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What’s the best Ooni oven for a beginner?

The Ooni Koda 12.

You have three choice for getting started with an Ooni pizza oven, each for $399 and each making one 12″ pizza at a time. Why are there three to pick from? It comes down to the fuel.

The Ooni Fyra 12 is pellet fueled only and costs $399, the Ooni Koda 12 is gas fired only and costs $399, and the Ooni Karu 12 is $399 for wood fueled, and $499 for an oven that can be either wood or gas fueled (not both at the same time). The Karu 12G is fancier and more expensive and the Karu 16 and Koda 16 are larger, and more expensive.

We recommend staring with the Koda 12 because of its cost and simplicity. For someone just getting started in the Ooni and pizza oven world, you’ve probably made a lot of pizzas in your conventional oven with a pizza stone or a pizza steel. And it’s equally likely that you don’t have a lot of experience with a pellet burner, or lighting and controlling a wood fire in a small steel hopper. And when you’re just getting started, it’s a good idea to limit the number of variables you’re dealing with—namely making great pizza, not learning how to make great pizza and start and control a wood pellet or kiln-dried wood fire.

With the Ooni Koda 12, you simply connect a standard gas canister (just like you would for a grill), and click the sparker (just like you would for a grill) to light the fire. From that point forward, you’re focused solely on pizza making—not fire management.

There are definitely solid reasons to choose the Fyra 12 or Karu 12 beyond which is the best Ooni oven for a beginner. The Fyra 12 is wood pellet fired, so you can grab some pellets and take your Ooni oven to the beach or the mountains, without having to lug a heavy gas canister around. How cool is that?! And the Karu 12 can work either as a wood-fired oven or a gas-fired oven, letting you pick the type of pizza or other cooking you want to do. And that’s cool too. But the basic $399 Karu 12 is wood-fired only, and we don’t recommend starting there, and the Karu 12 with the gas burner is $499.

If you think you might want to experiment with wood fire in the future, and the extra $100 falls within your budget, consider getting the $499 Karu 12 with gas and wood burners, and start off using the gas burner.