We have become a pizza-crazed household since our Ooni Koda 16 Pizza Oven was delivered! For the past few months I’ve been testing different pizza dough recipes, experimenting with toppings, and dishing out dozens of different kinds of pizzas for my family to taste-test. We’ve been perfecting a classic margarita pizza recipe. I’ve served pizza for breakfast, topped with thin sliced potatoes, eggs and sausage. I’ve even been using our pizza-experiments to clean out the fridge and use up leftovers as toppings. Along the way I’ve been collecting questions from followers about the Ooni Pizza Oven, and I’m eager to answer them all in one place! Sharing all the Ooni Pizza Oven FAQs below, and starting you off with this simple review: the Ooni Pizza Oven is FUN. I love the communal cooking experience, bringing food and family and conversation together as we make endless combinations of new and delicious pizzas. Which Ooni model did you get? Thoughts on gas powered pizza oven vs wood fired? We went with the Ooni Koda 16 Gas Powered Pizza Oven. When researching the Ooni pizza oven, I honed in on the gas powered vs wood fired oven right away. There is some debate about how much flavor the wood oven imparts on the pizza while it’s cooking, which is the advantage of the wood fired oven, but I knew I wanted the gas powered pizza oven for ease of use. Being able to set it up for a quick pizza on a weeknight was important to me. It heats up in about 15 minutes, which is a perfect prep time for getting the pizza dough stretched and topped. The Ooni gas powered pizza oven hooks up to a regular propane tank you’d use with a gas grill, and the Koda 16 model we got also has a conversion kit so you can hook it up to natural gas if you have an outdoor kitchen space (long-term dream plans for our backyard, maybe someday!).
Which size Ooni pizza oven did you get? The Ooni pizza ovens currently come in two sizes, a 12″ or a 16.” The sizes are based on how big of a pizza you could make inside of it. I went with the bigger model, the Ooni Koda 16 Gas Powered Pizza Oven, assuming I’d be using it for entertaining. I’m really happy with the Koda 16 model; most of my pizzas are coming out in the 12-14″ range but I like having a little bit of extra space in there to make turning the pizza easier. They cook so fast — in about 3 minutes — that they can burn quickly if you’re not paying attention and rotating them towards the flame. I’m getting the hang of the turning now, but that little extra wiggle room is really helpful! I also think having extra space to move the pizza closer or farther away from the flames makes me feel like I have even more control over the heat and cooking process.What other accessories and set up do I need for the Ooni Pizza Oven? The Ooni Pizza Oven has to be set up outside, we have putting ours on an outdoor table right now, but I have their modular pizza table in my shopping cart for a more permanent solution! Our plan is to store it on the rolling Ooni cart so we can wheel it out when we’re ready to use it; the modular cart has a spot for your propane tank, hooks to hold your pizza peel, and a shelf to place other tools and plates. Another important tool for getting the pizza oven set up is an infrared thermometer – the thermometer has a laser pointer that allows you to accurately measure the surface temperature of the pizza stone, so you know when it’s preheated to the correct temperature to start cooking.
To actually cook the pizzas, you need a pizza peel to “launch” it into the oven. The launching is a skill I’m still working on, and happy to report I’m getting much better at! We have a 12″ and a 16″ ooni perforated pizza peel – they’re made of aluminum and the perforations allow steam is able to quickly evaporate and let excess flour falls away from the pizza base. The 16″ pizza peel is sized for our oven, but I actually prefer the 12″ size because it’s a bit easier to maneuver. The first few weeks we had the Ooni I only had one pizza peel to work with, but as we started to entertain and make more pizzas back to back, I found that the peels were getting too warm which made the dough sticky and launching the pizza a challenge. Having two peels allows me to alternate and let one cool down in between launches, if you plan to make a few pizzas in a night I’d definitely recommend having two pizza peels on hand. Ooni also makes a turning peel that’s specially designed to help you turn the pizza once it’s in the oven, I’ve just been using our extra long grill tools along with the large pizza peel to do the turning.
Other accessories and tools that have been helpful for pizza making: a pastry cutter for portioning out dough, a good pizza cutter for slicing our pies, and metal pizza trays for prepping and serving them (makes me feel like we’re at a real pizzeria!) What kind of pizza dough do you use? This has been the most popular question I’ve received about the Ooni pizza oven! I waited to share my Ooni experience for awhile after we received it because I wanted to do lots of testing and experimenting to hone in on a dough recipe I felt confident about recommending. After all of my research, my favorite and most successful pizza dough recipe the Ooni pizza oven has been Marc Vetri’s Naples style 70% Hydration pizza dough from his cookbook Mastering Pizza. I highly recommend this book if you get the Ooni pizza oven, it’s a great primer in how to build a quality dough and cook different kinds of pizzas.
The Naples style 70% Hydration dough is very wet, and the water in the dough creates that thin, soft yet crisp, foldable Neapolitan style crust. It’s a commitment to make the dough, it takes 3 days to ferment, but the fermentation time is key to give it that deep, amazing flavor. Trust me, it’s worth the wait! I have found that it freezes very well (I store each dough ball in a plastic deli container) and it only takes about 2 hours to thaw before use, so you have some flexibility for impromptu pizza nights.
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