Ooni Koda 12 Review – The Perfect Pizza Oven for Beginners

  • Design 90% 90%
  • Portability 100% 100%
  • Functionality 85% 85%
  • Ease of Use 100% 100%
  • Price 80% 80%

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Heats up fast
  • Easy temperature controls
  • Great testing pizzas

Cons

  • More expensive than other models 
  • May need to purchase ad-ons
  • No built-in thermometer

Everybody loves a good tasting pizza, right? Well, the good news is that you can now create your own authentic, restaurant-quality pizza in your own backyard! And guess what! It is easy to do, super-fast and the pizza will taste AMAZING! All you need is a good quality pizza oven.

One of the most reliable pizza ovens, and a fan favorite for beginners, is the Onni Koda 12. This review will guide you through the basics of this quality pizza oven and help you decide if this is the right product for you.

Our Ooni Koda 12 review is unbiased, with the product being fully tested by our team of pizza chefs! Vaani the vegan puts this Ooni model at the top of her list! When you read this full review, you will understand why.

Koda 12 pizza oven review

Everybody loves a good tasting pizza, right? Well, the good news is that you can now create your own authentic, restaurant-quality pizza in your own backyard! And guess what! It is easy to do, super-fast and the pizza will taste AMAZING! All you need is a good quality pizza oven.

One of the most reliable pizza ovens, and a fan favorite for beginners, is the Onni Koda 12. This review will guide you through the basics of this quality pizza oven and help you decide if this is the right product for you.

Our Ooni Koda 12 review is unbiased, with the product being fully tested by our team of pizza chefs! Vaani the vegan puts this Ooni model at the top of her list! When you read this full review, you will understand why.

About Ooni

Ooni is now the leading brand in the US when it comes to pizza ovens and accessories. With a range of products suited to all kinds of cooks, the company claims that all their pizza ovens can reach top temperatures in less than 15 minutes and cook your pizza in under 60 seconds. Their flagship model, the Koda 12, is no exception and our chefs were amazed at the speed our 12-inch pizza cooked.

Our First Impressions

As a team, we’re used to cooking in large brick pizza ovens, so our first impressions were one of astonishment at how small and portable the Koda 12. 

Simply put, it is one of the most portable and easy-to-use pizza ovens on the market. With a weight of just over 20 pounds (9 Kilos) it will be easy to carry for most people. It is not bulky or cumbersome and can easily be stored inside the house. Ooni also provides a carry bag that comes with straps so you can carry it easily like a backpack.

Not as surprising was the build quality. After all, this is Ooni we’re talking about here. The firm’s products are always built of quality materials and designed to last for many years. 

Koda 12 Design

This model has a powder-coated carbon steel outer shell which is colored in matte black. The stand for the oven comprises 3 foldable legs, allowing it to be easily stored after use. There is not a chimney available for the Koda 12, but one is not needed. The oven runs on gas and includes the necessary gas hose to connect to your tank.

The inside of the oven looks smart, and the size is perfect for cooking a 12-inch pizza. We found you can easily turn your pizza if needed, however; we were surprised when we tested it that it cooked evenly throughout the pizza without the need to turn.

The oven is lit via flames that come through small holes within a long tube at the rear. There is a flame shield included helps improve the flame distribution throughout the surface.

One excellent safety feature is the Flame Safe Device. If, for any reason, the flame is extinguished whilst the gas is turned on, the oven will automatically shut off the gas supply. This will put people at ease that may not like cooking with gas-fired products.

Here are some general specifications of the Koda:

  • Weight: 20.2 LBS (9.25 Kilos)
  • Dimensions: 24.4″ x 15.5″ x 11.7″ (62cm x 39cm x 29cm)
  • Dimensions with the legs folded: 24.4″ x 15.5″ x 7.7″ (62cm x 39cm x 19.6cm)
  • Baking Stone Size: 13.25″ x 13.25″ x 0.4″ (33.66cm x 33.66cm x 10cm)
  • Gas Hose Length: 3 feet (0.92m)

Ease of Use

Most Ooni Koda 12 reviews will mention how easy the oven is to use and make pizza, and our testing is no different. This really is an easy-to-use pizza oven. Once you get the hang of cooking with the Koda a few times, you find it is incredibly easy to master the perfect crust.

Straight out of the box, you can have your pizza oven set up in just a few moments. Take it out, fold out the collapsible legs, insert the stone, hook up the gas pipe to the propane, and you are ready to turn it on. To turn on, you simply click the knob at the back of the oven briefly to ignite your flame. The same knob will control the amount of flame.

Once the oven is churning out the flame, you will need to wait approximately 15 minutes for the Koda 12 to heat to its max temperature of 950°F (500°C). Most Koda 12 reviews recommend leaving for 20 minutes so that the stone is hot enough to cook the bottom of the pizza fully. We agree with this.

As a beginner, there will probably be a bit of trial and error the first few times you use the oven. Mostly this will involve adjusting the flame correctly to get the pizza cooked to your preference. Too hot and you might burn your pizza too quickly (like we did) or too little and you might end up with a doughy mess inside. Somewhere in the middle would be the best place to start.

Our Pizza Cooking Test 

How can we review a product without testing it out ourselves, right? We needed little motivation, as you might have guessed we never need an excuse to eat fabulously cooked pizza!

Primarily, we wanted to test the claims that the Ooni Koda 12 can cook a full 12” inch pizza in around a minute or so. Secondly, we obviously wanted to give it a taste to see just how good the resulting pizza is. So, we eagerly got all our dough, sauces, and toppings ready. We planned to cook a variety of pizzas, simply because we could, as it would allegedly cook each of them quicker than it would take to make a cup of coffee. 

Once the Koda 12 was up to heat (it took around the claimed 15 minutes to reach 950°F), we carefully placed our first pizza onto the stone. Armed with stopwatches, the team waited the full 60 seconds before yelling (this is a regular occurrence) at Four Steve Cheese to take it out. 

How Good are the Results?

To be honest, we were amazed at how good the pizza was considering it cooked for just 60 seconds. You have to remember that we’re used to eating pizza from wood-fired pizza ovens – but honestly; the pizza tasted almost identical. 

We found that while the 60-second pizza produced a delightful combination of crunchiness on the outside and chewiness in the middle, that you can get an even crispier crust by letting it cook for a few seconds more. After some trial and error, we found that an additional 20 seconds hit our sweet spot. You might have a different opinion, but that is the great thing about the Ooni Koda 12, as you can just experiment until you find what suits your tastebuds the best. 

The Biggest Advantages of the Ooni Koda 12?

The obvious benefit is the fact that you can cook pizza so quickly and conveniently. That is the same for most of Ooni’s pizza ovens. However, as this is smaller than most, it means you can easily carry it around. Essentially, this is a mobile pizza oven that you can carry on your back, and then just easily set up when you reach your destination.

Another advantage is that it is so easy to clean. I mean, you rarely have to do much more than flip it over and pouring out the crumbs. As it is gas-powered, there is no need to worry about fuel residue. 

Also, while the Ooni Koda 12 is primarily for cooking pizza, you can cook a few other foods, too. For instance, the oven is large enough to cook steaks, roasted vegetables, and even smaller fish.

Finally, we feel that the Koda 12 offers a great platform for those wanting to get into pizza baking. As it is so quick, you can get a ton of practise in. 

What are Some Ooni Koda 12 Negatives?

Obviously, the size is a drawback if that is important to you. Let’s face it, you’re not going to be opening up a pizza restaurant and relying on this oven. It can churn out good quality 12” pizzas quickly, but only one at a time. A pizza that size is ideal for one or twopeople, but for larger gatherings, you might spend more time and effort cooking than you might like. 

However, it is not marketed or designed as an industrial pizza oven. It is marketed on its smaller size and portability. If you want an oven that can deliver larger pizzas and more than one at a time, you buy an oven that can deliver that. 

Another slight negative is that the size can take a bit of getting used to. Those of you used to larger ovens may find it difficult to turn the pizza, as you’re operating in such a small space. That said, we found you didn’t really need to turn the pizza while cooking. It cooked right through anyhow – just make sure you let the Ooni Koda 12 get up to full heat and leave it there for a good 20 minutes before you cook.

Finally, another drawback is that the Koda 12 does not come with any accessories. Just make sure that you get these in advance from Ooni so that you’re not left struggling without them when your Koda 12 arrives.

Price and Warranty

Now, we know that most of you just want to get down to the nitty gritty. How much does it cost we hear you ask? Not as much as you might think if you have looked at the prices of similar products from some of Ooni’s competitors. Actually, it is even cheap by Ooni’s own reasonably-priced standards.

The Ooni Koda 12 currently retails at around $400, making it one of the budget-friendly options in the brand’s range. The sacrifice is smaller pizza, but is that really a sacrifice when you consider you gain added portability? That price for an oven that you can carry around with ease and cook quick pizza on the go is pretty damn good. 

Just remember to purchase directly from Ooni as that ensures you get a genuine 3-year parts warranty and the now infamous ‘60 Days Great Pizza Guarantee’. That’s right, if the pizza from the Koda 12 is not up to your standard (it will be), you can get your money back.  

The other benefit of buying directly from Ooni is that you can avail free shipping from Canada to anywhere in the US. In fact, anything you buy from Ooni that is $35 or more comes with the same free shipping. 

Ooni Koda 12 Review – Our Verdict

Ooni has done it again. We’re always excited to review pizza ovens from such a leading brand as they never disappoint. As we mentioned earlier, Vaani the vegan has declared the Ooni Koda 12 the best yet – and not just because she thinks it looks cute because of its size!. Her main reason is that it costs almost half the price of the Ooni Koda 16, but delivers the same quality pizza in just 60 seconds. 

The only difference is the size; the Koda can cook pizza up to 12” in size compared to 16” in the Koda 16. Seriously, if you want more pizza, surely you can just cook another one – it only takes a minute!

Another benefit of the smaller size is that it is even more portable than the more expensive model. Heck, you could pack it up and take it on a camping trip or bring it with you when you go fishing! Is there a better way to quickly fill your stomach with quality food when enjoying either?

So, what is our verdict? For the quality of pizza, quickness of cooking, and its amazing portability and cost, we have to give the Ooni Koda 12, 9 out of 10. 

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