How to choose the best pizza ovens for you, according to industry pizzaiolos

Dan Richer and Anthony Falco share recommendations for making pizza at home

April 15, 2024, 4:02 AM
Shop the best pizza ovens, according to experts.
Shop the best pizza ovens, according to experts.
ABC News Photo Illustration, Amazon - ROCCBOX, Crate & Barrel - Breville, Ooni

Are you craving the mouthwatering taste of authentic Neapolitan-style pizza, straight from the comfort of your own home?

With warm weather on the horizon and a surge in the availability of at-home pizza ovens, now is the time to strike while the oven is hot - literally.

To help you make a more informed shopping decision, renowned chefs and pizza aficionados, Anthony Falco and Dan Richer, took the time to share their expertise with ABC News and expand on the features of these innovative appliances.

Shop the best pizza ovens, according to experts.
Shop the best pizza ovens, according to experts.
ABC News Photo Illustration, Amazon - ROCCBOX, Crate & Barrel - Breville, Ooni

In recent months, you may have caught wind of the buzz surrounding popular brands like Ooni, Gosney, or Breville when it comes to pizza ovens. However, if you're feeling overwhelmed and unsure where to begin, fear not.

Whether you're a seasoned pizzaiolo or a beginner in the kitchen, these at-home pizza ovens can transform your culinary adventures into a masterpiece.

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Our experts

First up, Anthony Falco. Falco is a chef, International Pizza Consultant, and author of "Pizza Czar: Recipes and Know-How from a World-Traveling Pizza Chef".

"If you want to make true, woodfired pizza that is Neapolitan style at home, you need a pizza oven and lucky enough there has been this explosion of these at-home ovens that are available right now," Falco told ABC News. "Chefs, like myself, do use these a lot, the new at-home ovens are no gimmick, they're great tool."

Next up, Dan Richer. Richer is the CEO and owner of Razza Pizza Artigianale in Jersey City, New Jersey. Richer also is the author of "The Joy of Pizza: Everything you need to know."

"There has been such a big boom in this space and tons of new companies are popping up with great new products," Richer added.

How to pick the best at-home pizza oven

Once you've caught the irresistible urge to invest in a pizza oven, there are several crucial questions our experts recommend you keep in mind.

Question 1: What is my budget?

"Typically, you get what you pay for," Richer said. "The average person who has never made a pizza before is typically not going to spend $1,000 on the best Gozney pizza oven (though it is wonderful), but a brand like Gozney has a range of less expensive and just as powerful models to choose from."

"Gozney does have their own spectrum of ovens from entry-level to advanced, with the newest model being their Arc," Falco added. "I also love the Ooni brand because they have a range of sizes, the Koda16 is a great oven, it gives you space to work around in on a more budget conscious price."

Splurge-worth ovens:

Walmart

Gozney Liquid Propane Outdoor Pizza Oven Bone

  • $759.99
  • Walmart

Budget friendly ovens:

Amazon

Roccbox Pizza Oven by Gozney

  • $499
  • Amazon
Amazon

Ooni Koda 16 Gas Pizza Oven

  • $599
  • Amazon

Question 2: Do I plan to use this inside, outside or both?

For indoor ovens, both Richer and Falco called out the Breville Pizzaiolo and the Oonie Volt. These ovens are for the consumer who wants to be able to cook mostly inside but can be brought outdoors, if needed.

"Ideally, you want to use these models if you have good ventilation indoors," Richer says. "If one piece of cheese ends up on the floor of a very hot oven, it's gonna create a lot of smoke," he added. "So what I do is put the indoor oven on my cold stove top and turn on my fan for ventilation."

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"For people like myself, who live in an apartment with no backyard and want to make pizza year-round, the electric oven is the way to go," Falco added.

Falco also added the element of downtime being less with an electric oven. "While you're cooking in an oven like the Breville Pizzaiolo, you're recharging that thermal heat battery from both below the pizza and above. This allows you to have little to no downtime in between pizza creation.

Both experts agreed that electric indoor ovens are also great because they are not just limited to making pizza - they are another small appliance that can be useful in other ways.

Crate&Barrel

Breville Smart Oven Pizzaiolo Pizza Oven

  • $999.95
  • Crate&Barrel
Amazon

Ooni Volt 12 Electric Pizza Oven

  • $889
  • Amazon

If you plan to enjoy your pizza outdoors, Richer always recommends purchasing an oven with a gas burner.

Question 3: Portablibilty

Richer made a point that the Gosney Dome Pizza oven is one you are not going to be able to move or lift frequently in and out of your home. So taking the time to evaluate if you want to move or lift your oven should be a factor when purchasing.

Amazon

Ooni Koda 12 Gas Pizza Oven

  • $399
  • Amazon
Amazon

CHEFMAN Indoor Pizza Oven

  • $299.99
  • Amazon

Question 4: Size

"Even if you don't plan on making 16-inch pies, having one that could fit more to make your 12-inch pie is gonna it's gonna help bake your pizza better," Richer said. "Because there's physically more space and your food is further away from the heat source."

Overall, both experts recommend the larger the better if your budget allows.

Question 5: Temperature

"Your pizza oven should go over 600 degrees Fahrenheit if you are looking to create Neo-Neapolitan styles of pizza," Falco said. "Otherwise you can really make New York style pizza in a home oven setting."

"Hotter is not always better," Richer told ABC. "I like to be in the 600 to 750 degree range - focus on making the pizza and baking the pizza, not on building fires," Richer laughed. "Don't worry about building fires when you're an at home enthusiast."

Amazon

ooni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Outdoor Pizza Oven - Wood and Gas Outdoor Pizza Oven with Pizza Stone & Intergrated Thermometer

  • $720
  • Amazon

Both experts agree that mastering the craft of making pizza at home takes time and practice but offers a gratifying sense of culinary creativity.

More ovens to shop:

Amazon

Versa 16 Propane Gas Outdoor Pizza Oven with Rotating Cooking Stone

  • $499
  • Amazon
Amazon

Solo Stove Pi Prime Gas Pizza Oven Outdoor

  • $349
  • Amazon
Amazon

Ninja Woodfire Pizza Oven

  • $399.95
  • Amazon
Williams Sonoma

Everdure KILN 1 Burner Gas Pizza Oven

  • $699.95
  • Williams Sonoma
Williams Sonoma

Breville Smart Oven Pizzaiolo Pizza Oven

  • $999.95
  • Williams Sonoma

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