What We Like
Heats up to 932 degrees and cooks pizza in 60 seconds
Makes (nearly) authentic Neapolitan pies
No assembly required
Great for parties
What We Don't Like
Learning curve to cooking at high heat
Expensive relative to other outdoor options
Can be tricky to rotate pizza
The Ooni Koda is an elegant solution to a very specific problem—those times when you need to cook a pizza at no less than 800 degrees, but you’re short on bricks, wood, and space. If this is an issue that resonates with you, then you may want to just save yourself the read and buy the Ooni Koda now because as of this writing, it has no competition—especially not at this price point. Need further convincing? Keep reading to see how this little pizza oven can dole out Neapolitan pies like no other.
Setup Process: Easy as can be
The Koda requires no real assembly. Once out of the box, all you have to do is extend the three collapsible legs, slide in the pizza stone, and connect the regulator to a propane tank. After that last step is handled, you can open up the gas from your tank and slowly push and turn the Ooni’s control knob to ignite the burner. Within 15 minutes of being unpacked, the oven is ready to cook.
As far as placement goes, the Koda is intended for outdoor use and calls for 3 feet of clearance on all sides. Ooni also notes that it performs best when sheltered from wind. If you run into any issues during the setup process or while cooking your first pizza, you can refer to Ooni’s Essentials Guide for troubleshooting tips.
The Ooni Koda is not compatible with natural gas. It works with large propane tanks (the kind you’d use with a BBQ grill) as well as 1-pound propane tanks so long as you have an adapter.
Performance: Next to Neapolitan
Before we get into Koda’s performance, a quick word about the “authenticity” of heating a pizza oven with propane rather than wood. Now, there are actual official rules—fourteen pages of them, in fact—governing the authenticity of Neapolitan pizza. One of the more famous rules holds that the oven in which the pizza is baked must be fired with wood. The reason, contrary to popular belief, has little to do with flavor and more to do with physics. At 800 degrees, the pizza cooks so quickly—indeed, the Neapolitan rules mandate a cook time of 60 to 90 seconds—that there is hardly time to absorb much flavor from any wood smoke. Moreover, the fire in a well-managed pizza oven isn’t particularly smoky. The advantage of wood-firing is that the burning coals sit directly on the stone baking surface, quickly replacing the heat that is removed by the baking pizzas. This is helpful when you’re running a pizzeria, but at home, so long as the stone and flame deliver proper heat, the fuel source just isn’t all that relevant.
The Koda isn’t just useful for pizza, either. We fired up whole fish, steak, lamb chops, pineapple, tomatoes, corn, sweet potatoes, beets, and other veggies.
All that is to say that while the Koda doesn’t *officially* produce authentic Neapolitan pizzas, they’re pretty dang close. The Koda is ignited and controlled by means of a single knob—one very similar to the heat control knob on a gas-powered BBQ grill. In our tests, the oven took about 25 minutes (at full power) for the pizza stone to reach 800 degrees. Once the oven was properly heated and the pizza was ready for loading, we found it best to lower the flame to about half power as at full blast, the edge nearest to the burner can quickly catch on fire.
While the Koda only takes 60 to 90 seconds to fully cook a 12-inch pizza, you will have to babysit it. The pizza has to be rotated every 20 to 30 seconds so the crust bakes evenly and doesn’t burn. In our experience, the first rotation was the trickiest as the back of the pizza threatened to burn while we fumbled with the peel. When you’re new to this process, you will definitely mess up a few pies (we did). But with practice, the technique is easily mastered. When the pizza is done, it’s best to turn the flame back up to high so the stone can reheat before you load the next pie. Operated in this manner, the Koda can easily keep perfect pies flowing until the propane runs out.
While the Koda only takes 60 to 90 seconds to fully cook a 12-inch pizza, you will have to babysit it.
The Koda isn’t just useful for pizza, either. We fired up whole fish, steak, lamb chops, pineapple, tomatoes, corn, sweet potatoes, beets, and other veggies. It’s fun to experiment and see how foods react to high heat. Though if you want a bit more guidance, Ooni’s Cooking with Fire—a delightful little tome stuffed with simple recipes and gorgeous lifestyle photos—sells separately for $20. Speaking of extras, you’ll probably also want to pick up an infrared thermometer to track the surface temperature of the pizza stone. Ooni’s thermometer works well and sells for about $40.
Design: Modern and minimal
Ooni’s designs have always been appealing, and the Koda is no exception. The compact, 15.7 x 11.6 x 24.8-inch appliance departs from the tin man look of its pellet-fired sibling and opts for a matte black powder-coated steel shell with silver trim around its opening. The subtle curves of its exterior panels look seemingly aerodynamic and when paired with three folding legs, the Koda almost looks like a drone aircraft or miniature flying saucer.
Portability: It’s party time
Since Ooni states that their goal is to “connect people through exceptional food experiences,” no review would be complete without throwing a pizza party. That in mind, we packed up the Koda and took it to a friend’s place for a little backyard shindig. The oven proved easy to transport as it weighs only 20 pounds and the legs fold in. If you plan to take it on the road often, you can even purchase a separate carry cover for $37.50.
The oven proved easy to transport as it weighs only 20 pounds and the legs fold in.
While it can be operated on the ground, pizzas are much easier to load, monitor, and unload if the oven is positioned on some kind of elevated surface (preferably constructed of wood, metal, or stone). We placed it on an outdoor counter next to a built-in grill. If you’re considering taking the Koda along with you on picnics or camping trips, finding a suitable spot in the outdoors may prove more challenging. Keep set-up space in mind, and be aware that Koda should not be operated in windy or rainy conditions.
Once the Koda was up and running, our guests very much enjoyed customizing their own pizzas with an assortment of cheeses and toppings, sampling others, and comparing the variations we made. The oven had no problem keeping up with a steady flow of about a dozen pizzas, and everyone was impressed with the high quality of the pies.
Care and Storage: Easy to clean, but not fully weatherproof
As mentioned above, Koda is not designed for all-weather use. Exposure to the elements, particularly moisture, can damage the Koda over time and Ooni cautions against spiders taking up residence in the propane hose and fittings. So before you buy, consider whether you have the storage space necessary to keep your oven properly protected.
Luckily, the Ooni Koda is easy to clean. Exterior surfaces can be wiped down with a wet cloth and the interior can be cleaned by simply running the oven on high for 30 minutes (to burn off any food scraps), allowing it to cool, then wiping the soot away with dry paper towels. Ooni also recommends flipping the pizza stone after each use, this way the underside will clean itself during your next cooking cycle.
Price: Slightly high, but probably worth it
The Ooni Koda retails for $300. But if you opt to bundle it with all the accessories you’ll need—a peel, infrared thermometer, carry case, and cookbook—it’ll set you back roughly $400. While that’s not cheap by any means, there’s really no other oven that runs as hot, is as portable, and goes for the same price.
Competition: Koda is in a class of its own
There are many outdoor pizza ovens on the market, but most don’t operate at temperatures as high as Ooni’s. As far as we can tell, Koda's closest competitor is Gozney’s Roccbox. But, the Roccbox weighs about 44 pounds and retails for roughly $700—making it twice as large as the Koda and more than twice as expensive.
- Product Name Koda Gas-Powered Outdoor Pizza Oven
- Product Brand Ooni
- Price $299.00
- Weight 20.4 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 15.7 x 11.6 x 24.8 in.
- Cooking surface 13.25 x 13.25 in
- Max Power 4kWh (13648 BTU)
- Material Pressed, powder-coated carbon steel shell, stainless steel interior, aluminum frame, and cordierite stone baking board
- What’s included Ooni Koda gas-powered pizza oven, stone baking board, user manual and essentials guide, propane tank gas regulator, and hose
- Warranty 3-year warranty when registered online