Joel has been wanting to build a backyard pizza oven, but with all of the home projects that we have, it’s the last thing on our list. Not only that, they can be very expensive and take a lot of work to build. Yet, that hasn’t stopped us from experimenting and honing in on our at-home pizza ideas. We appreciate the pizza places near us, but it’s not the same as making your own at home. Not only that, you are limited to the quality that those places offer. My favorite type of pizza is Neapolitan-style, and we don’t have places close by that offer that.
We wanted to take our backyard pizza oven ideas to the next level without having to build one ourselves.
We started trying different methods, doughs, and toppings. First, we tried using a grill. We have a charcoal grill, which we thought would provide that flame-fired taste. It was a mess and definitely not the easiest method that we have tried while making pizzas at home. Next, we tried the oven in our kitchen. While it was a lot less messy than our grill, you can only get but so good of a pizza in your regular kitchen oven. The crust just doesn’t come out quite the same. In comes the Ooni pizza oven. Some friends of ours decided to hone in on their at-home pizzas as well and bought an Ooni pizza oven. Joel and I had the opportunity to taste some of it, and it was LIFE-CHANGING. I immediately knew that I had found the perfect solution to the backyard pizza experience that we had been looking for. I have so many thoughts on this oven and I am excited to share them, along with tips for making the best pizza at home for the ultimate backyard pizza night. If you have been looking for a fun experience and an easy way to make delicious pizzas at home, the Ooni pizza oven is the solution that you have been looking for.
What is an Ooni Pizza Oven?
An Ooni is an outdoor pizza oven that is portable and gives you the opportunity to create delicious pizzas right in your own yard. You can make your own dough, create your own toppings, and the options are endless for the recipes that you can try. The Ooni features a stainless steel body with wood-fired or gas options. It reaches up to 950 degrees F within 15 minutes and bakes your pizza within 60 seconds. If you order from the Ooni website, each oven comes with a three-year warranty. The oven comes with a baking stone that is placed inside the oven and creates the absolutely perfect crust when brought to the correct temperature. It’s a restaurant-quality pizza, if not better, right at home.
What oven model do I recommend?
We have the Ooni Karu 12-inch Multi-Fuel. The easiest way to understand the difference in the ovens that Ooni offers is to view their oven comparison guide. Our oven makes 12-inch pizzas, is easily portable, and has a multi-fuel hook up which means that we can use either gas or wood pallets to make our pizzas. It’s important to note that while the oven model has a multi-fuel function, the gas hookup is sold separately. You can purchase the gas attachment directly from the Ooni website. Not all of the ovens are multi-fuel. Their base model is the Ooni Frya which uses wood pallets to fire it. We love the wood pallet taste and have tried both gas and wood for comparison.
5 Tips For Making the Ultimate Backyard Pizza Dinner Party at Home:
Use high-quality dough. If you love a Neapolitan-style pizza as much as I do, be sure to use the correct dough to yield that type of crust. My favorite ways to source pizza dough are to either make our own using Neapolitan Dough Flour or buy fresh dough from a local pizza place. If you call and ask, they will typically sell you fresh dough balls. They usually cost anywhere from $2-5 per large ball.
Use 00 Italian flour on your peel and hands when working with your dough. 00 flour has a fine texture that makes a soft and flavorful crust. It is often made with high-quality wheat flour that has been milled properly for the best water absorption and yield in the dough.
Build everything on your dusted pizza peel. To do this, you will want to first dust your peel with the 00 flour, then place your dough on top. Give the dough a gentle shake to be sure your dough moves around freely and doesn’t stick to the peel. You will want to work quickly, and if it’s humid, even quicker. Give the dough a shake just before adding your toppings.
Toss any vegetables in olive oil before adding them to your pizza. It will help them cook faster and give them a delicious flavor.
Disperse your toppings evenly to get every topping in each bite.
3 Tips For the Best Results Using the Ooni Backyard Pizza Oven:
Joel and I practiced a lot with this oven because practice makes perfect. You can only get better through trial and error, but really it was very easy to learn and use. We used the wood pallet option, so the advice that I am giving focuses on using wood to heat it up. Joel is the mastermind behind all things using and chopping wood, so I left using the oven up to him while I created the pizzas. All of the following tips are from him.
Have a lot of wood chopped and ready. We went through an entire bowl for five pizzas to feed seven people. You will want to prep all of your wood in advance. The oven heats up and bakes the pizzas quickly, so you won’t have time to stop and chop more wood if your fire is going out.
Heat the oven for 45 minutes with it closed to get the interior stone really hot. Once the oven reaches the correct temperature, leave the oven door off while making the pizzas. We experienced charring when the oven was too hot. It’s all about finding your perfect flow with the correct temperature.
Pay attention to the size of the flame. When you purchase your oven, Ooni sends you a few helpful guides to get the most out of your outdoor pizza oven experience. They have a flame reference which easily explains the type of flames that you do and do not want. If your flame is too small, the oven will not heat up evenly and it could cause (it does cause) your dough to not quite be done enough on the bottom.
Ooni Tools & Accessories That I Recommend:
The oven is easy to move, but it’s easier to leave it outside than moving it back and forth. I recommend buying the specific cover from Ooni to make it easy to store!
You will want a peel to launch the pizzas into the oven. I recommend looking at the selection that Ooni offers as they are designed specifically for the oven.
You are going to need A LOT of wood if you are using the wood pallet option. Joel and I had oak slabs on hand from home projects, but not everyone does. Ooni has made it convenient to buy the pre-chopped wood directly from their website. If you purchase your own wood from somewhere else, be sure that you are not using pressure-treated wood. You want real hardwood that does not have chemical compounds added to it.