Ooni Koda 12 Review: This Is Our Favorite Pizza Oven for Small Backyards

Updated: May 08, 2024

Since owning the Ooni Koda 12, we've barely ordered takeout. Homemade pizzas are just so much better! Here's everything you need to know about the must-have backyard appliance.

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Ooni Koda 12 Pizza Oven Ooni On Camryn Rabideau For Taste Of Home Mledit ACAMRYN RABIDEAU FOR TASTE OF HOME

Although you can make homemade pizza, it usually doesn’t come out quite as good as a fresh pie from your local pizzeria. Residential ovens just can’t reach the high temps needed for that perfectly crispy crust. However, outdoor pizza ovens are changing the game by making it possible to whip up professional-quality pizza in the comfort of your yard. It’s no wonder they’re all the rage lately!

As a self-proclaimed pizza enthusiast and lover of cool cooking appliances, I knew I needed to try the Ooni Koda 12 pizza oven. This gas-powered oven claims to cook perfect pizzas in as little as 60 seconds and can reach temperatures up to 950 degrees! After several weeks of lusting, I finally caved and bought the Ooni Koda 12 for my backyard. It’s been over a year since then, and I honestly don’t want to live without it.

What is the Ooni Koda 12?

Ooni pizza ovens have been around since 2012, but they recently surged in popularity as people searched for creative ways to pass the time at home. After all, what better way to spend time with family than by making homemade pizza?

Ooni ovens cook pizza at extremely high temperatures and are significantly sleeker and more compact than many other brands. They’re designed to be portable, allowing you to make pizza virtually anywhere, and they won’t take up a huge chunk of storage space when not in use.

The Ooni Koda 12 cooks 12-inch pies in just 90 seconds. It connects to a propane tank, just like your favorite gas grill, and fits in tight outdoor spaces.

Ooni Koda 12 Features

The Ooni Koda 12 pizza oven has an extremely sleek, compact design. The oven is around 23 inches long and 14 inches wide, and it stands on three metal legs with rubber tips. The legs fold up when the oven isn’t in use, making it fairly easy to store. I have a wooden cabinet on our enclosed deck where we keep the oven, which doesn’t take up much space.

The Ooni Koda 12 only weighs around 20 pounds, so it’s easy to move around as needed and has a gray, powder-coated finish. However, the finish does scratch fairly easily if you’re not careful. At one point, we had the oven on a low table and our dog jumped up on it, leaving a few good scratches on the surface.

How We Tested It

Oonie pizza oven with a pizza peel and thermometer outside on a tableCAMRYN RABIDEAU FOR TASTE OF HOME

As the proud owner of an Ooni Koda 12, I’ve (slowly) become a pizza master over the past year. Here’s how I put the oven through the paces—and what I learned along the way.

Set-Up and Assembly

When I first received the oven, I was impressed that it was ready to use right out of the box. No assembly was needed—all I had to do was put the pizza stone in the oven and hook it up to a 20-pound propane tank. Along with the pizza oven itself, I also purchased the brand’s perforated pizza peel and an infrared thermometer, which allows you to measure the temperature of the pizza stone while the oven is on.

Prepping the Pies

putting a pepperoni pizza into the Oonie pizza ovenCAMRYN RABIDEAU FOR TASTE OF HOME

The first time we used our Ooni Koda 12, my partner and I kept it simple by making ourselves a few pepperoni pizzas. I used the Ooni pizza dough recipe, and we topped our pies with pizza sauce, fresh mozzarella and pepperoni. Yum!

You need to stretch the dough very thin to make a proper Neapolitan pizza. You also have to generously flour the peel to get a good “launch,” the term for sliding the pizza off the peel into the oven. Pro tip: Top your homemade pizzas with freshly shredded cheese, courtesy of this genius cheese shredder.

The First Few Uses

using a temperature gun to check the oonie oven temperatureCAMRYN RABIDEAU FOR TASTE OF HOME

There’s a learning curve to using the Ooni Koda 12, especially if you’ve never used a pizza oven. But luckily, the process is easy to master.

After just 15 to 20 minutes of preheating, the pizza stone reached a temperature of 650 degrees. The cooking time is typically only two or three minutes, so it’s important to monitor your pizza closely while it’s cooking. Otherwise, you can quickly end up with burnt edges. Because we were total novices at pizza baking, our first few pies certainly weren’t as picturesque as the ones on the Ooni website. However, they were still tasty, and we could see the oven’s potential.

Becoming Pizza Pros

a pizza on a pizza peel inside the oonie ovenCAMRYN RABIDEAU FOR TASTE OF HOME

We continued experimenting with the Ooni, and slowly, our pizzas became more and more beautiful. We’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way. Here are some of our top tips:

  • Spend the money on the Ooni pizza-turning peel. The back of the oven is much hotter than the front, so you need to rotate your pizza while it’s cooking for even results. It’s much easier to turn the pizza inside the oven using the turning peel than to take it out and rotate it on a regular peel.
  • Preheat the oven for as long as possible to get the stone nice and hot, but before you launch your pizza, turn down the gas so the flames don’t burn your crust.
  • Keep your pies on the smaller side. The Ooni Koda 12 can hold pizzas up to 12 inches wide, but they’re much easier to turn if you give yourself a few inches of wiggle room.
  • If you make your own pizza dough, use 00 flour. It makes for a much smoother dough and delicate crust.
  • Don’t go crazy with the toppings. If you put too much on top of your dough, the ingredients might go flying when you launch the pizza into the oven.

We hosted a small backyard party with my family, and the pizzas came out phenomenal! Everything was perfectly cooked—no burnt edges to be found. I’d definitely recommend practicing a few times before you try to wow your friends. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll never want to get takeout again.


  • Cooks restaurant-quality pizza extremely quickly
  • Two sizes available
  • Reaches temperatures up to 950°F
  • Straightforward operation
  • Legs fold for compact storage


  • Learning curve for picture-perfect pies
  • Several pizza tools are required for easy operation


a freshly baked pizza on a pizza peel with oonie oven in the backgroundCAMRYN RABIDEAU FOR TASTE OF HOME

What else can I cook in my Ooni pizza oven?

Although Ooni pizza ovens are most often used for cooking Neapolitan-style pizza, you can also cook other foods in the device. The brand sells cast-iron cookware that fits perfectly inside the oven to cook meat, fish and vegetables in the high-heat oven. You can also cook homemade bread right on the pizza stone.

Do you need a pizza stone for Ooni pizza oven?

The Ooni Koda 12 comes with a cordierite stone baking board in the oven’s bottom. You can cook directly on the board and do not need a separate pizza stone.

Can Ooni pizza oven be used indoors?

Ooni pizza ovens are for outdoor use only, aside from the Ooni Volt. Because the other models reach extremely high temperatures, they require appropriate ventilation and clearance on all sides for safe operation.

Can you use store-bought dough in Ooni pizza oven?

If you don’t have time to make homemade pizza dough, you can use store-bought dough in your Ooni. The brand even has a premade pizza crust mix that you can try.

What size pizza can you cook in Ooni 12?

As the name would suggest, you can cook 12-inch pizzas in the Ooni Koda 12. That being said, I’d recommend opting for smaller pies. Having that extra space inside the pizza oven allows for easier turning.

What Other Reviewers Had to Say

I’m not the only one having a blast with the Ooni pizza oven. Thousands of reviewers rave about the amazing pizza they’ve cooked with it.

“So glad I took the plunge and ordered one,” writes Ooni reviewer, Kristina W. “Works like a charm and I love having pizza night with the family. The fact that I can tote it wherever to enjoy pizza is an even better bonus.”

The Ooni Koda 12 is the perfect size for our home,” adds Trina D., a verified Amazon reviewer. “My husband has been super excited to use it and has become of a sort of pizza aficionado. It connects to our propane tank and is easy to light. Not all pizzas have come out perfect but we are still learning and this has made pizza night more of a weekly thing. We love it.”

Product Comparison

The most direct comparison is the Ooni Koda 12’s big sister, the Ooni Koda 16. The two models function exactly the same, except the Koda 16 fits pies up to 16-inches. It also weighs more and takes up more space.

Ooni also offers models that use different fuel sources. The versatile Ooni Karu pizza oven comes in 12- or 16-inch sizes and runs on wood, charcoal or propane. There’s the 12-inch Ooni Frya pizza oven, which cooks pies using wood pellets. Finally, there’s the Ooni Volt; this electric pizza oven is perfect for indoor and outdoor use. Oh, and don’t forget about these handy Ooni pizza oven accessories, either!

Why You Should Trust Us

At Taste of Home, we’re pizza oven experts. We’ve spent over three years researching, testing and evaluating the top models on the market. Product reviewer Molly Allen has led the charge, testing 10 models to date. Molly has tried the dual-fuel Gozney Rocbbox, budget-friendly Solo Stove Pi Prime, rotating Blackstone pizza oven and even the new-to-market Gozney Arc. To supplement, our expert Test Kitchen team has reviewed the Cuisinart 3-in-1 pizza oven and Ninja Woodfire. I also bring 8 years of professional product testing experience to the table.

Final Verdict

If you’re tired of takeout or want a fun culinary project to try with your family, the Ooni Koda 12 is a worthwhile addition to your backyard oasis. It does take a little practice to figure out the right technique, but soon, you’ll be whipping up delicious pizzas that rival those from your favorite restaurant. Plus, this model is compact enough for travel, meaning you can take it tailgating, camping and more. After a year, my Ooni Koda 12 is still working great and looks as good as new. I can’t wait to continue making memories (and cheesy, saucy masterpieces!) with this outdoor appliance.

Where to Buy the Ooni Koda 12

The Ooni Koda 12 retails for $399. You can purchase the pizza oven on the Ooni website or from several other retailers, including Amazon, Williams Sonoma and BBQ Guys. While small, it sure makes mighty delicious pizzas!