When cooking pizza at home, a pizza oven can provide the high, consistent temperatures required to crisp the crust evenly and create a hot, gooey, delicious center. Outdoor models take the heat outside, where home chefs can cook larger pizzas at hotter temperatures.
When hunting for the best outdoor pizza oven, shoppers can find models fueled by wood, gas, charcoal, and pellets. They’re made in different sizes, from grill-top and portable models to large professional-grade ovens on a wheeled cart. Take a look at our shopping considerations for tips on buying an outdoor pizza oven, and then explore our home-tested top picks for some of the best products on the market to serve up fresh, homemade pizza in your backyard.
- BEST OVERALL: Ooni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Outdoor Pizza Oven
- RUNNER-UP: Harbor Gardens Monterey Pizza Oven with Stone
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: BakerStone Original Series Portable Gas Pizza Oven
- BEST WOOD-FIRED: U-Max Outdoor Wood-Fired Pizza Oven
- BEST MULTIFUEL: Bertello Outdoor Pizza Oven
- BEST GRILL-TOP: OnlyfirePizza Oven Kit for Most Gas Grills
ALSO TESTED: Solo Stove Pi Pizza Oven
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Outdoor Pizza Oven
Outdoor pizza ovens rely on various fuel types, come in a range of sizes, and offer varying levels of portability. Some models boast extra features like built-in thermometers, while others can utilize multiple fuels for greater versatility. Here are the most important features to keep in mind when choosing the best outdoor pizza oven for a given cooking style, outdoor space, or family size.
Outdoor pizza ovens require a fuel source to reach minimum cooking temperature, which is usually around 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (but often much, much hotter). Different fuel sources have their pros and cons, some offering more convenience and some that can affect the pizza’s taste.
- Wood: Wood gives pizza a slightly smoky flavor. It heats quickly but requires close attention to maintain the correct temperature. Wood-fired models offer the most flavor options by burning different types of woods, like cherry and maple. However, temperature adjustment isn’t as precise as it is with a gas, charcoal, or pellet oven.
- Propane/gas: Most gas ovens use propane. Propane provides better control over the cooking temperature, allowing for precise adjustments. These models typically have an ignition knob with a dial to adjust the flame. They’re also more likely to include a built-in thermometer, though many outdoor-oven types may have this feature.
- Wood pellets: Wood pellets offer many of the same benefits as wood. For example, pellets are made with different woods that provide smoky flavors, like hickory, to the pizza. Some users find pellets easier to store and manage; instead of splitting wood, just pour the pellets into the oven.
- Charcoal: Like wood and pellets, charcoal gives the pizza a smoky flavor. It takes more time than the other fuel types to reach the necessary cooking temperature, but it can be easier to manage than wood. Charcoal doesn’t have to be split, and it comes in a convenient storage bag.
Many outdoor pizza ovens offer the versatility to accommodate two or three fuel types. For example, a wood-fired oven may also work with charcoal or pellets. Some models are even outfitted for use with wood, propane, and pellets.
When deciding on a fuel source, consider the fuel’s price, its availability, and the level of convenience for a given lifestyle. Propane tends to be the least expensive, but the other sources offer more control over the pizza’s final flavor.
When evaluating the size of a pizza oven, consider both the size of the pizza that the oven can hold as well as the size of the oven itself. Some outdoor ovens limit pizza size to 10 to 12 inches; others are large enough to hold two 16-inch pizzas.
Consider how many people will eat lunch or dinner within the home. Big families or those who frequently entertain may want a larger oven that makes enough pizza to accommodate more people. However, some families may only need a small grill-top outdoor pizza oven that cooks a 10-inch pie.
As for the size of the pizza oven, built-in and freestanding models take up more space but offer a larger interior cooking area. Portable pizza ovens can be surprisingly large, but they feature collapsible legs and removable design elements like stovepipes that take up less overall space when the oven is not in use.
It’s best to base the size decision—both interior cooking space and exterior square footage—on the number of people who typically eat at a meal and the available outdoor cooking space.
Outdoor pizza ovens are available in several designs that may include features that make a difference in performance.
- Built-in: Outdoor kitchens are far more common now than in the past. A built-in outdoor pizza oven works within this type of design. The oven fits into an existing, often brick, structure or requires building a permanent, nonportable structure in which to fit.
- Freestanding: These models are technically portable in that they typically have wheels, so users can push them to various locations in the backyard. However, they tend to be quite large. A freestanding outdoor pizza oven is built as part of a cartlike structure with space underneath to store cooking utensils or fuel.
- Portable: A portable outdoor pizza oven has short legs so it can sit on top of a table in the backyard. These models may feature collapsible legs and a removable stovepipe to increase portability.
- Grill-top: All of the outdoor pizza oven designs described above provide their own fuel source. A grill-top pizza oven does not. It sits atop a gas or charcoal-fueled outdoor grill and relies on the grill’s fuel source to cook the pizza. They are small but highly portable and inexpensive in comparison to other outdoor pizza ovens.
Within these various designs, certain features can affect the performance and ease of use. For example, wood, pellet, and charcoal-fueled outdoor pizza ovens perform better when the ventilation opening is near the front of the oven. This causes the heat and smoke to circulate over the entire pizza on its way toward the opening.
Additionally, some models feature built-in thermometers, and gas-powered ovens typically include dials that allow for quick, precise heat adjustments.
Outdoor pizza ovens need to reach at least 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and then maintain that temperature to cook the pizza safely and fully. Efficient insulation like added thickness or double-walled designs offer more consistent cooking temperatures and better results. Lack of insulation leaves the oven susceptible to outdoor temperatures, resulting in extra fuel consumption and unevenly cooked pizza.
Features like double layers, insulation, or double-walled stainless steel and double-layer brick hearths hold in the heat. Models with a built-in or removable pizza stone also offer better results. The stone retains heat and pulls moisture away from the pizza for a crispier crust.
Pizzas usually cook at temperatures between 350 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit in a standard oven. However, they can cook at even higher temperatures in an outdoor pizza oven, with some models reaching over 900 degrees Fahrenheit.
At the highest temperatures, some outdoor ovens can cook a pizza in less than 2 minutes. Beware: It takes practice to cook a pizza successfully in such a short time without burning it. The thickness of the crust, the amount of sauce, and the number of toppings all factor into the cooking time. Higher temperatures offer more cooking options, though it may take time to learn how to use the oven at its maximum without burning the pizza.
Our Top Picks
The outdoor pizza ovens on our list of top picks come from trusted brands with efficient oven designs. After hours of testing—and eating lots of delicious pizza—we chose models that stood out for their performance and consistent results. We’ve included ovens with different fuel sources and varying sizes to accommodate specific cooking needs. Read on to discover some of the best outdoor pizza ovens on the market to create a homemade pizza worth craving, from crispy crust to gooey center.
The Ooni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Outdoor Pizza Oven is a large and generally portable unit that most folks are sure to enjoy. The dimensions—31.89 inches long by 19.69 inches wide by 32.68 inches tall—and collapsible legs make this one of the largest ovens in the test, a true boon to family pizza-night productivity.
The oven reaches a maximum of 950 degrees Fahrenheit in just 15 minutes. It also comes with a digital thermometer that allows the user to track temperatures while heating or cooking. The insulated steel body and stone baking board absorb and retain heat for more consistent cooking temperatures and fast results, cooking a Neapolitan-style pizza in just 60 seconds.
Out of the box, this model works with charcoal or wood, but there is a propane burner available as a separate purchase. The hinged door and chimney make controlling internal temperatures a breeze, and there is even a set of dampers built in for adjusting airflow. Also, the door has a built-in glass window so chefs can watch their pizzas cook.
We fell in love with the Ooni Karu during testing, and despite its high price point, it’s worth the money. The construction is extremely high quality, and setting it up was relatively easy, even when attaching the gas burner. We really enjoyed the built-in digital thermometer as well. Also, being able to watch the pizza cook without opening the door is a big help, as are the double-insulated walls, since maintaining those temperatures can be important for cooking evenly.
If there is one complaint, it’s that this oven is quite heavy compared to the others (it’s over 60 pounds). However, it cooks pizzas in less than a minute, so we’ll gladly overlook the model’s heft. Also, it says it can handle a 16-inch pizza, but the interior is so large that it can handle rectangular pizzas that are even larger—just be sure to have a peel that can handle them.
- Fuel source: Wood, charcoal, or propane
- Type: Portable
- Maximum temperature: 950 degrees Fahrenheit
- High-quality construction
- Built-in thermometer
- Lots of control of airflow
- Excellent temperature control
- Weighs over 60 pounds
Get the Ooni outdoor pizza oven at Amazon, Ace Hardware, or Ooni.
The Harbor Gardens Monterey Pizza Oven uses firewood to give pizza a smoky flavor and crispy crust. This model reaches a high of 700 degrees Fahrenheit and holds that high temperature to cook 16-inch pizzas faster than a standard oven. It includes a removable pizza stone that’s also helpful for cooking meat and breads. Remove the stone to cook directly on the grill.
Measuring 16.5 inches long by 23.5 inches wide by 61.25 inches high, the oven features a built-in temperature gauge, which offers precise readings of the interior temperature. While the stainless steel dome does grow hot during cooking, it retains the heat for a better and more even cooking experience. A convenient shelf underneath the oven can store firewood or cooking utensils.
This pizza oven balances performance and price for those who want a freestanding oven and wood-fired pizza at a reasonable cost. The finish may not be as high quality as some more expensive models, but the size, results, and versatility are comparable.
We found that we liked the Harbor Gardens oven very much during testing, once we got the hang of it. Assembly was more involved than most of the other ovens, but it didn’t require any special tools or mechanical know-how. We did find balancing the heat and smoke was a bit difficult at first, leading to one very smoky pizza. However, after we learned how much wood to use, the pizzas cooked quickly and were delicious, including full-size 16-inch pies. The biggest issues we found were that it did come a bit dented and the finish had a spot of rust after the first use. Aside from that spot, this is a handsome oven.
- Fuel source: Wood
- Type: Freestanding
- Maximum temperature: 700 degrees
- Wood storage underneath
- Fits full-size pizzas
- Good-looking oven
- A spot of rust
- Tricky to use at first
Get the Harbor Gardens outdoor pizza oven on Amazon or at The Home Depot.
The BakerStone Original Series Portable Gas Pizza Oven comes at an affordable price and offers impressive portability. It’s actually made of two pieces: a bottom burner piece and a top oven piece. These two parts separate, and the collapsible legs fold underneath the bottom piece, all of which allow for easier portability and storage. With the oven removed, it’s easier to clean as well. The model measures 22.6 inches long by 22.2 inches wide by 17.7 inches high when fully assembled.
The propane-fueled oven reaches a maximum temperature of 800 degrees Fahrenheit to bake pizza in less than 2 minutes. It includes a pizza stone and an optional full griddle plus grill grates. Half-griddle/half-grill grates are sold separately. The oven’s 15-inch opening provides enough space for 12- to 14-inch pizzas.
The BakerStone was definitely the biggest surprise during testing. First, we found that it was easy to light, heated up quickly, and maintained temperature well. It cooked evenly and there was almost no learning curve. The BakerStone is lightweight, though there were a few more steps to putting it together than we would’ve liked while our stomachs were growling. We also wish it came with a peel, but for its price, it’s still an unbelievable deal.
- Fuel source: Propane
- Type: Portable
- Maximum temperature: 800 degrees Fahrenheit
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Cooked evenly during test
- Maintained temperature with little guesswork
- Great price point
Get the BakerStone outdoor pizza oven on Amazon.
The U-Max Outdoor Wood Fired Pizza Oven features a freestanding, wheeled design measuring 19.5 inches long by 14.5 inches wide by 63.38 inches high. A thermo-resistant handle lets users safely maneuver it through the yard for easier cooking and storage. The powder-coated stainless steel exterior resists rust and corrosion and is supported by high-density insulation to reach and maintain a consistent temperature of 700 degrees Fahrenheit in 20 to 30 minutes.
The construction of this outdoor pizza oven allows users to store firewood conveniently underneath the oven itself. An interior pizza stone large enough to hold a 12-inch pizza absorbs heat and helps maintain an evenly heated cooking surface. However, users can opt to remove the stone when it’s beneficial for the enamel wires underneath to come in direct contact with foods like steak or bread.
This model from U-Max performed well. Assembly was a bit involved at first, but we enjoyed the good looks and built-in wood storage. We were already a bit more adept at wood-fired pizzas at this point, so there was less of a learning curve for us with this model, though those who are new to wood will need to get used to how much wood to add. Otherwise, our full-size pizzas were delicious and cooked quickly.
- Fuel source: Wood
- Type: Freestanding
- Maximum temperature: 700 degrees Fahrenheit
- Looks great on a deck or patio
- Built-in wood storage
- Easy to use with a bit of experience
- Does have an initial learning curve
Get the U-Max outdoor pizza oven on Amazon or Wayfair.
The Bertello Outdoor Pizza Oven can accommodate an impressive three fuel sources—wood, charcoal, and pellets—right out of the box. A separately sold kit can also outfit it for use with propane. This oven reaches a cooking temperature of 930 degrees Fahrenheit within 15 to 20 minutes and cooks up to 12-inch pizzas. The compact design measures 22 inches long by 14 inches wide by 10.5 inches high, allowing smoke and heat to escape through the front opening and giving the pizzas a distinct smoky flavor.
For those who prefer a variety of fuel options, this model cooks equally well with each of its sources, holding cooking temperatures steady for consistent results. With the fire at the back of the oven, it does require users to rotate the pizza during cooking. At high temperatures, though, this oven can cook pizzas in 5 minutes or less.
The Bertello makes a delicious pizza, and it definitely does cook quickly. Also, assembly was easy, even when switching between the charcoal or wood tray and the propane burner in the back of the unit. Lighting it was straightforward, and despite not having a chimney or door, there’s very little work involved in maintaining the temperature; just set the dial and cook with propane, or add wood and charcoal when needed. Our biggest complaints were that the paint on the top of the Bertello did bubble and peel a bit, and the adhesive holding the rubber feet on the oven melted off.
- Fuel source: Wood, charcoal, or propane
- Type: Portable
- Maximum temperature: 930 degrees Fahrenheit
- Very easy to assemble
- Simple to maintain temperature despite not having a door or chimney
- Flexible fuel choices
- Paint bubbled and peeled
- Adhesive holding rubber feet in place melted
Get the Bertello outdoor pizza oven on Amazon or Bertello.
The Onlyfire Pizza Oven Kit converts a grill into a pizza oven. Since this oven doesn’t include its own fuel source, users must place the oven on the surface of a grill—as long as the grill can accommodate the base, measuring 17 inches long by 17 inches wide. The oven includes a ceramic pizza stone that retains heat and pulls moisture from the pizza for crispy crusts.
This model holds a 14-inch pizza without requiring users to rotate the pie while cooking. The double-walled ceiling helps the oven to retain heat, so it gets hot enough to cook pizza faster than a standard indoor oven. The lid locks in place for safe cooking but is removable for easier storage. In addition to the pizza stone, the kit includes an aluminum pizza peel and a food thermometer.
To be honest, we thought the Onlyfire Pizza Oven Kit was going to be a gimmick, but we sort of fell in love with it. We used a charcoal grill, got it really hot, and placed it over the top before making calzones. Not only was the food delicious, but it also cooked quickly and evenly since the heat comes from underneath. And it was very simple to set up, as it involves just placing the oven on the grill, allowing it to build temperature, and then placing the stone inside. We did let the stone heat up a bit longer than the directions suggested, however, so there may be a bit of a learning curve at first. Also, our oven changed color after use (it darkened and blued), so it may not match other stainless appliances perfectly.
- Fuel source: Any charcoal, natural gas, or propane grill
- Type: Portable
- Maximum temperature: N/A, but the gauge goes up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit
- Simplest oven to set up in the test
- Heat radiates from underneath to cook evenly
- Works with any grill type
- There may be a bit of a learning curve
- Changed color after use
Get the Only Fire outdoor pizza oven on Amazon or Only Fire.
Solo Stove Pi Pizza Oven
The Solo Stove outdoor pizza oven is a multifuel-source portable pizza oven that uses propane or wood. It’s a fully stainless steel, double-insulated oven with a futuristic look. Unfortunately, it didn’t pass our testing across the board. It was a split decision. One of our testers really enjoyed the product and another did not feel comfortable using it due to warping, which left a gap through which flames could potentially escape. Here’s what each reviewer had to say:
- I found the Solo Stove Pi intuitive to use. Usually, I burn or mess up a few pies when using a new pizza oven for the first time, but my first pie in the Solo Stove Pi was great. I made about 20 pizzas total. I think my success on the first try was due the Pi’s design. It seems to distribute heat more evenly than some pizza ovens that have a “no-go” zone where it’s just too hot. In addition to making great pizza, I found that the oven’s sleek look would make a stylish addition to any outdoor space, and it would coordinate nicely with other Solo Stove products. The only downside was the size. Although the stone inside was fairly large, the included pizza peel and front opening were a bit small, constraining pie size to “personal size” rather than shareable mediums.
- The Pi pizza oven body panels appeared to be poorly fitting and warped during heating. I attached the propane burner, lit the pizza oven, and let it heat up, only to notice a gap forming around the back of the burner. I did a little research and found this to be a common issue with the Pi, and I didn’t feel comfortable continuing to use it, as some users stated flames eventually escaped from the gap.
However, this gap issue is not uncommon with outdoor pizza ovens, as reviews across brands reveal. Solo Stove is also working to rectify this issue. With a new beveled design that prevents the gap from being visible, the preeminent outdoor brand will roll out the updated Pi Pizza Oven in the near future. We’ll be sure to update this review once we have our hands on the newer Pi model.
Anyone looking for a high-quality pizza oven to take their pizza making to the next level will truly enjoy the Ooni outdoor pizza oven for its high quality, control, and usability. However, for folks who’d like to spend a little less but still eat delicious pizza, the BakerStone outdoor pizza oven is certainly worth a look.
How We Tested the Best Outdoor Pizza Ovens
First off, it’s important to note that pizza is basically a religion around where we live. We’ve been perfecting the art of homemade Neapolitan-style pizzas for more than 10 years. We make our own dough, our own sauce, and buy only high-quality cheeses. We take it very seriously, so we wanted to make sure these pizza ovens had what it takes to make our list.
The first step we had to do with all of these ovens was put them together. Some were easier than others, but most were relatively straightforward. Then, we tested each of them with whatever fuel sources they could use, whether gas, charcoal, or wood. We checked to see how easily they lit (airflow matters!), how quickly they heated, how hot they could get, and how well they maintained temperature while cooking. Once the ovens reached the temperatures suggested by their individual instructions, we tested how long the ovens took to cook a pizza.
Finally, we had some “test subjects” (otherwise known as family) who tasted the pizzas and ranked them based on flavor and texture. Some ovens didn’t make the cut, but those that did were given awards based on their strengths or abilities.
Cooking in an outdoor pizza oven takes practice. If your questions are still percolating, we have answers to a few of the most common ones.
Q. Do I need a permit to install an outdoor pizza oven?
State, county, and city laws and regulations vary, but many do require a permit to install an outdoor pizza oven. Homeowners’ associations may have guidelines as well.
Q. What wood do I need for an outdoor pizza oven?
One of the fun things about wood-fired outdoor pizza ovens is the variety of wood options. Different woods give off different smoky flavors. For example, food cooked with cherry wood doesn’t taste the same as food cooked with maple or hickory. It might take some trial and error to find the wood that infuses the pizza with a flavor you like.
Q. How do I use an outdoor pizza oven?
- Set up the outdoor pizza oven in a well-ventilated area. The area should also be surrounded by plenty of walking space because the pizza oven gets very hot.
- Preheat the oven. While some wood-burning ovens can reach the appropriate cooking temperature in as little as 5 to 10 minutes, you’ll get better results if the entire oven has maintained the temperature for 20 minutes or more.
- Slide in the pizza using a pizza peel. Some pizza ovens cook quickly (less than 5 minutes), while others take 10 to 15 minutes.
- Rotate the pizza while it cooks, if necessary.
- Remove the pizza with the pizza peel.
- Let the oven reach optimal temperature again before putting in another pizza.