Review: I Tried the Ooni Koda 12—And Backyard Pizza Nights Will Never Be the Same

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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We Tried It Ooni Koda 12 Pizza OvenCamryn 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 about a year since then, and I can honestly say I don’t ever 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?

The brand 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. The Ooni Koda pizza oven, the model I bought, runs solely on propane, and is available in 12- or 16-inch models too.

There’s the 12-inch Ooni Frya pizza oven, which cooks pies using wood pellets. And don’t get me started on the Ooni pizza steel, an affordable way to turn regular ovens into pizza shop ovens. Finally, there’s the Ooni Volt, the newest addition; this electric pizza oven is perfect for both indoor and outdoor use. Oh, and don’t forget about these handy Ooni pizza oven accessories, either!

Not only do Ooni ovens cook pizza at extremely high temperatures but they’re also 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. There are many reasons why Ooni tops our list of the best pizza ovens on Amazon.

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Ooni Koda 12 Features

The Ooni Koda 12 pizza oven has an extremely sleek, compact design. The oven itself 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. We have a wooden cabinet on our enclosed deck where we keep the oven, and it 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 it 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

Toh Ooni & Accessories Ooni Pizza Oven Social Camryn Rabideau For Taste Of Home JveditCamryn 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. There was no assembly 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. A rocking pizza cutter came in handy too!

Prepping the Pies

Toh Launching Ooni Pizza Oven Social Camryn Rabideau For Taste Of HomeCamryn 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!

To make a proper Neapolitan pizza, you need to stretch the dough very thin. 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

Toh Temperature Ooni Pizza Oven Social Camryn Rabideau For Taste Of Home JveditCamryn Rabideau for Taste of Home

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

After just 15 to 20 minutes of preheating, the pizza stone reached temperatures 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

Toh Turning Ooni Pizza Oven Social Camryn Rabideau For Taste Of Home JveditCamryn Rabideau for Taste of Home

We continued to experiment 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 while it’s inside the oven using the turning peel than it is 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 all of 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. Bonus: Check out these pizza cutters for the perfect slice every time.


  • 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 required for easy operation


Toh Pizza Cookedd Ooni Pizza Oven Social Camryn Rabideau For Taste Of Home JveditCamryn 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 cook other foods in the device as well. The brand sells cast-iron cookware that fits perfectly inside the oven so you can 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 that goes in the bottom of the oven. You’re able to 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 its own 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 who’s having a blast with the Ooni pizza oven. Thousands of reviewers rave about the amazing pizza they’ve cooked with it.

“Date night got so. much. better. when my fiancé and I traded in our takeout meals for fresh-from-the-backyard pizza,” says our senior shopping editor, Katie Bandurski. “I love experimenting with different toppings. And the taste is truly restaurant-quality.” Katie loves the Ooni Koda so much, she dubbed it a summer essential.

“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.”

Final Verdict

If you’re tired of takeout or just want a fun culinary project to try with your family, the Ooni Koda 12 is definitely 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

Oonie Pizza Ovenvia merchant

The Ooni Koda 12 retails for $399, and if you opt for the larger Koda 16, it costs $599. You can purchase the pizza oven on the Ooni website or from several other retailers, including Amazon and Williams Sonoma. Psst! Keep your eyes peeled for pizza oven sales—they happen more than you think! Family pizza nights will never be the same.

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Camryn Rabideau
Camryn is Taste of Home contributor who specializes in home décor, product reviews and general lifestyle content. She holds a degree in fashion merchandising from the University of Rhode Island and jumps at any opportunity to tap into her design expertise.