Last Updated on July 9, 2022 by Stefano
Oven is one of the most important equipment to make pizza. In this article I will help you to find the best pizza oven for your needs, providing information from experience. In fact I perfectly know that it’s easy to be overwhelmed with the number of options for pizza ovens. Moreover choosing to buy a new one often means to invest an important amount of money. You will soon realize that there is not an answer to the question what is the best pizza oven. But for sure you can find what is best for you.
Buying the wrong oven brings frustration. Because you dedicate a lot of time to make pizza dough to then realize that the result was not what you expected. So, before investing money in pizza equipment, better to consider a few aspects of pizza baking.
In today’s article I will introduce you to the following topics:
- Buy oven according to pizza style
- pizza oven wood vs gas
- electric pizza oven
- pizza oven size
- professional pizza oven
- pizza oven price
- What is best pizza oven
In this guide I am not going to necessarily sponsor you a brand or another. I am not here to sell. I am instead giving you food for thoughts. So that if you decide to invest money in a pizza oven you can use this article as a guide.
First of all ask yourself what pizza style you want to make. Because the oven will make a huge difference in having good results or not.
Buy oven according to Pizza style
Each pizza style needs to be baked at certain temperatures. That is why is very important to decide what do you want to do with your oven. This will be your starting point.
As a second reflection I invite you to think if you want to bake more than one pizza style. Or if on the contrary you want a really dedicated oven.
So let’s try to make a few distinction from this starting point.
Neapolitan Pizza Oven
I am pretty confident that if you are here you are most probably looking for a Neapolitan pizza oven. In fact this is the most wanted Italian pizza style. But at the same time is also the pizza style that requires a proper oven.
As you may know, to bake a Neapolitan pizza, you need high temperatures: definitely more than 400Celsius. Baking a Neapolitan pizza has to be fast. For the traditional one, 60/90 seconds. A bit more for the modern Neapolitan pizza.
This reduces the options you have on the pizza ovens market. In the following paragraph I will be focusing on ovens that are oriented to high temperatures. I will also explain why I think that some of them are not ideal, even if the price can be attractive at first sight.
There is one more good thing in investing in a Neapolitan pizza oven. In fact – with a bit of experience – you can use it also for other pizza styles that cannot be reproduced in a standard home oven. In any case, Neapolitan pizza oven is mandatory for this pizza style. Forget about experiments with other methods or home oven. Is a call for disaster.
Roman pizza oven
One sometimes underestimated Italian pizza is the one you can eat in Rome. Sometimes called Roma-style, some other times pizza in sheet tray. Or even the now famous Pinsa. All of them are baked at high temperature. Certainly over 300 Celsius.
The temperature required for those pizza styles, means that majority of standard home ovens are out of the game. However, often a neapolitan pizza oven will work also for roman pizza.
The big challenge here will be to find the right oven where is pretty much easy to set the temperatures you need. So, if you are interested in making roman style as well as Neapolitan style maybe you prefer to go for an electric oven. In fact only in electric ovens you can set a temperature and have the oven maintaining it for you. With gas oven and wood oven this goal is not always easy and requires a bit of experience and tests.
Pizza in home oven
Focaccia and few others pizza styles do not require crazy temperatures. If you think for example to make a Sfincione, rest assured that your home oven will be perfect for it.
However, if you are buying new kitchen equipment and you are looking for the next home oven maybe is worth to search on the market for something that is more than an average one.
What I mean is: an average home oven provides a limited range of temperatures. Generally between 220 and 250 Celsius. This reduces the pizza styles you can bake.
However the market offers also ovens that can reach 300 Celsius. I have one of them at home and I manage to prepare also roman style without issues! In fact the ground of the oven, where you normally put the sheet tray, is touching 320 Celsius!
Pizza oven wood vs gas
Once you decided what is the pizza style, is time to think about the fuel of the oven. I expect that many of you will look at wood oven vs gas oven for Neapolitan Pizza.
Let me try to compare them with a table to ease your decision and evaluate the advantage and disadvantage of the two.
Wood Ovens Pros and Cons
|If portable: easier to use out of home (no need to carry gas) if||Requires management of fire/wood|
|very cool to use and excellent for marketing||Needs management of smoke produced by wood|
|dual fuel (Gas + oven) often available||Often less efficient than gas|
And now let’s consider pros and cons of a gas oven:
Gas Ovens Pros and Cons
|Does not produce smoke||You need to carry with you gas|
|Generally more efficient||subject to regulations, need to check what is valid for your country|
|Can be connected to home gas pipes (not always)||Often requires accessories to make it more efficient (eg.: front door)|
|Little bit easier to increase/decrease temperatures||-|
If you think that one more difference is related to the taste that wood can bring to the pizza, then you better change your mind. If the oven is well built, there should be no difference in taste. At the end of the day the oven is meant to cook ingredients with the heat. Source of the heat does not matter!
In both wood pizza oven and gas pizza oven, you need to also consider that they work exclusively outdoor. Forget about using them in a closed environment. This is a must consideration for portable pizza ovens. Of course if you are running a business and need to buy a professional pizza oven for your pizzeria the situation is different. Let alone that parameters you need to keep in mind when buying are on other level. For example in a professional environment you need to calculate how many pizza you expect to bake during a service. So that you don’t buy an oven which is too small or too big!
Electric pizza oven
What if you do not have space outdoor? And if you want to have an easy management of temperatures? Or if you don’t plan to have a portable oven? Then electric pizza oven is an excellent choice.
You have to be careful here. The market offer is huge. But the quality and results you can get are not always satisfying. Once again, first start thinking at what pizza style you want to make. That will help you shortlisting only a few pizza ovens.
It is also important to consider the price. Generally speaking, the more you pay, the best you have. I know, this is a pretty obvious sentence. But you can be attracted by some promises from the advertisements and then be really disappointed.
So, let’s make it simple.
Electric pizza oven for Neapolitan Pizza
For Neapolitan pizza, you want ovens that can reach at least 450 Celsius. If you find ovens that claim to arrive to less than that temperature, they are most probably not good enough! For example you can find some small round ovens that claim to be good option for Neapolitan. Well, I am sorry to say that I disagree with the statement. I am referring to ovens similar to this one:
You can still try, but you have to tune a lot of variables in order to have a close-to-neapolitan pizza.
On the other end you can buy semi-professional electric pizza ovens that are unbelievably good! The most famous for home users are produced by EffeUno, GGF and recently there is also the Macte Ovens. The Effeuno, from the smallest to the higher end models are the ones to beat. They are a bit pricey but the quality justifies the money spent.
GGF, with the Micro line, also makes excellent quality ovens. You can find some Youtube videos with tests making Neapolitan pizza without issues. Same goes with Macte. Bear in mind though, that you need to check power consumption and if the solution has the electric resistance both in upper and lower part of the oven. This will make a pretty important difference in the time required to stone to go back in temperature after you baked a pizza.
Worth to mention is that often in these ovens you don’t even need to turn your pizza. Or maybe just one time in the middle of baking. That’s it! Definitely less fun than gas/wood, but you get your pizza in an easier way.
Every other Pizza style
If you select one of the ovens that can make Neapolitan Pizza, you can then use them for any other pizza style. Moreover you can make focaccia.
The advantage of an electric pizza oven is that you decide what is the operational temperature. Therefore they are much more flexible and easy to use than gas or wood ovens. In fact you just set the temperature, like any other home oven, and you are ready to bake your favorite pizza style.
Of course then you should ask yourself if you really need such a powerful (and expensive) oven if you are not making pizza at high temperature. And this is a fair question. Clearly it is better to save your money and keep making pizza with what you have already available.
If you are searching for a professional electric pizza oven then the story is different. The same as for gas and wood, other parameters will kick in, included what your restaurant or pizzeria are serving to clients. It’s obvious that you are not going to serve with the same oven a focaccia and a neapolitan pizza, don’t you?
Electric Pros and Cons
Let’s close this topic talking about some pros and cons of electric ovens. This will help you understanding if is better for you to look at different options, like gas and wood ovens.
Electric Ovens Pros and Cons
|Easier management of tempratures||They require more time to reach the wanted temperature|
|Don't need too much turning of pizza while cooking||Power consumption is generally pretty high|
|Can be used indoor||They are heavy|
|Good for any pizza style||Less fun|
Pizza oven size
Last but not least, when you want to buy an oven you need to consider how big you want it. Or how big you need it.
For gas and wood ovens for home usage, you mostly have two sizes: 12 inches or 16 inches. My recommendation is: go for the bigger.
You want to make two considerations here. First, the small ovens heat too quick and release the heat to the pizza dough too fast. Is very common to see around pizzas that are burnt, especially on the base. Second, is much more convenient to have enough space to bake the big traditional Neapolitan pizza and still have enough space to use the small peel to turn it.
A little bit easier is the decision for electric ovens size. Here the standard is to have at least 40cm large stone. Bigger than that for home usage is a waste of energy.
Professional pizza ovens
Until now I referred only a few times to professional pizza ovens. This article is in fact more oriented to home bakers. The reason is obvious: professional bakers need to look from a completely different perspective what to buy. Buying the right oven is like using the right engine for a specific car. It requires selection with care.
Also in this case the first aspect to consider is the pizza style. Clearly you can’t make Neapolitan pizza if your oven is not meant for it. In professional pizza ovens lines, you can also find some of them that are certified by the AVPN. But besides the certification an oven is a critical investment for a business. Buy a too big oven and you are calling for a disaster on expenses. Same goes if you buy a too small one.
Also, in professional pizza oven you can find some very interesting solutions. For example you can buy one with rotating “platea” (the ground of the oven) that will ease the baking homogeneity of pizza. Or some brands offer multiple fuel sources. I mean, buying such kind of ovens for your restaurant or pizzeria requires planning.
Nevertheless, consider that the majority of ovens we use at home for pizza are derived from professional equipment. Often they are exactly the same you would find in a pizzeria (if not better) but in a small scale. This is especially valid for electric ovens.
Pizza oven price
Buying a pizza oven is an important investment nowadays. Especially after the prices increase we have observed during the last couple of years. I think that if you are an home pizza-maker you really need to have a justification to spend several hundreds bucks to make a neapolitan pizza at home.
In fact even the cheapest oven is still quite expensive.
On the other end, if you think about it, passion is passion. How much money we spend for our hobbies and passions? So why not to spend some money for a pizza oven then? 🙂
If you want to know about costs, you have to save from around 300 Euro/Dollars to buy an excellent and pretty cheap pizza gas oven Masaniello up to more than 1000 Euro/dollars to buy a magnificent electric pizza oven Effeuno Evolution. Just let’s set the expectation: a pizza oven will not make you a better pizza-maker 🙂 Actually you need to remember that such ovens require you to learn how to use them.
What is best pizza oven
Honestly, there is no answer to this question. Because the truth is that there is not a BEST oven in general. On the contrary there is one that works better for you.
In the previous paragraph I tried to give you some hints on what to buy. I personally use at home Ooni koda 16 and I think it’s doing a great job. But nowadays the majority of ovens on the market are giving great results, once you know how to use them.
Instead of thinking about the best pizza oven, try to get information from other users on forums and other social media. There is plenty of people who will be able to help.
And don’t forget that you can always drop me e message. I will be glad to help.