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Are you considering getting an outdoor pizza oven for your RV?. These powerful ovens can create the ripping hot temperatures needed to make the best pizzas. But are outdoor pizza ovens worth the money?
Few things are better than a traditional Neapolitan-style pizza fresh out of the oven. But if you want to make one at home, you’ll run into a problem: only an outdoor pizza oven can bake them at over 900°F. That’s way hotter than any regular oven can get.
Let’s take a look at what you need to know about outdoor pizza ovens, how much they cost, and if they’re worth the money. Plus, we’ll show you our picks for the 5 best outdoor pizza ovens available.
Is an Outdoor Pizza Oven Better Than a Regular Oven?
Outdoor pizza ovens get significantly hotter than regular ovens, reaching almost double the temperature.
This super high heat allows for fast cooking. You to completely bake a pizza in less than 2 minutes. That intense heat also cooks your food, making it crisp without drying it out.
If your outdoor pizza oven is wood-fired, it’ll also give a subtle smoky flavor that regular ovens can’t create.
How Much Does an Outdoor Pizza Oven Cost?
An outdoor pizza oven costs below $200 for a value-oriented model. Meanwhile, the most expensive gourmet outdoor pizza ovens can cost above $5,000. That said, most outdoor pizza ovens fall between the $200 to $2,000 range.
Generally speaking, smaller portable outdoor pizza ovens are still in the three figures range. Bigger, built-in ovens get much more expensive, climbing well into the thousands. Those looking to build permanent outdoor structures on their RV property may consider these models.
5 Outdoor Pizza Ovens Worth the Money
We’ve gathered together 5 great outdoor pizza ovens that are worth every penny. Let’s take a closer look at each.
1. Ooni Koda 12 Gas Pizza Oven
Ooni is one of the most popular manufacturers of outdoor pizza ovens. The Ooni Koda 12 is one of their most popular models.
For the perfect pizza, the Koda 12:
- Reaches a maximum temperature of 950°F
- Can cook pizzas up to 12 inches
- Has an adjustable heat control dial to lock in the perfect temperature
The Koda 12 is a gas-fired outdoor pizza oven that’s compact, lightweight, and portable. Thanks to its small size and insulated steel shell, the Koda 12 is ready to cook in just 15 minutes.
2. ROCCBOX Gozney Portable Outdoor Pizza Oven
The ROCCBOX Gozney is a gas-fired portable outdoor pizza oven that’s very easy to transport and set up for maximum convenience. It includes patented technology that creates a rolling yellow flame, just like a traditional wood oven. For even more authenticity, you can add on a detachable wood burner to turn the Gozney into a wood-fired oven.
Outside, the ROCCBOX Gozney has safe touch silicone insulation to protect you from burns- perfect if you have kids around. It also features a built-in thermometer for accurate cooking.
As an added bonus, the ROCCBOX Gozney includes a professional-grade pizza peel.
3. Big Horn Outdoors Wood Pellet Pizza Oven
The Big Horn outdoor pizza oven is a great, highly-affordable option for a portable, lightweight oven. In fact, at only 25 pounds, it’s the lightest pizza oven on our list for maximum portability.
The Big Horn oven is a wood-fired oven that uses wood pellets to provide an authentic smoky taste. It’s one of the most affordable wood-fired outdoor pizza ovens available.
This oven heats up in 18 minutes and can reach a maximum temperature of 860°F. It’s large enough to cook pizzas up to 12 inches in size.
4. Camp Chef Artisan Outdoor Pizza Oven
The Camp Chef Artisan Outdoor Pizza Oven is a portable pizza oven designed to be used with a Camp Chef 16-inch Cooking System. But if you don’t have that cooking system, this oven can also be used with any grill that’s large enough to fit it.
Because it doesn’t need its own heat source, the Camp Chef Artisan Outdoor Pizza Oven is a great way to get an outdoor pizza oven at a low price. It has a built-in temperature gauge and can reach up to 700°F.
5. BakeBros by Foodparty Portable Gas-Fired Outdoor Pizza Oven
The BakeBros by Foodparty outdoor pizza oven is a 12-inch portable pizza oven that comes packed with extras for maximum value.
The oven is gas-fired and ready to cook in only 15 minutes, with a maximum temperature of 932°F. The oven comes with a travel bag to keep everything together for extra portability. For cooking, the oven comes with an infrared thermometer, a pizza stone, a pizza peel, and a recipe book.
Despite all the extras, the BakeBros by Foodparty pizza oven is still very affordable. That makes it an amazing value and perhaps the best bang-for-your-buck outdoor pizza oven available.
What Are the 3 Different Types of Pizza Ovens?
There are a few different types of pizza ovens, with the biggest difference being what fuel they use. Outdoor pizza ovens are also distinguished by whether they’re portable or built-in.
Let’s take a closer look at the different types of pizza ovens.
1. Wood or Wood Pellet Outdoor Pizza Ovens
The most traditional style of outdoor pizza oven is the wood-fired oven. These pizza ovens use wood or wood pellets to fuel the fire.
The wood fire creates a smokier taste than gas and creates the most traditional pizza possible. Keep in mind that wood-fired outdoor pizza ovens are more work to light than gas, take longer to heat up, and are messier due to the soot generated by the fire.
2. Gas or Propane Outdoor Pizza Ovens
Gas-fired outdoor pizza ovens use gasses like butane, propane, or natural gas as fuel to cook your food. Compared to wood-fired ovens, gas-fired ovens are much easier to light and heat up faster. Because the fire doesn’t generate soot, it’s also much cleaner.
The biggest downside of gas-fired ovens is that they don’t provide the same smokey taste a wood fire gives. If that doesn’t bother you (or you don’t like smoky flavors), gas-fired outdoor pizza ovens are a great choice.
3. Portable vs. Built-In Outdoor Pizza Ovens
The other major distinction between types of outdoor pizza ovens is whether they’re portable or built-in.
This is pretty much just what it sounds like. Portable pizza ovens are smaller and more lightweight, so they can easily move from place to place. That portability is great for cookouts and camping trips. The small size of portable ovens also makes them cheaper.
A built-in outdoor pizza oven is built-in: it’s put in one place and stays there, just like the standard oven in your kitchen. Built-in ovens can be much larger than their portable cousins, allowing you to cook more at once.
Does the Type of Pizza Oven Change the Flavor?
The type of outdoor pizza oven you choose will definitely affect the flavor. There won’t be much difference between a portable or a built-in oven. However, the fuel your outdoor pizza oven uses will change the flavor of your food.
A gas-fired oven won’t impart any extra flavor to your pizza. But if you use wood or wood pellets, the smoke imparts a slightly smoky flavor to your food.
Remember that anything you put in your pizza oven will cook very quickly. Since a traditional pizza only spends 60 to 90 seconds in the oven, the smoke flavor is fairly subtle.
What Else Can You Cook in a Pizza Oven?
You can cook a lot more than pizza in an outdoor pizza oven. In fact, the unique high-heat cooking of an outdoor pizza oven is perfect for many different foods.
A great traditional recipe for outdoor pizza ovens is pasta al forno. “Al forno” is an Italian term for pasta baked in an oven – so pasta al forno takes various forms. One of the most popular is lasagne al forno, a delicious lasagna cooked in a pizza oven.
Outdoor pizza ovens are also a great way to cook a variety of dishes:
- Meats like ribeye steaks and roast chicken
- Side dishes like focaccia bread and roasted vegetables
- Desserts like wood-fired cinnamon rolls or candied pumpkin seed pumpkin pie
How Do You Store Your Pizza Oven?
If you have a portable outdoor pizza oven, you should store your pizza oven inside when you’re not using it. This protects it from the elements and improves the longevity of the oven.
If you insist on leaving your outdoor pizza oven outside, you should keep it in a waterproof cover. You should also consider removing the pizza stone and keeping it inside. This prevents excess moisture from getting into the stone, which can negatively impact cooking and even lead to cracks.
If your outdoor pizza oven has a chimney, it should stay capped anytime the pizza oven isn’t in use. This prevents dust and debris from getting inside. It also prevents the entry of excess moisture.
And one final note: make sure your pizza oven is completely cooled down before moving or storing it. If not, you risk hurting yourself trying to move it.
7 Things to Look for in a Pizza Oven
When you go shopping for an outdoor pizza oven, there are 7 things you should consider. Let’s take a look at each one.
1. Fuel Type
Your outdoor pizza oven will use wood, wood pellets, or gas to fuel the fire that cooks your food. Wood and wood pellets are a bit more work to light (with pellets being a bit easier of the two) but provide a unique flavor that gas can’t. On the other hand, a gas-fired oven is much easier to work with and burns cleaner.
2. Construction and Materials
Outdoor pizza ovens can be made of various materials, but the most common are metal and bricks.
Bricks are the most traditional option for outdoor pizza ovens. As long as the right kind of brick is used, brick ovens withstand massive temperatures and hold onto heat for extremely long periods of time.
Most outdoor pizza ovens you can buy online will instead be made of some kind of metal, typically stainless steel. Steel is chosen because it’s highly durable, can withstand the oven’s high temperatures, and is resistant to rust and damage from the elements. It doesn’t hold onto heat as long as bricks do, but it still stays hot while in use.
3. Insulation Quality
In addition to the primary materials, your outdoor pizza oven will also have insulation. This insulation helps the oven stand up to high temperatures and retain heat. Quality insulation absorbs and retains more heat for longer periods of time.
In traditional brick ovens, some of the highest quality insulation options are fire blankets and perlite or vermiculite. Materials like silicone and ceramic are typically used for insulation on metal ovens.
4. Temperature Gauge
Many outdoor pizza ovens have external temperature gauges that show the pizza oven’s internal temperature. This is a great way to prepare your food at the desired temperature.
If your outdoor pizza oven doesn’t include a temperature gauge, your best bet is to use an infrared thermometer (IR). In fact, because it lets you measure the temperature of the pizza stone directly, an IR thermometer can be more accurate than a built-in temperature gauge.
Outdoor pizza ovens come in various sizes, from only big enough for a single pizza to massive ovens that can cook multiple pizzas at a time.
The most common sizes for portable outdoor pizza ovens are 12-inch and 16-inch.
Built-in outdoor pizza ovens are measured based on the size of the interior cooking surface. Smaller versions can bake one pizza at a time, while large built-in outdoor pizza ovens can bake a feast of 7 pizzas at a time.
Outdoor pizza ovens are available in a very wide price range. They start at less than $200 for the smaller models and get into the thousands of dollars for large gourmet ovens.
Generally, portable pizza ovens are mostly in the three figures, but the wider the cooking space, the higher the price. 12-inch varieties are on the low end, while 16-inch ovens will increase to the $1,000 price point.
If you want to add a built-in outdoor pizza oven to your RV property’s casita, you could spend over $5,000 for the ultimate gourmet version. More reasonable-priced models will still float in the lower thousand dollar range.
7. Built-in or Portable
Portable ovens are smaller, although the biggest portable ovens can fit a 16-inch pizza. They typically feature foldable legs and weigh around 30 pounds or less. Fitting them in your RV shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
Built-in ovens are designed to be put in one place and stay there. Some built-in outdoor pizza ovens are designed to never be moved, and where they’re constructed is where they’ll stay.
But other built-in ovens are designed to be placed on a countertop or table and can weigh 100 pounds or more. These ovens can be transported with some effort, but they’re not designed to be moved regularly.
Portable ovens are convenient and heat up faster because they’re smaller. But, built-in ovens can be larger to accommodate more food. Their larger size means they retain heat for longer periods.
Final Thoughts: Are Outdoor Pizza Ovens Worth It?
Outdoor pizza ovens use wood, wood pellets, or gas to create super hot flames that allow the oven to reach temperatures of 900°F or more. That super high heat allows the oven to bake perfect pizzas and various other foods in a way that regular ovens simply can’t.
Outdoor pizza ovens are available at a variety of prices. Portable models tend to cost below $1,000, while built-in outdoor pizza ovens usually cost between $1,000 to $5,000+.
So, outdoor pizza ovens can get a bit pricey. Because of their ability to cook food in a way no other oven can, they’re definitely worth the money. After making food in your outdoor pizza oven, you’ll probably wonder how you ever lived without it!
About the Author
Jennifer and Kendall are avid RVers and part-time van lifers who share their years of experience both as full-time RVers and nomads through writing.
Jenn and Kendall have explored Canada, the USA, and Mexico while RVing and living full-time in all 3 countries.
They have been fortunate to work not only as part of the RVBlogger team but also with RVLife, DIY RV, Camper Report, RV Magazine, Rootless Living, Vanlifers, and more.
They have also shared their RV experience through DashboardDrifters.com and are the founders of RVSpotDrop, a web service for full-time RVers.