I don’t think it will come as a surprise to anyone when I say that I adore our new Ooni Pizza Oven. It was a purchase I thought a lot about, having wanted one since last summer. I read a bunch of articles rating various brands of pizza ovens and pretty quickly decided on Ooni, but then there was still the matter of deciding which model to get. I knew I wanted gas, but thought it would be cool to have the option of using wood, too. I talked to a couple of friends who have Oonis and got their take. And then I read a very thorough review from America’s Test Kitchen (I’d link to it but it’s behind a pay wall) which basically said that the pizza isn’t in the oven long enough to really impart any flavor from the wood smoke and it also pointed out that maintaining a hot enough fire with just wood is tricky.
I’m practical enough to know that any sort of barrier to using an item like this is going to mean I don’t use it at all, so I pretty quickly gave up the idea of wood fired and went with the Ooni Koda 12 Gas Powered Pizza Oven. I bought a bundle directly from Ooni so I also got a pizza peel, an infrared thermometer, and a carry cover. Knowing that we’d use it more with a permanent place to keep it set up, I bought a stainless steel cart with wheels from Amazon. My investment in this was just over $650. Like I said . . . not cheap. But 100% worth it. We’ve made 18 pizzas now which brings the per pizza cost down to $36. Ha!
I made my own dough using the recipe from Ooni. It makes enough for 4 pizzas and when I don’t make all 4 I stick the extras in the freezer. My hope is to have a stash of frozen pizza dough for those times when I don’t have the inclination to make it fresh. I also use the pizza sauce recipe on the Ooni website and it’s simple and quick and delicious. It’s even better now that I’ve got my own basil growing.
As for types of pizzas, my favorite is a simple margherita pizza with just sauce, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil. Dale is partial to pepperoni. On Mother’s Day I got a little bit fancier and made one with fig jam, goat cheese, and arugula. The trickiest part of the process is launching the pizza into the oven. Sometimes it sticks and I haven’t been able to understand why that happens seemingly randomly, although I’m starting to suspect it’s when the dough is too warm to start. Out of the 18 we’ve made I’ve only had one be a total loss so I think that’s pretty good. And, as a friend said to me, even when it’s not perfect . . . it’s still better than anything I can get where I live. You know what else is better? A pizza cooks in 60 seconds. Yep. 60 seconds.
I’m looking forward to using this more as the weather gets warmer. I’m thinking pizza parties under the pergola all summer long! I sure wish you could join us!