2023 Pizza Oven Buyer's Guide

Family cooking outdoors in a brick pizza oven


Are you in the market for a new pizza oven? If so, you're in luck! In this blog post, we will provide you with a Pizza Oven Buying Checklist. We'll give you all the information you need to choose the best pizza oven for your needs, based on factors such as budget, cooking style, and space constraints. Whether you're looking for an indoor gas-fired oven, an outdoor wood oven, or a brick oven, we've got you covered!

When shopping for a pizza oven, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, decide what type of oven you want. Are you looking for a wood-fired oven? An outdoor pizza oven? A brick oven? Each type of oven has its own benefits and drawbacks, so make sure to choose the one that best suits your needs.

First, let's discuss a few facts about pizza ovens.

1. How does a pizza oven work?

Most well-designed pizza ovens allow you to cook with radiant, convection, and conduction heat. Much of the time, you are using all three types of heat exchange simultaneously, but some oven types are better than others when utilizing them. 

  • Radiant heat comes from the fire itself and from the heated dome and oven floor. This type of heat is similar to the heat from a conventional oven broiler.  
  • Conduction refers to the type of heat that is transferred between substances that are in direct contact with each other.  A great example is the heat transferring from the hot cooking floor directly to your pizza or cast iron skillet.
  • Convection heat comes from the air as it circulates around the oven dome and passes over your dish.  You can control convection heat by opening and closing the pizza oven door.

Pizza Oven Heating Methods Image - convection, radiant, conduction

2. What makes a good wood fired pizza oven?

People often ask us what makes a good wood fired pizza oven. There are a few key factors to consider when answering this question. First, the quality of the insulation is important – you want an oven that will retain heat well so that your pizzas cook evenly. Second, the size of the oven is important – you'll need one that can accommodate all of your pizzas at once. Finally, the construction of the oven is also important – you'll want an oven made from high-quality materials that will last for years.

3. How much does a wood fired pizza oven cost

A common question is  how much does a wood fired pizza oven cost. The answer is that it depends on the type of oven you choose and the features it has.  However, most high-quality authentic pizza ovens range in price from $1000 to $5000.


Name Fuel Price
Alfa ONE  Wood   Check
Maximus Arena Wood   Check
Maximus Prime Wood   Check
Alfa Ciao Wood   Check
Alfa ONE Gas   Check


Name Fuel Price
Pizzaioli Wood   Check
Alfa 5 Minuti Wood   Check
DeliVita Wood   Check
CBO-750 Kit Wood   Check
Tuscan GX-C2 Wood   Check
Alfa 4 Pizze Wood   Check


Name Fuel Price
Premio Wood   Check
CBO-500 Wood   Check
Alfa Brio Gas   Check
Alfa Allegro Wood   Check
CBO-750 Wood   Check
Ibrido Gas/Wood   Check

Questions To Answer When Buying a Pizza Oven

Below are the main questions you need to answer before purchasing a new pizza oven. 

1. What will you cook in your pizza oven?

2. How much will you cook?

3. Where will you be putting your oven?

4. What kind of experience do you want?

5. Do you want to do it yourself?

6. What is your budget?


Now, let's get started finding the perfect oven for you!

1. What will you cook in your pizza oven?

Now that you have a better understanding of how a pizza oven works, let's take a closer look at some of the most popular types of ovens on the market.

Pizza ovens can be made of brick, stainless, or aluminum among other materials.  While all of the ovens could work great in your backyard, your style of cooking may dictate which oven would work best for you. 

Brick Ovens

A brick oven is perhaps the most iconic type of pizza oven. These refractory ovens are built out of brick or stone and often have domed roofs, which help to retain heat. Brick ovens are known for their even heat distribution and ability to produce high-quality pizzas. 

Quicker Cooking

The metal ovens take less time to heat so getting your oven up to cooking temperatures will be faster.  However, metal ovens don't retain heat as well as a brick oven and will cool quicker when you let the fire die down.  Metal ovens can still handle all cooking styles but if you are doing lots of slow cooking like roasting a turkey or baking breads, you'll need to maintain the fire a little more to keep the oven at the right temperature.

Slow Cooking

The benefit of a brick oven is that they hold heat for a longer amount of time.  This means they are much better at using the radiant heat source.  Once they have been heated to a specific temperature, they will hold that heat for many hours. 

On the flipside, brick ovens take longer to heat because the bricks are absorbing the heat (to use later when you're cooking!).  So, you'll need a little more time, 45 minutes to 1.5 hours, to get the brick ovens to their cooking temperatures.   Of course, that gives you plenty of time to prepare your food and have a drink while the fire is heating up!  

2. How much will you cook in your pizza oven?

Another thing to consider is how much you plan on cooking in your pizza oven. If you're only going to use it occasionally, then a less expensive model may be best for you. However, if you plan on using your oven regularly, it may be worth investing in a higher-end model that comes with features like temperature gauges and large cooking areas.

Pizza ovens are available in different sizes and configurations so you'll want to choose an oven that has the cooking space you desire depending on your needs. 

When you are cooking at home, you usually don't need to cook 30 pizzas per hour.  Therefore, you can get away with cooking less pizzas at a slower rate than a commercial pizzeria. 

You may be thinking "ok, so how many pizzas can it cook at one time".  It depends on the size of your oven's cooking surface.  Lots of people measure a pizza oven by its pizza oven size capacity so think about it like this:

  • Cooking space - let's assume you have an oven with a 32"W x 32"D cooking space
  • Wood space - let's assume your wood will take 6"W x 12"D inches of your cooking floor
  • How Many Pizzas?  - You can push your wood to the left side so you'll have 26"W x 32"D on the right side for cooking.  If you are making 12-inch pizzas, you can easily cook TWO (2) pizzas in that space.  You can also add another pizza in front of the fire.

With that said, we tend to make much smaller pizzas because the fun of having a pizza party is making lots of different flavors of pizzas.  We make 6" - 8" pizzas so everyone gets to experiment with several smaller personalized pizzas that we all get to sample.  The pizzas cook quickly in a few minutes so it's easy to keep pizza coming!

Pizza going into wood fired oven

For smaller meals

If you think you’re only going to be cooking one neapolitan style pizza or dish at a time, for example, as an occasional family meal or a cookout option, then a smaller oven is probably better for you.  If you also want a faster heat up time, a metal oven may work best.

Options that would fit this kind of cooking include, but are certainly not limited to,  the Alfa ONE,  Alfa Ciao  and the   Maximus Arena.  These  are smaller metal ovens that heat quickly and are capable of handling 1-2 pies at a time.

Of course, there are also small brick ovens that heat a little more slowly but hold heat much longer due to the heat retention in the bricks.  Pizza ovens like the DeliVita Oven have a modern look on the outside but a brick oven on the inside. 

For avid entertainers

A smaller oven doesn’t always cut it, however, and you may want to look at a larger one to fit different dishes. For the party animals out there (or leaders of a large family pack) an oven with a little more capacity might be in order.  A larger oven doesn’t sacrifice cooking time or quality either, so it’s a win-win for someone who is entertaining large groups.

If you're cooking for longer periods of time and enjoy the oven heating up time, a brick oven could be the best choice.  Popular brick ovens  we carry that boast higher capacity include the Lisboa Oven and   Traditional Pizzaioli Oven   capable of handling 2-3 pizza pies at once, or for those who prefer stainless,  the sleek brushed-metal Alfa Allegro oven may be your choice.

3.  Where will you put your pizza oven?

The location of your oven is an important consideration for a few reasons. One is whether or not you’d like it indoors or outdoors, as well as how your oven will look compared to your home or yard’s current aesthetics. Finding the best pizza oven for sale means it needs to meet your needs and fit in the space where you’ll like it!

Indoor pizza oven

Indoor ovens

When looking for an indoor pizza oven, there are many considerations.  You need to follow certain indoor pizza oven guidelines like making sure the oven is certified for your local residential regulations.  Plan ahead and confirm your requirements; many ovens are not UL-Listed so they won't pass inspection.  If that happens, you'll have no other choice but to install your new oven outdoors.  

There are several brands that manufacture indoor wood and gas ovens depending on the style you want and whether you want to build in the oven or have it on the counter.  Indoor ovens like the Earthstone Model 110 Gas Oven , or the dual outdoor-indoor certified wood-fired Chicago Brick Oven Countertop 500 oven might make excellent choices.

Just make sure your home pizza oven dimensions are such that they’ll fit inside your home; otherwise, you’ll have a rather sad-looking orphan pizza oven sitting at your front door.

Outdoor Ovens

The majority of pizza ovens are suited towards outdoor cooking!  They’re an excellent addition to backyards and outdoor kitchens, often serve as entertainment centerpieces.

When considering an outdoor oven, think about where you will put your oven.  Will it be under a cover?  If so, and the cover is a lower structure, you may need to consider venting the oven's chimney up through the structure or angling outside the covering.

Some of our best-selling outdoor ovens include the brick Buena Ventura Wood Oven from Portugal  and the CBO-750 Countertop Wood Burning Oven made in Chicago.

If you are purchasing a heavy brick oven, can a forklift or engine hoist get into your backyard?  There are lots of ingenious ways to move a brick oven but, if it's not possible for your layout, you may need to consider a lightweight oven or a pizza oven kit.

Portable Ovens

Occasionally, you might need to take the show on the road or just need a lightweight freestanding oven that can be easily moved.  Portable pizza ovens are often made of stainless steel to make them lighter.  But, there are brick ovens that come on stands or carts made for brick ovens that allow you to have the baking power of a brick oven with the convenience of a portable oven.

One of the most portable wood fired stainless steel ovens is the Maximus Pizza Oven , which offers world-class portability without sacrificing wood-fired flavor and charm.

Another steel portable outdoor pizza oven that is a bit bigger and comes on wheels is the Alfa 4 Pizze.  You might like this oven is you want a more modern look.

If you're looking to add an array of color to your backyard entertaining area, the Modern Countertop Pizza Oven by Delivita is the perfect choice.

The most popular brick oven for movability is the  CBO-750 Wood Pizza Oven on a cart which not only gives you the ability to relocate the oven but also gives the option of using the gas burner  and wood depending on your desire.

4.  What kind of cooking experience do you want?

There are two types of fuel for pizza ovens : wood and gas/propane. Some people prefer wood-fired ovens because they give food a smoky flavor that can't be replicated with gas.

Although purists insist that wood-fired ovens are the only way to cook a pizza, the fact is a traditional pizza oven works may not be the right fit for everyone. Choosing between wood or gas-fired choices may depend on your lifestyle and needs.

Wood-fired Classicism

No pizza oven guide would be complete without some healthy swooning over wood-fired ovens. Wood fired ovens are a great way to cook delicious, crispy pizzas. They can be used for cooking anything from bread and pastries to meats and vegetables. A wood oven imparts delicious flavors and unique cooked textures to your food.

A wood burning pizza oven is also an excellent addition to any backyard or patio because it’s fun and easy to use!   Wood burning ovens allow you to have the full traditional cooking experience where all family & friends join in the fun. You don’t need years of experience or culinary training either – anyone can do it!

Cooking vegetables in a wood burning pizza oven

When cooking with wood, you'll add more wood to reach the oven's high temperatures and stop adding wood when you want the temperature to decrease.

Some of our bestselling wood-fired brick ovens include the gorgeous, stone-finished brick Pizzaioli  oven, or the moodier Buena Ventura Black oven.

If you want wood-fired flavor without the mess, check out a "white" pizza oven like the Tuscan Chef. “Black” wood-fired ovens, like the traditional brick ovens, house the fire right in the cooking chamber, where the food is cooking. “White” ovens, like the Tuscan Chef ovens, have two separate chambers, one for the fire and one for cooking.

Pellet ovens, like the Pinnacolo SOLO seen below, are great  for consistently high heat and low maintenance.

Cooking pizza in a small gas pizza oven

Gas-fired Utility

Cooking with wood isn’t always feasible or an efficient choice, and that we understand wholeheartedly. In some areas or neighborhoods, burning might be prohibited or indoor options may exclude wood-fired ovens, so a gas oven would be a good choice. 

Most people think that gas ovens heat quicker than wood ones but that's just not true.  Wood actually burns hotter.  What they really mean is that it's easier to light a fire when using gas. Also, you can better maintain your temperature control by using gas rather than adding additional pieces of wood.

So gas may be a good choice if you want to maintain longer cooking times (ie, catering and big parties) as they can assist with quicker pre-heat times and lower wood maintenance which will prove advantageous when feeding crowds. The smaller gas ovens are also great for taking on camping trips!

Our most popular gas-fired residential pizza ovens include the dual wood or gas-burning Chicago Brick Oven Countertop 750 Hybrid , the Brio Gas Pizza Oven, and the equally best-selling Alfa Stone Gas Oven.

5.  Do you want to build a pizza oven yourself?

A DIY project can be an invigorating way to spend a few weeks, especially when done in collaboration with friends or family. You’ll feel a grand sense of accomplishment when it’s all said and done, and your handiwork will last a lifetime.

On the other hand, a massive project can’t fit on everyone’s docket, and sometimes you just want to start cooking pizza. Fortunately, we have options for both ends of the manual labor spectrum!

DIY Kits

If doing it yourself sounds like a good time, you’ll be thrilled to know we offer a large variety of DIY pizza oven kits that come with the necessary forms, and in some cases, other materials and instructions necessary to build your own master-class brick pizza oven.  Even if you want to build an oven yourself, we highly recommend starting with a kit.  Otherwise, you can spend tons of time and money to get a pretty pizza oven that can't hold heat or cook your food properly.

These projects offer the advantage of your own creative faculty, so the final product can match your home’s yard in aesthetics, and be modified to make cooking other food like barbeque an easier possibility. The world is your oyster!

Do It Yourself Pizza Oven Kits are usually less expensive than purchasing a pre-fabricated oven.  They are also able to be carried onto your site in pieces so they are often necessary when you can't fit a full oven into your area.

Also, even if you aren’t sure you want to handle the construction yourself, a DIY kit might be a good candidate if you hire the help of a contractor so that you can still achieve a professional-grade masonry oven regardless of your contractor's masonry skills.  

One of the largest DIY wood-fired ovens is  the commercially-oriented Chicago Brick Oven 1000  which could be the star of your backyard shenanigans.  

The Belforno Brand is a popular brand for gas pizza oven kits and the Temp-Cast Masonry Heaters are really popular if you want to build an indoor fireplace with a baking oven.

Prefabricated ovens

If you are more interested in getting a ready-to-use oven so you can focus your efforts on baking the perfect pizza, a prefabricated oven would be the best choice.

When you purchase a prefabricated oven, you know it will arrive ready for you to place in its new home.  You may also consider building around a prefabricated oven which will give you the built-in look with the assurance that you have a perfectly engineered oven within.  This is very similar to using a DIY kit except much easier.

Our most popular prefabricated ovens are in the collection of handmade brick ovens from Portugal.  They are not only gorgeous ovens but so well made they hold heat for hours! 

For contractors, our Round Grove Pizza Oven / Fireplace combos are extremely popular because they come as one large unit that only requires the outside to be finished in the material of choice.  This saves the contractors time and the homeowners money.  The Mason-Lite Pizza Ovens are also our PRO Professional's favorite.

Can you say "Wood-Fired Thanksgiving Turkey" for this year's celebration?

6.  What is your budget?

Consider your budget. How much are you willing to spend on a pizza oven? Keep in mind that the higher-end models can be quite expensive, but they often come with features like temperature gauges, larger cooking chambers, better insulation, and longer warranties that make them worth the investment.

Common Questions About Pizza Ovens

Is Buying A Pizza Oven Worth It?

Many people wonder whether or not buying a pizza oven is worth it. The answer to this question depends on your needs and budget. If you're looking for an oven that can produce high-quality pizzas, then a wood-fired or brick oven may be the best option for you. However, if you're on a tight budget, a smaller oven may be more affordable.

For people that enjoy creating meaningful dinner experiences, a pizza oven's versatility makes it totally worth it.  The memories made cooking with friends and family far outweigh the upfront cost of purchasing an outdoor pizza oven.  Cooking with a wood fired oven helps you slow down to enjoy the process.  It is also a healthy way to prepare your food as the higher heat allows you to cook quicker locking in valuable nutrients.  

Man and woman cooking in a wood fired pizza oven

Not only will you bake amazing authentic wood pizzas but you'll enjoy cooking full meals for holidays, celebrations, and any other day of the week!

How to use a wood fired pizza oven


Ah, the wood fired pizza oven. The Holy Grail of backyard cookouts and outdoor gatherings. Sure, your standard gas grill might be able to churn out some decent burgers and hot dogs, but a wood fired oven takes things to the next level. Here are the basics of how to use one.
  • First, gather some dry hardwood (no damp or moldy logs here) and start a fire in the oven.
  • Brush off any excess ash once it's burning hot.
  • Now comes the fun part - assembling your pizza. Make sure to stretch and flatten your dough before adding toppings of your choice.
  • Then, slide that baby into the oven with a pizza peel and let it bake until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.
And voila! You've just made a delicious wood fired pizza that will have all your friends begging for seconds (or even thirds...we won't judge). So go ahead and give it a try - wood fired pizza might just become your new favorite summertime meal.

Are there any disadvantages to a wood fired pizza oven?

People often ask  whether there are any disadvantages to wood fired pizza ovens. The answer is that there can be some drawbacks, such as the fact that they require a lot of wood to operate and can be difficult to use. However, the benefits of wood-fired ovens, such as their even heat distribution and smoky flavor, often outweigh these disadvantages.

Now You Know About Pizza Ovens

Using all the answers from above will help you determine whether you want a brick or metal, light or heavy, indoor or outdoor, wood-fired or gas-fired prefabricated oven.

Now that you're armed with this information, it's time to go shopping!  Luckily, we carry every combination of pizza oven we discussed in our Pizza Oven Buying Checklist so you'll be able to find the perfect one for you and your family.

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