Ooni 101: Your Ultimate Ooni Oven Guide
Unexpectedly, Ooni outdoor pizza oven (formerly Uuni) has become one of our favourites, and never once did we regret purchasing it! This oven is a holy grail as it can make a pizza within 3 minutes. Continue reading this blog to learn more about how your pizza dates can turn more beautiful with Ooni.
Three Types of Ooni Pizza Oven
Ooni offers three different models that have their own distinctions. Whether for professional or for beginner use. To know more about each of them, keep on reading!
This is an excellent option if you want a simple pizza oven that doesn’t involve wood or charcoal for it runs on gas. There is no need for a complex installation since it is portable and connects directly to a gas tank. You can grab this simple yet convenient oven for $299.
While Ooni Koda is gas-powered, this one right here is fired by wood. This oven suits perfectly for beginners and people on a tight budget for its welcoming price of $279. Cheapest, yet relatively portable and you can use wood pellets to fuel it.
Aside from being multi-fuel outdoor pizza, the Ooni pro is also the largest model, making it the least portable, but it still fits onto a small table nicely. Its larger size allows you to cook meat, bread, and vegetables as well as pizza. There are many fuel options, such as wood, charcoal, pellets, and gas. For $599, you’ll get the most flexibility with this one.
Choosing the right Ooni Oven
All Ooni models are perfect, but you must buy according to your preferred unit. For us, we purchased the Ooni pro for its flexibility. We like having many options for fuel type, and portability wasn’t a consideration to us; that’s why we purchased the largest model.
The Ooni 3 would be perfect for beginners and those who don’t want to spend a lot on an oven. It is a low-maintenance oven that is fueled by wood. However, I highly suggest that you don’t buy an Ooni 3 when you are cooking for many people.
If you want the simplest unit, you can seal the Ooni Koda. Nevertheless, since the machine is gas-powered, you should be aware that it might be inconvenient to refill a gas tank.
Using Wood Pellets in the Ooni Pizza Oven
We have tried different options to fuel our oven‒wood pellets, wood chips, and charcoal. Our Ooni also runs on gas; however, we haven’t tried the gas alternative since we don’t have a gas line outdoors, and we’d rather not deal with a gas tank.
After all the trials and errors, wood pellets won our hearts. It was the cleanest method, so we never had to deal with ash! Unfortunately, maintaining a high temperature using it for a long time can be a struggle. It would be perfect to use if you are planning to make few pizzas, but it would be a big not if you are making for a crowd. However, we add few pellets after some minutes. In addition, the jam funnel and a small computer fan were helpful.
- Jam Funnel: It can be a storage for pellets placed on top of the hopper. This means you can store more pellets as you want, resulting in more time saved since refilling now and then is unnecessary.
- Computer Fan or Small Fan: This fan will be behind the Ooni, blowing more heat onto the stones and pizza. This helps a lot during windy days.
Wood Chips: Our Favorite Fuel
After exploring with wood pellets, wood chips unexpectedly amazed us. They were effective and took less effort than pellets. We usually use hickory or mesquite, but since the pizzas cook so fast, there is no difference in taste, so there is no need to worry about the flavour of wood chips!
Aside from that, I discovered that charcoal and wood burn hotter. So we bought lump charcoal to go with the wood chunks. Combining lump charcoal and wood chunks has become our favourite method. We would put the mix to the back of the oven and add a little lighter fluid, then there you have the roaring fire. For best results, we let it burn for 10 to 15 minutes, adding more wood chips as needed. Expect that the pizza will be ready within 20 minutes!
Just a tip, make sure to buy lump charcoal. Some may confuse charcoal briquettes as lump charcoal; they are different since briquettes produce more ash!
Most Recommended Ooni Accessories
In this part, you will find out the best Ooni accessories you can pair up with your beloved oven.
For me, I am currently enjoying my stainless steel pizza peel to slide my pizzas in and out of my Ooni. However, rumour has it that wooden peels are less complex since the dough is unlikely to stick to it. But for me, I would continue using this stainless steel as it is easier to clean!
This is designed to fit perfectly inside the Ooni. This is also great for making broccoli and asparagus. Plus, you can find this cheaper on Amazon.
Ooni also sells this kind of gloves; however, they do not fit our hands. You can also find heatproof gloves on Amazon. Bigger gloves can be harder to manoeuvre safely, thus getting gloves that fit right would be easier to use. You can also use them to add more fuel.
Best Dough for Ooni Pizza Ovens
Neapolitan-style pizza is our favourite, and this oven makes it the best. As per my experience, thick crust pizzas would result to burn even the dough cooks, so it would be best to avoid cooking thick crust pizzas in the oven.
Our favourite way to make pizza dough is by using this recipe. Our Kitchen-Aid mixer with a dough hook makes it more convenient to make.
However, if you like making traditional pizza like a Neapolitan-style pizza, a “00” flour is necessary. This is a type of flour that is extremely finely ground. We can usually pick it up at Whole Foods, although sometimes hard to find. It is totally worth it to splurge on this flour for its delicious texture in the crust!
Our Favourite Pizza Toppings
Playing and combining different pizza toppings is so much fun to do, but we tend to keep it simple and less. Adding a lot of toppings may be too much for a thin crust pizza. Sauce cheese and less than two toppings would be perfect. Finishing it with fresh basil is top-notch!
You can add certain toppings after the pizza is cooked. I love caramelized onions and goat cheese, but make sure you add the caramelized onions after. It’s best to cook the pizza before adding the onions; otherwise, the onions will be charred. In addition, we love adding a dollop of burrata or dust of herbs.
Our Favourite Pizza Sauce
We recommend using Rao’s Tomato Basil pasta sauce. We like using pasta sauce than pizza because it’s a perfect option for pizzas to cook in less than 2 minutes. However, real pizza sauce is excellent for a slow-cooked pizza. Pick what works best for you, but Rao’s tomato basil pizza sauce is my best choice!
Achieve that perfect pizza
Your first attempt making a pizza could be a flop, but don’t get discouraged! Like what happened with me, my first pizza was a disaster. I tried using a thick pizza crust, and I did not open the chimney correctly. It was resulting in a low-temperature oven, and we weren’t also adding enough wood pellets. But that did not stop me.
When pizza doesn’t turn out the way you planned, don’t get frustrated. There have been times when the pizza falls apart entirely and sticks in the oven. However, we’ve also made so many delicious pizzas. In all honesty, one of my favourite foods is homemade pizza!
Make sure to use high-quality ingredients, it might be a pain in the pocket, but it’s all worth it! Find the best and right type of flour, spend a lot on fresh mozzarella, explore the sauces. Have fun!