The best outdoor pizza ovens have come a long way in the last few years. You don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars for a huge, heavy brick oven anymore to enjoy restaurant-quality pizza from home.
These pizza ovens are portable, affordable, and get hot enough to make crispy authentic bases.
After testing some of the most popular models, I found that the Gozney Roccbox was my favorite for its price point and features. The Ooni Koda 16 was a close second, and the obvious choice if you want the option to cook 16″ pizzas.
Best outdoor pizza ovens to make a perfect pizza at home
I tested 5 of the most popular pizza ovens from brands like Ooni, Gozney, and Stoke to see how they compared. I looked at size, portability, build quality, design, and taste to decide which pizza oven you should buy.
I stuck with the portable table-top style of outdoor pizza oven made famous by brands like Ooni as these are more affordable and practical for most people.
1. Best Overall – Gozney Roccbox
The Gozney Roccbox is a restaurant-grade, portable pizza oven that can be fueled by propane or wood. Reaching 950°F, it can cook a pizza very fast, while the safe touch silicone jacket surrounding the pizza oven is cool to the touch.
The safe touch system is unique to the Roccbox as the other ovens I tested were very hot as you can imagine.
The overall setup was very easy. Straight out of the box, the oven comes with a lifting strap which made pulling the oven out of the box quick and painless.
The Roccbox has a gas burner, while a wood burner option can be purchased separately.
It also comes with a nice pizza peel which is always a much-welcomed accessory. Weighing in at 44 lbs, it is small and compact but still manageable to transport with its dual folding legs.
The built-in thermometer comes in handy when most ovens do not carry this feature. I knew exactly when the oven was at the right temperature to start cooking. For ovens that don’t have a built-in thermometer, using an infrared thermometer gun will give you an accurate reading.
The cooking space does seem a little tight (12 inches) compared to the opening of most of the other ovens I’ve tested but I was still able to get a decent size pizza inside.
The start-up to preheat the oven seemed to take a long time but once it was up to temp it handled pizza after pizza, no problem.
The patented baffle plate technology sends the flames towards the opening of the oven, creating even heat distribution. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly and evenly pizzas cooked.
This oven is well priced for all the features it includes. It does feel like a luxury oven at a very reasonable price. The fact that it comes with a peel, has a built-in thermometer, and the safe touch silicone jacket, while giving you the flexibility to use wood or gas as a fuel source, gives the user a lot of options at this price point.
What we like:
- Easy assembly – Took about 5 minutes.
- Detachable burner system – Can switch between wood or gas.
- Built-in thermometer – Easily track the internal temperature of the oven.
- Safe touch silicone jacket – Keeps the outside nice and cool.
What we don’t like:
- Longer preheat time – The oven takes 5-10 minutes longer than other ovens to preheat.
- Small opening – With only a 12-inch opening, you are limited in what you can cook.
2. Best for cooking large pizzas – Ooni Koda 16
The Ooni Koda 16 is a propane or natural gas-operated pizza oven that is very easy to use right out of the box. It has an extra large cooking area for pizzas up to 16 inches and can get as hot as 950°F.
The Ooni has the most extensive range of ovens with fuel options such as gas, pellet, and wood burning. Something you don’t see in many other ovens, which are primarily gas. You can also purchase ovens that cook pizzas that are 12 inches in size up to 16 inches, like the Ooni Koda I tested.
Weighing in at 39 lbs it is 21 lbs lighter than the Carbon and 10lbs lighter than the Gozney. With a very sleek and modern design, this is one pizza oven that just looks good.
The L-shaped gas burner provides more even cooking than a traditional oven with just a single burner coming from the back. The folding legs make it easy for transport and storage and the built-in gas ignition made for a fast start-up.
Firing up the grill for the first time was quick and painless. Assembly was easy. Just remove the oven from the box, unhinge the legs and hook up the gas. The 16 inch space for cooking extra large pizzas was a great option to have and makes sliding most pizzas in and out a breeze.
Preheating the oven seemed to take a little longer than usual. The other ovens I tested seemed to come up to temp in about 15 minutes, while the Ooni was closer to 20 minutes. Probably due to the size of the oven.
After about 20-30 minutes, I was ready to go, and the pizza cooked quickly and evenly. I did make a few rotations of the pizza and could maneuver it inside easily. The large cooking space allows you to move the pizza closer or further away from the heat source to cook each pizza the way you want.
Inserting and removing the pizza stone is very easy, and there is no cover plate or screws to secure it. After the pizza oven cooled down, I could slide out the stone and clean it easily. For its price point, it is a great value for its size and dependability.
We have a more detailed Ooni VS Gozney Roccbox comparison for a more detailed breakdown.
What we like:
- Large cooking surface – Can cook pizzas up to 16 inches.
- Modern and sleek design – Looks great in your outdoor space.
- Quick set up – All ready in 5 minutes.
- Oven gets hot – Oven temps can get up to 950°F.
What we don’t like:
- Long preheat time – Took 5-10 minutes longer than other ovens tested.
- No accessories – At this price point, you would like to see a peel included.
3. Upgrade pick – Carbon Oven
Carbon claims they are the first dual heated outdoor pizza oven with top and bottom burners.
The idea behind this design is that the bottom burner keeps the under brick hot to get a crispy crust. Of all the ovens I tested, Carbon was the only one with top and bottom burners. It did make a considerable difference in how the pizza was cooked.
The oven temperatures can reach 1000°F and it cooked a pizza in about 90 seconds. There is also enough room to cook meat, desserts and vegetables in the spacious 15-inch internal cooking space. The Carbon feels spacious compared to the Roccbox which only has a 12-inch stone.
The Carbon has a very modern design, available in stainless steel or a matte black finish. It weighs about 60 lbs and has collapsible legs for easy storage.
Using this oven took a little practice as it gets very hot and you can easily overcook your pizza if you aren’t paying attention. The heat is much hotter towards the back like most ovens, so rotating the pizza every 30 seconds was helpful. Once the oven was preheated I turned both burners on low heat which was enough to get a nicely cooked pizza. That process took a little longer but allowed me to have more time to rotate the pizza and check for doneness.
The Carbon was the most expensive oven I tested but considering the dual burners, the ability to cook a 14-inch pizza and the solid construction, it’s a good investment. If you are worried about where to set up your oven, Carbon also offers a stand you can buy separately.
What we like:
- Top and bottom burners – This allows you to cook the pizza faster and more evenly.
- Heats up quickly – A nice feature to have when serving hungry guests.
- Pizza peel included – A must-have to slide pizzas in and out of the oven.
- Nice design options – Available in stainless steel or black.
What we don’t like:
- Very bulky – Hard to transport at around 60 lbs.
- Ignition system needs work – Sometimes starting up can take several tries and it’s hard to tell if the bottom burners are on.
4. Best Budget – Stoke Gas Powered Pizza Oven
The Stoke pizza oven is an affordable lightweight pizza oven that is easy to use right out of the box.
The overall setup was very easy. You need to screw in the temperature gauge and the burner in the back with the three screws included. Then slide in the pizza stone, hook up the gas, and you are ready to go. It took about 5 minutes to assemble.
The Stoke Pizza oven also comes with a nice pizza peel and cutter, which are always a much-welcomed accessory. Stoke also included a pizza kit with sauce, pepperonis, pesto, and a dough kit. I’m not sure if that’s just a promotion they have going on, but a nice touch to the overall experience.
It also came with a cover. A lot of value for the price if you ask me.
Weighing in at 34.7 lbs, it is small and compact, and manageable to transport with its folding legs.
The cooking space, which is 13 inches, seemed wide enough for most pizzas, and I was able to slide my pizza in and out with no problems.
You can upgrade to a 16″ model for a little extra.
With only one burner in the very back, the pizza cooking was slightly uneven, given the hottest point was in the very back. A Lot of ovens with back burners have a dome feature where the flame rolls forward for more even cooking, but with Stoke, that is not the case.
The flame seems to shoot straight up, leaving all the heat in the very back.
I preheated the oven for 30 minutes, and by then, the temperature gauge read about 800 degrees. The oven was still plenty hot to get the job done but cooking the pizza took a little longer than anticipated, and I question whether the inside was really that hot.
I rotated the pizza several times to ensure the whole thing was cooked evenly.
What we like:
- Easy assembly Took about 5 minutes
- Price Very affordable
- Accessories included Came with a pizza peel, cutter, and cover
What we don’t like:
- Longer cook time The temp gauge read 700 after a few minutes, but the inside of the oven did not seem that hot as the pizza took longer to cook than expected
- Ignition: I had trouble igniting the oven, had to try many times before I could get a spark. It could have just been a default in my particular oven.
This oven is well priced and one of the better values at this price point. There are no bells and whistles, but it gets the job done and it comes with accessories, so it feels like you are getting your money’s worth. It also comes with a 365 risk free trial. Essentially Stoke will give you a full refund if you are not happy within the first year of use.
This is an oven that I would highly recommend, especially for those just getting into the world of pizza ovens.
The Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza Oven is specifically designed to replicate the style and performance of a wood-fired brick oven. It has a double-layered ceiling which helps the pizza cook from the top down, like a brick oven. It can get to 700°F, which is lower than all the other ovens I’ve tested, and has a built-in thermometer to dial in the temperature to your preference.
With an overall weight of 47 lbs it does feel a little bulky. It stands pretty low and does not have folding legs like most of its competitors. However, the stainless steel design is nice and assembly is pretty easy.
The double-walled construction is a welcomed addition, and the micro-adjust valve gives you good heat control for more precise cooking. The adjust valve has good responsiveness and allows the user to make small adjustments in temperature unlike the other ovens which have low, medium, and high settings.
The oven heated up pretty quickly and cooked a decent pizza. The top was a little more done than the bottom and there was no way to really get around that problem. I tried leaving the pizza in longer to get the crust a little crispier, but the top started to burn before I was completely satisfied with the bottom and edges.
It was still a tasty pizza, but the texture and the consistency were slightly lacking.
The oven comes with a door to keep your oven hot. I found it helpful to preheat the oven initially but afterward cooked the entire pizza with the door off so I could monitor everything closely.
I also like the option to use large propane tanks as well as the 1-pound disposable canisters which makes it an option for traveling and camping.
It is cheaper than a lot of the other ovens mentioned in this article, and I think it’s a great value. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, but it has enough to cook a good pizza and get the job done. It’s a good option for beginners and experienced cooks alike.
What we like:
- Built-in temperature gauge – A great feature to have to monitor oven temps.
- Good value – For the price, it’s a great option.
- Nice design – Looks great and comes in stainless steel.
- Door included – A good option to have and keeps the heat in.
What we don’t like:
- Does not get as hot – Gets to 700°F, which is much lower than the other ovens I tested.
- Feels bulky – Bigger and bulkier compared to most of the ovens I tested.
Other pizza ovens worth considering
If you’ve already got a charcoal grill and don’t want to go to all the trouble of getting a freestanding pizza oven, then the KettlePizza Basic Pizza Oven Kit can turn 18.5 or 22.5-inch kettle grills into a outdoor pizza oven.
The set itself consists of a stainless steel riser sleeve that sits between the base of the grill and the lid and creates a pizza oven style opening. Using a combination of charcoal and hardwood, the KettlePizza kit can achieve the high, 900°F, temperatures needed to properly cook a pizza.
The standard kit comes with a peel, and the deluxe version comes with a hand-made cordierite baking stone.
If you’re looking for a way to turn your kettle grill into a pizza cooking machine, the KettlePizza kit is the way to do it.
What we like:
- If you’ve already got a kettle grill, this kit means you don’t have to splash out on a whole new pizza oven.
- The kit comes with everything you need and is quick and easy to install.
- When combined with an additional grill grate, the KettlePizza kit significantly increases the size of your kettle grill’s cooking space.
What we don’t like:
- Because of the lack of venting, the exact temperature of a kettle grill pizza oven can be hard to control and with the pizzas cooking in less than a minute, this can result in a ruined pizza, very quickly!
- Many reviewers have noted that to cook the toppings properly, you need to purchase a grilling steel to sit inside your kettle grill’s lid and reflect the heat, which adds to the cost.
If you like the idea of the multi-fuel Gozney Roccbox, but would prefer something a little more portable and a little less expensive, then the Napoli is the ideal outdoor pizza oven for you.
At 22 x 14 x 10.5 inches (558.8 x 355.6 x 266.7 mm) and weighing 22lbs (9.9 kg), the Napoli is equally at home using wood chunks, wood pellets, and charcoal. You can also buy an optional gas burner to round out the fuel bonanza.
Made of solid stainless steel, the Napoli can quickly get up to temperatures of 900ºF / 500ºC and comes with a cordierite pizza stone to ensure you get the proper crispy base on your pizza.
So, if you’re looking for a multi-fuel pizza oven that doesn’t have many bells and whistles but gets the job done while still being portable, then the Napoli is a great choice.
What we like:
- The Napoli is capable of running on wood chunks, wood pellets, charcoal, and gas if you buy the separately sold gas burner.
- The oven has a durable stainless steel body, you won’t have to worry if it takes a few knocks during transport.
- Comes with its own cordierite pizza stone.
What we don’t like:
- For some reason, the Napoli does come with a peel, which is a fairly vital piece of equipment.
- Because it lacks a chimney some users have reported that their pizza can get a little sooty when using charcoal.
Essential pizza accessories
While having the right oven is essential to pizza success, there are some accessories that are almost as important to the process.
The pizza peel
A good pizza oven will cook your pizza in around 60 seconds. To make sure you get consistent cooking, you’re going to need to turn that pizza about halfway through. The best way to do this without scrunching your pizza into a calzone is with a good pizza peel.
Essentially a large thin spade, the peel allows you to put the pizza into the oven without scorching yourself and pull it out to make adjustments without messing up its shape.
Most of the peels on the market are made of steel or aluminum. Still, if you want something more sustainable, we suggest the Pizza Royale ethically sourced premium natural bamboo pizza peel.
An infrared thermometer
Knowing when your pizza oven is up to cooking temperature is vital to getting the best results from it, and the best way to do that is with an infrared thermometer.
The benefits of an infrared thermometer are that they provide an instant reading, they are far more accurate than most conventional thermometers, and they can be used at a safe distance from your 900ºF oven.
Plus, having a good quality infrared thermometer is handy for checking your grill, and even your standard oven, are up to the proper cooking temperature.
Simply put, there is a vast range of woods you can choose from that will burn differently and provide a certain amount of extra flavor, but burning wood, whether than be chunks, pellets, or charcoal, is harder to regulate than gas.
If you want easy temperature regulation and constancy, choose gas. If you want authenticity and more control over your flavor and don’t mind working harder to achieve a consistent temperature, select wood, pellets, or charcoal.
A propane lighter
A propane light or torch is a great way to get your pellets, wood chunks, or charcoal lit and can also be used to light a gas oven. No need to mess around with lighter fluid or matches.
You don’t need anything fancy, just a high-quality, reliable lighter.
A pizza cutter
Last but not least, there’s no point in cooking the perfect Neapolitan pizza (or any other type of pizza) if you’ve then going to butcher it while trying to slice it up. Getting yourself a reliable pizza cutter is going to save you a lot of mess and mushed up pizza in the long run.
Now we’ve given you a look under the hood of some of the best pizza ovens on the market, let’s break down what you need to know to pick the right one for you.
Outdoor vs. indoor pizza ovens
All of the ovens we’ve listed above are solely for outdoor use, don’t let the term countertop fool you, they are not for use in your kitchen.
The reason for this is that wood-fired and gas outdoor pizza ovens have to come up to around 900ºF to properly cook a Neapolitan-style pizza and give you a crisp base with properly cooked toppings.
Most indoor pizza ovens that use electricity or natural gas to cook the pizza often max out at around 550°F, well below that 900ºF threshold.
If you’re cooking at that temperature, you’re going to find yourself with a soggy crust and sloppy toppings. So, if you want the proper pizza experience, it’s best to invest in an outdoor oven.
Types of pizza oven
As you can see from the list above, there are four standard fuels used by most pizza ovens – charcoal, wood chunks, wood pellets and gas. Some ovens, like Gozney Roccbox, can use gas and wood interchangeably although you need to spend a bit extra for the gas option.
If you’re wondering what the difference between the types of fuel is, don’t fret, we’ll break it down for you.
Wood pizza ovens
Wood is the most traditional way of cooking pizza and can impart extra flavor to your pie, but it is also the most challenging when it comes to getting a consistent temperature.
You can offset this by combining wood with a more stable fuel, like charcoal.
If you thought wood ovens were just for cooking pizza think again. There are loads of different recipes you can cook in a pizza oven.
Charcoal pizza ovens
Charcoal burns more consistently than wood chunks, so it’s easier to keep a consistent temperature, and it is the most widely available of the fuels. Still, if you don’t have the right amount of ventilation, it can leave a sooty residue on your food.
Wood pellet ovens
Wood pellets are made out of compressed sawdust and burn hot and consistently while still imparting a little wood smoke flavor to your food. The downside of pellets is that the mechanisms for feeding them into the firebox are often fragile and prone to clogging.
Wood pellets are also the least common of the fuels on this list.
Propane gas pizza ovens
Gas ovens are easy to use, easy to regulate the temperature, and easy to clean. What they lack in authenticity, they make up for in consistency, although you might miss that wood-smoked flavor.
Propane canisters are easy to find, and gas-burning models are often the most portable of pizza ovens you can buy.
What about using your grill to cook pizza?
If you’ve looked through the outdoor pizza ovens above, you’ll have noticed that they have a distinct shape. The low roof of the pizza oven reflects the heat back down onto the topping, removing excess moisture as it cooks them to stop the sauce from preventing the base from crisping.
The specific design of the oven reflects the fact the cooking authentic Neapolitan-style pizza takes a very specific technique since the cooking only takes around a minute.
Most grills have a lot of space and a highly domed lid, ideal for cooking looks of barbeque treats, but less useful for cooking pizza. The chances are that putting your pizza in your grill will result in a sloppy mess or a burned crust and only partially cooked toppings.
If you’re serious about pizza, you’ll want to invest in a proper oven.
What to consider when buying an outdoor pizza oven
Most considerations when it comes to purchasing a outdoor pizza oven can be slimmed down to four crucial factors, size, durability and insulation, maximum temperature, and price.
You’ll also want to check if the oven comes with a pizza stone and any other accessories included or if you need to purchase them separately.
Most outdoor pizza ovens a few years ago were more compact, designed to cook smaller 12″ pizzas.
Companies like Ooni have been adding more 16″ options which makes them a little less portable.
If you’re looking for something in the middle, models like the Carbon Oven allow you too cook up to a 14-inch pizza, sear a tray of vegetables, and even make desserts and cook meat.
If you’re looking for a portable outdoor pizza oven, you’ll want to consider something more along the lines of the Ooni Koda or the Roccbox.
The Roccbox weighs in at 44lbs while the Koda 12 is light at 20.2lbs. Both ovens have a compact body that make them easy to transport.
Durability and insulation
Much like buying a grill, the materials your outdoor pizza oven is made out of can make a real difference.
If you’re looking for something portable, you’ll also want it to be durable, so it can take a few knocks on the road.
The Roccbox, for instance, has a high-grade 304 stainless steel body. Giving it durability, lined with calcium silicate installation, and is covered with heat-resistant silicone from extra durability and safety.
We have a guide on the difference between brick and stainless steel for pizza ovens if you want to learn more about how the material can impact your pizza.
As we’ve mentioned before, cooking a proper Neapolitan-style pizza takes a very high, 900ºF, and above, temperature. If the oven you’re considering has a max temperature below that, it’s probably not worth buying.
A lot of countertop pizza ovens are expensive, and while there is nothing wrong with paying for quality, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
We chose the Gozney Roccbox to be our best oven overall because, despite its not-insignificant price tag, it has the build quality, utility, and functionality to justify the cost you’re being asked to pay.
Ease of cleaning
Cleaning pizza ovens is pretty easy. Just like a self cleaning oven works in your kitchen you can increase the temperature of your pizza oven for 20-30 minutes and basically incinerate any little bits and pieces left inside. Most of it will turn to ash and you can vacuum it out with a shop vac.
If you need to remove the pizza stone make sure to wait until the oven and stone has cooled down then scrub with a sponge or a wire brush. If you need to add a little water to get things rinsed off that’s ok. I would avoid using soap.
Wrapping it all up
Making glorious pizza doesn’t mean you have to build a brick monstrosity in your back garden.
By using our buyer’s guide to ascertain precisely what you need from a pizza oven and pursuing the fantastic selection of ovens we’ve selected, you’ll be sure to find a tremendous pizza cooking machine that’s just right for you.
If you’ve got some advice on how to get the best out of one of the ovens on our list, or a perfect pizza dough recipe you’re itching to share with the world, we’d love it if you’d let us know in the comments below.