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Published May. 21, 2021

Takeout and delivery ’za are expensive. Frozen slices are tragic. While investing in a pizza maker sounds like an excessive “solution,” it’s actually essential if you want to instantly upgrade all your meals while saving money in the long run. Say bye-bye to soggy bottoms and freezer burn. Plus, baking pizza is fun! On a night at home, making a pizza together as a family is a great boredom buster, bonding activity, and time waster. And when you’re done you have a delish meal to share that you all made together (which automatically makes it taste better). The best pizza oven is one of those small kitchen appliances that are worth adding to your cooking arsenal ASAP.

Things to consider when picking the best pizza oven

There’s nothing like a piping-hot slice with all your favorite toppings. And there’s really nothing like making one of those picture-perfect pies all by yourself. Whether you like deep dish, thin crust, or a classic New York slice, it’s possible to find the best pizza oven for you once you know what you’re looking for. The trick is to know your budget and then go from there. Pizza makers can range anywhere from 40 bucks to thousands of smackeroos, so narrow down your options by price, then decide what features are non-negotiable: Do you want something that rotates on its own, so you don’t have to stand sentry and turn the pie every few minutes? Would you like to be able to pop the machine in the dishwasher when you’re done? Are you looking for something that can make multiple pies at once, to satisfy both the pineapple-and-ham lover and the pepperoni-only lover in your group? The world of small kitchen appliances is vast and potentially overwhelming, so this list of the best pizza ovens is where to start. 

Related: Preparing for patio parties? Get that grill ready with these tips.

Things to consider when picking the best backyard pizza oven

If you’re looking for a small pizza oven for your backyard or patio, size is as important as quality. If you don’t have much space to spare, look for something that’s highly regarded but won’t take up a huge amount of room. (Note that just because a pizza oven is small doesn’t mean it will be lightweight, so plan to use a strong, stable surface—one where you wouldn’t mind leaving the oven for a while.) The best small oven can be used for more than just ’za—you can cook fish, veggies, and all sorts of other stuff al fresco when the weather’s right. 

If you’ve got room—and dough!—to spare in your outdoor space, go big and go home! A massive restaurant-style backyard pizza oven won’t just turn out stellar pies, it’ll give you serious bragging rights, too (these are very, very cool looking). In general, a larger oven will heat up to hotter temps and feature extras like a wooden handle (for easy, burn-free opening and closing), as well as a stainless steel dome.

How to pick the best electric pizza oven for your needs

There are pros and cons to an electric pizza oven. Though they might not turn out the restaurant-quality ’za of a big beautiful brick or stainless oven, they get the job done without taking up a huge amount of room. Plus, they’re safe to use inside. And just because they’re not as fancy as, say, a massive outdoor gas option, lots of newer options come with the bells and whistles of their bricky brethren, like quick preheating times, easy cleanup, and a built-in timer. Nestle this baby between the toaster oven and coffee maker, and you’re good to go.

Want to cook pizza like a pro but don’t know how? Pick a simple oven

Sure, if you’re a more confident dough designer, you could splurge on something complicated, like a backyard pizza oven or professional-grade model with loads of extras. But if you’re just a hungry person with limited time and/or space, or maybe someone intimidated by overly customizable kitchen appliances, search for something small and easy to use. A simple oven will rack up many enjoyable meals.

Got more dough to cook than to spend? No worries!

Two words: Betty. Crocker. The fictional best mom in the world has been around since 1921, and though she’s known for her cookies, her pizza oven is a top choice among homemade pizza aficionados. In addition to being a legacy brand, the Betty Crocker pizza oven is versatile and a total bargain. Plus, it’s lightweight and travel-friendly, ideal if you can’t imagine traveling without your very own pizza maker.

Best pizza oven overall: Ooni Karu 12

Ooni Karu 12

This portable pizza oven can cook with both real wood and charcoal, giving you a yummy meal every time. Ooni

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Use the Ooni Karu 12 to level up your homemade pizza game. It’s capable of reaching up to 950°F and is ready to use within 15 minutes. To get it going, you can pick your preference between wood or charcoal. The specially-designed fuel tray maximizes airflow to bolster the flames, all while leaving it with no excess ash to clean out after cooking. Weighing in at just over 26 pounds, you can bring this oven with you anywhere, from your backyard to a park BBQ. If you want to use the oven for other food—like steak, fish, or vegetables—Ooni has add-ons and other cast iron cookware to make the Ooni Karu 12 super multifunctional.

Best small backyard pizza oven: Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza Oven

Camp Chef Italia Artisan Pizza Oven

This easy-to-clean option heats up in just 15 minutes and turns out brick-oven-quality pies. Camp Chef

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This portable, patio-sized artisan pizza oven hooks up to a 1-pound disposable propane bottle but can also connect to a standard propane tank. The double-layer ceiling, ceramic pizza stone, and micro-adjust flame controls achieve heating dynamics like a wood-fired brick oven, perfect if you want to bake bread, roast meats, or just make a perfect artisan pie. A built-in temperature gauge monitors your slices, as the oven can reach temps upward of 700-degrees Fahrenheit. 

Best large backyard pizza oven: ALFA 4 Pizze Outdoor Stainless Steel Wood-Fired Oven

ALFA 4 Pizze Outdoor Stainless Steel Wood-Fired Oven

A pyrometer helps track the temp in the oven’s chamber for the perfect round every time—or make that four rounds, which is how many this one can fit at a time. ALFA

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You get what you pay for. This cooker is a looker and super-efficient thanks to a stainless steel dome. You’ll achieve 840-degrees Fahrenheit in 30 minutes to achieve that truly wood-fired char. Additionally, this backyard pizza oven got bonus features including shelves and utensil holders, ceramic-fiber insulation (which maintains warmth and reduces wood consumption).

Best countertop pizza oven: Professional Series Pizza Oven Baker

Professional Series Pizza Oven Baker

Temp control of the 1,450 watts means that someone who likes their pie thin and crispy can happily coexist with those who prefer doughy and soft. Continental Electric

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This durable, stainless steel countertop pizza oven preheats in minutes, features a cool-touch handle, and cleans up quickly. Able to cook a 9-inch pizza in six minutes thanks to top and bottom heating elements, it’s perfect for the busy undergrad (or grad or grown-up—basically anyone who wants something relatively affordable and simple to operate). And a 30-minute timer reminds you that food is ready. Families and groups with different tastes will definitely benefit from the adjustable heat setting. 

Best on a budget: Presto Pizzazz Plus Rotating Oven

Presto Pizzazz Plus Rotating Oven

This plug-in countertop option—with 1,235 watts of power—not only works on pizza, but also everything from chicken nuggets to cookies. Presto

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One of the best parts of an electric pizza oven is having top and bottom heating plates that operate independently, so you can control your bake. If you use the timer option, the device will automatically shut off when time is up, meaning you won’t be tethered to the oven while your meal cooks. Plus, it spins, meaning you don’t have to constantly turn food for even cooking. Oh, and the nonstick baking pan is removable and easy to clean. 

Also consider: Betty Crocker Pizza Maker Plus

Betty Crocker Pizza Maker Plus

Weighing in at less than a pound, this little lady is the perfect addition for any aspiring chefs who doesn’t have much room or dough to go around. Betty Crocker

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The nonstick surface of this Betty Crocker pizza oven means it’s a multitasker: Flatbreads, omelets, quesadillas…the entire culinary world is your oyster (ooh, baked oysters!) with this 12-inch circular style of electric pizza maker. But, of course, your primary focus is pizza, which gets a perfectly crispy crust in 15-20 minutes on the stainless steel nonstick surface. Plus it’s a quick and easy clean-up!

FAQs

Q: How do you clean the inside of a pizza oven?

Every model is different, so read the instructions that come with yours to avoid any mishaps. In general, if you have a classic stainless steel or wood-fired oven, invest in a scraper brush to remove food and ash. You can also use a damp, hot rag to get rid of peskier residue. Some smaller electric models are dishwasher-safe (when securely removed from all electrical sources, of course). Again, when in doubt, read the user manual.

Q: How long do you cook pizza in a pizza oven?

The answer depends on what kind of pizza oven you’re using, the temp you’re cooking at, and how you like your ’za. After that, it’s a bit of trial and error, and requires total concentration and supervision, at least in the beginning, and plenty of rotation for an even cook. Lower temps could mean a pizza will take 20 minutes to cook; higher temps could mean piping-fresh dough in as little as a few minutes. Again, read your user’s manual, follow directions, and don’t be afraid to trust your instincts. If you have a feeling your pizza is ready, pull it out and check!

Q: What is the best pizza oven for home use?

The answer depends on what type of home you live in, how seriously you take your pizza-making, and what kind of budget you’re working with. If you’re short on space and want to keep things simple, a standard countertop electric pizza oven will not only get the job done, it’ll pinch-hit on other foods like eggs and baked goods, saving you money and space. If you fashion yourself a pizza aficionado and/or aspiring chef—and you’ve got the outside space to spare—you can go for a high-end, professional-quality cooker. The good news is that there are loads of options in between, for those Goldilocks-like pizza makers out there. 

Related: You need somewhere to enjoy that slice, so grab the best patio furniture.

A final word on finding the best pizza oven for your needs

The best pizza oven for you and your family could be a massive backyard pizza oven, a countertop pizza oven, or even one of your favorite small kitchen appliances—like the Betty Crocker pizza oven, which doubles as a miracle worker on all sorts of foods. The biggest things to consider before you invest are your budget, space, and particular needs and wants from your new kitchen gadget. What’s right for you may not be right for someone else, so figure out how much you want to spend, then go looking for the right pizza oven—it’s definitely out there. Buon appetito!

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