How much does it cost to run a pizza oven? Your questions answered
Wondering how much does it cost to run a pizza oven? Before you invest in one for your backyard, find out the expected costs so you can factor this into your budget
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The question 'how much does it cost to run a pizza oven' is perhaps not something you may have asked a few years ago. With the cost of living going up, however, and fuel prices soaring, the expense of the fuel you'll need to run your pizza oven is an important factor when considering your new purchase.
The cost of running a pizza oven depends on quite a few factors such as how often you use your oven, the fuel source you use, how well insulated your oven is and the size of your oven.
So to help you get a better idea of longterm costs, we've taken a look at what you can expect to spend when using one of the best pizza ovens in your backyard on a regular basis.
Expert advice on how much does it cost to run a pizza oven
As mentioned, the exact answer to how much does it cost to run a pizza oven is completely dependent on the type of fuel and the size of your oven. Our useful price guide offers advice for every fuel type, and will help you decide are pizza ovens worth it?
Wood-fired pizza oven fuel costs
'I would suggest that you would need approximately 4 kiln dried logs, split into 3 pieces to both start the fire and maintain enough heat to cook around six pizzas,' says Vicky Naylor General Manager, ACR Stoves (opens in new tab). 'A bag of kiln dried logs is around $14/£11 for 8 logs, so you would need approximately half of the bag for six pizzas, so about $7/£5.50.'
Gozney sell boxes of Roccbox wood (opens in new tab), which cost around $30/£25 and should be sufficient for 2-3 pizza sessions for an average size family, or around 4-5 hours of cumulative product use. 'As you can cook Neapolitan pizzas in just 60 seconds with our ovens, that means you’re getting a lot a pizza for your money,' says founder Tom Gozney.
Charcoal pizza oven fuel costs
As a general rule, charcoal is less expensive than wood to use in a pizza oven. What's more it heats up quickly and holds onto its heat well. Some people prefer the smokey flavor that you get once you've learned how to use a pizza oven with charcoal too.
Tim Rumball, Amateur Gardening writer says: 'Lump charcoal, basically chunks of carbonised wood, lights quickly and burns quickly. Charcoal briquettes are made from compressed powdered charcoal. They burn steadily and slowly at a constant temperature.'
A pack of Ooni Premium Lumpwood Charcoal (opens in new tab) costs $14.99 in the US and £14.99 in the UK. It can be used in its multi-fuel pizza ovens, such as the Ooni Karu, which we rated 5/5 stars in our Ooni Karu pizza oven review. It can also be used on your best BBQ if you cook with charcoal on your grill, so you'll only need one source of fuel for both outdoor cooking appliances.
Wood pellet pizza oven fuel costs
’Wood pellets are a cost-effective option,' explains Arthur Bovino from Ooni (opens in new tab). ‘Overall, pellets cost less than gas and other solid fuels for the amount of heat and length of burn time you get. A large bag provides up to 12 hours of cooking for your pizza oven recipes. Whichever fuel type you choose, the ability to get up to heat quickly – that is, within 20 minutes – and then cook pizzas in around 60 seconds, means that you can easily cater a pizza party with maximum fuel efficiency.’
As a rough guide, Ooni advises that you will need around 300g of pellets for cooking a pizza, making it an efficient fuel choice. A 20lb bag of Ooni Premium Hardwood Pellets (opens in new tab) costs $24.99 in the US, while a 10kg bag of Premium Hardwood Pellets (opens in new tab) costs £19.99 in the UK. These should give you around 8-12 hours of continuous cooking for the 20lb bag and 7-10 hours for the 10kg bag, according to Ooni.
'I use wood pellets in our pizza oven,' says Beth Murton, editor of Gardeningetc. 'They're really efficient and easy to use. I tend to stick to the Ooni-branded products to use in our Ooni Fyra as I know they work really well with the oven, but it's possible to find slightly cheaper unbranded wood pellets online if you want to make cost savings.'
Read Beth's full Ooni Fyra pizza oven review and discover why she gave it 5/5 stars.
Gas pizza oven fuel costs
You might already be familiar with this fuel if you've also got one of the best gas BBQs. Though gas-fired pizza ovens often cost more upfront, if you are planning on using your pizza oven a lot, propane gas is a cheaper fuel than wood or coal.
Francesca Fay from Ooni estimates that their Koda 12 model, when used as a gas oven costs around 21c/17p per pizza and their Koda 16 costs approximately 34c/27p per pizza.
When you compare these prices to the same models using solid fuel, you can see that the gas options are cheaper to run. For solid fuel i.e. wood or coal the Karu 12 cooks pizza for 50c/40p per pizza and the Karu 16 comes in at 74c/59p.
Choosing energy-efficient designs
Choosing a model with good insulation can be a great way to ensure you're not burning unnecessary fuel trying to maintain the right pizza oven temperature. These models may cost more up front but you will save on fuel costs down the line. As pizza ovens aren't only suitable for cooking pizzas, chances are you'll end up using it far more than you might think too, so fuel efficiency could become even more important. If you hadn't realised just how versatile a pizza oven is, our guide on what to cook in a pizza oven has some great suggestions.
'Our ovens are one of the most eco-friendly ovens around because they don't have a chimney,' says Joe Formisano, founder of DeliVita (opens in new tab). 'This means all the heat is retained within the oven, so for an average gathering you’ll probably only use 3-4 logs and even when the flame goes out it will still retain the heat for 2-3 hours so you can slow roast veggies for the next day or bake some bread for breakfast.'
'The most cost-effective way to buy wood is in bulk,' advises Joe. 'We always tell our customers to shop around locally for kiln dried, sustainably sourced wood and if you buy outside of the winter months, you’ll secure the best price.'
Teresa has worked as an Editor on a number of gardening magazines for three years now. So she is lucky enough to see and write about gardening across all sizes, budgets and abilities. She recently moved into her first home and the garden is a real project! Currently she is relishing planning her own design and planting schemes. What she is most passionate about when it comes to gardening are the positive effects it has on our mental health to grow and care for plants, as well as being great for the environment too and help provide food and shelter for wildlife.
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