The 10 Best Outdoor Pizza Ovens
This wiki has been updated 30 times since it was first published in December of 2016. If you and your family enjoy quality time in the fresh air and the delicious taste of hand-fired pizzas, it may be worth investing in one of these outdoor ovens, most of which are relatively portable. Designed to replicate the taste found in small Italian restaurants, they also make a rather elegant focal point for any backyard or patio. Get ready to take your entertaining to a whole new level. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
April 12, 2019:
One of the keys to a delicious pizza is a crispy crust, which can only be achieved with a good stone and the right oven. On the budget end of things it's hard to beat the Pizzacraft Conversion kit, which turns a standard kettle grill into a highly effective pizza oven. The Cuisinart as well as Pizzacraft's Pronto are affordable as a standalone models, and they both do great jobs. The Mr. Pizza is a regular grill in addition to a pizza maker, and the BakerStone is an originally crowd-funded item that looks and cooks fantastically. The Mont Alpi and Camp Chef are a bit more costly, as is the Uuni, and they can fire your pies in remarkably short periods of time. If you want something truly professional, you have multiple great options also. The Forno Allegro is simply beautiful, though it does require you to have somewhat large base. And the ilFornio is widely hailed as the finest home outdoor pizza maker available, however, at about $2000, it's an incredibly expensive device.
Gas Versus Wood Fire Pizza Ovens
Gas ovens might take 20 to 30 minutes to reach their maximum temperature, and take longer to cook a pizza to completion.
If you take your pizza very seriously, then you should know the differences between the two main types of pizza ovens: gas and fire. Let's first look at the advantages of a gas assisted pizza oven. If you're a restaurant owner or plan on making a high volume of pizza, it's hard to focus on tending to a fire and taking care of your customers. But if you don't regularly tend to the fire of a fire-burning pizza oven, you might struggle to maintain the ideal temperature. A gas pizza oven makes it easy to keep your oven at the perfect temperature, while you focus on other things. Depending on where you live, you may not even be able to run a wood fire pizza oven, so a gas oven may be your only option.
Sticklers for tradition probably won't stray from a wood burning pizza oven, though. And perhaps they shouldn't, since there's something about that fire that gives pizza an authentic flavor. The wood adds a nice smokey flavor to a pizza that gas-burning ovens can't match. Wood burning ovens can also typically get hotter than gas models, reaching 900 or 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, gas-burning ovens might only reach around 500 degrees. Wood-burning ovens can get hot faster, too. Gas ovens might take 20 to 30 minutes to reach their maximum temperature, and take longer to cook a pizza to completion.
If you still can't decide which type of oven to go with, consider your home and your lifestyle. As you probably know, wood-burning ovens will require you to keep chopped wood around. Chopped wood takes up quite a bit of space, and attracts some critters. On the flip side, some people don't feel safe keeping propane tanks in or around their home, but you'll need to if you use a gas oven. It's also important to understand that wood-burning ovens are traditionally much larger than gas models, so you need to make sure you have the space for them. But their size is a benefit, too, since you can slide several pizza stones inside of them at once.
Why You Should Make Your Own Pizza
We all know that with the push of a button on your phone, you can have pizza at your door in 40 minutes or less. We also know that there are plenty of coupons out there that make pizza from certain major delivery chains extremely cheap. If you really want to have a budget pie, though, there's always frozen pizza from the grocery store. But should you necessarily go with the easiest or cheapest option when it comes to this ancient and delicious food? There are certainly some perks to learning to make your own pizza at home.
But if you ask them to lend you a hand while you make pizza — a favorite food among kids — you may receive a slightly more enthusiastic response.
Let's start by scratching the misconception that delivery pizza is the cheapest. If you learn to make your own dough and don't mind chopping up whole veggies, DIY pies will always cost you less. What's more is that some research suggests that pizza may actually be good for you (or at least healthier than previously thought) The caveat here is that you need to control the ingredients, which you just cannot completely do when you order in or buy a frozen pizza. When you make these cheesy, doughy pies from scratch, you dictate the toppings, the amount of salt, the ratio of cheese to sauce and many other of the factors that determine just how waist-friendly your pizza is.
Making pizza at home is also a fun, social way to get everyone involved in cooking — even your children. Are you going to convince your kids to help you make potatoes au gratin or a pork shoulder with a red wine reduction sauce? Not likely. But if you ask them to lend you a hand while you make pizza — a favorite food among kids — you may receive a slightly more enthusiastic response. Even among adult friends, a pizza party can be a fun way to spend an evening. You can ask everyone to bring their own unique combination of ingredients and have a contest to see who makes the best pie.
What To Look For In An Outdoor Pizza Oven
If you won't accept anything but the best pizza out of your oven, then you'll need a model with an onboard temperature gauge, so you can know exactly when to pop your pie in. Ovens that feature convection, conduction, and reflected heat will create the most even heat distribution, giving you perfectly browned and crispy pizza all around. This type of combination heat will also ensure your toppings cook at the same rate as your dough, so when you slice your pizza knife through your pie, you won't find your jalapenos are still raw.
If you won't accept anything but the best pizza out of your oven, then you'll need a model with an onboard temperature gauge, so you can know exactly when to pop your pie in.
Those who like to bring their pizza oven on camping trips and to friends' homes should get one that is portable and lightweight. Some quality swivel casters will make your model easy to move around, too. If your oven is easy to assemble and disassemble, that will not only make it easy to travel with, but also easy to clean. Of course, if you have picky eaters with varying tastes, maybe you need a larger oven so you can slide several pies in at once. While pepperoni may be most people's favorite topping, if you have a vegetarian in the group, he'll demand his own pizza. The diner who doesn't like tomatoes will want a white pie. With orders like those, you need an extra large oven that can hold several pizzas at once.
Think about the aesthetic you'd like, too. Some outdoor pizza ovens have very sleek and modern designs, with a hammered copper finish or stainless steel construction. Others feature that classic pizza oven look, with either a gorgeous cast iron firebox or one made from old bricks. Meanwhile, some feature stunning terracotta. Whether you have a patio that mimics a vineyard in Tuscany or a swanky hotel, there is an outdoor pizza oven for your style.