If you have been on the fence about buying an Ooni Pizza Oven, one question that pops up quickly is trying to figure out if you should get the wood-burning or gas version.
It’s an understandable dilemma, after all, these pizza ovens aren’t cheap. Getting the wrong pizza oven when you buy it will only grow your frustrations over time.
So, today, as an owner of both, I’d like to share my experience with both of these ovens and hopefully help you decide which Ooni Pizza Oven is better for you, gas, or wood-burning?
Propane or Wood Burning Pizza Ovens: What’s The Difference?
Much like shopping for a BBQ Grill, choosing between propane and charcoal is a common consideration. So, what’s so great about cooking with propane anyways?
Mess and Cleanup
Well, for starters, and the most obvious consideration is the fact that a propane pizza oven will just have less mess associated with the cooking process. No wood chunks to store and no ashes to clean up after each use.
Additionally, with a propane pizza oven, you limit the amount of ambient smoke entering your cooking area.
With a wood-burning stove, you will have a smokestack that emits the smoke and carcinogens associated with cooking with a wood-burning fire.
Finally, when cooking with propane, your cleanup time is drastically reduced as mentioned above, you don’t have the ashes and wood everywhere.
Overall Pizza Flavor
With propane cooking, you will not have the hint of wood/smoke flavor you get with wood-burning cooking.
Does that mean it’s not good? Well, no, but it is worth mentioning that the flavor between the two styles of pizza ovens will differ with overall taste.
Who would have thought it? But yes, it’s true, the overall cooking time can differ greatly between propane and wood burning pizza ovens.
With a wood-burning pizza, your pizza can be done in as little as 60 seconds.
Conversely, with a propane model, you have complete control over the exact temperature, giving you the ability to go the “low and slow” route to great-tasting pizza.
Sure, you can go “low and slow” with wood-burning pizza ovens too, however, as many BBQ Champs will tell you, it takes much more experience and testing to get those temps right with wood burning.
One factor that some people will consider heavily is price, after all, you are dropping a couple hundred bucks on a pizza oven. So, how do the prices compare between two types of Ooni Pizza Ovens?
Ooni Frya 12: The Ooni Frya 12, is a wood pellet-burning pizza oven that only offers wood pellets as a fuel source.
Also, as the name suggests, the “12” refers to the fact that you can only cook a 12-inch pizza. The Ooni Frya 12 is priced at $349.
Ooni Koda 12: The Ooni Koda 12 is the Gas Only version of the 12-inch Ooni Pizza Oven. The Koda 12 is priced at $399, so as you can see we have a $50 price difference in the 12-inch models.
Who is Propane Best For?
If you are the backyard chef that likes to keep things simple, the Ooni Propane Pizza Oven models will be your choice.
You can easily control temperatures, have very little cleanup and overall a much lower-maintenance cooking experience.
Who is Wood Burning Best For?
Some of us backyard chefs just love the “art” of cooking. From finding the right wood flavors, to managing heat and smoke levels, wood burning just makes sense for us.
Is there more cleanup and messes? Sure, but we understand what comes with the process and well, we just trust the process!
Can’t Make Up Your Mind?
If you can’t seem to make up your mind, the folks over at Ooni have made your life a bit easier! Ooni offers two models that are “multi-fuel” meaning they can cook with either gas or wood.
In a time when everyone seems to pick sides, Ooni has brought us all together with this great compromise between the two types of Ooni models.
Ooni Karu 12 Multi-Fuel: The Karu 12 is a perfect balance of size, capability and price. Giving you the option to cook with either fuel source, it fits the bill for many folks.
However, again with the 12-inch limit, some may prefer something bigger, and that’s where the Karu 16 comes in!
Ooni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel: Now we’re talking about the big boys in the Ooni Pizza lineup, the Ooni Karu 16. This bad boy has a 16-inch cooking area so you can fire up those Large pizzas with ease.
Also, the Karu 16 is a “multi-fuel model” that can work with either gas or wood-burning to make the perfect pizza no matter what mood you are in.
So, we tackled all sorts of considerations when trying to decide between the Ooni gas and Ooni wood-burning models.
For some, the gas will make more sense, and for others wood-burning is king, it just comes down to your unique situation.
For the undecided, we have multi-fuel options. So, as you can see, there is no reason to not find the perfect pizza oven for you today!