One of the things that I missed the most during lockdown was proper pizza. Not the kind that you get from the big chains but the authentic kind that you get from proper pizza restaurants.
I started to see the Ooni Pizza Ovens pop up on Instagram and after chatting to a couple of mates who had bought them, I was dying to try one myself. The pizza looks absolutely epic and I was assured by everyone that I spoke to that it was delicious too.
I’d been toying with the idea of getting one when Ooni got in touch to ask if I wanted to test out their new Fyra Portable Wood-fired Outdoor Pizza Oven at home. I jumped at the chance!
The Ooni Fyra Pizza Oven
Assembling the Ooni Fyre Pizza Oven was pretty easy which was good as I did find the manual a little confusing. The legs on the bottom just need to be extended, the funnels inserted and the pizza stone (which comes bubble wrapped) needs to be slid inside.
After that, you’re pretty much good to go!
The little legs mean that you can place the even directly on the ground without causing any damage but to save all the bending down and for general ease, I picked up a cheap table from Ikea to sit it on.
Lighting the pizza oven
Lighting the Ooni Fyra is pretty easy. There’s a little grate at the back that you remove and fill up with wood pellets before place a firelighter on top. It starts to heat up pretty quickly but as the oven doesn’t actually have a temperature gauge built-in it takes a bit of luck to hit the right level to cook your pizza.
I found that after about 15 minutes I was at the right temperature to get going but once thing I noticed is that it burns through the pellets pretty quickly, so you need to keep an eye on the hopper at the back to keep them topped up.
The temperature drops pretty rapidly when the door on the front is opened too so it’s best to keep this closed as much as possible.
Assembling your pizza
You can, of course, cook any pizza in the Ooni oven, even one that you bought from a store but I feel that if you’re going to go to all the effort of making your own pizza then you may as well go all out and make your own dough. I followed the Ooni recipe and it was pretty tasty and cooked well too.
To get the pizza in and out of the oven and turn it, you’ll need a pizza peel (which they sell separately). The opening on the oven is quite narrow so there’s a bit of a knack to sliding your pizza in without making a mess. For this reason, I found that it was better to make pizzas that were a bit on the smaller side.
I will admit that it took me a couple of attempts to get the hang of it but soon I realised that it was all about the flour. Dust the peel with plenty to make sure that it slides off with ease.
Cooking your pizza in the Ooni Fyra
The good news is that once the Ooni oven is hot and your pizza has been adorned with lots of delicious toppings it doesn’t take very long to cook it.
The time that it takes to actually cook the pizza is down to personal taste and how charred you like your pizza. I like a few little black burnt bits on mine so I keep them in a little longer. The key is to turn the pizza ever 30 seconds as it cooks so that the surface cooks eventually.
Ooni Fyra Pizza Oven Review
There’s no denying that the Ooni is a real talking point and that it makes very good, authentic tasting pizza. I’ve had a few guests round to the garden over the summer and they have all been fascinated watching the pizza cook.
I found that it’s better if you’re just making a couple of pizzas at a time as any more than that means that everyone will be eating at different times. If it’s a chilled garden party, eat as you please kind of vibe then this is not an issue though.
The oven burns through wood pellets pretty quickly too so make sure that you have a plentiful supply. You can buy the Ooni branded wood pellets from their website but any brand will do the job.
At £229 for the oven, it might seem like a pretty big investment but if you factor in how much a single pizza costs from one of the big delivery chains then you wouldn’t be too long in paying for it if you switch them out.
If you’re a pizza lover like me and have a spot outdoors to use the oven, then I’d definitely recommend getting one. I don’t think that there’s any way that you could make pizza anywhere near this good in a conventional home oven.
Shop the Ooni Fyra here.