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The Ooni Koda 12 is a compact gas-fired tabletop pizza oven. It claims to produce pizza in just 60 seconds. Read our full review below.
The Ooni Koda 12 is a small and compact gas-powered pizza oven. It’s designed to make 12-inch pizzas in a swift 60 seconds.
The Ooni Koda 12 is an unpretentious and modest pizza oven compared to some of the hulking models on test. It’s great-looking thanks to its minimalist design: a textured, matte black, carbon-steel body and three stainless steel legs. It’s suitable for vast gardens and intimate balconies alike.
The control dial can be found at the back of the oven and is used to ignite a single strip of flame that sits at the very top of the pizza stone. When the flame is on high, it rolls over the roof of the oven, heating the stone up to 500C.
The first thing we notice about this pizza oven is just how small it is. Measuring just 63cm in length and 40cm in width, it really takes up no room at all. We are impressed by the packaging: all but one polyethylene bag is recyclable, which is a huge plus in our eyes. The oven, with or without the stone, is also lightweight, meaning there’s no risk of straining if moving it from A to B.
This model comes ready assembled. The only thing you need to do is slide in the pizza stone, flip out the legs and attach a propane tank (Ooni does not provide this), all of which takes a matter of seconds. A couple of manuals are included both for set up and best practice when using the pizza oven, which are useful to keep on hand. You need to place the oven on a sturdy surface – Ooni suggests popping it on either a wooden picnic table or stone, marble or stainless steel surface.
After a quick read of the manual we were ready to go. If you’ve used a gas barbecue before, you’ll be familiar with the hose and how to attach it; otherwise, clear and concise instructions are included in the manual. Igniting this pizza oven is just like igniting a gas hob: push the dial down and twist until you hear a click and the flames ignite, then keep the dial pressed in for a couple of seconds and turn it to control the flame level. The dial is clearly marked and the flames are responsive to changes.
This pizza oven can reach up to 500C in just 15 minutes according to Ooni. However, we find it needs to be left for at least 25 minutes to reach this temperature. There’s no temperature gauge on the oven, so we use a heat gun to check. While a heat gun isn’t an essential, it’s definitely a useful tool to have.
One 12-inch pizza.
The USP of the Ooni Koda 12 is that it can make a pizza in just 60 seconds. While we are able to do this, we feel the pizza looks a little uneven and we also set the crust alight at one point! The 60-second time limit makes cooking feel frantic and isn’t particularly enjoyable.
After a couple of attempts, we finally got our cooking method right. Heat the stone to 450C with the flames on high, launch in the pizza and immediately turn the dial down low. Keep a hawk-like eye on the pizza, turning it when the crust begins to brown and bubble. This method takes around 4 minutes, but we enjoy the perfect Neapolitan pizza. It has a soft, pillowy crust with light leopard spotting, a crisp, crunchy base and oozing melting mozzarella – what more could you ask for?
Mastering the launching technique takes a bit of practice: it’s all about a deft flick of the wrist! A few practice attempts is all you need to get it right, though. You do need a pizza peel to do this, which doesn’t come with the oven, but these are available to purchase from the Ooni website.
One thing we do struggle with is rotating the pizza. With the pizza peel this isn’t the easiest of tasks and we find the simplest way to do this is to remove the whole pizza, spin it 90 or 180 degrees with a fork, then launch it back into the oven. We would prefer to rotate the pizza inside the oven, but given the small opening, this isn’t possible.
The oven is comfortable to stand around, but you can feel how hot the outer shell is if you hover your hand over it. We use the heat gun to measure it and it registers up to 80C in some areas. Keep children and pets away from both the oven and gas hose.
No, but a wide range are available to buy from the Ooni website.
This model has a letterbox-style opening: it’s long and thin. While you wouldn’t be able to cook a whole chicken or thick joint of meat, a spatchcock chicken could definitely work, as would steaks, fish and veggies. We are able to fit a shallow roasting tin inside as well as a 10-inch cast iron pan.
The Ooni Koda 12 is not weather-resistant, so it needs to be covered and stored somewhere weatherproof like a shed if you’re planning on keeping it outside. Ooni sells a fitted cover for this oven on their website.
Once it's detached from the gas and folded down, it’s pretty compact so could easily be stored inside. It weighs just 9.25kg, so is lightweight and can be comfortably carried around.
We also tested the Ooni pizza essentials bundle (£43.35). Ooni have sourced excellent ingredients to cover all aspects of pizza making, from specialist flour and mozzarella to gourmet finishing touches such as garlic and chilli-infused olive oil and a practical squeezy bottle of hot honey.
After some expected trial and error we are able to create exactly the pizza we are looking for. Bubbly, soft pizza dough with a slight char, a crisp base and pools of gooey cheese. Perfection!
A 12-inch pizza is a generous portion for one, but not quite enough for two to share. We recommend making two pizzas with different toppings so two people can mix and match.
After just an hour, the oven and stone were completely cold and ready to pack away.
You need a bowl for the dough if you’re planning to mix by hand; alternatively, a stand mixer will do all the hard work for you. A saucepan is a must, as are basic kitchen essentials like a knife and chopping board.
You’ll need a pizza peel, serving board and pizza cutter for serving.
Given its small capacity, it would be a great option for small families or couples. While you could definitely use this at parties, it would be worth using with a barbecue or other summer dinner party recipes in tandem, as a 12-inch pizza every couple of minutes won’t go far between guests.
How easy it is to use, how compact it is and how quickly we manage to create great-quality pizza.
Dimensions (cm): H: 29.5 x W: 40 x D: 63
Fuel: propane gas (patio gas)
Stone material: cordierite
Stone size: 33.5cm squared
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This review was last updated in May 2021. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at email@example.com.