Welcome, pizza lovers, to my roundup of the best outdoor pizza ovens for your backyard.
As a seasoned pizza connoisseur who appreciates a good pizza, I’ve spent countless hours making and eating pizzas cooked in different pizza ovens to bring you this comprehensive guide.
Cooking pizza outdoors brings an unrivaled level of joy. There’s nothing like gathering with family and friends, preparing pizza dough, and creating your perfect pizza. We’re talking about that Neapolitan-style pizza with a crisp crust that only high temperatures can achieve — something your indoor oven just can’t deliver.
And if you think pizza ovens are only good for cooking great pizza, think again. They can cook things other than pizza too — steaks, vegetables, and even desserts can get a new twist when cooked in one of these ovens.
Choosing the best pizza oven depends on various factors like whether you prefer the smoky flavor of wood-fired pizza or the ease of a gas grill, and how often you’ll be making pizza at home.
In this guide I’ve highlighted the key features, pros, and cons of each pizza oven brand that I rate highly, helping you decide which one is the best for you.
What to consider when buying an outdoor pizza oven
What fuel source it requires
The first decision to make when choosing which is the best pizza oven for you is to decide how you want to fuel your cooking.
There are essentially three main choices:
- Wood-fired – either using wood pellets or hardwood
- Propane gas – using a gas burner and propane tank that’s the same as your gas grill or patio heater probably uses
- Dual-Fuel – an oven that can use either wood or propane as a fuel source.
Here’s a brief rundown of the pros and cons of these different fuel types for backyard pizza ovens:
Pros: Easy to control temperature, quick heating times, low maintenance, clean burning and no ash to clean up, available and convenient to refill.
Cons: May not provide the traditional wood-fired flavor, reliance on propane supply, typically more expensive than wood or charcoal.
Wood (including hardwood, or wood pellets)
Pros: Authentic pizza flavor, can reach very high temperatures, adds a smoky flavor to the pizza, can be less expensive if you have access to cheap or free wood.
Cons: Requires more skill to control temperature, hardwood can take longer to heat up (pellets are quicker), requires regular cleaning due to ash, sourcing wood can be challenging in urban areas.
Dual Fuel (wood/gas combination)
Pros: Versatility, can choose between convenience and flavor depending on the situation, easy temperature control with gas, smoky flavor from wood.
Cons: Generally more expensive due to complex design, can take longer to master using both fuel types effectively, cleaning and maintenance can be more challenging.
The best fuel type for you may depend on your individual situation and preferences, including the time you have available, your budget, your skill level, and the specific flavors you prefer in your pizza.
What about all-electric pizza ovens?
Some pizza oven brands, such as Ooni, are now offering all-electric pizza ovens capable of achieving the high heats (>700 degrees Fahrenheit) necessary to effectively bake a stone-baked pizza without the need for any wood or propane.
These are currently relatively expensive options, but worth it if you want a clean, no-hassle way to cook pizzas year round, indoors as well as outdoors.
Size, Weight and Portability
Next, consider how portable you want your pizza oven to be, because many brands and models will be advertised as being ‘portable pizza ovens’, but in reality they can be bulkier and / or heavier than you would ideally want if you plan to regularly relocate it or take it camping, for example.
Ease of use
Some pizza oven brands and models are simply more user-friendly and ergonomic than others.
Look for an oven that has a large opening for you to easily launch your pizzas into the chamber, and plenty of room to turn the pizza while it’s cooking.
Some ovens also come with added user-friendly features such as a built-in thermometer for checking the internal temperature so you know when it’s ready for you to start baking that perfect pizza pie.
Dual-fuel pizza ovens tend to cost more than those that only use either propane or wood, however the extra cost may be worth it to you for the versatility of having the option between burning wood when the weather and time permits, and the convenience of turning up the heat quickly and with less clean-up when using a propane gas fuel source.
Also remember to factor into your budget the cost of additional accessories to get best use and enjoyment out of your new pizza oven.
Unless you already own them, it’s often best to buy your oven bundled with accessories, which is an option offered by all the major home pizza oven brands.
This includes storage covers, tables or stands for your oven, and tools including:
- a thermometer to check the pizza stone’s temperature (unless your pizza oven choice has one built-in already)
- a pizza peel (for getting pizzas in and out of the oven), and
- a pizza turner, which is the tool you’ll need for turning your pizza every 20-30 seconds while it cooks!
What is the overall best outdoor pizza oven for baking pizza at home
If you have the budget and space to justify it and want a pizza oven that can do anything and make any size pizza (up to 16 inches) then it’s pretty easy to pick an overall winner for the ‘best overall pizza oven’ award, and that’s the Ooni Karu 16 multi-fuel pizza oven.
This is a do-everything pizza oven that’s great for everything from throwing a wood-fired pizza party involving large family-size pies, to a quick pizza night during the week, with pizzas ready in minutes when you cook with gas.
That being said, you may not need an oven that’s quite this large and want something a little more portable, or may prefer a single fuel source, so here are not just the details of the Ooni Karu 16, but also some other excellent pizza ovens to consider!
The best outdoor pizza ovens
Ooni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven
- Fuel source: multi-fuel (wood, propane or natural gas)
- Cost: $799 (wood only) or $1019 (with peel and gas burner)
- Dimensions: 33 x 32 x 20″
- Weight: 63.6lb
- Maximum pizza diameter: 16 inch (or multiple personal-size pizzas at once)
- Best for: A do-everything, permanently placed backyard pizza oven, great for everything from weeknight meals to large pizza parties.
To learn more about this pizza oven and how to use it, read our Ooni Karu 16 review next.
All Ooni pizza ovens come with a super high-end build quality and design, and the Karu 16, Ooni’s top-of-the-range pizza oven has all the space and features you could want to cook multiple pizzas at once, or individual pizzas up to 16 inches in diameter.
With the gas attachment it’s easy to turn on, use, and clean up after use. Switch out the gas attachment for making wood fired pizza.
Other wood and gas Ooni pizza ovens to consider
If the Karu 16 is larger or heavier than you need or your outdoor space allows (or simply you’re on a smaller budget), also consider:
- The Karu 12 ($299), which offers similar features and cooks pizzas up to 12″ (albeit without the integrated thermometer display and glass door), or
- The Karu 12G ($429), which has upgraded features that are similar to the Karu 16, such as the glass door.
If you’re attracted by the style and build quality of Ooni pizza ovens, but have your heart set on only using gas or wood to fuel your oven, also check out the rest of the Ooni range, including the Ooni Koda 12 & 16 (gas-fueled) and Ooni Fyra 12 (wood-fired).
- Fuel source: Gas, with optional wood burner
- Cost: $499 (gas only) or $599 (with add-on wood burner)
- Dimensions: 16.3 x 21 x 18.6″
- Weight: 44lb
- Maximum pizza diameter: 12 inch
- Best for: If cooking on gas is your priority, and you want a designer-looking oven that’s available in a range of colors.
Built-in thermometer, comes with a pizza peel and a silicone outer layer (which is available in a choice of colors as well as black) is a nice touch as it doesn’t heat up as much as metal pizza oven parts.
Comes with a propane gas burner as standard, with the option to buy a wood-burner for an additional $100.
The Roccbox is very good value for money (especially as there’s an additional $100 off promotion at the time of publishing!), and a great choice if you prefer to cook with gas (and don’t need to add on optional wood burner). Plus, Gozney pizza ovens come with a 5 year warranty and no-hassle returns, if needed.
Solo Stove Pi Pizza Oven
- Fuel source: Wood only, or wood and gas
- Cost: Currently $399 (wood only) and $499 (wood and gas)
- Dimensions: 20.5 diameter x 15.1 high
- Weight: 30.5lb
- Maximum pizza diameter: 12 inch
- Best for: When you want an easy to use, good looking pizza oven for your backyard pizza nights.
To learn more about this outdoor pizza oven and how to use it, read our Solo Stove Pi Pizza Oven review next.
The Pi pizza oven from Solo Stove allows you to easily switch between gas or wood-burning by switching out the burner at the back, and has a large, wide opening that makes it easy to turn and launch your pizza creations.
This is one good-looking, relatively light pizza oven, considering its size, and that’s partly down to the shell being mostly made from stainless steel, which also makes it (in my opinion) one of the best-looking pizza ovens on the market.
Like their popular Solo Stove smokeless firepits, the company sells their pizza ovens with some great accessory bundles, including stands, peels and storage covers, making it easy for you to buy a complete pizza-making package.
- Fuel source: dual fuel or wood only
- Cost: $1,999 for dual fuel, including cover and peel $1,699 for wood only
- Dimensions: 26 x 24.8 x 28.8 inches
- Weight: 128lb
- Maximum pizza diameter: 16 inch
- Best for: You’re a true foodie and want the best there is from your pizza oven – which will be cooking much more than just pizzas and be a permanent fixture of your backyard for many years to come!
The Gozney Dome is a professional-grade outdoor oven built to a commercial standard with a ceramic-coated steel dome that sits on the oven’s main base, and a super thick stone base that is excellent at retaining the heat, whether you’re backing backyard pizzas, or getting creative with other meals such as slow-roasting mains or baking desserts.
Take a look at the meal examples on Gozney’s website for a small sample of the foods and meals you can cook in this versatile outdoor oven, as well as their range of innovative accessories which will help you get even more creative with your backyard feasts!
Like the Ooni Karu 16, it has a built in digital thermometer and is available in either a wood-only fuel source or as a dual fuel oven.
For the dual fuel, when you order you can also choose between natural gas or propane as a source.
Bertello Outdoor Pizza Oven
- Fuel source: Wood and gas (either, or both at the same time!)
- Cost: $440 for a complete bundle with accessories
- Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 10 inches
- Weight: 30lb
- Maximum pizza diameter: 12 inch
- Best for: An affordable pizza oven package that allows you to cook with either or both gas and wood fuel, plus, it’s lighter than some of the other ovens featured in this buyer’s guide.
The Bertello Outdoor pizza oven is not only a great value option at $440 for a complete bundle including the wood and gas burner, a cover, peel and thermometer, but it’s differentiated in that you can cook with propane gas and wood at the same time!
This means you can get that fast propane heat, but add wood for a few minutes to bring in that wood-fired pizza flavor.
If you recognize the brand it may be because you saw this oven on television – they featured on a previous series of Shark Tank.
Ooni Volt 12 – electric pizza oven
- Fuel source: Electric
- Cost: $999
- Dimensions: 24.2 x 20.8 x 10.9 inches
- Weight: 39.2lb
- Maximum pizza diameter: 12 inch
- Best for: When you want a clean and easy to use pizza oven you can use indoors as well as outside.
The sleek-looking Ooni Volt is an innovative electric pizza oven that can reach the high temperatures needed to create tasty stone baked pizza – without gas or wood fuel and the mess and clean up wood fuel sources require! It can get up to 850 degrees (Fahrenheit) within 20 minutes and bake a pizza within 90 seconds.
Being all-electric, this oven is designed so you can not only take it outdoors but you can also use it indoors in your home – which is great for when your plans change or the weather turns.
The versatility of this electric indoor-outdoor pizza oven enables you to get plenty of year-round use out of it to justify the relatively high price compared to other options on this list.
FAQs about backyard outdoor pizza ovens
What temperature should you cook pizza at?
A good pizza oven should heat up to well over 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Ideally you should look for a good quality pizza oven that will comfortably get up to between 700-900 degrees F once it’s had a chance to heat up.
Can you cook things other than pizza in a backyard pizza oven?
Yes – these pizza ovens are versatile and can be used to cook a wide variety of foods beyond just pizza.
The high heat and unique cooking environment of a pizza oven can lend itself to some fantastic dishes. Here are a few examples:
- Bread: Pizza ovens can produce excellent artisan bread, thanks to their ability to maintain high and consistent heat.
- Roasted Meats: A pizza oven’s high temperature can perfectly sear and roast meats like steaks, chicken, or whole roasts. The radiant heat from the oven also helps to cook the meat evenly.
- Vegetables: Roasted vegetables can be cooked quickly and efficiently in a pizza oven, leading to a nice char and a smoky flavor.
- Seafood: Fish and shellfish can be cooked quickly and efficiently in a pizza oven, which helps to preserve their delicate flavors and textures.
- Desserts: Some desserts like fruit cobbler, baked apples, or even certain types of cakes can be cooked in a pizza oven.
- Baked Pasta: Dishes like lasagna or baked ziti can be made in a pizza oven, resulting in a wonderful crispy top layer.
For most non-bread foods, you’ll need to ensure you’re cooking using a dish that can handle the extremely high heat of the oven (such as cast iron like you’d find in an Italian restaurant), which will also protect the pizza stone from getting food or grease on it.
Where should you put your pizza oven?
Deciding where to set up your backyard pizza oven involves considering several factors for safety, convenience, and aesthetics. Here are some things to think about:
This is the most important factor.
Your pizza oven should be situated in a location that is safely away from overhanging branches, fences, or other combustible materials due to the high temperatures that pizza ovens can reach.
It should also be on a sturdy, heat-resistant surface.
The oven should be in an area where smoke won’t accumulate and can easily disperse, especially if you’re using a wood-fired oven.
Avoid placing the oven near windows or doors to your home where smoke could potentially enter.
Your oven should be close to your house and the kitchen for easy access, especially for carrying food and utensils back and forth.
But also consider the route to and from the oven — it should be clear and level to avoid any tripping hazards.
Consider the direction of prevailing winds in your location to minimize the impact of smoke. Also, think about the sun’s path; it might be nice to have the oven in a sunny spot, but also consider a location that offers some shade to make cooking more comfortable.
If you live in an area that gets a lot of rain, you might want to position the oven in a spot where you could add some form of overhead protection.
View and Aesthetics
If you’re investing in a nice pizza oven, you might want it to be a focal point in your backyard. Think about the view both from inside your house and within your backyard.
Remember to always follow any local zoning laws or HOA rules and regulations when installing your pizza oven. It’s always a good idea to check these rules before you make your purchase.
Can backyard pizza ovens be stored outside?
Yes, many backyard pizza ovens are designed to be weather-resistant and can be stored outside.
However, it’s best to cover them when not in use to protect from moisture, dirt, and debris.
Extreme weather conditions might cause damage over time, so in such cases, consider a more protected storage solution or move your oven indoors if you have space to store it during longer periods of bad weather or when not in use.