SPOTLIGHT: Best Pizza Ovens For the Perfect Italian Pizza

Posted by James Higgins on

Forget cooking your pizzas inside and get a bespoke pizza oven instead. Homemade pizzas are irresistible, easy to make, and customisable for a wide range of dietary requirements. In the past, pizza enthusiasts would have to dial their kitchen ovens up to its 280 degree limit. But with the advent of purpose-built, industrial strength back-yard ovens, consumers now have the luxury of cooking Neapolitan-style pizzas in minutes, without compromising the base, or the toppings.

In the process of experimenting with recipes, we tested a range of ovens that looked just as good on the eyes, as the pizzas did on our plates. Here’re some of those notable favourites.

Pizza Ovens

 


Ooni Koda Gas Pizza Oven $599

Ooni Koda Gas Pizza Oven

The Ooni Koda oven draws inspiration from a simple, bespoke, Scandinavian aesthetic. It takes the fundamental insulating qualities of a large, industrial-size pizza oven, and sheds those thick ceramic/brick walls by relying on a much thinner, carbon steel, powder-coated stone. This means it can retain those high temperatures (500 degrees) for churning through pizzas, with relative ease. 

It’s super easy to assemble out of the box (and without tools)! Just as easy to move/store, which simplifies outdoor cooking for those who want to entertain, but don’t necessarily want a permanent fixture in the yard.

While the oven is durable, and made to use outside, we would caution leaving it exposed to the elements for extended periods of time. However, if you intend to leave the Koda outside while you’re on holiday, Ooni does sell a waterproof cover.

The convenience of the oven, at this price-point, outweighs the perceived hassle of periodically storing it inside.


Ooni 3 Portable Pizza Oven $549

 

The fundamental differences between the ‘Koda’ and ‘3’ Ooni models are: the ‘3’ boasts a larger 13” pizza capacity, a clean-looking aluminium body, and it gives you the option to use either wood pellets or gas to heat the oven. In case you are opting for gas, you will need the Ooni 3 Gas Burner to convert this initial pellet burner to gas.

It’s a larger, albeit still portable, oven, and when it runs off wood, it requires a 67cm clearance for the chimney. It certainly looks more industrial, with it’s sleek, thin, stainless steel exterior, but it’s still able to produce and retain an enormous amount of heat with its ceramic fibre interior lining. Not as portable as the ‘Koda’, but still just as easy to assemble (with the included addition of a wrench in the kit). We'd also recommend keeping it protected while it's not in use with its own custom cover.

Ooni Pro Multi Fuel Pizza Oven $1295

OONI PRO MULTI FUEL PIZZA OVEN

A great multipurpose outdoor pizza oven/bbq. It’s capable of burning wood, charcoal, and gas and provides space to cook big pizzas of up to 40cm, great for sharing and for the hungry individuals!

The great thing about this bigger, yet still portable pizza oven (compared to a traditional brick pizza oven), is you can skip a pizza night and opt for a large roast instead. If you have limited space and want to enjoy outside cooking, but not just pizza, this might be your go.

We recommend protecting it from the elements with the Ooni Pro Oven Cover.


Forno Allegro Pizzaiolo Pizza Oven $2449

 

The Pizzaiolo is in a different class. It bridges the gap between the smaller, enthusiast-type, outdoor oven, and a truly industrial wood-fired oven. It comes in two separate pieces: a pure volcanic lava stone slab, and a 100% stainless steel top.

The Pizzaiolo is very fuel efficient, largely due to the lava stone insulation. This means less wood, and the ability to cook certain foods at lower temperature, for longer periods of time.

Unlike the Ooni ovens, the Pizzaiolo is a little slower at reaching a desired cooking temperature. It’s probably suited to those who have more mouths to feed, like outdoor caterers, or large families. That being said, we wouldn’t shy away from this oven because of its size. It still functions the same as the more portable Ooni’s. The upside is that the quality of the stone plate allows for a more consistent heat across the oven, which is essential for cooking food evenly - particularly bread and meat.

It sits in a much highly price bracket, but you are getting an Italian, hand-crafted oven that would last you decades.


Kamada Joe Classic II Grill Red $2599

  KAMADO JOE CLASSIC II GRILL RED

We love the multifunctional Classic Joe II in that it gives you the added option of smoking food - great for fish or cooking meat overnight.

It's easy to keep an eye on the temperature with the built-in thermometer, and generally takes 15minutes to reach an adequate cooking temp. Because the grill caters for a large hot plate, it’s suitable for cooking 13” pizzas too. Using the Kamado Joe Pizza Stone with the Kamado Joe Dojoe on this grill will get you the perfect Italian pizza. The ceramic pizza stone distributes heat evenly while absorbing excess moisture for pizza that comes out hot, full of flavour and with a crispy crust and the Dojoe makes sure you can maintain steady temperatures for hours and the wedge shape provides a little window for you to see your pizza cook to perfection.


Morso Forno Oven $3299

 

It’s built in a similar fashion to your traditional Italian pizza oven - optimising space to leave the firewood to one side, when it comes to cooking. We can’t fault the cast-iron interior too - a material made to last a lifetime. We didn’t get a chance to experiment with anything but pizza, and vegetables, but a grill can be used for cooking meats too.

Large enough to avoid being an outdoor gimmick, but small enough to be portable, and certainly beautiful as a heater during those winter months. 

You also have the option of buying it as a set: the ‘Terra’ table, which is suitable for stacking firewood, condiments, and your standard bbq/pizza-making utensils; or the “Garden Set’, which almost doubles the length of the table.

Worth the price because of its Danish design, and German build. The ‘Forno’ is a modern classic in its class.


Pizza Oven Accessories

Ooni Pizza Peel 14" $139

OONI 14" PIZZA PEEL

If you’re making pizza, and it’s not in your traditional kitchen oven, you’ll need to invest in a pizza peel. Ooni complement their existing oven range with this perforated aluminium pizza peel. It’s light, and the pizza won’t stick to it - in or out of the oven. It also comes in a 12” size.


Traeger Pizza Stone Kit $199

TRAEGER PIZZA STONE KIT

Whether you’re cooking pizza daily, or once a month, a pizza slicer/server is essential. Knives just don’t cut the crust like a slicer should. Traeger offers a 3-piece kit: ceramic pizza stone, stainless steel pizza slicer, and pizza server. The handles are made of a varnished timber, which aren’t an eye-sore if you plan on leaving them out by the oven while you entertain.

Making a good pizza is basically a form of art, you can go crazy on the toppings but you have to get the base right first. A good dough will make or break your pizza and this may take some practice before you get it just right, but it's so worth it. To get the perfect dough for your pizza, check out our recipe for a classic pizza dough.

 

Thanks,

The Outdoor Concepts Team

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