The Napoli Pizza Oven is most often compared to the Ooni 3 (Uuni) because of the relative size and price point (both at $275 at the time of this article).
However, it's more fair to compare the Napoli Oven with the Ooni Pro because of the quad-fuel options of wood, charcoal, wood pellets, and propane (both with optional gas burner). Only the Napoli Pizza Oven is half the size of the Ooni Pro (advantage Pro) - and half the cost (advantage Napoli).
But there is one fuel option that the Napoli Pizza Oven can do that no other portable pizza oven can do! Not even the mighty Ooni Pro! Find out more below.
Comparing the Ooni 3, Ooni Pro, and Napoli Pizza Oven
The Ooni 3 is limited to wood pellets and propane (with optional gas burner). There is no option for normal wood or charcoal. I've only tried to cook with wood pellets once and that was enough to convince me that I needed the gas burner!
First, you go through a lot of pellets! They burn through pretty quickly and I had to add pellets more than once just during the heat up cycle. When I cook pizza, I tend to do at least 5 (I have four kids), and I often do 10-30 pizzas at a time (depending on how many friends I or my kids invite over).
Then I had to add pellets pretty much between each pizza - at least every other pizza - because the temperature of the oven fluctuates so quickly. When you add pellets, you also have to wait for them to burn through enough for the black smoke to burn through - or else you get an ashy taste to the pizza. Trust me, ash is not a good pizza topping!
This probably explains that I sell a lot of my Ooni 3 pizza ovens with the optional gas burner. People want options - but trust me, you'll only stick with one option if you try them both.
I love the Ooni Pro. When I say I love it, I mean I REALLY LOVE IT!
The Ooni Pro is the most comfortable portable pizza oven I have ever had the pleasure of cooking pizzas with. When I use the optional Propane Gas Burner, I can cook 30 pizzas in a row without even looking in the oven. It's just so roomy and spacious inside that it really doesn't matter where I put the pizza on the stone - I just do my count and turn method and the pizzas just magically turn out awesome! I tell you, more than any other portable pizza oven I have cooked with, the Ooni Pro makes me look more like a professional pizzaioli than any of the others!
Cooking with wood and/or charcoal works well, but you never want to try the wood pellet option - just trust me on that. The Ooni Pro cooks great with wood and/or charcoal - and it adds that little extra wood-fired flavor that just adds that little extra something to your pizza. It's great for cooking a few pizzas, but again you have the hassle of adding wood and/or charcoal regularly to maintain the heat. These portable aluminum pizza ovens are just not insulated like their refractory cement big brothers that keep their heat for hours.
Cooking with the Propane Gas Burner lets me focus on cooking and not worry about the temperature - or adding wood - or waiting for the black smoke to clear out. I focus on the friends and family that I'm cooking with. And since I'm usually teaching these friends and family on how to cook amazing Neapolitan style pizzas, I need all of the focus I can get!
The question is, what am I missing? Food purists will tell me that I am missing the flavor that comes from cooking pizza with wood or charcoal. These are the people that wouldn't be caught dead cooking with propane. Believe me when I say that my pizzas taste incredible - even with propane. There's just something about the high temperature cooking that gives these pizzas much of their flavor. However, if you want to get 100% of the taste, I agree that you need that wood-fired flavor. This is where the Napoli Pizza Oven is a game changer!
Napoli Pizza Oven
Now, this is why you are reading this article!
What if I told you that the Napoli Pizza Oven is the only portable pizza oven that can cook with wood AND propane at the same time?!
That's right. We're talking best of both worlds here! You get the ease of propane cooking with the flavor of wood-fired pizza!
See, the Napoli Pizza oven has an optional Gas Burner module, just like the Ooni 3 and Ooni Pro. BUT, the Napoli Oven also has an optional Wood Burning Tray that works with the Gas Burner. This way you can put wood chips in the oven ABOVE the propane burner. Not only does the Gas Burner keep the oven at a consistent 900+ degrees, but it burns the wood to add that smoky flavor!
Here's how it works:
Inside the Napoli Pizza Oven, install the Propane Gas Burner and then slide this Wood Burning Tray over the Gas Burner. Turn on the Propane Burner to pre-heat oven.
When you are approaching cooking temperature, open the wood access door on the Napoli Oven and add wood. The flames from the Propane Burner will light the wood on fire.
Wait for any black smoke to clear until there is only a lighter colored smoke. Launch your pizza to cook with wood and propane at the same time.
The Propane Burner provides a consistent heat source.
The wood smoke will pass on its own flavor. And, since this wood is only for flavor, and not a primary heat source, I prefer using aromatic fruit woods such as apple or cherry - both of which are popular for smoking and typically available in chunks at your local hardware store. Of course, only use seasoned, dry hardwoods.
PROS: You get Ooni Pro high-end features (and then some!) with the pricing of the Ooni 3.
CONS: You are limited to 12 inch pizzas on the Napoli with the 12.5 inch door opening.
Look, having cooked with both of these ovens many times, it comes down to preference. You really can't go wrong either way.
Personally, I can sacrifice a little of the wood-fired flavor for the spacious, smooth comfort of cooking with the Ooni Pro.
But, if you must have the wood-fired taste, the Napoli Pizza Oven with the Gas Burner and Wood Tray may just be the right fit for you! And with our money back guarantee, you can try it out for a few months and if you think you would prefer the Ooni Pro, we can help you make the change.