Best Ooni Pizza Oven: Karu 16
The upgraded Karu 16 is currently the best pizza oven from Ooni. It comes at a higher price than old Karu 16 model or even the Ooni Pro but the upgrades are worth it. The glass window, integrated thermometer and upgraded shell provide excellent performance and convenience.
It’s versatile enough to be fueled by wood and charcoal, and it’s also compatible with gas although you have to purchase the gas-burner attachment separately.
Large cooking surface area let’s you cook multiple smaller pizzas or a large one but portability is reduced almost to a minimum. If portability is very important then choose smaller ovens like Karu 12 or Fyra.
Best Value: Fyra
The Ooni Fyra is our best alternative pick among the 6 Ooni pizza ovens produced. It runs on wood pellets and it’s the most affordable model. Despite that, it managed to produce outstanding results, sometimes better than even the higher-priced models like the old Koda 16 and the Ooni Pro. It’s fairly compact and portable too. It can be easily transported anywhere. It’s basically an ideal option if you prefer cooking with wood pellets more and want a reliable pizza oven that can cook well and it’s portable.
Ooni has produced 6 pizza ovens since its inception in 2012. They have earned lots of positive reviews from users with the Ooni Fyra and the Ooni Karu models bagging the highest ratings. All the models are reasonably priced. The Fyra is the most affordable model (at $349) while the Koda 16 is the most expensive at $799. The Ooni Karu and the Ooni Koda 12 come at $399.
The ovens are available in multiple sizes and heat sources. The Koda 16 and Ooni Pro models are the largest. They share almost the same shell design (except the Ooni 3 and Ooni Pro) and quality of materials (stainless steel shell, ceramic fiber insulation, and cordierite baking stone). They are durable too and have a 3-year warranty upon registering them.
We have tried out these Ooni’s pizza ovens and below are our top pics plus some of their closest competitors you can find on the market.
Ooni Pizza Oven Model Comparison
Ooni Koda is a small gas-powered pizza oven. It is the lightest of the Ooni models (9.25 kgs or 20.4 lbs), which makes it perfect for carrying around and taking to trips – I mean, packing another 9 kgs is barely anything. Unlike other small models such as the Fyra or the Karu, this one does not have a door; therefore, it makes it easier to see the pizza inside. Also; unlike the Fyra, it does not have a chimney, so it is the Ooni with the most minimalistic design.
So if you are looking for a small oven to move around and you are more into gas-fueled ovens (some users find gas more consistent to cook), this is a great option.
The Ooni Koda 16 is a bigger and heavier oven but still a portable one – it weighs 40 lbs (18 kgs). It runs on propane gas; however, Ooni will soon release the Natural Gas burner kit, which will also be compatible with the Koda 16. This model cooks larger pizzas than the models above; with a cooking surface of 16’’, you can fit 16’’ pizzas and many other dishes as well.
Therefore, if what you are looking for is a gas-fueled pizza oven with a large space inside, we recommend this option. However, if you prefer a large pizza oven but you want a multi-fuel option, we suggest the Ooni Pro.
Ooni Karu is a small multi-fueled pizza oven, a little bit heavier than the Koda or the Fyra – it weighs 26 lbs (12 kgs); however, it is still lightweight enough to move it in your backyard or for taking it on trips. Unlike the Fyra, this one has a patented Flamekeeper technology that allows the oven to retain heat, even when the door is not closed. With the Fyra, the door must be closed when cooking the pizza.
You will see that the Karu costs the same as the Koda; however, keep in mind that even though you can use both wood and gas as fuel with it, you have to buy the gas attachment separately, so at the end, the price goes higher in this one.
Still, if you rather have a small multi-fueled pizza oven to travel with, this is the best option for you.
The Ooni Karu 16 is the latest model from Ooni and it comes with special unique features that make it stand out from the rest. It features a glass door with Ooni’s ViewTechnology and an in-built digital thermometer. The quality of the main body has also been improved to a carbon steel and stainless steel shell that’s powder-coated instead of the brushed 430-grade stainless body seen in the previous Ooni pizza ovens. This new body is more robust and offers much better insulation.
The Karu 16 also offers a larger cooking surface just like the Ooni Pro and Koda 16 models. Its performance is equally better than the rest. We would recommend it, especially for cooking pizzas that require high heat and good flame, like Neapolitan pizza. It’s as well a good alternative to the Pro and Koda 16 models for those looking for a large pizza oven.
Ooni Fyra is Ooni’s less expensive model and it is wood-fired. It is also great for traveling because, after the Koda, it is the second lightest pizza oven, weighing only 10kgs (22lb). The Fyra uses a lot less fuel than most portable pizza ovens out there, so it’s a great option for energy-efficient people.
So if you are looking for a small oven that gives your pizza that wood-fired taste; and want the most budget-friendly option, this is the oven you.
Ooni Pro 16
The Ooni Pro is a multi-fueled pizza oven with a larger cooking surface than the Koda 16. This one is 17.7’’, so you can not only fit large pizzas easily but also a cast-iron skillet or even a full turkey.
It is heavier than the Koda 16 (48.5 lbs against 40.1 lbs) and it is also more expensive. So we suggest the Koda 16 if you are okay with having only a gas-fueled oven; nevertheless, if you want a more spacious oven with the possibility of choosing among many fuel sources, and you can afford it, the Pro would be a better option.
Best Ooni Pizza Ovens:
1. Best Overall: Ooni Karu 16 Pizza Oven
This is the latest addition to Ooni’s collection of pizza ovens. It’s the successor of the Ooni Pro but it’s more of an upgraded version of the Ooni Karu 12 model since they share almost similar design and features like a multi-fuel option. However, it does come with some unique features that set it apart from the rest and its performance and cooking results are way better. Still, though, it does take some learning curve to get a hang of it, just like all the other Ooni ovens, especially when it comes to temperature control when cooking with wood or charcoal.
Our Score: 9.5 out of 10
- Glass door – it comes with a full-glass door that gives you a good view of your pizzas as they cook inside the oven.
- Robust shell – has a carbon steel and stainless steel shell that’s more solid and durable compared to the other Ooni ovens.
- Heats high and fast – it’s able to heat up to 950°F (500°C) within just 20 minutes when using wood or gas
- Better temperature control – provides superb insulation that keeps the heat in and has a simple airflow management system that helps control the heat and keep the temperature consistent
- Fairly large cooking space – 16.7 x 16.7 cooking area that’s sufficient to accommodate up to 16-inch pizzas
- In-built digital thermometer – comes with a digital thermometer that helps measure the ambient air temperature of the oven, a feature not included in the other Ooni ovens.
- Multi-fuel oven – you can use wood, charcoal, or gas to fire it up.
You Should Also Know
- Bulky and heavy – measures 33 x 32 x 20 inches, so it’s pretty large and takes up a good amount of space. It’s also heavy, weighing around 60 pounds. It’s generally not quite portable
- Gas burner not included – the gas burner attachment doesn’t come standard with the unit. You’ll have to purchase it separately for you to use gas as fuel.
2. Best Value: Ooni Fyra Pizza Oven
The Ooni Fyra performed really well during our trials. We cooked at least 10 pizzas with it and except the first two, the rest came out cooked almost perfectly and the flavor was incredible. It also cooked other foods pretty well. It’s able to heat up fast and keep the heat in for long. We did also find it to be more fuel-efficient than other wood-fired pizza ovens – we got a long burn time from every fill/refill.
Turning the pizza while inside the oven is near impossible though. You have to remove it out. The pellets also need constant refilling to keep the heat consistent which some found inconvenient.
Our Score: 9 out of 10
- Pre-heats fast: the Fyra heats up to 932°F (500°C) in about 20 minutes. Heat distribution and retention are great – the vent at the back and the chimney drive the heat from the back of the oven to the front. The improved insulation and shell keep more of the heat inside the oven too, plus the backing stone also heats quickly and retains the heat well.
- Speedy cooking time: the cooking time of the Fyra was incredible. It managed to cook pizzas very fast, as promised. It took around 1 to 2 minutes to cook most of the pizzas depending on the crust thickness.
- Yields amazing results: we cooked 7 pizzas and they came out great after two failed trials. The toppings were cooked evenly including moisture-rich veg toppings – the cheese caramelize very well. Thin to medium bases/crusts bake uniformly too, even for pizzas with soggy base or wet dough. They are nicely crispy on the outside and quite chewy on the inside.
- Temperature control is easy: you can control the airflow inside the oven using the chimney and the adjustable vent at the back of the unit. The Ooni Fyra comes too with a door that you use to enclose the opening to help retain the heat inside the oven.
- Fuel-efficient oven: the Fyra doesn’t burn through the wood pellets quickly. You get around 20 minutes of cooking time after each refill which is sufficient to cook at least eight 9-12 inch pizzas.
- Simple to clean: the high temperatures pyrolyze the food bits left inside the oven, so there’s no arduous clean-up after cooking. You simply remove and clean the baking board, and empty the pellet tray and then clean the exterior with warm, soapy water.
- Fairly compact and portable: it’s relatively compact in size (27.17 x 18.9 x 10.24 inches) and lightweight (10kg). Carrying and transporting it isn’t challenging – the legs are foldable, and the chimney and the door are detachable and fit inside the oven.
- Solid build quality: the steel shell with ceramic-fiber insulation is thick and sturdy. It can withstand fair outdoor conditions. The cordierite baking board is thick (0.4 inch) and durable too. The three steel legs are also sturdy and keep the oven stable during use.
- Easy to set up: the set-up process is straightforward. You simply fold down the legs, slide in the baking stone, and screw in the chimney and the hopper. The door also sets into place easily and doesn’t get in the way after it’s opened.
You Should Also Know
- Needs regular refills: the hopper is taller than that of the Ooni 3, nonetheless, you’ll need to top the pellets frequently to keep the temperature steady, especially when making lots of pizzas. We were refilling it after about every 15 to 20 minutes (after making about 6 pizzas).
- Requires constant watch: the oven cooks fast and at very high temperatures. You have to constantly keep an eye on the pizza, otherwise, it can end up completely burnt if left unattended for a few seconds. It has to be turned/rotated every 10 to 15 seconds.
- Turning the pizzas is tricky: the interior space is limited, measuring about 13.7 inches wide. It’s large enough to fit in 12-inch pizzas but turning them while they’re inside was a challenge for us. Most other users faced a similar challenge. You have to remove them outside to turn them or make slightly small pizzas (about 9-inches wide).
- Doesn’t include some useful accessories: you’ll need to separately buy a fire starter, the hardwood pellets, pizza peel, and an infrared thermometer.
3. Ooni Karu Pizza Oven
The cooking results of the Ooni Karu are pretty impressive mainly because it retains heat very well. The pizzas are properly cooked regardless of the type of fuel you use. We picked it too because it’s solidly built, durable, easy to set up, and reasonably affordable compared to alternatives such as the Gozney Roccbox and the Camp Chef Italia Artisan.
While it’s versatile, you have to purchase the gas-burner attachment to use gas as fuel which is an additional cost that makes its initial cost go higher. It also takes a bit of a learning curve to use it based on our experience, especially when using wood chunks as fuel.
Our Score: 8 out of 10
- Multiple fuel options: the Karu can be fuelled by charcoal or real wood chunks (or a combination of both). It’s also gas compatible – you can buy the separate Ooni gas burner attachment and fit it to it to use propane gas fire for faster, cleaner cooking.
- Relatively quick heat-up time: heating the oven takes about 20 minutes or less when using gas or charcoal, and up to 30 minutes when using wood. It’s not the fastest but it’s a decent speed, plus it reaches high temperatures of up to 932°F.
- Superb heat retention: it has had many praises for its heat retention capability. The thick stainless steel body with ceramic fiber insulation and the patented flamekeeper effectively help keep the temperature very hot inside the oven. The door also prevents any heat loss through the opening like in the Ooni Koda.
- Cooks fast: on average, each pizza we cooked took two or three minutes maximum to be ready no matter the kind of fuel we used. It worked even faster when using gas – took about 90 seconds to cook the pizzas.
- Delivers fairly good results: the results were mostly good on all three fuel types, especially with gas and charcoal. The crusts of our pizzas were fully baked and crunchy while the toppings also came out nicely cooked. It also roasted meat and vegetables pretty well – you can use it to cook anything that requires a really hot oven.
- Durable overall construction: the unit is solidly built with a shell consisting of 430-grade stainless steel and reinforced with ceramic fiber insulation. It’s able to resist corrosion caused by rain or sun. The baking board is cordierite material. It’s thicker (15mm) and long-lasting than the ones in other Ooni options.
- Portable and easy to set up: the chimney is removable and the legs foldable, so it’s a bit easier to carry although you may find it slightly heavy (it weighs 27 pounds). Assembling it is simple too. It’s only the chimney that you need to attach at the top of the oven.
You Should Also Know
- Requires a slight learning curve: using the Karu, especially wood as fuel is a bit tricky at first, particularly maintaining a steady temperature. You also have to keep an eye on the pizza constantly so that you can rotate it at the right time.
- Needs a few extra accessories: like the Ooni Fyra, you’ll need a pizza peel and an infrared thermometer since they are not provided. The gas burner attachment is also sold separately which adds to the overall cost of the unit.
4. Ooni Koda Gas-Powered Pizza Oven
Ooni Koda is an amazing option if you want a gas-powered outdoor pizza oven. It heats to 932F and cooks pizza in 60 seconds (or less). There is no assembly needed and it fits in any outdoor space. Even though it lacks a door, the heat is kept inside the oven thanks to the flamekeeper technology. The one negative point we found to be stated by a few people was regarding the baking stone, which they believe should be thicker; however, the majority of buyers are satisfied with the pizza stone of the Koda.
- Ready to use in seconds. You simply have to flip the foldable legs of the oven, insert the pizza stone, and connect to a gas tank.
- Use and move with ease. The Koda is also lightweight and small. It weighs 9.25 kgs (20.4lb) and its measures are 62 x 40 x 18cm (24.4 x 15.7 x 7.1”), which makes it easy to move around. This model does not have a chimney, so it’s the smallest of Ooni ovens.
- Large stone. With its cordierite stone of 13 ¼ inches wide, you can cook pizzas up to 12’’ wide.
- Easy maintenance. There are many positive reviews about how cooking with gas leaves minimal smoke and there is no fuss in keeping it clean.
- Adjustable heat control dial. Its usage is very simple since you can use the heat control dial to cook pizza in less than a minute. Also, users have stated that they tried roasted fish, vegetables, and steaks; all with great results.
You Should Also Know
- The stone is not the thickest. A few reviews remarked that the stone could be thicker. For example; the Koda 16 has a 15mm baking board, while this model board is 10mm.
- It is not compatible with natural gas. Unlike the Koda 16, this model only runs on propane gas. It is compatible with large propane tanks as well as 1-pound tanks with the help of a separate gas adapter.
5. Ooni Koda 16 Gas-Powered Pizza Oven
This model is a larger version of the original Ooni Koda and it also includes innovative features, such as the L-shape burner for even cooking and better heat retention. You can fit in 16’’ pizzas and the design is beautiful. However, it is important to mention that it is a pricey one. Still, users believe it is worth it and we recommend it if you are looking for a larger oven.
- 16-inch pizzas. As its name indicates, the Ooni Koda 16 has a cooking surface of 16-inches to fit large 16’’ pizzas, which makes it perfect for a pizza party.
- Stylish design. Buyers have remarked its sleek silver finish along with hints of black on the pizza oven, which gives it an elegant and fancy appearance.
- Heat retaining capability. Ooni Koda 16 has a fiber-insulated interior that makes it retain heat inside the oven in a greater way – It has been insulated around the shell with 20 mm of ceramic.
- Move it easily. The oven weighs 40.1lb (18.2 kg) and while it is a more spacious model, you could expect it to be heavier, but it is not. It is still a portable oven and you can move it around with little effort.
- Compatible with propane and natural gas. It is compatible with both propane and natural gas, using the Ooni natural gas conversion kit. However, for the natural gas conversion kit, you will have to wait for a little because it is not for sale yet, but it will be very soon. Nevertheless, it will be sold separately, so it doesn’t have to affect the purchase of your Koda 16 at the present being.
- L-shape flames. Customers are pleased with the L-shape flame emission technology because it makes sure that such a big oven heats up evenly and quickly. It consists of an L-shape burner that cooks pizzas in also 60 seconds, without the need to turn them around every now and then; if there was only a single, rear burner, the pizza would not cook evenly in this large model.
You Should Also Know
- It is pricey. Koda 16 includes new features that make it more expensive than the models described above – it is not affordable for everybody.
6. Ooni Pro 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven
Ooni Pro is the largest Ooni model. It is perfect for big families or people that make frequent gatherings outdoors. The oven cooks 16’’ pizzas and it runs with many types of fuel. On the downside, it has a bit of a learning curve and some users have mentioned that it doesn’t retain heat as well as other models.
- Versatile. You can use the spacious cooking surface to accommodate many types of food, besides pizza. Users have also cooked roast meats, bread, roasted vegetables, and casseroles; all positive feedback.
- Four types of fuel. You can cook your pizzas with wood and/or charcoal, and convert to pellets or gas using the Pellet Burner for Ooni Pro or Gas Burner for Ooni Pro.
- High heats. The insulated steel body and stone baking board mean optimum heat retention. It is ready to cook in 20 minutes.
- Portable. Ooni Pro weighs 48.5lb (22kg) and it is 13 x 19.29 x 31.1’’ (740 x 490 x 790 mm) in size; these measures make it transportable to places beyond your backyard, with ease.
- Pizza size. With a cooking surface of 17.7 x 17.7″, you can easily fit your 16’’ pizzas.
You Should Also Know
- It can lose some heat. Some negative reviews remark that the design of this oven makes it difficult to reach and maintain top temperatures.
- The gas attachment is not included. A few users pointed out that given the price of the product, it should come with the gas attachment for free.
- It has a learning curve. This is the model that most buyers found difficult to learn how to use.