Best Pizza Ovens of 2024 to Sling Pies From Your Patio


If you invest in the best grills, what’s your pride and joy? Some people have a penchant for gas grills and charcoal grills, others enjoy pellet grills and smokers, and some even like the ease of portable grills for nomadic lifestyles. But what if we told you your next most beloved purchase is one of the best pizza ovens of 2024?

Making pizza at home is a great way to get pies just the way you like them and embrace your inner pizzaiolo. The challenge in replicating your favorite pizzas is that standard kitchen ovens generally top out at 500 degrees F—at least 200 degrees shy of what you need for a proper pie. 

Luckily, there’s been a boom in affordable consumer-grade pizza ovens that don’t require much outdoor space or upfront cost to get baking like the pros. The best pizza ovens often use propane fuel to speed heat-up times and employ efficient designs to cook pies quickly while keeping the oven ready for more, so you can feed a crowd fast.

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Ooni Karu 16 earns the distinction of the best pizza oven overall. Though pricey, it provides consistent, even cooking and fuel flexibility in a thoughtfully designed package that’ll keep you slinging pies all s

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Best Pizza Oven Overall: Ooni Karu 16 Ooni Karu 16 pizza earns our top spot for the best pizza oven overall.

Justin Park

I’d been making “OK” pizza for a couple decades, but during Covid lockdowns I bought an Ooni Koda 16 and that upped my pizza game to the point where I’d have to drive an hour to get better pizza. Plus, each pie costs me less than $5 to make, despite using premium ingredients.

I’ve tested several other pizza ovens since, but Ooni Karu 16 is the first one that felt like a worthy upgrade. It can burn wood, charcoal, or gas; cooks more evenly; and gets hotter than any other home pizza oven I’ve tried.

Ooni Karu 16 Overall Impressions  The Ooni Karu 16 pizza oven can get up to 950 degrees in 15 minutes. 

Justin Park

When it comes to cooking authentic Neapolitan-style pizza, your average home oven tops out around 450 or 500 degrees F while the chewy, airy crust of a Neapolitan pie demands 800 to 1,000 degrees F. Today, Ooni has a lineup of six distinct ovens in a range of sizes and fuel sources from electric to gas to wood; but in my opinion, Karu 16 is its best all-around pizza oven.

It addresses all my gripes with Koda. Most notably, it adds a door to the mouth of the oven, which prevents wind and cold air from sucking the heat out of the front of the oven, resulting in more even cooking. The way the oven directs flames over the pizza is also an improvement and I’ve found it less likely to burn crusts while doing a better job of melting cheese and cooking toppings.

Pros: Fuel Flexibility and Consistent Cooking

Home range ovens provide even heat with minor hotspots, but most pizza ovens have a fairly steep temperature gradient: blazing hot up to 1,000 degrees in the back close to the heat source and gradually cooling as you move toward the mouth of the oven. In winter, I’ve measured differences as high as 300 degrees between the back and front of the cooking surface in my Koda 16.

You quickly learn this temperature gradient means that, once the crust has stiffened enough, you need to start rotating the pizza so the less-cooked parts catch up. This is a skill and it’s fun when you get good at it, but too sharp a gradient causes problems. If the rear of the pie is cooking too quickly, but the front hasn’t stiffened up, you won’t be able to rotate the pizza since half of it is still limp. While you’re waiting on the front, the back will carbonize.

Homemade pizza in an Ooni Karu 16 pizza oven cooks consistently evenly.

Justin Park

The glass-faced door on Karu 16 solves this. It keeps cold air out and the oven’s heat in, resulting in a less severe drop-off in temperature as you move toward the front of the oven. (I never measured more than a 120-degree difference between maximum and minimum temperatures inside Karu, though the rear is still the hottest spot.)

The result? The entire crust firms up much more quickly around the whole area of the pie, so you can run the oven at extremely high temperatures and begin turning it quickly, before any section of the pie gets overly charred. 

Ooni Karu 16 comes set up to cook with wood, with a gas burner add-on for $119. Given that the price tag is already $799 before accessories, I wish it came with the gas option by default, but it’s worth the extra spend.

The fire box of the Ooni Karu 16 pizza oven takes wood chunks, but you can also switch to gas when in a rush to pump out pies.

Justin Park

I tested both the wood fire box and gas burner as fuels. While the burner peaked at 889 degrees, I was able to push the wood-fired heat to 990 degrees—higher than the listed maximum of 950.

Aside from the higher temps, I also quickly came to appreciate the light smoky flavor added to pies when cooking with wood. At those burn temperatures, there’s not much smoke, but after having eaten hundreds of gas-fired pies, I immediately tasted the difference on the wood-fired pies and have come to prefer it. 

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Cons: Funky Igniter and Limited Pie Size

The piezoelectric igniter on the gas burner gave me fits and almost never succeeded in lighting the gas despite creating a visible spark. Ooni customer service was kind enough to send me a replacement, but the second unit fared no better and I resorted to lighting it with a stick lighter. 

My only other gripe with Karu 16 is a more general caution that applies to any pizza oven in this price range, and that’s the size limitations of these relatively small ovens. Karu 16 maxes out at about a 16-inch diameter pie, and I’m not aware of any sub-$1,000 household pizza ovens with a bigger capacity. (Ooni has announced a new Koda oven that will cook up to 20-inch pies for under $1,000, but it won’t be available for pre-order until May 2024.)

The only real con with the Ooni Karu 16 pizza oven is the finicky igniter. 

Justin Park

If you want to recreate big, foldable New York-style slices at home, you might be better off trying to get the most out of your oven. Because those pizzas have a slightly thicker dough and more ingredients on top, they need to cook at lower temperatures—and a properly heated stone in a 500-degree oven can do the trick.

Final Verdict

Ooni Karu 16 is the best pizza oven $1,000 can buy. Ooni launched this category of affordable high-temp home pizza ovens and constant innovation has kept the brand on top of it, with Karu 16 representing the pinnacle of its design prowess (so far). The consistent, even cooking and fuel flexibility make it a great choice for novices and pros alike. At roughly $1,000, when you add in the gas burner and essential accessories, such as peels and a cutter, the cost for Karu 16 isn’t cheap, but it’s still half the cost or less of any superior options.

How I Tested Ooni Karu 16 Pizza Oven

I spent about two weeks cooking pizza at home using Ooni Karu 16. I kept my normal pizza-making process exactly the same, using 65 percent hydration homemade dough balls kept in my fridge and allowed to proof at room temperature for at least an hour. Because Karu 16 uses both gas and wood fuel, I tested both back-to-back to compare performance and took temperature readings at various points in the oven using an infrared thermometer and compared that to the readout of Karu’s internal temperature readout.

I cooked about 40 15-inch pizzas in total, varying the oven temperature and techniques to see what yielded the best results and gauge how forgiving the oven is. To compare Karu 16 to other comparable options, I drew on my experience testing other consumer pizza ovens. In particular, I compared it with Ooni Koda 16 and Solo Stove Pi.

  • Weight: 62.6 pounds
  • Max pizza size: 16 inches
  • Max temperature: 1,000 degrees
  • Fuel: Wood, charcoal, or gas (add-on required)

Read our full Ooni Karu 16 review.

$799 at ooni

Best Budget Pizza Oven: Solo Stove Pi Prime Solo Stove Pi Prime Pizza Oven

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Solo Stove, makers of the sleek smokeless fire pits, jumped into the pizza oven game with their wood or gas Pi pizza oven a few years ago and recently released the Solo Stove Pi Prime which is gas-only and makes some minor improvements over the original. The headline on the Pi Prime is the $350 price tag which delivers ample cooking surface and temperatures up to 950 degrees. I’m not aware of any other consumer pizza ovens that get this hot at this price point.

Despite a low price point, the Pi Prime also comes with everything you need to get cooking including a bamboo launching peel, stainless steel turning peel, infrared thermometer, cover, and rocker blade pizza cutter. Much like their fire pits, the Pi Prime is also very light at around 30 pounds, it’s easy to move around for storage or taking on the road. The compact, stainless steel design is also highly durable, so it’s a great option for tailgating and camping.

The oven gets plenty hot, reaching up to 950 degrees in ideal conditions, though the open-mouth means wind and cold ambient temperatures can tamp down your peak oven temps. The three-sided flame design cooks pretty evenly, making it a good option for beginners, though you’ll still need to rotate pies frequently with the included turning peel to avoid burnt crusts and uneven cooking.

Probably the biggest limitation of the Pi Prime is the size of the opening where you launch your pies inside. Despite a roughly 15- by 20-inch stone inside, the opening limits you to making mostly 12-inch or smaller pizzas. If you’re used to picking up 18- or 20-inch takeout pizzas to share, the small pies can feel gimmicky and personal-sized. Some people love the artisan feel of smaller individual pizzas, but it’s harder to feed a crowd quickly and I don’t love the higher crust-to-topping ratio of small pizzas. But for about half the cost or less of most of Ooni’s options, the Pi Prime is a capable budget option for getting into home pizza-making.

  • Weight: 30 pounds
  • Max pizza size: 13 inches
  • Max temperature: 950 degrees
  • Fuel: Propane
$350 at solo stove

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Best Portable Pizza Oven: Ooni Koda 16 Ooni Koda 16 Pizza Oven

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The Koda 16 was my first pizza oven and it’s still one of my favorites, surpassed only by Ooni’s Karu 16. While the two-sided gas burner is meant to mimic a traditional wood-fired oven, its lightweight powder-coated metal spaceship looks are far from traditional. The L-shaped flame spans the rear and left side of the oven and sends heat up and over the pizzas to quickly cook cheese and toppings without sending too much heat directly at the back edge of your crust.

There’s a learning curve with the Koda but once you get a feel for how long to let a pie firm up and how often to turn it, it’s easy to crank out pies in about 2 minutes with minimal downtime for reheating. Ooni’s product description suggests you can just turn the pizzas once with the Koda 16, but I get more even results with smaller, more frequent turns and I recommend purchasing a turning peel for the purpose.

Because the Koda 16 doesn’t have a door, it’s susceptible to cold temperatures and wind affecting the stone’s temperature gradient and overall interior temperature. In midwinter, I’ve found the mouth end of the stone can be 300 degrees colder than the rear, which can leave the mouth of the pie limp and difficult to turn when you need to. Koda enthusiasts have engineered doors for their ovens, but if you’re cooking often in very cold temps, you’re better off just buying the Karu which comes with a door.

Though the shape is a bit awkward for transport, it’s durable and compact with fold-up legs and a reasonable 40-pound weight that makes it easy to store if you don’t have dedicated space for a pizza oven. I’ve taken the Koda 16 lots of places via vehicle including miles into a backcountry hut via snowmobile and it still functions as well as the day I unboxed it. The Solo Stove Pi Prime is a better shape and weight for transport, but I much prefer the larger pizza sizes and cooking performance of the Koda 16. If you don’t mind smaller pizzas, the Koda 12 sports the same design in a smaller (30 pounds) and cheaper ($399) package.

  • Weight: 39 pounds
  • Max pizza size: 16 inches
  • Max temperature: 950 degrees
  • Fuel: Propane (natural gas adapter available)
$599 at ooni

Best Hybrid Pizza Oven: Gozney Dome Gozney Dome Pizza Oven

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One downside of a dedicated home pizza oven is that most are one-trick-ponies that aren’t that useful for making anything outside of pizza. That’s great if you make pizza regularly, but it can be tough to stomach the price tags if you’re not sure it’s worth your commitment of funds and outdoor space. The Gozney Dome is popular for its pizza-making capabilities, but its slightly larger internal dimensions and rope-sealed oven door open up possibilities for baking, roasting, and searing when you’re ready to change up your menu.

This is heavier, beefier oven with a higher price tag that reflects the increased capabilities and heat retention thanks to triple-layer insulation and a thick, 30mm stone with insulation below. This not only allows you to cycle pizza cooking faster, but it also means you can bring the oven up to temperature and hold it longer with less fire or fuel for lower and slower cooks.

The Dome also can use either wood or gas for fuel and which you..

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