Outdoor pizza ovens are the best way for you to replicate wood-fired pizza cooking at home. Our backyard pizza oven guide will show you exactly where to start. Making the perfect homemade pizza has never been so easy.
I hope you’ll agree with me when I say:
Pizza might just be the best food on the planet.
And what better way to do pizza justice than investing in a pizza oven?
They’re the best way to cook pizza in a way that emulates the authentic wood-fired pizzas of Naples.
So we’ve spent over 20 hours, and eaten over 50 pizzas (I regret nothing) to shortlist the 7 best, and ultimately find the best outdoor pizza oven for you.
Outdoor pizza ovens have been making waves over the past few years, and it’s not hard to see why.
They’re one of the best ways to replicate authentic wood-cooked pizza, while they are far more efficient than cooking them in a grill or regular kitchen oven.
Pizza is the food of convenience, so it makes sense that an oven should be just as simple.
The best home pizza ovens are easy to use, quick to heat up, and retain heat well enough to get your pizza cooked and ready within just a couple of minutes.
With all of that in mind, here are 7 of the best out there today.
Kicking off our list is the brilliant Napoli Wood Fired Oven. Compared to other more traditional ovens, it is quite small. However it packs more than enough in to make it the best wood fired pizza oven out there right now.
This is a mightily impressive machine. While it’s primarily a wood-powered oven, it also allows gas and charcoal cooking. This level of versatility is fantastic to have, while its cooking temperatures can reach upwards of 930°F (500°C).
Without a doubt it’s our choice for best outdoor pizza oven.
Ooni Pro Multi-Fueled
This thing is a beautify to behold.
It can run off both charcoal and wood, and even gas if you’re short on time. This versatility is a trait shared by many of the best ovens, so it’s great to see that Ooni are no different.
It also features beautiful cordierite cooking stones that are excellent at absorbing moisture, helping to create beautifully crispy dough bases.
Pizzacraft PC6500 Pizzeria Pronto
What I really love about this pizza oven is its appearance. It just looks like a durable piece of outdoor cooking equipment.
It’s really easy to set up and it can heat up to about 700°F (370°C) in just 10 minutes, so you’re ready to go in no time. It has easy to use temperature controls, and it even has a thermometer in its top lid, helping you easily keep across the internal heat levels of your oven.
The Pizzacraft mainly runs off gas, but if you pair it with wood chips then you can have it working as wood fired oven in no time. Once it heats up it only takes 5 minutes to cook your pizza, and its moisture vents on top ensure that your pizza crusts come out beautifully crispy.
What this oven does really well is heat retention. It has a reflective shield inside the upper lid of its chamber, which helps to maintain heat levels while still allowing moisture to escape through its vents.
ROCCBOX are relatively new to the pizza cooking game, but that lack of experience is nowhere to be seen here. This is a brilliant wood-gas hybrid oven that offers the best of both worlds with very little compromise in terms of quality.
This premium, portable stone pizza oven is good to go right out the box. Despite being a predominantly ‘portable’ model, it’s really built and is up to the task of cooking pizza after pizza.
The oven can run just off wood, but for best results I recommend using its propane feature to get things going quickly. You can preheat it with gas and then use wood to finish it off to still give your pizza that stone oven wood-baked taste and feel to it.
It’s a little more expensive than its peers, and I’m not convinced that it offers enough to justify the extra price. Its dual burner gas system does make it easier to use for beginners, but once you’re past this learning curve there isn’t a whole lot that separates it from the other ovens on this list.
I love that this model does away with the tall chimney that the others from Ooni have, and instead goes with something far more modern and sleek looking.
On the plus side, it’s very light so you’ll never be stuck just on your patio with it. It could revolutionize your next tailgate party or camping trip.
This oven is pretty much good to go straight out the box. Just get the pizza stone and propane tank in place. From there your oven will be preheated in minutes, and your pizza will only take about 90 seconds to cook.
The oven itself is insulated with a powder-coated carbon steel shell which keeps the interior of the oven well insulated, while shields you from the outside from the roaring heat.
The downside of this is that its internal airflow isn’t as strong, which means that temperature levels can be a bit uneven while cooking.
This makes it a great entry-level oven at a very affordable price, but once you’ve gotten to grips with using it for pizza making you might consider upgrading.
The Ooni 3 pizza oven (previously called Uuni, to avoid confusion) is a beauty to behold. The chimney on this thing makes it hard to miss, but it’s far more than just a gimmick.
The chimney and rear firebox work together to create consistent airflow while you cook.
Consistent airflow means stable temperatures. Stable temperatures mean perfect pizza.
The Ooni 3 gets up to a staggering 932°F in mere minutes, thanks to its choice of fuel in the form of wood pellets. This means you can be up, running, and cooking almost right away.
Key to its excellent heat retention performance is its cordierite stone floor and stainless steel shell. In tandem the two features mean that heat is kept consistent in the air of the chamber, rather than being lost through its surfaces or walls.
Harbor Gardens KUK002B
If you want something that resembles the kind of oven you might find in a more traditional kitchen, then this pizza oven from Harbor Gardens might be more up your street.
This oven does away with sleek compact designs, and instead has a rustic vertical build.
Despite this, it’s the most budget-friendly oven on this list without ever compromising on quality of build.
It has an impressive build quality for its price, and is easy and quick to assemble out the box.
Keeping on top of your wood setup can be daunting for newcomers, so this oven does away with that. You simply load the firebox feature with chamber and once your oven has reached ideal temperature (it has a handy built-in thermometer) you throw your pizza in.
It’s built with intake and exhaust vents that allow you to manually tweak your cooking temperatures. This does come with a little bit of a learning curve but after just a couple of uses you’ll have easily gotten to grips with it.
What to look out for in a pizza oven
So you think you’re ready to buy a new pizza cooker? Before you do, here are the six key things to consider.
Wood vs propane
Wood-fired pizza ovens are most loyal versions to the traditional models we all think of in Italy, however modern gas fuelled models offer a lot in terms of convenience and ease of use.
Wood fuelled models undoubtedly offer much more in terms of smell and taste, but do come with the burden of regularly needing to buy new wood for it.
Using propane shouldn’t be looked down on though. If you have a large party to feed, or are new to the home pizza cooking game then gas ovens are a great place to start.
Propane ovens also tend to be built to an excellent standard, so their heat retention capacity tends to be very good, sometimes even better than wood.
They also don’t produce anywhere near as much ash as wood fired ovens, making cleaning up and preparation quicker and easier.
Keep an eye out for hybrid pizza ovens that offer both wood and gas cooking, to try to give you the best of both worlds.
Pizza ovens are just as prone to external influences as charcoal grills, so be sure to keep yours protected from the elements.
Aim to use your oven in an area that’s sheltered from the wind. Strong winds can disturb temperature levels within your oven, which will make cooking heat levels unstable and potentially ruin your pizza.
Just like any oven or barbecue grill, the amount of time you need to allow for your pizza oven to heat up should be a key criteria.
Heat-up time is mostly determined by two key factors: Quality of build, and airflow.
A good quality oven build will usually ensure excellent heat retention, which usually means that the oven heats up to target temperatures quickly.
Airflow is the system that the oven has built in to allow air to enter and exit the main oven chamber. Fire depends on oxygen to burn, so needs a healthy flow of air coming both in and out of the chamber.
If both of these systems are in place to a high standard then you will be on to a good pizza oven.
This is also a very important factor that you need to pay close attention to. To get the best service from an oven, you need to choose one that can comfortably accommodate the volume of pizza that you are planning to cook without sacrificing quality, flavor or authenticity of the pizza. For instance, if you have a small family then you should choose one with small cooking surface.
On the other hand, if you are planning to buy a wood fired pizza oven for commercial use, then you need to choose one will large cooking surface so that it can meet your cooking demands.
When considering about the capacity, you also need to think about the future. What type of capacity would you need 5 years to come?
The quality of material used in an oven is also a very important factor to consider. The material used in an oven will determine how efficient the equipment will be. In addition to that, it will also determine how durable the oven will be.
Therefore, before you make you final decision, take your time and research to know different types of material used and which one are the best. You can also consult an expert to help you make the right decision.
If you are looking for a durable wood fired pizza oven, ensure that you buy one that has been made with quality materials.
The design of the oven that you choose is equally as important as the material used. A common mistake that most people is buying a model that is cheap but lacks enough space and capability to retain and absorb the amount of heat needed to cook the pizza evenly and efficiently. Besides choosing a design that blends well with other accessories in your house, it should also be convenient when preparing pizza.
Also, if you are cooking pizza with wood fuel then you will need to make sure that the oven’s ventilation system will prevent it from filling with smoke.
Does the oven that you are planning to buy has a warranty? A warranty is a quality assurance offer that manufactures usually give to consumers to assure them that they are actually buying quality product.
Wood fired pizza oven that have warranty are usually of high quality when compared to those that don’t have. If you want to be sure that you are actually buying quality pizza oven, ensure that it has a warranty of more than 2 years.
Still unsure? Here are a few answer to commonly asked questions to help guide you.
What wood do I need for an outdoor pizza oven?
A lot of different hardwoods carry different scents, and these can significantly impact the taste of your pizza.
The woods that best match the flavors of pizza are oak, hickory and apple.
Oak is very easy to get hold of, and it produces a healthy amount of smoke without overpowering the flavor of your wood.
Hickory has a more intense flavor, but will go well with beef and spicey flavors.
Applewood is sweeter, but matches well with pizzas that are topped with a lot of cheese, like quattro stagioni.
Check out my full guide to the best wood for pizza ovens
How do you use an outdoor pizza oven?
How you use your oven will depend on whether it’s a wood-fired oven, or propane.
Propane models operate much like an oven or BBQ gas grill, so are intuitiave and easy to use.
Wood fired ovens are more challenging (but much more rewarding!).
You will need to build your fire in the center of your oven using your chosen hardwood. Use a grill surface thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of your oven until it reaches 700°F (350°C).
The length of time this takes will vary, but in smaller modern ovens should not take much longer than 30 minutes.
Once the oven is ready, use a scraper to carefully push the fire to the rear of the oven. Place your oven on your pizza stone in the center of the oven.
Your pizza should only take about 90 seconds, but make sure you turn it around at the 45-second mark to ensure even cooking.
How do outdoor pizza ovens work?
The heat generated by your wood or propane fuel will heat up the internal surfaces of the oven. Well-built ovens (whether they’re modern or traditional brick) are built to retain heat and radiate it across the cooking surface or stone to cook the pizza.
The very best pizza ovens are able to retain heat for a long time, allowing you to cook pizza after pizza without having to top up the fuel regularly.
For the best results, it’s imperative that the temperature above and below the pizza are consistent.
So for this you need a well-insulated oven, with food airflow, and a cordierite pizza stone.