A portable pizza oven that heats up to 700-plus degrees and turns your backyard into a pizzeria? It’s a pizza lover’s dream come true— but only if you buy the right model.
Last Updated Aug. 4, 2023.
The best outdoor pizza ovens run on propane, reach at least 700 degrees Fahrenheit, and have features that help distribute/radiate heat more evenly than others. Our favorite is the Ooni Koda 16 Gas-Powered Pizza Oven. It makes beautiful pizzas and is easier to use than many other models. If you’d like a smaller, lighter-weight version, we also think its little sibling, the Ooni Koda 12 Gas-Powered Pizza Oven, is great.
What You Need to Know
You can make great pizza in a home oven. But because the temperatures of most ovens top out at 500 degrees, you can’t get truly professional-quality results. For that, you need a temperature of 700 degrees or more. One option is installing a dedicated pizza oven in your kitchen or backyard, but those can be big, expensive, and more permanent than many people want. Enter portable pizza ovens, of which there are two types.
Indoor pizza ovens are midsize electric appliances that sit on the kitchen counter and generally resemble a toaster oven or oversized waffle iron but can be about twice that size. In previous tests, we learned that good performance will cost you: The best models we found, the Breville Smart Oven Pizzaiolo and the Ooni Volt 12 Electric Pizza Oven, run about $1,000. All the other models we tested performed no better than a home oven (and often much worse).
Outdoor pizza ovens, which we evaluate in this review, can be great. The best perform just as well as our favorite indoor pizza ovens and are a bit less expensive to boot. They’re intended to be portable. You can set them up in the backyard or bring them to a tailgate or campground, but all of them should be moved inside when not in use, as snow or rain can damage them. However, most weigh about the same as our favorite indoor models—between 20 and 50 pounds—and are a bit more bulky, with some easier to move around than others. They’re easy to assemble, and instead of being powered by electricity as indoor models are, they’re fueled by propane gas and/or wood, charcoal, or wood pellets.
Cooking pizza outdoors presents its own set of challenges—there’s a learning curve to using every model we tested, and you’ll need to tinker a little with your recipes and timing to get the best results. But these outdoor ovens are an excellent option for anyone who loves pizza and plans to make it regularly.
What to Look For
The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.
Kate is a deputy editor for ATK Reviews. She's a culinary school graduate and former line cook and cheesemonger.