Ooni Koda 12 Review: The pizza oven you’ve always wanted is finally here

There are very few things quite as satisfying as pulling a fresh pizza out of the oven and taking a second to admire your handy work. You’ve put toppings on dough, spread evenly, and melted everything into one another to create what is easily one of the greatest food creations in history.

There’s one problem though. While you can pull out perfectly good pizza from your oven, you haven’t seen anything yet until you’ve used a dedicated pizza oven.

Lucky then, that Ooni Koda only recently launched in Australia, timed perfectly as more homeowners start to think about how they can get a pizza oven without the difficult installation.

This is the solution – the Ooni Koda 12, which is an outdoor pizza oven clocking 9.25kg with enough space to cook a 12-inch pizza in one minute.

That’s the promise, and after spending a few months with the Ooni Koda 12, that’s easily the delivery.

It’s compact and powerful, with the gas-powered oven capable of reaching 500°C in just 15 minutes. That’s the reason for such a speedy delivery of perfectly cooked pizza, offering plenty of value for something so small and portable. If you like you pizza, it’d be crazy not to own one, given it’s fairly affordable at around $649.

Ooni Koda 12 Review

I set-up the Ooni Koda in the backyard of my share house and it takes me all but a few minutes once I have the right connection. You’d need to go to your local and get a cylinder if you don’t already have one, and then simply connect it via the included cable. It’s safe, simple and convenient. So convenient, I’d say, that I’d say the Ooni Koda 12 can easily be taken on any camping trip with zero hassle.

Included in the box is the oven itself as well as a stone baking board, and the cable to connect to your propane tank. It’s worth forking on a bit extra to get some add-on items such as a branded pizza peel and an infrared thermometer. Although the latter hardly seems necessary once you really get the hang of heating this bad boy up.

The size is part of the appeal. The Ooni Koda 12 could easily suffice for anyone with a small apartment and a balcony or reasonably sized yard. Flame-cooked pizza is then just a minute away once you slide the pie into the oven and wait.

There’s a dial on the front of the oven that you simply turn to ignite the burner. I tend to do this before I start assembling my pizza, and I don’t make dough from scratch. Just buy some pre-made pizza bases from your local supermarket, as the compromise on texture is easily accounted for by how perfectly the toppings caramlise in the Ooni Koda 12.

Once 15 minutes has passed, it’s safe to assume – if you don’t have a thermometer – that the oven is more than ready to handle your pizza. Just slide it in and you’ll see the crust start to puff up beautifully. Watching cheese melt in this oven is hypnotizing.

Even cooking is the main skill you’d need to get right here. I find rotating the pizza at least three times, so once every 20 seconds, really helps to get that consistency around the crust, and for that having the pizza peel is valuable.

I would say a good pizza oven is equivalent to a good coffee machine. If it does what it’s supposed to do, then you’ll end up saving money in the long-run. As long as the Ooni Koda 12 can make restaurant-quality wood-fired pizza, and it can, then heading on out to your local for pizza night no longer makes sense.

Your mates will love you for it. Trust me.


Highlights: Reaches those blisteringly high temperatures very quickly; very easy installation; portable for camping.
Lowlights: Need some practice if you want to cook pizzas evenly; a lot of the essentials are sold seperately.
Price: $649