by John Pangilinan

Ooni Koda Gas-Powered Outdoor Pizza Oven

TPizza, The Perfect Meal. Especially with Ooni Koda.

Until recently, having pizza while traveling and camping would require a dutch oven or cast-iron skillet, and a lot of luck. To achieve the perfect slightly crispy crust, soft doughy base, and harmony between the sauce, cheese, and toppings requires a bit of skill. The Ooni Koda is about to change all of that. Pizza is a meal that is easily shared and requires no side dishes. Pizza after a day of adventuring is the ultimate treat while sitting around the campfire, from the tailgate of a truck or from the comfort of a tent.

Small and mighty, this gas-powered pizza oven brings fresh pizza to the outdoors.

The Ooni Koda is a lightweight, portable, gas-powered pizza oven that is ready to use right out of the box. Crafted from a commercial-grade, cold-rolled carbon steel shell with a high-temperature resistant powdercoated finish, the Koda is as stylish as it is convenient. Ooni has other sizes and options from their line of pizza ovens. These include a larger Koda 16 and wood and charcoal burning options. The beauty of this Ooni Koda stove is that it’s gas powered, which allows you to bring it to locations where wood fires aren’t allowed.

Lightweight and Portable

Weighing slightly over 20 pounds, the Ooni Koda is portable yet has enough weight to withstand the wind. The three legs easily fold in to help save space when not in use and while traveling. The Koda is relative in size to many portable outdoor stoves on the market. It’s not necessarily large nor small. It can easily pack next to a cooler or fridge within a vehicle, inside a large drawer system, or in a larger cargo box. There is an optional carry cover available. That is something to consider to both protect the exterior and help carry it from the vehicle to the campsite.

For our first trials of making pizza with the Ooni, we chose pre-made pizza dough and other ingredients from Trader Joe’s.

Ready For Use

The Ooni Koda is ready to use right out of the box with no assembly required. You simply fold open the three legs, insert the stone baking board, and connect it to a gas tank. The oven works with standard-sized propane tanks or smaller 1-pound tanks with an adapter. We paired it with the compact and portable Ignik Gas Growler Deluxe. It worked well together, having now cooked over a half-dozen pizzas with enough gas for more.
Once the Ooni Koda oven’s flame is ignited, it takes a few minutes for the cordierite stone baking board to get to cooking temperature. The stone baking board provides enough space to cook a 12-inch pizza. Using the laser pointer on the Ooni infrared thermometer (sold separately), the surface temperature of the baking board can be accurately measured. This ensures that you put the pizza in at the optimal time. The adjustable heat control dial makes it easy to control the temperature and internal flame.

Nothing beats enjoying a freshout- of-the-oven, piping-hot pizza in the cool outdoor air.

We highly recommend a pizza peel to safely insert the pizza into the extremely hot oven. Once inserted it only takes a few minutes to cook the pizza. You’ll start to visually see the cheese bubble as the aroma of fresh dough and cheese wafts through the campsite. The tricky part is knowing when and how to rotate the pizza to ensure it cooks evenly. Soon you’ll become a pizza-making pro, after some getting used to.
Ooni offers an app that is full of useful information. It provides recipes, videos with tips and product info, and even a calculator that helps determine the right proportions for making pizza from scratch. For our camping trip to the Grand Canyon we opted to keep things simple and quick. We purchased pre-made dough, sauce, and toppings from Trader Joe’s to test its capabilities.

The Ooni infrared thermometer helps get the surface temperature of the baking board to know when it’s time to toss in your pizza. (sold separately)

Portability For the Win

After spending some time with the Ooni Koda, we can confidently say it’s an amazing option for aspiring camp chefs, tailgaters, and backyard cooks. The portability makes it great as a travel companion. Although you’ll want to make sure to pack all the necessary accessories and pizza-making ingredients. The oven is easy to use, but actual cooking requires some patience and skill to get the pizza perfect. It takes up precious cargo space, but if you have the room, it’s well-worth it. Imagine bringing it on your next trip to enjoy the flame-cooked flavor of pizza when in the outdoors.

Learning the right time to rotate your pizza is key to getting it evenly cooked.

Through some trial and error and picking the right ingredients, a perfect pizza can be made.

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