Is it worth buying a wood fired pizza oven?

If you like making pizza at home (or you’re interested in giving it a try) you may be wondering if it’s worth buying a wood fired pizza oven. It’s understandable, too—wood-fired pizza ovens are the most traditional and authentic way to make pizza, owing much to the smoky flavors and crispy crusts that only a wood-fired pizza oven can deliver. This is one of the hallmarks of Neapolitan style pizza.

Of course, for many, the extra expenses and increased maintenance required when using a wood-fired pizza oven simply isn’t worth it. For these people, it’s worth looking at alternative outdoor pizza ovens that run on gas, electric, or charcoal.

In this article, I’ll go over the pros and cons wood-fired pizza ovens to help you decide if buying a wood-fired pizza oven is right for you. I’ll also show you a few of my favorite wood-fired pizza ovens at different price points that I know are definitely worth the cost if you ultimately decide you want one.

is it worth buying a wood fired pizza oven?

Pros and cons of wood-fired pizza ovens

Wood-fired pizza ovens offer many benefits to those who use them, including better flavor (due to smoke infusion) and faster cooking times. However, wood-fired pizza ovens can also have some disadvantages, such as higher cost and more maintenance compared to other types of pizza ovens like gas or electric.

This is a very important point to consider, because if all you want to do is make good pizza at home, it’s much easier (and often less expensive) to just get a propane pizza oven that can simply be hooked up to a gas source and turned on.

That said, you may decide that the extra hassle of using wood is worth it for you. To help you make the best decision, here are a list of some of the most important pros and cons of buying a wood-fired pizza oven:

Related Post: Qubestove 12 inch pizza oven review

Wood-Fired Pizza Oven Advantages:

  1. Superior flavor: One of the biggest advantages of using a wood-fired pizza oven is the smoky flavor it infuses into the crust and toppings—the very thing that made pizza popular in the first place. This feature is almost impossible to replicate in anything but a wood burning pizza oven.
  2. Faster cooking times: While most pizza ovens can reach high temperature, wood generally burns hotter than other types of fuel, which means that a pizza can (under the right conditions) cook faster and more efficiently in a wood-fired pizza oven compared to propane.
  3. Aesthetic appeal: Wood-fired pizza ovens are considered rustic and charming, which is probably why most fireplaces burn wood instead of propane or charcoal. Tending to a roaring flame in a pizza oven is fun and can be conversation piece when entertaining friends and family.

Wood-Fired Pizza Oven Disadvantages:

  1. More maintenance: The biggest downside to using a wood-fired pizza oven is the increased cleanup and maintenance, as the wood fuel creates a buildup of ash and soot as it burns that needs to be cleaned regularly. A dirty pizza oven will not only affect the taste of your pizza, it can also look bad and ruin some of the aesthetic appeal.
  2. Inconvenience: Wood-fired pizza ovens require a higher level of skill, because you need to know how to manually build and maintain a flame. It’s also a lot more difficult to adjust the heat of the oven, up or down, once the flame is going unless you know what you’re doing. This learning curve is, of course, on top of the skills you’ll need to learn to actually make the pizza as well.
  3. Smoke infusion isn’t strictly necessary: While it’s nice to have the added smoky flavor infused into your pizza, it certainly isn’t required. You can still make an excellent tasting pizza using any other fuel source as well. So if you do decide to buy a wood-fired pizza oven, know that you’re getting it primarily for the extra aesthetics and flavor, not because it’s strictly necessary.
  4. Must be used outdoors: While most pizza ovens are designed to be used outdoors, some models are designed for indoor use—like the Ooni Volt 12. Unfortunately, all wood-fired pizza ovens must be used outdoors because of the harmful smoke and gas that they give off.

Wood-Fired Pizza Oven Reviews – Best Outdoor Pizza Ovens

There are countless popular wood-fired pizza oven models available on the market, with different features and prices to suit different needs and budgets. In my opinion, many of these pizza ovens (especially the portable ones) simply aren’t worth the money due to inferior design at too high a price.

However, there are some excellent wood-fired pizza ovens available from very reputable brands, like Ooni and Gozney. These companies focus exclusively on making pizza ovens designed for home use and offer world-class customer service if you ever run into trouble.

Here are a few of what I consider to be some of the best wood-fired pizza ovens you can buy:

  1. Ooni Fyra 12: This very affordable, highly compact wood-fired pizza ovens is one of my personal favorites. It’s not multi-fuel like the others on this list, but what it lacks in versatility it makes up for in its specialization. The Ooni Fyra 12 burns wood pellets exclusively, and employs a unique gravity-fed pellet hopper to do so. This wood-pellet system takes a lot of the guess work and out of using a wood-fired pizza oven because wood pellets burn more efficiently and easily than traditional wood logs. And at only $349, the Ooni Fyra 12 is easily one of the least expensive premium quality pizza ovens you’ll find.
  2. Gozney Roccbox: The Gozney Roccbox is a perennial favorite among pizza oven enthusiasts, and for good reason—it’s an excellent pizza oven. The Roccbox is multi-fuel capable, meaning it can burn wood as well as propane, giving you the authenticity of burning wood with the option of propane for those times when you just want to make pizza without the hassle. I also really like the thick layer of insulation surrounding the Roccbox, which retains heat and reduces reheating time between pizzas.
  3. Ooni Karu 16: The Ooni Karu 16 is a world-class wood-fired pizza oven, as well as Ooni’s flagship pizza oven model. This pizza oven is multi-fuel with the ability to burn wood, propane, natural gas, and charcoal, which gives you plenty of options depending on how and where you’re making pizza. The Ooni Karu 16 is also massive with the ability to fit up to a 16 inch pizza, making it a great choice for those who want to make wood-fired Neapolitan style pizza but also want the option for larger New York style pizza as well.

Out of all these wood-fired pizza oven models, I recommend the Ooni Fyra 12 first and foremost if your goal is primarily to make Neapolitan pizza (or any other wood-fired style), but keep in mind that it can only fit up to a 12 inch pizza, so don’t expect to make anything bigger than that. I love the Ooni Frya 12 because it’s easier to use than other wood-fired pizza ovens, and it’s also less expensive at only $349.

If you want more versatility than what the Ooni Fyra 12 offers, consider the much bigger (and more expensive) Ooni Karu 16. This pizza oven truly offers everything you could want in a portable pizza oven, including wood-fired capability. The Ooni Karu 16 is also the only domestic pizza oven to be officially recognized by the AVPN, the official regulating body of Neapolitan cooking in Italy, so you know it must be good.

Whichever oven you choose (whether or not it’s on this list), I feel confident recommending Gozney and Ooni pizza ovens because of their commitment to quality as well as the demands of pizza making enthusiasts.

Brick Pizza Ovens: Are They Worth It?

Brick pizza ovens have always been a staple of high-end pizzerias as well as some homes, and for good reason. They offer a unique and authentic way to cook wood-fired pizza, and many pizza enthusiasts swear by them—including myself.

Brick pizza ovens have been used for centuries because they offer several advantages, including a crispy crust infused with smoky flavors, evenly cooked toppings, and the ability to cook several pizzas simultaneously at high temperatures. Lots of people believe that pizza cooked in a brick oven is simply better than pizza cooked in a conventional oven, and perhaps they’re right in many ways.

In fact, when many people think about buying a pizza oven, a large brick domed pizza oven is what immediately comes to mind. They’re certainly a lot more powerful, and aesthetically unique, than a portable Ooni pizza oven (for example), but are they really worth the investment? Let’s take a look at some common questions and considerations when it comes to brick pizza ovens.

For starters, it might seem logical that you can build a brick pizza oven with normal bricks, but this isn’t always the case. While it’s certainly possible (I’ve even done it a few times myself), it’s recommended to use firebricks or other heat-resistant materials instead of regular bricks that can withstand the high temperatures needed for a wood-fired pizza oven without degrading over time.

If you’re interested in building your own brick pizza oven, there are many resources available online, including DIY guides and plans. A brick pizza oven kit can also be purchased, which provides all the materials and instructions needed to construct your own pizza oven.

While there are several kits you can buy, one well-known DIY brick pizza is the Chicago Brick Oven CBO-1000, which is basically a huge prefabricated dome with a massive 53” x 39” baking surface that can be built into any structure, including bricks.

However, the CBO-1000 costs almost $8,000 and may require professional installation. For most people, especially those not running a professional pizzerias, a portable pizza oven is much more convenient and cost effective. This is indicative of the relatively high cost of authentic brick pizza ovens, even ones that you put together yourself.

Wood Fired Pizza Oven Value Highlights:

  • Wood-fired pizza ovens offer traditional and authentic flavor to the pizza.
  • Wood-fired pizza ovens have advantages, such as superior flavor, faster cooking times, and aesthetic appeal. They also have disadvantages, such as more maintenance, inconvenience, and the requirement of being used outdoors.
  • While wood-fired pizza ovens are suitable for those who are willing to learn and maintain them, propane ovens can also make excellent pizzas with less hassle and expense.
  • Some reputable brands offer wood-fired pizza ovens for home use with world-class customer service, such as Ooni and Gozney.
  • Ooni Fyra 12 is an affordable, compact wood-fired pizza oven that uses wood pellets, which burn more efficiently and easily than traditional wood logs.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *