Qubestove 12 Inch Pizza Oven Review: When Good Intentions Go Wrong

If you’re here, you may have seen the Qubestove pizza oven pop up on social media or on pizza making discussion groups. Backed by a successful Kickstarter campaign, lots of people are talking about this oven and a few of its relatively unique features. So is the Qubestove worthy of all the hype, and does it rank among the best pizza ovens on the market?

The Qubestove (by Q-Stove) is a unique pizza oven with several interesting features. Unfortunately, due to some inexplicable design choices, I find it hard to recommend. The automatic rotating baking stone (designed to avoid a few seconds of rotating by hand) is trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. By consequence, the round pizza stone required for rotation introduces some new problems: a smaller baking surface, difficulty launching a pizza onto the stone, and various maintenance issues.

But there are some things I do like about the Qubestove, such as its modular burner design and gravity-fed pellet hopper. I encourage you to read this full review before deciding for or against purchasing a Qubestove.

Summary: Buy the Qubestove if you really want the 2 in 1 burner, but if you’re just looking for the best pizza oven, your money is better spent on an Ooni Fyra 12 or an Ooni Karu 16 (for example). Both of these pizza ovens are better designed and a better value.

qubestove review 7 Qubestove 12 Inch Pizza Oven Review: When Good Intentions Go Wrong
Photo: The Qubestove is a nice looking, sturdy pizza oven.

What Is Qubestove

Qubestove is a 12 inch “rotating” pizza oven with options for propane gas and wood pellet fuel. The Qubestove was created by Q-Stoves and funded through a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $124,000 with the support of 413 backers. This pizza oven is now available for sale to the general public through the company’s website and on Amazon.

What I Like:

The Qubestove is innovative. I love to see pizza oven brands trying new things to appeal to different segments of the market. For the Qubestove, that innovation comes by way of its modular design and unique gravity-fed pellet burner.

1. Modular Burner Design

Out of all its features, I think I appreciate the modular design of the Qubestove most of all. Most pizza ovens, even popular multi-fuel models, have their burners more or less built in to the unit. This comes with some engineering advantages, but it also means the burners can’t be upgraded or changed without buying an entirely new oven.

Q-Stove offers their 12 inch oven with the choice of a propane gas or wood pellet burner for $449. For $199, you can purchase an extra wood pellet or propane burner to have one of each. This is very convenient, and I hope that Q-Stove maintains backwards compatibility so that upgraded burners in the future can be used by people who already own an original Qubestove pizza oven.

qubestove review 10 Qubestove 12 Inch Pizza Oven Review: When Good Intentions Go Wrong
Photo: The Qubestove’s burner works separately as a flame torch for all kinds of uses.

Related Post: Best pizza ovens on Amazon

2. Excellent Wood Pellet Burner

Q-Stove has clearly put a lot of thought and effort into their gravity-fed wood pellet burner, and were likely influenced by a similar wood pellet burner in the Ooni Fyra 12. It also features a “secondary burn system”, which reduces smoke. I wouldn’t say the Qubestove’s burner is better than the Ooni Fyra 12, but it appears to be an equal, and the secondary burn is a nice feature.

qubestove review 9 Qubestove 12 Inch Pizza Oven Review: When Good Intentions Go Wrong
Diagram: The Qubestove’s innovative wood pellet burner burns efficiently and minimizes smoke.

I also like the fact that you can use the burner for other purposes besides fueling the pizza oven. For example, the burner can be used as a kind of portable camp stove with the ability to boil a kettle of water, roast vegetables, or even toast marshmallows over the open flame.

That said, there are probably less expensive ways to get the same functionality with another appliance. But if you’re already purchasing a pizza oven, it’s a nice touch.

What I Don’t Like

There are actually several things I don’t like about the Qubestove—namely its round pizza stone. This round stone, among other things, are why I ultimately will not recommend purchasing the Qubestove, at least at full price. To find out why, keep reading.

1. Pizza Stone Rotation: Bug or Feature?

The Qubestove promotes itself as an oven with automatic and manual rotation capabilities, and in theory that’s a good thing. However, in my opinion, the rotation mechanism is more of a workaround to other problems than a feature.

Rotating a pizza periodically (usually once) as it cooks is standard in pizza making, even when using a professional pizza oven. Usually this means turning the pizza around halfway through the cooking period to compensate for the back of the oven being hotter than the front.

So in this way, the ability to rotate a pizza without taking it out of the oven sounds like a great idea on the surface. But with the Qubestove, I don’t believe it’s that simple.

The Qubestove gets extremely hot nearest to the flame, and it also has a slightly elevated baking surface. These factors can cause one side of the pizza to burn without being constantly rotated.

Make no mistake—a hot pizza oven is a good thing, especially with Neapolitan style pizza, but only if the heat is dispersed evenly. With the Qubestove, that doesn’t appear to be the case. This is why I believe the rotation mechanism was added—not as a convenience, but as a necessity to prevent the pizza from burning.

Then again, if the rotation mechanism works at keeping the pizza evenly cooked (and in my experience, it does appear to work), then I can’t really complain. But this brings me to my next issue with the Qubestove: its round baking stone.

Caution: The outside of the Qubestove gets extremely hot, so be careful when reaching under the unit to use the manual rotation crank, or consider getting the automatic model instead.

2. Compounding Problems: The Round Baking Stone

Most pizza ovens have a square or rectangle baking surface that covers the entire base of the oven. That means as long as your pizza peel fits in the opening of the oven door, you can make any size or shape pizza you want.

The Qubestove, on the other hand, has a round baking stone. The reason for this design choice is obvious—it has to be round in order for the rotation mechanism to actually rotate the stone. With a square baking stone, rotation wouldn’t be possible without a much bigger oven body. This is where the problems with the Qubestove begin to compound.

qubestove review 1 Qubestove 12 Inch Pizza Oven Review: When Good Intentions Go Wrong
Photo: The Qubestove’s round baking stone leaves lots of wasted space.

You may be aware from reading other articles on this website that I don’t like round pizza stones. In fact, I specifically recommend against buying them. Round pizza stones provide a smaller baking surface, require much more precision when launching from a pizza peel, and are more likely to result in oil, toppings, and sauce dripping onto the oven floor.

Round pizza stones also result in a smaller pizza, which might not be immediately obvious to someone who hasn’t made a lot of pizzas in a lot of different ovens. Pizza dough retracts when it cooks, which is why pizza makers will generally stretch the dough beyond the target size for the pizza. For example, if you want a 12 inch pizza, you might launch it into the oven at 13 inches or more. With a round pizza stone, this isn’t possible.

pizza peel3 Qubestove 12 Inch Pizza Oven Review: When Good Intentions Go Wrong
Photo: This pizza oven’s baking stone covers the entire floor, leaving no wasted space or crevices for gunk to get stuck.

A round pizza stone also requires a lot of precision when launching into the oven. Without practice and experience, pizza dough can very easily change shape (or stick) as it slides off the pizza peel. So, what starts off as a round circular dough on the peel can end up as an oval with half the pizza dough dripping off the side of the stone.

Trust me—this is not what you want, and it would never happen in a standard pizza oven with a square baking surface that covers the entire oven floor. For this reason, in my opinion, the Qubestove is a messy disaster waiting to happen for many less experienced pizza makers.

3. The Outside Surface Gets Extremely Hot

I mentioned this briefly already, but the Qubestove is an extremely hot pizza oven, which is not necessarily a bad thing by itself. Good heat generation is actually a testament to the quality of the Qubestove’s burner, which appears to be doing its job very well.

The trouble comes with what happens to that heat once it’s released into the oven. We’ve already established that the Qubestove tends to disperse heat unevenly, hence the need for the rotation mechanism. But while well-constructed, the Qubestove does a poor job of retaining heat, causing the outside surface to become extremely hot to the touch.

qubestove review 5 Qubestove 12 Inch Pizza Oven Review: When Good Intentions Go Wrong
Photo: The Qubestove’s exterior can get quite hot.

This is not unique to the Qubestove as most pizza ovens get hot, but in general, the cheaper ovens with poor insulation are the ones that reach skin-scalding outside temperatures.

That might be acceptable if the oven was inexpensive (like the Big Horn pizza oven), but at $399 (for the base unit), the Qubestove is selling at a premium price. In my opinion, it’s just not worth the safety hazard when other similarly priced pizza ovens (like the Gozney Roccbox or Ooni Koda 16) don’t suffer from the same heating issues.

Is The Qubestove Worth It?

It’s always difficult to reduce any pizza oven to simply being “worth it” or “not worth it”, but at the end of the day, hard earned money is on the line and there are lots of choices in today’s market.

qubestove review 11 Qubestove 12 Inch Pizza Oven Review: When Good Intentions Go Wrong
Photo: I love Qubestove’s versatile burner

The Qubestove is a good idea with some interesting features, like its modular and highly efficient burner design. Q-Stove also appears to be a company invested in making a good product that its customers want to use, as seen by the hundreds of backers who pledged their support for the Qubestove on Kickstarter.

That said, good intentions can only carry a product so far. In my opinion, the Qubestove is tragically flawed in a number of ways, namely its poor heat retention and its odd rotating baking stone design. For the same price, you can buy an (arguably) superior pizza oven from well-known brands like Gozney and Ooni.

qubestove review 4 Qubestove 12 Inch Pizza Oven Review: When Good Intentions Go Wrong

Too Expensive For Too Many Problems

Poor heat retention causes the outside of the Qubestove to get dangerously (and inefficiently) hot, while the round rotating baking stone is something I’ve only ever seen in cheap electric pizza ovens. The minor inconvenience of needing to use a turning peel once per pizza isn’t worth the extra problems that a round pizza stone introduces.

Yes, you can absolutely make a good pizza using the Qubestove, but the same can be said for almost any pizza oven. The true measures of a good pizza oven are how easy it is to use, the quality of its construction, and its ability to regulate and retain heat.

Unfortunately, despite good intentions, the Qubestove misses the mark on all of the above, especially when you consider its premium price tag.

Qubestove vs Competition (Cost Breakdown)

If you can find the Qubestove offered at a discount, or you’re particularly drawn to its modularity, by all means buy one. The Qubestove is still a perfectly capable high-temperature pizza oven, as long as you understand its limitations.

qubestove review 6 Qubestove 12 Inch Pizza Oven Review: When Good Intentions Go Wrong

That said, I’d recommend purchasing any of the following pizza ovens that perform better, are easier to use, and sell for a similar price to the Qubestove. In a minute, I’ll tell you why I like each one.

But first, let’s establish a baseline price of the Qubestove for the sake of comparison. It varies depending on which features you want.

The most basic Qubestove model comes with a hand crank and the choice of either a propane or wood pellet burner for $449. To add multi-fuel capability, it costs another $199 to purchase the second burner, bringing the total cost to $648 for all features. This puts the Qubestove on the high end of the pizza oven price scale.

If you want to include the automatic rotation mechanism, you can add another ~$50 for a total of $700.

Qubestove vs Ooni & Roccbox (In Numbers)

FeatureQubestoveOoni Karu 16Ooni Koda 12Ooni Fyra 12Roccbox
Fuel TypeWood Pellets, PropaneWood, Charcoal, Propane, Natural gasPropane GasWood PelletsWood, Propane Gas
Max Temperature1050°F950°F950°F950°F932°F
Preheat Time10 mins15 mins15 mins15 mins15 mins
Baking Surface12.6 inches 13 x 13 inches13 x 13 inches13 x 13 inches13.4 x 12.4 inches
Base Price$449$599$399$349$499
Total Price$648$698$599
Note: “Total Price” refers to the price of the base unit including all multi-fuel features.

Pizza Ovens I Recommend:

1. Gozney Roccbox: Great With Wood, Amazing With Propane

gozney roccbox pizza oven Qubestove 12 Inch Pizza Oven Review: When Good Intentions Go Wrong

Background: The Roccbox is a 12 inch multi-fuel pizza oven with the ability to burn propane gas right out of the box, and the option to purchase a wood log burner for wood-fired cooking.

What I Like: The Roccbox is a very popular pizza oven with solid construction and excellent insulation. Right out of the box, the Roccbox is a superb propane-gas pizza oven that retains heat extremely well, while still remaining relatively cool to the touch. If you have kids or pets around the house, this pizza oven will not instantly scald their skin if they accidentally touch it. If you prefer wood-fired pizza, you have the option to buy the new and improved “Wood Burner 2.0”, which is simple to hook up and super efficient at burning wood.

Ideal Pizza Style: With both gas and wood burning abilities, the Roccbox is a versatile pizza oven. At 12 inches, it’s naturally suited best for Neapolitan style using the wood burner, but with propane it’s easy to set the temperature low for perfect New York style pizza as well (as long as you don’t mind your pizza being on the smaller side).

Cost Breakdown: The base unit costs $499 and includes the hookup for propane gas. If you want wood-fired pizza, the Wood Burner 2.0 costs an extra $100, putting the total cost for the oven at $599 for all features.

2. Ooni Fyra 12: Least Expensive, Best Neapolitan Pizza Oven

ooni frya 12 Qubestove 12 Inch Pizza Oven Review: When Good Intentions Go Wrong

Background: The Ooni Fyra 12 is a 12 inch wood pellet fueled pizza oven. The Fyra 12 features a truly unique gravity-fed pellet burner that makes starting and maintaining a flame simple and easy.

What I Like: I like everything about the Ooni Fyra 12—in fact, it’s easily my favorite 12 inch wood-fired pizza oven on the market today. You simply drop in a scoop of pellets into the burner, then fill the hopper with more pellets. As the pellets burn, gravity will automatically draw more pellets from the hopper into the burner as needed. This system is simple, fuel-efficient, and cost-effective. If you want an exclusively wood-fired pizza oven, the Ooni Fyra 12 is for you.

Ideal Pizza Style: If your goal is to make authentic Neapolitan pizza in a wood-fired pizza oven, look no further than the Ooni Fyra 12. The ease and efficiency of the gravity-fed pellet burner is just icing on the cake.

Cost Breakdown: The Ooni Fyra 12 costs $349 for all features—that’s it. This makes the Fyra 12 among the least expensive premium pizza ovens on the market.

3. Ooni Karu 16: The Most Authentic Pizza Oven

ooni karu 16 Qubestove 12 Inch Pizza Oven Review: When Good Intentions Go Wrong

Background: The Ooni Karu 16 is Ooni’s flagship pizza oven model—and also the only domestic pizza oven to receive an official AVPN recommendation. This multi-fuel pizza oven works with wood and charcoal right out of the box, as well as with propane or natural gas with an optional adapter.

What I Like: The Ooni Karu 16 has almost everything you could want in a pizza oven, including a massive 16.7 x 24.5 inch baking surface and multi-fuel support. I love the Karu 16 because it can literally do everything, from a 12 inch wood-fired Neapolitan to a huge 16 inch New York style pizza under a low flame. For even more convenience, you can hook up the Ooni Karu 16 to your own propane or natural gas connection (with an optional adapter). I also love the built-in digital thermostat and large glass viewing window.

Ideal Pizza Style: The Ooni Karu 16 is great at all styles of pizza, which makes it the perfect pizza oven for those who plan on making different styles of pizza using different types of fuel.

Cost Breakdown: The Ooni Karu 16 is the most feature-packed Ooni pizza oven, and the price reflects that. The base unit costs $799 and can burn charcoal or wood right out of the box. For an extra $99, you can purchase a propane or natural gas attachment, bringing the total cost for all features to $898

4. Ooni Koda 12: The Most Convenient Pizza Oven

Ooni Koda 12 Qubestove 12 Inch Pizza Oven Review: When Good Intentions Go Wrong

Background: The Ooni Koda 12 is a 12 inch propane-only pizza oven, and the “little brother” of the larger 16 inch propane-only Ooni Koda 16.

What I Like: The Ooni Koda 12 is one of the simplest and most portable pizza ovens around. This pizza oven is perfect for taking to a friends house, or on camping trips, with its sleek, lightweight body and simple propane gas burner that hooks up to the same propane tanks used for fueling grills and other portable cooking devices. Unlike wood and charcoal fueled pizza ovens that require learning to start and maintain a flame, the Ooni Koda 12 can be lit and adjusted with the simple turn of a knob—no learning curve required. Propane won’t produce any smoke, ash, or soot to clean-up, either.

Ideal Pizza Style: With its small size and propane burner, the Ooni Koda 12 is best suited for typical American pizza, including Detroit style. That said, there’s no reason you can’t turn up the gas for a great Neapolitan pizza as well—sans the wood-fired smokiness, of course.

Cost Breakdown: The Ooni Koda 12 costs $399, and that’s it. No other attachments are necessary.

Final Thoughts

While the Qubestove is clearly a thoughtfully crafted pizza oven with lots of online interest and support, I can’t recommend it when there are so many alternatives at a similar or lower price.

My main issues with the Qubestove are the round baking stone, poor thermodynamics, and high price tag. To be honest, even at a lower price, and without heating issues, I would still not recommend the Qubestove based on the round, slightly elevated baking stone alone.

The round baking stone (and rotation mechanism that makes it necessary) is gimmicky and makes launching the pizza a messy disaster waiting to happen. It also limits the size and shape of your pizza as well. All for the sake of avoiding having to rotate the pizza with a peel.

Rotating a pizza with a regular pizza peel takes less than 5 seconds (and only needs to be done once), so introducing an automatic rotation mechanism that requires a round baking stone to work just doesn’t seem worth the trade-off. It feels like Q-Stove is using its automatic rotation mechanism as a way for their otherwise unremarkable oven design to stand out in an already saturated premium pizza oven market.

Bottom Line: Unless you have a specific reason to want the Qubestove, I recommend going with another premium pizza oven (like Ooni or Roccbox) instead. For only $349, you can get a nearly perfect 12 inch wood-fired pizza oven with the Ooni Fyra 12. And for only $99 more than the Qubestove with extra burner, you can get the Ooni Karu 16—easily the best and most versatile pizza oven on the market today. Unfortunately, there really is no reason to recommend Qubestove over any other premium pizza oven.

Related Questions:

What Is The Warranty On The Qubestove?

Each Qubestove comes with a 1 year limited warranty, but Q-Stove offers a generous 3 year warranty if you register the oven on their website.

Does The Qubestove Come With Extra Accessories?

Like most pizza ovens, the Qubestove doesn’t include accessories like a peel or infrared thermometer. To see a list of some of my favorite accessories, check out my review here.

Is Qubestove A Good Brand?

Qubestove is made by Q-Stove, an outdoor patio heater and pizza oven brand. Q-Stove is a reputable company that offers reliable warranties and refunds for their products.

Is Qubestove Worth It?

The Qubestove is an innovative product with a great burner system, but due to its round baking surface and high price, I can’t recommend purchasing one. Instead, I recommend looking at other premium pizza oven models, like the Roccbox or the Ooni Fyra 12, for a better oven at a similar price.

Qubestove vs Ooni: Which Pizza Oven Is Better?

Between Qubestove and Ooni, Ooni is clearly a better oven and a better value. The Ooni Fyra 12, for example, is an objectively better pizza oven at a lower price ($399 vs $349), while the Ooni Karu 16 is perhaps the best pizza oven on the market, yet only slightly more expensive than the Qubestove with all accessories.

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