Ooni Karu 12 review (2023) a fun add-on to any outdoor kitchen

a wonderful, portable artisan pizza oven

The Ooni Karu 12 is an affordable way to start making pizza at home. It is a wood- or charcoal-fired pizza oven. The Karu 12 doesn’t force you to use a certain fuel type right away, like many other affordable options do. Instead, you can buy an Ooni gas conversion kit for the oven at any time for an extra $100, £90, or AU$189. This is important for anyone who isn’t sure if they want the ease of use of a gas-powered pizza oven or the traditional smoky flavor of a wood-fired one. It also makes it easy for anyone who wants to try both to switch between the two.

Ooni Karu 12: Description

The fact that this pizza oven can use both gas and wood isn’t the only good thing about it. It also has a sleek pressed metal exterior and a cordierite baking stone that can get above 752°F/400°C to cook pizza bases in minutes. There’s enough insulation that it only takes about five minutes to reheat the stone between pizzas.

The package only weighs 26.4lbs/12kg, and it has foldable legs and a chimney that you can take off, so it’s easy to take camping. You should leave some room in your budget for extras like an infrared thermometer and a pizza peel, since it can be hard for a beginner to move a pizza with toppings on it and get the right temperature. Even though it comes with a lot of extras, this unit is a great deal.

Specification Table

The Ooni Karu 12 is a small, versatile outdoor pizza oven that brings the real taste of wood-fired cooking to your backyard or other outdoor space. This 12-inch pizza oven is great for parties, family dinners, or even camping trips because it is small and portable. The Ooni Karu 12 is made of strong stainless steel and heats quickly and efficiently, reaching temperatures of up to 932°F (500°C) in just 15 minutes.

Ooni Karu 12Specifications
Dimensions1200 x 600 x 500 mm
Weight25 kg
MaterialSteel
Cooking surface33 cm
Cooking temperatureUp to 500 °C
FuelWood, charcoal, gas
AccessoriesPizza peel, pizza stone, wood grate, charcoal grate, gas burner, gas hose, gas regulator
Price€799
Visit WebsiteCheck Price

Ooni Karu 12: Design and Features

Ooni Karu 12 review

There are a lot of pizza ovens on the market with good designs, so this one has to work hard to stand out. Still, the Karu 12 is one of the ones that looks the most stylish, and it’s even more charming to look at in person. The Ooni Karu 12 is great, but it’s not just because it has polished steel and press studs that look like those on an Airstream. It’s also really well thought out.

The foldable legs on this oven are long enough to keep it off of surfaces that could catch fire without adding a lot of unnecessary bulk, and the chimney can be easily taken off for easy storage and transport. The 13.2-inch cooking surface is perfect for medium-sized 12-inch pizzas, and when the pizza stone is heated to 752°F/400°C, it has enough thermal mass to cook pizza well.

The design lets you switch out the wood box for a gas attachment that connects to a standard LPG tank so you can heat the oven with the flip of a switch. If you don’t use wood, you might lose some of the realness and smokey flavor, but you gain a much faster set-up time and easier temperature control. For people who have never made pizza before, the gas heat is a huge plus.

When using this oven as a wood or coal pizza oven, the top hatch makes it easy to add fuel, and a chimney baffle gives you some control over how hot the oven gets. It’s not a perfect science, though, so expect to spend some time figuring out when to add fuel to make sure your oven is hot enough. Ooni also has a wide range of accessories that aren’t too expensive. Many of these accessories make making pizza much easier and more fun.

Ooni Karu 12: Ease of Use

The Karu 12 is just as easy to set up as any other Ooni oven, both right out of the box and every time you want to bake pizza. Even though this kit has more parts, especially in its wood-fired version, each part is removable, making the oven a stainless steel frame that weighs just over 20 pounds and is easy to move. The type of wood you use will likely affect how hard it is to clean, but natural scraps tend to build up more ash inside the oven chamber, which needs to be wiped away often to keep cooking as efficient as possible through reflective heat transfer.

But we all know by now that wood-firing will always take more work than gas-firing, both in terms of getting the wood ready and in terms of cleaning up. It is possible to learn how to manage the wood fire while making pizzas, but converting the Karu 12 to gas will make this process easier because you will be able to heat the oven with the flip of a switch. But, in our humble opinion, a gas-powered pizza oven will never be as exciting as making pizza over a wood fire.

Ooni Karu 12: Control

We know it’s becoming a trend, but wood-fire power has a steeper earning curve. To learn how to use the Karu 12 as a wood-fired oven, you will need to spend more time and have more patience. But as an aspiring chef, you’ll be glad to know that this oven has the best insulation of any oven we tested and more than any other wood-fired oven in this review. The front door is supported by two inches of glass-reinforced nylon, and the firebox cover is also insulated with almost an inch of the same material. This oven’s design also makes for great airflow, which moves heat around inside this sealed chamber and sends very little smoke up and out of the chimney.

Even though these insulated parts are important for keeping heat in and keeping the right temperatures to cook a Neapolitan-style pizza, both the front door and chimney are removed when the Karu 12 is converted to gas, making it a copy of the Koda. In its gas-fired form, the wood fire in the background is replaced by twin burners that look and work like jet engines. Changing from a wood-fired oven to one that runs on gas will also change the way you cook. To make sure that your fresh toppings don’t burn before the rest of the pizza is done, you have to keep a closer eye on how hot the gas flames are getting.

Ooni Karu 12: Cooking Performance

Ooni Karu 12 review

Like all multi-fuel ovens, a lot of how well a multi-fuel oven cooks depends on the type of fuel used. Even though gas power is easy to use, wood-fired cooking is a skill that should not be taken for granted. The Karu 12 is a wood-fired oven first and foremost, with all the charm and allure of a traditional Neapolitan-style oven, but in a smaller size. Because of this, building a strong fire in the 135in3 firebox will take more time and careful care. We were able to get the oven up to about 560°F after 15 minutes, but it takes more like 30 minutes of loading and stoking to get the pizza stone to the ideal temperature of 750°F.

It is important to keep the fire going between pizzas, and you should give the oven three to five minutes to recover between pizzas. Wood-firing will always take longer, but even when we stopped stoking and the temperature of the pizza stone dropped to near 500°F, the Karu 12 could still make beautiful pizzas with golden crusts in less than four minutes. This process changes when the gas is changed. Gas gives off a steady amount of heat that raises the temperature inside to an average of 746°F and the temperature of the pizza stone to an average of 736°F. At this level, pizzas should cook in about two minutes and take about the same amount of time to heat up again.

Ooni Karu 12: Price

Ooni Karu 12 review

About $349 is what the Ooni Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven costs in stores. Compared to a brick oven that stays in place, this is a good deal. On the other hand, it’s a splurge for something that can only cook one type of food. I still think pizza lovers who cook pizza often should buy it.

Ooni Karu 12: Pros and Cons

Its innovative air flow control and ceramic fiber-insulated body let it cook evenly and consistently, making pizzas that are perfectly crispy in just 60 seconds. This versatile oven can be used to make more than just pizza. Steaks, vegetables, and even desserts can be cooked in it, making it a great addition to the tools of any outdoor cook. With the Ooni Karu 12, you can take your cooking to the next level and easily enjoy the authentic flavors of wood-fired cooking.

Pros

  • Cooks pizzas in just 60 seconds at temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Multi-fuel capability.
  • Portable and lightweight, making it easy to transport and store.
  • Durable construction.
  • Produces authentic wood-fired pizzas with a crispy crust and flavorful toppings.

Cons

  • Can be difficult to start and maintain a fire, especially if you are new to using wood or charcoal.
  • Can be a bit smoky, especially if you are using wood.
  • Not as large as some other pizza ovens, so you may not be able to cook multiple pizzas at once.

Final Words

If you want to try making pizza at home, the Ooni Karu 12 is one of the best portable options. It can run on gas or wood, so you can make it as hard as you want. It’s also one of the lightest units on the market, so you can take it with you. Most importantly, it can make great 12-inch pizzas in minutes, and it’s not too expensive. You can’t ask for much more from a first pizza oven.

FAQs

How good is the Ooni Karu?

It’s also very easy to put together and use, and you can cook a real pizza like you’d get at a restaurant in just 60 seconds. The Karu 16 isn’t for everyone because it’s so expensive, but if you’re willing to spend, you’ll get one of the best pre-built pizza ovens you can buy.

Is Karu 12 big enough?

You don’t make 16-inch pizzas. Instead, you like 12-inch pizzas, which are smaller. You want a pizza oven that you can take with you because you use it on the go.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staffhttps://www.bollyinside.com
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!

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The Ooni Karu 12 multi-fuel pizza oven is a lot of fun and bakes pizzas so fast it's almost unbelievable, and the results are great. The Karu 12 is the best-selling wood-fired option in a line of really excellent ovens. It is almost as efficient as a gas oven in its wood-fired form, and can reach pizza stone temperatures of over 750°F with a continuously stoked wood fire.Ooni Karu 12 review (2023) a fun add-on to any outdoor kitchen