Since first announced in early 2020, the pizza making world has been talking about the Gozney Dome – a massive, fully-featured, high-tech outdoor pizza oven. We’ve been using this oven since the initial launch, and we love it. But how does the Dome compare to other premium pizza oven brands, namely Ooni, in 2023?
The Gozney Dome stands up to Ooni’s pizza oven collection in terms of quality, craftsmanship, and performance—but the truth is they’re not truly comparable. The Dome is as much a piece of outdoor furniture as it is a high-performance pizza oven. Ooni pizza ovens are designed for portability and performance.
Ooni’s biggest advantage comes by way of selection and price. There’s an Ooni pizza oven for every budget and and preference, from choice of fuel to baking surface size. By contrast, there is only one Gozney Dome, with your choice of wood, gas, or both.
We recommend the Gozney Dome for those looking for the ultimate pizza oven experience and willing to spare no expense. On the other hand, Ooni pizza ovens are better suited for those looking for a premium quality pizza oven on a relatively smaller budget.
Bottom Line: The Gozney Dome is worth every penny of its $2000 price tag, but not everyone needs a pizza oven so feature-packed or large. The Ooni Koda 16 ($599) and Ooni Karu 16 ($799) are both capable of making pizzas equally as good (and as large) as the Dome, but at a fraction of the price. Get the Dome if you value aesthetics and experience as much as performance—and you have the budget to afford it.
Save up to 20% on the Gozney Roccbox and free pizza oven accessories until December 14.
Ooni vs Gozney Dome: Pros and Cons
Rather than weigh the pros and cons of all 7 Ooni pizza ovens, we’re just going to focus on the ones that are most similar to the Gozney Dome in terms of features and size. These pizza ovens are the Ooni Karu 16 and the Ooni Koda 16.
For a full breakdown of all the features of all 7 Ooni ovens, check out our comprehensive Ooni pizza oven guide here.
|The Gozney Dome||Huge, modern, multi-fuel pizza oven. Like having a domed Neapolitan oven in your backyard. Amazing pizza making experience with no compromises.||Very big, very heavy, very expensive. Pizza is no better than what you can make in an Ooni. Longer preheat time.|
|Ooni Karu 16||Ooni’s flagship pizza oven. Can make pizza as large as the Dome, plus supports many of the same high-tech features and fuel-types.||Heaviest, most expensive Ooni oven, only fits a single pizza at a time. Gas burner sold separately.|
|Ooni Koda 16||Least expensive 16 inch model, highly efficient propane burner, “L-Shaped” design cooks pizzas evenly. Best value for the money.||No multi-fuel support, no built-in thermometer. Much more basic than Karu 16 or Dome.|
Ooni vs Gozney Dome Pizza Ovens In Numbers
The following is a quick comparison of the tech specs of the Ooni Koda 16 and the Ooni Karu 16 compared with the Gozney Dome.
|Feature||Gozney Dome||Ooni Koda 16||Ooni Karu 16|
|Pizza Size (max)||16 inches||16 inches||16 inches|
|Fuel Types||Propane, wood, natural gas (soon)||Propane||Wood, charcoal, propane|
|Weights (lbs)||128lbs (58kg)||40 lbs||62.6 lbs|
|Max. Temperature||950F (510C)||950F (510C)||950F (510C)|
|Time To Heat Up (max)||40 minutes||20 minutes||15 minutes|
|Baking Surface Area||314 square inches||256 square inches||409.15 square inches|
|Price Per Square Inch (Baking Surface)||$6.37 (dual-fuel) or $5.41 (wood only)||$2.34||$1.95|
|Price||$1,999 (dual-fuel) or $1,699 (wood only)||$599||$799|
The Gozney Dome Is Deceptively Large
As you can see from the tech specs above, the Gozney Dome is quite a bit bigger, quite a bit heavier and quite a bit more expensive than either the Ooni Karu 16 or the Ooni Koda 16. This isn’t surprising, though, since the Dome is not a portable pizza oven.
What surprised me when making these calculations was the fact that the Gozney Dome’s baking surface area was only slightly larger than the Ooni Koda 16 and noticeably smaller than the Ooni Karu 16.
Gozney Dome vs Ooni Karu 16
Just from looks alone, I expected the Dome’s surface area to be much larger. That said, these numbers are deceiving. While the Ooni Karu 16 has a greater depth than the Dome (24.5 vs 21.65 inches), the Karu 16 is constrained by its 16.7 inch width vs the Dome’s 18.5 inches.
Since a pizza is a circle, this means you can actually cook a larger pizza in the Dome than you can in the Ooni Karu 16 despite its smaller surface area. You also have the ability to fit multiple smaller pizzas in the Dome while this isn’t really possible in the Karu 16 because its extra baking surface area is mostly in the back.
But realistically, you will only be cooking a 16 inch pizza at the maximum in either the Dome or the Karu 16, especially if you only have a 16 inch peel. You’re also constrained by the width of the door on the Dome, which is only 16.14 inches across.
So in terms of the price you’re paying for every square inch of baking surface, the Ooni Karu 16 is actually the best value at $1.95 per square inch. The Ooni Koda 16 is second at $2.34 per square inch, while the Dome is substantially more expensive at $6.37 per square inch (dual-fuel model).
Gozney Dome vs Ooni Koda 16
The Ooni Koda 16 is a propane exclusive pizza oven with a baking surface large enough to cook a 16 inch pizza, just like the Gozney Dome.
However, unlike the Dome, the Ooni Koda 16 can just barely squeeze in a 16 inch pizza. There’s also not enough room in the Koda 16 to cook two smaller pizzas at the same time, either.
That said, most people are not going to ever need to cook more than one pizza at a time. But what’s nice about the Gozney Dome is all the extra wiggle room when cooking a larger pizza, even if it ends up being no larger than one cooked in the Ooni Koda 16.
But aside from size, the Ooni Koda 16 doesn’t really compare to the original Gozney Dome in terms of features. The “L-shaped” burner is a very nicec addition (which helps evenly distribute heat), but other than that, the Koda 16 is a relatively barebones pizza oven.
For this reason, it’s much easier to compare the Ooni Koda 16 with the new (as of 2023) Gozney Dome S1, which itself is a stripped down version of the original Gozney Dome. The Dome S1 only supports propane and doesn’t have any of the extra features the Gozney Dome is known for. It comes at a reduced price ($1499), but it’s still substantially more expensive than the Ooni Koda 16 ($599).
In the end, we the Ooni Koda 16 for those looking for a large, easy to use pizza oven at an affordable price. The Gozney Dome (original or S1) is an expensive showpiece, so get it if you value aesthetics as much as performance.
Gozney Dome Features Breakdown: Bells and Whistles Galore
But of course, the Gozney Dome is not simply a pretty showpiece; it has all of the features you’d expect from a premium quality pizza oven, as well as a few you probably never knew existed.
These are some of the key features of the Gozney Dome that we love:
- The pizza oven looks amazing, especially on its stand.
- Very solid construction with quality materials.
- Great insulation keeps the inside hot and the outside cool.
- The built in thermostat is very accurate and measures the temperature of the stone, not the ambient air.
- Multi-fuel: can use either gas or wood (or both), with the option for natural gas as well.
- Big enough for an extra large pizza or multiple smaller pizzas.
- Ash can be swept into a small opening in the oven which then collects into a tray for easy disposal.
- Chimney provides great airflow and directs smoke away from the cooking area.
- The pizza oven itself comes mostly pre-assembled (the optional stand does not).
- Gas control dial is located on the front of the oven for easy access.
- Accessory port allows for easy attachment of optional features, like an automated pellet burner, when they become available.
- “Integrated steam injector” allows you to “inject” steam into the oven which is great for breads and crusts with a crispy outside and a soft middle.
- Relatively easy assembly.
- Lots of accessories currently available and more on the way (according to Gozney).
- Save $300 if you’re OK only using wood (not recommended for beginners).
Now, let’s take a closer look at a few of those features.
Steam Injection Is A Very Interesting Concept
The practice of injecting steam into an oven is not a new idea, in fact experienced bakers have been using steam with great success for centuries.
The concept is simple: baked goods, including pizza crust, will continue to rise in the oven as long as the surface of the dough remains moist. This is called “oven spring”, but it’s usually limited to the first few minutes a loaf of bread of other baked good is in the oven before the crust dries out and hardens over. When this happens, the dough will no longer continue to rise.
What bakers sometimes do to counter this (other than using a high hydration dough recipe) is spray the dough with steam every so often while it bakes in the oven. This keeps the surface of the dough moist and allows it to rise more than it would otherwise. This is usually done using a simple water spritzer, but the Steam Injector
The benefit of using Gozney Dome’s integrated steam injector will be a puffier crust that’s crispy on the outside and soft in the middle – a hallmark of quality Neapolitan style pizza.
As common as steam is in baking, I don’t think I’ve ever seen another pizza oven incorporate a “steam injector” right into the oven itself. This makes available a whole new layer of experimentation that I’m sure many pizza lovers out there will be eager to get to know and perfect.
The Built-In Ashtray Is A Great Idea
If you’ve ever worked with a pizza oven before, especially one that uses combustible fuel like wood or charcoal, you know how dirty they can get. Unfortunately the smoke that gives your food that smoky flavor we all love also leaves soot and ash all over the cooking surface that must be cleaned regularly.
Sometimes, the act of cleaning up the mess that collects in the pizza oven can create more of a mess as you sweep it out of the oven and onto whatever surface happens to be nearby.
The Gozney Dome pizza oven solves this problem by incorporating an innovative chute, or hole, into the side of the corner of the baking surface that leads to an easily removable “ashtray” below. This allows you to simply sweep soot, ash and crumbs right into the hole to be disposed of later on when you’re cleaning up.
I really like this feature because it encourages you to keep the oven clean while also making it easier to do so. Remember, a clean oven makes better tasting pizza.
Amazing Build Quality
Many pizza ovens, even ones that make good pizza, are not made using high quality building materials. Too frequently, the pizza ovens I try are made from cheap, thin materials that don’t feel or look good.
Fortunately, the Gozney Dome has been carefully engineered using high quality materials. The outside surface of the Dome (the shell) is made using a ceramic bonded coating, so it can withstand the elements without risk of damage or rust. The surface of the oven also feels very nice to the touch, in my opinion.
The internal components of the Gozney Dome are all made using high quality 304 Stainless Steel. 304 Stainless Steel has a minimum of 18% chromium, 8% nickel and is combined with a maximum of 0.08% carbon, which gives it the ability to withstand the extremely high temperatures of the Gozney Dome without degrading or melting.
The baking surface of the Gozney Dome is made from an extra thick 1.2 inch cordierite baking stone that covers the interior surface from rim to rim. This means that nearly every inch of the Gozney Dome’s interior can be used for baking pizza at an extremely hot temperature.
By contrast, the Ooni Karu 16’s baking stone is only 0.6 inches thick, so the Dome is able to absorb and retain more heat leading to a crispier crust and better oven spring.
The Gozney Dome Stays “Cool” To The Touch
One of the things I’ve come to expect from Gozney products is thick and ample insulation. The Gozney Roccbox, for example, is extremely heavy for its small size due to these thick layers of insulation and it’s one of the reasons the oven is a good fit for commercial purposes. Thick insulation means good heat retention which decreases the time needed to reheat the oven between pizzas.
The Gozney Dome is no exception to this trend as it has a very thick layer of insulation as well.
For most people, however, who will never use their oven for mass producing pizzas in a commercial setting, this extra insulation might seem like an irrelevant feature, and in many ways it is. But what I like about it is it makes the oven “cool” to the touch when in use.
I put “cool” in quotations because the oven will still feel very warm while it’s in use, but it won’t be so hot that it will scald your hand if you accidentally touch it. This is an especially important feature for anyone with kids or pets who might inadvertently touch the oven before you have a chance to stop them.
Big Enough For More Than One Pizza
We’ve reviewed some large pizza ovens before, notably the Ooni Koda 16 and Ooni Karu 16. We usually recommend these ovens to people interested in making New York and New Havn style pizza because they’re the only ones big enough to fit a pizza up to 16 inches.
With its huge size and ability to burn gas and wood, the Gozney Dome is perfect for making large NYC style pizza or multiple smaller wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas. Truly the best of both worlds, and perfect when serving pizza for two or more people.
High Tech, With Room For Extras
Like a modern computer or phone, the Gozney Dome comes with some plug and play capability. This allows you to use various attachments that are available now as well as many more that Gozney plans to release down the road.
Some of these attachments include a digital food thermometer, a pellet burner and even a cold smoker. Many of these attachments connect to the Gozney Dome via a “quick-connect accessory port”, which is basically an open slot on the front of the Dome where you can plug various things in. Very exciting stuff, and certainly unique in the world of pizza ovens.
You Can Save Money By Choosing Wood Only – But Should You?
The original Gozney Dome comes in your choice of wood-only or dual-fuel (gas and wood). This means with the first option, you can only burn wood, while with the second you can burn wood or gas.
With Ooni multi-fuel pizza ovens, like the Ooni Karu 16, the base model works with wood out of the box, so if you want to use propane you can purchase a separate attachment. This way, if you decide later that you’d prefer to use propane, you can simply order the gas attachment and you’re ready to go.
This isn’t the case with the Gozney Dome, because the less-expensive wood-only model cannot be upgraded to use propane. So, if you decide down the road that you’d prefer the convenience of propane, you’re out of luck unless you buy a new Dome.
This actually makes the job of recommending which Dome version to buy difficult. In our pizza oven consulting business, we often recommend people start out with propane and upgrade to wood only if they know what they’re doing, or really want to learn.
The truth is, gas is much easier and more convenient to use than wood. It takes time to get a wood-fire going and hot enough to make pizza, while propane works with the turn of a knob.
For this reason (unfortunately) we highly recommend that you buy the more expensive dual-fuel model ($1999 vs $1699) in order to ever have the option to use propane in the future.
Trust us, wood-fired pizza sounds like a great idea, but when you just want to fire up the oven and make a quick pizza, it’s more trouble than it’s worth.
Note: There is a propane only version of the Dome for a lower price (the S1), but it lacks most of the key features of the original Gozney Dome. We’ll get into this model specifically later.
Main Drawbacks of the Gozney Dome: Price and Size
Other than the restrictive fuel choices we talked about above, the principle “downsides” to the Gozney Dome aren’t really downsides at all but rather the reality of buying such a large and feature-rich pizza oven.
Unlike Ooni pizza ovens, the Gozney Dome is not meant to be portable. Sure, you can put it on a stand with wheels and roll it around your backyard, but that’s about the extent of how much you’re going to be moving it once you have it assembled and situated where you want it.
The Dome is ideally designed to become a cool and aesthetically pleasing fixture in your backyard or patio.
And as you’ve already figured out by now, the Gozney Dome is not cheap—you’ll easily spend close to or well over $2000 when all is said and done, depending on which model you buy and which accessories you need (namely, a pizza peel).
With the Gozney Dome, you definitely get what you pay for—that is, A LOT!
Gozney Dome S1: Propane-Only, Lower Price (2023 Update)
This section is an update to our original review which was published closer to the initial launch. It appears that since then, Gozney has read our review (or our minds) and now offers a cheaper propane-only model for $1499, The Gozney Dome S1.
For some, the Dome S1 will be the obvious choice—it only uses propane (much easier than wood) and is cheaper. But like with all things, there’s a catch.
Namely, the Dome S1 is a much more streamlined and barebones version of the original Gozney Dome. It’s still the same great pizza oven with the same cool aesthetics, but it’s lacking several of the main features that made the original Gozney Dome so special.
For starters, the Dome S1 only supports propane, which for some people will be a drawback while for others it’s an advantage. It represents a savings of about $500 compared to the original dual-fuel Dome (previously the only way to use the Dome with propane).
Gozney Dome S1 vs Gozney Dome Dual-Fuel
But this savings comes at the cost of almost all of the extra features of the original Dome. There’s no steam injector, no expansion port, and no options for natural gas or wood pellets.
But the Dome S1 still has the same look, the same amazing insulation, the same massive baking surface, and the same user-friendly digital controls.
We recommend the Gozney Dome S1 for those who really want the look and feel of the original Dome but were put off by the much higher price tag just to use propane.
That said, if you’re already paying thousands for a pizza oven, an extra $500 for so many cool and unique features isn’t really that unreasonable. This one really comes down to personal preference and budget, because at the end of the day it’s still the same pizza oven.
So, How Does Ooni Compare To The Gozney Dome?
Comparing the Gozney Dome to Ooni is both an easy and difficult question to answer at the same time.
But to get the obvious question out of the way right now: both Ooni and The Dome are capable of making excellent, high quality, authentic pizza right out of the box. So, if you’re looking to choose between the two pizza ovens based on pizza quality alone, you’re out of luck with that criteria as any of these pizza ovens will make great pizza.
I would actually go as far as to argue that there is no difference in the quality of pizza you can make in either the Gozney Dome or any one of the Ooni ovens available.
That said, the Gozney Dome is much more spacious, which gives you more room for error and maneuvering when launching your pizza. If you’re a beginner, you’ll probably prefer this to the relatively tight quarters in even the largest Ooni pizza ovens.
Gozney Dome vs Ooni: It All Depends On Your Goals
If you’re deciding between the Gozney Dome or an Ooni pizza oven, this bit is crucial to understand.
Since both the Gozney Dome and Ooni make excellent pizza, the deciding factor will have to be your goals for the pizza oven. Are you strictly interested in making good pizza, or are you looking for a lifestyle piece to show off your hobby, impress your friends and beautify your property?
If your goal is just to make the best pizza possible in an oven you can store away when you’re not using it, or possibly take it with you on the road, the best option for you is without question the Ooni. Ooni ovens are portable, relatively inexpensive (especially compared to the Gozney Dome) and can be stored away when not in use.
The Gozney Dome Is A Lifestyle Showpiece
If the Gozney Dome makes pizza just as good as an Ooni, why not just get the Ooni for a fraction of the price?
That’s a valid question, and, if you’re asking it, you’re probably a budget-minded person which makes the Ooni a perfect fit for you.
But if you want to take your pizza game to the next level, and start living that pizza lifestyle at 100%, the Gozney Dome is the ultimate showpiece to make your backyard look amazing—and your neighbors jealous! And, oh yeah, it makes fantastic pizza as well.
As I mentioned earlier, when I first laid eyes on the Gozney Dome, I was blown away by the aesthetics of it. In my opinion, the Gozney Dome is among the most attractive pizza ovens I’ve ever seen outside of traditional antique pizza ovens in Naples. But, unlike a traditional or antique pizza oven, the Gozney Dome is a highly functional, high-tech masterpiece.
And at over $2000 for a pizza oven that doesn’t actually make pizza better than one for a fraction of the price, it better look good, right? That said, People already spend thousands on lawn furniture and fire pits that sit there and do nothing, so spending that kind of money on something that also makes amazing pizza isn’t so crazy.
Again, it all depends on your goals and budget. Looking to make good pizza at a good price? Get an Ooni. Looking to add some “flavor” to your backyard and make amazing pizza at the same time? Get the Gozney Dome. It really is that simple.
Ooni vs Gozney Dome: Which One Is Best?
- The Gozney Dome makes world-class pizza and is relatively expensive, but not overpriced for what you get. If you have the budget and want a massive, beautiful pizza oven, the Gozney Dome is best.
- Ooni carries an amazingly well engineered collection of pizza ovens that are affordable while also uncompromising on quality. If you want a pizza oven that makes world-class pizza for you and your family that you can take on the road with you, and easily store away when it’s not in use, get an Ooni.
Final Verdict: Ooni and The Gozney Dome are both excellent at what they do best, so I recommend each one equally for different people.
If you want the best priced premium pizza oven, go with an Ooni, particularly the Ooni Karu 16.
If you’re looking for a massive showpiece that also makes excellent pizza, go for the much more expensive Gozney Dome.
- The Gozney Dome was announced in early 2020 and has become a notable name in the pizza-making world.
- The Dome is comparable with Ooni pizza ovens in terms of quality, craftsmanship, and performance, but vastly different in form and price.
- The Gozney Dome is both a high-performance pizza oven and an outdoor furniture piece.
- Gozney Dome: For those seeking the ultimate pizza oven experience without budget constraints.
- Ooni: For those wanting premium quality on a smaller budget.
- Price Point:
- Gozney Dome: Worth its $2000 price for its features.
- Ooni Koda 16 and Ooni Karu 16: Offer pizzas as good (and as large) as the Dome but at a fraction of the price.
- Gozney Dome: Large, modern, multi-fuel oven but is heavy and expensive.
- Ooni Karu 16: Flagship model with high-tech features with a technically larger baking area than the Dome.
- Ooni Koda 16: Least expensive 16-inch model with efficient propane burner.
- Technical Specs:
- Gozney Dome is larger, heavier, and pricier than Ooni models.
- Despite its size, the Gozney Dome’s baking surface area is only slightly larger than Ooni Koda 16 and smaller than Ooni Karu 16.
- Price per square inch of baking surface is highest for the Gozney Dome.
- Gozney Dome Features:
- Aesthetic appeal, solid construction, accurate built-in thermostat, multi-fuel support, large baking surface, ash disposal system, and more.
- Unique features include an integrated steam injector and an accessory port for attachments.
- Gozney Dome S1: A cheaper propane-only model introduced in 2023, lacking several features of the original Dome ($1499).
- Comparison Conclusion:
- Both Ooni and Gozney Dome produce excellent pizzas.
- Gozney Dome is spacious, making it beginner-friendly.
- Ooni is portable and more budget-friendly.
- Gozney Dome is a lifestyle showpiece, ideal for those wanting a centerpiece for their outdoor space.
- Final Verdict:
- Both brands are recommended for different audiences.
- Ooni is best for those wanting a well-priced premium oven.
- Gozney Dome is for those seeking a grand showpiece that also delivers excellent pizzas.
Can the Gozney Dome be upgraded With Different Fuel Options At A Later Date?
No, the Gozney Dome is locked in to whatever fuel choices you selected at purchase. Unlike Ooni pizza ovens, there are no modular burners which can be swapped out for another after purchasing. This is why it’s so important to carefully consider any future pizza goals before buying.