Welcome to The Esquire Endorsement. Heavily researched. Thoroughly vetted. These picks are the best way to spend your hard-earned cash.
Aren’t we just the luckiest to live in a society that puts the needs of its pizza-eating citizens first? There are infinite ways to obtain a pizza—the Pizza Hut app, the Domino’s app, and the Papa John’s app come to mind immediately. So does “walking to the dollar slice joint” and “stocking up on DiGiornos.” But the line gets drawn for most of us at “make a pizza at home.” We wouldn’t dare. That’s hard labor. But is it really hard labor when the pizza oven you’re using to make it is this low-maintenance while looking this cool? Ooni’s Koda pizza oven—a gas-powered device that’s portable and built for outdoor use—will do all your prep work justice. You’ll be deleting your chain pizza company apps, breezing right past the dollar slice joint, and skipping the freezer section so you can get home to veggie chopping, dough tossing, sauce stirring, and pizza cooking.
It is stupendously simple to operate.
You know when you’re at a fancy pizza restaurant with an open floor plan that gives you a clear view of the harried line cooks prepping pies before slinging them into a massive brick oven bigger than your living room before fishing them out with four-foot-long pizza peels? The Ooni oven is decidedly not meant to imitate that experience. You hook it up to a gas source, light it with the built-in ignition, turn the heat dial to the desired temp, wait 15 minutes for it to get there, then put your pizza in on top of the stone baking board. It’ll take a minute, literally, to cook properly, at which point you slide it out and eat it. The stone is removable for easy cleaning and serving. The only thing that’s really amiss is the lack of pizza peel (but Ooni will sell you one for $25 extra).
Fold it up and take it anywhere.
Anywhere they’ll let you set up a pizza oven, that is. The three legs holding up the Ooni pizza oven fold into themselves (like those on a folding table) so that it’s less awkward to carry—imagine a turtle shell, if you will. It isn’t too awfully heavy either, at just over 20 pounds. As for its overall size, it’s 25 inches long, so it’ll fit in your arms. Or, when you get to where you’re going, it’ll fit on a picnic table, tail gate, sidewalk, or countertop. A safety turnoff also makes sure the gas shuts down when there’s no flame, and that’s a damn-good party feature.
It looks really stylish.
If you’re the guy bringing the pizza oven to the backyard barbecue, then it helps to have a really cool oven—one that’ll impress them even before you start producing pizzas. Same goes if you’re about to become the kind of person who invites their friends over for a home-cooked pizza party once you own this thing. It’s a compact appliance sans any unnecessary bells or whistles, in a stylish matte black. It’s almost as appealing to the eye as a pizza fresh out of the oven.