Unlock the Complete Guide to Buying a Pizza Oven

Find the Pizza Oven that is Tailored to Your Needs


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This guide will show you everything you need to know about pizza ovens before you buy.   We will help you chooses which is the best pizza oven for you!

What is more fun than baking your homemade pizza?  Friends and family gathered together, enjoying the most flavorful pizza made by you! 

However, choosing the right pizza oven for home, outdoor kitchen, or patio can be overwhelming.  A pizza oven is the focal point of any home, but there are so many seemingly limitless alternatives. Today you can choose from the simple indoor pizza oven to the high-end most beautiful built-in oven, and selecting the right option may be confusing.   

This comprehensive guide will help make the task a little less daunting.   Yes, this is a very extensive guide, because we do have plenty to share.  We will show you what we think is best, but in the end, nothing will make us happier than giving you enough information that will help you choose which pizza oven is best for YOU!

So, let’s dive right into the basics.

What is a pizza oven?

Pizza ovens are the ultimate dining experience.  They have gained popularity due to their quick cook times, cooking versatility, and ease of use. 

pizza oven illustration

What is a pizza oven?

These are ovens that can reach temperatures unattainable by an indoor kitchen oven — 600° to 950° F. 

Their design usually incorporates a dome made of thick metal, ceramic, bricks, or clay, designed to maximize heat retention and create a very high-temperature cooking environment. 

The flat stone hearth produces intense, even heat, resulting in pizzas with crisp crusts and sizzling toppings.  The time required to attain such temperatures may vary depending on the size and the construction material of the oven you get, but the pizza cooks in a matter of minutes.  You can also use these ovens for baking bread, roasting vegetables, and cooking meat.

What is the difference between a pizza oven and a regular oven?

The two significant differences between a regular oven and pizza oven are temperature and time.  Most average home ovens can reach temperatures up to 500°F while a pizza oven reaches temperatures from 700 to 950°F.

The difference in temperature will determine the time it will take to cook your pizza. 

setting oven temperature

Versus

Homemade Pizza Pro Pizza Oven Photo

For example, in a regular oven, it takes between 20 and 30 minutes to preheat it, plus 10 to 15 minutes to bake a pizza. With a pizza oven, you can attain higher temperatures, significantly decreasing the pizza cooking time. As a result, you can expect your pizza to cook in just 2 to 5 minutes. 

Is the additional cooking time going to make a difference in the result of your pizza? The answer is Yes!  Why?

There is a huge factor that will determine the outcome of your pizza, and that is moisture

How temperature and time affect your pizza

The longer the pizza sits in an oven, the longer is exposed to the moisture released by the sauce and toppings (i.e., vegetables and meats), making your crust mushier.

At a higher temperature, there is no time for the pizza toppings to release moisture that will ultimately affect the texture of the crust.

Accordingly, the texture you get from a pizza oven is far superior. You will get a crisp crust with a moist interior.
Due to the increased cooking time, regular ovens dry out the crust, making it tougher.
There is more crust browning giving a “leopard-spotted” appearance.
Higher temperatures give faster rise or “oven spring,” leading to puffier crusts.

Benefits of owning a pizza oven

Pizza ovens are more than just decor or a talking piece for your home.  Although they do add value to your home, they have so many additional benefits to consider. So, whether you’re a pizza enthusiast, a foodie, or you want a great pizza oven to make your creations, it’s essential to consider these benefits before you buy. So, here a couple of good reasons to get you started.

Faster cooking times On-the-go parents know how difficult it can be to whip up a home-cooked meal while dealing with their busy schedule. With a pizza oven, you can make a pizza in as little as 90 seconds, depending on how thin you like it.

Bring the family together – Your family deserves a fun way to spend time together, and there’s no better way to accomplish this than with a pizza oven. Invest in one of these culinary wonders and bless your family’s taste buds with an authentic taste of Italy.

An Unforgettable Experience – Pizza ovens are more than just cooking gadgets. They create an entire cooking experience that isn’t often found in many other methods. There is something special about getting back to the “roots” of cooking, and you’re sure to enjoy it every single time. Friends and neighbors will love to see your oven at work, too, and it is quite a show to watch a pizza being cooked from start to finish.

Cooking More Than Pizza – You can use your pizza oven for more than just pizza. It’s just like any other cooking gadget—just hotter and more efficient! Don’t be afraid to experiment with different recipes. You can fire-up everything from meat and vegetables to bread, and desserts up in minutes. Check out our recipes blog for a variety of great recipe ideas! You’ll certainly never run out of ways to put your oven to good use.

Save Time and Money: How many times do you order pizza in a week? How about in a month? Year? If you’re an “average” person, statistically, you’ll consume 46 slices of pizza every year. About 93% of Americans eat at least one slice per month. The bottom line is if you’re on this website in the first place, you probably have something of a pizza-tooth.

Instead of ordering out once a week, or dealing with the time and hassle of making pizzas in a traditional oven, consider investing in a pizza oven.

What else can you cook in a pizza oven?

Other Uses for Pizza Ovens

Pizza ovens can cook far more than just pizzas – they can be used for almost any other cooking method due to their size and range of heat.

The temperature of a pizza oven ranges from moderate near the oven door to intensely hot in the center, enabling many methods such as baking, roasting, and grilling. Here’s a quick guide to oven temperatures and cooking methods.

Cooking MethodOven TemperatureWhat to Cook
Slow Cooking200° – 250° F (95° – 120° C)Beef, Pork
General Baking255° – 400° F (125° – 200° C)Vegetables & Desserts
Baking Bread405° – 450° F (205° – 230° C)French Bread, Sourdough & Focaccia
Roasting455° – 550° F (235° – 285° C)Poultry, Potatoes
Grilling555° – 600° F (290° – 315° C)Steak, Seafood
Pizza605°F + (320°C + )Neapolitan, New-York Style

Another typical use for a versatile pizza oven is as a fireplace. With a pizza oven, you can maintain a comfortable temperature in your area.  Pizza ovens contribute to the adventure and romance of the scene as well.

Pro Tip

Get to know your oven. Knowing the best temperature your oven works and which are the hot spots will help you manage the baking process for the best results.

Identifying your style and needs

As you identify your style, you’ll start to understand which options fit that style.  Keep in mind the architecture of your home and that your style may need to be translated in creative ways depending upon your budget.

The wish list

We recommend making a list of all the features with a priority ranking of “must-have” and “would like to have.”  These features include size, fuel type, inspiration pictures, and any other ideas you’d like to learn more.

FeatureMust HaveWould Like to Have
Heat SourceGasWood
Size & DimensionsSpace for 2 PizzasSpace for 5 Pizzas
MaterialStainless SteelStone
ShapeSpace SaverDome
Your Feature __________________________Your Must-Have __________________________You Would like __________________________

Identify your style

This is where inspiration pictures are a huge help.  As you identify your style, you’ll start to understand which material options fit that style. 

IfFornino Pizza Oven
$65 and up

Practical

You want an oven that you can move around and easy to use.

30 Napoli Outdoor Oven Kitchen Cart
$1,000 and up

Modern

You love stainless steel combined with the flexibility and ease of use.

$3,000 and up

Traditional

You like the old-world look and like to have a sense of tradition.

$6,000 and up

Sophisticated

You want the “Wow” factor because you deserve the best.



By setting a wish list, considering practical construction or installation methods, and identifying your style, you should be able to set a goal budget.  It is at this point where you make adjustments to your priorities before you’ve invested in any pizza oven.  This list will also serve as a goal budget, not an official total cost of investment, but it can help you align expectations for a successful pizza oven purchase.

Pizza Pun

I burnt 800 calories this morning

Forgot the pizza in the oven.

What are your expectations from a pizza oven?

What is your intended use for this pizza oven?  Knowing things like how often you are going to use it, how many pizzas you are going to bake will undoubtedly determine the kind of pizza oven you need.

Do you want something that cooks your pizza in the least time possible, or are you adventurous willing to try new things and make the pizza-making process an experience? Setting your expectations will significantly help you decide which pizza oven will be best for you!

How much space do you have available?

Oven Space

The space available to place your oven will determine the size of the oven you can get.  The right size is certainly a concern, but the right design that creates the best result and fast cooking times are what is most important. 

Location

The location of your oven is an essential consideration for a few reasons. One is whether you’d like it indoors or outdoors, as well as how your oven will look compared to your home aesthetics.  Understand where you and your family spend most of your time. 

If the place where you live allows you to spend a lot of time outside, well there you go, an outdoor pizza oven might be for you. 

On the other hand, if you hate being outside, the best option will be an indoor oven.

Breville Pizzaiolo Oven

Indoor Pizza Ovens

Today, most people spend the majority of their time indoors.  There is nothing better than having an indoor pizza oven where you can make your favorite pizza and sit down, relax, and unwind after a hard day.


Several brands manufacture indoor ovens depending on the style you want and if you wish to build in the oven or have it on the counter. If an indoor pizza oven is best for you, check our 10 best indoor pizza ovens.

Outdoor Pizza Ovens

Most pizza ovens are suited to cooking outdoors.  They’re an excellent addition to backyards and any other outdoor area and often serve as the focal point of your entertainment space.

When considering an outdoor oven, think about the location of the oven. Make sure to place your outdoor pizza oven in a well-ventilated area. Pizza ovens generate more heat than grills.

Locate yours away from the house and other structures.   Is the oven going to be exposed to the weather? If so, make sure your oven selection will sustain any inclement weather. 

Is the area where you are placing the oven covered?  Pizza ovens exhaust heat through the chimney.  Make sure there is enough space for the fumes to dissipate and consider redirecting the chimney or vent outside the covered area.

Types of outdoor pizza ovens

Built-In Pizza Ovens

Summerset outdoor oven image

What is a Built-In Pizza Oven?

A built-in pizza oven is an oven that is built into a countertop, grill island, or separate structure.  This kind of oven usually has more cooking capacity and plenty of work areas on each side.


See Recommended Built-in Ovens

Countertop Pizza Ovens

alFresco pizza oven

What is a Countertop Pizza Oven?

A countertop oven is an oven that sits on top of a table, countertop, grill island, or a stand. 


See Recommended Countertop Ovens


Freestanding Pizza Ovens

IfFornino Pizza Oven

What is a Freestanding Pizza Oven?

A freestanding pizza oven is usually set on wheels, making it the best option if you want to move the oven to a more optimal position when the weather or season changes.

See Recommended Freestanding Ovens




Portable Pizza Ovens

Camp Chef Italia Portable Outdoor Pizza Oven

What is a Portable Pizza Oven?

A portable pizza oven is usually a stainless-steel lightweight oven that is smaller, compact, and can be easily transported. Despite its size, it can reach temperatures up to 900°F, making it the best choice for cooking from almost anywhere.


See Recommended Portable Pizza Ovens

Fuel Type Options

Gas

Natural gas or liquid propane (LP) ovens are a trendy choice.  However, when it comes to flavor, many traditionalists won’t come near a gas pizza oven. Instead, favoring wood-fired options.  When checking a gas pizza oven, you will probably see a reference for BTU.

30 Napoli Outdoor Oven Kitchen Cart

BTU

A BTU ( British Thermal Unit) is a standard measure of energy; it isn’t an accurate measure of an oven cooking power or heat output.  A BTU rating is a measurement of the heat produced by the grill per hour. 


See Recommended Gas Pizza Ovens

Electric

Electric pizza ovens make up only a tiny fraction of the pizza oven market, and they can be more difficult to find than the other types of oven, but they may be worth a look. 

Electric ovens, available as built-in or freestanding units, are easy to operate and maintain.  They are also ready to cook in the shortest amount of time.  An electric oven is often smaller than its gas and wood-fired counterparts, so that it may be more suited for those living in an apartment or condominium.

Breville Pizzaiolo Oven

Many argue that the flavor produced by the electric oven doesn’t come close to what the wood-fire or gas model provides. They can only reach temperatures up to 500°F.


See Recommended Electric Pizza Ovens

Pellets

Small wood pellets provide the fuel and infuse the food with flavor from the smoke.  The pellets, stored in a hopper, are available in a variety of flavors, including mesquite, hickory, apple, and alder. 


The oven feeds the pellets into the firebox at variable rates – slower for longer cooking times and faster for baking pizza.  Pellet grills are increasing in popularity thanks to their energy efficiency and their clean-burning properties. 


See Recommended Pellet Pizza Ovens

Wood-Fired

For the ultimate outdoor dining experience, many people are putting in a wood-fired pizza oven.  These ovens can reach temperatures up to 900°F, which is unattainable in an indoor oven.  These ovens produce an intense, even heat, resulting in pizzas with crisp crusts and sizzling toppings. 

Homemade Pizza Pro Pizza Oven Photo

It takes an hour or two for the oven to reach the required temperature, but the pizza cooks in a matter of minutes.  You can also use the oven for baking bread, roasting vegetables, and cooking meat.

Pizza oven kits, which cost about $2,000, are designed to be easy to install.  Generally, the kit is built-in in a masonry structure that can safely contain a high level of heat. The insert may be made of porous clay or concrete combined with firebricks, and the structure is usually covered with stucco, stone, or tile.


See Recommended Wood-Fired Pizza Ovens

Choosing a Pizza Oven Size

The oven size is measured by the extent of the cooking surface in square inches. For example, an oven measuring 20 inches wide x 30 inches deep has a  600 square inch cooking surface.  You can quickly cook two (2) 12″ pizzas in that space.

There are as many sizes of pizza ovens as toppings that go on the pies. So, to determine how big our pizza oven should be, think about how you plan to use it. 

Another consideration in choosing the size of your oven is to keep the oven in proportion to its surroundings.  On a small courtyard or deck, a massive pizza oven may look out of place.

Small Pizza-Making Space

Are you a weekend pizza baker who will be baking for your small family? If that is the case, an oven with a surface area of 300 to 450 square inches should suffice. 

Medium Pizza-Making Space

A more prominent family might require an oven with 450 to 600 square inches of cooking area. 

Large Pizza-Making Space

If you plan to host large neighborhood parties, invest in an oven with a cooking area that’s at least 600 square inches. 

The type of pizza you bake is essential when determining the oven size as well.  Neapolitan pizzas can be from 8 to 10 inches, while New York-style pizzas can be from 14 to 16 inches.

If your goal is simply to make family pizza night into a new tradition, you might be able to get by with a smaller oven that can fit one or two 12-inch pizzas at the same time.

But for those who love entertaining or host large family gatherings, there are pizza oven options that can fit as many as six pizzas at once.

Some manufacturers of professional-level ovens claim their ovens can cook ten pizzas at a time. While you probably don’t need this kind of oven in your home, keep in mind that larger ovens tend to be versatile enough to cook more than just pizza.

Pizza Oven Construction and Materials

All outdoor pizza ovens have a curved dome that allows heat to spread and maintain extremely high temperatures evenly. The ovens are often lined with ceramic bricks insulated with steel for maximum heat retention. 

Refractory Clay or Cement

Refractory cement ovens are developed after the authentic Italian craftsmanship, allowing you to add another level of genuine flavor to your cooking process.

These traditional ovens often use a ceramic cooking floor; this cooking surface makes a difference in quality for pizza ovens.

Stainless Steel

A stainless-steel oven is a sleek design option that fits modern styles. Stainless steel is the most common building component used for pizza ovens. It’s particularly good at retaining heat but not as good as a refractory oven. It is a popular choice because of its ability to conduct and hold heat.

brick pizza oven

Brick

A brick oven can be the perfect solution for an outdoor oven; however, it is not for everyone.  The aesthetics of a brick oven offers a traditional, old-world look that not everyone relates to these modern days. 

Other Features

insulation

Insulation

A critical feature that you need to pay close attention to is the oven’s insulation.  Having the proper materials goes a long way toward trapping heat inside the oven for perfectly cooked pizza.


This insulation also prevents the outside of the oven from getting dangerously hot. Rock-spun wool is commonly used as insulation for pizza ovens because it’s exceptionally durable while being great at retaining heat and repelling water, which prevents mold and mildew from forming inside the unit. You should also consider ceramic fiber for its ability to stabilize temperature and resist corrosion.

Oven floor

If a wood-fired oven is your choice, it’s essential to look for outdoor pizza oven kits with a refractory oven floor

Refractory System

This refraction system springs heat back up into the top of the oven to create a convection system, ensuring even heat distribution and perfectly crisp crust. In addition to providing brick-oven flavor, ceramics can withstand high temperatures and maintain even heat throughout the cooking surface.


Do you want to build a pizza oven yourself?

A DIY project can be a refreshing way to spend a few weeks, especially when done in collaboration with friends or family. You will probably have so many questions to be answered as you embark on the design and construction of a pizza oven.  How big should it be? How do I want it to function?

Your site conditions and oven materials choices can vary; the following should give you some options if you are entertaining the idea of building an oven. 

The good thing about building your oven is the feeling you get, it’s a great accomplishment when it’s all set and done, and best of all, your handy work will last a lifetime.

The first thing to do is ask yourself – Can I do this? Do I have what it takes? If so, here are some DIY Options.

Pizza Oven DIY Kits

If doing it yourself sounds like a good idea, you’ll be thrilled to know that there is a variety of DIY pizza oven kits that come with the necessary components. 

Even if you want to build an oven yourself, we highly recommend starting with a kit.  Otherwise, you can spend tons of time and money to get a pretty pizza oven that can’t hold heat or cook your pizza correctly.

Hover over the image for more

built-in pizza oven image

Step 1
You buy this pizza oven

Step 2
You assemble it with this included kit

Step 3
You transform it into this


These DIY kit projects offer the advantage of your creativity, so the final product can match your home’s yard in aesthetics and be modified to make cooking other food, like barbeque, a more accessible possibility.

DIY Kits are usually less expensive than purchasing a prefabricated oven. They are also able to be transported onto your site in sections, which is often necessary when you can’t fit a full oven into your area.

Also, even if you aren’t sure you want to handle the construction yourself, a DIY kit might be the right candidate if you hire a contractor so that you can still exercise some creative control over the final product.


Check DIY Kits at BBQ Guys

Don’t miss out on the deals they have your you!

Find Your Price!

Prefabricated pizza ovens

If you are more interested in getting a ready-to-use oven so you can focus your efforts on baking the perfect pizza, a prefabricated oven would be the best choice.

The Easiest DIY Pizza Oven

When you purchase a prefabricated oven, you know it will arrive ready for you to place in its new home.  You may also consider building around a prefabricated oven, which will give you a built-in look with the assurance that you have a perfectly engineered oven.  A prefabricated oven is like using a DIY kit except easier.


Check Prefabricated Pizza Ovens at BBQ Guys

Don’t miss out on the deals they have your you!

Find Your Price!


Which type of oven is best for pizza?

There are a few things you must consider when finding which is the best pizza oven for you. For instance, the oven needs to comply with certain specifications according to your needs.  Here are a few that you should consider:

Best Pizza Oven

The best pizza oven is the one you identify when you answer these two questions.

Which oven makes me happy?

Can I afford it?

OK

Let’s make pizza!

Cooking Area Size

The size of the cooking area will determine how easy it will be for you to handle the loading and unloading of your pizza.
How many pizzas of a specific size can it fit?

Temperature

Find which is the oven’s maximum temperature.

How long does it take to reach that heat level?
How long can it retain that heat?

Accordingly, the best oven for pizza is the choice that best accommodates your needs.  What might be best for us, might not be best for you!  We want you to get the oven that you need, with the features that you wish to have at a price that you can afford. The perfect pizza oven that will make YOU happy!

How much do pizza ovens cost?

The main cost associated with pizza ovens is the initial purchase price and installation costs. Due to significant variations in size, features, and quality, their pricing also varies greatly.  Depending on what you want, a basic domestic oven usually costs less than $1,000 to buy and install, but it can go as high as the sky, according to what you select. A typical well-designed pizza oven can cost from $3,000 to $15,000 plus any installation costs. Here’s a quick guide to domestic pizza oven prices.

Oven TypeFuel TypePrice
Indoor (Countertop & Portable)Electric & GasFrom $45 to than $1,000
Outdoor (Countertop, Free-Standing)Gas, Wood-Fired, PelletsFrom $1,000 up to $10,000
Indoor (Built-In)Gas, Wood-FiredFrom $3,000 up to $10,000
Outdoor (Built-in)Gas, Wood-FiredFrom $3,000 up to $15,000

*Prices are estimated based on availability as of the date of this post

How Much Money Are You Willing to Spend?

Set a Realistic Budget

Now that you’ve made your wish list of every component, it is time to see how much that will cost.  Compare what you think you can spend (what your resources allow) and what you think you should spend (what the best quality oven costs). 

On average, you also need to budget 15 to 25% of the price of the oven to pay for installation costs.

To help finalize your budget, make a chart for at least three options, each item with the cost of your ideal choice for each feature.  When you are finished, add up all the numbers to see if you are within your budget.  Your chart can look like this.

SelectionPizza Oven DescriptionPrice Including TaxesInstallation Cost
( 10 – 25% estimate)
Total Investment
Great_______________________________$_________ + $_________ tax = $_________$_________$_________
Best_______________________________$_________ + $_________ tax = $_________$_________$_________
Ultimate_______________________________$_________ + $_________ tax = $_________$_________$_________

If the oven that you want is above your current budget, you can always consider financing options that will help you pay for your investment over time.  The only consideration when financing is that you need to make sure the oven you choose will last no less than three times more than the time it will take for you to repay.  In other words, you don’t want to finance the purchase of an oven over 3yrs when the oven’s quality does not survive a year or two of consistent use.

Other Things to Consider When Buying a Pizza Oven

Assembly

How easy is it to put your pizza oven together and get it ready for making pizzas?  Most folks don’t want to bring a new unit home and find out it takes an engineering degree to understand the novel-length owner’s manual.  Take some time to get an idea of what prep work is required.  The best brands reduce the amount of assembly required.  You can download any of our recommended pizza ovens owner’s manual in our product review section.

Accessories

Some people prefer the bare-bones approach, while others want every accessory known to man.  Most will fall somewhere in between.  Figure out what you want out of your pizza oven, and then determine which “extra” is a must.  Perhaps a pizza peel must be included. Maybe you can do without a pizza stone if you already have one.  The pizza oven of your choice doesn’t have to come prepackaged with every accessory you may want.  To get an idea of what accessories can be added later, check our store.

Maintenance

Maintaining your pizza oven can be a significant pain in your life.  Choosing a pizza oven that is easy to clean and maintain is a must.  Check our recommended maintenance tools for your future oven.

Service

When choosing a brand, you need to ask yourself. If a part breaks, will it be easy to replace? Make sure the manufacture of your choice has a service department and available part for your oven.

Warranty

You are probably going to invest hundreds if not thousands of dollars in your pizza oven, so you want to know you’re covered should something go wrong.  Most major manufactures stand behind their products; many offer warranties that include parts and labor for one to five years and, in some instances, for a lifetime.

Choosing a pizza oven that is on sale

Finding the best pizza oven for sale means that yes, you might be saving a few bucks here and there.  But keep in mind that you need to make sure that the oven has the requirements to make any pizza the way that you like. 

Also, that sale oven may not meet your needs and/or fit in the space where you’ll like it.  Then you would have to accommodate your needs to the oven where you can have an oven that accommodates your needs.

So, an oven does have to fit your budget, but it also has to provide the service that you expect for the money that you are paying. Accordingly, think of what makes you happier, saving some money, or having what you wanted.

In summary

We hope that this guide helped you in deciding which is the best pizza oven for YOU!

Let us know which you think is the best oven and why? we would love to know.  Do you think a wood-fired oven provides the best flavor or given the cost you rather go with gas?  Comment below or send us a note.

Our final note is this topic is that you can make pizza in any kind of oven, but to make the best pizza you need the best oven; and the best oven is the one that fills your needs, your overall satisfaction, and your budget.

Enjoy

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