Homemade pizza is often fun to make and delicious to eat, but a kitchen oven can't quite recreate restaurant pizza that's made in pizza ovens reaching 800-plus degrees. This is where a pizza oven comes in handy.
A good pizza oven is able to reach high temperatures without the long preheating times and extensive cleanup that standard kitchen ovens require. Plus, a pizza oven is often far more versatile than the name implies. It can be used to achieve perfectly seared steaks, roasted fish with extra-crispy skins, flavorful veggies, and more.
There's a wide range of pizza ovens available on the market, from brick, gas, or wood-fired outdoor ovens to indoor countertop models. Some are small and portable, and some will make quite a statement in your backyard. After evaluating the market, we chose 21 models to test side by side in our Lab. We made dozens of pizzas in a variety of styles, evaluating for consistency in results. We also measured preheat time and maximum temperatures. Each pizza oven was rated on assembly, heat control, performance, and portability. Because we know home chefs use pizza ovens in a variety of ways—and to get even more hands-on observations—we also sent several models to our experienced at-home testers for further review.
Here are the best pizza ovens, according to our tests.
Ooni Koda 12 Gas-Powered Outdoor Pizza Oven
Cooks pizza in 60 seconds
No assembly required
Can be tricky to rotate pizza
Ooni is a major name in pizza ovens, so it's no surprise the brand sits at the top of our list. The Ooni Koda 12 is one of the brand's less-expensive models, but after thorough testing both in The Lab and at home, we deemed it our best overall choice for a variety of reasons. First, it couldn’t be easier to set up and use. Take it out of the box, open the legs, and you're ready to go.
This is an attractive oven with a sleek design, no chimney, and three legs that keep it stable on any surface. The body is powder-coated, cold-rolled steel with stainless steel accents. Our testers found that it was easy to transport, weighing just under 30 pounds. When it’s time to store or travel, the legs fold down. It comes with a stone baking board for the perfect pizza crust, which can handle pizzas up to 13 inches (the pizza stone is 13 1/4 inches wide).
In Lab testing, the Ooni Koda 12 took 15 minutes to reach the recommended temperature. The manufacturer claims it takes 15 minutes to reach 950 F, and although we measured the back of the oven at 830 F in that time frame, we felt that was plenty hot, and still one of the quickest preheat times of all the ovens we tried. With super-high heat, the Ooni Koda 12 can cook a pizza in 1 minute, which we found true when cooking our whole-wheat pie. The supreme pizza we made took just 30 seconds longer.
We also evaluated its consistency in producing multiple pizzas back-to-back with evenly melted cheese and perfectly cooked toppings. Our testers noted that there is a slight learning curve in turning your pizza for even doneness, but using a smaller peel helped a lot. The Koda 12 cooks pretty evenly, but you have to turn the pizza every 20 seconds or it burns. Getting the hang of turning takes a second, but it's easy to make the pizzas once you do.
Going beyond pizza, our home tester used it to cook whole fish, steak, lamb chops, pineapple, tomatoes, corn, sweet potatoes, beets, and other veggies and was happy with all of the results. For pizza and more, our home tester called this oven "an exceptional oven at a reasonable price."
It's not fully weatherproof, but it's easy to move out of inclement weather, and cleaning is simple. Ooni offers a three-year warranty if you purchase directly from its site.
If you need more space, this model has a bigger brother, the Ooni Koda 16, that can handle pizzas up to 16 inches and can also be converted to run on a home gas line instead of a propane cylinder. It performed similarly well in Lab testing compared with the Koda 12, but it took longer to heat up and is more expensive.
Price at time of publish: $399
Temperature Range: Up to 950 degrees | Heat Source: Propane | Max Pizza Size: 13 inches | Weight: 29 pounds | Dimensions: 15.7 x 11.6 x 24.8 inches
"The pizza puffed nicely and came out with great char and a crispy crust. The cheese was nicely melted."
Presto Pizzazz Plus Rotating Oven
Timer with alert
Top and bottom adjustable heating elements
Lightweight and portable
Doesn't cook at very high temperature
If you prefer cooking your pizza indoors but don’t want to heat up your oven and your kitchen, the Presto Pizzazz Plus Rotating Pizza Oven does the job—and it’s fun to watch. The major selling points of this model are its budget-friendly price and portability.
The pizza tray rotates continuously to bake the pizza evenly without burning. It heats from both the top and bottom, and the heating elements can be controlled separately, so if the crust is browned before the cheese is gooey, you can turn up the top heat and turn down the bottom heat.
In Lab tests, it took a while to heat up, and there was some inconsistency in the browning of the crust, but the cheese melted well, and the pepperoni on the frozen pizza cooked up nice and crispy. We like that a timer turns off the heat automatically, so you can walk away without worrying about a burned pizza, and an audible signal will alert you that your pizza is done. The pizza tray is removable and has a nonstick coating for easy cleaning.
(You may notice multiple versions of the Presto Pizzazz for sale when browsing. While the packaging and finishes have changed a bit from time to time, the pizza maker and its controls have stayed essentially the same with every model.)
Price at time of publish: $73
Temperature Range: Unspecified | Heat Source: Electric | Max Pizza Size: 13 inches | Weight: 7.7 pounds | Dimensions: 15.3 x 14.3 x 10.3 inches
"This pizza oven is small—looks like a mixer almost—is very lightweight and easy to take anywhere."
Runner-Up, Best Overall
Solo Stove Pi Pizza Oven
Easy to use
Can use wood or propane
Pizza needs frequent turning
No front door
Outdoor enthusiasts might be familiar with the Solo brand for its camping stoves, a set of ingenious devices that generate tons of heat using minimal amounts of fuel—or for its warm and comforting fire pits. Solo recently jumped into the trendy world of home pizza ovens with the Pi, and we're happy to report that this machine makes great pizza.
The Pi is simple to set up: Place it on a stable surface, insert the snugly fitting two-piece pizza stone, and start the fire. (Solo also sells a wheeled stand made to fit the oven for extra portability.) The firebox is fairly small, needing frequent additions of small pieces of wood, but our tester found that it quickly heated the oven and made for a nice smoky char on the crust. The heat is highest at the back of the oven nearest the fire, which means you need to turn the pizza frequently for even doneness—but honestly, that's part of the art of pizza-making.
When using gas (we tested the gas burner version of the Pi, which costs more but can use wood or propane), our tester found the heat more even and controllable, but that sacrifices the distinctive smoky notes of wood-fired pizza. If there's a big design flaw with this oven, it's the lack of a door on the front. The oven retains enough heat to cook pizzas with no problem, but on a windy day, a gust blasting through the opening can interfere with the fire burning and even potentially blow it out.
When it comes to cleanup, the Pi gets hot enough that anything sticking to the pizza stone or interior will burn to ash, which can simply be brushed away after the oven cools. The firebox is also removable to simply dump out the ash from the cooking fuel. The stainless steel exterior is made to stand up to outdoor storage and just wipes clean with a damp cloth. The pizza stone itself is removable for deep cleaning and can also be flipped over if one side gets stained.
In all, this oven performed quite similarly to the Ooni Koda above, with a somewhat higher price. Despite its bulky cylindrical look, it's almost the same in size and weight, too. Solo sells a range of accessories made to work with the Pi, from a bamboo peel to a full pizza kit including dough, sauce, cheese, and pepperoni.
Price at time of publish: $625 (wood only), $700 (wood or gas)
Temperature Range: Up to 850 degrees | Heat Source: Wood or propane | Max Pizza Size: 12 inches | Weight: 31 pounds | Dimensions: 20.5 x 15.1 inches
"Working with live wood fire is fun, so the extra effort can be worth it—and the smoky taste can be welcome, as well." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
Breville Smart Oven Pizzaiolo Pizza Oven
Mimics wood-fired ovens
Multiple pizza settings
Manual control for infinite options
With an indoor pizza oven, you don’t need to worry about the weather, fire, or lighting conditions, so it's often easier and more convenient than an outdoor option. This Breville model can reach 750 F, the temperature required for authentic pizza. It is well-insulated, so the exterior stays pretty cool to the touch despite the super-high heat, although there will be some smoking.
Like other smart Breville appliances, this has easy-to-use settings, so it’s simple to choose frozen thin-crust pizza, deep dish, or a wood-fired style pizza. It’s also possible to customize the settings to get the perfect results for any pizza style and personal preference. In Lab testing, we successfully baked a frozen pizza in 15 minutes using the oven's preset option and achieved fantastic results—nicely browned crust and golden brown cheese. Our home tester successfully baked everything from frozen pizza to a thin Margherita pizza to a pan pizza layered with cheese and a meaty Bolognese. You won't get quite the same smoky flavor as a wood-fired grill, but for ease and convenience, the Breville cannot be beat.
The pizza stone is designed to produce the essential char you’d find on wood-fired pizza, while radiant heat provides the attractive leopard-spotted crust; convection heat perfectly cooks the cheese and toppings. Unlike ovens that only allow overall temperature control, this one has separate controls for the top and bottom heating elements for custom cooking options. Our tester used these controls to make nachos and dubbed the Breville "the ideal nacho machine." It may be specialized for pizza, but we included the Pizzaiolo in our roundup of overall best countertop ovens because of that customizability.
It comes with a stainless steel pizza peel for sliding pizzas in and out of the oven and a carbon steel pan with a removable handle for thicker pies. While the metal peel works for removing pizzas from the oven and is sufficient for frozen pizzas, our home tester said dough sticks no matter how much cornmeal you use, so she recommends a wooden peel. The oven itself is attractive enough to leave on the counter, and while it's on the larger side for a toaster-oven style oven, it's still simple enough to move or store on a shelf.
Price at time of publish: $1,000
Temperature Range: Up to 750 degrees | Heat Source: Electric | Max Pizza Size: 12 inches | Weight: 45.6 pounds | Dimensions: 22.3 x 21.4 x 18.9 inches
"The pizza cooked evenly and the bottom is crusty and brown. The toppings were nicely rendered and the cheese had some great golden brown spots."
Best for Wood-Fired Pizza
Ooni Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven
Cooks pizza in under a minute
Burns wood or lump charcoal
Gas adapter available
Burns through fuel quickly
Needs attention during cooking
Can take a while to preheat
There’s something about the flavor of wood-fired cooking that makes it incredibly appealing, and the Ooni Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven can deliver since it can run on gas, wood, or charcoal, just like many barbecue grills. You can grab some hickory, mesquite, and maple wood for their unique flavors or load it with a bag of charcoal. It can also be used with gas if you purchase the gas burner (sold separately). In both Lab and home testing, this pizza oven delivered delicious results.
Setup is easy, but because of the multi-fuel feature, there are a few more components to keep track of than other models. The body is stainless steel with ceramic fiber insulation, so it holds in the heat, while the included Ooni baking stone retains heat for a perfect crust every time.
While the manufacturer says this oven can get up to 950 degrees in just 15 minutes, we found it took quite a bit longer. However, once heated, the oven held the temperature well and cooked the pizzas evenly—as long as you turn them often (every 15 seconds). Supreme pizzas, whole wheat pizzas, and veggie pizzas were cooked to perfection in our testing. Pizzas can be cooked in as little as 45 seconds!
A chimney baffle controls the heat by adjusting the oxygen flow for high heat or for low-and-slow cooking. A port on the back makes it easy to add more fuel for longer cooking sessions or to add new wood for different flavors. There's a small learning curve and ways to play around with controlling the temperature, like moving the pizza from the back of the oven to the front, but both Lab testers and our home tester described cooking with this oven as pure fun. And, if you want to go beyond pizza night, our home tester successfully baked cornbread and grilled hot dogs.
When it’s time to move or store, the legs fold down for a smaller footprint, and it's lightweight enough to move easily. Ooni offers a three-year warranty if you purchase directly from its site.
Before the Ooni Karu, there was the Ooni 3, which offered similar wood-fired pizza capabilities. The Ooni 3 was one of the first cost-effective pizza ovens available to the public, which helped launch the high-quality homemade pizza revolution we see now. It was discontinued at the beginning of 2020 to make way for two more advanced models, the Karu and the Fyra. For those who still own the Ooni 3 and are interested in the gas burner connection, the same attachment can be used as the one for the Karu 12.
Price at time of publish: $399
Temperature range: Up to 950 degrees | Heat Source: Wood, charcoal, or propane | Max Pizza Size: 12 inches | Weight: 26.4 pounds | Dimensions: 30.31 x 15.75 x 31.5 inches
"The pizza cooks very easily! The crust is evenly browned and nicely charred. The cheese melted beautifully!"
Gozney Dome Dual-Fuel Pizza Oven
Dual fuel offers cooking options
Built-in thermometer and probe jacks
Lengthy preheating time
When you want a high-end pizza oven but don’t want to build a custom brick oven in the backyard, the Gozney Dome can step up to the plate. It has a wide opening that can handle larger pizzas (15 or 16 inches, although our testers found the largest pizzas more difficult to place and keep far enough from the flames). The dual-fuel oven can burn wood and gas (there are separate models for wood-and-propane or wood-and-natural-gas), and it has an integrated thermometer that makes it easy to check the internal temperature.
The Gozney Dome is a heavy beast, weighing 128 pounds, so it will take two people to lift it safely onto a table or cart. We'd recommend buying Gozney’s own stand, since it’s built to hold the Dome specifically, and the four caster wheels let you move the oven around easily. The oven comes mostly assembled, but you have to place the included battery in the digital display, and then a short burn-in is required before first use.
In Lab testing, it took 45 minutes to reach max temperature, so you will want to plan ahead with this model. Because the oven is so big, you can play around with where you place your pie depending on how close to the heat you want it. After 45 minutes, it was 750 degrees at the back of the oven, 720 in the front, 900 on the left side, and 700 on the right. Thankfully, the Dome's sizable opening also makes it easy to rotate the pizza for even doneness.
While it takes a while to heat up, the results are worth it, according to both Lab and home testers. It's definitely a splurge but fun to use. You can cook a thinner, minimally topped pizza in just around 30 seconds! Our home tester found cooking with gas to be slightly easier, but she loved the smoky flavor that cooking with wood provided. In testing, we saw consistent results from both methods as well as with all kinds of pizzas.
Not just for pizza, this over can be used for other baking or roasting projects, and it comes with two probe thermometers that plug into jacks on the front of the oven. Gozney also continually introduces new pizza tools and other accessories to make its ovens even more useful.
Price at time of publish: $1,999
Temperature Range: Up to 950 degrees | Heat Source: Wood and propane or natural gas | Max Pizza Size: 16 inches | Weight: 128 pounds | Dimensions: 26 x 24.8 x 28.8 inches
"The pizzas are beautiful, well cooked, and delicious!"
Onlyfire Universal Stainless Steel Pizza Oven Kit
Includes 14-inch stone
Easy to clean
Not as much char as standard pizza ovens
If you have a gas-fired grill, maybe you don’t need another outdoor appliance just for pizza. The Onlyfire Pizza Oven Kit is an insert designed to work inside a gas grill with the lid open. It provides a perfect space for cooking pizza evenly on the top and bottom, which is something you can't do by simply throwing a pizza on the grill grates or on a pizza stone on the grill. The base is 17 inches square, so it’s wise to measure your grill to make sure it'll fit, but assembly couldn't be easier: Pull it out of the box and stick it on the grill.
The insert is made from stainless steel with a double-walled roof to keep the heat in, and it has a thermometer on one corner so you can check the internal temperature easily. Our Lab testers and home tester agreed that this insert provides much better results than cooking a pizza on a grill by itself. It took about 15 minutes to reach 690 degrees at the front of the oven. This is a comparatively low-and-slow for pizza, but we found that the stone held heat well. In testing, cook times were longer than hotter ovens—it took us 9 minutes to cook a supreme pizza—but we found the bake to be consistent, and the results were tasty.
Our home tester used the Onlyfire kit with her Weber grill as well as a smaller pellet grill with no problems. The included pizza stone is 14 inches, and a 13.5 inches-wide pizza peel is included to get the pizza neatly in and out of the oven. It's also easy to turn the pizza while cooking.
While our home tester found that this kit was a much better option than trying to cook a pizza directly on the grill, she warned there is a learning curve and was disappointed in the lack of directions. (It's worth noting our Lab testers did not report the same issues.)
Since this relies on the grill for its heat source, the maximum temperature will depend on the power of the grill you put it on. Charcoal grillers, you're not left out! Onlyfire makes a similar oven designed to fit a kettle-style charcoal grill.
Price at time of publish: $170
Temperature range: Varies | Heat Source: Gas grill | Max Pizza Size: 14 inches | Weight: 10 pounds | Base Dimensions: 17 x 17 inches
"It's very easy to maneuver the pizza, and you don't have to turn it as frequently as you do with a typical pizza oven."
Cuisinart 3-in-1 Pizza Oven, Griddle, and Grill
Can be used as a grill and griddle
Easy to use
Produces even cooking every time
If you are looking to get the most out of your outdoor pizza oven, the Cuisinart 3-in-1 Pizza Oven Plus offers versatility, portability, and performance—and it's one of the more affordable options on this list. In addition to making pizzas with the included 13-inch cordierite pizza stone, this Cuisinart oven functions as a grill with 260 square inches of cooking space or a griddle with 233 square inches of space. Even with all of that functionality, our Lab testers were most impressed with how easy this model is to use as a pizza oven and the consistency of the final pies.
In testing, it took 15 minutes to reach 600 degrees at the front of the oven. It features a nice oven-style opening with a lid that folds down, and our testers found it easy to turn the pizzas, which you only have to do once halfway through cooking. This means there is minimal babysitting of your pizzas, but you'll still end up with evenly cooked cheese and crisp crust.
When you want to move on to searing steaks, cooking hamburgers, or frying eggs, there's a dual-hinged lid you can flip up and down, and integrated storage space for keeping the grill grate and griddle plate.
Our one complaint with this appliance was the complicated setup, but after it was assembled it was incredibly easy to use. While it isn't the lightest pizza oven on the list, you should be able to pack it up in the car for camping trips, tailgating, and more.
Price at time of publish: $300
Temperature Range: Up to 700 degrees | Heat Source: Propane | Max Pizza Size: 13 inches | Weight: 45 pounds | Dimensions: 25 x 20 x 17.5 inches
"This oven is so easy to use. You can't mess it up. It cooked evenly, with a nicely puffed crust and golden and crisp bottom."
Best for Wood Pellets
Ooni Fyra 12 Portable Wood-Fired Outdoor Pizza Oven
Consistent crust browning
Easy to assemble
Learning curve for managing fire
Less portable than other Ooni models
As you might have figured out from our list of winners, Ooni makes a lot of great pizza ovens. Its various models have a similar design but use different fuels to cook the pizza, and the Fyra is an excellent choice for the barbecue master who already has a wood pellet–powered grill or smoker. Pellet fuel is designed to start burning and heat quickly, and that's indeed what our Lab tests found; after 15 minutes, the Fyra hit the second-highest temperature of all the models we tested, reaching 850 degrees at the back of the oven. That kind of performance yielded beautiful crust, with nice smokiness from the wood fuel.
Like the other Ooni models, the Fyra is simple to assemble and is lightweight enough to move around fairly easily, though its tall chimney and large cylindrical pellet hopper render it slightly more cumbersome than the Koda. The biggest downside is managing a wood pellet fire takes some getting used to. The Fyra's attached hopper is self-feeding, but testers found that keeping it topped up and the fire burning evenly required constant monitoring. Pellet fuel burns faster, hotter, and more evenly than wood chunks, but it also produces more smoke, so it's a good idea to place your Fyra away from doors and windows.
Price at time of publish: $349
Temperature Range: Up to 950 degrees | Heat Source: Wood pellets | Max Pizza Size: 12 inches | Weight: 22 pounds | Dimensions: 29.1 x 15.4 x 28.5 inches
"The wood pellets make this a bit harder to use, but they impart a nice crust! Gorgeous crust, nice charring, nice melted and bubbly top."
The Ooni Koda 12 Gas-Powered Outdoor Pizza Oven is our top pick because of its one-of-a-kind combination of consistently authentic results, portability, and eye-catching design. It outperformed the other models in Lab testing and comes at a reasonable price. If you're looking for an indoor option, we recommend the Breville Smart Oven Pizzaiolo Pizza Oven. It offers versatile temperature control and simple-to-use settings and produced excellent results in both Lab and home testing.
How We Tested
After researching top-rated pizza ovens from popular brands, including newcomers and tried-and-true favorites, we sent 21 models to our dedicated Lab to test side by side. We looked at a variety of price points, sizes, and fuel types and included both indoor and outdoor models in our testing. Dozens of pizzas were cooked, including plain cheese and fully loaded pies, to test for consistency in back-to-back bakes. We also measured max temperature, preheat time, and baking time. For our indoor models, we cooked frozen pizza according to package instructions. Each pizza oven was rated on assembly, heat control, performance, and portability.
Additionally, we sent several pizza ovens to our experienced at-home testers so they could put them through the paces in their backyards and kitchens. Beyond pizza making, they tested out their versatility and used them for searing meat, grilling fish, roasting vegetables, and more. They also evaluated maintenance and portability to assess whether these appliances truly should earn a spot at your home.
Other Options We Tested
- Ooni Karu 16: This is the newer, larger version of the Karu 12, our wood-fired fave. The Karu 16 performed well in Lab testing, but it takes much longer to heat up than the Karu 12 due to its size. We also found we got the best results cooking low and slow—with higher temperatures our results were inconsistent. Because of the additional price and the fact that it takes two people to move, we'd choose the Karu 12.
- Gozney Roccbox: Before Gozney released the Dome, the brand was known for its design-forward Roccbox pizza oven, which can be used with gas or wood. We tested the Roccbox in the Lab, and it received high marks for its heat control and performance. In fact, it took just 15 minutes to reach max temperature, compared with the lengthy 45-minute preheat time of the Dome. Our home tester also produced authentic Neapolitan pies in 1-3 minutes, and the results were even and delicious. Its portability, however, is lacking, as it weighs in at over 60 pounds, and the price seems steep for what you're getting. If you really want to splurge and are looking for a sturdily built backyard pizza oven that you don't need to move a lot, we're giving the nod to the Dome. And if you want something smaller and portable, we found there are much more affordable options with equal performance to the Roccbox.
- Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza Oven: This oven was featured on a previous version of this roundup because it received a rave review from one of our home testers. However, in Lab tests, its performance was lacking compared with the competition. Our home tester and Lab testers agreed that there is a serious learning curve with this oven, and it's very easy to end up with undercooked or burnt sections of pizza. It's also bulky. So while you might be able to make better pizza than you would in your home oven, there are much more effective and easier-to-use pizza ovens on our list.
What to Look for in a Pizza Oven
Size and Location
Before considering anything else, you should decide whether your pizza oven is for outdoor or indoor use. If you don't have a balcony, yard, or other outdoor space to put it, you won't be able to use any of the gas- or wood-powered ovens above. There are indoor pizza ovens that can achieve appropriately high temperatures and make great crusty pizza, however, and they're a lot more convenient to use when it's raining or snowing. Indoor ovens typically accommodate somewhat smaller pizzas than outdoor ones, and they take up a moderate amount of counter space while in use.
If you can invest in an outdoor pizza oven, you have a lot more options in terms of fuels and sizes. Most pizza ovens covered here simply require a stable wood, metal, or stone surface large enough to put your oven on without risk of toppling over. A small balcony might not be able to accommodate the largest models, but even an oven that can handle 16-inch pizzas isn't any bigger than a medium-sized gas grill.
When it comes to baking pizza, hotter is almost always better. Authentic Neapolitan pizza is traditionally cooked in a wood-fired oven at a minimum of 800 degrees for just 60 to 90 seconds in order to yield puffy, crispy, just short-of-burnt crust and beautifully melted cheese. That's much hotter than a regular oven, which is why you need a specialized pizza oven for great pizza. Outdoor models designed to burn wood are capable of reaching temps of up to 900 degrees, while indoor electric models can't boast quite the same power. That said, our favorite indoor oven managed to reach 750 degrees, high enough for Neapolitan-style results.
To help retain heat and achieve those high temperatures, many ovens have an insulated or double-layered ceiling to keep heat concentrated in the oven. Some ovens have dual heating elements on both the top and bottom of the oven to help regulate the baking of both the crust and toppings.
While many pizza ovens claim that heat is distributed perfectly evenly throughout the oven, you will likely still need to rotate the pizza once or twice while it bakes to get even cooking—even for pizzas that only cook for a minute or two. It might take a few tries to get used to handling a pizza peel to move the dough around, but that's part of the art of pizza-making.
Almost all small- and medium-sized pizza ovens on the market today have a streamlined contemporary look with a stainless steel finish and interior pizza stone baking surface. Some models come in black or gray instead of silver, but most do not have a variety of color options.
The heat source in smaller pizza ovens is most often at the back of the oven. Ovens with an open flame typically allow the flame to extend part of the way across the oven roof to directly heat a greater portion of the pizza. The oven has a vaulted roof that is meant to imitate the heating pattern of traditional brick ovens.
Pizza ovens are turned on with an ignition knob for gas-powered ovens, which usually includes a dial to control the flame output. Wood- and charcoal-fired ovens use a starter and are match-lit like their grill cousins. Electric pizza ovens are typically set to a specific time or temperature with a dial and have an indicator light to alert you when it has finished preheating.
Smaller pizza oven models have collapsible legs and detachable parts for when you want to make pizzas or barbecue at the park, on a camping trip, or at a friend’s backyard cookout. Portable pizza ovens are designed to quickly assemble and disassemble and usually come with a carrying bag to keep everything together. While the oven you choose may be portable, keep in mind that it might not necessarily be light. Some weigh as little as 25 pounds, while others top the scale at over 50 pounds. Larger, non-portable ovens are too heavy to move around regularly, and some are designed to hook up to your home gas line, making them essentially immobile.
Especially with a high-end model designed to produce professional results, a pizza oven can be a serious investment. There are budget models under $100, but for a model that can reach the seriously high temperatures needed for great pizza, you're looking at a few hundred dollars.
Small gas-powered outdoor ovens cost $300 to $500 for a good-quality model, with wood-burning versions a little higher than that. But for that price, you can expect to get years of use from your oven, similar to investing in a high-quality grill.
For larger, more design-forward ovens with famous brand names and smart features, the sky's the limit on price. Top-end pizza ovens run well into the thousands of dollars; in addition to making great pizza, one of these will impress your foodie friends and decorate your home.
Most pizza ovens come with a one-year warranty, while a few offer extended warranties of up to three years. You can expect your pizza oven to last for many years, but if you find that it needs repair after the warranty expires, some companies offer replacement parts, and local professional kitchen equipment repair services are likely able to help.
Types of Pizza Oven
Propane and Natural Gas
Gas-fueled pizza ovens are generally considered the easiest to use. Gas flames heat the oven faster than wood or electricity and are great at reaching the high temperatures required for pizza-making, no monitoring needed. They're also easier to clean up since there's no wood ash and debris to worry about, but they don't add quite the same smoky flavor as wood-fired pizza ovens.
Most gas pizza ovens use the same standard propane cylinders as gas grills, with a simple screw-on connector. There are also models that hook up to a household natural gas line; you'll never have to change propane cylinders this way, but you will need a professional to install the gas connection safely and properly. All gas pizza ovens are made to be used outdoors only.
Wood and Charcoal
True Neapolitan pizza is cooked in a wood-fired oven, which adds a hint of smoke flavor and unmistakable char to the crust. Cooking pizza with wood is the way to get the best possible results, though controlling the fire to achieve and maintain optimal heat requires constant monitoring. Another nice feature of a wood-burning oven is that you can experiment with different fuels. Maple, hickory, mesquite, and other types of wood will all impart subtly different flavors to pizza or other dishes. On the other hand, starting the fire and getting the oven up to temperature takes longer than gas, and you'll have to clean out the ash and any wood left over after every pizza-making session. Plus, you'll have to keep a supply of wood on hand to use the thing.
Charcoal kind of splits the difference between gas and wood: It's easier to start and maintain a charcoal fire than a wood fire, but charcoal won't contribute quite the same smokiness that wood can. Regardless of whether you choose wood or charcoal, all of these ovens are solely for outdoor use.
Some outdoor ovens come with interchangeable components that allow you to switch between gas and wood for fuel. This is a useful feature, but it comes with a cost, as a hybrid oven is typically more expensive than one that can only use one type of fuel. It's also important to note that you can't use gas and wood at the same time: With a hybrid oven, you choose one or the other for each individual pizza night.
Indoor countertop pizza ovens use electric heating elements, just like full-size electric ovens or toaster ovens. In order to reach high temperatures and cook both crust and cheese effectively, most models have separate heating elements in the top and bottom of the oven. Many ovens offer separate control of the top and bottom heat sources to perfect doneness on both sides of the pizza. Electric pizza ovens are the only kind that can be used inside, but they typically can't get quite as hot as live-fire outdoor ovens.
If you already have a gas grill, you can buy a pizza oven that sits right inside it. Grill insert models include a heavy pizza stone base and double-walled roof to help concentrate the grill's heat and retain it throughout the cooking process. These are less expensive than self-contained pizza ovens, but you have to supply your own grill, so it really only makes sense if you already own a grill. The power of a grill insert pizza oven depends entirely on the grill you use it with, and obviously a larger grill will deliver better results.
Originally launched via Kickstarter in 2012, Scotland-based Ooni makes home pizza ovens and only home pizza ovens. Created by a pizza-obsessed husband and wife, the Ooni name has quickly become legendary among foodies. It now makes several design-forward outdoor ovens, along with a range of branded accessories.
Pizza pioneer Tom Gozney got started in the food business making stone ovens for restaurant kitchens before he created the hybrid-fuel Roccbox for home use. The portable Roccbox gained international popularity with its ultra-modern design, versatility, and ability to make incredible pizza. Gozney's more recent and more heavy-duty Dome model offers absolute luxury in pizza-baking, for a luxury price.
Known for luxury espresso machines, juicers, and air fryers, Breville makes a variety of small appliances in its signature brushed-stainless-steel finish. Many of its smart ovens have settings for pizza, and its Pizzaiolo model is specially designed to generate super-high heat in an indoor oven.
OnlyFire's range of products is focused on making your existing grill more useful. It makes rotisserie and pizza-oven inserts in many styles to fit many sizes and shapes of grill. Under normal circumstances, a gas grill isn't quite hot enough to make pizza, but OnlyFire's equipment changes that.
How does a pizza oven work?
Pizza ovens are built differently than conventional home and restaurant ovens. They are typically compact, with a stone base and domed roof. The stone base retains heat to help cook the bottom of the pizza easily, while the tight domed roof conducts heat over and around the top of the pizza to promote even cooking. The design of a pizza oven is meant to optimize heating and retain as much heat as possible, which makes it cook at temperatures much hotter than conventional ovens.
While some pizza ovens may have a closable door on the front to help retain heat, many just have an open slot whose small but wide opening doesn't lose much heat. The high oven temperature makes it possible to cook multiple pizzas in quick succession without losing much heat in between.
Pizza ovens are heated in a variety of ways, including gas, wood, charcoal, or electricity. Most non-electric home pizza ovens are made for the outdoors, not just because it’s generally safer to use high-heat equipment outside but also because they generate a lot of smoke.
What can you cook in a pizza oven besides pizza?
Pizza ovens are obviously made for cooking pizzas at very high temperatures, but they’re more versatile than you might expect. Most pizza ovens come with temperature controls, making it possible to cook other foods at high temperatures without scorching them. This can be ideal for anyone interested in baking breads that do well baked fast and hot, like sourdough, fluffy focaccia, or small pastries.
High-temperature ovens are also great for quickly roasting vegetables, as well as meats including chicken, steaks, ribs, and sausages. A wood-fired pizza oven can impart a lovely smoked flavor to any of these dishes. Anything that's cooked in a cast iron or ceramic skillet is ideal for cooking in a pizza oven, too, as these heavy-duty pans are good at maintaining high heat. You don't want to put foods with lots of oil or fat directly on the surface of the oven to avoid grease seeping into the stone or potentially catching fire.
How do you clean a pizza oven?
Rule No. 1: Let your oven cool completely before cleaning. The nice thing about an oven that gets up to 700 degrees or even hotter is that any spills or spatters will likely be completely incinerated while your pizza cooks, but you don't want to be putting your hands inside while it's still 700 degrees. Ash is just about the only material you'll have to clean out of the inside of a pizza oven, and it's fairly easy to simply sweep out with a brush, sponge or damp cloth. If the pizza stone is removable, it can also be simply wiped down; you should not get a pizza stone soaking wet or submerge it in water, as this can make the stone crack the next time it's heated.
A wood- or charcoal-fired oven will generate a lot more ash, but these models usually have a removable tray or door to make removing it easy. After you remove the ash, but before you throw it in the trash, it's a good idea to give it a thorough stir and make sure there are no glowing embers that could start a fire. If you find any, pour in some water and stir until there's no more glow (the same rules as putting out a campfire).
To clean the outside of a pizza oven, a sponge with soap and water is about all you need. Racks and peels and other accessories might be dishwasher-safe, but you should check the instruction manual for specific cleaning instructions.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Donna Currie is a food writer, product tester, and author of the cookbook Make Ahead Bread. She's made more than her fair share of pizza—in the oven, on grills, and with dedicated pizza makers—and personally tested the Breville Smart Oven Pizzaiolo Pizza Oven, Ooni Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven, and Onlyfire Pizza Oven Kit for this roundup, in addition to some pizza stones if you're looking for one of those.
This roundup was updated by Jenny Kellerhals, who also wrote the accompanying pizza oven buying guide. After a decade in NYC pastry kitchens, Jenny has finally learned how to balance yeasted dough recipes and baking intuition to perfect her favorite pizza dough.
The Spruce Eats commerce writer Jason Horn further updated this roundup. A native Chicagoan, his preferred pizza style is deep dish.