Review of Ooni koda 16 pizza oven

20 days ago
last modified: 20 days ago

First, here is my thread regarding the contemplation of buying the oven.

I'm adding this link because it contains videos that are helpful, and I don't want to post those videos again, as it is difficult to edit any posts that have videos, as they disappear during editing.

Anyway, we made our first pizzas yesterday evening, and it was definitely a learning experience for us. The final results were excellent, even though not perfect, and so I would definitely recommend buying this oven. I've never been able to make a pizza like this in my regular oven, although pizza in the Big Green Egg came somewhat close.

Here's what I learned, or at least confirmed, from videos that I've watched:

  • Preheat the oven for at least 30 minutes and then turn the heat down to medium before adding the pizza
  • Use a pizza turning peel (if possible) to turn the pizza, and turn it every 10 seconds. It is very difficult to turn the pizza with a regular peel
  • Don't make the pizza too big (we didn't) and don't put it too close to the flames - the stone must do much of the work, and the edges will get charred enough while still not being too close
  • You do not need to use 00 flour, although it might be better - I used bread flour and added VWG instead of dough conditioner
  • Keep toppings minimal and don't make the pizza excessively thin, unless you are extremely experienced with pizza peels and thin crusts
  • Do not use a screen, and do not use aluminum tools, as they can warp
  • Reheat the stone on high between pizzas and turn back down before adding the second pizza.

I'm sure there is more, but these seem to be the most important points.

We made the first pizza using what is probably an aluminum screen, and it was very difficult to turn (I had thought it would be easier), and it warped significantly. I can probably use the screen again in my regular oven, but I am going to try baking pizzas directly on the stone in my regular oven and see if that makes a difference.

Here's the first pizza:

I used Kenji's recipe, which I will post later, and topped the pizza with marinara sauce, fresh basil leaves, and fresh Mozzarella, which I had cut into small slices. The parts that look charred are really not burned and tasted fine - better than the uncharred parts.

This pizza cooked in less than two minutes, and the stone was about 750° in the middle. The bottom was not quite as brown as I wanted, but this one started out on the screen, which is why it got charred on one side, as we had a lot of trouble turning the screen.

We do not yet have a pizza turning peel, but I have ordered one that should arrive next week-end. We really struggled with turning the pizza with a regular peel.

The pizzas we made were probably no more than 12" diameter, and I would not try to make a larger one. I think it would be difficult to make this size in a smaller oven, but you could make a smaller pizza, especially since you can bake multiple pizzas in a short time. We made two 12" pizzas, and half of the second pizza was left over.

Kevin took videos, but I do not have my video editing software here, and so I will have to wait until we get back to L.A. in a couple of weeks to upload any videos, if they are even worth it. It was a bit dark outside, and the light came mostly from the oven.

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