Pizza ovens are a great way to cook delicious, authentic pizzas at home. However, with so many different models on the market, it can be tricky to know where to start. There are a number of key factors to consider before parting with your money. We take a look at some of the more important points to think about in this blog.
You can squeeze the Koda 12, Karu 12G or Roccbox into most gardens, even those which are challenged for size. These pizza ovens can be perched on stands or tables and will upgrade your pizza game massively compared to your kitchen oven creations.
For those lucky enough to have plenty of space in their gardens, you could look to the 16-inch variants or even larger built in brick ovens.
Gas, Wood or Electric?
You basically have these 3 options when it comes to fuel source. Ooni have recently released their Ooni Volt outdoor/indoor electric pizza oven, which has been receiving some excellent reviews. Before then, Effeuno have been the top dog in the electric pizza oven market, with great electric ovens at a range of price points.
There has been a long-standing debate in the forums when it comes to wood-fired v gas-fired ovens. On one side, some don’t believe that a pizza can take on the flavours and smells associated with wood-fire when it is only cooked for 60 seconds inside the oven. On the other hand, there are those who will swear by a blinded taste-test that they can pick out the wood-fired pizza.
I've always owned gas-powered ovens, largely for the convenience factor, and been very happy with the flavour of my pizzas. I've even successfully used smoked water to add an air of smokiness to the pizza dough.
The Gas v Wood debate will always rage on in the pizza oven market, as it does in the BBQ market (Gas v Charcoal). At the end of the day, you do you.
There are 5 hungry bellies in our family house, so when my pizza oven is turned on, it can quickly and easily churn out 5 pizzas for us all. We often host wider family and friends for pizza parties though, and this calls for serving up a lot more perfectly cooked pizzas.
To cook so many pizzas, you need to be sure that the oven will retain heat on the stone. A searing hot stone is key to getting a beautiful air filled cornicione, as the heat on the stone penetrates the dough and causes the air inside to expand while the heat around the top of the oven cooks and crisps your toppings from above. You can be sure that Gozney and Ooni ovens will provide you with a high degree of heat retention, thus minimising the time you need to allow between cooking pizzas.
Some pizza ovens come with additional features, such as a built-in thermometer, rotating stone or steam injectors for baking bread. These can be helpful, but they are not essential and really shouldn’t impact too much on what oven you choose to buy.
Probably one of the best things to do is spend some time in the pizza forums on social media – don’t go to the branded forums, instead visit the forums that welcome discussion from people who own all sorts of different pizza ovens.
You will discover a huge number of people in the pizza forums who are passionate about home pizza making and will actively help you seek out the right oven. You'll be able to read reviews of different ovens, different experiences of customer support from the various companies, pros and cons of different ovens and fuel sources. All of these will help point you towards an oven or brand that you feel comfortable handing over your money to.
Buying a pizza oven is a great way to improve your home cooking, but it is important to consider all of the factors above before making a purchase. By taking the time to do some research, you will find the perfect pizza oven for you.
Additional advice for buying a pizza oven
- If you're not sure what type of pizza oven to buy, start with a smaller, portable model. This will allow you to try out pizza making before you invest in a larger, more permanent model.
- If you're on a tight budget, look for used pizza ovens. There are many used pizza ovens available for sale online and at garage sales.
- If you're not comfortable using a wood-fired pizza oven, choose a gas or electric model. These models are easier to use and maintain, and they can still produce delicious pizzas.