Wood-fired vs gas: The best outdoor pizza oven for you

Now the weather’s starting to warm up, it’s time to turn your attention to cooking outdoors. And we’re not talking about boring barbecues with burnt bangers and burgers – we’re talking pizza. Delicious home-made, flame-grilled, crowd-pleasing pizza.

But where do you start when it comes to choosing a portable pizza oven? Do you go wood-fired or gas-powered – or even multi-fuel? Do you need a cover or a bag to carry it on the move? How about accessories? Fear not. Our range of outdoor ovens has all your pizzaiolo aspirations covered. Picking out the best pizza oven for you is almost as much fun as choosing your favourite pizza toppings!

In this guide, we’ll browse the latest and most loved pizza oven models from our range. Plus, all the outdoor cooking accessories you’ll need to get the best results at your outdoor gatherings. Good pizza – no, great pizza, starts here.

Why are outdoor pizza ovens so popular?

Who doesn’t love pizza? Especially a Vesuvius-hot home-made one, ready in no time and served outdoors in the sunshine. You could make pizza in your indoor kitchen oven, but the truth is, it just won’t get anywhere near the high temperatures needed for perfect pizza.

That’s where a Lakeland outdoor pizza oven wins out every time – they can be taken anywhere, they’re easy to set up, easy to use, heat up quickly (around 15-20 minutes), and turn out perfectly cooked pizza every 60 seconds. Modest ingredients are rapidly transformed into something incredible, but we believe in keeping the price modest. When weighing up which oven is best for you, you’ll notice that Lakeland pizza ovens deliver quality without a super hefty price tag.

So, let nothing get in the way of your pizza conjuring journey! There’s nothing better than gathering family and friends together to share slices and stories, and ponder the age-old question – should pineapple be allowed anywhere near a pizza? The answer is…?

Wood-fired vs gas: does it really make a difference?

It’s all down to personal preference in the end, but there are differences between firing up your pizza oven with gas and burning wood pellets.

Wood-fired pizza ovens, with their mesmerizing flames and aromatic smokiness, infuse your food with flavour and the cooking process with an undeniable charm. These outdoor ovens burn wood or fuel pellets at high temperatures to give you that authentic artisan taste.

These models of oven can bring a sense of tradition to your garden party and offer culinary wonders that go way beyond pizza. Think wood-fired steaks, fish and even desserts. You can find inspiration in the Ooni Cooking with Fire cookbook, which is packed with ideas for making the most of your oven.

But if it’s simplicity and convenience you’re after, then the sleek efficiency of a gas-powered oven is unrivalled. With the simple turn of a knob, you can create the perfect cooking temperature, bypassing the fuss and fury of tending to a wood fire.

Why choose wood-fired?

First and foremost – taste. You just can’t beat that natural smoky, ‘campfire’ flavour that cooking pizza in a wood-fired oven imparts. Plus, you can subtly change the flavour by choosing different kinds of wood. And you don’t have to carry a gas bottle around with you either.

Of course, there is a downside to cooking with wood. And that’s clearing up the ash afterwards. You’ll also have longer to wait before you can start cleaning too, as the ash has to burn out and cool down first.

Happily, if you still want that authentically artisan flavour without so much mess, some ovens use special hardwood pellets (more on this later). Sustainably sourced, they maintain the consistent high temperatures needed for perfect 12” pizzas. They’re easy to light, burn efficiently and produce hardly any ash so you get a long, clean burn every time.

The other disadvantage of a wood-fired oven compared to a gas-powered oven is it is more difficult to maintain a consistent temperature over longer periods of time. And a wood-fired oven needs a little bit more attention than gas to keep it burning.

What is the best type of wood for a pizza oven?

The quality of the fuel really does affect the taste of your food, so it’s important to choose well. Any hardwood you use can be supplemented with fruitwood, like apple or plum, to add some subtle extra flavours to your dish.

Ooni also create their own wood pellets for use with any outdoor oven or barbeque. These premium pellets are 100% compressed oak fibre, burning cleanly and for a long time.

Otherwise, any wood that burns really hot without producing much ash is ideal. This will save you time when it comes to cleaning out your oven and will also protect your guests and food from picking up unwanted specs. Any dense, dried hardwood is suitable for your oven, including ash, beech, sycamore, birch and oak.

Why choose gas-powered?

Well, for a start, a gas-powered pizza oven is cleaner to use than alternative models. Cleaner in terms of mess, as there’s no ash piling up from wood or charcoal smears endangering your favourite trousers. They’re also cleaner environmentally, as they produce relatively little in the way of pollutants.

Gas pizza ovens are also easier to set up – you only need to attach the burner to a gas bottle and you’re ready to go. Once they’re lit, they tend to heat up a little bit quicker than wood-fired too which means less fuel and less wait time, a win-win!

Simple to light with piezo ignition, the heat is easier to control and keep consistent with a gas-powered oven too, which is useful if you’re cooking things other than pizza in your oven. Gas-powered ovens do tend to be a bit more expensive up front, but once you’re cooking, they offer a more economical choice. If you value convenience and bang for your buck, then a Lakeland gas pizza oven is worth is weight in golden crispy dough.

How about a multi-fuel oven?

If you want keep your cooking options open, then multi-fuel is the way to go. Ooni’s multi-fuel Karu 12 and 16 can both be used with wood, propane gas or charcoal, giving you lots of flexibility and control over what you’re cooking. You can even combine charcoal and wood on some models.

Ultimately, it’s up to you which Ooni you choose – but thanks to their Flame Keeper technology, which keeps the heat in and maximises fuel use, you can rest assured that they will all turn out perfectly cooked pizza, time after time.

Best Pizza Ovens for 2024

So how are these two approaches comparing in 2024? This year, dinner time conversation can’t help but turn briefly to increases in the cost of living and concerns about our planet. That’s why our prediction is that the Lakeland Gas Pizza Oven will come out on top this summer.

While both wood-fired and gas-powered options have their merits, the greener and more economical fuel choice seems to be gaining popularity. Not only are gas pizza ovens better for the environment, emitting fewer pollutants compared to wood-fired alternatives, but they also offer cost savings in the long-run. With faster heating times and greater energy efficiency, gas-powered pizza ovens deliver both convenience and sustainability without compromising on the delicious flavour of your favourite baked foods.

Gas ovens have all the qualities of the year’s best pizza oven, popular amongst environmentally conscious consumers and anyone keeping half an eye on their budgets.

The Best Pizza Oven for You

We’ve made it easy for you to choose the right pizza oven for your household, lifestyle and budget. Our handy at-a-glance guide will see you cooking all different types of pizza and more in no time. Save us a slice!

  1. Best overall modelLakeland Gas Pizza Oven
  2. Best aestheticsGozney Olive Roccbox Portable Wood-fired Pizza Oven
  3. Best cooking innovationEverdure Kiln 2 Dual Burner Pizza Oven
  4. Best multi-fuelOoni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven
  5. Best accessories bundle  Alfa Forni Moderno 1

Best overall model – Lakeland Gas Pizza Oven

Lakeland Gas Pizza Oven
Price£299.99
Reasons to buyAffordable, easy to set up and low maintenance to cook with, this oven will be ready to cook in just 15 minutes! You can fold up the legs and take this lightweight model anywhere you’re going.
ConsYou’ll be asked to bring it every garden gather this summer!
SpecificationsFully assembled 65 x 36 x 35cm H. 10kg.

Why this oven?

Ready right out of the box, the Lakeland gas pizza oven is good to go in minutes. All you need to do is flip open the foldable legs, insert the stone baking board, and connect your gas cylinder.

This is one of the lightest models in our range, coming in at just 10kg. Because there’s no chimney and the legs fold neatly away, there’s no drama in packing it up and taking it wherever you want to go. To make life even easier, we also designed a made-to-fit Lakeland Gas Pizza Oven Cover that has a comfortable carry handle.

So, head out to the back garden, round to a friend’s barbecue or to the beach! It’s also perfectly compact, ideal for anyone whose outdoor space is restricted to a small backyard, or even a balcony.

Best aesthetics – Gozney Olive Roccbox Portable Pizza Oven

Gozney Olive Roccbox Portable Pizza Oven
Price£399.00
Reasons to buyThe Roccbox claims to deliver restaurant-grade from the comfort of your own garden, cooking each pizza in just 60 seconds!
ConsAsh needs to be cleaned out after use
SpecificationsFully assembled 35 x 80 x 40cm H. 24kg.

Why this oven?

Designed to match the performance of Gozney’s professional ovens, this Roccbox replicates a true wood flame but on the move. The oven’s thick stone floor and dense insulation make for a hot oven and mouthwatering results. It also makes for a sturdier build than other models in our shortlist, and this oven is relatively heavy. But all that heft means it’s a design that’ll last you through the years.

The Gozney Olive Roccbox Portable Pizza Oven makes wood-fired cooking feel easy and look impressive. With its stylish colour blends and sleek construction, this pizza oven model will bring a chic aesthetic to any outdoor gathering.

An added bonus is the family-friendly design. This portable oven has a safe-touch silicone jacket, reducing the risk of burns that always comes with outdoor cooking and high temperature ovens.

Best cooking innovation  – Everdure Kiln 2 Dual Burner Pizza Oven

Everdure Kiln 2 Dual Burner Pizza Oven
Price£699.00
Reasons to buyThe Kiln oven from Everdure sports several unique features, including two burners – one of which is a U-shaped top burner, the other is underneath – and a rotating pizza stone. All of this ensures flawlessly even cooking.
ConsHeavier than other models.
SpecificationsFully assembled 66 x 74.1 x 38cm H. 29.2kg.

Why this oven?

The Everdure Kiln 2 boasts a sleek, circular design that’s guaranteed to turn heads just as effortlessly as it turns your pizza! The rotating pizza stone is designed to give your crusts an even crunch, and it doesn’t hurt that’s it’s quite the party trick. Your friends and family will be mesmerised by the process and wowed by the results!

The Witt Rotante is another model employing this innovative technology. With a rotating pizza stone, you won’t need to awkwardly try and turn your food using a pizza peel ‐ just pop in the dough, let the oven do its thing, and take out your golden haloed pizza.

Best multi-fuel oven – Ooni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven

Ooni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven
Price£699.00
Reasons to buyFuel flexibility and room to make 16″ pizzas, this Ooni oven is great for feeding and entertaining with a range of home baked goods.
Cons
SpecificationsFully assembled 50 x 81.5 x 84cm H. 28kg.

How about a multi-fuel oven?

We’ve seen some of the best gas-powered pizza ovens on offer, and a couple of great wood-fired alternatives. But if you’re feeling torn between the two, don’t worry, you can keep your cooking options with a multi-fuel model.

What sets the Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Oven apart is the technology behind the grill. It’s powered by electricity but flavoured by real wood pellets. Harnessing this technology, you can bake pizza, roast vegetables and even smoke meats from home.

Another option is Ooni’s multi-fuel Karu 12 and 16 can both be used with wood, propane gas or charcoal, giving you lots of flexibility and control over what you’re cooking.

Why this oven?

The Ooni Karu 16 makes outdoor cooking even more versatile and brings advanced technology to your pizza party. Offering multiple fuel options, you can use wood or coal for a more purist pizza experience and subtle wood-fired flavour, or if you want your pizza making to be a bit a cleaner and lower maintenance, you can opt for an Ooni Gas Burner (sold separately).

With Ooni Karu 16’s enhanced design features, you can make 16-inch pizzas while enjoying better temperature control, more fuel-efficient air flow, increased oven insulation and better visibility. With just 15 minutes of preheating, you’ll be cooking at 500°C, making flame-cooked pizzas in 60 seconds, perfectly seared steaks, grilled veggies and more!

Ready to Make Pizza in Minutes?

By now you should have a good idea which outdoor pizza oven will work best for you, but to summarise:

Among the top contenders, the Lakeland Gas Pizza Oven stands out as the best overall model, offering easy setup, low maintenance, and portability for hassle-free outdoor cooking. For those who prioritize aesthetics, the Gozney Olive Roccbox Portable Pizza Oven delivers both style and performance with its sleek design and rapid cooking capabilities, making it a sophisticated addition to any outdoor space.

Meanwhile, the Everdure Kiln 2 Dual Burner Pizza Oven impresses with its innovative features like dual burners and a rotating pizza stone, ensuring even cooking and adding a touch of excitement to your culinary adventures. Lastly, the Ooni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven offers unparalleled versatility with its ability to use wood, charcoal, or gas.

Pizza oven accessories

So now you’ve chosen your shiny new Lakeland pizza oven, you’re going to need some accessories to get the best out of it – our selection of bundles help make choosing easier and save you some money.

Best premium accessories bundle – Alfa Forni Moderno 1

Alfa Forni Moderno 1 Bundle
Price£1,77.00
Reasons to buyEquipped with a full set of professional pizza-making accessories, this bundle comes with everything you need to serve fresh, homemade pizzas straight from your garden.
ConsToo heavy to be easily portable.
SpecificationsFully assembled 73 x 64.5 x 105cm H. 79kg.

Why this oven?

Best for the budding pizzaiolo, this bundle gives you everything you need to cook with flare and professionalism. With your pizza rake and firelights, you’ll be able to prepare the oven for cooking. Wielding a pizza peel will make you the official head chef and star of the show!

The unique ‘flattened’ half-dome design of the oven is ideal for maximising circulation and heat flow. The oven quickly reaches temperatures as high as 500°C – hot enough to cook a Neapolitan pizza in just 90 seconds. They also ensure that lower temperatures is sustainable for long periods, creating the perfect environment for braises, curries, chillis, steaks and stews.

What pizza oven accessories to buy

If you’re looking to start your own collection of pizza accessories, then consider a long-handled pizza peel for getting your pizzas in and out of the oven, and for turning to ensure even cooking. An infrared thermometer is also handy, as it can tell you when your oven is hot enough and pizza-ready.

As we’ve already mentioned, some portable pizza ovens have bespoke carry bags and covers to make transportation easier. These will also keep your oven protected when it’s not in use.

If you really want to take things up a notch, a pizza topping station is perfect for outdoor entertaining when you’re making lots of pizzas with different toppings. Roll out your pizza dough, spread your sauce, add your favourite toppings and make delicious pizza!

The best pizza oven for you will unlock a whole new world of outdoor cooking – Buon appetito!