="copyright">Trevor Raab</span>

Dome Outdoor Pizza Oven

The Gozney Dome is far and away the best pizza oven we tried. Deemed “the world’s most versatile outdoor oven,” this pizza oven is such a stand-out product that it even won a Time Best Inventions award.

Even though it’s a professional-grade oven, it’s ideal for all experience levels, from pizza novices to chefs. Throughout our testing, we particularly loved how easy the setup was (don’t let its large footprint fool you!) and the incredible taste both the gas and traditional wood fire methods gave to the 16-inch pizzas we fired up.

This dual-fuel oven burns hardwood and either propane or natural gas, depending on your preference. We found the propane option better for entertaining since it heats faster. Given the Dome's enormous size (it weighs nearly 130 pounds) it still took close to an hour to heat up to 800 degrees using propane.

Beyond pizza, the Dome allows you to roast, smoke, steam, or bake other foods as well. Throughout our testing, we enjoyed using the unit to smoke cheeses, roast vegetables, and even bake bread. We also recommend checking out the wide array of accessories to make the most of the oven. There's a steam injector for bread baking, a door to turn it into a slow roaster, and a wheeled stand to make it much easier to move around.

Given its price point, the Gozney Dome is without a doubt a splurge — but if your budget allows for it, it’s a long-term investment that’s absolutely worth it, especially if you enjoy hosting. As an added bonus, Gozney backs the product with a 5-year warranty.

<p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fus.gozney.com%2Fproducts%2Fdome&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestproducts.com%2Fappliances%2Flarge-appliances%2Fg36546606%2Fbest-outdoor-pizza-ovens%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Dome Outdoor Pizza Oven</p><p>gozney.com</p><p>$1999.00</p><span class="copyright">Brandon Carte</span>

Other Pizza Ovens We Considered

  • Bertello Outdoor Pizza Oven: We appreciate that the Bertello can make pizza using wood and propane as a fuel source and it comes at a relatively affordable pricing point. However, it has a narrow opening which makes it harder to pitch your pizzas into the oven, and over time the paint on its exterior starts to chip away.

  • Breville Smart Oven Pizzaiolo: For this guide, we focused on recommending outdoor pizza ovens, and the Breville must be used indoors. Given the fact that it reaches an impressive 750 degrees Fahrenheit to deliver that wood-fired-style pizza you crave, it may be worth considering if you want to bake pizza from the comfort of your own kitchen. Just know that it takes around 20 minutes to bake a pizza, while outdoor ovens bake them in less than 2 minutes.

  • Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza Oven: Although our test team found that this oven performed like a brick oven and was quick to preheat, it weighs a heavy 5o pounds, and a number of Amazon reviewers remarked that its regulator needed replacing after around a year of use.

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Q+A With Our Experts

What are some accessories that I need for my outdoor pizza oven?

In addition to a stainless steel table or dedicated stand, Gaughan and Ford both recommend investing in a good pizza peel, the spatula-like device that you use to manipulate the pizza within the oven. In particular, Gaughan recommends Gozney’s peels, especially those with metal slots, which allow excess flour to drop from the bottom so it doesn’t scorch your pizza.

Gaughan also recommends picking up a turning peel, which allows you to easily turn the pie within the tight confines of the cooking space, so you get that perfect texture all the way around.

Lastly, a nice pair of heat-insulated gloves is a must for any oven of such high temperature. (It’s a grilling staple too, you know.)

What is the difference between “New York-style” and Neapolitan pizza?

Neapolitan pizza is well-known for its attention to detail and its simple ingredients. Neapolitan pies dough is made with finely milled 00 flour, and is often fermented for longer than other pizza styles. They tend to be smaller–around 12 inches–and bake at 800-900 degrees Fahrenheit. A traditional Neapolitan pizza is very simple–just dough, mozzarella, tomatoes, olive oil and basil. (You should, of course, put whatever topping you like on your pizza. That’s part of the beauty of making it yourself.)

New York-Style pizza, on the other hand, is the large, foldable pizza that you find in most pizzerias across the U.S.. Though there are many variations, they’re typically made with high-gluten bread flour for a chewier texture. NY-style pies are cooked for 5-6 minutes at around 500-600 degrees Fahrenheit to achieve a crispy exterior crust. They are often stretched thin (due to their large size) and feature low-moisture whole milk mozzarella.

Most of the pizza ovens on our list can make both Neapolitan and New York-style, but are primarily designed with Neapolitan in mind--especially the smaller ones. We’d recommend new Pizzaiolos start by making Neapolitan pies, then start dabbling with New York-style pizzas once they get comfortable.

Cooking with hardwood is traditional, but is it actually better?

True aficionados will tell you that a wood-fired oven is the only way to get authentic Neapolitan-style pizza, but our experts say that most people don’t really notice a difference with homemade pizza.

"With a bake of only 60-90 seconds, the wood rarely imparts noticeable flavor in that time," Gaughan says. "I still love cooking pizzas with wood on weekends because it's fun to do. But gas is king for convenience, and the market seems to agree."

Given that, we think that a gas oven–propane or natural gas if you have a line–is going to be the way to go in most situations, especially if you're a beginner. If you get into making pizza as a hobby and want to explore the art and the history of the craft, though, it’s still worth it to stoke a wood fire.

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