This affordable pizza oven very nearly got full marks from us. It is quick and easy to make delicious pizza in your garden, and you don't have to pay out extra to get the accessories you need for cooking. The peel, cover and thermometer are all included (the thermometer is on the door too for ease of use) so you get a budget-friendly pizza oven kit that packs away pretty neatly for storage and transit.
Accessories included (peel, carry case and thermometer)
A full multifuel pizza oven kit for just over £300 makes it very budget friendly
High-roof design makes it easier for beginners to get their pizza in and out safely
Three-year warranty and free shipping
Some slightly crude edges but it feels durable
The Home Of Outdoor Living
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The first Woody Pizza Oven Kit landed on the garden-cooking scene in May 2021. We had all become accustomed to making our entertainment at home, and as someone who makes a living telling you what to buy, you didn't need much encouragement to grab a slice of the pizza oven action for your outdoor space. They were flying off the virtual shelves way faster than your average Uber Eats driver could deliver a double pepperoni with extra cheese.
The team at Woody realised this, but also spotted that the market leaders – while creating great products for home use – were charging a pretty penny for what the British weather could make a somewhat sporadically-used investment. And often, all you got was the oven so if you wanted to optimise your pizza making sessions, you would need to fork out a further £80 to £150 for the accessories.
Thus, the Woody Wood Fired Pizza Oven Kit (mark one) was born and this lucky reviewer got to give it a go last summer. I awarded it four out of five stars and added it to our list of best pizza ovens, commending it for the quality of build and provision of extras such as a peel, carry case and thermometer, on such a tight budget. But as it was a wood-fired oven, I did find some of my pizza making sessions a little arduous until I had mastered what neanderthals managed some 400,000 years ago and got the hang of making a good fire.
This year, Woody released their mark two version. With improved heat retention and the option of including a gas attachment for just shy of an extra £70, buyers can still get all the bells and whistle for around £300 all-in. Thanks to the design tweaks, I was promised an easier pizza making experience with wood and a very, very easy pizza making experience should I use the gas attachment.
Not one to ever turn down pizza (even if I have to make it myself) I jumped at the chance to take it – and the dough they sent me – for a spin.
Woody Pizza Oven Kit specifications
- Fuel type: wood (pellet or kindling), gas and charcoal
- Dimensions: H50 x W41 x D54cm
- Weight: 12.5kg
- Oven temperature: 500˚C (950˚F) in just 15 minutes
- Pizza size: 12 inches
- Pizza cooking time: 60 seconds
- Use: outdoor use only for pizza, al forno dishes and even meat (in a suitable oven-proof dish)
- What's in the box?: Woody Oven (inc door, thermometer, hopper and chimney), peel, carry case, tools for construction. Gas attachment (£69.99) optional extra
Home product expert and pizza connoisseur Lindsey spends most of her day thinking about her next meal. When she isn't, she is busy testing and writing about the best buys for your home, be it a new appliance or a handy lawn mower (but likely simultaneously thinking about pizza). She often makes pizza in her oven with a stone, so was delighted to be sent this Woody Pizza Oven Kit to test over several weeks this summer. Weeks became months because the weather had other ideas, but she has now used it on multiple occasions using both the gas and wood-fired fuel options. She has been allowed to keep it so that she can update her review over time.
Find out how we test products at Gardeningetc if you want to learn more about the review process.
Unboxing the Woody Pizza Oven: first impressions
The Woody Pizza Oven arrives in a branded box inside a plain box for transit. Structural packaging is made from cardboard but there are a few plastic bags and foam inserts protecting the metal parts from one another, and to protect the pizza stone. If you are feeling a little put off by what little plastic there is – though it is not a perfect solution – Woody does partake in a scheme to plant 10 trees for every oven sold, via a climate positivity company called Earthly (opens in new tab). Earthly also plants one tree on behalf of Woody for each box of fuel sold, too.
So what is in the box? The Woody arrives partially constructed. You get the oven but have to attach the chimney, slot the pizza stone into place, unfold the legs and attach the thermometer to the door. Next choose whether you want to be using gas or wood, and either install the hopper and wood tray provided (more on this in 'Getting started' below) or add the gas attachment. The gas attachment is an add on when you put the Woody in your cart so this arrives in a separate box.
The oven also comes with all the tools you need to put it together (a small spanner and two sizes of allen key), the nuts and bolts needed for construction and a carry case, including a velcro-on bag for the chimney. This doubles as a cover if you leave it outdoors over summer. Finally you get a peel, which is super handy as not many of us have those in our kitchen cupboards, and you definitely need one for safe oven use.
I lent my brother the original Woody Pizza Oven earlier this year, then knowing a new product was on the horizon, never got it back. As such, I can't remember the exact looks of the older model, but did note a few key changes:
- Chimney: the old version had a cap that came off. This is not needed so they have redesigned it without, keeping it more streamlined. It has a locking feature to keep it in place.
- Legs: these are stronger with plastic soles to protect the surface you place the oven on. The old ones had sharpish edges that would scratch paint and varnish if you weren't careful.
- Sunken pizza stone: the new stone is thicker, but to prevent height build up, it sits flush with the floor of the oven.
- Thermometer: the larger and clearer display is easier to read as you busy about making pizzas and tending to the oven.
- Door: thicker steel and the Woody logo embossed on the front make for a new look. They have also changed the peephole from a swing door to a hole.
- Construction: thicker steel has been used throughout for a stronger hopper, fuel tray and exterior.
- Peel: the new peel is longer and rectangular in shape, making it easier to use than the circular predecessor.
This model still has the same cool industrial look as before, though I would say some of the edges, such as the front, are a bit sharp. This is most noticeable if you hold the oven by the front and back for lifting, though doesn't impact the use.
Getting started with the Woody Pizza Oven
The oven comes with a simple leaflet with a URL to look up for instructions (opens in new tab) on both putting the oven together and lighting it. There is a QR code too which makes it really easy to find the info you need. The digitally adept will prefer how this cuts the number (and size) of booklets that come with the oven.
Constructing the oven for use with wood or charcoal is really easy. Everything clips into place, or screws on easily with the tools provided. I managed to build it (with a little lifting help for the legs) in about 10 minutes.
Adding the gas attachment was a bit trickier. The metal parts are easy to bolt on, but the bit I struggled with was attaching the hoses. This is something I have found with gas pipes and bottles in the past though. A bit of water helps ease the tube onto the unit.
My only other remark on set up is that the feet are a bit stiff and not the easiest to unfold. Once in use though, this helps them feel more secure, but it can be a two-person job (one lifting the oven while the other pulls the legs) getting them folded out fully. They need a bit of brute force to crank them out.
Before first use you have to get the oven to full temperature, and let it heat for 30 minutes to blast off any manufacturing residues and cure the stone.
Using the pizza oven with wood
When I used the old Woody oven, I found it a bit tricky keeping a wood pellet fire going with the ferocity needed for more than a couple of pizzas. This time, knowing what I know, I took the inner grate out of the fuel tray and used small chunks of kindling instead. The kind you buy for starting your woodburner are fine and can be picked up at most supermarkets or petrol stations.
I also recommend getting some natural firelighters and placing one or two in the tray to encourage a strong flame. Once the tray is lit, you have to carefully slide it into the oven (make sure you test the wood you use for height before you light it).
It takes about 20–30 minutes to get up to a good temperature for cooking a pizza with wood. You want it at full temperature if possible which is around 500˚C, but I did find you can get good pizzas as long as you hit the 300–350˚C mark, though it won't cook as quickly and the base won't be as crisp.
When cooking with wood, you need to keep it constantly topped up, every five to 10 minutes. This is where using a combo of wood pellets and kindling is a good idea as the kindling gets a good flame going, but the pellets are easier to refill (via the hopper) and burn more efficiently.
I have cooked pizzas in this oven using wood three or four times and have found the best method is to top up the wood after every pizza. This means it can get back up to temp while you prep your next base.
The results are great. Cooking with wood imparts a little more authentic flavour, though not so noticeable that I would say I prefer using wood.
Using the Woody with gas attachment
If you don't know how to use a pizza oven, then starting with the gas attachment is a great way to get the hang of it before throwing in the juggle of tending to a fire.
The Woody pizza oven uses patio gas – the kind you would use for your gas barbecue. At the time of my testing, it was really hard to get hold of gas if you didn't already own a bottle for refill. So, I had to time my pizza making around my sister's calendar because I wanted to borrow their gas bottle. This was fine as my nephews love pizza so I knew I would have plenty of mouths to feed.
Once attached to the gas, it was really easy to ignite. You simply push and turn the knob at the back of the oven, leaving the door open initially to prevent gas build up if it fails to ignite.
From here, shut the door and like me, you will find it gets to temperature in as little as 10 minutes (on a hot day) or maximum 20 minutes.
Once lit, you don't have to tend to the fire at all. Just check it hasn't gone out (and check the gas bottle levels), and turn it off when done. Cooking on gas is the more low-maintenance option. It is also quicker to get out your pizzas as you don't have to refuel between and wait for the temperature to get back up as you might with wood. If you are cooking with kids, I definitely recommend gas for speed (and less whinging).