If you’re a fan of the TV show Shark Tank on ABC, you might be familiar with the Bertello pizza oven. This pizza oven was pitched to, and ultimately received funding from, none other than Kevin O’Leary, “Mr. Wonderful”, himself.
But is the Bertello pizza oven actually any good, and how does it compare to the more prolific and well known Ooni line of professional outdoor pizza ovens?
Bertello and Ooni are both pizza ovens that support gas and wood fuel types. The Bertello is a single pizza oven priced at $299 to cook with wood or charcoal, or $410 with an optional gas burner attachment. On the other hand, Ooni carries a range of 6 pizza ovens priced from $349 to $799 with options for wood, propane and even natural gas fuel types.
Bottom Line: The Bertello is a good pizza oven, but Ooni beats it in every aspect except price. The Ooni Fyra 12 is a superior wood-fired oven priced only slightly higher at $349, while the Ooni Karu 12 is a superior multi-fueled pizza oven priced at $399. So, if you can afford a few extra bucks, I recommend either of these Ooni models over the Bertello.
Keep reading for my full comparison and review.
Ooni Vs Bertello – Pros and Cons:
|Bertello Pizza Oven||-Multi-fuel support (wood, charcoal, propane)||-Small opening makes rotating pizza difficult|
|-Makes excellent pizza||-Barely big enough for 12 inch pizza|
|-Great price, especially if you don’t need the propane attachment||-Very small wood tray, needs constant refueling|
|-Poor design causes flames to shoot from back when the fuel door is opened|
|-Lack of flu means uncontrolled smoke coming from front and back|
|-Propone support requires gas burner attachment which is sold separately.|
|Ooni Collection||-6 ovens to choose from||-Lots of overlapping features between ovens|
|-Larger 16 inch options||-Baking stone is on the thinner side|
|-Convenient gravity fed wood pellet loading system||-Not all wood ovens use new wood pellet gravity fed design|
|-Larger opening for easy pizza rotating|
|-Chimney provides better airflow and directs smoke away from you|
An initial analysis shows that Ooni pizza ovens have more features and more price points, ensuring that nearly everyone will find an Ooni oven that matches their needs and budget. But that doesn’t mean the Bertello pizza oven doesn’t have lots of selling points of its own.
Let’s figure out if Ooni or Bertello is the best pizza oven for you.
Bertello Vs Ooni In Numbers:
The key difference between Ooni and Bertello is that Ooni carries 6 different pizza ovens, with different features and prices, while Bertello is a single pizza oven with various attachments. If you want to fairly compare Ooni and Bertello, it’s useful to know which Ooni ovens are roughly equivalent to the Bertello.
To makes things simpler, I’ve compared the Bertello pizza oven with the two most similar Ooni ovens in the table below.
|Price||Bertello||Ooni Fyra 12||Ooni Karu 12|
|Pizza Size (max)||12 inches||12 inches||12 inches|
|Fuel Type(s)||Wood, Charcoal, Propane||Wood Pellets||Wood, Charcoal, Propane|
|Max. Temperature||930°F (500°C)||950°F (510°C)||950°F (510°C)|
|Baking Surface Area||12.5×13.5||13×13 inches||13×13 inches|
|Price Per Square Inch (Baking Surface)||$1.77||$2.06||$2.36|
The Bertello Pizza Oven Is Most Similar To The Ooni Fyra 12 and Ooni Karu 12
When comparing the Bertello to the Ooni collection, the Ooni pizza ovens that immediately spring to mind are the Ooni Fyra 12 and the Ooni Karu 12. The Ooni Karu 12 shares most of the same features as the Bertello for a slightly higher price, while the Ooni Fyra 12 comes at a very similar price and with a different set of features.
The Ooni Fyra 12 is Ooni’s least expensive wood-fired pizza oven at only $349 and big enough for a 12 inch pizza. The Fyra 12’s feature set is very comparable to the Bertello’s 12 inches of baking surface, wood-fired burner and $299 price point. This makes either of these pizza ovens ideal for making authentic Neapolitan style pizza.
The Ooni Karu 12, on the other hand, is a multi-fueled 12 inch pizza oven, just like the Bertello. Both the Bertello and the Ooni Karu 12 can be fueled with wood, charcoal, propane or a combination of 2 at once. As well, both the Bertello and the Ooni Karu 12 require an optional gas attachment to be used with propane which adds an additional $99-$110 to the price of each.
Perhaps the biggest difference, in terms of specs, between the Ooni Karu 12 and Bertello pizza ovens is price, with the Ooni coming in at $399 and the Bertello at $299 without any attachments.
In my opinion, the biggest selling point to the Bertello is price. For $299, you can get a fully functional wood or charcoal fired pizza oven capable of making authentic Neapolitan style pizza. So, if your aim is to make pizza using wood or charcoal for the least amount of money possible, the Bertello might just be the pizza oven for you.
Having said that, there isn’t a massive price difference between the Bertello and the least expensive Ooni oven, the Ooni Fyra 12 priced at $349. However, the Ooni Fyra 12 is a wood-fired oven only and doesn’t have the ability to use charcoal or an optional propane attachment, unlike the Bertello.
But in many ways, the Ooni Fyra 12 is a superior pizza oven compared to the Bertello, especially if you plan on primarily using the wood option.
The Ooni Frya 12 Is Better Designed For Wood Burning Than The Bertello
The Bertello’s wood burning tray is quite small and opening the back of the oven to refuel mid-cook will cause flames and smoke to shoot out, somewhat dangerously, due to the design and airflow of the oven. On the other hand, the Ooni Fyra 12 works with wood pellets using an innovative gravity fed system.
The Ooni Fyra’s gravity fed system allows you to fill the burner with wood pellets and light it with a starter. When the flame needs more fuel, you can simply scoop more pellets into a hopper chute rather than having to open the back of the oven and expose yourself to flames and smoke. As the flame burns, gravity draws additional pellets from the hopper into the burner without any intervention on your part required.
The Ooni Fyra 12 also has a chimney which allows smoke to escape up and away from you while the Bertello releases smoke and heat through the front and back openings.
So, at the end of the day, the Bertello and the Fyra both use wood but the method and design of the Ooni oven makes it so much more convenient, efficient and safe than the Bertello.
The Ooni Karu 12 Is A Better Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven, For A Price
Of course, one thing the Bertello has over the Ooni Fyra 12 is versatility. Unlike the Fyra, the Bertello can use wood, charcoal and propane with an optional attachment. For these features, the Ooni Karu 12 is a much closer match.
The Ooni Karu 12 supports wood and charcoal out of the box and propane with an optional attachment, just like the Bertello. Unfortunately, unlike the Ooni Fyra 12, the Karu 12 uses traditional wood pieces instead of gravity fed pellets, giving it no clear advantage over the Bertello is that respect.
The Ooni Karu 12 Has Better Airflow
The Ooni Karu 12 is, simply put, designed better to accommodate different fuels compared to the Bertello. To refuel the Ooni, you remove the back cover and slot in more charcoal or wood. When you do the same with the Bertello, you have to be careful because flames and smoke will shoot back out at you.
This unfortunate side-effect with the Bertello mostly has to do with airflow. On the Ooni, air and smoke are drawn up through the chimney so when the back is opened the airflow effect on the flame is minimal. With the Bertello, which lacks a chimney, opening the back completely changes the airflow so the flame, instead of being pushed forward, is now sucked back towards your face and hands.
This doesn’t have to be a deal breaker for the Bertello, but it is something to be aware of.
Of course, with propane you can avoid having to deal with flames altogether with either of these pizza ovens. But remember that the optional propane attachment is an extra $99 for the Bertello and $110 for the Ooni.
The Bertello – A Solid Pizza Oven For A Good Price
Unlike Ooni with their 6 different ovens to choose from, Bertello only offers a single pizza oven. However, the Bertello is more or less a fully featured pizza oven with the ability to use wood, charcoal and gas.
Another feather in the Bertello’s cap is price. At only $299, for the base model without the optional gas attachment, the Bertello is quite reasonably priced.
The Bertello is a fully featured multi-fuel pizza oven with a sturdy construction and 12 inch baking surface. With only a single oven to choose from, the Bertello starts at $299 for wood and charcoal capability with the option for propane via an optional $99 attachment.
The Bertello is fully able to make amazing pizza for a reasonable price, but its main drawbacks are a lack of the finishing touches that Ooni ovens are known for. Some of these missing touches are relatively minor, like cramped quarters when rotating the pizza or cleaning up afterwards. But other things, like the poor airflow that causes flames to shoot out of the back when refueling, will be a major concern for some people.
The biggest strengths of the Bertello are its solid construction, great price and ability to make excellent quality pizza.
For anyone looking to get into making delicious wood-fired pizza at a low price, the Bertello is a great option as long as you appreciate its limitations.
Having a single pizza oven to choose from makes Bertello’s product lines clear and there isn’t any confusion like when trying to figure out which of Ooni’s six pizza ovens is the one for you. Without a doubt, the Bertello will be quite an attractive pizza oven option for those looking to get started with wood-fired pizza making at a reasonable price.
And the proof, as they say, is in the pudding – the Bertello makes an excellent pizza, probably just as good as anything you can make in an Ooni. But is the quality of a pizza the best way to judge the quality of a pizza oven?
Don’t Judge A Pizza Oven By The Quality Of The Pizza It Makes
The best way to judge a pizza oven is not by the quality of the pizza it produces. I know that sounds like a crazy declaration, but hear me out.
When I look online at what other people have posted around the internet touting one pizza oven over another, too frequently I see them comparing the pizza made using each one. This is a flawed way of comparing pizza ovens and here’s why: any oven capable of getting near or above 700-900F is going to make a good pizza. It’s just that simple.
For example, I could go to my local hardware store and buy $20 worth of bricks, make a rudimentary kiln structure, stick a pizza stone in it and light a fire underneath. Once that “oven” gets hot enough, it will make a good pizza, guaranteed.
But is that homemade pizza oven convenient to use, easy to clean and portable? Of course the answer to all these questions is a resounding no.
This is precisely why picking the best pizza oven should not involve judging the best pizza but rather the convenience and quality of the oven itself.
The Bertello Is Basically An Insulated Box With A Burner In The Back
I appreciate that this might sound like an odd statement considering that all pizza ovens are, fundamentally, an insulated box with a fire in the back. But a good pizza oven is more.
A good (domestic) pizza oven offers ease of use, durable construction, safe operation and portability – among many other things. And if that pizza oven burns combustible fuel, like charcoal or wood, it should have a chimney to direct smoke away from the cooking area.
A good pizza oven should also not blow flames in your face when it’s time to refuel and should not turn your arm black when you reach inside to clean it. Unfortunately, the Bertello is guilty of both of these things, which makes it hard to recommend.
Bertello simply lacks a lot of small details that make using and owning a pizza oven a good experience.
The Bertello’s saving grace? Price. At only $299, it’s one of the cheaper wood-fired pizza ovens available so if you’re just looking to dip your toes into pizza making for the lowest price, it might very well be a good option for you.
Bertello’s Propane Attachment Makes It Better, But Not Perfect
In fairness, the propane attachment solves many of the problems I have with the Bertello, such as cleanup and safety, but for an extra $99, bringing the total cost of the oven to $399, there are better options from Ooni in a similar price range.
For example, the Ooni Koda 12 is a propane-only pizza oven priced at $399. This is a 12 inch oven, just like the Bertello, with an amazing design and aesthetic. For the same price as the Bertello with propane attachment, I can’t imagine a scenario where the Ooni isn’t better than the Bertello if you only plan on using propane.
Ooni: 6 Ovens To Choose From
Deciding which Ooni oven is best for you is not easy when you consider there are 6 ovens to choose from, especially when many of them have similar prices and features. Up to this point, we’ve mentioned the Ooni Fyra 12, the Ooni Karu 12 and the Ooni Koda 12. Let’s get into what I like about each of these ovens and how they stack up next to the Bertello.
Ooni Pizza Oven Collection
Ooni offers 6 different pizza ovens of different sizes and feature sets. Which Ooni oven is best for you largely depends on what type of fuel you plan on using and how big you prefer your pizza. For NY style pizza, I recommend going the Oon Koda 16 which is large enough for a 16 inch pizza and can be easily temperature adjusted using propane. For Neapolitan style pizza, I recommend the Ooni Fyra 12 with its low price point and specialization in wood-fired cooking using its unique gravity-fed pellet design.
The Ooni Fyra 12 is a 12 inch wood-fired pizza oven. However, unlike most other pizza ovens, including those offered by Ooni, the Fyra 12 doesn’t use traditional pieces of wood to fuel its flame.
Instead, the Ooni Fyra 12 incorporates a truly innovative gravity-fed wood pellet design that makes starting and tending to the flame incredibly easy.
Normally, with a traditional wood-fired oven, you start the flame in the burner and then stick more pieces of wood into the fire to keep it going. Very similar to how you would tend to a flame at a campfire or even a barbeque.
The Ooni Fyra 12, on the other hand, has a wood pellet burner and hopper. This allows you to fill the hopper with a scoop of wood-pellets and as the flame burns, gravity pulls down more pellets to keep it going. This means no dealing with the flame directly and an incredibly efficient and steady burn.
Another feature that sets this oven apart from competitors like the Bertello is its chimney. The chimney allows for consistent airflow and carries smoke up and away from you. With the Bertello and other similar ovens, the smoke comes out of the back and front and lingers before eventually drifting away.
I highly recommend the Ooni Fyra 12 to anyone looking for an affordable wood-fired pizza oven. This oven is especially good at making Neapolitan style (and sized) pizza.
The Ooni Karu 12 is the most similar Ooni oven in terms of features. Just like the Bertello, this oven can use wood and charcoal right out of the box and, with an optional gas attachment, can use propane as well.
Unlike the Bertello, the Ooni Karu 12 has a chimney which improves airflow and carries smoke away from you while you’re making pizza. The Ooni Karu 12 also has a bit more wiggle room on the sides which makes turning the pizza once it’s in the oven easier.
Price, however, is one thing the Ooni Karu 12 doesn’t have over the Bertello. Priced at $399 for the base model and $499 with a propane attachment, the Ooni Karu 12 is more expensive than the Bertello priced at $299 for the base model and $399 with a propane attachment. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Ooni is overpriced, just that the Bertello is cheaper.
Having said that, if you have the extra $100 to spend, I would consider getting the Ooni Karu 12 over the Bertello if you want a 12 inch oven with multi-fuel support.
The Ooni Karu 12 is an amazing multi-fueled pizza oven with a great design and impressive set of features. If you can afford the extra $100, I think it’s a better value pizza oven compared to the Bertello.
Ooni Koda Series (12 and 16)
The Ooni Koda series consists of two ovens: the 12 inch Koda 12 and the 16 inch Koda 16. Both of these ovens only operate using propane and neither requires any additional attachments to do so.
The idea of a wood-fired pizza oven is very romantic one, especially considering that traditional pizza ovens in Naples are usually fueled this way. But I think for a lot people, operating a wood-fired pizza oven is going to require too much of a learning curve and take too much time to get going.
In fact, I personally know of several people who have invested in multi-fuel pizza ovens only to use it exclusively with propane because it offers more control over temperature and requires very little cleanup.
If you’re one of these people and only plan on using propane, the Ooni Koda 16 and Ooni Koda 12 are great options to consider. The Koda 12 is a smaller oven good for making pizza up to 12 inches, which is about the size of standard Neapolitan pizza.
The Ooni Koda 16 excels at making New York style pizza due to its larger size and easy temperature controls. New York style pizza is typically not cooked at wood or charcoal-fired temperatures but instead at lower temperatures of around 600-700F. Unlike a wood or charcoal fueled flame, adjusting the temperature of a propane powered oven like the Ooni Koda 16 is as easy as turning a knob.
The Ooni Koda 16 is also the only Ooni pizza oven that can be converted to use natural gas with an optional attachment (sold separately).
The Ooni Koda 16 and Ooni Koda 12 are well designed and aesthetically pleasing propane fueled ovens. Both of these ovens offer a no-fuss and no-mess pizza making experience. The Ooni Koda 16 is best for New York style pizza due to its fine tuned temperature control and large 16 inch baking surface.
All Ooni Pizza Ovens Compared
|Ooni Koda 12||Ooni Koda 16||Ooni Fyra 12||Ooni Pro||Ooni Karu 12||Ooni Karu 16|
|Pizza Size (Max)||12 inches||16 inches||12 inches||16 inches||12 inches||16 inches|
|Fuel Type||Propane||Propane, Natural Gas||Wood||Wood, Charcoal, Propane||Wood, Charcoal, Propane||Wood, Charcoal, Propane|
|Max. Temperature||950°F (500°C)||950°F (500°C)||950°F (500°C)||950°F (500°C)||950°F (500°C)||950°F (500°C)|
|Stone Width||0.4 inches||0.6 inches||0.4 inches||0.6 inches||0.6 inches||0.6 inches|
|Baking Surface Area||13×13 inches||16×16 inches||13×13 inches||17.7×17.7 inches||13×13 inches||16.7×24.5 inches|
|Natural Gas Attachment||No||Yes (sold separately)||No||No||No||No|
|Price Per Square Inch (Cooking Surface)||$2.36||$2.33||$2.06||$1.91||$2.36||$1.95|
Final Verdict: The Bertello is a good pizza oven at an even better price, but Ooni pizza ovens are simply a better designed and more polished product. For a slight increase in price, I’d recommend going with either the Ooni Fyra 12 or the Ooni Karu 12 for a better pizza making experience.
I really like the Bertello pizza oven but it’s honestly difficult to recommend over the Ooni when Ooni offers so much more selection in terms of features and price.
At best, the Bertello is just as good as the Ooni in certain aspects, especially when you consider that both Bertello and Ooni make excellent pizza. But Ooni makes the process of making pizza much easier by including some finishing touches that Bertello lacks.
For example, the Bertello doesn’t include a chimney. This might not seem like a big deal, but it’s hard to recommend a wood or charcoal fueled pizza oven to someone when it doesn’t have a way to direct smoke and hot air up and away from the cooking area (in other words, where your face is).
The Bertello is essentially a well constructed box with a pizza stone on the bottom and a burner in the back, but that might be all many people are looking for, especially at such a good price. Personally, I’d go for the Ooni Fyra 12 for a low priced ($349) wood-fired oven, but I couldn’t fault anyone opting for the Bertello at $299.
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Are Bertello Pizza Ovens Good?
The Bertello is a good, inexpensive and no-frills pizza oven. With the Bertello, you can make up to 12 inch pizza using either wood, charcoal or propane with an optional gas burner attachment.
What Is Better Ooni Or Roccbox?
Generally speaking, Ooni is better than Roccbox because of its wide set of features and reasonable price. The Roccbox, with its extremely thick insulation, might be preferable in a commercial environment, but most people will prefer to choose among Ooni’s many pizza oven offerings.
Why Is Ooni Sold Out?
Ooni has quickly become one of the premier brands of domestic outdoor pizza ovens so don’t be surprised to see the oven you’re looking for sold out. You can always pre-order what you’re looking for and the pizza oven will ship to you as soon as it becomes available.
Is Ooni Made In China?
All Ooni pizza ovens are designed in Scotland and manufactured in China using high quality materials.
Did Bertello Get A Deal On Shark Tank?
Bertello got a deal on Shark Tank after Kevin O’Leary agreed to fund the company $120,000 in exchange for a 25% equity stake.
What Can I Cook In My Bertello Pizza Oven?
While a Bertello pizza oven is best at making pizza, you can also use it to make calzones, bread and even steaks or roasts using a skillet with an oven safe handle.