Imagine tailgating, camping, or throwing a birthday party - with a pizza oven! You could be the life of the party by serving up Neapolitan style pizzas in a matter of minutes. And, what if you could do this with minimal setup and no ash to clean up or dispose of afterward.
This is why you should be excited for the new Ooni Koda!
My kids and I love to cook outside using our Ooni Koda. It's a great little oven, and we love pizza! The Ooni Koda is not my first pizza oven, but it is the easiest, cleanest, and most portable pizza oven I have used.
First-time pizza oven users often find that one of the toughest things to do is keep the oven temperature consistently hot enough when cooking multiple pizzas. This is especially important when you are making pizza for tailgating and other social events. A pizza oven with a gas burner makes it much easier to keep the temperature at cooking levels - one less thing for you to worry about.
The Ooni Koda gives you high-end gas burner features for an incredible value! What makes the Ooni Koda really special is the way that it cooks the pizza. The key to cooking a Neapolitan pizza is to get the heat of the oven temperature over 900° so that the stone is hot enough to cook a pizza from the bottom while you have the flames rolling across the top cooking the pizza from above. As I've reviewed other portable propane ovens, many set the burner under the cooking stone or push out from a small burner, but the Ooni Koda gives you a wall of flames that evenly distributes the heat across the width of the entire oven. The result should be more even heating of the stone and consistent flames flowing across the top - cooking consistently across the pizza.
The Ooni Koda brags of a single knob that will both ignite the gas and control temperature. It can't get easier than that! The gas flow control also allows for a wider range of temperature control for a broad range of foods beyond just pizza. I look forward to seeing how the Ooni Koda can handle a cast iron skillet with something like the Shrimp De Jonghe from our "Battle of the Brands Cookbook" (keep reading - details below)!
So, I started thinking. If the Ooni Koda only takes 15 minutes to heat up, and only 1-2 minutes to cook a pizza - this means that it would be faster to cook a homemade authentic Neapolitan Pizza in the Ooni Koda than it would cook a frozen pizza in the oven! Here's the math (and no, there won't be a quiz!):
1. A DiGiorno Original Rising Crust Pizza instructions say to cook for 21-24 minutes at 400 degrees. Allowing 10 minutes for the oven to heat, you're more than 30 minutes away from eating.
2. Even a standard Tombstone pizza asks for 16-18 minutes at 400 degrees - again adding 10 minutes to heat the oven to put you at 26-28 minutes.
3. The 15-minute warm-up for the Ooni Koda gives you plenty of time to roll out the dough, add the sauce and cheese, and ornate your custom pizza with your favorite toppings for multiple pizzas - each to be cooked in less than 2 minutes.
My family makes pizza at least once or twice a week. And with six people we end up making three or four 12-inch pizzas each time - and even then the kids are hoping there are leftovers for school. Since my conventional oven only cooks two pizzas at a time (one on top of the other), and really only one at a time well, it takes well over an hour to make four pizzas in the oven. With the Ooni Koda, for a leisurely evening dinner, you should be able to make four pizzas in 25 minutes! And they're not just any pizza! You pick the toppings and the quality of the ingredients - and it's fresh, made to order. It wasn't prepared in a factory - sitting on a shelf for who knows how long! And the taste is incomparable!
Where most people get caught up with is the time to make the dough. There are several options for pre-made or out-of-the-box or bag pizza doughs if you're looking to cut preparation time. My favorites are from Publix and Trader Joe's, and a single bag can make 3-4 pizzas. I actually like to keep some of these on hand in case of a spontaneous pizza party where I'm caught without dough (it happens).
Making the dough does take time - most of which is waiting for it to rise. What I like to do is make double or triple batches of dough the day before we eat pizza. Leaving the dough in the fridge overnight has the added benefit of giving the yeast more time to work and even enhance the flavor of the dough. I separate all of the dough into balls just the right size to roll into the pizza size I want, and whatever I don't use I wrap individually tightly in plastic wrap to keep it from drying out. It can store in the fridge for a week or two and I can move it into the freezer if it lasts longer than that (yeah right - we eat it before that).
Ooni offers their own classic pizza dough recipe that is great for high-temperature cooking. On their website, they list the ingredients using grams and milliliters, but I have translated it for you into cups and teaspoons.
Click here for the Ooni Pizza Dough Recipe
If you like this recipe, you'll love our "Battle of the Brands Cookbook" that includes a recipe for pizza dough, a side dish, and a dessert from each of our Pizza Oven Manufacturers. Sign up for our newsletter (bottom of screen), and we will send you the "Battle of the Brands Cookbook" as well as valuable discounts, more recipes, and tips and tricks from our expert staff.
Along with the Koda, Ooni is launching a variety of accessories. One of them is the amazing Carry Cover that is optimally designed for transportability so that you can take this pizza oven with you anywhere. The new Ooni Koda Carry Case covers the top while two straps wrap around the bottom and connect to the handle that makes it super easy to transport.
Since the legs poke through, you can carry it with the legs down or fold them up for a more compact fit. When you get to your destination, simply extend the legs, remove the Carry Case, and attach to the propane - and you're good to go!
So, if you are on the fence about whether or not you can cook pizza like a pro - the Ooni Koda is a great oven to help you get there with much more success out of the box.