In my view, there’s always been something missing from Ooni’s lineup: a fully featured 12 inch multi-fuel pizza oven at a mid-range price point. This segment of the market is traditionally where the Roccbox held a competitive edge over Ooni. But as of 2023, all that changed with the introduction of the Ooni Karu 12G.
It’s time to rehash the age-old Gozney vs Ooni debate, but this time let’s pit the Roccbox vs Ooni Karu 12G to see where both stack up today.
Ooni Karu 12G
The Ooni Karu 12G is the 12 inch version of the acclaimed AVPN recognized Ooni Karu 16. It has all the features you could want in a pizza oven, including 36% greater fuel efficiency and a fully functional chimney. This is everything the Roccbox has and more, but the icing on the cake is the price tag: only $429 vs $499 for the Roccbox. The Ooni Karu 12G is a clear winner that won’t disappoint.
Launched in 2016, the Roccbox is a tried and true pizza oven, if a little long in the tooth. With a premium set of features of its own, the Roccbox stands up against newer pizza ovens, but it’s hard for it to compete with the Ooni Karu 12G, which is just a little better, a lot newer, and noticeably less expensive. The Roccbox still has a slight price edge if you prefer to use gas right out of the box, though.
The Ooni Karu 12G competes with the Roccbox on almost all fronts with its impressive set of premium features. In some areas, these new features actually surpass the Roccbox, like the inclusion of a chimney, a more fuel efficient design, an insulated glass door, and a 15% lower price.
Meanwhile, when looking at some other features (like insulation), the Roccbox still holds an edge over Ooni despite the major improvements made to the thermal design of the Ooni Karu 12G. But many would argue (including myself) that the Roccbox’s extra insulation is actually overkill and doesn’t benefit the average user that much.
All that said, the older Ooni Karu 12 model still competes with these two more robust pizza oven models, namely in terms of cost after a significant price drop. The Ooni Karu 12 is now a full $200 cheaper than the Roccbox, and $130 dollars cheaper than the Ooni Karu 12G. This older model is a great choice for the budget conscious looking for a high-quality, no-frills multi-fuel pizza oven.
Ooni Karu 12G vs Gozney Roccbox Compared
Understanding the differences and similarities between the Ooni Karu 12G and the Gozney Roccbox requires a side-by-side comparison of their features. We’ve already covered the basics, so let’s get into the details.
The Ooni Karu 12G (launched in 2023) stands out with some advanced new features, like a built-in thermometer, a 36% more fuel efficient burner, a “safe touch” powder coated finish, and a fully functional chimney. It also works with wood and charcoal right out of the box, or with gas using an optional attachment.
Now let’s take a look at the Roccbox. The Roccbox is an older model from 2016, but still has many of the same features as the Ooni Karu 12G, including a thick layer of insulation, a “safe touch” silicone jacket, and a built-in thermometer. The Roccbox doesn’t include a chimney, though, which in my opinion is a major omission for any oven designed to burn solid fuels.
Related Post: Ooni vs Gozney Dome Pizza Ovens Compared
The Ooni Karu 12G Fills a Void in Ooni’s Lineup
When you look at the Ooni lineup previously, you can see that the Ooni Karu 12G was clearly designed to fill the void where a fully-featured 12 inch multi-fuel pizza oven was missing. In fact, I would argue that the Ooni Karu 12G is Ooni’s answer to the Roccbox.
In my opinion, the older Ooni Karu 12 model, while a very capable pizza oven, just didn’t have the same robust feature set to truly match the Roccbox. The Ooni Karu 12G changes that and is now a real competitor, especially when you consider the lower price ($429 vs $499).
|Feature||Ooni Karu 12G (2023)||Gozney Roccbox (2016)||Ooni Karu 12 (2020)|
|Baking Surface Size||12 inches||12 inches||12 inches|
|Weight||34.17 lbs||44 lbs||26.5 lbs|
|Materials Used||Stainless steel, ceramic fiber insulation, powder coated finish||Stainless steel, calcium silicate insulation||Stainless steel, ceramic fiber insulation|
Ooni Karu 12G vs Roccbox: Pros and Cons
The Ooni Karu 12G, Ooni Karu 12, and Roccbox each have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Here are some key points to consider:
Ooni Karu 12G
- Pros: Multi-fuel option out of the box, chimney for better airflow, newer design.
- Cons: Gas attachment sold separately, relatively new on the market.
- Pros: Solid construction, good insulation, established reputation.
- Cons: More expensive, wood/charcoal burner sold separately, no chimney.
Ooni Karu 12
- Pros: Affordable, multi-fuel option, chimney.
- Cons: Older model, fewer features, less insulation.
Ooni Karu 12 vs Ooni Karu 12G: The Evolution
In 2023, Ooni decided to give the old Ooni Karu 12 a new lease on life, upgrading it to the Ooni Karu 12G. The older model was a simplified version of the Ooni Karu 16 (Ooni’s flagship pizza oven model). It had less insulation and fewer features . However, it did offer multi-fuel support and a chimney in a small form factor.
The Ooni Karu 12G, on the other hand, is a significant upgrade. It boasts improved insulation, a built-in thermometer, better energy efficiency, faster heat up times, and a “safe touch” powder coated finish.
These features took what was a smaller, lesser version of the Ooni Karu 16 (Ooni’s flagship pizza oven model), and turned it into a miniaturized version of it with all of the same features plus greater fuel efficiency. In many ways, it’s more of a complete pizza oven overhaul rather than a simple “upgrade”.
Here’s a reference table illustrating these changes:
|Feature||Ooni Karu 12||Ooni Karu 12G|
|Materials Used||Stainless steel||Powder coated stainless steel|
|Energy Efficiency||Basic||Uses 36% less fuel|
It’s worth noting that the Ooni Karu 12 has been greatly reduced in price—from $399 to $299, which makes it around $200 cheaper than both the Ooni Karu 12G and the Roccbox. So, if you’re just looking for a good quality, inexpensive multi-fuel pizza oven, the older Ooni Karu 12 might be just what you’re looking for.
If you do decide to go with the older Ooni Karu 12, just be aware that Ooni probably isn’t producing them anymore, so once their stock is gone, the deal will be over as well. So, act fast if you’re interested!
Ooni Karu 12G vs Ooni Karu 12 vs Gozney Roccbox: The Big Decision
When choosing between these three ovens, your budget will play a significant role. If it’s tight, the Ooni Karu 12 is a fantastic option at such a reduced price. However, when comparing the Ooni Karu 12G and the Roccbox, the Ooni Karu 12G is the clear winner.
At the end of the day, it’s going to be a struggle for a pizza oven designed in 2016 to compete with a brand new design from 2023, especially when so many of the features overlap.
That said, there are two important features the Ooni Karu 12G has that the Roccbox doesn’t: a chimney and a lower price.
A chimney is useful when using wood or charcoal because it helps with fuel efficiency and directs gas and smoke up and away from the cooking area, whereas with the Roccbox smoke is left to waft idly out of the front and back. This doesn’t matter so much with propane, but when using solid fuels like wood and charcoal it’s a big deal.
Perhaps the biggest dealbreaker in my opinion is the price difference between the Roccbox and the Ooni Karu 12G. Both ovens are targeting the same 12 inch multi-fuel market and have most of the same features, but the Ooni Karu 12G is only $429 while the Roccbox is $499 (for the base models). This is a big difference, and in my opinion it’s what makes the Ooni Karu 12G the obvious choice over the Roccbox.
However, there are some scenarios where the Roccbox could be the ideal choice. If you prefer a pizza oven that’s ready to use with propane out of the box, the Roccbox is actually cheaper than the Ooni Karu 12G if you include the additional gas burner ($529 total).
So, if you’re less concerned about having a chimney and more focused on a solid, well-insulated design that uses propane right out of the box, the older Roccbox still holds its own in terms of features and price.
Choosing the right pizza oven depends on your specific needs, budget, and preferences. The Ooni Karu 12G, with its advanced features and competitive price, offers excellent value for money. However, the Roccbox and the older Ooni Karu 12 model shouldn’t be overlooked, as they both still have their own strengths as well.
Ultimately, the decision comes down to what you value most in a pizza oven – be it multi-fuel capabilities, a chimney for better airflow, or a lower price point. Whichever you choose, you’re sure to enjoy the results as long as you carefully review your options.
Is the Ooni Karu 12G better than the Roccbox?
The Roccbox is a great pizza oven, but the Ooni Karu 12G is newer, cheaper, and has more features. The Ooni Karu 12G is the first Ooni pizza oven that truly competes with the Roccbox in the 12 inch multi-fuel pizza oven market.