It is a well-known secret that we are serious pizza fanatics over here at Busted Wallet and the folks at Ooni have caught our attention once again. Last year, we reviewed the Ooni 3 Pizza and now we got our hands on their newest pizza oven, the Ooni Koda. Designed with ultimate convenience in mind, the Koda fires up with a simple turn of the dial. No longer are the ovens wood burning, which means while cooking with propane you will get minimal smoke and soot for a fuss-free experience. Ooni has become one the premier names in the outdoor oven space because they believe that everyone deserves great pizza. They design their pizza ovens to make cooking amazing pizza at home fast, easy and affordable.
We agree with the folks at Ooni that to make truly fantastic pizza, you need very high heats. Like its predecessors, the Ooni Koda reaches double the temperature of domestic ovens in 20 minutes or less and cost a fraction of the price of traditional, permanent wood-fired ovens. How did our pizzas turn out? Here’s what we found out after making a ton of pies!
Key Features & Specs:
- FAST: Heats to 932°F (500°C) & cooks pizza in just 60 seconds.
- EASY: No assembly, built-in propane ignition & adjustable heat control dial.
- COMPACT: Fits in any outdoor space – use and move with ease.
- Stone baking board included
- Ooni Koda Manual and Ooni Essentials Guide with tips and recipe included in the box
- Unboxed weight: 20.4 lbs.
- Cooking surface: 13¼ x 13¼”
Setup for Ooni Koda is incredibly simple. The hardest part was actually getting it out of the box. Once you’ve unpacked it, you simply flip open the fold-able legs, insert the stone baking board, and connect to a propane tank. Once you have successfully connected the regulator, open the valve from your propane tank and push in the igniter switch located on the back. Slowly turn the control knob counterclockwise until you hear a click and the burner ignites.
We experienced a little trouble our first time starting up. You can’t really see if you have a flame from the back where the igniter switch is. Also, it can be difficult to tell if you have a flame because Ooni Koda is extremely quiet you don’t really hear flames roaring. I had to constantly peek in through the front to see if the flame is lit. Once you are lit, simply wait a few minutes to let the oven warm up and you can start cooking.
The Ooni Koda is one beautiful pizza oven. It’s a super compact, portable, and was designed with these objectives in mind. The first thing you will notice is the sleek design in comparison to the previous ovens. The most glaring change is the fact that the Koda does not have a chimney. The Koda is designed to reduce smoke and the propane burner and valve assembly are designed in order to ensure a very clean burn, and the entry to the oven has been designed to function in the same manner as a chimney normally would.
The oven is made from commercial grade cold-rolled carbon steel shell with high-temperature resistant, powder-coated finish which gives a very sharp look. The Koda also features a 10mm cordierite stone baking board and a built-in Flame Safety Device that will automatically cut off the propane supply to Ooni Koda if the flame is extinguished while the propane supply is on. Another big change from previous models is that there is no longer a door to the front that you must take on and off. The Koda has been designed for ultimate speed. Now you can easily watch your pizza cook and easily rotate it without having to deal with a pesky door. Overall, the design and build of the Koda is beautiful, functional and easy to use, making it a great backyard oven.
The biggest performance improvement from previous models is going to be the overall temperature control. Since we are no longer dealing with wood pellets, it is much easier to maintain your desired temperature by the control knob in the back. So now that I’ve done the testing, what is the perfect pizza cooking temperature? Well, I still don’t know. I am still playing with the proper temperature. I do recommend letting the pizza heat up for a while. You want to get that stone nice and hot and that was the biggest struggle I had with the Koda.
In the Ooni 3, I often got the stone too hot and my crust would finish cooking before my toppings. With the Koda, I struggled to find the perfect cook temperature and my crust was lagging while my cheese and toppings were crisping up. For the most part, I was cooking in the 750-775-degree territory. I was never able to get the oven up to the advertised 932 degrees, but I was often dealing with wind and cool spring days.
Since the oven no longer has a door, the cooking space will have a large temperature gap. I recommend getting a temperature gun so you can keep an eye on your oven temp. Since we are using propane, can we call our finished pizzas wood-fired? Technically, no, but I found little difference in taste with the finished products. I know we associate wood-fired pizzas with a nice smoky flavor, but the difference was not that noticeable. You are cooking pizzas so fast; it is hard for the crust to soak up all that wood flavor anyways. Most flavor stems from the reaction of the extreme heat and flame to the dough and toppings, creating that flame charred pizza flavor.
Overall, the Ooni Koda performed very well in our test sessions. It heats up quickly and so simple to use. While you may dip a smidgen in flavor due to the lack of burning wood, you win in functionality. Controlling the temperature and not having to feed the pellet chute were huge for me. This allowed me cook better pizzas and keep a better eye on the process which led to great results.
Priced at $299, the Koda should be in everyone’s backyard, right now. If you love pizza (which you obviously do) and have also wanted to make them yourself, then the Koda is summoning you. The oven is sharply designed and built to be the easiest to use backyard oven. No more stoking coals and feeding the pellet chute. Simply un-fold the legs and press a button to get warmed up. The Koda also continues to hold up. When reviewing the Ooni Pro, I noted the discoloration changing the look of the oven after a few uses. With the commercial grade cold-rolled carbon steel shell and high-temperature resistant, powder-coated finish, the Koda has kept its original shine and color. If you are looking to take your backyard BBQ to the next level and you don’t want to fuss around, then the Ooni Koda is the pizza oven you should take a look at.
- Easy set up
- Better temperature control with propane
- Very affordable
- Finding the perfect temperature can be difficult
- Could not get temperature as hot as advertised