TESTED: Ooni Karu Pizza Oven

Are you craving that fresh pizza taste during lockdown? Ooni have you covered with a great range of pizza ovens that you can use at home. We recently tried the Karu oven to see if it can fill that pizza shaped hole in our lives.

I have a 5 year old.  Parents of young children and adults of all ages, will no doubt understand the pain of trying to feed someone a nutritional meal when all they want is the same thing night after night after night. In my case it is pizza. Not any pizza, it has to have pepperoni on it, no cheese (well actually cheese, but none on the top of the pepperoni).  I like to cook meals from scratch and buying and reheating a heavily processed disc of dough from the local supermarket isn’t that exciting.

I have been researching home pizza ovens for a while now.  Ever since my husband refused to listen to me when I said we should have a charcoal barbecue over a gas powered one, so I went and brought it anyway, and guess what, I was right! I decided that a pizza oven for the garden would be my next purchase, but with so many to choose from, it was becoming a long process. Did I go for a cheap pizza stone to stick in the barbecue or did I spend the equivalent of a family holiday on a pile of bricks only for number 2 son to decide he hates pizza. 

Ooni is an outdoor pizza oven company, based in Scotland which was founded in 2013 after developing the world’s first portable wood pellet pizza oven in 2012.  They now have a variety of different sized pizza ovens which are powered by different sources. The Ooni Karu, is a 12 inch pizza oven which is fired on charcoal and/or wood.  An adaptor is available to enable it to be used for gas cooking.

We tested the oven using kiln dried wood and dare I say it chilled pizzas from a well known pizza company.  Now, many people would think setting up a pizza oven in the back garden when there is snow on the ground might be a strange thing to do, and I agree.  But once the well packaged oven arrived on the doorstep and it was noted how well and solidly constructed it was, there was nothing for it but to have pizza for tea, 2 nights in a row.

Night one, we dutifully stood round whilst man made fire and kept opening the door to see how well it was heating up – which slowed down the process, a slight charring around the edges, but all agreed that the well known pizza companies products were heavily improved by the use of a proper wood fired oven to cook them in.  Night two, it was decided that it was far too cold to stand outside and watch man make fire again so the family stayed indoors – I drank a suitably chilled glass of wine and waited for our dinner to arrive.  The boys pizza arrived first (pepperoni on top of the cheese) just the right crispness and the pepperoni was browned to the required colour.  This was devoured within minutes.  I was then called out to “look at the cheese” which was bubbling in that picture perfect advert type of way.  Again, another tasty pizza with an authentic woody aroma and crisp base. The pizza can be ready in as little as 60 seconds, but we found that the ones we used took around 3 minutes.

This weekend we are moving on to home made pizzas, yes you guessed it pepperoni, it will be interesting to see whether using a freshly produced pizza base will reduce the cooking time.  With several jealous friends waiting for the lockdown restrictions to be lifted so that they can experience restaurant quality pizzas in the ambiance of my back garden,  I am expecting to be popular for the rest of the year.