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29 July 2021

Best pizza ovens

We've tested wood-fired and gas pizza ovens from Aldi, Gozney, Ooni and more to help you cook the tastiest pizza at home
Joel Bates
MAIN fresh coocked pizza from outdoor pizza oven

Takeaway pizza is all well and good, but nothing really compares to the smoky taste and perfect texture that a flaming hot pizza oven will give you.

In July 2021 we tested six of the UK's most popular pizza ovens from the likes of Aldi, Burnhard, Gozney, Ooni and Sage, to find out which ones will take your home pizza cooking to the next level.

We're also testing more – stay tuned for our full test results of the Igneus Minimo, the La Hacienda Multifunction Wood Fired Oven 56173 and the Ooni Karu 12.

The pizza oven you choose makes all the difference. You want it to reach the right temperatures, maintain the flames, be easy to clean afterwards and, of course, create delicious pizza.

Along with our full test results, we've rounded up expert advice on buying a pizza oven, to help you on your journey to becoming a pizza aficionado.

Read our guide to find out which models we recommend, and important things to bear in mind if you decide to shop for the best pizza ovens.

Prices and availability last checked: 21 July 2021.

The best pizza ovens

Only logged-in Which? members can view the pizza ovens test results below. 

If you're not yet a member, you'll see an alphabetically ordered list of the pizza ovens we tested. Join Which? now to get instant access to our test scores and Best Buy recommendations below.

Aldi Gardenline Table Top Pizza Oven

Cheapest price: £129.99 at Aldi (out of stock)

Type: Wood-fired

Fuel(s): Wood pellets

Size and weight: 78 x 35 x 74cm (H x W x D), 8.5kg

Maximum pizza size: 10.5 inches

Other key features: 28 x 28cm cordierite pizza stone

As you might expect, this Aldi pizza oven is significantly cheaper than the others we tested. Could it be a bargain route into home pizza cooking, or are you better off paying more?

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Burnhard Nero Stainless Steel Outdoor Pizza Oven

Burnhard Nero

Cheapest price: £299.99 at Amazon (out of stock)

Type: Multi-fuel

Fuel(s): Wood pellets, wood logs, charcoal briquettes, lump charcoal

Size and weight: 83 x 41 x 81cm (HxWxD), 15kg

Maximum pizza size: 12 inches

Other key features: 10-inch aluminium pizza peel, 36 x 32cm cordierite pizza stone, integrated thermometer

The Burnhard Nero can use charcoal as well as wood, so we tested it separately using wood logs and charcoal briquettes to see if we could spot any major differences in how it cooks.

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Gozney Roccbox pizza oven

Gozney Roccbox

Cheapest price: £399 at Amazon, Gozney

Type: Multi-fuel

Fuel(s): Gas, wood logs (requires Roccbox Wood Burner 2.0, £100, available at Gozney)

Size and weight: 47 x 41 x 53cm (HxWxD), 20kg

Maximum pizza size: 12 inches

Other key features: 12-inch perforated aluminium pizza peel, 31.5 x 34cm cordierite pizza stone, detachable gas burner, hose and regulator, bottle opener, carry strap

The Gozney Roccbox comes with plenty of features, including a carry strap, a pizza peel and even a bottle opener. We fired it up several times using both the gas and wood burners to see if it you'll also get delicious pizza along with all those bells and whistles.

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Ooni Fyra 12

Cheapest price: £249 at John Lewis, Lakeland, Ooni. Also available at Amazon

Type: Wood-fired

Fuel(s): Wood pellets

Size and weight: 72 x 39 x 57cm (HxWxD), 10kg

Maximum pizza size: 12 inches

Other key features: 33 x 33cm cordierite pizza stone

The Ooni Fyra 12 is the brand's cheapest pizza oven, costing around £50 less than Ooni's other 12-inch models. Our test results reveal whether we think that's money well saved.

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Ooni Koda 12

Cheapest price: £299 at John Lewis, Lakeland, Ooni. Also available at Amazon

Type: Gas

Fuel(s): Gas (propane)

Size and weight: 30 x 39 x 62cm (HxWxD), 9.25kg

Maximum pizza size: 12 inches

Other key features: 33 x 33cm cordierite pizza stone, gas hose and regulator

If you're put off by the prospect of cleaning up ash and soot when you use your pizza oven, a gas model such as the Ooni Koda 12 could be best for you. We compared it with the wood-fired pizza ovens to see if there's a significant difference in taste.

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Sage The Smart Oven Pizzaiolo SPZ820BSS

Cheapest price: £699.95, available at Harrods, Sage, also available at AO.com, Amazon (out of stock), Lakeland

Type: Electric

Fuel(s): Electricity

Size and weight: 27 x 47 x 46cm (HxWxD), 15kg

Maximum pizza size: 11 inches

Other key features: 11-inch aluminium pizza peel30 x 30cm cordierite pizza stone, 30 x 30cm pizza pan

This Sage pizza oven is the only one we tested that lives in the kitchen instead of the garden. You can adjust the settings to cook thin, deep pan, wood-fired or even frozen pizzas. We pitted its wood-fired-style pizzas against the real thing to see if electric pizza ovens can compete with traditional wood fired ones.

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Barbecue-top pizza ovens

As well as putting wood-fired, gas and electric pizza ovens through our full tests, we tried out a couple of popular barbecue-top pizza ovens to see if you can still get delicious pizza without shelling out for a full oven.

La Hacienda BBQ Pizza Oven

La Hacienda BBQ Pizza Oven

Cheapest price: £118 at Amazon

Type: Barbecue-top

Fuel(s): Charcoal briquettes or gas

Size and weight: 15 x 40 x 35cm (HxWxD), 8.4kg

Maximum pizza size: 11 inches

Other key features: 30 x 30cm cordierite pizza stone, built-in thermometer

La Hacienda makes both standalone pizza ovens and barbecue-top-style ones for those with limited space. We tried out the La Hacienda BBQ Pizza Oven to see if you can still get delicious pizza without having to get a full-sized pizza oven.

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Lidl Barbecue Pizza Oven

Lidl Barbecue Pizza Oven

Cheapest price: £39.99 at Lidl (in store only, stock varies)

Type: Barbecue-top

Fuel(s): Charcoal briquettes or gas

Size and weight: 14 x 40 x 35cm (HxWxD), 4kg

Maximum pizza size: 11 inches

Other key features: 30 x 30cm cordierite pizza stone, built-in thermometer

The Lidl Barbecue Pizza Oven is available seasonally in store in the middle aisles of Lidl. If it cooks pizzas as well as the standalone pizza ovens, it could prove to be a fantastic bargain. But can this low-cost pizza oven really compete with the big brands?

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

How we tested pizza ovens

We selected six of the UK's bestselling pizza ovens and cooked more than 25 pizzas, to find out which ovens are the easiest to use and which ones cook the best pizza.

We bought every pizza oven we tested and we don't accept gifts, so you can be certain that our reviews are unbiased and independent.

Portability and stability

Freestanding pizza ovens like those we tested are often billed as portable, so we weighed them and carried them a short distance, taking bulkiness and comfort into account.

It's also very important that an oven that gets as hot as 500°C is perfectly stable, so we checked that the pizza ovens had strong legs and weren't prone to wobbling.

Ease of use

Cooking pizza in a pizza oven is an experience to be enjoyed. When getting the flames going, heating the oven to temperature and cooking pizzas, we noted any design elements or features that impacted our cooking experience.

If it's difficult to control the temperature or feed the flames, a struggle to get pizzas out of the oven or to turn them, or if it's hard to see what you're doing, cooking pizzas can quickly become a stressful experience.

Time to reach cooking temperature

Pizza ovens need to reach consistently high temperatures to give a perfectly browned and crispy base to your pizza.

The optimum cooking temperature is between 400°C and 500°C, and it can be frustrating if your pizza oven takes a long time to reach that temperature or fails to reach it at all.

We used a temperature gun to record the surface temperature of the pizza stone in the oven, and timed how long it took to reach 400°C. Some pizza ovens took as little as 15 minutes to heat, whereas others couldn't get that hot after an hour of heating.

Pizza quality

We cooked three of the most popular types of pizza – margherita, pepperoni and vegetarian – in each pizza oven so we could compare the textures and flavours.

We used the same method and recipe to prepare the dough, allowed it to proof for the same amount of time (24 hours), and used exactly the same method and ingredients to prepare and cook each pizza.

We then photographed and tasted every pizza we cooked, checking for evenness of cooking, the texture of the crust and base, and any flavours that were especially present or lacking.

Cleaning

After cooking with each pizza oven, we allowed it to cool fully before cleaning it. Pizza ovens can be messy if there's leftover flour, stuck-on bits or areas where ash can collect, so we took note when the pizza ovens we tested were especially hard to clean.

Types of pizza oven

types of pizza ovens

Freestanding pizza ovens

Gas, wood-fired and multi-fuel options are available for this popular pizza oven type.

  • Mid-range prices They usually cost between £200 and £700, so although still a considerable investment, these pizza ovens sit between the basic models and the premium ovens that go into four figures.
  • Portable Although their size and weight can still be considerable, this type of pizza oven is designed to be set up and used anywhere, so you could take it camping or to the beach if you wanted.
  • One at a time It's rare for portable pizza ovens of this type to have room for more than one pizza at a time. Most of those we've tested can fit pizzas of around 11 or 12 inches maximum.
Portable pizza ovens

Barbecue-top pizza ovens

These are often made up of a simple metal box with a pizza stone inside. They sit on top of a barbecue and are heated from below using the grill.

  • Check before you buy Your barbecue grill area needs to be large enough to accommodate the pizza oven you’re interested in buying. Make sure to measure it up.
  • Slower to cook There’s no overhead heat like there is with a portable pizza oven, so they cook more slowly, but you’ll still need to keep an eye on them to avoid them burning the pizza.
  • Gas is easiest In our experience, these ovens are more straightforward to use with a gas barbecue, because it’s easier to maintain a consistent temperature.
Barbecue -top pizza ovens

Brick or clay pizza ovens

If you’re really into pizza, you might want to invest in a purpose-built pizza oven as a feature for your garden.

  • Ready made or build your own You can either buy a ready-made oven or build your own using a pre-built model with assembly required, such as the Gozney Stone Core.
  • Wood fired Most models are wood fired, so they take a bit of skill and patience in handling the cooking temperature to get the best out of them.
  • Large sizes These pizza ovens usually have large chambers to fit a roaring fire and several pizzas, so you can cook for several guests and have an area inside to keep your pizzas warm.

Keep your guests comfortable while you're cooking pizza using our garden furniture buying guide.


What's the difference between charcoal, gas and wood-fired pizza ovens?

Freestanding pizza oven

Gas pizza ovens

As is the case with barbecues, gas pizza ovens are for those who value convenience over authenticity.

Gas pizza ovens heat up quickly and are mess-free thanks to there being no ash or leftover fuel, but the smokeless flames can leave your pizzas without the complex flavours you'd get with a wood-fired oven.

Propane burns hotter than butane, and is therefore the preferred gas for use with pizza ovens.

Wood-fired pizza ovens

The traditional and most popular type. They require the most patience and skill, as they take longer to reach cooking temperature than gas, and need constant attention to get the flames to the right size and consistency.

They do, however, produce the tastiest pizza, as the wood smoke infuses additional flavours into the crust and base.

The dryer the wood you use, the better. Avoiding moisture and sap will help your wood to burn cleanly, and prevent the smoke from being too thick and pale. Offcuts of silver birch or similar hardwoods are ideal, and you'll want logs 6-7 inches long for smaller pizza ovens.

Sustainably sourced wood logs are available, and where possible we'd suggest buying these as they will have a reduced impact on the planet.

Charcoal pizza ovens

Charcoal pizza ovens have a similar process to charcoal barbecues.

Some pizza ovens only take fast-burning charcoal briquettes, whereas others can take lump charcoal too.

You'll need to load up the grate and let the coals burn white to get the oven ready for cooking. Pizza ovens with larger grates are best for charcoal, as smaller grates will struggle to produce enough heat to get the oven up to temperature.

Cooking with charcoal can be frustrating, as there's no guarantee that the coals will get the oven consistently hot enough. Topping up the coals will effectively restart the heating process.

What tools do you need to use a pizza oven?

Pizza and pizza oven on a table outside
  • Temperature gun or built-in thermometer It's key for you to be able to keep track of how hot your pizza oven is, to ensure it stays at the right temperature. Between 400°C and 500°C is ideal, so a temperature gun or a built-in thermometer (if your oven has one) is essential for knowing when your pizza oven is ready to cook.
  • Pizza peel You'll need a paddle to take your pizza in and out of the oven safely. You can get aluminium or wood pizza peels, and while the aluminium ones are easier to clean and maintain, they're more prone to sticking. Dusting the peel with flour or semolina will help to prevent your pizza sticking to the peel.
  • Turning peel This smaller paddle has a rounded edge to help you slide it under one side of the pizza and turn it while it's cooking, without the need to take it out. This peel is a handy tool, but it's not essential like the standard pizza peel.
  • Pizza stone These are the cooking surface, and are usually made from moisture-absorbent cordierite. They're fantastic for retaining heat and are key for crisping up the base of your pizza. Most pizza ovens come with a pizza stone included.
  • Pizza cutter A good pizza cutter is key for slicing up and serving your pizza. The larger the circular blade, the better. This prevents the pizza cutter from moving your toppings around, and makes it easier to cut through extra-puffy pizza crusts.
  • Bristle brush Especially useful for wood-fired ovens where ash is likely, a tough bristle brush is handy for removing ash from the pizza stone ready for cooking, as well as for cleaning out your oven after use.

Take your outdoor entertaining to another level – see our guide on how to buy the best hot tub.


00 flour vs strong white flour

There's a wide range of methods for preparing your pizza dough. It largely depends on which style of pizza you're cooking, and personal preference for how puffy you like your crusts to be.

Some people swear by using specialist 00 flour for making pizza dough, as the high protein content makes for a gluten-rich, stretchy dough that won't easily tear.

Others are happy to use basic strong white flour to cook their pizzas, and don't feel there's a big difference in how the pizza tastes.

As a small extra test, we tried cooking pizzas with 00 flour and strong white flour in a kitchen oven and a wood-fired pizza oven, and blind-tasted them to see what differences we could uncover.

The main differences we noticed were at the preparation stage. 00 flour was much easier to stretch and mold, whereas strong white flour was much more prone to tearing.

In terms of flavour, the differences were much easier to pick out when the pizzas were cooked in a kitchen oven, with the 00 flour offering a much richer and more complex flavour.

It was tougher to tell the difference when pizzas were cooked in a wood-fired oven. Both were infused with delicious smoky flavour, and had browned, crispy bases.

There isn't a huge amount to split the flour on price, either. Although strong white flour is much easier to find than 00 flour, both cost around £1.30 to £3 per kilo on average.


If you'd rather let technology take care of making the pizza dough, head to our bread maker reviews to find the best ones for making pizza dough.


Six tips for cooking with a pizza oven

  • Keep a consistent temperature 400-500°C is ideal for cooking pizza, but some ovens can get up to 800°C or more. A consistent heat will cook your pizzas evenly and keep them from burning unexpectedly.
  • Dust your peel with flour Pizza dough sticks very easily, so dusting your peel with flour will help it to slide on and off. Be careful not to overdo it, though, as too much flour underneath will burn and taste bitter.
  • Assemble your pizza on the peel Save yourself the stress of trying to slide the peel underneath the squishy dough and avoid ruining the shape of your pizza. The peel is the perfect assembly station as long as you dust it first and remember to give it a shake every 30 seconds to stop the pizza sticking.
  • Rotate it regularly Especially in gas and wood-fired pizza ovens, the strongest heat comes from one direction. You'll want to rotate your pizza a few times during cooking to make sure it cooks evenly. Once every 30 seconds is a good rule of thumb to follow. 
  • Cook other food too Pizza isn't the only thing a pizza oven is good for. If you have cookware that can handle the heat, there are endless possibilities – try roasting a joint of beef or even steaming a pot of mussels.
  • Don't overdo it with toppings Less is definitely more when cooking with a pizza oven. Too many toppings will leave you with a soggy base and watery top. The crust cooks and burns very quickly during cooking, so be minimal with your toppings to ensure they cook just as fast.