How To Light Any Ooni Pizza Oven – Step By Step Instructions


The first step to using an Ooni pizza oven is to light it, but that isn’t always as simple as it might appear. Lighting some Ooni pizza ovensOpens in a new tab. is as simple as turning on the gas, while others require starting and maintaining a wood or charcoal fueled flame.

Whether you’re using your Ooni pizza oven for the first time or are doing some preliminary research before purchasing one, let’s go over how to light each Ooni pizza oven with step by step instructions.

Want to make sure you’re lighting your Ooni pizza oven the right way? Read on…

Tip: Always make sure your Ooni oven is 100% fully assembled before attempting to light it. To assemble your oven, follow the included instructions carefully.

Need quality fuel for your pizza oven? Check out these Ooni approved Premium Hardwood PelletsOpens in a new tab., the Premium Assorted Oak PackOpens in a new tab., Premium Natural FirestartersOpens in a new tab. and Premium Hardwood 5″ Oak Logs.

How To Light The Ooni Fyra 12Opens in a new tab.

  • Heat Up Time: 15 minutes
  • Max temperature: 950°F (510°C)

The Ooni Fyra 12 is a wood pellet fueled 12 inch pizza oven. The Fyra 12 is the only Ooni pizza oven that uses Ooni’s unique and innovated gravity fed pellet hopper, so it’s a bit different than lighting other wood-based Ooni ovens.

Thankfully, lighting the Ooni Fyra 12, and keeping it lit, is easier than almost any other combustible fuel pizza oven.

To light the Ooni Fyra 12, follow these steps:

  1. Fill the fuel tray with 2 scoops of Ooni approved hardwood pellets (or similar). Use the chimney cap as a scoop for easy measuring.
  2. Place a fire starter in the front part of the fuel tray and light it.
  3. Carefully slide the fuel tray into the back of the oven.
  4. Let the flame consume all of the starter pellets. This can take up to 5 minutes and can be monitored through the front viewing window.
  5. Slowly fill the pellet hopper with more wood pellets until the pellets reach the top. Leave about 1 inch of room at the top so the hopper lid can fully close.
  6. Using a laser thermometer, wait until the oven reaches between 800-900F before cooking.
  7. As the flame dies down throughout the cooking process, add more pellets to the hopper. Add the pellets gradually, rather than refilling the entire hopper at once, as this will help keep the flame strong.
  8. When you’re finish cooking, let the flame burn itself out completely and give the oven a few hours to cool down before cleaning up.

How To Light The Ooni Karu 12Opens in a new tab.

  • Heat Up Time: 15 minutes
  • Max temperature: 950°F (510°C)

The Ooni Karu 12 is a multi-fuel pizza oven that uses wood, charcoal or propane gas. Which fuel you decide to use makes a big difference in how you light this oven.

To light the Ooni Karu 12 with wood or charcoal:

  1. Remove the chimney cap and make sure the front door cover is in place to ensure good airflow during the initial burn.
  2. For Wood: Using a few pieces of good quality kiln dried hardwood, create a small structure within the fuel tray. Place 1-2 fire starters on top and slide the tray into the back of the oven. Light the fire starters and close the oven hatch. Wait until you have a nice clean smoke before cooking.
  3. For Charcoal: Place 1-2 handfuls of lumpwood charcoal to the fuel tray and place a fire starter (or two) on top. Slide the fuel tray into the back of the oven, light the fire starters and close the hatch. Don’t begin cooking until the charcoal is burning white and don’t add more charcoal until they’re burning red. When adding more charcoal, wait around 10 minutes for it to begin burning clean before cooking.
  4. When the pizza stone reaches your desired cooking temperature (800-950F), you can begin cooking.
  5. To increase the temperature of the oven, and the height of the flame, make sure the chimney baffler is fully open using the adjuster on the side. For a lower and slower temperature, close the baffler to reduce airflow. Lower temperatures are better for deep dish and NYC style pizza because it gives it more time to cook without burning the toppings.

To light the Ooni Karu 12 with propane:

To use the Karu 12 with propane, you first need the optional gas burner attachmentOpens in a new tab. from Ooni.

  1. Remove the chimney and fuel tray and place the chimney cap in the oven body (to close off the hole on the top of the oven).
  2. Keep the front door of the oven removed at all times when cooking with propane.
  3. Remove the defender plate from the back of the oven and attach the propane burner by tightening the screws with the included allen key (don’t overtighten or it will be difficult to remove later).
  4. Connect the propane hose from your propane tank to the back of the Ooni pizza oven gas burner.
  5. Push the heat control dial in and turn it slowly counterclockwise about 90 degrees until you hear a click and the flame lights.
  6. Keep the dial pushed in for another 5-6 seconds before you release it (this is a safety feature).
  7. If the flame doesn’t light on the first try, wait another 15-30 seconds and try again.
  8. Let the oven heat up to your desired temperature setting.

How To Light The Ooni Karu 16Opens in a new tab.

  • Heat Up Time: 15 minutes
  • Max temperature: 950°F (510°C)

The Ooni Karu 16 is the big brother of the smaller Ooni Karu 12. The main difference between the Karu 12 and the Karu 16 is its much bigger cooking area (up to a 16 inch pizza) and the included mounted digital thermometer.

Just like the Ooni Karu 12, the Karu 16 is a multi-fuel oven that can cook with wood, charcoal and propane.

To light the Ooni Karu 16 with wood or charcoal:

  1. Neatly arrange 10-12 pieces of good quality hardwood (or 3-4 handfuls of charcoal) in the fuel tray and stick 1-2 fire starters within the pieces. Do not overfill the fuel tray.
  2. Slide the fuel tray to the back of the oven and open the vents on the front and make sure the chimney baffler is open. Keep the front door closed at all times.
  3. Monitor the flame through the glass window on the door. When the flame gets going in full, slowly add more wood/charcoal.
  4. Let the flame burn for at least 30 minutes while the oven heats up. Use the mounted thermometer to monitor the temperature of the oven. Add more fuel as needed.
  5. When the oven reaches your desired temperature (800-900F for Neapolitan style pizza), you can begin cooking.

Tip: Always make sure that your fuel (whether charcoal or wood) is burning clean smoke and has a layer of white ash on it for safe cooking.

To light the Ooni Karu 16 with propane:

The Ooni Karu 16 needs an optional gas burner attachmentOpens in a new tab. to work with propane.

  1. Open the vents, chimney and front door of the Ooni Karu 16.
  2. Remove the back plate and attach the gas burner by gently tightening the 2 screws to fasten it to the oven. Don’t overtighten the screws for easy removal when you’re finished.
  3. Push the heat dial control in and gently turn it counterclockwise until the flame ignites. Keep the dial pressed in for 5 seconds before releasing (safety feature).
  4. Set the temperature dial as high or low as you like. Close the door and let the oven heat up to your desired temperature.
  5. When the temperature of the oven is to your liking, you’re ready to cook your pizza.

Tip: Lower temperatures of around 600-700F under a low flame is best for making New York style pizza. This allows the crust to crisp up nicely while preventing the toppings from burning.


How To Light The Ooni ProOpens in a new tab.

  • Heat Up Time: 20 minutes
  • Max temperature: 950°F (510°C)

The Ooni Pro is one of Ooni’s flagship, and most expensive, multi-fuel ovens. Big enough for a 16 inch pizza, the Ooni Pro can cook with wood, charcoal and propane.

To light the Ooni Pro with wood or charcoal:

  1. Fill the Ooni Pro fuel tray with several handfuls of charcoal or 10-12 small pieces of hard wood. You can also use a combination of both fuel and wood, however the amounts will vary depending on the size of the pieces. Don’t overfill the tray and make sure there is good airflow between the pieces.
  2. Add 1-2 fire starters and slide the fuel tray to the back of the oven.
  3. Light the fire starters and shut the fuel door.
  4. Close the front glass door and make sure the chimney baffler is open.
  5. After 15-20 minutes, the fuel should be smoldering. This is a good time to gradually add more fuel to get a nice flame going and increase the temperature of the oven.
  6. Wait for the oven to reach your desired temperature then cook your pizza.

To light the Ooni Pro with propane:

The ooni pro requires an optional gas burner attachmentOpens in a new tab. to work with propane.

  1. Remove fuel tray.
  2. Remove glass door (if necessary) and attach “pizza door” (the open metal front plate that clips on).
  3. Attach the propane burner to the back of the Ooni Pro and gently tighten the screws to prevent it from falling out.
  4. Connect propane hose from the Ooni Pro to your propane tank.
  5. Make sure the chimney cap is ON (meaning the chimney is CLOSED).
  6. Press in the heat dial control and slowly turn it counterclockwise. When the Ooni Pro lights, you’ll hear a click and see flames. Keep pressing the dial for another 5 seconds before releasing (safety feature).
  7. Set the temperature dial as high as you prefer and wait for the oven to reach your desired temperature.

Tip: Use the open faced “pizza door” when using propane and the regular glass oven door when using charcoal or wood in the Ooni Pro.


How To Light The Ooni Koda SeriesOpens in a new tab.

  • Heat Up Time: 15-20 minutes
  • Max temperature: 950°F (510°C)

The Ooni Koda series consists of two propane fueled pizza ovens, the Ooni Koda 12 and the Ooni Koda 16. The only difference between each of these two pizza ovens is size.

The Ooni Koda 12 is ideal for smaller individual Neapolitan sized pizza, while the Ooni Koda 16 is large enough for a 16 inch New York style pizza.

As a single fuel oven, both the Ooni Koda 16 and Ooni Koda 12 are super easy to light.

To light the Ooni Koda 12Opens in a new tab.

  1. Connect the propane hose from the Ooni Koda 12 to your propane tank. Make sure the valve on the propane tank is set to open.
  2. Press the heat control dial and slowly turn it counterclockwise. After about 5 seconds, you should hear a click and see flames.
  3. Let the oven preheat for 15-20 minutes until it reaches your desired temperature.
  4. Adjust the flame as high or low as you like.

To light the Ooni Koda 16Opens in a new tab.

  1. Connect the propane hose from the Ooni Koda 16 to your propane tank. Make sure the valve on the propane tank is set to open.
  2. Press the heat control dial and slowly turn it counterclockwise. After about 5 seconds, you should hear a click and see flames.
  3. Let the oven preheat for 15-20 minutes until it reaches your desired temperature.
  4. Adjust the flame as high or low as you like.

Tip: Adjust the flame to a lower setting just before cooking your pizza can help the crust get a nice and even charring while preventing your toppings from getting burned.

Need quality fuel for your pizza oven? Check out these Ooni approved Premium Hardwood PelletsOpens in a new tab., the Premium Assorted Oak PackOpens in a new tab., Premium Natural FirestartersOpens in a new tab. and Premium Hardwood 5″ Oak Logs.


Which Fuel Type Should I Use?

For some Ooni pizza ovens, like the Fyra 12Opens in a new tab. or Koda seriesOpens in a new tab., the choice of fuel is easy because there is only one to choose from. But for many other Ooni pizza ovens, with their multi-fuel options, the decision can be a confusing one.

Let’s go over the basics of how fuel can affect your pizza.

How Fuel Types Affect Pizza

There are two main ways fuel affects pizza outcomes in a pizza oven – speed and taste. The speed at which the pizza cooks affects the texture of the crust and how well done the toppings are. Fuel types also affects taste by releasing smoke (or not, in the case of propane) as it burns which infuses into the ingredients as they cook and gives the pizza a smoky flavor.

So, for example, if you’re cooking a Neapolitan style pizza, the ideal fuel choice is wood or charcoal. This is because wood and charcoal produce very high temperatures as well as add smokiness that Neapolitan pizza is known for.

On the other hand, for New York and pan style pizza, which are cooked at lower temperatures, propane is ideal. With propane, the temperature and height of the flame can be easily adjusted using the heat control dial on the back of the Ooni. This allows the pizza is cook relatively slowly at a low temperature giving the crust a nice crisp while not burning the cheese and toppings.

Pizza TypeTemperatureIdeal Fuel
New York style600°F-700°FPropane
Neapolitan styles950°F (510°C)Wood or Charcoal
Sicilian style425°F (218°C)Propane
Detroit style450°F (232°C)Propane
Grandma style500°F (260°C)Propane

However, with all this being said, any kind of pizza can be cooked using any kind of fuel. You just need to be aware of what you’re trying to accomplish and what the results will be with your particular oven.

For example, you can cook a New York style pizza using wood with great success as long as you’re able to control the temperature of the flame, which is totally possible but requires a bit of practice. On the other hand, you can make a fantastic Neapolitan pizza using propane if you keep the temperature high (it just won’t have a smoky flavor).

In fact, many famous New York area pizzerias use coal fired ovens at lower temperatures. Just as several well known Neapolitan pizzerias use gas or electric to fire their ovens. At the end of the day, it’s all about technique and knowing your oven.

Related Posts:

Related Questions:

Can You Use An Ooni Pizza Oven Indoors?

All Ooni pizza ovens are designed for outdoor use only and should never be used indoors.

Is There A Difference Between Using Wood And Gas?

Both wood and gas can reach temperatures high enough to make amazing pizza, but there are subtle differences to be aware of. Gas is best for a low and slow flame for pizza types that take longer to cook (like NYC and Detroit styles), while wood is best for high temperature strong flame pizza types like Neapolitan style pizza. Wood (and charcoal) also add a hint of smokiness to the taste of your pizza while gas does not.

How Do I Light My Ooni?

Each Ooni oven has a different fueling system and a slightly different process for lighting. To light your Ooni pizza oven, make sure it’s at least 3 feet away from any outdoor walls and carefully follow the instructions for your particular oven.

How Do You Light Wood Pellets For Pizza Oven?

To light wood pellets for an Ooni pizza oven, pour 1-2 scoops of pellets into the fuel tray and add a natural fire starter. Then, slide the fuel tray back into the Ooni oven and light the fire starters. When the pellets are completely consumed and smoldering, you can begin to gradually add more pellets to increase the intensity of the flame and heat of the oven.

Do You Need Firestarters For Ooni?

Strictly speaking, you don’t need a fire starter to use your Ooni oven. However, when attempting to light wood or charcoal, it’s much easier and more efficient to use a fire starter to quickly get the flame going.

How Do I Start A Fire In An Ooni Pizza Oven?

To start a fire in an Ooni pizza oven using wood or charcoal, load the fuel tray and add 1-2 fire starters. Slide the fuel tray to the back of the Ooni pizza oven and light the fire starter. Be sure not to overfill the fuel tray to ensure proper airflow and a healthy flame.

How Do You Light An Ooni Koda Gas Pizza Oven?

To light an Ooni Koda gas pizza oven, press the temperature control dial in and turn slowly counterclockwise until you hear a click and see a flame ignite. If the Ooni Koda doesn’t light the first time, wait 30 seconds before trying again.

Domenic

Hi, I'm Domenic, the founder of this website. I've been making pizza at home for over 15 years and in that time I've perfected what it takes to bake a delicious pizza in a home oven. My goal is to share that information and experience with you.

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