The 6 Best Outdoor Pizza Ovens, According to Testing

Our top pick is the Ooni Karu 12, which keeps a consistently high heat for even cooking and the perfect crispy crust.

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Outdoor Pizza Oven
Courtesy of Amazon

Making homemade pizza usually requires you to crank the temperature on your oven and then wait as the cheese melts and the crust crisps. That can quickly throw your air conditioner into overtime during the summer months. And if it's a Neapolitan-style pizza you're after, you'll need a temperature higher than most standard ovens can handle. An outdoor pizza oven can help you save on AC costs while giving you a perfectly charred pizza.

The best outdoor pizza oven allows you to create a deliciously crisp crust topped with lightly roasted ingredients and a melted layer of cheese. However, a pizza oven that doesn't heat up enough or cooks inconsistently can lead to an inedible pie.

We put 18 of the best outdoor pizza ovens to work in our lab in Birmingham, Alabama, to see which options deliver the most craveable results. During testing, our experts assembled each pizza oven, then evaluated its temperature range, preheating time, evenness of cooking, and consistency as the pizzas cooked.

We also tested traditional and whole wheat pizza crusts in each oven to see if there were any discrepancies. Finally, we used detailed notes from our testers to create a definitive list of the best outdoor pizza ovens and talked with industry experts, including Frank DePasquale, owner of DePasquale Ventures, and Matt Harper, who reviews home pizza ovens.

The Ooni Karu 12 is our choice for the overall best outdoor pizza oven due to how easy it was to set up and use and the fact that our testers raved about its ability to consistently cook pizzas to crispy, melty perfection.

Best Overall: Ooni Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven

4.6
Ooni Karu Wood and Charcoal-Fired Portable Pizza Oven

Courtesy of Ooni

Why you should get it: This gas and wood burning oven is compatible with multiple heat sources and cooks pizzas evenly, delivering crisp crust and melty cheese.
Keep in mind: This oven cooks very quickly, but it's easy to burn your pizza if you don't turn it regularly and pull it quickly.

If you're in the market for perfectly cooked homemade pizza in a matter of minutes, our testers loved the Ooni Karu 12.

This little oven is easy to set up, and it cooks using gas, wood, or charcoal as fuel, so you can use whichever works best for you. It's lightweight, weighing just 26 pounds, though our testers noted it was a little awkward to carry due to the chimney on top. It comes with legs to stand on, which are non-slip and foldable for storing the pizza oven inside during winter.

Our testers found this oven kept consistently high heat during cooking, averaging around 600 degrees Fahrenheit. The back of the oven was a little hotter and the sides were slightly cooler when we tested it, but that had no impact on cooking. The mouth of the oven is larger than other models, so it's easy to turn the pizza midway to ensure even cooking all around (though you'll need to buy your own pizza peel to turn your pie).

Most importantly, the 12-inch regular and whole wheat pizzas we made in this oven consistently came out evenly cooked and crispy on the bottom, with a nicely browned and charred crust.

Product Details:

  • Fuel source: Wood, charcoal, and natural gas
  • Weight: 26.4 pounds,
  • Interior dimensions: 30.3 x 15.7 x 31.5 inches
  • Cooking surface size: 12 inches
  • Heating capability: 630–700 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Extra features: Foldable legs

Related: The 8 Best Charcoal Grills for Smoky Meats

Best Budget: Cuisinart 3-in-1 Pizza Oven, Griddle, and Grill

4
Cuisinart 3-in-1 Pizza Oven Plus

Why you should get it: This easy-to-use pizza oven also doubles as both a gas grill and an outdoor griddle.
Keep in mind: The oven comes mostly assembled, but you have to take it apart to put the pizza stone inside.

Our team of testers raved over the Cuisinart 3-in-1 Pizza Oven's pizza making ability, which created gorgeous crusts with nicely charred spots. When making whole wheat and regular pizzas in this oven, we found that it created nicely puffed crusts with perfectly melted tops, and the oven cooked them very evenly.

Popping the pizza into the oven and turning it was easy, as there is an oven-style opening and a lid that folds down. This allows you to maneuver the pizza around on the grill as needed throughout the cooking process, though our testers noted that it's tough to mess up with this oven. It's very easy to use and doesn't require too much babysitting while the pizza is cooking, so you can prep side dishes or mouthwatering desserts at the same time.

The oven doesn't get very far above 600 degrees Fahrenheit, however, so expect a slightly longer cooking time and a more pizzeria-style pizza.

Product Details:

  • Fuel source: Gas
  • Weight: 45 pounds
  • Interior dimensions: 25 x 20 x 17.5 inches
  • Cooking surface size: 13 inches
  • Heating capability: 600 degrees
  • Extra features: Griddle, grill, temperature gauge, and storage shelf

Best Portable: Onlyfire Universal Stainless Steel Pizza Oven Kit

4.6
Onlyfire Universal Stainless Steel Pizza Oven Kit

Courtesy of Amazon

Why you should get it: This lightweight and portable appliance transforms any gas grill into an easy-to-use pizza oven.
Keep in mind: This uses the heat from your grill, so expect a slower cooking time.

If you love backyard entertaining in the summertime, you'll appreciate how easy this portable outdoor pizza oven is to use and store. This kit turns your gas grill into a pizza oven, meaning you don't have to find space in your home for another bulky appliance. Plus, if you want to cook up a pizza on the go, this portable pizza oven is easy to pack on road trips and camping getaways.

Just pull this low-effort kit out of the box and put it on your grill grate, and you'll be baking beautiful pizzas with nice, crisp crusts in no time. Since the kit sits inside your grill, you're going to be limited by your grill's heat output, but our testers saw temperatures hit up to 700 degrees Fahrenheit inside the pizza oven.

You'll likely need to cook your pizza a little longer with this grill topper, but our testers found the bake was consistent with a good crust. There was a little less char on the crust than what they found on some of the other pizza ovens, though. The regular crust came out perfect, while the whole wheat crust came out with a puffy crust that was a little crisper.

Product Details:

  • Fuel source: None (it sources its heat from your gas grill)
  • Size: 10 pounds,
  • Dimensions: 17 x 17 inches
  • Cooking surface size: 14 inches
  • Heating capability: 615 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Extra features: Peel and thermometer

Related: The 10 Best Grills to Up Your Backyard Barbecue Game

Best Wood-Fired : Bertello Gas, Wood & Charcoal Fired Portable Pizza Oven

Bertello Gas, Wood & Charcoal Fired Portable Pizza Oven

Amazon

Why you should get it: This versatile pizza oven uses both gas and wood to create the smokey, crisp flavor of a wood-fired pizza without the uneven cooking.
Keep in mind: Our testers found this pizza oven to be a bit difficult to set up.

The most sleek of the ovens we tested, our pick for the best wood-fired outdoor pizza oven earned our testers' praise for its quick cooking and the mouth-watering pizzas it created. It comes with a small peel, a protective cover, and a thermometer, so you have everything you need to get started upon unboxing.

This outdoor pizza oven uses propane to quickly heat the oven, then you can add wood to the oven to achieve a wood-fired flavor. This oven reached a temperature of 900 degrees Fahrenheit during testing, which will quickly cook your pizzas so you won't have to wait around as long for dinnertime. But you'll need to diligently turn your pizza to avoid burning.

The size of the door made it a little harder to turn the pizza to ensure even cooking, and our tester did note the sides of the oven cooked at slightly different speeds. However, the pizzas still came out charred with a crisp crust and gooey cheese.

Putting this oven together wasn't too difficult, but you'll need to screw the parts together and follow the instructions in the manual closely. Plan to spend time on the setup.

Product Details:

  • Fuel source: Gas and wood
  • Weight: 46.7 pounds
  • Interior dimensions: 24.6 x 17.5 x 17.4 inches
  • Cooking surface size: 12.5 inches
  • Heating capability: 900 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Extra features: Foldable legs, thermometer, protective cover, and pizza peel

Best Propane: Roccbox Portable Wood and Gas Pizza Oven

Roccbox Portable Wood and Gas Pizza Oven

Amazon

Why you should get it: This propane pizza oven is nearly effortless to set up; simply unfold the legs.
Keep in mind: The front of the oven became discolored during testing.

This propane pizza oven boasts an impressive heat output from its propane fuel source that wowed our testers, heating up to well over 700 degrees. This allowed our testers to achieve the perfect charred crust and bubbling melted cheese.

Testers also liked how large the stone floor is on this pizza oven, so you can put your pizza closer to or further from the heat, depending on how you want to cook your pizza. During our tests, we followed the manufacturer-recommended temperatures and both the traditional crust and whole wheat pizzas came out crisp with nicely melted cheese.

The oven comes almost completely assembled—simply unfold the legs and get cooking—but our testers noted that it's pretty heavy for one person to pick up. The pizza oven does include a strap that makes it a bit easier to lift.

We also found that the front of the oven was discolored from cooking after just one use, so keep this in mind if looks are important to you.

Product Details:

  • Fuel source: Gas
  • Weight: 62.7 pounds
  • Interior dimensions: 23.75 x 22.5 x 17.5 inches
  • Cooking surface size: 12 inches
  • Heating capability: 700 to 900 degrees
  • Extra features: Foldable legs and a pizza peel

Related: The 11 Best Compost Bins for Outdoor, Indoor, and Kitchen Countertop Use

Best Pellet: Ooni Fyra Portable Wood-Fired Outdoor Pizza Oven

4.3
Ooni Fyra Portable Wood-Fired Outdoor Pizza Oven

Amazon

Why you should get it: This pizza oven cooks pizzas with regular crust and whole wheat crust equally well.
Keep in mind: You'll need to closely watch the oven while cooking to make sure it doesn't run low on pellets.

If you love the flavor of a wood-fired pizza, this is a great oven to take home. Our testers found that it cooked both traditional and whole wheat pizza crusts very evenly for a delightful char, even though wooden heat sources can make consistent cooking difficult. You'll need to closely monitor the oven while you're cooking, as keeping the flame hot by adding wood pellets is key to a successful pizza.

Our testers found they were most successful at cooking with this pellet pizza oven when they followed the directions carefully during setup, lighting, and cooking. There are always fluctuations in heat when using a wood fired oven—we found it ranged between 615 and 850 degrees Fahrenheit—but this model held the heat well overall and cooked the pizzas nicely.

Getting the pizza in the oven and turning it is easy, just be sure to use a smaller peel so you have more space to adjust the pizza. Putting the oven together is also fairly straightforward. Our testers noted it was slightly more involved than other gas ovens we tested, but nothing that would prevent them from buying.

The oven bakes beautiful pizzas, with nice charring and an even cook. It took a little longer than our testers expected, but they raved about the melted, bubbly top.

Product Details:

  • Fuel source: Wood pellets
  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Interior dimensions: 18.9 x 10.24 x 27.17 inches
  • Cooking surface size: 12 inches
  • Heating capability: 615 to 800 degrees
  • Extra features: Foldable legs

Related: The 13 Best Portable Fire Pits for Patios, Backyards, Camping, and More

The Bottom Line

Of all our pizza oven picks, the Ooni Karu 12burns brightest because it consistently baked both whole wheat and traditional pizzas to crispy, bubbling perfection. We loved that it offers multiple heat source options so you can try different cooking methods based on your preferences. It's also quite lightweight, making it easy to store once winter hits.

Our Testing Process

Over the course of six days, two product testers put 18 outdoor pizza ovens to the test in our lab in Birmingham, Alabama. The testers assembled the pizza ovens according to the included instructions, noting how long it took to set up each oven and the level of difficulty. The testers then used a predetermined methodology to score each pizza oven between one and five in eight categories: assembly, preheating, temperature, consistency, heat control, performance, portability, and overall value. They tested each pizza oven using a supreme-style pizza with normal crust and a cheese pizza with whole wheat crust. The final rating for each outdoor pizza oven was determined by averaging each pick's scores across the tested categories.

What to Know About Outdoor Pizza Ovens Before Shopping

Fuel Source

When picking out the best outdoor pizza oven for you, consider what fuel type you'd prefer. Different fuel types can yield different results and require varying levels of attention throughout cooking.A wood-burning pizza oven is more involved since you have to constantly tend the flames and turn the pizza for even cooking because of a wood-burning oven's high heat. Gas pizza ovens provide a more consistent source of heat, allowing all sides of the pizza to crisp up evenly, but they can lack the deliciously smokey flavor that wood-fired pizza ovens offer.

Size

To determine the size of the best outdoor pizza oven for you, think about the size of your patio, how much storage space you have to devote to a pizza oven, and whether or not you plan to regularly transport your pizza oven on camping trips. Some are larger and heavier than others, making them difficult to move when not in use. For example, our top portable model, Only Fire Universal Stainless Steel Pizza Oven Kit, weighs 10 pounds, which makes it super easy to stow away on days when you won't need it. Other outdoor pizza ovens are a little heavier to move around and take up more storage space.

Cooking Surface Size

Cooking surface size is an important factor when choosing an outdoor pizza oven. Consider how large of a pizza you'll want to cook up, and then make sure the surface or pizza stone is large enough to handle the job. Most portable outdoor pizza ovens have a surface size between 12 to 14 inches. If you want a larger pizza, you may need to invest in a permanent outdoor pizza oven structure.

Remember, you'll need adequate space for cooking your pizza, turning it, and removing it from the heat. Our testers looked at the surface size closely when making their assessments because the last thing anyone wants is for a pizza to get caught in the oven and burn.

Heating Capability

It's important to get your pizza oven as hot as possible when cooking a pizza, as the best pizzas result from quick baking on a hot stone. For a thin crust pizza, the recommended temperature is over 700 degrees, but you can bake a fine pizzeria-style pizza at 600 degrees. When shopping for the best outdoor pizza ovens, shop for models that offer high temperatures and even cooking throughout.

Extra Features

There are a few additional features you may want to look for when you're shopping for the best outdoor pizza oven. One of the most important is a pizza peel—the spatula-type tool you'll use to move the pizza in and out of the oven. Many outdoor pizza ovens come with a peel that matches its own dimensions, allowing you to easily add and remove your pizza without making a separate purchase. Another great feature to look for is a temperature gauge, which allows you to know when your pizza oven is hot enough for use. Other features to look for are waterproof covers, stands, wheels, and detachable legs for easy storage.

Pizza Type

For many, the appeal of a homemade pizza oven is the chance to experiment with different dough styles, but it does take time to understand how your oven works. Since whole wheat, regular, and even gluten-free pizza dough types will all cook differently on a pizza oven, it may take a few tries to achieve the perfect char.

Other Outdoor Pizza Ovens We Tested

Ooni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven

The Ooni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven allows you to use both charcoal and wood as heat sources, and testers liked that this large oven allows you to cook a bigger pizza (up to 16 inches in diameter) than other pizza ovens we tested. The oven also heated quickly and held its temperature. However, while the pizzas came out cooked with a crispy top crust, the bottom of the pies were lacking in color, and there was very little char.

Big Horn Outdoors Wood Pellet Pizza Oven

The Big Horn Outdoors Wood Pellet Pizza Oven produced a crisp, golden-brown crust during testing, but the pizzas lacked char. Testers also said this pizza oven was a little difficult to set up and that they had to add more pellets into it twice to keep the temperature high enough to cook a pizza for three minutes. Ultimately, this pizza oven seemed to need pellets constantly, making it less user-friendly than other ovens we tested.

Cru Oven Model 30

During testing, the Cru Oven Model 30 pizza oven took 90 minutes to heat up—double the time of the next-longest oven we tested. For context, the pizza oven with the shortest heating time was the Roccbox Gozney Portable Outdoor Pizza Oven, which took 15 minutes. The Cru pizza oven also requires you to know how to build a good fire, which limits who should buy this oven, and the oven's floor cooled between pizzas, causing testers to have to wait for it to heat back up before adding a second pie.

Your Questions, Answered

Where should I place my outdoor pizza oven?

Rain and moisture are not friendly to outdoor pizza ovens, so the most important consideration when choosing a location for your outdoor pizza oven is keeping it dry at all times, explains Matt Harper of Harpland Productions, who reviews pizza ovens .

"You definitely have to keep it covered because if the stone [inside the oven] gets wet, you are at a higher risk of it cracking when it gets hot," Harper says.

The porosity of the wet stone means if it gets hot, the liquid will expand and your stone will crack. To avoid this, purchase a cover for your pizza oven, place it under a well-ventilated patio, or plan to move it into a covered location once it's cooled down after cooking.

Are outdoor pizza ovens worth it?

The best outdoor pizza ovens allow you to make deliciously charred, crisp pizzas with very little effort. They can be totally worth the price tag if you will use your pizza oven frequently, spend a lot of time outside in your yard or patio, and are interested in upping your homemade pizza game.

According to Harper, portable outdoor ovens are great for people with a smaller budget who don't want to invest in a permanent fixture in their backyard.

"I think that's the great thing about having these more affordable, smaller pizza ovens [is] that, for a few hundred dollars, you can try [cooking your own pizzas at home] and if you don't like it, you didn't spend $3,000 and have this giant cement oven in your backyard," Harper says.

Note, most outdoor pizza ovens for home use make smaller, personal-size pizzas, usually around 13 inches in diameter.

How do I use an outdoor pizza oven?

The first and most important thing is getting your oven hot. Unlike grilling or smoking, you don't want to go slow and low—you need to be well above 600 degrees Fahrenheit for a New York-style pizza and at 750 degrees or more for Neapolitan style. This takes some prep.

"Pizza can cook from 600 [degrees and] up, but a Neapolitan pizza should only cook for a minute and a half," says restaurateur Frank DePasquale, owner of DePasquale Ventures.

Once the pizza oven is hot, which should take about 30 minutes depending on the oven, things will start moving fast, according to Harper. Most pizzas cook in just a few minutes. Harper recommends having all your ingredients ready to go, so you don't have to run inside for anything and risk burning your pizza.

"Make sure that when you cook the pizza, you turn it only one time and that it stays in the same spot that you put it in," DePasquale says. "Don't move the pizza from one spot to another. It will cook more evenly that way."

Who We Are

Tanya Edwards is an award-winning writer and editor with bylines at Better Homes & Gardens and other publications. She spent half a decade running culinary programming for Food Network digital and has been writing about food, dining and food products for over a decade. For this story, Tanya researched the most important features in the best outdoor pizza oven, spoke with industry experts, and used insights from our expert testers from our lab in Birmingham, Alabama. Tanya makes pizza at home at least once a week, and her favorite style is New Haven pizza.

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