Please note that the Uuni 3 pizza oven is now called Ooni Karu.
The Ooni Karu is a stylish oven made (not only) for pizza with a nice wood-fired flavor. Unlike other wood-fired ovens, to get this beauty started, you’ll just need wood pellets.
In our Ooni Karu pizza oven review, we will not only talk about the technical side of it but also how well it cooks a pizza.
Lot’s of people are loving this unique portable pizza oven for many reasons. It doesn’t take much space, heats up in less than 30 minutes, and costs only a fraction of the usual outdoor pizza oven.
We are going to shed some light if this unit is a serious alternative to other wood-fired pizza ovens on the market. Also, is it easy to use and is the pizza really yummy?
Could the Ooni Karu pizza oven be the perfect solution for any outdoor kitchen, backyard, or even your next camping trip?
Without further ado, let’s dive in.
* Please note: all product links in this product review are affiliate links. That means, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
A Quick Overview Of The Ooni Karu Pizza Oven
The Ooni Karu Pizza Oven Review
The inventor Kristian launched the Uuni oven in 2012 and the product has been a success ever since.
Kristian’s goal was to create a reasonably priced, stylish yet highly functional portable oven to make pizza with the unique wood-fired flavor.
It is fair to say that he has accomplished his goal; Uuni pizza ovens are being sold in over 60 countries.
The word ‘Uuni’ is Finnish by the way and means ‘oven.’
The Uuni 3 or now Ooni Karu pizza oven design is stylish and very simple at the same time. The box is constructed from stainless steel (19 gauge) with a chimney and burner that sits at the back.
The whole construction sits on three legs for more stability. The cordierite stone baking board easily slides into the oven.
With a weight of only 26.5 lbs/12 kg this unit is extremely lightweight and therefore is a real portable oven by any means.
The chimney is easy to take off with the spring clip mechanism.
Here are some of the most important technical details. As mentioned the Ooni Karu weighs 12 kg/26,5 lbs.
It provides a cooking surface of 28.74 x 13.78 x 19.69 inches that can fit a 12″ pie.
The interior height is 5″ so a cast iron pan can be put inside to sear that fantastic juicy steak.
The whole construction including the chimney measures 25.2″/67 cm.
The Ooni Karu can reach an impressive temperature of around 930ºF in a superfast fifteen minutes. The pizza will be ready in around 60 seconds.
How Does The Ooni Karu Work
The principle is straightforward and efficient. The fuel for this oven is wood pellets which are cheap to buy; just put a couple of scoops into the wood pellet burner.
The burner is located at the back of the oven.
On the side of the wood pellet burner is a small hole where you can hold a blow torch to light the wood pellets. Once they lit, close the lid of the burner.
Please note that the Ooni Karu is now fuelled by hardwood and charcoal.
Now let the oven including the baking stone preheat for at least 10 minutes.
Since there is no inbuilt thermometer, I would recommend using a temperature gun to check the temperature inside the oven.
Be careful around the Ooni Karu because the exterior gets very hot. Wear good quality heat resistant gloves to prevent any burning.
That is a usual safety precaution around charcoal grills and wood-fired ovens in general.
Once the oven has reached the desired temperature, around 800ºF/425ºC, open the front lid and slide the pie onto the baking stone.
Close the lid and wait around 20 seconds. Take the lid off again, take the pizza out on a peel, and rotate to prevent one side from burning. Back in the oven and turn every 20 seconds or so! Check after another 60 seconds if it’s cooked. If not, rotate the pizza again.
Some advice when cooking pizza in the Ooni Karu:
- While the pie is in the oven, leave the lid closed.
- Make sure the baking stone is preheated enough to cook the dough. It’s best to check with a temperature gun.
- Use a wooden peel, sprinkled with cornmeal to put the pie in the oven.
- Keep feeding the burner with pellets, every 5 to 10 minutes.
- The pizza needs to be rotated to prevent burning.
- Keep the unit, especially the back away from flammable objects. Once you open the lid, there is a backdraft that causes flames coming out of the burner.
- Your best bet is to wear heat resistant gloves when operating the oven.
What Are The Pros Of The Ooni Karu Pizza Oven
There are so many positive things to say about this wood-fired pizza oven. The design is simple but stylish, and the quality is excellent.
The unit is easy to assemble, it’s lightweight, and you can take it anywhere.
It heats up ultrafast and cooks a pizza in around 60 seconds.
The Ooni Karu is also versatile. Besides making pizza, you can cook steaks, vegetables, or fish with it.
What Are The Cons?
There are not many since the company has improved the unit in the past few years.
A few users stated that the pizza stone doesn’t get very hot so the bottom of the pie cooks slower than the top.
It will take some time to get used to it so there is a learning curve involved.
Our Verdict Of The Ooni Karu Pizza Oven
Overall, the Ooni Karu is a reasonably priced pizza oven that does a great job in making pies with a nice wood-fired flavor.
It is an affordable alternative to other wood-fired pizza ovens on the market.
For more options, be sure to check out our post – Best Outdoor Wood Fired Pizza Ovens.
You can take it anywhere you want, and it is perfect for smaller patios and backyards.
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