Choosing the right pizza oven is a bit like finding the perfect pair of shoes—it’s not just about the brand or the style, it’s about the “fit”. The best pizza oven “fit” for you will depend on your specific needs, preferences, and lifestyle.
This certainly applies to the eternal Ooni vs Roccbox debate, or more specifically in this case, the Gozney Roccbox vs the Ooni Karu 16.
Ooni Karu 16
The Ooni Karu 16 is Ooni’s flagship pizza oven, and the price reflects that. This is easily a top 5 choice on the market today, if not #1. Get this oven if you want all the latest features and a large 16 inch baking surface. Just be aware you’ll need to fork over an extra $120 if you want to use propane. Oh, and you’ll need a pizza peel as well.
Price: $799 (base model)
The Roccbox has been around for years, and its longevity is justified by its robust build and superior insulation. That said, all this extra insulation won’t matter much for the average user. If you want to burn propane, the price goes up to $599, which isn’t cheap for a 12 inch pizza oven. But unlike Ooni, the Roccbox comes with a pizza peel, which helps justify the cost.
Price: $499 (base model)
The Ooni Karu 16 ($799) is an ideal choice for those with a higher budget looking to make pizzas up to 16 inches in size, while the Roccbox ($499) is a less expensive 12 inch pizza oven that’s ideal for smaller budgets and smaller pizzas. Both the Ooni Karu 16 and the Roccbox support the use of wood, charcoal, and gas, but you’ll need to pay extra to use them all.
Out of the box, the Roccbox only works with gas, so you’ll need to spend an extra $100 for the optional wood and charcoal burning attachment. On the other hand, the Ooni Karu 16 only supports wood and charcoal out of the box, which means you’ll need to spend an extra $119 for the gas burning attachment.
Ooni Karu 16 vs Roccbox At A Glance
|Feature||Ooni Karu 16||Gozney Roccbox|
|Insulation||Optimized airflow engineering, increased oven insulation||Dense insulation between inner shell and outer casing|
|Material||Carbon steel shell with a high temperature-resistant powder-coated finish||304 grade stainless steel|
|Max Temperature||950°F (510°C)||950°F (510°C)|
|Fuel Options||Wood, charcoal, or gas (with separate gas burner)||Gas as standard, or wood and charcoal with optional burner|
|Cooking Surface||16 inches||12 inches|
|Special Features||New hinged oven door design with “ViewFlame” technology to boost visibility, mounted digital thermometer displays internal ambient oven temperature||Patented baffle plate technology for rolling flame, underfloor thermometer, retractable legs, safe-touch silicone jacket|
Related Post: Roccbox vs Ooni Koda 16 Compared
Gozney Roccbox vs Ooni Karu 16 Compared: Old vs New
The Roccbox has been a fan favorite since 2016 because of its compact design, excellent insulation, and sensible pricing. It’s a bit smaller (and more expensive) than some other pizza oven models, but it’s proven its worth time and time again.
The Ooni Karu 16, on the other hand, is a newer 2021 model that comes with more features and a larger cooking area. It’s also quite a bit more expensive than the Roccbox, especially if you want to use gas as well, but with its fuel-efficient design and improved insulation, it offers a lot of value for the price.
Gozney vs Ooni: Pros and Cons
Ooni Karu 16
- Larger baking surface (16 inches) allows for bigger pizzas.
- Comes with a digital thermometer for precise temperature control.
- Can burn wood or charcoal right out of the box, with an optional gas burner available.
- Improved insulation over older models, with ceramic fiber insulation.
- Glass door allows for easy viewing of the cooking process.
- Recognized by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN).
- More expensive base price ($799).
- Gas burner is an additional cost ($119).
- Larger size may not be as portable or fit in smaller outdoor spaces.
- Less expensive base price ($499).
- Comes with a gas burner right out of the box, with an optional wood burner available.
- Compact and portable design.
- Excellent insulation with a multi-layer insulation system.
- Has been a fan favorite since its release in 2016.
- Smaller baking surface (12 inches).
- Wood burner is an additional cost ($100).
- Does not come with a digital thermometer.
- No glass door for viewing the cooking process.
- If you just want propane, it still makes more sense to just get the Ooni Koda 12 ($399)
Default Models are Quite Different: Ooni Karu 16 vs Roccbox “Out of the Box” comparison
While the Gozney Roccbox and Ooni Karu 16 both share many features, it’s important to consider what each oven offers right out of the box. The default models of these ovens come with different fuel options, which significantly impacts the overall cost and functionality you can expect at the base price.
|Feature||Ooni Karu 16||Gozney Roccbox|
|Default Model Price||$799||$499|
|Default Fuel Type||Wood||Gas|
|Additional Attachment for Gas||Gas Burner ($119)||–|
|Additional Attachment for Wood||–||Wood Burner 2.0 ($100)|
|Baking Surface Size||16 inches||12 inches|
|Total Cost for Base Model||$799||$499|
|Total Cost w/ Attachments||$918||$599|
The Roccbox comes with a propane burner as standard, priced at $499. This makes it a great choice for those who prefer cooking with gas. In fact, I would argue that most prospective Roccbox buyers ultimately end up using the gas options most frequently simply because it’s easier than dealing with wood.
However, if you specifically want a wood-fired pizza oven, the Roccbox is still a great choice, but you’ll need to purchase the Wood Burner 2.0 attachment for an additional $100. This brings the total cost of a wood-burning Roccbox to $599, which edges this pizza oven onto the pricier side of the spectrum.
On the other hand, the Ooni Karu 16 is designed to burn wood (and charcoal) right out of the box. But, if (like most people) you prefer the convenience of propane or natural gas, you’ll need to purchase an optional gas burner attachment for $119 or $149 respectively. This brings the total cost of the Ooni Karu 16 with gas options to $918-$948—well worth it, but still expensive by any standard. Not to mention, you’ll still need to buy a pizza peel as well.
These differences in the default out of the box models significantly impacts the decision-making process of any prospective buyer. For example, if you primarily want to cook with gas, the Roccbox could save you around $419 compared to the Ooni Karu 16 with gas attachments. But, this cost saving comes with a smaller 12-inch baking surface, which you’ll also have to keep in mind.
Conversely, if you’re really into wood-fired pizza (and who isn’t?), you might initially consider the Roccbox due to its lower price. But when you factor in the cost of the Wood Burner 2.0 attachment, the price increases to $599. That means, for an additional $200, you could opt for the Ooni Karu 16, which not only burns wood right out of the box but also offers a larger cooking area and newer features.
This is why, when deciding between the Roccbox and the Karu 16, it’s crucial to consider your preferred fuel type and how the default models of each oven align with your preferences. This will make sure that you’re not only getting a pizza oven that fits your cooking style but also one that provides the best value for the money.
Overview of Ooni Karu 16: Ooni’s Flagship Pizza Oven
The Ooni Karu 16 took over for the wildly popular Ooni Pro 16 in 2021 as Ooni’s flagship pizza oven model. This is exactly what I like to see in a pizza oven company. Rather than rest on their laurels with the success of the Ooni Pro 16, they continued to innovate. Now, the Ooni Karu 16 is the first to be ‘Recommended for Domestic Use’ by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN), which is the acclaimed international authority on “true Neapolitan pizza”.
The Ooni Karu 16 is a lot like its predecessor the Ooni Pro 16 but with several new features, including a new hinged oven door design with “ViewFlame technology”. This is basically just an insulated glass door, but it’s a big improvement over the essentially open-door design of the previous model (similar to the Roccbox) which greatly impacts cooking times and heat retention in my experience.
This insulated glass door design, combined with a mounted digital thermometer that displays the internal ambient oven temperature is an overall big improvement in terms of control and precision for the Ooni Karu 16.
In terms of insulation, the Ooni Karu 16 has been re-designed with optimized airflow and a carbon steel shell with a high temperature-resistant powder-coated finish. These improved features help with heat retention, weather resistance, and cooking times, making the Ooni Karu 16 a more robust and durable option compared to the older Ooni Pro 16.
Overview of Gozney Roccbox: A Classic Fan Favorite Pizza Oven
The Gozney Roccbox is the brainchild of Tom Gozney’s vision since its inception in 2016. The Roccbox is a well-designed, robust pizza oven that stands as a testament to Gozney’s goal of bringing pizzeria quality Neapolitan style pizza wherever you go.
First and foremost, the Roccbox is a multi-fuel pizza oven, coming with a convenient gas burner as standard right out of the box. And for those who want the authentic taste and experience of wood-fired pizza, there’s an optional Wood Burner 2.0 available. This versatility in fuel options makes the Roccbox a flexible choice for many.
It’s impossible to talk about the Roccbox without mentioning its stand-out feature: unrivaled insulation. The Roccbox is designed with multiple layers of insulation between its inner shell and outer casing, which allows it to reach and maintain temperatures of up to 950°F (510°C), even when the door is open. This is a crucial feature for achieving the high heat necessary for authentically cooking Neapolitan-style pizza in 60-90 seconds.
The Roccbox is not just about performance, it’s about convenience as well. Similar to the Ooni Karu 16, the Roccbox features retractable legs and detachable burner system, so it’s easy to set up, transport, and store. This makes it an ideal choice for those who enjoy outdoor cooking but also value portability and ease of use.
The Roccbox’s popularity is not just due to its impressive features and performance. It’s also a result of Gozney’s commitment to customer support. With a dedicated customer experience team ready to assist with setup and other queries, owning a Roccbox is as much about the product as it is about the experience. To be fair, Ooni excels in this department as well.
Which to Choose? Ooni Karu 16 vs Gozney Roccbox Final Verdict
If cost is your primary decision factor, the answer is simple: go with the Roccbox. Even with all the attachments included, the cost of the Roccbox is only $599, and that includes an essential pizza peel as well. That’s $200 cheaper than even the base price of the Ooni Karu 16, which balloons in price to over $1000 when you include the option gas burner and pizza peel.
On the other hand, if you want to make pizzas over 12 inches (which is basically a personal sized pizza), you’ll need to go with the larger Ooni Karu 16. This will give you enough room for a large 16 inch pizza, which is great for making New York style and feeding multiple people with a single pizza.
Whichever you choose, you can rest easy knowing that you’re getting what you pay for. Both the Gozney Roccbox and Ooni Karu 16 deliver in terms of performance, build-quality, and customer support. Just make sure you’re buying the pizza oven that fits your needs and matches your budget.
When choosing between the Roccbox and the Ooni Karu 16, it’s important to consider your specific needs and preferences. If you’re someone who values versatility, a larger cooking area, and the latest features, then the Ooni Karu 16 might be the right fit for you. But if you’re someone who prefers something a little smaller and less expensive, then the Roccbox is the better fit.
Which is better, the Ooni Karu 16 or the Roccbox
Both the Ooni Karu 16 and the Gozney Roccbox are excellent pizza ovens, but there are some significant differences between the two. For starters, the Roccbox has a 12 inch baking surface while the Karu 16 has a 16 inch baking surface. Also, the Roccbox costs $499 for the base model while the Ooni Karu 16 is significantly more expensive at $799 for the base model.