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bel4_20

Small Pizza ovens

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I'm currently looking into buying a small (or portable) pizza oven. I'm looking at the Ooni Pro or the new Ooni Karu. I'm looking for opinions from you guys whom may own/ed one of these ovens. I'm open to any other suggestions in and around that price range as well.

 

TIA

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bel,

 

I recently bought the Karu, and posted a video here: https://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/44352-ooni-karu/

 

 

I am pretty happy with it so far. It is portable... and smallish so there is no expectation of a full blown WFO.  If you understand the limitations, it is still possible to make great pizzas.

 

1) Does it get Neapolitan pizza hot? It does, but you have to keep feeding the fire constantly.

 

1B) It comes to temp in 15 mins or less. The first time I fired it up and went to take a shower... expecting to find a raging fire and temp to be close to 900deg. When I came back (and was a relatively quick shower) almost all the fuel had been consumed!! Hahahha. Added more kindling and it recovered rather quickly. FEED THE FIRE ;)

 

2) Wood vs Charcoal? BOTH! Wood consumes super fast... I use charcoal to keep it going between pizzas so I can eat with guests ;) But Wood raises the temperature quite a bit more.

 

3) Raise the temp to heat the stone. I think probably the weak point of the Karu... raising the temp enough to get the stone hot. (feed the fire!)

 

4) I can brown the toppings like I have never been able to on the Kamado.

 

5) Kamado = hotter stone, Karu = hotter dome...

 

 

Bottom line:

For $329 + shipping I think it is quite a good buy. I was one of the Kickstarter backers at $239 plus shipping so even a better deal. The Ooni Pro seems a bit overpriced to me. I think this one is in a nice pricing sweetspot.  It is not a real WFO, but for the price I think it is hard to go wrong. You can make some delicious pizzas, fast. My wife said they were the best I've made....

 

Cheers!

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1 hour ago, Jose Andres Zapata said:

bel,

 

I recently bought the Karu, and posted a video here: https://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/44352-ooni-karu/

 

 

I am pretty happy with it so far. It is portable... and smallish so there is no expectation of a full blown WFO.  If you understand the limitations, it is still possible to make great pizzas.

 

1) Does it get Neapolitan pizza hot? It does, but you have to keep feeding the fire constantly.

 

1B) It comes to temp in 15 mins or less. The first time I fired it up and went to take a shower... expecting to find a raging fire and temp to be close to 900deg. When I came back (and was a relatively quick shower) almost all the fuel had been consumed!! Hahahha. Added more kindling and it recovered rather quickly. FEED THE FIRE ;)

 

2) Wood vs Charcoal? BOTH! Wood consumes super fast... I use charcoal to keep it going between pizzas so I can eat with guests ;) But Wood raises the temperature quite a bit more.

 

3) Raise the temp to heat the stone. I think probably the weak point of the Karu... raising the temp enough to get the stone hot. (feed the fire!)

 

4) I can brown the toppings like I have never been able to on the Kamado.

 

5) Kamado = hotter stone, Karu = hotter dome...

 

 

Bottom line:

For $329 + shipping I think it is quite a good buy. I was one of the Kickstarter backers at $239 plus shipping so even a better deal. The Ooni Pro seems a bit overpriced to me. I think this one is in a nice pricing sweetspot.  It is not a real WFO, but for the price I think it is hard to go wrong. You can make some delicious pizzas, fast. My wife said they were the best I've made....

 

Cheers!

Thanks for that! its much appreciated. If the Pro was similarly priced perhaps bit more would you consider it over the Karu?

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I cook outside quite a bit in the summer at our RV, so I bought the Camp Chef Expedition 3x stove, then last year I added the 16" artisan pizza oven.  Although it is not wood fired, I love it.  The oven cost around $120 on Amazon, and you can get a 2 burner stove for around $160.  You may even find them cheaper if you look around.  I also set this stove up on my screened in porch in the winter and make pizzas a couple times a month.

 

pizza_oven.jpg

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I've got the Ooni Pro and love it.  Though it's certainly heavier and less portable than I would like...though I've lugged it around a few times.  I've made a couple mods to it over the last couple years as well.  I added a deflector plate to prevent the crust closest to the fire from scorching so fast (you can see it behind the chicken in the one photo...rippled metal edge).   I use it a lot for other grilling too...steak, chicken etc.

 

I use charcoal, wood, and I have the gas burner.  Tried the pellets and gave up on that SH!T fast...PITA.

 

 For pizza, I detect no real difference between gas and wood/charcoal.  90 seconds in and out it just doesn't have time to pick up flavor IMO...so I use gas now most often for pizza...it's fast, more stable and I don't have to fire tend.

 

Also, hardwood is a bit hard to come by around here, so I save it for the longer cooks.

 

To be honest, for what I use it for now, I would probably get the Karu, though I do love the larger space as well....tough decision.  For the $$, and if you are using primarily pizza...I would do the Karu.  If you want a SEMI-portable option, which has more capability of a full blown wood fired oven (placing multiple dishes, moving some items close, some further away), the Pro gives you a bit more flexibilty.

 

You can see below the two Ooni sizzer pans, side by side, with even more room if needed.  And more vertical space (that is two half-chickens on them).

 

ooni1.thumb.jpg.ee3bc98e740f0cc4cf4837676abbacda.jpg

 

ooni2.thumb.jpg.af8e771a63f3a04a046ca6c218c68844.jpg

 

ooni3.thumb.jpg.93afe1faeae548d54b07ae77f866258b.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for the info guys! a bigger oven would be awesome. I really have it in my head that I want to use wood just as if I had a full size unit I love the idea and authenticity of that! will one cook better than the other using wood? (Pro vs Karu)

On 2/8/2020 at 1:30 PM, Jose Andres Zapata said:

bel,

 

I recently bought the Karu, and posted a video here: https://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/44352-ooni-karu/

 

 

I am pretty happy with it so far. It is portable... and smallish so there is no expectation of a full blown WFO.  If you understand the limitations, it is still possible to make great pizzas.

 

1) Does it get Neapolitan pizza hot? It does, but you have to keep feeding the fire constantly.

 

1B) It comes to temp in 15 mins or less. The first time I fired it up and went to take a shower... expecting to find a raging fire and temp to be close to 900deg. When I came back (and was a relatively quick shower) almost all the fuel had been consumed!! Hahahha. Added more kindling and it recovered rather quickly. FEED THE FIRE ;)

 

2) Wood vs Charcoal? BOTH! Wood consumes super fast... I use charcoal to keep it going between pizzas so I can eat with guests ;) But Wood raises the temperature quite a bit more.

 

3) Raise the temp to heat the stone. I think probably the weak point of the Karu... raising the temp enough to get the stone hot. (feed the fire!)

 

4) I can brown the toppings like I have never been able to on the Kamado.

 

5) Kamado = hotter stone, Karu = hotter dome...

 

 

Bottom line:

For $329 + shipping I think it is quite a good buy. I was one of the Kickstarter backers at $239 plus shipping so even a better deal. The Ooni Pro seems a bit overpriced to me. I think this one is in a nice pricing sweetspot.  It is not a real WFO, but for the price I think it is hard to go wrong. You can make some delicious pizzas, fast. My wife said they were the best I've made....

 

Cheers!

Thanks for that! its much appreciated.

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8 hours ago, cmiller said:

I cook outside quite a bit in the summer at our RV, so I bought the Camp Chef Expedition 3x stove, then last year I added the 16" artisan pizza oven.  Although it is not wood fired, I love it.  The oven cost around $120 on Amazon, and you can get a 2 burner stove for around $160.  You may even find them cheaper if you look around.  I also set this stove up on my screened in porch in the winter and make pizzas a couple times a month.

 

pizza_oven.jpg

Pizza on the go! literally! 

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4 hours ago, bel4_20 said:

 

Thanks for the info guys! a bigger oven would be awesome. I really have it in my head that I want to use wood just as if I had a full size unit I love the idea and authenticity of that! will one cook better than the other using wood? (Pro vs Karu)

Thanks for that! its much appreciated.


I had the Uuni Pro with the same intention of loving idea of burning wood for authenticity & wouldn’t even have gotten the gas burner until @ckreef convinced me otherwise & I was sure glad he did.

 

The ooni’s are not insulated & need constant fuel to maintain temp so I found the gas burner to be a HUGE advantage.  I sold the oven after adding a full size wood oven but if I were to get another portable, I’d want smaller than the pro and definately  gas so a Roccbox, Or Koda would likely be my choice (probably the Roccbox)

8C067511-9F7B-4596-9CA0-33D169257E76.jpeg

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18 hours ago, freddyjbbq said:


I had the Uuni Pro with the same intention of loving idea of burning wood for authenticity & wouldn’t even have gotten the gas burner until @ckreef convinced me otherwise & I was sure glad he did.

 

The ooni’s are not insulated & need constant fuel to maintain temp so I found the gas burner to be a HUGE advantage.  I sold the oven after adding a full size wood oven but if I were to get another portable, I’d want smaller than the pro and definately  gas so a Roccbox, Or Koda would likely be my choice (probably the Roccbox)

8C067511-9F7B-4596-9CA0-33D169257E76.jpeg

@freddyjbbq your killing me! on the ooni site it says they are insulated, the new Karu is another option. I trust you and everyone else here who has posted as I have 0 experience with these type of cookers whichever one I decide on I will buy the gas burner with it at least i'll still get to play around with the wood option but have to convenience of propane when we host at our house. I'm still looking around and reading up and asking questions online  hopefully by spring i'll have my mind made up which i will choose.

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4 hours ago, bel4_20 said:

@freddyjbbq your killing me! on the ooni site it says they are insulated, the new Karu is another option. I trust you and everyone else here who has posted as I have 0 experience with these type of cookers whichever one I decide on I will buy the gas burner with it at least i'll still get to play around with the wood option but have to convenience of propane when we host at our house. I'm still looking around and reading up and asking questions online  hopefully by spring i'll have my mind made up which i will choose.


that’s interesting, now I’m wondering if it was insulated but it couldn’t have had more than 1/2” insulation but the temp dropped immediately after fuel was consumed.  Anyhow, gas was great in the Uuni but I love baking on wood with an insulated oven

79529A50-4BBE-4E3D-BDB3-B5324732705A.jpeg

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7 hours ago, bel4_20 said:

@freddyjbbq your killing me! on the ooni site it says they are insulated...

 

They are insulated, but it's inner metal wall / insulation (not much) / outside metal wall.  The heat dissipates very quickly if a fire is not burning - there just is not enough mass to hold it.  I think most of the cooking comes DIRECTLY from the heat / fire, unlike a "real" wood fired oven where the stone soaks the heat and radiates it back.  All these portable/small ovens are a bit of a cheat...  But you can't take your 1500 pound stone oven with you to the campground or park either.  

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