We’re more than six months into this pandemic, and if you’re anything like us, you’re a bit tired of (OK, make that absolutely fatigued by) your dinner options. Cooking has worn you down, you’ve burned through your repertoire of recipes (literally), and you’ve exhausted all of your takeout options.
So how on earth do you keep your family fed and still keep suppertime sort of interesting, maybe even exciting?
The backyard pizza oven is here to save the day!
“Some people might say, ‘Why don’t you just bake pizza in the oven like normal?’” says chef Tony Matassa at BBQGuys. “It’s because the usual indoor oven just bakes pizza, whereas a true pizza oven fires a pizza. The intense heat of a pizza oven makes the crust pop and crisp up, and you get authentic results that other cookers just can’t offer.”
So if you’re looking to shake up your meal plan and eat the best pizza a home oven can make, we’ve got a few ideas for you. Here are our five favorite backyard pizza ovens that are sure to conquer your cravings.
1. Traditional wood-fired oven
If you’re looking for a small version of those traditional wood-fired pizza ovens we all love, look no further than the Gardman Monterey pizza oven ($264 from Walmart).
“This traditional pizza oven is relatively inexpensive, portable, and small enough for almost any backyard,” says Evelynn Ratcliffe, partner at Alair Homes. “So you can even host pizza night on your balcony or small outdoor space in the city.”
Coming in at only 60 pounds with wheels, this portable, stainless-steel oven is perfect for making custom wood-fired pizzas, steaks, chicken, fish, and even homemade breads—and the rustic look is sure to complement just about any outdoor decor.
2. Portable oven
For something with even more portability (and a bit more flexibility), check out this ROCCBOX portable pizza oven ($499 from Amazon). This compact contraption packs a big punch and offers both traditional wood-fired and gas cooking options. It’s versatile enough to live on your deck or atop a favorite outdoor counter space.
It’s also the No. 1 selling pizza oven on Amazon, according to custom home builder Judd Builders.
“The reviews are glowing,” he says. “It’s portable, can reach over 950 degrees, and will give you that crispy crust and melted cheese in minutes.”
3. Countertop pizza oven
If you really love your pizza (enough to blow your budget on it) and want an oven that looks even better than the ones in the restaurants, take a look at this top-of-the-line Forno Venetzia Bellagio countertop oven ($3,000 from the BBQGuys).
“If you have the right space for this oven, it is top of the line and will add ‘wow’ factor to your outdoor kitchen,” says Builders. “It will give you that Italian wood-fired flavor and can cook up to four pizzas at once.”
4. Wood and charcoal oven
For even more versatility—and some might argue, flavor—check out the Ooni Karu wood- and charcoal-fired portable pizza oven ($329 from Ooni Pizza Ovens). This affordable yet cool-looking outdoor oven is also ultraportable and versatile, weighing only 26 pounds and offering charcoal, wood, and even gas cooking options.
“This pizza oven has a sleek, modern aesthetic and is perfect for small families,” says Ratcliffe. “And allows for cooking up to two pizzas at a time.”
5. DIY pizza oven
If you really love pizza but aren’t willing to drop the big bucks for an oven, then why not build your own? This DIY model from Food Truck Empire makes it easy to craft your very own backyard pizza oven for less than $100.
Although the final product won’t be some lean, mean, show-stopping chrome pizza machine, the rustic look of this oven (and unbeatable price) makes it possible for just about anyone to get started cooking their very own backyard pizzas.