The best outdoor pizza oven

Ooni has seen booming business for its line of outdoor pizza ovens, some of which operate on gas, and others a combination of gas and wood. The Ooni Koda 16 is the larger of its two propane-powered Koda models — with a 16-inch cooking area vs. the Koda 12’s 12-inch cooking area — and for its ease of setup, relatively lightweight construction, no-fuss functionality, large cooking space, and powerful L-shaped flame, we felt it’s the most versatile, family-friendly model for cooks who might want to experiment with different pie sizes, as well as cooking other non-pizza items in the oven.

Because of the L-shaped heat source, we found during testing for this Ooni Koda 16 review that pizzas cooked near the back left corner of the oven took only a couple of minutes to come out perfectly charred and bubbly. And unlike other ovens with a singular flame or radiant heat, you really only need a turn or two of a pie to get an evenly cooked crust. It’s why it’s at the top of the list for the best pizza ovens.

Price and availability

The Ooni Koda 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven costs $599, and is available at Ooni.com. It first went on sale in March 2022. A smaller model, the Ooni Koda 12, costs $399. The main difference between the two is that the Koda 16 has a larger cooking surface.

When purchasing a pizza oven, we also recommend you buy a pizza peel so that you can slide the pizzas in and out of the oven. Ooni sells a 16-inch Peel for $40.

Ooni Koda 16 Cooking Performance

The Koda 16’s L-shaped flame makes the back left corner of the oven its hottest part and being close to it is the ideal place to cook a pizza quickly. In our tests, fresh dough made by hand and by a local pizzeria cooked in two to three minutes, leaving the dough nicely puffed and with the speckles of char known as “leoparding” with a couple of turns. The mozzarella cheese on top also bubbled and became speckled with brown spots from the high temperature. 

As with other ovens, store-bought dough (both refrigerated and frozen/thawed) proved to be a challenge, as the outside of the crust charred easily but didn’t cook all the way through, leaving a cracker-y exterior and doughy interior. 

We also found that with smaller pies, if you’re close enough to the heat, you can probably get away with one turn of the pizza, but you may need two turns to get an even cook. Just keep an eye on your pies, because they do cook quickly and might burn if they’re too close to the (powerful!) heat.

Overall, because the oven is so roomy, it’s especially nice for beginners who haven’t gotten their pizza-making footing yet and need some room to maneuver the peel (sold separately). Because the peel is lightweight, large, and specially designed for the oven, it was easy to both build pizzas on and slide them off into the oven.

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