Pizza ovens are a hot gift idea this year — these are the ones we tested and loved

Whether you’re particular about the kind of pizza you like, or you’re just an outdoor cooking enthusiast, a pizza oven is a handy gadget to have in your backyard (or on your countertop). Most models on the market now can churn out wood-fired Neapolitan pies, crispy thin crust versions, and even decadent Chicago-style deep dish pizza.

There are also plenty of portable models small enough to take in the car for your next weekend camping (or glamping) trip, football game tailgate, or picnic lunch — just make sure you check the fire restrictions in your area before cranking up the heat for a homemade pie.

How hot do pizza ovens get?

While the conventional oven in your kitchen probably only gets up to 500 or 550 degrees Fahrenheit, pizza ovens need extreme heat for quick dough rising times and optimal crust bubble-age. You can expect a good outdoor pizza oven to reach 900 to 950 degrees Fahrenheit, but you can still achieve charred leopard-spotted Neapolitan pizzas at 700 to 750 degrees Fahrenheit.

How fast do pizza ovens cook?

Given that most pizza ovens run at an insane heat, cooking time happens FAST. We’re talking start to finish in as little as 60 seconds up to a few minutes. You definitely won’t have time to pop your pizza in and scroll on TikTok while you wait for it to cook. Cooking with a pizza oven requires dedicated attention due to the quick cooking times, and you’ll also have to learn how to manage the heat on your oven while you chef it up.

Gas vs. wood pizza oven

Most of the outdoor pizza ovens on the market run on either wood or propane gas, with a few natural gas options. A wood-powered stove will give you an amazing smoky taste, but it requires more work to maintain a fire while you cook. Gas-powered stoves, on the other hand, won’t offer the same smokiness but are generally easier to manage, and can easily be preheated before cooking. Gas pizza ovens also hold the temperature steady with little fluctuation.

If you’re looking for a pizza oven to use indoors, the pickings for quality ovens are pretty slim (with the exception of our pick, the Breville Pizzaiolo). All indoor-friendly pizza ovens will be powered by electricity though, FYI.

If you’re ready to ditch the weekly Friday night Domino’s delivery, check out these hands-on tested pizza ovens to make your perfect slice at home.

Mashable