Creating pizza at home is a notoriously tricky endeavour – it’s nigh-on impossible to compete with restaurants that have trained dough slingers and powerful ovens. Unless that is, you have your own pizza oven.
The home pizza oven market is thriving and a quick online search brings back multiple products of various shapes, sizes and functionality. When it comes to safety, pizza ovens are no more risky to use than charcoal barbecues, especially when they come with useful accessories such as wooden paddles for loading and removing the pizza dough.
And you don’t necessarily need a garden, with indoor pizza ovens now widely available for use on kitchen countertops. You can easily pay over £1000 for a larger outdoor pizza oven, but if you don’t have that to spend, there are more wallet-friendly options, with some hovering just under the £200 mark.
With the right oven, you can create the blistered, quick-cooked, charred pizzas (and in some cases, many more recipes besides) that hit the spot in the way that only a good pizza can. So how do you cut through the noise to find the pizza oven for you?
Our reviews experts tested 20 pizza ovens across budget, mid-range and luxury brands to bring you this list of the ones we’d buy ourselves. Each model was scored against standardised criteria and marked out of five on the following core aspects: overall build quality, performance and cooking results, ease of build, use, safety and value for money. These scores determined the overall star rating of each pizza oven.
Find out more about how we test products and discover our collection of triple-tested pizza recipes for making delicious pizza at home, from a simple margherita or sourdough pizza with a wonderfully chewy crust to a spinach and blue cheese pizza.
Jump to section:
- What to look for in a pizza oven
- How to choose the best pizza oven
- Best pizza ovens at a glance
- Best pizza ovens to buy in 2021
- How we tested pizza ovens
Start by setting your budget – but know that more money does not always mean a better pizza. If you’re looking to spend a few hundred pounds, ignore large, built-in stone ovens as these complex products are very expensive, usually costing at least £500. Also, consider the space you have available. Some will be gas-fuelled, others need wood, or it may be a multi-fuel. Indoor pizza ovens plug into the mains so don’t need any other means of generating heat.
Portable pizza ovens
If you have a small garden and don’t plan to cook pizza that often, a portable pizza oven would suit your needs. Brands including Gozney, Ooni and Firepod dominate this market and have some impressive ovens in their ranges.
These pint-sized pizza gadgets can often reach high temperatures to rival larger ovens, they can be stored indoors or in a shed, offer excellent cooking results and are very easy to use.
Freestanding pizza ovens
If you think you’ll be making pizza regularly and have the garden to accommodate one, a larger pizza oven might be the best option for you. These large ovens don’t have to be built-in (this is where costs really start to mount up).
You can buy freestanding, large pizza ovens that can be moved around but have ample capacity to cook more than one pizza at a time. These usually have protective covers so you can leave them out all summer, although you’ll probably have to shell out for the cover separately.
Hybrid pizza ovens
Hybrid pizza ovens double up as a barbecue, or in some cases vice versa. Generally speaking, we found gadgets that are specifically designed for making pizzas alone produce the best cooking results for the task at hand.
Barbecue pizza accessories
On the subject of barbecues, one affordable way to make pizzas at home in your garden is to buy a barbecue accessory, such as a pizza stone or box that sits on top of your gas or charcoal barbecue. They too can reach impressive temperatures to achieve the desired stone-baked flavour and finish.
These barbecue-top products win on the storage front but can’t always be classed as pizza ovens in the strictest sense. However, to demonstrate the range of DIY pizza tools available for a wide range of budgets, we’ve included our favourites in this list.
- Best portable pizza oven: Ooni Koda 16 Pizza Oven, £300
- Best countertop pizza oven for indoor use: Optima Pizza Express Napoli, £169
- Best investment pizza oven: Delivita The Chilli Red pizza oven, £1,295
- Best pizza oven for a BBQ: La Hacienda stainless steel BBQ pizza oven, £118
- Best portable pizza oven for beginners: Gozney Roccbox pizza oven, £399
- Best pizza oven for families: Igneus Classico pizza oven, £689
- Best pizza oven for small spaces: Ooni Koda 12 pizza oven, £299
- Best investment indoor pizza oven: Sage the Smart Oven Pizzaiolo, £699.95
The BBC Good Food on-test team proved batches of our basic pizza dough and took to our gardens to test pizza ovens from a broad spectrum of brands. Read on to discover which pizza oven to buy.
Ooni Koda 16 pizza oven
Best portable pizza oven
- Quick to assemble
- Perfect pizzas
- Essential pizza peel and storage cover don’t come with the oven
Star rating: 4.5/5
Ooni is a leading brand in the pizza oven market and for good reason. Their range includes wood-, coal- and gas-powered pizza ovens, available at a range of prices.
The gas-powered Ooni Koda 16 is designed to create authentic-tasting pizzas in just 60 seconds.
It’s a new design released in summer 2020, the original gas-powered Koda being slightly smaller than this new version which can cook a 16-inch pizza. This bigger version is one of the more expensive ovens in Ooni’s range.
The Koda has an innovative L-shaped flame that creates a waterfall effect on the heat transfer, you get a lovely flame-cooked flavour and great heat retention. The finished pizza was really impressive, with lovely charred bubbles in the dough around the crust, a crisp base and melted oozy mozzarella.
At £399, it’s good value for such a durable, top-quality pizza oven. Read our full Ooni Koda 16 pizza oven review
Optima Pizza Express Napoli pizza oven
Best countertop pizza oven for indoor use
- Available from Pizza United (£169)
- Suitable for indoor countertop use
- No bigger than a slow cooker
- Materials feel a bit flimsy, but perform well
Star rating: 4.5/5
Designed and produced in Italy, the Optima Pizza Express Napoli pizza oven is the real deal, packed into one countertop model that’s safe for use indoors. In fact, it plugs into the mains and produces 450-degrees of heat thanks to its pair of heating elements.
The lid lifts up with a heat-proof handle to reveal a refractory stone. Two wooden pizza paddles are included in the box for safely adding your dough and removing the pizza from the hot stone.
Our pizza took four and a half minutes with the lid down to cook during testing. It had a crisp, puffed-up crust, the middle cooked through properly and there was no sogginess from the topping. We gave the pizza itself 9/10 stars.
This is excellent value for money and a practical option for making great pizza if you lack a garden, balcony or safe storage for a more industrial, outdoor option. Read our full Optima Pizza Express Napoli pizza oven review.
Available from: Pizza United (£169)
Sage the Smart Pizziolo
Best investment indoor pizza oven
- Great if you don’t have outdoor space
- Pizza peel and pan included
- Large footprint
- Difficult to clean
Star rating: 4.5/5
The Sage Smart Oven Pizzaiolo is an indoor benchtop pizza oven, claiming to provide ‘brick oven performance at a fraction of the cost’. The sleek metal oven looks like an oversized microwave and sits happily on a countertop or kitchen island to be plugged in to the mains – no outdoor space required. The Smart Oven Pizzaiolo reaches 400C, enabling you to cook pizza in just 2 minutes. There are seven preset modes for all styles of pizza (from New York to deep dish or even frozen), plus a manual mode to choose your own cooking method, where you can customise the temperature, timings and even the direction of heat.
The oven also comes with a heavy round pizza stone that you slot inside the oven to bake the pizzas directly on, plus a long-handled metal pizza peel and a round metal tin to make a deep-dish pizza. The oven takes around 20 minutes to heat up once plugged in and can cook one pizza at a time.
On the ‘wood-fired’ method, we were seriously impressed with the results of our pizza – cooked at 400C, the pizza was ready in just two minutes and had a crisp leopard-spotted crust and perfectly melted cheese.
This model is certainly an investment oven, but ideal if you’re a homemade pizza fan lacking outdoor space. Read our full Sage the Smart Oven Pizzaiolo review.
Delivita The Chilli Red pizza oven
Best investment pizza oven
- Restaurant-quality results
- Temperature retention
- High price
Star rating: 4.5/5
If you want to keep costs low, cover your eyes now. If you’re looking to blow the budget, Delivita offers high-end outdoor cooking equipment that produces stunning results.
Its Chilli Red pizza oven is stylish, high-quality and, most importantly, makes incredible pizza. If you want an actual wood-fired oven rather than a barbecue add-on or pizza-only cooking contraption, this is hard to beat.
One of our favourite things about the Chilli Red is the ability to make tandoori chicken, sourdough bread, a side of salmon and naan, as well as pizza. All were beautifully charred, smoky and succulent.
It’s also technically portable, weighing under 30kg, which is staggering for an oven with such superlative cooking quality. A big outlay, but a purchase that should serve you well for years to come and take outdoor cooking to the next level. Read our full review of the Delivita The Red Chilli pizza oven
La Hacienda stainless steel BBQ pizza oven
Best pizza oven for a barbecue
- No assembly
- Works on your barbecue
- Easy to store
- Large barbecue required
- No accompanying peel
Star rating: 4.2/5
A reasonably-priced buy for those with limited space, this portable oven by Hacienda is 40 x 35 cm, which means you’ll need a reasonably sized barbecue to add it to.
We used a barrel-shaped charcoal model, but it would also fit square or oblong gas model, and a large round charcoal barbecue – be sure to check dimensions before you buy.
Thanks to the pizza stone, the results from this pint-sized oven are similar to those achieved by a much larger gadget. The housing channels the heat around the pizza so the top cooks as well as the base with impressive finished results.
Particularly user-friendly is the temperature dial – rather than having a numerical increments, it’s sectioned into ‘warm’, ‘ideal’ and ‘hot’. We found that cooking on the hot-side of ‘ideal’ achieved the best pizza. Read our full review of the La Hacienda BBQ pizza oven review.
Gozney Roccbox pizza oven
Best portable pizza oven for beginners
- Available from: Gozney (£399)
- Easy set-up
- Excellent pizza results
- Small oven space
Star rating: 4.2/5
The Roccbox is an investment, but for the price you get a pizza oven with an impressive build quality and foolproof functionality.
Gozney is a premium brand and the structure of the Roccbox lives up to this. There are no flimsy or shoddy elements to this talking-point gadget.
The finished pizza is restaurant-grade, even if you are new to the art of dough-slinging. However, it is less portable than other small pizza ovens, like some of those by Ooni. It’ll involve a little effort to move it around since it weighs in at a not-exactly-featherlight 20kg.
But if you really like pizza and will use the oven regularly, invest in the protective cover and leave it out all summer so you can fire up the gas easily and have pizza within minutes. Read our full review of the Gozney Roccbox pizza oven
Igneus Classico pizza oven
Best pizza oven for families
- Good quality materials
- Sleek appearance
- High price
Star rating: 4.1/5
Yorkshire-based wood-fired oven brand, Igneus, shouts about the fact it offers premium-quality products at an affordable price.
We certainly found the design and manufacture of its wood-fired Classico oven to be impressive, although affordable should not be interpreted as ‘cheap’ – this oven is expensive but offers value for the investment.
Its big selling point is the fact it can cook two large pizza ovens at the same time – in fact, the oven cavity is so large it could fit an entire roast dinner.
When so many domestic pizza ovens only have space to cook one pizza at a time (meaning, of course, that you can only eat one at a time), the extra space makes life easier for families wanting to sit down to eat together.
The quality of the cooked pizza is excellent, scoring a near-perfect 9/10. If you’re looking for an oven to keep out in your garden (preferably under a cover) for summer pizza parties, this could be the purchase for you. Read our full review of the Igneus Classico pizza oven
The Pizza Oven Shop (£730)
Ooni Koda 12 pizza oven
Best pizza oven for small spaces
- Collapsable legs
- Tricky to turn the pizza
- Doesn’t come with a pizza peel
Star rating: 4.5/5
A smaller version of Ooni’s Koda 16 pizza oven, the Koda 12 is a small and compact gas-powered pizza oven.
With or without the stone, this model is lightweight, making it easy to move around or travel with. It’s easy to set up too, simply flip out the three legs that sit flush to the underside, slot in the stone and attach the pipe to a propane gas canister.
A single strip of fire runs along the back of the pizza oven, the ferocity of the flame is adjusted using the dial at the back. This model has a relatively small letter-box opening, so launching your pizza requires some precision. But once cooked, our 12-inch pizza had a pillowy, leopard-spotted crust, a crisp base and perfectly melted cheese on top.
Read our full Ooni Koda 12 pizza oven review
We tested a range of portable, freestanding and barbecue-top pizza ovens. We included gas- and wood-fired pizza ovens, plus outdoor cooking gadgets that double up as pizza ovens, including wood burners and stoves.
We used our basic pizza dough recipe to test the ovens and used manufacturers instructions around fuel. We received boxed pizza ovens and built them using instruction manuals. We also tested ovens using different recipes where oven capacity allowed for this.
We used our test matrix to review the ovens, making notes on the core criteria:
- Overall build quality: Pizza ovens are investment purchases and therefore should be built to last. They also need to be able to hold and maintain the high temperatures required for cooking pizza.
- Cooking results: the ultimate criteria – we scored the finished pizzas out of 10.
- Ease of build and use: We timed how long it took to build the oven and rated the instruction manual. We then assessed how easy it was to use the oven.
- Safety: Pizzas require incredibly high temperatures to cook so we looked for excellent insulation and safety features to make using the pizza oven easy to use.
- Value for money: If the price didn’t feel right, it didn’t make it into our best list.
We also made notes on the following criteria:
- Fuel source and ease of use: How easy is it to get cooking? Is the fuel source easy to add and efficient? We looked for ovens that were intuitive to use, scoring accessories, too.
- Storage and handling: How easy is it to move ovens claiming to be portable? How quickly do the ovens cool down and are they safe to handle?
To read in-depth reviews of each pizza oven, see the links below.
All our pizza oven reviews
The Firepod pizza oven review
Ooni Koda 16 pizza oven review
Gozney Roccbox pizza oven review
Igneus Classico pizza oven review
Delivita The Red Chilli pizza oven review
Optima Pizza Express Napoli pizza oven review
Ooni Koda 16 pizza oven review
Sage the Smart Pizzaiolo review
Pizza oven recipes and tips
If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.