The 4 best pizza ovens to fire up this summer

Whether it’s a super-sized summer-ready option from Gozney or DeliVita’s colourful compact model, these are the best al fresco pizza ovens…

Is there a dish more scrutinised than the pizza? The globally consumed, utterly ubiquitous dough-with-topping marriage is sadly only considered worthy of food elites if it was piped hot in a behemoth brick oven; Neapolitan style.

And, when it comes to the homemade slice, the end result has always seemed a little unremarkable, as standard kitchen ovens are not, on the whole, engineered to provide your pies with that desired blistered taste. Yet, in recent times, the likes of Gozney and Ooni have formulated portable outdoor versions to assist the domestic cook in reaching his long-held pizzaiolo dreams. 

So, if you’re after something close to a taste of Naples, start perfecting your kneading techniques, gather that holy assortment of ingredients – thick-skinned San Marzano tomatoes, made sweet by Vesuvius’s soil; olive oil from southern-Italian groves; a few snips of fragrant basil; and hand-torn shreds of bufala mozzarella – and turn up the heat to any one of these four zia-approved options…

Ooni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven

First up, an option from Ooni. It’s a brand as rustic and reliable as it is fun to say — and, once those syllables have rolled off your tongue, you’ll be able to enjoy slice after slice of perfectly professional pizza. In fact, this is the only pizza oven to be officially ‘Recommended for Domestic Use’ by the veritable and venerable ‘Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana’.

It’s unassuming, very versatile and takes either wood, charcoal, or gas (if you buy the right attachment) – with the former, the oven can reach high heats within 15 minutes. There’s a hinged oven door with ‘ViewFlame™’ technology to boost visibility and a mounted digital thermometer to display the oven’s exact fierce, cheese-charring temperature.

The 4 best pizza ovens to fire up this summer

Ooni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven

£699.00

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DeliVita ‘The Olive Green Oven’

A slightly pricier piece of kit, ‘The Olive Green Oven’ from DeliVita is just one of the hot-burning brand’s colourful options. The oven itself — a wood-fired tabletop set-up with a handcrafted clay composite shell and refractory stone base — remains the same, but there’s an eight-strong spectrum of bold colours to choose from, including ‘The Chilli Red’ and ‘The Orange Blaze’.

But we’d recommend a less fiery shade; and this subtle green colour is the perfect option for any garden setting. At 30kg, the oven also leans towards the compact end of things, which is ideal for those with little outdoor space to spare. Moreover, the optional extras are a gadget/gourmet enthusiast’s dream; from an infrared temperature gun to a stylish heatproof leather glove. 

The 4 best pizza ovens to fire up this summer

DeliVita ‘The Olive Green Oven’

£1,395.00

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Igneus Ceramiko 600

Perhaps the most rough, ready and rustic oven on our list, the ‘Ceramiko 600’ from Igneus looks like it could have been lifted straight out of a traditional trattoria’s courtyard. Impervious to both the frost and the extreme heat it takes to cook pizzas, it can yield you the perfect crust in just 60 short seconds.

That beautiful light red tone is created using a blend of sand and cement, hand-cast into a compact dome. And, if you want to personalise or customise your ‘Ceramiko 600’ further — like the toppings of your signature pizza — an optional ‘Render Kit’ is available to ensure your oven uniquely blends in with the rest of your outdoor cooking area. 

The 4 best pizza ovens to fire up this summer

Igneus Ceramiko 600

£1,159.00

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Gozney Dome

And, finally, a jet-engine of a pizza oven and one of the most popular in its category. The ‘Dome’ from pizza aficionados Gozney is perhaps the best balance of price and power in the category; it may flame into a four-figure price bracket, but the two temperature probes and built-in digital thermometer allow for ruthless efficiency.

And it’s not just perfect for pizzas. Thanks to Gozney’s searing R&D department, the brand has cooked up an oven than can roast, smoke, steam or bake. You can create dishes super fast, or low and slow. And, with innovative air ventilation, unbeatable heat retention and a ‘steam injection system’ to ensure the crispiest crusts in the business, it’s the oven your summer (and tastebuds) deserves. 

This article was taken from the Summer 2022 issue of Gentleman’s Journal. Take a look inside the latest magazine here…

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