Top Outdoor Pizza Ovens Reviewed By Experts
The best outdoor pizza ovens for 2022, recommended by our experts – including freestanding, portable pizza ovens, barbecue-top pizza stones, and traditional domed pizza ovens
Before assessing these pizza ovens, we warmed them each for 30 minutes to season them, burn off any oils or impurities from the manufacture, and next let them cool thoroughly.
Firing up each oven on High, and working their propane burners for 15 minutes, we evaluated the temperatures on the top of pizza stones with an infrared instrument.
Then, we prepared pizza in the ovens, employing the same dough for every pie. This provided that any variation in how the pizza was cooked developed from the ovens, and not from the recipe.
As for the fuel we used, we burned propane and oak firewood (for the models that burn wood). During cooking, we saw how effectively each oven performed, the differences between them, and their simplicity of use.
Finally, and highly enjoyably, we evaluated (read: ate) the pizza.
I had never intensely looked at a dedicated pizza oven because, frankly, the cost implied a bit extreme.
However, a test editor should be keeping a free mind, though, and analyze these best outdoor pizza ovens transformed.
I saw how simple it is to make the perfect-tasting, and looking, pizza ever. I haven’t had take-out pizza since.
Most importantly, the pizza oven made our household dinners more interesting, united, and fun. From preparing the dough and expanding sauce to scattering on cheese and toppings, everybody chipped in.
One batch of dough produces four to five 12-inch pizzas—sufficient for each of us to eat our favorite type. With the capability to cook a pizza in about a minute, it’s simple to keep the pies running.
How We Did The Test
- 4½ cups of type “00” flour
- 12/3 cups of hot tap water
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- ½ teaspoon active dried yeast
• Pour the water into a bowl. Stir in the salt and yeast until dissolved.
• Put the flour in a large bowl. Add about a quarter of the water.
• Blend the flour and water by hand or with a mixer and a dough hook.
• Add the rest of the water gradually as you mix—over the course of 8 minutes, or to the point the dough is a smooth, even consistency.
• Sprinkle flour on the counter and on your hands. Dump the dough on the counter, then fold and knead it into a ball.
• Put the dough in a bowl, cover the bowl with a damp towel, and let the dough rise for 2 to 3 hours.
• Cut the dough into 4 – 5 pieces, shape it into balls, place in bowls, and cover bowls with a damp towel for 2 hours. Then it’s ready to use.
The Pizza Dough Recipe We Used
In the late aughts, Ooni revolutionized homemade pizza-making when it brought in the first best outdoor pizza oven, a portable pizza oven.
Since then, with demand soaring, it’s been hard to keep up with the number of new pizza-oven brands and models.
Analyzing them, we’ve learned as much about creating pizza as we did about the ovens we used to make them—and in the process, we’ve made pizza night an event the entire household looks forward to.
The above are the ingredients and steps we used to do the dough for testing. It’s our own take on classic Neapolitan pizza dough.
Through analysis, we’ve discovered that the best pizza ovens share similar features and the same basic design—regardless of the fuel they burn.
With a fuel source at the rear, flames follow the roof of the oven to the door at the front, or to the flu in the case of the Ooni. The hot flames radiate downward, heating the stone.
Once the stone hits a temperature of around 930 degrees Fahrenheit, the pizza can be cooked from both the top and bottom simultaneously.
The heat is so high that you’ll need to turn the pizza every 15 to 20 seconds, and it only takes about a minute to cook.
How Heat Travels In A Pizza Oven
Fuel: Wood VS. Propane
Wood is the conventional fuel of choice in pizza ovens, coveted for the smoky aroma it gives to the pizza. On the other hand, a wood fire needs more time to heat up and takes more attention to hold the temperature throughout the whole process.
If you’re planning to make a couple of pies, this may not be a problem for you.
Propane has the leverage of being able to heat up a pizza oven rapidly with simple the swing of a knob.
The benefit of firing up the oven on High and being ready to cook a pie in 15 minutes is hard to deny. As is the ease of cleanup, with no firebox to empty.
All of the best ovens we tested are below, so take a look and see which one is good for you.
The Best Outdoor Pizza Ovens Under $500
This is the best outdoor pizza oven available. It’s compact, light, and swift. Compressed wood or biomass pellets are burned.
The portability of the Ooni Fyra is enhanced by its capacity to heat and cool rapidly and its 10kg weight. A trip to the beach is not impossible, and it can also be taken to a garden party.
It is a peculiar little appliance with a pellet burner that protrudes from the back of the oven and emits a flame through the oven’s ceiling and up the chimney.
This generates a very high temperature and swiftly heats the cordierite cooking stone.
You must use a natural fire starter on the burner before adding wood pellets to create a fire. This rocket-like burner will heat the oven to around 500 degrees Celsius within fifteen minutes. At this temperature, you can produce a pizza approximately every 60 seconds.
Moreover, this oven has no insulation and low thermal mass. That will often result in hot patches. Therefore, you will need to turn your pizza several times during the cooking process.
It also indicates that the weather is quite hot – you have been warned! Also, if you accidentally overfill the burner, the fire will be smothered, and the oven will blacken.
It has a complimentary three-year warranty. It may be worth waiting for the item, which is currently only available for presale and will be delivered by mid-September.
Renowned chefs also recommend other Ooni models. James Flint, the chef at Restaurant Fasty, owns the gas-powered Ooni Koda 16 instead of the electric Fyra.
According to him, there is no better combo than nduja, burrata, and rocket pesto on a pizza, followed by a negroni and tiramisu.
The dark shell of this aesthetically beautiful oven – also available in grey – is a silicone coating, making it safe to touch.
Similar to the Ooni, it has an outside burner. This time, though, there is also the option of a gas burner. It is small enough to sit contentedly on an outside table, and it is either green or silver-gray.
I’m sure why you would go outside if you wanted a gas oven, so for now, we’ll focus on wood. For this, you need small, kiln-dried hardwood logs roughly the kindling size.
Use a natural fire starter to start a fire, then add a few of your little logs to the burner. It takes roughly 15 minutes to reach cooking temperature, but you will have numerous layers of steel and ample insulation.
Maintaining a uniform temperature is simple, but I would still turn the pizzas once. The width of the open space is 31.5 centimeters. With the door somewhat narrower, you will be able to fit 11.5-inch pizzas inside, and you may pull them out roughly every 60 seconds.
Your baking is uniform, and you do not necessarily require a childproof fence. It weighs about 20 kilograms and features a carrying strap, making it extremely portable.
This oven has limited availability due to high demand, but it is now available for shipment by mid-August.
Pizza enthusiasts can purchase a pizza-specific oven or a multifunctional model.
For instance, this La Hacienda Multi-Function oven (£140, Argos) is both a BBQ and a pizza oven, so it can also be used to prepare BBQ-style delights and smoked meats and fish. This puts it among the best outdoor pizza ovens for people who want versatility.
Customers must also choose between cooking pizzas with wood or coal, but most models support both, he notes. Whether a charcoal or woodfired oven is advantageous depends on your preferred pizza.
Coal-fired ovens are hotter, but woodfired ovens have a significantly higher flame, resulting in a quicker cooking time.
Pizzas made in coal ovens have a crispy crust and a chewy interior, whereas pizzas made in wood ovens have a narrow center and puffier edges.
The charm of the best outdoor pizza ovens is in the smoky flavor they impart. Whether coal or woodfired, they make pizza cooking more enjoyable and offer a dimension of flavor that a conventional oven cannot provide.
As with barbecue grills, we recommend removing outdoor pizza ovens at the end of each summer to prevent rust.
Some pros consider a pizza stone to be a form of cheating. This thermal shock-resistant addition lets you transform your barbeque into a pizza oven if you already have a good grill with a lid and are unsure how your family will respond to a new pizza oven appearing in the backyard.
The stone has a diameter of 36 centimeters. The stone absorbs water out of the dough during cooking, resulting in a light and crisp base as opposed to soggy in metal pans. It is designed to fit most gas and charcoal grills.
The troubles start when you open the lid of your grill: you’ll lose all the heat and have to wait for it to build up again before adding another pizza (when you’ll have to open the lid again).
You’ll also need to guess when it’s done because you cannot look inside. With a little commitment and practice, you can get outstanding results for a minimal investment, but convenience and bragging rights are lacking.
The best pizza ovens for a full-on gastronomic event
The Morso Forno cast outdoor iron grill, and pizza oven is a cult product from the Danish manufacturer specializing in wood-burning stoves, multi-fuel stoves, outdoor living products, and fireside accessories.
Internally designed like an Italian stone oven, heat is evenly distributed throughout, and the integrated set of pizza stones ensures bases are always crisp and authentically Italian.
At the 2013 German IIA Award, it received the Interior Innovation Award for Outdoor Products.
In addition to freshly crispy pizzas, it may be used for succulent steaks and smoked salmon, infusing Scandinavian cool into your summer and winter outdoor cooking sessions.
The cast-iron Tuscan grill can cook meat and fish over smoldering embers as a smoker or cook stews and casseroles using cast iron cookware slowly.
We also enjoy their £49 bamboo pizza paddle. Additionally, you can get a movable table to make moving around your patio or garden easier.
On osoliving.com, you’ll also find a variety of accessories and bundles. Take a look at the Morso Grill Forno II outdoor oven (£599.00; directstoves.com) for a less expensive alternative to the Morso Forno outdoor pizza oven.
Price varies; check alfaforni.com to locate a local stockist.
Italian-made Alfa ovens in early August. They are known as the “Ferrari” of pizza ovens for a good reason.
It heats up quite quickly for a home oven, and you can make two pizzas simultaneously, so it doesn’t take much to feed a family. Alfa manufactures both residential and commercial ovens, demonstrating their expertise.
It is also great for roasting. There is hardly anything quite like the flavor of a chicken roasted in a wood-fired oven. The transportable Alfa One is also a viable choice.”
Can I Make My Own Pizza Oven?
Alternatively, you could opt to build and provide and fashion your pizza oven with a plinth, dome mold, brick opening, and insulation layers from scratch.
You’ll make a 1-meter internal diameter oven with 7-inch thick cob walls made from dug clay, earth, and sand. These ovens are truly epic.
They’ll take a good couple of hours to get to cooking temperature, but they’ll hold the heat for a long time. Again, these ovens will cook you excellent pizza, but don’t be limited by that – cook whatever you like, and let it bask in smokey goodness.”
And once you’ve got all the kit, make sure to perfect your pizza dough recipe and expand your repertoire of pizza recipes.