It’s never been easier to make restaurant-quality pizza at home, thanks to outdoor pizza ovens.
These days, you don’t have to buy a massive oven or spend a fortune to build one into your backyard. There are even portable pizza ovens available, so you can take your pizza party on the road.
As a trained professional chef and absolute pizza fiend, I’m not satisfied with just-OK pizza. A pizza oven is a great way to make absolutely stellar pie, but the question remains: What is the best outdoor pizza oven?
To find this out, we cooked up a bunch of Neapolitan- and New York-style pizzas, and since these ovens aren’t just for pizza, we also cooked steak and broccoli in a cast-iron skillet. After our testing, we found that the Solo Stove Pi Pizza Oven (Wood & Gas)(available at Solo Stove) is the best outdoor pizza oven.
Our best pick isn’t the only option, though. We tested a number of propane-powered and multi-fuel pizza ovens at different price points to see which ones deliver what they promise.
Here are the best outdoor pizza ovens we tested ranked, in order:
Dimensions: 20.5 x 15.125 inches (diameter x height)
We had high hopes for Solo Stove Pi Pizza Oven—the company is already renowned for its fire pits and grills. This sleek, stainless steel pizza oven did not disappoint, taking the Best Overall crown from the Gozney Roccbox.
It has a slightly larger opening than others we tested, which made for easy maneuvering. It's also big enough to fit 12-inch pizzas, and it has a multi-fuel option—so you can choose to heat with wood or with a separate gas burner. (Be aware that there's a learning curve when cooking with wood.)
During testing, we found that the pizza stone heats up quickly and maintains heat exceptionally well. It hit 780°F after just 20 minutes with the propane attachment, and even cooled down and reheated impressively quickly afterward. We did notice a small gap in the pizza stone—since it breaks apart for easy cleaning—but it doesn't affect the cooking of the pizza.
The airflow design in the oven is also exceptional, using a convection-style technique to distribute heat throughout the vessel that results in tasty, evenly cooked pizza.
The Pi Pizza Oven is also light compared to similar ovens. At just 30 pounds, you can transport it for a camping trip or on a visit to a friend's house. We even found cleaning the Pi to be a breeze. Simply heat it on high to remove any lingering food, then wipe the interior with a brush or damp cloth once it's cooled.
If you happen to run into a malfunctioning accessory on the oven, don't worry: The Pi Pizza Oven comes with a lifetime warranty for any manufacturing defects.
Dimensions: 24.4 x 15.5 x 11.7 inches (depth x width x height)
There was a lot to love about the gas-powered Ooni Koda, which made pizzas almost as perfect as our top pick, but costs significantly less.
The Ooni Koda’s heat source is in the back of the oven, providing the cooking food with direct access to the flame. We loved that the cooking stone is removable, and you can flip it upside down to clean it during the next cooking session. The legs also fold all the way down, making the already thin-profiled oven almost flat for storage.
It only took five minutes for the pizza stone to register 500°F, and 25 minutes to reach 900°F. The Neapolitan-style pizza cooked in about 90 seconds and resulted in beautifully charred spots on the crust and a gorgeous speckled bottom. The oven recovered quickly to cook a second pizza without issue, and it did a similarly fantastic job searing steak and charring broccoli in a cast-iron skillet.
While we were thrilled with this less expensive oven’s results, it is worth noting that we did encounter some issues with the original Ooni Koda we received.
After a few cooking sessions, the flames extinguished, and we couldn’t get the unit to turn back on. A piece on the plastic ignition knob had also broken, causing the knob to spin around and around.
Ooni’s customer service was fantastic, sending us a replacement knob. When that didn’t resolve the issue, they sent a new oven. We put the new oven through the same rigorous trials as the first one, and couldn’t get the issue to replicate, so we must have had a defective unit the first time around.
Dimensions: 21.2 x 16.1 x 18.5 inches (depth x width x height)
The Gozney Roccbox, our previous Best Overall winner, was an absolute pleasure to use from the beginning. Assembly was as simple as screwing on the gas attachment and extending the legs. From there, the oven reached 900°F within 25 minutes on the highest flame.
The flame is located in the back of the unit, and when it hits the roof, it rolls throughout the top of the oven. That heats the stone quickly and evenly while also providing broiler-like heat for cooking the top of the pizza. When we turned the flame down, the temperature responded accordingly, and it held temperatures steady within 5°F.
Both the Neapolitan and New York-style pizzas turned out fantastic in the Roccbox. The Neapolitan pizza cooked in less than 90 seconds, and the exposed flames produced an attractive char on the exterior crust as we turned the pizza. The bottom crust was evenly browned and became beautifully speckled, even in such a short amount of cook time.
The New York pizza, which was cooked at a lower temperature of 500°F, took about five minutes to finish. We were delighted when the thin crust turned out simultaneously crispy and foldable. The pizza stone isn’t removable for cleaning, but it was easy enough to clean using a bristle brush.
We were similarly impressed with the Roccbox’s ability to sear in a cast-iron pan. Our 12-inch skillet fit easily inside the oven, with the handle hanging out the door for easy access. Within 15 minutes, the pan registered 600°F. That high heat created a beautiful sear on the first side of the steak, and it maintained those high temperatures to sear the second side, too.
To top it off, the Rocccbox also looks gorgeous with its sleek gray and silver design. It is taller and heavier than the other ovens we tested, but it’s easy to transport with the included carrying strap. The propane attachment hangs underneath the long folding legs, so it won’t fold flat unless you detach the burner. But the longer legs also mean the oven is positioned higher up on the countertop so it’s at an ideal height.
Put it all together—incredible tasting (and looking) pizza, ability to sear in a cast-iron skillet, and easy-to-use design—and it was a no-brainer to name this pizza oven as one of our top picks.
Dimensions: 32 x 20 x 33 inches (depth x width x height)
The Ooni Karu 16 is an upgraded version of our Best Value pick. Like the Gozney Roccbox, this is a multi-fuel pizza oven—insert the wood-burning tray into the oven to use it with wood or charcoal or use a standard propane tank by sliding in the propane burner, which is sold separately. From there, getting started is as easy as attaching the hose to a propane tank and turning the dial.
Overall, we were more than pleased with this oven’s performance. The pizza turned out fantastic, with a charred crust and a lightly speckled bottom. It took the oven a little less than 30 minutes on the highest heat settings for the pizza stone to reach 900°F, and it held its temperature well in between cooking sessions. You don’t even need to use a thermometer to know when you’ve reached your desired temperature because this oven has one built in.
We also appreciated the Karu’s large cooking surface. It’s big enough to cook full-sized, 16-inch pizzas. The addition of an oven door opens up possibilities for using this as a fully-functional outdoor oven, too. Its size is sufficient for baking bread, and the door helped the cast-iron broccoli cook more evenly.
Of course, a larger cooking area means a larger oven, and this model takes up significantly more space than most of the ovens we tested. It’s the heaviest we tested and it doesn’t have a low profile, so you’ll want to find a dedicated space on your patio or deck for storing it.
Dimensions: 24 x 14 x 10.5 inches (depth x width x height)
The Bertello Outdoor Pizza Oven is similarly priced to our value pick, but it lacked the finesse of the best pizza ovens we tested.
The heat source is located in the back of the unit, and our pizza crust and cast-iron broccoli got a gorgeous flame-kissed char, but it couldn’t reach 900°F, so the Neapolitan pizza took almost 2 minutes to cook. It did reach 700°F, but it took about 30 minutes. The Bertello, unfortunately, also didn’t recover temperatures as well as some of the other ovens. Our second pizza always lacked color on the bottom, and the steak was only seared on one side.
While we were generally pleased with the pizzas’ appearance and flavor, the unit itself left much to be desired. It features the same streamlined design as the Ooni Koda, and it’s large enough to cook a 12-inch pizza. But the propane cord was way too long, creating a tripping and safety hazard. We also didn’t love the design of the gas hookup. It extruded from the back of the unit, wobbled around when we moved the oven, and generally made the oven awkward to store.
Although we didn't test this feature, the Bertello oven has a wood burning tray accessory. After preheating the oven with the propane gas burner, the tray allows you to add wood to infuse the oven with wood-fired flavor.
Dimensions: 19.5 x 30 x 18 inches (depth x width x height)
The Camp Chef Italia Pizza Oven is a much larger, heavier model than the rest of its competitors. It's made of stainless steel and the cooking stone is 20 inches wide—almost double the 13-inch standard used by most of the other ovens—so you could cook two small pizzas at once. Unfortunately, its design doesn’t make it ideal for Neapolitan pizza.
The heat source is located underneath the stone instead of in the back of the oven, so the crust doesn’t get any color or char from the flames. There are also warnings not to heat the oven over 750°F (although it maxed out at about 600°F anyway during testing). That doesn’t allow this oven to get much hotter than a grill, and the resulting pizza was crunchy and dry instead of crisp and tender.
The one thing we really like about this unit is that it comes with a door. With it on, the oven reached 500°F within 20 minutes, and the pizza and cast-iron broccoli cooked much more evenly. The door and wide available space inside makes this oven a good option for anyone wanting to bake bread.
Dimensions: 18 x 28 x 14. 5 (depth x width x height)
Compared to the other pizza ovens we tested, the Cuisinart Alfrescamore Portable Outdoor Pizza Oven just didn’t stack up. It was the least expensive pizza oven in our testing group, and the price showed in the test results.
It was the only pizza oven we tested that used a one-pound portable propane canister, which we found difficult to screw in. The oven itself was nicely designed with a liftable lid, a wood chip cup to add flavor, and a warming drawer below. The warming drawer hovered between 180°F to 200°F, but it wasn’t deep enough to hold an entire pizza without cutting it first.
Our major issue with this oven is it doesn’t get much hotter than a grill or indoor oven. Like the Camp Chef, the heat source is located underneath the pizza stone, so the upper crust never saw any flames that lend it color. We never registered temperatures on the cooking stone that exceeded 600°F, and it took over 10 minutes to get color on the bottom of the pizza. By the time the toppings were bubbling, the pizza dough became crunchy and lacked the soft, chewiness we found in the other ovens.
Hi, I’m Lindsay Mattison. After graduating from culinary school, I became the executive chef of a farm-to-table restaurant specializing in from-scratch pizza and pasta. I’ve made hundreds—if not thousands—of pizzas during my career, and I somehow never got sick of eating it!
To start, we picked up several highly-rated propane-powered pizza ovens and put them to the test. We focused on portable, outdoor units designed to sit on a countertop instead of pizza ovens that become permanent fixtures. One of the test units used one-pound portable propane canisters, but most of them hooked up to a standard propane tank used for gas grills.
Our first set of tests revolved around temperatures. Neapolitan pizza dough requires at least 700°F to create the right texture, so we turned the ovens on and set them on high. Using an infrared thermometer, we timed how long it took each one to reach temperatures of 500°F, 700°F, and 900°F (if possible). We repeated this test several times to see if the times and temperatures were consistent.
Then we set the pizza oven on its highest setting and cooked two Neapolitan-style pizzas in succession. In addition to timing how long it took to cook the pizza, we also measured the recovery time for the stone to regain its temperature in between pizzas. We assessed the pizza’s level of doneness on the bottom and edges, as well as the toppings’ appearance. We repeated the tests with a New York-style pizza dough, reducing the oven temperature to 500°F and cooking two more pizzas.
We weren’t satisfied with ovens that could only cook pizza, so we added a 12-inch cast-iron skillet and let it preheat on the stone. After cooking steaks and broccoli in the pan, we assessed the amount of char and sear, giving us a good idea if the ovens could accommodate this cooking method.
As we went, we took several subjective measurements. Was the oven easy to ignite, control the temperature, and turn off? Could the oven be moved easily, and did it take up too much space for storage or general use? Was it sturdy and well-constructed, or did it shake, rattle, or move as we used it? These answers went a long way to helping us determine our winner.
What To Know Before Buying Outdoor Pizza Ovens
There’s never been a better time to be a foodie. Pizza used to be just pizza, but today, we have choices: wood-fired Neapolitan, square Sicilian, foldable New York, deep-dish Chicago, thin-crust California, and crispy-cornered Detroit pizza. Each variety has unique characteristics that make it stand out from the rest, and they all seem impossible to recreate at home. With outdoor pizza ovens, though, you can make restaurant-quality pizza without leaving the house, but there are some things you should consider before purchasing one.
I’ve made pizza in commercial-grade ovens and at home using a pizza stone in the oven or on the grill. The biggest difference between the methods is temperature.
A home oven usually maxes out around 500°F, while a pizza stone on a grill might reach 600°F. By comparison, commercial pizza ovens can get as hot as 900°F. Those high temperatures allow the dough to expand rapidly when it hits the stone, creating the ideal balance between crispy (but not crunchy) and tender (but not undercooked or dry) textures.
Outdoor pizza ovens are designed to resolve this issue. Some ovens have the heat source located under the stone, but the models we preferred positioned the flame at the back of the oven, allowing it to kiss the crust and promote char. They’re significantly smaller than your oven inside, so the heat can radiate more efficiently around the small space, heating the built-in stone more effectively.
In addition to being able to reach higher temperatures, these ovens are also better at holding temperatures. The cooking stone loses heat as soon as you add a raw pizza, but a good oven recovers quickly enough to cook several pizzas in succession.
Outdoor pizza ovens aren’t exactly cheap, so making restaurant-quality pizza has to be important to you. If that’s not the case, you could absolutely buy a pizza stone, put it in the oven or on the grill, and make pizza to your heart's content..
But if you cook pizza regularly and want to create the best possible result, you’ll definitely need this specialized oven. That said, they are more costly than pizza stones. The ones that we tested started at about $200. However, the higher ranking models were pricier. Still, there are affordable models that cook up a mean pie. Plus, they are less expensive than the permanent pizza ovens that can cost thousands of dollars.
Other Tools You’ll Need
Whether you choose a wood-fired oven or one fueled by propane, you’ll need some additional tools to make the best pizza.
We used an infrared thermometer to make sure that the ovens reached the proper temperature to cook pizza. Some of the models we tested had built-in thermometers, while others offered thermometers in package deals. Regardless, you’ll need to make sure your oven is hot enough to cook an amazing pie.
Obviously, with ovens reaching temperatures upwards of 900°F, you’ll need a tool to get your pizza in and out of the heat. A pizza peel is essential if you purchase a pizza oven. A few of the models we tested included a peel, which makes putting in and retrieving your pizza easy.
After getting your perfect pizza out of the oven, you won’t want to ruin it with a dull pizza cutter. The best pizza cutters perfectly cut slices while being balanced in your hand.
What Else Can You Cook on an Outdoor Pizza Oven?
You might also be surprised to learn that these small ovens can do so much more than cook pizza. Use a cast-iron pan to sear steak, char vegetables, bake dips, or cook casseroles. With the addition of a door to trap the heat inside, these ovens can also bake sourdough bread (using a door may not be possible with all models, so be sure to check with the manufacturer). That can really change the nature of how you cook outside, and combining these units with a grill or a smoker can create a full outdoor kitchen setup.
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