Quarantine is putting a strain on our home ovens, never as in this period used also by those who did not know the meaning of the word “oven”.
We have done our part by publishing various guides and recipes for an homemade pizza, made by some pizza chefs or by Garage Pizza writers at ease with the holy dough.
Some types of pizza, such as the Neapolitan one, are more difficult to replicate, especially for the issue of the high temperatures. Hence the flourishing of personalized or imaginative solutions to solve this long-standing problem, which can be found listed at this link.
However, there is also a range of electric, gas or wood-fired ovens that are quite “affordable” and can be placed inside the house, on the terrace or in the garden.
Speaking of this, we came into possession of an Ooni Koda 16, a domestic gas oven dedicated to pizza recently launched by the British startup of the same name.
Find below the video of the unboxing and the first cooking tests:
A few necessary clarifications: due to the quarantine period, we were unable to create a “test team” including colleagues who are quite familiar with making homemade pizza. Therefore the creation of the dough balls, the preparation and cooking have been made by people who are less familiar with the art of pizza making, but are more on the other side of the “barricade”, testing pizzas and products.
This article is also dedicated to all readers, people who occasionally experiment with pizza at home, have just started or want to start. Professionals use more expensive and high-performance ovens, the enthusiasts fan will have no problem obtaining excellent results with this domestic oven and others like it, even with more “extreme” solutions.
With these necessary premises, which in any case will not stop the ill-intended ones, let’s get to the point.
CONTENT OF THE PACKAGE, FEATURES AND IMPRESSIONS
The Ooni Koda 16 is a gas oven that can be powered with the classic barbecue cylinder and other devices, it costs €449 and is available for purchase on the official website.
Inside the package there is the oven (I know, right?), the refractory stone for cooking (removable and washable separately) the manual and the recipe book, in English.
In our version, the one with 30mBar pressure, there is no regulator and flexible hose, included in the 37mBar one instead: perhaps it is a matter of availability on the market.
Any accessories are separate, such as the perforated pizza peel which costs the amount of 69.99 €.
The oven remains compact and simple to install, the feet are extracted from the base, the insertion of the refractory stone is immediate, the coupling of the cylinder is easy, so is the ignition with the side knob.
An integrated thermometer is missing, therefore you will have to get an infrared one if you do not want to eyeball the temperature.
The mouth of the oven, of about 40 centimeters, is large enough for cooking a single pizza of regular size, in the same way it allows to operate with the turning peel in a fairly easy way.
You can achieve the temperature of 400 degrees in about 20-25 minutes, a little more if you want to reach 500 degrees, the highest temperature possible.
The burners have an atypical L-shape extending on the left side and at the bottom. The official website says that the visual effect is typical of a waterfall: I have not tried to bathe in it, but if you want to, be my guest.
Lastly, cooking is rapid and in some ways aggressive by turning the knob to the maximum; with a good handle and the turning peel (another purchase on the side) you can cook the pizza in a couple of minutes.
OONI KODA 16 COMPARED TO GOZNEY ROCCBOX
A while ago I had the opportunity to try with some colleagues another gas oven created by a startup, the Roccbox.
Price range and target are practically identical, below you can find a comparison between the two.
Points in favor of Ooni Koda 16:
- Weight and portability: in the first case the differences are minimal (18.2 Kg vs 20 Kg) but in general the oven is easier to transport thanks to the more compact retractable legs and less bulky materials, although the overall size is bigger.
- Cooking surface: it’s larger on his width by about 9 cm (41 vs 32) and the chamber leaves more space to move easily during cooking.
- Temperature: during our tests it took 20-25 minutes to reach at least 400 degrees, 30-35 minutes for the Roccbox. With a little practice and experience, similar cooking results can be obtained for both.
Points in favor of Roccbox:
- Upper part insulation: the silicone coating makes the upper part less hot.
- Sturdiness: the use of more solid materials makes the oven looks less of a “toy”.
- Total price: although technically costing more (€ 469 versus € 449), the Roccbox package includes the pizza peel and the oven has an integrated thermometer. A similar configuration for the Koda 16, therefore, costs at least € 500-520.
Ooni Koda 16 is an oven that is simple to assemble and install, with a small volume suitable even to homes with small gardens and terraces. With the right practice, excellent results can be obtained, keeping in mind the target of this product and that, as always, the higher the price, the better the materials and the performance.
449 € (which quickly become more than 500 € with the accessories) is not a small price and, although valid, it remains advisable in the scenario in which pizzas are regularly baked for friends, family or personal pleasure.
Alternatively there is a smaller version which costs € 279 (plus any accessories) and which in terms of cooking surface (33.7 cm x 33.7 cm) places itself in direct competition with the Roccbox, making itself more value for money, but losing in quality of materials and that advantage in the cooking surface that characterizes the older brother.
If any of you have already tried one of this ovens, I am curious to know their experience compared to mine.
The Ooni Koda 16 oven was supplied to us by Ooni. To find out how we treat the product test, the opinion of the pizzerias and what is the editorial line of Garage Pizza, you can consult our complete Manifesto.