IF you’re looking to up your garden party game this year then you need to invest in a pizza oven.
Yep, move over barbecues, there’s a new kid in town – and it’s flying high on the baking front.
The beauty of a pizza oven is that not only can you take your preferred chain off speed dial, but you can make your pizzas as healthy or deliciously naughty as you like, by using your own ingredients.
Whether you’re a thin and crispy lover or prefer a Chicago-style pan, there’s a pizza base to suit, with wheat and soy-free variations available for those that want the healthy option.
So, back to pizza ovens… what do you need to know?
Well, firstly, you’ll want to choose between a wood-fired option or a gas model, depending on whether you want a delicious smoky flavour (with a wood-fired oven) or would prefer something that gets to the perfect temperature a little quicker (in which case opt for gas).
In order to cater for your hungry guests, you’ll need your oven to do a few things.
- It needs to keep its heat so that you can batch cook for all your hungry guests, and
- It needs to be consistent so as not to have overcooked or undercooked pizza, which won’t leave you popular.
Next up, think about your oven’s looks.
There’s a range of different designs to choose from, including rustic clay or brick, and sleeker cast-iron models, too.
Some pizza ovens are bigger than others, too, so take into account the space that you can allocate to it.
Ready to go? We’ve picked the best of the bunch and made choosing an oven a pizza cake (see what we did there?). Happy shopping.
1. Ooni Wood-fired Portable Pizza Oven
- Wood-fired Portable Pizza oven, £235, Homebase – buy here
Deckchair? Check. Suntan lotion? Check. Pizza oven?
Er… Yes, we know it’s probably not top of your holiday list, but this portable wood-fired Uuni model makes it easy to take with you.
It also happens to be one of the fastest pizza ovens to heat up, reaching up to 500°C in just 10 minutes – super fast!
And, if we’re really going to get down to the nitty gritty, that means you can cook three 12” pizzas every 60 seconds, which should make you rather popular with the hungry masses.
It’s easy to use and top of our list.
2. Gardeco Pizzaro pizza oven
- Gardeco Pizzaro pizza oven, £389.99, Wayfair – buy here
Can you beat the charm of a traditional clay oven that looks like it’s come straight out of an Italian kitchen?
We’re not sure that you can, which is why we’ve fallen hook, line and sinker for this dome-shaped design.
A fire inside the oven is able to cook one pizza at a time, with each firing able to last for two to three pizzas.
A great option if you’re after a little homely style.
3. La Hacienda BBQ pizza oven
- La Hacienda BBQ pizza oven, £99.99, Very – buy here
Turn your gas or electric barbecue into an outdoor pizza oven with this genius invention, which you simply pop on top.
It heats up in just 10 minutes and you can make so much more than just pizza in it – everything from fish and meat to cookies and bread.
Its insulated stainless-steel housing retains the heat, while the stone base can be removed and carry handles make it easy to lift on and off when you want to store it away.
It comes fully assembled, so no time wasted messing about, but be aware that you can’t use this oven with the use of the barbecue.
4. Castmaster Wood-Fired Chiminea pizza oven
- Castmaster Wood-Fired Chiminea pizza oven, £259.95, Amazon – buy here
This Mexican-style chiminea is a clever design that’s ideal for both pizza cooking and barbecuing.
Open the pizza door and start cooking your creation, or take off the chimney part and you’ve got yourself an open-top barbecue area.
It’s also great for keeping you warm when the sun goes down and we love the antique pewter finish.
5. La Hacienda Multifunction pizza oven
- La Hacienda Multifunction pizza oven, £190, Next – buy here
With more functions than you can shake a skewer at, this 3-in-1 oven also moonlights as a barbecue and a smoker too, so as the name suggests it’s a pretty multifunctional piece of kit.
Made from durable steel with a black finish, there are a few things we really like about the model.
First of all, the fact it’s on castors and can be rolled around easily to wherever you want it.
Secondly, the lower shelf is ideal for storing wood and the side handle for hanging your utensils.
Thirdly, the flue damper and air vents for controlling the temperature.
The only drawback we can see is its size, which means it may not be the best model if you’re limited on outdoor space.
Enjoyed our round-up of the best pizza ovens? If you're a garden Gordon Ramsey, we've also looked at the best gas barbecues for the summer.
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