Everything you Need to Know to Buy the Perfect Outdoor Pizza Oven in this Ultimate Gas Pizza Oven Buyers Guide
When most people think of a pizza oven, they think of authentic wood-fired pizza. But thanks to advances in technology, collecting firewood and cooking over hot coals is a thing of the past.
Gas pizza ovens are quickly gaining popularity. Fuel is easier to access, they are more portable, and they offer many other advantages over wood-fired ovens.
What You Can Expect From This Gas Fired Pizza Oven Buyers Guide
In this guide, you’ll learn why you might choose a gas pizza oven over a wood-fired one, how to select the size and portability of your new oven, and how to get the most use out of it.
In This Article, We’ll Explore:
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Why Choose a Gas Pizza Oven?
Enjoy pizza the way it was meant to taste when you cook it in a pizza oven. Pizza is a favorite food around the world and one of the most eaten in America. Everyone has their favorite toppings, crust styles, and even eating techniques when it comes to pizza.
You can take your pizza love to the next level by cooking it in your own backyard with a gas pizza oven. Imagine enjoying hot, fresh pizza made to your exact specifications every time a craving strikes.
A pizza oven is also a fun way to bring friends and family together for parties and traditional pizza nights.
A gas pizza oven makes all this possible and much more.
No Smokey Flavor
Traditional wood-fired pizza ovens tend to leave a smokey, burnt flavor on the food. While it’s delicious in meats, not everyone loves a smokey pizza.
Gas pizza ovens allow you to get that crispy texture on your curst without the woodsy aftertaste.
They Are A Space Saver
Gas pizza ovens take up less space than a traditional wood-fired pizza oven.
Typically, wood-fired pizza ovens are larger and more permanent structures.
On the other hand, a gas pizza oven is more compact and can fit wherever you’d like in your outdoor kitchen or patio area.
You Get More Temperature Consistency
Gas ovens maintain your desired temperature throughout the cooking period: no more doughy centers and burnt edges. You can cook your pizza to the perfect temperature every time.
No more guessing how close the coals should be or when and if you should put on more wood to increase the temperature. Simply set the gauge to the desired temperature and let it do its work.
Gas Pizza Ovens vs Wood Pizza Ovens
The biggest advantage of gas ovens over wood-fired ovens is the convenience and ease of use—no more tracking down special applewood or chopping it. Just turn the dial and let the oven preheat.
Gas ovens are also much quicker to heat up than wood. Even after you’d done all the prep work of finding and chopping wood, you still have to get it lit and let the fire burn down into hot coals before you can add the pizza.
Save time and energy with a gas pizza oven and get right to the fun! Propane is easy to install, and if you already have natural gas in your home or running to your outdoor kitchen, a professional can quickly install it for you for a one-and-done fueling solution.
Most gas pizza ovens are designed to replicate how a wood-fired pizza oven heats up. The only difference is the heat of the floor base of the oven. Because gas ovens don’t heat up from the floor, it will take a little longer to get hot. The solution is to give the oven a little extra time to preheat before adding the pizza.
Where Will Your Pizza Oven Go?
Before you buy your pizza oven, you need to decide where you’re going to put it. Most people prefer it as part of their outdoor kitchen or backyard entertainment space. At the same time, others spend more time cooking indoors and would like to have it more accessible to their indoor kitchen.
You will have more options if you plan on using your oven outside, as most pizza ovens are designed to be used in open-air areas.
When deciding where to place your oven outdoors, you’ll need to consider whether or not you’ll have it under a cover and how the oven’s chimney will work with the structure.
You’ll also want to consider how you will install the pizza oven if it is heavy and needs special equipment to move it. If you’re going to put it in a space that’s not easily accessible by, say, a forklift, then you might need a lightweight oven or a pizza oven kit.
Indoor ovens can only be installed if they are compatible with your local residential regulations. So before purchasing your indoor pizza oven, make sure that it meets all the safety requirements, and that’s it’s UL-listed.
You’ll also want to make sure that the measurements of your space are exact and that you have a way to get it through the front door.
Check And Measure Your Space
Whether you opt for an indoor or outdoor gas pizza oven, make sure you measure then measure again so that the pizza oven you want to buy will fit properly in the space you hope to use it.
What Size Pizza Oven do You Need?
You can get pizza ovens in just about any size ranging from small to extra large. To help you decide how big of a pizza oven you should get, first consider the amount of space you have in your backyard or kitchen.
Then think about how many people you plan on serving. For example, if you regularly host large parties and have the space for it, a large or extra-large pizza oven would be ideal. However, if you just use your pizza oven for an occasional date night with your spouse, a smaller oven will suffice.
Here is a quick breakdown of pizza oven sizes.
Small Pizza Ovens
Small pizza ovens can be up to 26 inches wide and fit only one 12-inch pizza at a time. It’s ideal for a quick and simple dinner for you and maybe one other person if you’re in the mood for sharing.
Medium Pizza Ovens
Medium pizza ovens range from 27 to 33 inches wide and can fit two to four 12-inch pizzas at a time, depending on the exact dimensions. It’s the perfect size for small families or gatherings with a limited guest count.
Large Pizza Ovens
Large pizza ovens can be anywhere from 34 to 42 inches wide and can simultaneously cook four to six 12-inch pizzas. If you have a larger family (four or more people) and everyone wants to build their own pizza, a large pizza oven is the way to go.
XL Pizza Ovens
Extra-large pizza ovens are any events over 43 inches in width. They can cook anywhere from six or more 12-inch pizzas at once. These extravagant ovens are the way to go if you regularly cook for a large crowd or host big celebrations.
Know Your Budget
The price of gas pizza ovens varies greatly. You can find smaller ones for around $250 while larger ones can cost up to $9000 or more. When you have a budget in mind, it will help narrow down your choices and will make shopping for a gas pizza oven much more straightforward.
Pizza Oven Configurations
There are so many factors that come into play when choosing the best pizza oven for your space and lifestyle. Choosing the style and configuration of the pizza oven you want will help you further narrow your search.
Built-In Pizza Ovens
If you want your pizza oven to be the focal point of your outdoor kitchen, then a built-in is the way to go. When you go with a ready-to-finish style pizza oven, it allows you to match the oven’s exterior with your desired aesthetic using ceramic, stone, or brick to personalize your oven.
Built-in pizza ovens also give you a space to hide your fuel tank if you don’t have natural gas hookups.
Countertop Pizza Ovens
Countertop pizza ovens give you the advantage of adding a pizza oven to your already finished outdoor kitchen. There’s no construction or redesign needed. Simply use your oven on a countertop or a cart to add extra versatility to your cooking space.
Freestanding Pizza Ovens
If you just want to add to your outdoor entertainment space without remodeling it, a freestanding pizza oven is the way to go. These are great as you can move them undercover or into storage as needed. They’re also more affordable than built-in pizza ovens.
Portable Pizza Ovens
For extra mobility, consider a portable pizza oven. These are the most affordable and smallest pizza ovens on the market. Because of their compact design, you can take them to the beach, camping, tailgating, or even on a road trip, so you have an endless supply of hot, crispy pies.
Many of the portable pizza ovens can collapse down for transporting or storing when not in use. While you’ll only be able to fit in one pizza at a time, you won’t sacrifice space or flavor with a portable pizza oven.
DIY Pizza Oven Kits
Do you spend your weekends watching HGTV and DIY Network? Will you enjoy your pizza a little bit more knowing you put your hard work and elbow grease into the oven?
Then a DIY pizza oven kit is for you. DIY kits will provide the premade components of the oven for you to assemble and finish yourself.
There are modular kits, which come with cast concrete pieces to create the oven’s dome as well as insulation. From there you can finish the exterior with either a pre-made option or a custom enclosure to match your design preferences.
You could also opt for a brick kit, which gives you cut interior bricks instead of a precast oven dome and saves you some hassle of cutting since all of the parts are cut into shape and ready to be assembled.
These kits are typically more affordable than prefabricated ovens. Because they come in pieces, they’re also a safe bet if your backyard is too small or inaccessible for a prefabricated oven to be transported in in one piece.
Prefabricated Pizza Ovens
Building a custom pizza oven from scratch isn’t ideal, especially if you’re limited on time, materials, or skill set. In that case, a prefabricated oven can give you the option to customize while including a perfectly engineered product.
Pizza Oven Construction
Gas pizza ovens usually come with a steel exterior and a cement interior. The less expensive ovens might have painted steel or be powder-coated, while better quality ovens are surrounded by stainless steel.
Stainless steel ovens tend to hold up better in the weather and last longer overall. So if you’re planning on keeping your oven outside year-round, 304-grade stainless steel is your best bet.
The inside of the oven might consist of a cement dome or tile floors. Others might have steel throughout the design, surrounding the refractory cement.
Most DIY or ready-to-finish models don’t include an exterior design and allow you to customize the outside of the oven yourself.
Prefabricated Pizza Ovens
If you’d rather get on with the cooking and skip the “build it yourself” step, then you can go for a prefabricated pizza oven.
Prefabricated ovens will still require you to measure your space and make sure that it can hold the weight if you’re placing it on top of a counter.
Prefabricated ovens usually start at about $1000.
What Do You Plan On Cooking In Your Pizza Oven?
The materials you choose for your pizza oven are influenced by what kind of cooking you plan on doing and how much time you want to spend doing it. Here are some of the pros and cons of different pizza oven materials.
Hot And Fast Cooking
Metal ovens heat a lot quicker than brick, so if you do not like to wait around for your food, metal is a great way to go. The caveat of metal ovens is that while it heats quickly, it also cools quickly.
It won’t retain the heat as well as brick, but as long as you’re using a gas-fueled oven, it will be easier to control the temperature.
Pizza ovens can be used for so much more than just pizzas. While you don’t necessarily need a pizza oven to stay hot for long periods if you’re only cooking pizza, you might want to get the most out of the oven by cooking things like meat, bread, or desserts.
Because brick holds heat for a longer amount of time, you won’t need to worry about it staying hot once the oven reaches the desired temperature.
Another advantage of a brick oven is that while it’s preheating or slow cooking, you’ll have plenty of time to prep the rest of your meal or just relax with your crew and enjoy a cold drink.
How Much Food Do You Plan On Cooking In Your Pizza Oven?
If you’re ok with only cooking a few pizzas at a time, then your pizza oven shouldn’t take up much space. However, if you plan on using your oven for large events, you’ll definitely want a large or extra-large option.
A medium or large pizza oven is versatile in most cases. It will still be worth heating up for a pizza or two with a friend, but it can also handle a larger crowd if you want to host a pizza-building party.
The great news is that pizzas only need to cook between 6 and 10 minutes apiece, so even if you go with a smaller option, you’ll still be able to fling out plenty of food for everyone.
If you’ve got the space for it and if it’s within your budget, a larger pizza oven is a beautiful addition to any outdoor space.
Conveniently, even if you don’t have room for multiple pizza ovens, you can still enjoy delicious slices from a portable or even countertop size oven. This will also allow you to take your oven wherever you go.
How Many Pizzas?
Earlier on in our gas pizza oven buyers guide we talked about the different sizes of pizza ovens, and the number of 12-inch pizzas each size can typically hold.
If you need a refresher:
- Small ovens: One 12-inch pizza
- Medium ovens: Two-four 12-inch pizzas
- Large ovens: Four-six 12-inch pizzas
- Extra-large ovens: Six or more 12-inch pizzas
How big your pizza oven is will depend on the size of your cooking space, your budget, and your lifestyle. The larger your oven, the more pizzas you can fit in it.
If you plan on cooking for large groups regularly, an extra-large pizza oven will let you cook six or more pizzas at a time, while a small oven will only give you room for one.
Additional Questions To Ask Yourself
Before you go out and buy the first gas pizza oven you see, ask yourself the following questions. It will help you narrow your search and make you confident in your final decision.
- Will my pizza oven be inside or outside?
- What kind of ventilation, if any, will need to be installed?
- Can I incorporate my oven into my landscaping project or a new outdoor kitchen setup as a focal point?
- How much space do I have, and will the floor and counter hold the weight, or will they need to be reinforced?
- Do I want it ready to go, or am I planning on customizing it?
- How often will I use it?
- What will I use it for?
- How important are aesthetics?
- How many people do I plan on cooking for?
- Will I need any additional training before I use it?
Other things to consider are…
How Much Time And Effort Will You Invest?
You might look forward to designing and building your own pizza oven, or you might be ready to move on to the cooking and eating part of the process. You can choose a suitable gas pizza oven depending on the amount of time and effort you’re willing to put into the project.
You can buy a premade oven that’s ready to go and use immediately, or you can construct it yourself. If you go the precast oven route, you can expect to spend around 20 hours to get it up and running.
If you’re all about DIY, then plan on investing 50 hours or more into the project.
How Often Will I Use It?
If you’re planning on using your pizza oven every week or, in that case, most nights, you’ll want to make sure you invest your money and energy properly. Get or build something that will last long-term with multiple uses.
On the other hand, if you only plan on using it for special occasions, it doesn’t make sense to invest too much time and money into your gas pizza oven.
What Is Your Skill Level?
If you already have some construction and masonry skills or would like to learn, choosing a pizza oven to build from scratch or one that allows you to customize the finished look is a great option.
Otherwise, it can be very costly and a headache to do it yourself, so it’s essential to be realistic about what you can and can’t do yourself.
Will I Need Additional Training To Use My Pizza Oven?
There’s a learning curve that comes with any new form of cooking. Pizza ovens are no exception. The good news is that a gas pizza oven is much easier to master because you don’t need to distribute the heat with the coals manually.
It might still take a little time and patience to master sliding the pizza into the oven, rotating it, and removing it, but once you take that first bite, it will all be worth it.
Do I Want It To Be Portable?
A portable pizza oven means that you can cook on the go. It also gives you the freedom to take the pizza oven with you if you ever move.
If you’re someone that likes to rearrange your outdoor space and mix things up once and a while, a portable gas pizza oven gives you the freedom to do so. It’s a great option if you’re not keen on commitment.
How Much Do Aesthetics Mean To Me?
As you shop for your new gas pizza oven, keep in mind how it will look in your space and with the rest of your outdoor aesthetic.
You may want a pizza oven to match other appliances in your outdoor kitchen, such as your stainless steel grill. Or you might want a more traditional-looking pizza oven surrounded by bricks or stucco.
Some homeowners paint the dome a color that pairs well with the outdoor decor or uses tiles or glass as mosaics to make the oven a piece of art.
If you’re more concerned with performance over appearance, you won’t need to spend too much time comparing styles. Just remember that you can have the best of both worlds and find the perfect match for your backyard entertainment space.
What Essentials Do I Need To Go Along With My Pizza Oven?
Your pizzas will only be as good as your pizza equipment. Make sure you have the accessories you need for the best backyard pizza results.
An Infrared Thermometer
Any backyard chef knows the importance of an Infrared Thermometer. If you don’t have one already, invest in one. They’re generally very affordable and help you get that pizza to the perfect temperature.
It will also help you know when your oven is hot enough to start cooking.
Don’t ruin your beautiful pizza creation trying to unstick it from a metal peel to get it into the oven. A wooden one is specifically designed for loading raw pizza into the oven without sticking. A little flour or cornmeal on top will help it slide right in.
A metal pizza peel is perfect for rotating your pizza to get an even cook and then removing it when you’re done. If you can only get one Pizza Peel, get the metal one, but that second wooden peel is well worth the investment.
Get that pizza all sliced up and ready to share with a sharp Pizza Cutter. If you’ve ever tried slicing pizza with a knife, you know it doesn’t work so well. Save yourself some time and frustration with a high-quality pizza cutter.
Once you’re done cooking, you’ll want to clean out the oven floor. A two-sided brush works great for scraping up any burnt-on food and sweeping out any ash buildup.
Heat-Proof Gloves are also a safe way to get your oven pristine without having to wait for it to cool down completely.
A Fun Pizza Cook Book
If you’re new to the world of pizza ovens or just want to explore new recipes and techniques, check out “The Pizza Bible.” It gives great tips on how to cook in a pizza oven properly and is full of detailed pizza recipes you’ll drool over.
Final Thoughts On Our Gas Pizza Oven Buyers Guide
Gas-fueled pizza ovens are a great alternative to traditional wood-fired pizza ovens. You get the authentic crust, perfectly melted toppings, and the fame that comes with cooking perfect pizzas without the hassle of burning wood.
There are so many styles, sizes, and looks to choose from, and you’re sure to find the perfect gas pizza oven for your outdoor entertainment space.
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