Pizza is such great food that we have for ourselves to enjoy. It is a great recipe that anyone can cook, especially if you have either the Ooni Koda or Ooni Karu to cook with at your own house.
Ooni is a company that is very well-known for their amazing pizza ovens. They have released many pizza ovens throughout the years, and they always highlight the important features.
Most of their pizza ovens have portable designs. They have recently released pizza ovens with larger chambers and are slightly heavier but portability is still there.
The Ooni Koda and Ooni Karu pizza ovens are both considered pioneers of portable pizza ovens. They are two of the earlier models that Ooni made for the public during their early years.
They can both go up to amazing temperatures and cook pizzas in a matter of minutes or even seconds. They are very helpful in cooking pizzas as well as other recipes that fit inside them.
So if you are looking for a pizza oven that will surely help you improve your pizza-making skills, then read on as we take a look and compare these two to see which one is better for you.
How To Set Them Up?
Both of these pizza ovens are relatively lightweight, which allows you to carry them anywhere you want. The Karu weighs 26 pounds while the Koda is only around 20 pounds.
They are also easy to assemble there is not much assembly needed as they come in with all the important parts attached to the main chamber. There, you can attach the gas tank.
The Ooni Koda is a simple turtle shell-like pizza oven that has four foldable legs. Other Ooni models have the same foldable legs, making them all portable and easier to handle or carry.
The Ooni Karu has a large chimney on top, which is pretty hard to consider as portable. However, this chimney collapses and can fit inside the chamber when you are traveling.
Both pizza ovens are made with high-grade stainless steel with the Ooni Koda even having a powder-coated shell. That means that both pizza ovens are perfect for use outdoors.
You can set them up in your backyard or on the patio. The shell of these pizza ovens can resist sunlight and rain while also keeping the pizzas properly heated even when it is raining.
Because of their sizes, they are also fun to bring during tailgating trips. They are also great when you are camping and you want to have a freshly-cooked pizza or any recipe, in that case.
The 0% nickel build of these pizza ovens made a great difference in cooking outdoors. You do not have to worry about rain or windy areas too much as the ovens are well-protected.
What Fuel Do I Use?
Both of these pizza ovens use propane gas for cooking. It is a reliable source of heat as it will come up to very high temperatures in minutes because of the ovens’ small interior.
Both come with their burners with the Ooni Koda having its burner installed within the oven. The Ooni Karu is a bit different as the gas burner can be released from the chamber.
The Ooni Karu does not have its gas burner. You get the gas burner attachment for the Ooni Karu on the website.
The Ooni Koda pizza oven has its gas burner attachment because it is as gas fueled pizza oven and has one of the simplest controls in any pizza oven. It only has one knob for both ignition and temperature control.
That goes the same for the Ooni Karu but the Ooni Koda’s knob is a bit more advanced, at least from its looks. The burners of the Karu are also more efficient and effective in heating up.
That is because they are nearer to the pizza stone than the burners of the Ooni Koda. However, the Koda has the option to switch or add another type of fuel when cooking pizzas.
That comes with the wood or charcoal burner at the back. This burner sits right on top of the gas burner, and you can load a bunch of wood into it to make the cooking experience authentic.
This option will allow you to cook in both fuels, which means that if you are out of the house and run out of propane gas, you can use woods or sticks to perfectly cook your pizzas.
How Hot Can They Get?
No matter what type of fuel you use, these pizza ovens can get up to a temperature of 900 degrees Fahrenheit. It is the perfect temperature for cooking pizzas in just one minute.
This temperature is great for making pizzas for multiple people. These pizza ovens are quite small so you can only cook a 12-inch pizza at a time in them, which is not good for many guests.
However, since they heat up pretty fast at only around 15 minutes of preheating, you can cook pizzas right away. They also do it in just 60 seconds so you can cook many pizzas in a few minutes.
These pizza ovens are great for making pizzas in the backyard since they have great insulation. The powder-coated shell of the Koda is perfect for retaining the heat inside the chamber.
The Ooni Karu features an insulated interior made out of ceramic fibers. That way, the heat tries to stay inside while the oven’s outer parts do not heat up easily to prevent accidents.
Cooking In The Pizza Ovens: Tips and Tricks
These pizza ovens, as you might have already guessed, can be a little bit tricky. They have a very small interior and open with a lot of heat inside, making them a bit dangerous.
After cooking in them for many months and after hundreds of failed attempts, I figured some of the tips you can use when cooking in these small, compact, portable yet powerful pizza ovens.
First, use a stainless steel pizza peel when transferring the pizza in and out of the pizza oven. That way, you will not have to deal with thick pizza peels such as the ones made with wood.
Be sure to flour the pizza peel before putting the pizza on it to not stick to the pizza peel. Then, you need to keep the doors open, this is not a problem with the Koda as it does not have one.
But for the Ooni Karu, I suggest that you leave the doorway open to see the pizza you are cooking. That way, you will know when to turn the pizza around and prevent it from burning.
You can use the same pizza peel that you used to turn the pizza around. I also figured it is possible to turn the pizza inside the oven without taking it out by using a long grill spatula.
Tips to get better results while cooking…
You can also get a better result if you wait for the pizza ovens to reach their maximum temperature. That way, the pizza dough will also not stick on the pizza stone when you cook.
Take advantage of the temperature control that these pizza ovens offer. They can be both controlled with a knob at their backs, which you can use for other recipes.
The Ooni Karu also has a chimney that you can control the temperature with. The small lever on the chimney is a vent that opens or closes the pathway of air from the pizza oven’s chamber.
So since you can easily adjust the temperature, you can turn it up or down any time you want and cook other recipes. You can get your pizza oven to function as other cooking appliances.
How Do You Clean Them?
There is no need for using too many chemicals or processes in cleaning these pizza ovens. You can use the fire that they produce in cleaning the interior, especially the cordierite pizza stone.
This process is called pyrolyzing, and it is where you burn off the dirt and all the bacteria inside the pizza ovens with intense heat. So turn up the heat to maximum and let them burn for an hour.
After they have cooled down, you can then use a brush to remove the food residuals from the pizza stone and the pizza ovens’ interior. Wipe the shell with a paper towel if needed.
There are dedicated covers for each Ooni pizza model so you can get that too. If not, I suggest you put them in a storage cabinet and do not worry, they will not take up too much of the space.
When cooking pizzas, you are going to need a lot of heat. Ooni knows this very simple yet very important factor, so their pizza ovens get hot.
The Ooni Koda and Ooni Karu might be two of the smallest or most portable pizza ovens but they are also in the most powerful ranks. They can cook pizzas in just 60 seconds.
If I were to choose between the two, I would go with the Ooni Karu to give me more options on the fuel that I can use. However, the Ooni Koda is more convenient and simple to use.
So it depends on what you want. If you want a pizza oven that uses purely gas, then the Ooni Koda is a perfect choice, but if you like to put a bit of authenticity on your pizza, go for the Ooni Karu.
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