What to Look For Buying The Best Portable Pizza Oven
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Are you thinking of buying a portable pizza oven to use for camping, picnics or just even at home, then a pizza oven which is portable could be just what you are looking for.
Nothing quite beats the smoky flavor from their wood-burning oven or the crispy pizza crust baked to perfection. What if you could get that same great taste from the comfort of your home?
Portable pizza ovens are taking kitchens and backyards by storm. Buying one of these is a lot different from tossing some dough in a conventional oven.
You’ll be eating perfectly cooked pizzas from these ovens, crispy and rich, just like at an Italian restaurant.
But how do you know which one to buy? Wood Burning or Gas? Indoor or Outdoor? Keep reading below and we will break it down so you can find which portable pizza oven is the one for you.
What is a Portable Pizza Oven?
A portable pizza oven is an oven specifically made for cooking pizzas that can be transported easily from one place to the next.
Pizza lovers are more likely to own a dedicated pizza oven as they are designed to cook pizzas perfectly in very little time.
Pizza ovens get better results than conventional ovens when cooking a pizza. The reason dedicated pizza ovens cook so crisp is that their ovens can reach up to 1000 ℉ which is much hotter than a conventional oven.
The Greeks invented the woodfire oven over 2000 years ago, and it has changed very little since then. The company Ooni, based in Scotland, was the first to mass-produce portable and outdoor pizza ovens, beginning in 2012.
Many other companies have followed suit, along with various kitchen appliance companies creating indoor models both before and after the outdoor models gained traction.
When looking for a portable pizza oven, first you’ll have to decide where you want to put it. Pizza ovens can be designed as a kitchen appliance or purposed for BBQs. We’ll talk more about these options later, but just consider where you think you would be using it the most.
Another thing to consider when buying a portable pizza oven is what you will mainly use it for. If you want to cook food other than pizza, or if cooking for large numbers of people, you may need to look at a larger pizza oven which is not portable.
Finally, you’ll also have to decide what fuel your oven will use. Electricity is almost exclusive to indoor models. Appliance-style pizza ovens will plug right into any wall socket. Outdoor models have two options: gas (usually propane) or wood burning. Again, we’ll go over the advantages of these in just a second.
Today, pizza ovens are gaining popularity in kitchens, backyards and campsites all around the world. Join the wave and get cooking!
Things to Consider Before Buying a Portable Pizza Oven
There are a few options you’ll have to take into account before purchasing your portable pizza oven. Take a look at the factors below to determine which oven model is the right one for you.
Should You Buy an Indoor or an Outdoor Pizza Oven?
The indoor vs. outdoor debate comes down to a few critical factors: weather and preference. If you want to use your pizza oven year-round but live in a seasonal area, an indoor oven is best for you. If you have nice weather all four seasons and a big backyard, then an outdoor model can be lots of fun. It depends on you.
For BBQ and outdoors lovers, we would recommend the outdoors models. If you are a kitchen aficionado and want to do lots of other prep while baking your pizzas, then an indoor model is probably your best bet.
Below we’ll list the advantages and disadvantages of each model, along with some popular products for each.
Indoor Portable Pizza Oven
An Indoor pizza oven should be able to get much hotter than your conventional oven with less waiting time. There are also several adjustable settings you can find on these pizza ovens beyond just the temperature. Some models even come with pizza-style settings like “New York Style” or “Thin and Crispy.” You can even adjust temperatures from the top and bottom (also known as the pizza stone) and change heat distribution to cook the pizza more evenly.
Other models will look a lot like a panini press. All you have to do is put your pizza in and close it up. Come back 10-15 minutes later, and a freshly baked pizza is waiting inside for you. However, a lot of these “simpler” models prioritize speed over quality. Some will cook pizzas unevenly or even burn them in certain parts.
If you’re buying an indoor portable pizza oven, it’s best to spend some extra money and get the best you can find.
Outdoor Pizza Oven
Nothing can make a BBQ more unique and mouth-watering than freshly baked pizzas. These ovens are the ones that can achieve those high temperatures you need to get crispy, Neapolitan style pizza.
The fuels of gas or wood allow the internal temperatures to climb much higher than your conventional oven. Since they’re outside, you won’t have to worry about burning your house down.
You might be asking yourself, do I need a tool specifically for pizza? Couldn’t I just toss the dough on my traditional BBQ grill and let it crisp up that way? Well, not if you want the best results.
Outdoor pizza ovens can reach much higher temperatures than the average BBQ grill and retain the heat for longer. As we mentioned earlier, high temperatures are paramount to getting the perfect pizza.
Pizza oven BBQs can also be more interactive than your average BBQ. Instead of having people dress up their hamburgers with mundane lettuce, tomatoes, and onions, you can lay out an assortment of pizza toppings.
Let your guests choose their favorite toppings and have fun trying out everyon’es pizza creations they’ll be talkking about it for days to come.
- Camp Chef Italian Artisan Pizza Oven
- Green Mountain Grill Wood Fired Pizza Oven
- Baker Stone Portable Gas Pizza Oven
You should consider a few things when it comes to being a portable pizza oven. Is it a true portable oven ie, can 1 person actually move the pizza oven in and out of the car or truck, if not is it easily managed by 2 people?
Are there any parts that could break while transporting to and from home like ceramic stone cooking surface, chimney, legs etc. Ideally they would be easy to remove and re-attach for transportation.
A portable pizza oven should be built strong with plenty of insulation to help keep heat inside the cooking chamber, this will ensure the highest temperatures required for cooking crispy pizzas every time.
Heat Up and Cooking Time
The time it takes from lighting to cooking a pizza can play an important role when choosing the best portable pizza oven for you.
Gas fueled ovens are the quickest to heat up and start cooking with some taking as little as 10 minutes to heat up. These ovens get very hot, over 900°F and can cook a crispy-based pizza in around 1 minute.
Wood or wood pellet fueled pizza ovens can take as long as 30 minutes to reach desired cooking temperatures and up to 3 minutes to cook your pizza, however they do provide a bit more smokey flavor than gas powered pizza ovens.
Ease of Use
Obviously, the portable pizza oven needs to be easy to use and transport. Think about the time you are willing to sacrifice when it comes to setting up, using, and packing your oven away after using it. Can you do it all on your own or do you need help from a mate?
If you want to be able to get up and cooking fast all on your own, you should probably look at one of the smaller portable pizza ovens that are gas-fired.
Failing that, one of the slightly larger portable pizza ovens will most likely suit you to a tee.
What Type of Fuel is best for a Portable Pizza Oven?
For indoor ovens, there are only two options: stovetop or electric. The stovetop ovens don’t get the best reviews and become very hot in a relatively vulnerable place. So, electricity is the best option for an indoor pizza oven. However, outdoor pizza ovens have a much more extensive debate: gas or wood.
Gas powered pizza ovens can heat up faster than wood, with temperatures getting as high as 900°F which can cook a pizza in around 60 seconds.
Gas ovens are also usually cheaper than wood-burning ovens. They require less reinforced materials in the construction too so are generally less in weight.
However, portable pizza ovens that run on gas typically use propane. Propane is 26% more expensive than wood pellets. So, if you buy a gas oven, you could end up spending more on fuel than wood-fired ovens.
Wood burning is all about flavor. Most Italian restaurants will use a wood-burning brick oven to create a smokey and rich flavor for their pizzas. With wood pellets (made from recycled wood chips) becoming more and more popular worldwide, it’s also a green way to fuel your pizzas.
Over time, wood-burning pizza ovens also become much hotter. While it might take them longer to heat up, the heat will stay there and cook your pizzas fast and crispy once they have reached the ideal cooking temperature.
A lot of people associate the smell of smoke with a BBQ. There’s a little better smell than the combination of fresh smoke, herbs, garlic, tomato sauce, cheese, and freshly baked bread.
How Big Should my Portable Pizza Oven Be?
The size of the portable pizza oven you choose relies on a few factors: how many pizzas you’ll be making, how many people you will be cooking for and how often you’ll be transporting it.
If you want to make multiple pizzas for large groups of people at one time, then you should select one with a larger cooking surface area. Once you have the measurements for your oven, you’ll know the maximum size (diameter) of the pizzas you can make and plan your baking accordingly.
When you take your Pizza oven camping with you or to a friend’s house, you want it to be easy to load into the back of a car or truck along with easy set when you get there. If you will be taking your portable pizza oven on the road with you often, there are quite a few options to choose from using varioius heating and cooking methods.
With all the information contained above you will be able find the best portable pizza oven to suit your style of cooking and conditions. Once you’ve bought one, you’ll realize how much fun you will have cooking pizzas and other gourmet meals in your new portable pizza oven. Now, all you need to do is get cracking and cook up some gourmet pizza!