Pizza ovens allow you to create restaurant-quality pizza and experiment with new toppings from the comfort of your home. Unlike ordinary ovens, wood-fired and gas-powered pizza ovens can reach extreme temperatures to achieve the signature pizzeria taste and expertly melted cheese. These pizza ovens are designed for outdoor use, while electric models are suitable for use inside the home.
Pizza ovens are available in free-standing, built-in, countertop, and portable models. You can also find stovetop and grill insert options that mimic the conditions of regular pizza ovens. Keep reading for tips on choosing the best pizza oven for your home, and to learn why the following recommendations are top performers.
- BEST OVERALL: Ooni Koda Outdoor Pizza Oven
- BEST BUDGET: Ronco Pizza and More, Pizza Oven with Warming Tray
- BEST COUNTERTOP: Breville BOV800XL Smart Convection Toaster Oven
- BEST STOVETOP: Pizzacraft PC0601 Pizzeria Pronto Stovetop Pizza Oven
- BEST GRILL INSERT: KettlePizza Basic 22.5 – Pizza Oven Kit
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Pizza Oven
When selecting a pizza oven for your home, it’s important to consider wood vs. gas, indoor or outdoor, size, and construction. Here are some features and benefits to keep in mind when shopping for pizza ovens.
Pizza ovens are versatile appliances that come in a few different configurations: built-in, countertop, freestanding, and portable.
- Built-in pizza ovens usually have a stainless steel, brick, or stone exterior with a ceramic or stone shell inside that holds the propane tank or wood. This is a good choice for a luxury outdoor kitchen setup.
- Countertop pizza ovens are designed to sit on top of a flat surface. They are usually powered by electricity and are safe for indoor use.
- Freestanding pizza ovens operate on their own, similarly to grills. They are available in multiple fuel types, including gas and wood. This is a great option for those with limited space for a built-in pizza oven.
- Portable pizza ovens come with collapsible legs and removable parts, making them easy to transport. This is a good type of pizza oven to bring with you on a camping trip or take over to your neighbor’s barbeque.
- Stovetop pizza ovens are metal containers with vented hoods designed for cooking on the stove. They’re suitable for gas ranges and offer a cheaper alternative to wood-fired, gas-powered, and electric pizza ovens.
- Grill insert pizza ovens are another inexpensive option, and function similarly to stovetop models. These metal containers help mimic the conditions of a pizza oven and are placed in a grill.
Indoor vs. Outdoor
It’s important to decide whether you want to use your pizza oven indoors or outdoors. Indoor pizza ovens are typically electric. They are ideal for homes without much outdoor space, but limited to countertop and stovetop options.
If you have the room outside, an outdoor pizza oven offers more variety. You can choose between wood-fired and gas-powered, as well as built-in, freestanding, portable, and grill insert models. Outdoor pizza ovens should be set up on a sturdy wood, metal, or stone surface to prevent them from tipping over.
Wood vs. Gas
Wood and gas pizza ovens are both designed for outdoor use only. Wood-fired ovens are powered by a starter and match, while gas pizza ovens are powered by an ignition knob and usually come with a dial that controls the flame.
Maple and hickory are two common types of wood used in wood-burning pizza ovens that add a signature smoky taste. Gas-powered pizza ovens can be connected to a propane tank or natural gas line. They are typically easier to use than wood-burning ovens because they heat up more quickly and require less cleanup.
Some brands also offer a hybrid option so you can switch between wood and gas. Keep in mind that this added functionality may come at a premium price.
Size, Capacity, and Shape
Pizza ovens come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Standard pizza ovens can typically accommodate 12-inch pizzas while larger models can fit 16-inch pizzas. The width of pizza ovens ranges from about 26 inches to 43 inches. Smaller models are ideal for personal-size pizzas, medium pizza ovens are designed for small gatherings, and large or extra-large pizza ovens are suited for larger groups.
Most pizza ovens are made out of stainless steel, which is durable and long lasting. Powder-coated or painted steel pizza ovens tend to be less expensive and of lesser quality. More traditional pizza ovens contain brick or stone exteriors and cement, tile, or ceramic interiors. These built-in ovens are a premium option and can be quite expensive.
Heat Up Time
High heat is necessary when using a pizza oven, but it can take a while for the oven to heat up all the way. Some outdoor wood-burning pizza ovens can reach temperatures as high as 900 degrees Fahrenheit.
Stainless steel pizza ovens tend to heat up quicker than brick ovens, but they also cool down more quickly. Brick ovens can take about 3 hours to reach the desired temperature. Larger ovens also take longer to heat up compared to smaller ovens.
Our Top Picks
From compact indoor models that fit on the countertop to outdoor wood-burning options, here are some of the best pizza ovens for home chefs.
This gas-powered outdoor oven can accommodate 12-inch pizzas. It heats up quickly and includes a convenient dial for adjusting heat, so you can cook a Neapolitan-style pizza in one minute. Built-in gas ignition creates instant flames, and an insulated steel shell retains heat for quick and efficient cooking.
This portable outdoor oven also includes a patented flame keeper device that carries the flames over food for full-coverage heating. The maximum temperature reaches 932 degrees Fahrenheit. This versatile oven can also be used to cook steak, fish, and vegetables.
This countertop convection oven can be used for cooking homemade pizza, frozen pizza, and other food items. Dual heating elements and a 360-degree, open-air convection rotating pan speed up cooking time. The oven has a 30-minute automatic shut-off function for safety and to prevent overcooking.
The Ronco countertop pizza oven comes with a 13-inch nonstick pan and a warming tray that doubles as a serving dish. Both accessories are conveniently dishwasher safe.
Breville’s proprietary Element IQ technology makes convection cooking more efficient and user-friendly. The oven has five individual quartz elements, and the Element IQ adjusts their power based on the cooking method you select. Its nine preset cooking programs, including pizza, reheat, and warm, are selectable with a twist of the knob.
A large door handle doubles as a supporting stand once the large, clear glass door is opened. The LCD display changes color to alert you if the oven is still preheating or is ready for your pizza. This Breville countertop oven includes a baking pan, broil rack, and a 13-inch pizza pan.
This stovetop pizza oven allows you to bake restaurant-quality pizza on most gas stovetops. It preheats up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit in less than 15 minutes and cooks pizza in just 6 minutes. The Pizzeria Pronto comes with a 12-inch cordierite pizza stone designed for even heat distribution, resulting in crispy crust. It contains a sturdy steel base with a vented hood and built-in thermometer.
This pizza oven kit transforms 22.5-inch charcoal kettle grills into pizza ovens. It’s made out of 20-gauge, 304-grade stainless steel and works with charcoal or hardwood. It can also be used with a skillet to cook vegetables, meat, and fish. This basic kit includes a stainless steel pizza oven sleeve, high-temp thermometer, handles, and 14-inch aluminum pizza pan.
Once installed on top of the grill, the sleeve creates a cooking chamber with an opening. This helps maintain consistent cooking temperatures because the food can be accessed without removing the lid.
FAQs About Your New Pizza Oven
You may still have questions about pizza ovens. Here are some answers to common questions on this versatile appliance.
Q. What is special about a pizza oven?
Pizza ovens can reach extremely high temperatures, which reduces the cooking time as opposed to using a regular oven. Wood-burning pizza ovens also add a smoky flavor.
Q. Is wood-fired pizza healthy?
Wood-fired pizza can be healthy because the ingredients retain their nutrients since they are cooked so quickly.
Q. Does a pizza oven need to be round?
No, although round pizza ovens tend to distribute heat more evenly.
Q. How long does a pizza oven take to cook pizza?
This depends on the type of pizza oven you use. Wood and gas ovens reach extremely high temperatures and can cook pizza in one to two minutes. Countertop and stovetop pizza ovens can cook pizza in 5 to 10 minutes.
Q. What can you cook in a pizza oven besides pizza?
You can cook a variety of food in a pizza oven, including bread, vegetables, meat, and seafood.