Enjoy Restaurant-Quality Pies with the Best Outdoor Pizza Ovens for Any Price Point
If you’ve always loved the quality and taste of fresh, perfectly cooked oven-baked pizza, then you might be thrilled to learn you can enjoy it from the comfort of your own home whenever you crave it. All you need to start enjoying your favorite zesty Italian pies is the perfect pizza oven for your backyard space.
No matter what size budget you have, plenty of options are ready and waiting to help you transform your backyard into your own authentic pizzeria. We’ve done the hard part for you and tracked down a variety of quality pizza ovens, from high-end options to ovens that can help you get started.
How to Choose the Perfect Pizza Oven
So, how do you go about choosing the perfect pizza oven? That’s a great question — and, like any appliance, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. To help you get started, we’ve rounded up some of the most essential tips, tricks and tidbits.
Take note of these qualities before purchasing your own pizza oven:
- Gas or Wood: The two most common types of pizza ovens are fired by gas or wood. Both produce delicious, perfectly cooked pizzas, but they operate a little differently. Gas ovens generally require a little less effort, but they don’t provide the smoky flavor that many people prefer and can get from cooking their pizzas in wood-burning ovens. Can’t quite decide which option would suit you best? No problem — you can also find various hybrid options that are capable of cooking both ways.
- Style: Besides the actual cooking method, one of the biggest differences you can expect to find with pizza ovens is the way they are made and operate. The style you choose is usually a simple matter of taste. Free-standing ovens can be placed almost anywhere, while counter-style ovens must be placed on top of sturdy surfaces, such as outdoor brickwork. Some styles are designed to be built into special frames to support them. Deciding on the style you want can help you quickly narrow the list of options when you’re shopping for an outdoor pizza oven.
- Size: Make sure you fully review the specs for any oven you purchase before you place your order. For one thing, you must make sure the oven you purchase will fit in the area where you intend to place it. You also have to consider the weight of the new oven. Many models easily weigh several hundred pounds, so unless you purchase a freestanding oven, you have to make sure your placement area can support the weight. Be sure to ask if your delivery includes assistance with installation. If not, you will need other people to help you install the oven and get it ready for the first round of pizzas.
How to Use an Outdoor Pizza Oven Safely
Before using your brand new pizza oven, be sure to review some basic safety tips. After all, cooking with gas or in a wood-burning oven can be dangerous if you aren’t paying close attention to your equipment. Some musts are more obvious than others, but, regardless, a quick review doesn’t hurt.
Here are some basics:
- Only use the pizza oven outside. (Seems obvious, yes, but it should still be said.)
- Don’t leave the pizza oven unattended while it’s in use.
- Don’t move the pizza oven while it’s in use — that’s dangerous for you and fire safety-wise.
- Place (or install) the pizza oven on a level, sturdy surface to avoid accidents.
- Keep the pizza oven away from windy areas — it needs proper ventilation.
- If you’re using a gas pizza oven, be sure to inspect the hoses before use since the elements can lead to some wear-and-tear — you know, the great outdoors.
- If you’re using a gas pizza oven, be sure to turn off the gas when it’s not in use.
- If you’re using a wood-burning pizza oven, be sure to remove ashes from the oven after use since exposed, still-hot ashes can lead to fires. Additionally, dispose of those ashes carefully: "After removing the ashes, place it in a non-combustible container and completely saturate it with water. Dispose of the mixture after 24 hours to ensure that it has completely cooled off" (via BoldFace News).
How to Clean an Outdoor Pizza Oven
After cooking up some delectable at-home za, you’ll want to properly clean and care for your new pizza oven. Again, as with the safety measures there are some basic tips and tricks you’ll want to be aware of as a pizza oven owner.
If you’re cleaning a wood-burning pizza oven, follow these steps:
1. Once your pizza oven has cooled, use an ash rake to collect the ash and wood remnants into a pile near the oven’s mouth.
2. Using the ash rake, or a fireplace shovel, scoop the ash out of the oven to the best of your ability.
3. Store the debris in an ashcan for disposal later.
4. Using an oven brush, scrape away any baked-on or burnt food remnants from the oven. Brush out any remaining ash. Note: According to Family Handyman, you should ONLY use brushes with brass or copper bristles, so as not to damage your oven, and AVOID soap.
If you’re cleaning a gas-heated pizza oven, things are a little simpler. First remove the pizza stone once it has cooled and wipe it down with a damp cloth. Like with the wood-burning stove, you can also use an oven brush to scrape away any additional debris. Next, spray down the oven’s interior with white vinegar and wipe it down with a cloth. Pop that pizza stone back in and you’re good to go!
Under $200 | Camp Chef Artisan Pizza Oven for On-the-Go Pizza Lovers
Looking to master the art of at-home pizza-making on a budget? The Camp Chef Artisan Pizza Oven 90 is the way to go, perfectly marrying quality with affordability. This one claims to cook the "perfect pizza every time," partly because it’s modeled after a true, wood-fire pizza oven with its open-face design. One of it’s best features? The ceramic pizza stone heats the pie evenly, ensuring a mouthwatering, perfect crust.
The fully adjustable heat levels mean you can cook all sorts of pizzas, from artisan, handcrafted ones to frozen za you’ve just grabbed from your freezer in a pinch. This oven also scores points for being portable. As the name implies, this one can be used at your next campsite — or just out on your back patio. Wherever you are, bring fresh, flavorful pizzas with you. And be sure to grab a quality Pizza Peel, no matter which oven you splurge on.
Under $300 | Bertello Outdoor Pizza Oven For Cooks Who Want Some Versatility
Interested in an oven that does it all? Well, the Bertello Outdoor Pizza Oven touts itself as the most affordable wood fire, charcoal, pellet and gas-powered outdoor pizza oven on the market. Customers like that you can cook everything from pizza to meat and veggies in this oven, and, best of all, changing up the oven’s power source can provide you with the best cook on each of these distinct food items.
When it comes to pizza specifically, the oven can reach temps of over 900 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing for the perfect crust. Lightweight and portable, the Bertello oven can be packed up from your patio and brought along to virtually any outdoors getaway. Long story short, this outdoor pizza oven will help you handle all of your cooking needs, making it a great investment for pizza makers and fledgling at-home chefs alike.
Under $400 | A Propane-Powered Pizza Oven Trolly For Folks Who Want an Easy Setup
The previous oven is a beauty, but if you’re looking for a pizza oven that won't break the bank, check out this grill-style Hiland Propane Outdoor Pizza Oven Trolly. For less than $500, this oven offers a quick, convenient option for making tasty backyard pizzas. It comes with two cooking areas, a temperature gauge and a see-through window so you can keep an eye on your pie while it cooks.
With an output of 15,000 BTU's, the oven has all the heating power you need to make perfectly baked pizzas with perfectly melted cheese every time. Besides being more budget-friendly, it also makes a great choice for anyone looking to by-pass the complex and labor-intensive installation process required for some larger ovens.
Under $500 | A Wood-Burning Outdoor Oven for Folks Who Want an Authentic Taste
This unique clay oven isn’t just an eye-catching statement piece for your backyard. With this fancy oven, you can transport yourself — and your taste buds — to Italy with a Round Wood-Burning Outdoor Pizza Oven, a product that’s sure to capture the authentic taste of a made-from-scratch, wood-fired pizza every time. Pro Tip: If you’re looking to experiment a bit, try using different hardwoods, from oak and birch, as well as flavor-inducing fruit woods.
No matter what you burn, you’ll make a beautiful pie for the whole family to enjoy. While this includes a few add-ons — a four-piece, lava-rock pizza stone, ember rake and stand — you will need to purchase white sand in order to provide an insulating layer beneath the pizza stone. The bottom line? While this wood-burning oven is on the pricier side, the ease of use and unbeatable results make it well worth the price tag.
Under $700 | Ooni Karu Outdoor Wood-Fired and Gas Pizza Oven for the Ultimate Pizza Aficionado
For the ultimate pizza aficionado, there’s no better, or more popular, oven on the market than the Ooni Karu Outdoor Wood-Fired and Gas Pizza Oven — and for good reason. This multi-fuel oven allows you to cook stone-baked pizzas in just 60 seconds. That’s right — forget delivery or frozen za, this gadget, with its patented Flame Keeper technology, is a real game changer, allowing the Ooni Karu to maintain an impressive 932 degree Fahrenheit.
Load the oven with wood or charcoal — or add on the oven’s gas burner attachment — and you’re good to go. Easy to clean, portable and innovative, the Ooni Karu pizza oven delivers when it comes to Neapolitan-style pie as well as roasted meat and veggies. Although it is the priciest oven on our list, customers rave about Ooni Karu’s top-tier quality. Without a doubt, after a little practice you’ll be mastering the art of pizza-making in no time.