Ooni Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven | Deep Dive - Outdoors Magic

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Ooni Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven | Deep Dive

The portable stone-baked pizza oven for the outside world. Here's a breakdown of the features, the set-up, and what this cooking accessory has to offer.

Ooni are a Scotland-based company with a passion for all things pizza. They’ve become immensely popular in the last year due to more people being at home, and we can definitely see why.  

Combining a sleek stainless steel body with portable designs, Ooni’s Pizza Ovens are created to be easy enough to lift out of a cupboard and straight into the garden and small enough to stick in the boot of your car. The detachable features and small size help with this, along with the relatively low weight (considering it is an actual oven). 

Ooni created the world’s first portable wood-pellet fuelled pizza oven way back in 2012 and now offer a range of five different ovens with three different fuel types. We’ll be focusing on the multi-fuel Karu here though, and exploring all the different features Ooni have added to this 2020 release.

Ooni Karu Pizza Oven: Features

The Ooni Karu comes in two sizes: the Ooni Karu 12 for cooking 12-inch pizzas, and the Ooni Karu 16 for 16-inch pizzas. The body of the oven is made from a sturdy stainless steel, whilst the interior is ceramically insulated with a cordierite baking stone. Cordierite is a porous stone which absorbs any moisture in your dough to create a crispy and light pizza base. 

At 15mm, this stone is thick enough for quick baking, taking just 15 to 20 minutes to get the stone up to temperature. It’s also not so thick that the oven becomes immovable. On the contrary, at 12kg, it’s an incredibly portable oven for moving around whichever outside space you choose to cook in. 

The handles are made with a glass-reinforced nylon that doesn’t conduct heat, remaining cool all throughout the cooking process. This is very helpful considering the Ooni Karu heats up to a whopping 500˚C – the perfect temperature for pizza-cooking. Because of this ultra-high heat, the entire cooking process should only take around 1-2 minutes.  

“The Ooni Karu heats up to a whopping 500˚C, the perfect temperature for pizza-cooking.”

Though there’s no built-in temperature gauge, there is the option to buy an infrared thermometer as an extra, or alternatively you can control the temperature by reducing the airflow via adjusting the chimney vent whenever you see fit. The patented Ooni flame keeper should also help the oven achieve maximum heat retention for those colder and windier days.  

The Set-Up

In terms of constructing the oven, it’s fairly simple. Once you’ve removed all the components from their packaging, you fold out the legs at its base and then attach the chimney, the baking stone, the front and back covers and you’re done.  

No tools are required for attaching these components except if you’re using a gas canister, in which case, you’ll need to use the hex key to connect and remove the gas attachment. This hex key will unscrew the back plate of the oven and allow you to screw on the gas regulator. You’ll also need to replace the chimney with a stopper and remove the front cover before use. 

“You can really picture it in your garden on a warm summer’s evening.”

To stow the Ooni Karu away on the other hand, the chimney and fuel basket fit inside of the oven, the legs are then collapsed, and the entire oven can be put into a tailored carrying bag for optimal portability.


Ooni have got you covered when it comes to oven accessories – they’ve got pretty much everything you’ll need, including some luxurious non-necessities too. Our three favourites, however, are probably the pizza peel, the cutter wheel and the cast iron cookware collection.  

Without the pizza peel, you’d have a hard time getting the pizza in and out of the oven. They come in different sizes depending on your oven, and also have a perforated option to help steam evaporate from your pizza. 

Then there’s the cutter wheel which offers a quick and easy way to slice up your pizza. Its blade is made from a sharp stainless steel for streamlined cutting and cleaning, whilst the handle is built for easy gripping.  

Related: Trail Recipes For Lightweight Backpacking

The brand also stocks cast iron cookware that can allow you to use an Ooni oven for more than just pizza. Giving the potential to grill meat and bake vegetables or fish.

Pizza Peel
Pizza Cutter Wheel
Cast Iron Cookware

The Fuel

As one of the multi-fuel models, the Ooni Karu pizza oven can be fuelled using either wood, charcoal or gas. Gas is known as the easiest option, whilst wood will give you a more authentic and aromatic flavour. Charcoal, though less traditional, will create a similarly smoky flavour, and will burn slower.

The fuel system is not compatible with the traditional wood pellet system used in earlier models, and you’ll need to buy an adaptor separately if you wish to use gas. Whilst being very low maintenance, using propane gas also gives you additional temperature control for subjective cooking tastes.  

For wood and charcoal, on the other hand, you simply fill the basket with your fuel choice, light it with fire starters, and the flames will begin to thrive. You can use the smoke from the chimney as an indicator of when you need to top up your fuel supply i.e. if the smoke begins to thin, you’ll need more fuel, and vice versa. Kindling of varying sizes can be used (though 15cm is the maximum length) and hardwood comes recommended as it burns hotter.  

The Verdict

Though the Ooni Karu isn’t the cheapest pizza oven on the market, it’s certainly not the most expensive. It’s also a much more affordable alternative to installing an entire pizza oven in your back garden while still bringing that authentic flavouring. 

Put simply, it’s a quick and easy pizza oven for convenient and portable (enough) cooking. You don’t even need to be a skilled chef to work it.

Perfect for when you’re craving a top-quality meal but still want the backdrop of the great outdoors; this one’s for the back garden cook, the campsite caterer, and the culinary adventurer.   

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Photos: Ooni

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