Ooni Pro Outdoor Pizza Oven Review

Product Review: Ooni Pro Outdoor Pizza Oven by Bestbackyardgear.com

If you are constantly craving truly fantastic pizza, investing in an awesome outdoor pizza oven makes a lot of sense. While not everyone has the room or budget for a traditional, permanent brick wood-fired oven in their backyard, thankfully there are several portable outdoor pizza ovens on the market right now that claim to be able to create incredible flame cooked pizzas. The one that many pizzaiolos out there considered “the best” is the Ooni Pro Multi-Fuel Outdoor Pizza Oven.

Ooni (known as Uuni until recently) is a company with a reputation for affordable portable outdoor pizza ovens that can create incredible flame-cooked meals in a very short time. They currently have 3 different models that all have high reviews: the Ooni Pro (multi-fueled), the Ooni 3 (solely wood fired), and the Ooni Koda (solely gas powered).

Today we’re looking at the Ooni Pro, their most recent and highest-end model. In this Ooni Pro Outdoor Pizza Oven Review, I will discuss how it works, how well it works, some minor drawbacks with it, how it compares to other top rated outdoor pizza ovens, and where to get the best deal when you buy it online.

By the end of this review, you should have a good idea as to whether the Ooni Pro Pizza Oven is right for you.


 

Ooni Pro Product Specs

The Ooni Pro is a newer model for the Ooni family. Later on in this review we’ll see how the it compares with the Ooni 3, the long time popular pizza oven, but for now, let’s get an overview picture of the Ooni Pro.  Here are the basic specs:

  • Size: 29″ L x 19″ W x 31″ H
  • Cooking Surface Size: 17.7″ x 17.7″
  • Recommended Max Pizza Size: 16″
  • Fuel Source: Multi-fuel capabilities. Out of the box it comes able to cook using wood chunks or charcoal, but you can also purchase adapters that allows you to convert it propane gas or wood pellets.
  • Max Temperature: 932ºF (500ºC)
  • Time Requirement for Pre-Heating (according to Ooni): 20 minutes (Gas is 10 mins)
  • Temperature Adjustment Method: Dual air flow controls on the stack
  • Weight: 57lbs
  • Versatility: You can cook anything that cooks in an oven, not just pizza. Roast meat, fish, or vegetables, bake bread or naan, etc. You can fit a 12″ cast iron skillet inside it easily.
  • Materials: It has a brushed 403 stainless steel body with ceramic fiber insulation and a birch wood door handle. The baking board is made from cordierite stone
  • Included With Purchase: 
    • Ooni Pro Pizza Oven
    • Stone Baking Board (4 parts)
    • Oven Door (with built-in thermometer)
    • Pizza Door (with postbox-style entry)
    • Wood & Charcoal Burner Tray
    • Essentials Guide & Manual
    • Allen Key
    • Ooni Pizza Oven Gloves

How Does The Ooni Pro Work?

If you are into pizza making at all, one of the first things you will have learned is that to make truly fantastic pizza, you need an extremely hot oven. So your first step is to light and pre-heat your pizza oven, obviously.

After selecting your preferred fuel choice, hinge on the “Oven Door”, light her up and then go prep your pizza dough and toppings (and relax a bit) while it thoroughly heats up. (You’ll find that skimping on the wait will mean that the baking stone isn’t hot enough to resist dough sticking.) The time it takes to preheat the oven depends on your fuel source… gas is quickest (900 in under 10 mins), while wood and charcoal can take apparently up to 45 mins to get really high.

Once your oven thermometer indicates it’s ready, and your pizza is on the peel ready to slide in (don’t forget the cornmeal or flour to aid sliding), then and only then remove the “Oven Door”. Hook on the Pizza Door (with the post-box style entry), and slide the pizza onto the hot stone. You can turn the pizza through the opening in the door, as needed.

It will take some trial and error before you perfect your pizza making as far as timing and turning, but within no more than a minute or two your pizza should be done and ready for inhaling (after it cools a bit)…

(The Ooni Pro is apparently very good at heat retention even with the opening in the Pizza Door. Many people even leave the Pizza Door off to save themselves a step as the pizza cooks so quickly. If you feel the need to pump it up to full heat again after doing a few pizzas, however, just close it up with the Oven Door for a few minutes.)

Honestly, by all accounts, Ooni here has made a very simple and intuitive oven. But as it’s easier to see it done than read about the “how”, check out this video to see it in action:

 


Ooni Pro Outdoor Pizza Oven Review: FAQs

Skip Past FAQs

 

What’s the difference between Ooni and Uuni?  There is no difference; it’s the same brand. They began with calling themselves Uuni, but to Ooni as so many people had trouble pronouncing the name. The official change date was July 17, 2018.

How difficult is it to assemble the Ooni Pro Pizza Oven? Assembly is very simple. Most of the pieces actually just click into place. It comes with an allen key that you’ll use to screw in a few pieces, but overall, it should be a quick and painless process.

Do I need to season the oven somehow when I first use it? It’s a very good idea to do a “first burn”, where you let the oven get really hot for some time (30 mins should do it).

table full of wood-fired pizzasWhat kind of wood should I use for the wood burning option? Any hard, slow-burning wood. If you use wood chips, you’ll burn through them (pun intended) extremely quickly.

How do I light the wood? The easiest would be a fire-starter, but many also choose to use a small chimney of hot charcoal lumps.

How do I clean the Ooni Pro? The manual that comes with the oven provides maintenance suggestions. You can use a wire brush to clean the inside stones, and a small brush and pan or vacuum to sweep out ashes from the wood/charcoal tray.

Any tips for cooking multiple pizzas? It will be easiest to maintain your super hot temperature using gas as fuel, but it can be done with wood, charcoal, or pellets if you are patient and allow it time to re-heat as needed between cooks (or every few cooks).

Do I keep the stack vents open during cooking?  If you are using gas as fuel, you close the vents. Any other source and the fire needs to be stoked by oxygen… thus keep them open. There are suggestions in the provided manual for how to do this.

Where should I set up my pizza oven? Outside. This is absolutely not an indoor cooking oven. Aside from that, you’ll need to find a place that has clearance behind the oven to allow for air flow (Ooni recommends 3′ between the back of the oven and a wall). You’ll need the area above the chimney stack to be open as well – remember that there’s extreme heat in the oven that is escaping out and up from the stack… if your roof or overhang is too close you’ll have some serious warping or discoloring.

If you are setting up your outdoor pizza oven in a more permanent location (as opposed to on a movable cart, for example), you should definitely get the cover to protect it from the elements.

Can I bake bread with the Ooni Pro? Yes, bread or anything else that you typically cook in an oven. Keep in mind that maintaining an even temperature throughout the cooking time isn’t exactly easy at first… count on a learning curve.  A tip from other users: baking bread is easiest using gas as a fuel source, as it’s the easiest for maintaining the temperatures.

Can I adjust the temperature? If you are using wood or charcoal, there are 2 ways you can adjust the temperature. 1) By adding more or less wood/charcoal. Charcoal does keep a fairly even temperature, but if you want a burst of heat, add some small pieces of hardwood. 2) Adjust the flue. Fully opening the flue will raise the temperature. More air flow = more oxygen feeding the fire. Adversely, closing the flue cuts off oxygen and your fire will diminish.

These are not a quick changes, but it’s definitely doable. The door with the window has a thermometer built into it so you can confirm the change is occurring. Over time this will become easier – most customers claim it takes a few burnt pizzas, unfortunately, to get the hang of the perfect cooking temperature.

With the gas burner attachment it’s a fair bit simpler, as you just adjust the heat control knob to adjust the flame.


 

My Personal Conclusions This Pizza Oven

Wood Fired Oven Pizza

What appeals to me most about this oven compared to other pizza ovens is the size. The ability to make a large 16″ pizza or 2 small 7″ pizzas at a time let me quickly make enough for my family – which is important because kids aren’t exactly patient.

I also really love that it can fit a 12″ cast iron pan inside it with room to maneuver – meaning I can make LOTS of incredible food in this.

Besides the size, the versatility of fuel sources is something that completely hooks me in. The optional gas attachment for me is a no-brainer. Even though I personally love that wood-smoke flavor and the traditional aspect of a wood-fired oven, the practicality of a quick pre-heat made possible by a gas flame when I’m short on time (or need consistency when cooking for a crowd) just makes sense to me.

Another appeal for me is how hot I can get it. To make that perfect crust, you really do need a piping hot oven and quality stones that can handle that heat without cracking. This one has both – and I didn’t have to build an expensive, permanent traditional wood-fired oven to get it.

The more I learn about the Ooni Pro Outdoor Oven, the more I watch it in action, the more I read the raving reviews from customers around the web, the more I’m impressed.


Pros and Cons

wood oven cooked pizza

So what are customers saying about this particular pizza oven? What’s the general consensus out there in and amongst all of the product reviews? The specs and product info sounds fantastic, but is there anything about it that people aren’t loving? Let’s look at the Pros and Cons as I gleaned them from forums and product reviews around the web.

PROS

 

CONS

 
Versatility Of Food Due To SizeIt's large for a high end portable outdoor oven, and as such, is able to cook a range of foods. You aren't "stuck" just with cooking pizza.
It can fit a 12" cast iron pan inside with room to maneuver it.
Long Pre-Heat Time, Especially With Wood:Reviewers repeatedly claim it can take a fairly long time to get this oven piping hot if you are cooking with wood as your fuel. Apparently 45-60 minutes of preheating time isn't unusual, so heads up if you're someone constantly in a rush... that's much longer than the acclaimed "10 minute preheat" (this timing is for based on preheating with gas as fuel, it seems).
Versatility Of Fuel:Although many claim nothing beats cooking over/with real wood, and/or love the even dry heat of charcoal cooking, gas is very convenient and quick, and pellets, well pellet cooking is the new and exciting wood-fuel source on the market - clean, cheap, really easy. Having the option to do any is pretty nice.Not Really Portable:Although Ooni claims it's a portable oven, it's rather heavy and awkward to carry at 57lbs and with 4 loose tiles of expensive cordierite stone in the bottom that you don't want to have crack. A wheeled cart is what makes it portable.
Impressive Heat:There's no argument out there that the Ooni Pro isn't capable of very high heat. I find it amazing how this fairly thin steel oven can produce as much concentrated heat that of as a traditional brick oven, but from all of the homework I've done studying this outdoor oven, there are NO complaints about the heat production!Fairly Steep Learning Curve:Unlike a conventional oven, you can't just set the temperature, put your food in it, and walk away. You'll need to count on some time and ingredients "wasted" perhaps while you "get the feel" for how it works best, how long to preheat, when to rotate your food, etc.
Lots Of Accessories:There's an impressive amount of compatible accessories available, from covers to peels to cast iron pans and more.Pizza Apparently Can Stick To Stone:More than one reviewer claimed to have problems with getting their pizzas off of the stone, saying that their dough tended to stick. (Others respond to those comments with recommendations to pre-heat the stones longer, or use more cornmeal dusting.)
Fantastic Customer Service:Buyers usually want to know if the customer service will be decent if it's needed. Ooni has a fantastic reputation for pleasant, professional, and exceptional customer service. I was unable to find a single negative comment (which is says something... negative experiences are usually very quickly made public). Apparently their reps really go above and beyond.

 


Comparison: OONI PRO vs ROCCBOX vs OONI 3

How does this pizza oven compare to 2 of the other top rated outdoor pizza ovens, the Roccbox Pizza Oven, a fairly new oven that has received a fair bit of acclaim, and the Ooni 3 (a previously released model from Ooni that has tremendous popularity)?

Let’s compare the main features:

 

Ooni Pro

Roccbox

Ooni 3

roccbox pizza oven
Amazon Rating4.6 / 5 stars4.7 / 5 stars4.3 / 5 stars
Max Pizza Size:16" 11"12"
FuelMulti-Fueled: Wood, Charcoal, Gas, Pellet (Gas and Pellet attachments extra)Dual Fueled: Gas and Wood (both included)Wood Pellets
(Gas attachment extra)
Max Temp:932ºF
932ºF
932ºF
Portability:Solid piece,
Approx 60lbs
Detachable Burners, Retractable LegsRemovable Chimney, Hinged Legs
Approx 30lbs
ThermometerBuilt Into Oven DoorBuilt Into Oven BodyNone. Infrared Thermometer (additonal cost) recommended
Special Features/Extras:Comes With 2 Doors: Oven Door and Pizza Door With Postbox Style Entry,
Pizza Oven Gloves Included
"Safe Touch" Silicone Skin around Oven Body,
Pizza Peel and Hopper Tool Included
Also available in Green
Extremely portable
Price:$$$$$ (Approx $100 more than Ooni Pro)$ (approx half price of Ooni Pro)

 

You can also check out this great comparison video (Ooni Pro vs Ooni 3):

 


To Buy Or Not To Buy…

So, on the whole, I would definitely recommend this product. And an impressive 79% of people who reviewed this product on Amazon gave it the highest rating of  5 / 5 stars – so don’t take just my word for it. 

I think if you are looking for an oven to make pizzas just “on occasion”, or you intend to make personal size pizzas only, then you might want to save yourself some money and check deeper into the Ooni 3.

But if you’re a serious pizza lover, if you intend to cook awesome pizzas on a very regular basis or know you’ll be cooking for a crowd, if the idea of cooking other foods in it besides pizza appeals to you, if you like the idea of playing around with various fuel sources, then moving up to the Ooni Pro Outdoor Pizza Oven will be well worth the upgrade. 

I’ve done some research on where to buy this product, and so far the best deal is through the Ooni website itself – they offer free shipping, but also a registered 3 year warranty.  That, plus their 60 day money back guarantee (should you not love it) makes it a smart choice to get from them as well.

 

CLICK HERE To Take Advantage of Ooni’s Free Shipping and 3 year Guarantee: Get The Ooni Pro Outdoor Pizza Oven

 


 

I hope you enjoyed this review! As always, if you have any questions about this product reviewed today, or want to leave your own personal review, leave a comment below.

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