This Ooni Karu 16 vs Ooni Koda 12 comparison will help you know the two generations of pizza ovens Ooni has produced and see which does better in cooking.
There are many portable pizza ovens from Ooni and all of those models have impressed the users.
They are versatile, easy to handle, easy to use, and easy to travel with.
It is an amazing pizza oven that can produce small but perfectly cooked pizzas anytime.
A few years ago, the company started creating new versions of these pizza ovens and they considered the many requests of users that they should make the ovens a little more spacious.
Enter the Ooni Karu 16, the latest release from Ooni, and is one of the larger models from the company.
It is an impressive pizza oven that has new and advanced features you will enjoy.
So with this review, we will be comparing one of the pioneers of the portable pizza ovens from Ooni with the newest release that is larger and is gaining a lot of popularity these days.
Setup And Assembly– Ooni Karu 16 vs Ooni Koda 12
Many pizza ovens sold on the market do not make pizzas as quick as the ones from Ooni.
That is not the case with the Koda 12 as it is ready whenever you are.
Once the pizza oven arrives at your doorstep, all you need to do is connect it to the propane gas tank and it is ready to go.
Within 15 minutes, you will be able to cook the best pizzas in minutes.
The Koda 12 is a very simple pizza oven with no chimney, doors, or other inserts.
It comes in this small shell that you can place on any outdoor countertop and cook with it almost instantly.
This pizza oven only weighs around 20 pounds which is extremely light.
That means that you do not need to build a whole concrete top for this pizza oven as you can set it on a table.
The Karu 16, on the other hand, is a little more demanding than the Koda 12. The Karu 16 has some parts that need installation before cooking in it such as the chimney.
The chimney is made from cylindrical stainless steel and can be assembled very easily by inserting it in the dedicated hole at the top of the cooking chamber and locking it with a twist.
There is also the thermometer that goes in front of the pizza oven. You can still use an IR thermometer to measure the exact temperature of the pizza stone.
The door of this pizza oven is hinged so you need to secure the bolts and screws on the door before you can cook inside it.
From there, you can start to fire up the pizza oven and get your pizzas ready.
However, make sure to burn off the residuals and possible contaminants inside the ovens before cooking.
Build Quality of Ooni Karu 16 and Ooni Koda 12
Ooni is a trustworthy company when it comes to the materials they use and the manufacturing process.
If you see the review, you will rarely see complaints about the pizza ovens rusting.
Aside from the durable materials that they use to make the pizza ovens, they also incorporate the opening, the dome itself, and the interior to improve the oven’s performance.
That is truly noticeable with the Koda 12 as it is all stainless steel.
While it is not the most durable material, it manages to resist heat and rain that might damage it from the outside.
The stainless steel build is also helpful in making sure that the heat inside the pizza oven is in check.
The outer part of the pizza oven has a powder coating for more durability.
The Koda 12 does not have a door which means that it has an opening all the time.
That is why the design made the opening a little droopy so the heat rolls back into the oven.
As for the Karu 16, you will notice that it has a slightly different design and material.
Instead of plain stainless steel, this pizza oven has carbon steel for more durability.
The opening of the Karu 16 is also pretty straightforward with it going straight up for more space.
The heat does not escape the pizza oven as it has a door made of steel and glass.
This pizza oven also has a powder-coated finish which protects it from both sunlight and rain.
I do recommend using a cover for both of these pizza ovens when you leave them outside.
Cooking Space– Ooni Karu 16 vs Ooni Koda 12
Perhaps the biggest and most noticeable difference between these two pizza ovens is the size.
That is what we have said earlier and you will notice the difference at just your first glance.
The pizza ovens have different cooking spaces. There is a lot more space on the Karu 16 than on the Koda 12 so that means that you can cook large pizzas in it.
These two pizza ovens are similar because the cooking floors are both made out of cordierite pizza stone.
It is a durable material that can absorb a lot of heat to help in cooking.
As the name suggests the 12 and 16 signify the maximum size of pizzas you can cook in each oven.
Cordierite pizza stones are usually considered stronger than their ceramic counterparts.
It can absorb heat and then release it into the pizza oven to balance the temperature inside.
The Koda 12 has a cordierite pizza stone that measures a little over 12 inches which means that when you cook 12-inch pizzas, you will hardly have space to manage or turn the pizza around.
The Karu 16 has a large cordierite pizza stone with more than 16 inches of space which means that the manufacturers considered a little bit of space for you to turn the pizza if it burns.
Unique Features– Ooni Karu 16 vs Ooni Koda 12
Some features were intact on the larger pizza ovens from Ooni as it was in the smaller ones.
However, there are also new features that you cannot find on the other models let alone other brands.
Ther Koda 12 is like a design masterpiece that allows you to cook pizzas consistently despite having an open oven door. That is made possible by the FlameKeeper technology.
The drooping design on the front plate of the Koda 12 is a very simple yet useful innovation that reflects the heat into the pizza oven and down towards the pizza.
This pizza oven also has a built-in ignition which allows you to start the fire with a literal turn of a dial.
The same dial where you ignite the fire also allows you to control the flames and the heat.
As for the Karu 16, it has a lot of things to offer and it makes sure that you cook at the right temperature all the time while also being able to let you cook with ease and convenience.
This pizza oven has a digital thermometer, which is not installed directly on the walls, unlike most pizza ovens. It is screwed in front of the pizza oven so you can read it easily.
The thermometer consistently reads the temperature inside even if you open the doors of the pizza oven.
That way, it will not measure the temperature of the surface of the door or wall.
Speaking of doors, the Karu 16 has one of the best doors on any pizza oven on the market.
It has a stainless steel frame with a full glass construction to let you see the interior of the oven.
That way, you will not need to open the pizza oven door just to look at the pizza you are cooking.
This helps to keep the temperature inside the oven balanced and consistent.
Cooking In Ooni Karu 16 and Ooni Koda 12
I have made many pizzas with the Koda 12 and it has had an impressive run over the years.
There are many things you can cook with the Koda 12 but its size limits you.
It is fairly easy to cook in this pizza oven as it is pretty straightforward.
I did not need any vent controls as I was able to control the temperature by turning the gas dial.
The finishes on the pizzas are always great with the crispy crust being the show stopper.
The rolling flames from the FlameKeeper technology are also great as the toppings cook evenly. Even then, you might want to turn the pizza around using a pizza peel so that the pizza cooks from all sides.
Both the Koda 12 and the Karu 16 can reach a maximum temperature of 950 degrees Fahrenheit.
The difference is that the Karu 16 can cook large pizzas and more recipes.
It has a larger opening and space inside which meant that I could cook larger types of food.
I would say that it is harder to control the temperature, especially with beginners.
If you have no experience controlling the temperature inside a pizza oven using vents and adding fuel, you will have a little hiccup to learn how to use the Karu 16 pizza oven.
I would say that the Koda 12 is a lot easier to use for beginners to control the temperature since it uses a dial. However, there are more recipes you can cook with the Karu 16.
There are also more flavors that you can put in your pizza as the Karu 16 uses wood or charcoal as fuel which is a lot more authentic than the propane gas used by the Koda 12.
Ooni Karu 16 vs Ooni Koda 12– My Final Thoughts
There are many things that you can cook in both of these pizza ovens from Ooni but if I were to choose, I would go with the Karu 16 because it is more authentic and is fairly easy to use.
More features can help you attain restaurant-quality foods. You can cook more recipes such as bread, steaks, and barbecue to be great for any occasion.
I would also not hesitate with the Koda 12 as it has proven that it can cook great pizzas.
If you have a relatively small group of people to cater to, then the Koda 12 is a great choice as well.
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