Pizza is considered the universal get-together food.
If you have a large family or like to entertain, having the option to make your own fresh pizzas at home is always ideal.
Oven-made pizzas are great, but there isn't an open flame to get that char on the crust like you would with an outdoor pizza oven. Yet, an outdoor pizza oven takes up a lot of space, and it's costly.
Ooni has come up with the perfect portable, gas-powered (and multi-fuel) pizza oven that's also reasonably priced.
In this article, I will be reviewing the Ooni Koda gas-powered pizza oven. It comes in 12-inch and 16-inch sizes. For our cooking test, we used the 16-inch Ooni pizza oven.
I made a couple of pizzas using various heat levels. I also cooked a steak using the cast iron pan accessory.
Below, you'll see a video detailing how to use the new Ooni Koda pizza oven.
New Ooni Koda Pizza Oven Review
This pizza oven couldn't be any easier. It uses a propane tank like an outdoor grill.
Once the gas is connected, simply hit the igniter switch for a couple of seconds, then adjust your heat accordingly.
The concentration of heat is towards the back and left sides of the oven, so you have to be careful about where you place your food in the oven.
Anything too close to the flame will cook and char quickly. This is great for thinner Neapolitan-style crusts.
However, if it's more NY style, with a slightly thicker crust, it should be kept away from the flame at the furthest possible point (the front right corner). This way, the pizza won't burn on the outside and not fully cook on the inside.
No matter where in the oven it's placed, the pizza will also have to be turned several times to ensure it cooks evenly.
Because of the size of the oven and proximity to the flame, the pizzas tend to cook quickly, under two minutes on average.
Best Ooni Koda Gas-Powered Pizza Oven Features
This pizza oven is light and portable, so it can be set up anywhere that is a heat-resistant surface. It can also be taken on picnics, tailgates, or even to the beach as long as there is an even flat surface for it to sit on.
Proper safety precautions should also be in place for the propane tank.
The stone is easy to clean, but you will need to buy an additional long-handled brush or utensil to wipe off any cornmeal or food particles that fall onto the surface during cooking.
The additional cast iron pans are a great accessory if you want more cooking options. Depending on the quantity of food and whether you want a grill or griddle pan, Ooni provides a solution for them all.
They come with detachable handles so the food can be easily placed in and taken out of the oven.
Testing the New Ooni Gas-Powered Pizza Oven
How We Tested the Ooni Pizza Oven
We made several pizzas as well as a steak in the cast iron pan to try out this pizza oven. This pizza oven is ideal for things that can be cooked quickly.
Seafood would fare well in this oven too.
The Results of the Ooni Pizza Oven
The pizzas cooked quickly, but they had to be rotated several times during the cooking time to prevent burning. The side closest to the flames would cook the quickest.
Although the pizzas cooked quickly on the top and sides, we did notice the bottoms of the pizzas would not get that crispy.
If the dough was a little thicker, it took a little more maintenance and care for it to cook on the inside before overcooking on the outside.
The steak was placed in a preheated cast iron pan, cooked until there was a visible char on the top, then flipped for a couple of minutes longer to achieve similar results on the other side.
What We Liked About It
The pizzas cooked quickly, as did the steak. The char gave everything a distinct taste that can only be achieved near an open flame.
The Multi-fuel Ooni, which uses wood and charcoal, would provide even more authentic flavor depth.
What We Didn't Like About It
Because of the concentration of heat towards the back and left side of the oven, you have to be careful about where the pizza or other food item is placed to prevent any scorching or burning.
The pizzas have to be rotated frequently, so there isn't a lot of downtime from when the pizzas go on.
How Does the Ooni Pizza Oven Compare to Other Brands?
Comparing the Ooni pizza oven to a built-in pizza oven, it's a great value for the cost.
When comparing it to the built-in style pizza ovens like Lynx or Kalamazoo, it has them both beat on price. It's also portable, making it great for parties and events away from home.
It doesn't require any additional planning or installation and can easily be stored away when not in use.
Read More: Best Outdoor Pizza Ovens
Should You Buy the New Ooni Koda Pizza Oven?
If you enjoy the art of making pizzas at home and don't mind it being gas-powered, then this is a reasonably priced solution for you.
Although Ooni makes multi-fuel (charcoal, wood, pellet) fired portable pizza ovens, they come with a long chimney and door. This will take a couple of extra steps to set up, transport or store.
Making fresh, professional-style pizzas at home will become a regular activity with this oven. Just be prepared to watch your food closely as it cooks to ensure evenness.
There will be a slight learning curve, of course, but it will become a fun pastime with family and friends once you get the hang of it.
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