The 7 Best Outdoor Pizza Ovens – 2020’s Buying Guide

Sure, frozen pizza is a real lifesaver. But, there’s nothing quite like pizza carefully prepared and cooked in a specialty oven. If you’ve ever gone to a traditional Italian pizza restaurant, you know what we’re talking about.

There’s just something about a well-cooked pizza crust with just a hint of smoke and char from the ovens. Melted cheese takes on a different texture as well, and tastes both smokier and creamier. Every ingredient shines at it’s very best when you use a great oven.

But there’s no reason you should have to wait until the next time you go to a traditional pizzeria to enjoy fantastic, oven-baked, pizzas. There are many outdoor pizza ovens designed for residential use. Like your grill, they add to your cooking options without having to worry about increasing inside temperature.

But, these ovens are an investment. It’s important to know that you’re getting a good oven before you spend your hard-earned money. In this article we’ll discuss some of the best outdoor pizza ovens on the market right now, and what features are most important for each.

Let’s get started.

Image

Name

Material

cooking space

Check Price

Alfresco Pizza Oven Plus

Heavy-duty 304 stainless steel

456 square

Napoli Bertello Natural

Thin metal

12.5" wide x 13.5" deep

Chicago Brick Oven CBO-750

stainless steel

38” x 28”

Onni Pro Multi-Fueled

Text here...

Text here...

Pizzacraft PC6500 PizzaQue

Text here...

Text here...

Mont Alpi MAPZ-SS Table

Text here...

Text here...

Mattone Barile Outdoor Pizza

Text here...

Text here...

The Best Pizza Ovens to Turn Your Backyard into a Home Pizzeria

1. Alfresco Pizza Oven Plus – Outdoor Gas Pizza Oven

Alfresco Pizza Oven Plus – Outdoor Gas Pizza Oven

The Alfresco Pizza Oven Plus is one of the better options if you’re looking for a permanent addition to your backyard. While this oven comes in both a countertop and a built-in version, it’s not a very portable oven.

That said, it’s one of the fastest to heat, easiest to use, and most attractive ovens available.

High heat is important to fully cook your pizza without drying out the crust and other ingredients. You want the crust and cheese to brown. You want to sear the moisture in the crust and under the cheese, not boil it out entirely.

The Alfresco reaches 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit in 15 minutes. That’s less time than it takes most of us to prep a pizza.

You get 456 square inches of cooking space, enough to easily cook pizzas up to 14 inches wide. That’s not quite as wide as most delivery, but several inches larger than a personal pizza. 1 pizza that size would probably feed a couple, and 2-3 will feed a family of 4.

Between the high temp and reasonably quick cooking time, you can prepare dinner for your whole family quickly and easily.

It’s also a great option for backyard pizza parties. Guests can prep the pizza while you man the ovens. Fortunately, even at its highest setting, it doesn’t shed too much heat into the surrounding area. Between the heat, and the insulation, this oven is also great for outdoor baking, roasts, or using iron skillet cookware.

It also has a built-in halogen light that’s perfect for evening and late-night cooking.

It does, however, require a natural gas hookup. If you don’t already have a hookup, you may be better served looking for a wood-fired or propane option. Still, with the necessary connection, this is one of the best outdoor pizza ovens.

However, this oven is a serious investment. Whether you choose the countertop or built-in option, you should be certain you'll get quite a bit of use out of the oven. A good way to test is how often you go to traditional Italian pizzerias or use a home pizza stone in your oven.

Both of those are better indicators than how often you eat frozen or delivery pizzas. Neither frozen or delivery tastes like fresh-baked pizza, and a high-temp pizza oven isn’t a good way to cook them.

What We Liked:

  • Attractive outer design
  • Air cooling system prevents heat from radiating out from the oven
  • Heats quickly
  • High maximum temperature
  • Cooking space designed for roasting and baking versatility
  • Stainless steel is durable in outside weather conditions
  • Halogen light makes it easy to see what you’re baking

What We Didn’t Like:

  • More expensive than most outdoor pizza oven options

2. Napoli Bertello Natural Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven

Napoli Bertello Natural Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven

This pizza oven is a little more compact and specialized than the Alfresco Pizza Oven. But, it’s still an impressive appliance.

The Napoli Bertello doesn’t rely on a natural gas hookup. That means it’s a slightly more accessible appliance for most of us. It’s also a good bit easier to install, and much easier to move along with you.

The base design uses wood, wood pellets, or charcoal. While that means that you do need to keep a fuel supply on-hand, you’ll get a smokier flavor from these fuel sources. If smokiness is less important to you, you can also buy a propane or natural gas converter and switch over to a more compressed fuel source.

It’s not quite as warm as the Alfresco, but not far from it. Its max heat is about 960 degrees Fahrenheit. However, since you're likely using wood or coal, the exact temperature varies. Your experience, what material you use, and how long you heat the oven before cooking, all make a difference.

It’s cooking surface is also slightly smaller. You’ll only be able to fit about 12” pizzas in this oven. The oven isn’t as tall as the Alfresco either.

You’ll want a pizza peel to load and unload the oven. It’s not a good choice if you’re looking for a multi-purpose oven. Pizzas and flatbreads are about all this oven can handle. It’s not tall enough to hold baking dishes or roasts.

Those details mean that this oven is best if you’ve already had some experience with pizza ovens. It can be a good oven for novice pizza-bakers as well. But, inexperienced bakers should plan on a few learning attempts before really seeing what this oven can do.

But, at only 30 lbs, and with a handle built-in, it's easily portable. You may not want to move it in and out of the house every time you use it, but it is small enough to take camping or to a new home.

What We Liked:

  • Relatively lightweight
  • Wide choice of fuel sources
  • Can reach high temperatures
  • Portable design
  • Takes up less space

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not very versatile, flat dishes only
  • Has a learning curve for reaching and controlling the temperature

3. Chicago Brick Oven CBO-750

Chicago Brick Oven CBO-750

The CBO-750 offers some of the best of several styles of pizza oven. Counter-mounted, this outdoor oven is relatively permanent. It’s well insulated and has a good cooling system to make sure you’re comfortable while you bake.

But it's also a wood-fired oven. Not natural gas or propane. Woodfire adds flavor and character to your pizza and other cooking. But, keeping the firewood itself around requires space and likely money.

Unless you have a reliable source of cheap firewood, you’ll probably spend a little more running a wood-stove than one that works with natural gas.
However, because of the superior insulation, you’ll need to use less fuel to reach maximum temperature. It will also hold heat longer.

And, since it’s a taller oven, it’s more flexible than most wood-fueled pizza ovens as well. You can easily bake, roast, and much more in this oven. It’s a superior bread-baking oven.

The CBO-750 is also designed to withstand temperature extremes with little stress. If you live someone with wide temperature swings season to season or even day to night, this oven is a good choice. Since it's designed to handle those temperature and moisture fluctuations, it will need less maintenance.

What We Liked:

  • Woodfire oven for superior flavor
  • Reaches maximum temperature of 1,000 degrees
  • Well insulated, good cooling system
  • Designed for temperature fluctuations and precipitation
  • Available in multiple colors

What We Didn’t Like:

  • No option of switching to a different fuel source

Note* while we’re featuring the pre-built version since it’s more complete, there is a DIY kit. With a little know-how and patience, the kit is a cheaper way to get the same oven.

4. Onni Pro Multi-Fueled Portable Outdoor Pizza Oven

Onni Pro Multi-Fueled Portable Outdoor Pizza Oven

The Onni Pro is one of the most flexible pizza ovens on our list. It’s specifically designed to be compatible with as many fuel types as possible. That means you get a great deal of control over your fuel costs, and that you have access to several different cooking styles.

However, it has two downsides. The Onni Pro is less attractive than many other premium pizza ovens. It’s designed for function, and you can tell.

Where other ovens might add character and beauty to your backyard, the Onni is very clearly a functional appliance first.

More importantly, it’s a very specialized tool. The cooking surface isn’t tall enough to be suitable for many other tasks. While this oven is as expensive as other specialty pizza ovens, it’s also less flexible than larger ovens.

You can fit shallow roasting pans and cast-iron skillets. That means roasted vegetables, fish, and smaller roasts are possible. But, large roasts, bread loaves, and other tall dishes likely won’t fit.

If you use the small pizza opening, recommended since it helps concentrate heat, you’ll also want a specialty pizza peel to load and unload the oven.

That said, it's one of the longer-lasting and more consistent ovens we've found. It's also a little more affordable for middle-class families and pizza-lovers alike.

It reaches almost 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That's right up with the best home-pizza ovens. It does take a little longer than some ovens to reach that heat, about 20 minutes, but you likely won't be cooking at the highest temperatures much.

At ideal cooking temp, it fully cooks a pizza in 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of the pizza and how many toppings you pack on top.

Overall, this oven is a top-quality option that’s slightly more affordable.

The Onni Pro cooks pizzas quickly and well and works with a variety of fuel sources for increased control. It's not as versatile as some ovens. It's also not a beautiful appliance. But it delivers where it really matters, superior cooking and flavor. 

What We Liked:

  • Multiple fuel sources
  • Provides great wood-fire flavor when using wood or pellets
  • Quickly cooks pizzas without over-drying or sogginess
  • Durable and designed for the outdoors

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not very attractive appearance
  • Not as versatile as larger ovens
  • Takes slightly longer to reach maximum temperature

5. Pizzacraft PC6500 PizzaQue Portable Outdoor Pizza Oven

Pizzacraft PC6500 PizzaQue Portable Outdoor Pizza Oven

If you’re looking for something a little smaller, or a little more portable, this may be the oven for you. Pizzacraft’s PC6500 is definitely a specialty oven, it won't cook anything but pizzas and similar flatbread dishes. That said, it's also a smaller, portable, and easy to use option with a low cost of entry.

You can order the pizza oven by itself and build a custom stand or mount, or you can purchase legs built-in. It runs exclusively on propane and is designed to hook up to 20 lb propane tanks. A single tank will run the oven at its highest temp for 25 hours. Factoring cooking time for each pizza, that's about 250 pizzas per tank.

Preheating takes about 15 minutes, which is average for most pizza ovens. It ensures even heating with a built-in 14" pizza stone. That maxes out your pizza size at 14". But, since each pizza takes only 6 minutes to cook, you can make several in a short cooking time.

While they don’t come with the oven, it’s worth noting that pizza craft has a range of additional pizza accessories for purchase. Everything from a storage cover for the oven itself, to a crust tool to prevent uneven rising and bubbles, can be bought from the same manufacturer.

The PC6500 only weighs about 26 lbs. That’s light enough to move comfortably from place to place, take camping, or even take indoors for storage.

While there aren't fuel converters for this model, propane is readily available in most areas. The biggest downside of propane as a primary fuel source is that it doesn't provide the same smoky flavor as wood-fired ovens.

This oven also features a rounded dome, which helps redirect heat down evenly onto the top of your pizza.

However, there are some temperature control problems with this oven. The built-in thermometer can become unreliable after a while. It’s probably a good idea to buy an infrared thermometer so you can check the exact heat and heat distribution in your oven.

The PC6500 also requires a pizza peel and doesn’t come with one. While most of the ovens on our list would also benefit from a peel (we recommend a wooden one), it’s worth mentioning with this oven in particular since it’s difficult to operate without one.

You'll also likely need to rotate your pizzas more often with this oven since it can develop hot spots while you cook.

What We Liked:

  • Highly affordable
  • Fuel efficient
  • Cooks pizzas quickly
  • Comes with a high-quality pizza stone
  • Easily portable for camping and other activities

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Can develop hot spots while cooking
  • Built-in thermometer not always reliable

6. Mont Alpi MAPZ-SS Table Top Gas Pizza Oven

Mont Alpi MAPZ-SS Table Top Gas Pizza Oven

Another lighter, more portable, option, the MAPZ-SS still looks more like a premium pizza oven. This stainless-steel design holds heat well, doesn't go through too much fuel and is still light enough to pack into an RV.

One of the big advantages that comes with this pizza oven is its easy-to-clean design. The top of the arch is easy to get to, and rarely accumulates much oil or grime. The bottom features a pull-out drip tray that will let you remove it and quickly clean.

While the pizza stone is a good quality stone, we do recommend getting a second one. One weakness we found with this pizza oven is that it doesn’t distribute the heat throughout the oven. Adding a little more thermal mass improves the heat distribution. That reduces the chances of scorching the bottom of your pizza as you cook.

But, even with the second pizza stone, it’s more than tall enough for roasting, baking high-rise bread, and more.

However, it has another slight temperature problem. It doesn’t reach the higher heats you really want for traditional pizza. You can easily reach 500-550 but trying to get to 600+ can be a struggle on cold or winter days.

If you have kids, it’s also worth noting that the stainless-steel exterior can get hot. You’ll want to keep small family members away from the oven while you’re cooking. 

What We Liked:

  • Stainless steel design for added durability
  • Tall enough for most baking needs
  • Relatively fuel-efficient
  • Lightweight enough for easy portability

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Heat isn’t as consistent, or high, as we’d prefer
  • External area heats up more than other ovens

7. Mattone Barile Outdoor Pizza Oven Kit by Brickwood Ovens

Mattone Barile Outdoor Pizza Oven Kit by Brickwood Ovens

We also wanted to include at least one true DIY kit. While buying a pre-built oven requires less of your own time and expertise, you have fewer customization and mounting options. A pizza oven kit is likely a better choice if you’ve invested a lot of time and energy into your backyard.

The last thing you want, when you add a backyard kitchen, is for it to ruin the aesthetic of the rest of your yard and garden.

We don't recommend DIYing if you're looking for a cheaper oven. While the kit itself is significantly less expensive than buying a finished oven, you still have to factor in materials costs. Brickwood Oven provides an estimate for the kit, which puts it close to the price of most premium residential pizza ovens.

We can't talk too much about the temperature retention or the other key features of a pizza oven with this option. There's simply too much variability in the supplies you use, which could create significant performance differences.

However, Brickwood Oven's guide makes good recommendations. Their instructions are clear enough that you should be able to build a quality oven without needing a ton of prior experience or expertise.

What We Liked:

  • Lets you customize materials and appearance
  • Doesn’t need a lot of expertise
  • Can be built-in with other outdoor kitchen appliances
  • Can work with patio/landscape and overall backyard design

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Performance can vary quite a bit with different construction materials.

Conclusion:

We’ve talked about several different types of pizza oven, from built-in fixtures to mobile camping ovens. The right one for you is, of course, a matter of personal preferences and need.

We think it's worth paying attention to a couple of considerations above the others, however. You may already know which feature's we're about to mention, we've talked about each of them several times and with multiple ovens. Still, it's worth exploring a little more.

Weather Durability: Any outdoor fixture needs to be more durable than an indoor appliance. Devices that stay outside all the time need to be at least partially water-proof, have strong seams and connections, and few openings. The more cracks and openings, the more precipitation, wind, and wind-blown debris will wear down your appliance. 

If you live in a very temperate climate that is consistent all-year-round, you may need a less weather-resistant oven. But if you live somewhere that sees significant temperature fluctuations, it's important. Check the oven description to see if it mentions weather resistance.

Fuel Source: Fuel Sources are more than just how you control heating. Depending on the fuel you use, you may need specialized hookups and installation, extra storage space, or storage safety requirements. 

Unless you have a natural gas hookup in your home, you’ll need to plan on keeping fuel around. Ideally, an outdoor shed for wood, or an indoor closet for propane will keep your fuel safe and ready to use.

Versatility: Modern kitchens, inside and out, are increasingly dominated by specialized appliances. Don’t get us wrong, specialty tools are fantastic. As an example, quesadilla makers are much more convenient than making quesadillas in a pan. 

But, each specialty item increases the amount of storage and appliance space you need to effectively cook.

Since an outdoor pizza oven is a significant investment, it's worth considering whether you want a specialty tool. Additional versatility may cut down on the other appliances and tools you need.

While some versatile ovens may be slightly less well-suited for pizza, that isn’t true for all of them. We recommend getting a taller oven you can bake and roast in. But, if you’re a true pizza lover, versatility is less important.

Hopefully, this list has helped you understand your options, as well as the most important features in a pizza oven. Even if you decide to go with a different oven than the ones we've recommended, we hope you now have the information to make that decision with confidence.

marketever