Microsoft's AI-Powered Bing Google's ChatGPT Rival Hogwarts Legacy Review Ozempic vs. Obesity Best Super Bowl Ads 2023 Honda Accord Hybrid Review OnePlus 11 Phone Review Super Bowl: How to Watch
Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
No, thank you
Accept
Why You Can Trust CNET
Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Home Pizza Ovens Are a Scorchingly Hot Kitchen Gift for 2022

At-home pizza ovens are going out of stock and on backorder. See what makes these backyard cookers a smoking-hot gift in 2022.

pizza being pulled from home pizza oven
Home pizza ovens are on a tear and manufacturers are ramping up production to keep pace with demand.
_jure/Getty Images

If you don't know anyone with a pizza oven, that's likely to change -- and soon. These sleek and easy backyard cookers from brands including solo Stove Stove, Gozney and Ooni are enjoying record sales, sparking at-home pizza parties from coast to coast. With popular models already on backorder for 2023, pizza ovens are looking like the hot kitchen gift for 2022

Papa John, Little Caesar, consider yourselves on notice. 

Home pizza ovens aren't new. Just ask Sara Lauro, whose family-run company Alfa has been making artisan wood- and gas-fired pizza ovens in Italy for 46 years. But something clicked of late, Lauro tells me, and the brand has seen oven sales skyrocket more than 95% in the last year alone. The popular high-end ovens have also gone on backorder several times since 2020, but Alfa has since caught up and roughly tripled production in 2022 to keep pace with consumer appetite.  

alfa pizza oven on picnic table in front of lake

Italian pizza oven maker Alfa is set to release its most portable unit yet in January of 2023.

Alfa

The home pizza oven category is also still something of a niche market, Lauro admits. But this new breed of turnkey and foolproof pizza ovens that slide into a backyard setup with ease and hook up to propane tanks for instantaneous ignition is helping take home pie-making into the mainstream.

Home pizza ovens caught fire in 2020 with no signs of cooling

The pandemic caused a seismic shift in how we approached cooking at home. Meal kit sales skyrocketed, for instance, as folks used their time in quarantine to learn to cook or improve on existing skills. While individual food projects grabbed the spotlight with rounds of sourdough and frothy Dalgona coffee receiving outsized attention, pizza making was lurking in the shadow and, at times, very much in broad daylight. But there were signs of growth even before the 2020 lockdown. In 2019 alone, Alfa saw more sales than the three previous years combined, according to Lauro. 

gozney pizza oven on table with ingredients

Gozney's $400 Roccbox is just one in a line of impressive new at-home pizza ovens. 

David Watsky/CNET

While Alfa has been making its ovens for nearly a half-century, two newer companies were ready for and perhaps even helped to spur on this pizza oven hot streak. 

Utah-based Gozney launched its popular $400 Roccbox oven in 2016. I tried it in 2021 and was impressed with how quickly and cleanly it made pizza, burgers, salmon and steak. With wildly fast cooking times and almost no mess to clean up, I liked using it just as much as my trusty Weber, maybe more. More recently, Gozney launched the Dome, a large, professional-grade oven with a price to match.

Ooni, a Scottish pizza oven brand (naturally) opened for business four years earlier and has dispatched several ultraportable gas, wood, charcoal and even pellet-powered pizza ovens into the market. Reps from both Gozney and Ooni say that the past few years have been gangbusters for pizza ovens and, much like Alfa, they've had to supercharge production to satisfy demand.

ooni koda oven with pizza being pulled out

Scotland-based Ooni makes pizza ovens that can be fueled by gas, charcoal and even wood pellets. 

Ooni

Solo Stove, a popular Texas-based producer of modern fire pits is yet another brand looking to capitalize on the pizza craze with the launch of the Solo Pi pizza oven just this year. Solo Stove's first venture into the pizza oven space has been a smash, CEO John Merris told me over Zoom, and the oven is sold out through the holidays with the next available deliveries in January 2023. 

The sleek, circular stainless steel unit retails for $625 but can regularly be found for $500 or less on Amazon -- a bit more if you opt for the propane attachment. CNET's Megan Wollerton gave the Solo Pi a whirl recently. You can read her full Solo Pi pizza oven review here.

Solo Stove Pizza Oven on table with pizza being pulled out

Solo Stove is looking to capitalize on the trend with the launch of its sleek and circular Pi pizza oven earlier this year. 

Solo Stove

Pizza ovens do things your grill and oven can't 

There are a few sound methods for making pizza at home without a specialty oven. Grilled pizza enjoys earned praise during the warmer months and a pizza stone -- which can be had for as little as $30 -- traps heat so you can use your grill or even a conventional oven to make more authentic style pie. But neither approach will give you quite the crispy crust of a hot-as-heck pizza oven.

That's because commercial pizza ovens run extremely hot, often reaching temps of 1,000 degrees F or more. This new class of at-home pizza ovens keeps pace, with most models climbing to 900 F, often within 10-15 minutes of firing them up. That blazing heat means a few things: a perfectly crisped bottom and crust and evenly melted cheese without drying out the pie, cheese or toppings. 

pizza after cooking

Home pizza ovens like those made by Gozney and Ooni turn out crispy Neopolitan-style pies in under two minutes. 

David Watsky/CNET

Logistically speaking, it also means pizza and other foods are ready in a matter of minutes (pizzas typically take less than two minutes each). Even ovens that make just one pizza at a time such as the Roccbox and most Ooni models will feed a gang without creating a queue of hungry folks. 

Making and rolling out the dough is by far the most time-consuming part of any at-home pizza party. Conveniently, most supermarkets and many bakeries stock premade pizza dough, ready to be rolled out, topped and baked. Solo has even started selling bundles of pizza provisions including dough, sauce and cheese, although you'll probably get a better deal at the grocery store.

Pizza ovens are pricey. But, then again, so is pizza lately

These new pizza ovens come at a cost, with models typically ranging between $300 and $700. Alfa makes more professional-grade (and expensive) models with insulated walls and full-effect circulation flu systems -- features that the less expensive brands don't offer. Alfa ovens will run you upwards of $1,400, although the brand is set to release its most portable and affordable model, the Moderno, to US retail partners in January. 

Those price tags are considerable for any appliance, especially one you likely never gave much thought to in the first place, and any one of these pizza ovens still falls squarely in the splurge category.

pizza menu chalkkboard

A single pizza in my neighborhood is up to $23 or more. A new class of at-home ovens will turn out pizzeria-quality pies for a dollar or two worth of ingredients. 

David Watsky/CNET

But to look at it another way, pizza itself has gotten awfully expensive, at least where I live in Brooklyn. The Italian classic has humble beginnings as peasant fare and street food but has become one of the single most marked-up cuisines considering the cost-of-ingredients-to-menu-price ratio. Parse out the groceries needed for a steak dinner and $25 doesn't seem so outrageous. But the dough, sauce and cheese required to craft a single pizza costs somewhere in the neighborhood of a few bucks. 

If you're looking to nab a pizza oven for a holiday gift or to add to your backyard cooking collection, we've personally tested models from Gozney, Ooni, Solo and Alfa and had great success with all of them. We've rounded up some of the best deals on pizza ovens ahead of the holidays. But as demand rises and producers scramble to keep up, don't be surprised if models continue to go out of stock and on backorder during this busiest of buying times.