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This piece is a part of our Outdoor Pizza Party sequence. Read the entire tales — together with a development report and loads of recipes — here.
I used to strive making pizza at house, however ultimately needed to put a cease to it. The pizza was by no means pretty much as good as I needed it to be. Because, nicely, my oven simply didn’t get scorching sufficient (even with a baking stone). The crust was at all times flabby, the middle was persistently underdone — my goals of selfmade pizza had been dashed on the common. That is, till I received an Ooni.
Last summer season, it felt like everybody I knew was getting an Ooni. It wasn’t simply in my head, both: The firm’s gross sales elevated by 150 percent and the ovens had been consistently promoting out. I might not get one. I even tried getting one off Facebook Marketplace, solely to be outbid. But this 12 months I believed forward: I received my Ooni within the very early spring, when making pizza outdoor was simply starting to really feel like a whisper of a risk.
Let me again up for a second. Ooni is the corporate behind the transportable, yard pizza ovens you’ve (in all probability) seen by now. They’ve been round since 2012 with a conveyable pellet pizza oven and, since then, have come out with several different types of ovens. There are gas-powered Oonis (like this and this!), hardwood pellet-fueled Ooni ovens, and the multi-fuel Ooni ovens that mean you can use wooden, charcoal, or gasoline (like this and this!). They all use actual, open flames to cook dinner your pizza, and are available in two totally different sizes (for 12- and 16-inch pizzas). And whereas loads of different outside pizza ovens do exist, Ooni has actually dominated the market because of their numerous choices, aggressive worth factors, and efficiency. And websites like America’s Test Kitchen, Wired, and Serious Eats have reviewed Ooni ovens extremely favorably.
So, I wanted to strive one for myself … lastly. I ended up going with the Ooni Koda 16 Gas Powered Pizza Oven, which, based on the corporate, is their hottest mannequin. Here’s my trustworthy assessment.
My Initial Impressions of the Ooni Pizza Oven
The Ooni arrived almost completely assembled, which is extremely refreshing, contemplating I as soon as spent 5 hours placing collectively a grill. Once I added the oven’s stone baking board and related it to my propane tank, it was able to go. Easy!
If you’ll be able to make the funding, I do recommend that you just purchase a table particularly for the Ooni. It’s a security factor (an oven shouldn’t be positioned on, say, plastic), however having your Ooni perched on one thing increased up additionally means you don’t to crouch or bend down a lot so as to add, rotate, and retrieve pizza. Plus, the tables that Ooni sells have wheels, which makes your life a lot simpler if that you must roll the oven into and out of, say, a space for storing or round a patio.
Cooking within the Ooni Pizza Oven
When I used to be able to get cooking, I turned on the gasoline and the oven (there’s a bit of ignitor button). After about 20 minutes, I temped it with my infrared thermometer and noticed that it was hovering round 950°F — identical to Ooni stated it will (which is the temperature wanted to cook dinner a pizza in 60 seconds). I added my pizza and frolicked shut by, rotating it each 20 seconds or so.
The Ooni mannequin that I’ve options an L-shaped burner that’s positioned on the again left of the oven, it’s the most popular proper by the burner and has a number of warmth zones (with the good spot being within the higher proper nook — the farthest away from the warmth supply). Because of those warmth zones, it took some trial and error — and a few significantly charred pizza crust — earlier than I felt like I had a greater grasp on utilizing the oven. But, by the third pizza I made, I used to be pulling out pro-level pies! Seriously! I used to be making the very best pizza I’d ever cooked, with a gorgeous, bubbly prime and brown spots on the crust and the pizza’s underside. The key: Turn your pizza usually, because it sits in there, in order that it cooks evenly. (Note: This blog post from Ooni consists of some Very Helpful Pizza Pointers.)
The Ooni oven additionally has a super-wide opening, which makes it extremely simple to entry. It’s lots spacious and simply capable of match a pizza peel in when including, turning, and eradicating pizza. I do recommend shopping for one or two of their pizza peels: I used the bamboo one for including the pizza and the metal one for retrieving and rotating the pizza, as per this tip.
Can You Cook Other Things within the Ooni?
Yes! Yes, you may. Ooni even sells cast iron cookware to make use of of their ovens and the ovens include a recipe guide that features a few non-pizza choices. I’ve bookmarked the roast pork chops and a fruit crumble, however I’m actually excited to strive some “wood-fired” greens in my Ooni (broccoli, beets, and cauliflower come to thoughts first).
Cleaning and Storing an Ooni Oven
You ought to wait 1 1/2 hours earlier than touching, transferring, or trying to wash the oven, based on its instruction guide. It’s extremely scorching, in spite of everything! This oven brush (or the same one) is useful for dismissing extra flour post-cooking and scraping off any burnt-on, extra meals.
As far as storage goes, the oven’s legs fold, which makes it rather more compact. And whereas the Ooni isn’t precisely delicate, it needs to be housed indoors for longer intervals when not in use and through harsh climate situations (snow! Rain!). And, as with every grill, I’d advocate getting a cover to assist defend it. I actually wish to defend mine as a lot as doable. After all, I waited virtually a 12 months for it.
Should You Get an Ooni Pizza Oven?
Simply put: If you make or wish to begin making pizza at house, sure. Having solely used the gas-powered choice, that’s the one I’d recommend, as wooden must be chopped to suit contained in the gas chamber and charcoal could be messy and/or finicky. (Of course, when you’re up for these challenges, go for a multi-fueled oven!) There’s additionally a version that uses wood pellets, which I’ve heard good issues about from fellow Kitchn editors.
The gas-powered Ooni oven that I examined is extremely simple to make use of and makes pro-level pies. While it’s not cheap, it’s at the least half the value of different choices on the market and a stable funding that you should use year-round or, on the very least, summer season after summer season.
Do you might have an Ooni? Let us know within the feedback!