What are the different types of pizza oven and which one is best? Experts answer your questions

Learn about the different types of pizza oven available so that you can make the right choice for your backyard and budget

A modern deck in front of a house extension with a pizza oven
(Image credit: Naken)

It can be confusing with all the types of pizza ovens available on the market now. Their popularity in recent years has meant that there are so many great products out there.

Whilst choice is great for a potential buyer, it does mean that you're faced with a number of decisions to make. Whether that be finding the right size for your space, style to fit with your backyard decor, or fuel type for your cooking style, knowing which type is best for your needs is important. 

So if you're looking for the best pizza oven then read our expert guide to the different types available before you invest.

Tabletop outdoor gas pizza oven in sleek oval design

(Image credit: Cuckooland)

Get in the know about different types of pizza ovens

When it comes to pizza ovens, there are permanent, fixed pizza ovens and then there are portable versions. And then there are some that straddle both categories – they are portable in theory but as they are rather heavy and cumbersome it would probably take two people to move them.

Permanent built-in pizza ovens 

These types of pizza oven are usually either integrated into your garden design, on a patio or as part of an outdoor kitchen. Trattoria-style, they are often (but not always) brick built, with a clay oven within. 

Clay tends to be the material of choice for pizza oven ideas like this thanks to its heat retention and conduction capabilities. You can also buy an oven like this without the outer finish, which you can then finish to suit your own style and garden design. 

The not-so-portable built-in ovens are large, clay cavity designs that can accommodate large pizza bases. These usually have a metal or fibreglass surround. 

Try a kit which contains everything you need to build your own, like the Core pizza oven from Gozney.

A wood fired pizza oven built into an outdoor kitchen

A built-in pizza oven needs to be planned into your space

(Image credit: Future Publishing Ltd)

Portable pizza ovens 

'These are fast becoming the most popular types of pizza oven,' says Ginevra Benedetti, Deputy Editor of Ideal Home magazine.

'Portable pizza ovens come in two styles. The first is BBQ-top style - these sit on the grill grates of a standard BBQ, and the fire below heats up the clay or ceramic oven above,' she says. Or you could go for an even more simple option and learn how to use a pizza stone on a grill. Designs like the Unicook Pizza Stone from Amazon are inexpensive and a simple way to convert your grill into a pizza oven. 

The other type of portable variety tend to have their own built in pizza oven stand, resting on raised (and sometimes foldable) legs. They cook using wood pellets, gas or charcoal, and sometimes a combination of all three.

'The latter of the portable types is often more expensive,' says Ginevra, 'but a lot more versatile as you can use them anywhere, such as on your patio for a pizza party, on a camping trip or even at the beach.

One of Gardeningetc's favorite portable pizza ovens is the wood-fired Ooni Fryra, which we rated 5 out of 5 stars in our Ooni Fyra pizza oven review

Wood fired tabletop pizza oven

(Image credit: Cuckooland)

Tabletop pizza ovens

'Tabletop pizza ovens are ideal for people who want more versatility and convenience, as you have more choice over fuel types and you don’t need to decide on a permanent location for the oven,' says Kitchen Expert Penelope Jacobs at My Job Quote.

'Tabletop pizza ovens work in a similar way to traditional pizza ovens and what you can cook in a pizza oven is basically the same, but they use a ceramic liner and insulation to stay hot.'

'They’re built on legs, so you can place them on a suitable table or countertop, with gas, wood and multi-fuel versions available,' Penelope says.

Fully portable tabletop pizza oven

(Image credit: Gardenesque)

Fuel types for pizza ovens

Much like barbecues, choosing the fuel you cook with in your pizza oven is really down to personal preference. Different fuels have different characteristics, and the best one for you will depend on your pizza oven, your cooking style, your taste preferences and how much time you have. 

Wood-fired pizza ovens

'Wood and charcoal will give your pizzas an authentic smoky taste (you can even adapt this by using different types of wood), meaning many pizza aficionados won’t use anything else. But if you’re happy to add flavor to your pizza oven recipes through toppings alone, that may not be an issue,' Ginevra says. 

The type of fuel you choose will also dictate how much it costs to run a pizza oven. 'As a general rule, logs, wood pellets and wood briquettes will burn hotter and take longer to heat up than gas will; whereas gas will give you a quicker, more even and controllable heat,' says Ginevra Benedetti. 

Close up of logs burning in a wood fired pizza oven

Vita Pizza Oven 200 degrees, ACR Stoves

(Image credit: ACR Stoves)

Gas-powered pizza ovens

If you already own a gas BBQ and like the convenience it offers, you may prefer to have the same fuel option for your pizza oven and opt for something like the Koda pizza oven from Ooni. ‘Cooking with gas is super convenient,' says Ooni's Arthur Bovino. 

'You turn a dial, flick the ignition, and you're good to go with the right pizza oven temperature. Gas provides precise control and a cleaner burn with no ash or soot to contend with after cooking,’ he says.

'Whilst gas types of pizza oven give you the best cooking consistency, as they provide more even and controllable heat. You won’t get the added flavor that comes from wood smoke,' adds Penelope Jacobs.

A sleek pizza oven in front of a contemporary home on a patio

(Image credit: Naken)

Multi-fuel pizza ovens

Can’t decide between gas and wood types of pizza oven? Some models, like the Gozney Dome and the Ooni Karu and Ooni Pro are multi-fuel, which allow you to choose the fuel you want to use.

'Multi-fuel pizza ovens can be heated with wood pellets, charcoal or propane gas to give you more cooking options. However, you can only use one type of fuel when you cook. So, you’ll still have to choose between consistency and flavor. Plus, this is a more expensive option than choosing an oven that only uses gas or wood,' says Penelope Jacobs.

A tabletop pizza oven with multi fuel

(Image credit: Cuckooland)

Consider the different size options

'Pizza ovens come in a wide range of sizes, from large built-in brick ovens to compact portable versions,' says Penelope Jacobs. 'But the most important thing to check is the oven’s capacity. So, if you’re buying a kit or off-the-shelf pizza oven, check the size of pizza stone it accommodates and size of pizza it can cook.'

'Portable versions can usually cook a single 10in to 12in pizza at a time. Some can cook a 14in pizza, but these tend to be bulkier models. Tabletop and built-in versions can often accommodate pizza sizes up to 16in, but it’s worth checking as some basic models won’t have as large an oven,' says Penelope.

Family members in a garden gathered round a pizza oven

Brick built-in pizza ovens are great for family gatherings

(Image credit: SolStock / Getty)

How do I choose the right type of pizza oven for my yard?

'Space is key when deciding what types of pizza oven to buy,' says Vicky Naylor, General Manager, ACR Stoves. 'Not only for using the actual appliance but also storage as you may have to store it indoors to keep it weatherproof – so keep that in mind when considering all types of pizza oven.'

'If you have a small garden, you need to make sure you know how to use a pizza oven safely and not have to worry about the oven causing smoking issues where you (or your neighbors) are sitting outside.' 

'Also, think about how many people you would like to be able to cater to. If you need to cook a lot of pizzas in succession, the larger the oven the better at turning out pizza after pizza.

But make sure that the oven is well insulated and able to keep the temperatures required to keep cooking continuously,' says Vicky.

A covered patio dining area with built in pizza oven

Choose your pizza oven to match with your outdoor dining area

(Image credit: Industville)

What type of pizza oven is the best? 

'To decide which is the right pizza oven for you, think about how you’ll use it. If you’re only going to use it at home with wood fuel, then either built-in or tabletop types of pizza oven will be fine,' says Penelope Jacobs.

'If you want the flexibility to use it at home and away or don’t have a permanent space such a patio to site it, then you’re better off buying a portable pizza oven,' she says.

Teresa Conway
Deputy Editor

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.