Ooni Pizza Oven Setup Plus First PizzaJump to Recipe
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I’m a huge homemade pizza fan. I’ve made hundreds of homemade pizzas over the years, a small selection of them posted here on Macheesmo. Generally, my homemade pizza game involves heating a stone in my oven until it’s blazing hot, sliding in a pizza, waiting 10-15 minutes, setting off all my smoke alarms, and then enjoying a wonderful pizza (plus some kitchen clean up).
The idea of the Ooni Pizza Oven is that you move all of that outside. Similar to a classic brick oven, you can heat the Ooni with wood, charcoal, or gas, and get it blazing hot. It cooks a pizza in just a few minutes with a crackling crust and everything is outside! That means no smoke alarms, no messy kitchen, and delicious pizza!
Mostly though, this pizza oven is the way pizza was intended to be cooked.
What is the Ooni Pizza Oven
Ooni makes a few varieties of pizza ovens. The one I setup (the Karu) is a 12-inch pizza model that can use either wood, charcoal, or gas (with the gas burner attachment). It’s truly an engineering marvel. The dome shape captures the heat and forces it into the baking stone which transfers it into the pizza crust.
The end result is that you can cook medium-sized personal pizzas very quickly and the crust ends up being similar to a fancy brick-oven pizza restaurant – soft and chewy in the middle and blistered and crunchy on the exterior. In other words: ideal.
Ooni Pizza Oven Setup Video
Sometimes the setup of a new kitchen tool like this can be intimidating so I shot a quick unboxing video of me setting up the entire pizza oven AND cooking my first pizza in it!
Pros and Cons
I think it’s important that people know what they are getting with the Ooni so I spent some time going thinking of pros and cons for this guy.
- Authentic Pizza. It’s hard to find really good brick oven pizza in many places, but this gets you there. Assuming you start with a decent dough and use fresh ingredients, you will be very happy.
- Fast cooking. You can cook a pizza in just a few minutes. It’s amazing to watch actually. You can cook pizzas faster than you can make the pizzas.
- Outside. This pizza oven was designed to use outside and that’s fantastic. It’s small enough to fit even on a small balcony and will completely change your cooking game!
- Price. Coming in at about $350, the Karu Model I tried is a bit on the pricy side. After the gas burner add on and maybe the table, you will be approaching the price of a good mid-range grill.
- No Big Pies. The oven is not made for large pies or deep dish thick pizzas. It’s made for thin crust more personal pizza sizes. The good news is that you can make a bunch of them very quickly!
- Heat. The oven gets incredibly hot and it can actually be tricky to dial in the heat. Keep an eye on the pizza as it cooks. You might have to rotate it frequently to ensure it doesn’t burn.
My First Pizza
If you watch my video above, I couldn’t wait to try out a pizza on this guy. I wanted to get the real experience of setting it up and cooking a pizza on it right away!
For my first pizza I made a simple margherita pizza with fresh tomato, mozzarella, and basil.
And, take a look at this crust!
As charred crust with a chewy interior. Pretty much pizza perfection. That was my very first pizza on the Ooni. I didn’t practice or anything. What that means is you can do it and it’s super fun!
Over the next few days, I’ll be posting a few easy pizza recipes I worked on in my Ooni Karu.
If you have any questions about this cool cooking tool, leave a comment!