This Ooni Karu 16 vs Ooni Koda 16 comparison is about the two large pizza ovens from one if not the best company in the pizza oven industry.
When the Ooni Karu 16 was released, I could only think how it would perform compared to the Koda 16.
Which amongst the two would make the better pizzas?
Ooni is one of the leading companies in the pizza oven industry because of its ability to make powerful pizza ovens while also making them portable and easy to use.
They have made small portable pizza ovens, and in fact, it is what made them known.
It is almost their trademark that they can create pizza ovens that are small enough to carry.
However, due to popular demand, the company has made several large models of their pizza ovens. They are bigger, with added power and great features.
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The Koda 16 is a large pizza oven that was released recently.
It has a very unique flame system and it can cook the same way as the smaller ones despite having a much larger interior.
The Karu 16 is the latest release of the large models from Ooni.
While it has the same fire and heating system, it has some additional features that we will be comparing here in this post.
Setting up the Pizza Ovens- Ooni Karu 16 vs Ooni Koda 16
When it comes to portable pizza ovens, especially the ones from Ooni, there is not much assembly needed for the pizza ovens before you can use them to cook the best pizzas at home.
The models that we are going to compare are not the most portable models from Ooni.
However, there is not much assembly needed with them so you can cook almost instantly.
The Ooni Koda 16 has the fewest parts when you compare it to the other pizza ovens.
The package comes with the main cooking chamber with the legs, pizza stone, and connector.
As you can see, there are not a lot of parts, and you only need to insert the pizza stone inside the main oven, connect the hose to the propane gas tank, and you are ready to cook.
You need a little bit of work to assemble the Karu 16 since it has more parts.
First, it has a chimney that you need to install, but you can do it with just a simple twist.
There is also a door for this pizza oven that allows it to keep the heat inside.
You need to make sure that it is installed and secured properly in place before you can cook with it.
The wood and charcoal tray for burning your fuel also needs to be placed inside the cooking chamber.
Despite having more parts, the Karu 16 took only around 15 minutes to complete the assembly and setup.
I was able to cook pizzas right away, just like with the Koda 16 pizza oven.
Build Quality- Ooni Karu 16 vs Ooni Koda 16
These pizza ovens are outdoor countertop pizza ovens, so they need to be built with the best materials to endure the heat from the sun and rain.
The Ooni Koda 16 has a stainless steel body covering all the sides of the pizza oven.
The upper part of the roof of the pizza oven has a powder coating.
That means that it can withstand both heat from the inside and heat from the sun.
It also protects the interior by preventing it from rusting and corroding for a very long time.
The front of the Koda 16 and its legs has plain stainless steel, which is perfect for aesthetic purposes.
The Karu 16 is a little different from the Koda 16 since it has carbon steel.
It can withstand both high and low temperatures while also being able to resist any weather condition.
The front part of the Karu 16 has no coating and the legs and the chimney.
While this makes the pizza oven look good, it is also great for making it more durable.
You can insert the chimney into the body of the pizza oven and fold the legs so they do not need a coating of any type of finishing material like the roof.
Both pizza ovens have ceramic fiber insulation which is perfect for ensuring that stainless steel is not the only material that works to absorb and retain heat.
Cooking Space– Ooni Karu 16 vs Ooni Koda 16
The cooking space of these pizza ovens is perhaps the most noticeable development from their original models.
It is now much larger so you can cook more or larger pizzas in them.
The cooking space of both pizza ovens has cordierite pizza stone, a very durable material.
It is stronger than ceramic while still being able to do the same process.
What I mean by that is that the cordierite pizza stone can absorb heat from the pizza ovens’ fireboxes. There, it can release the heat to make the temperature even inside.
There is almost the same size as the Koda 16 and Karu 16 regarding the cooking space.
A little over 16 inches so you can cook a 16-inch pizza with enough space to turn it around with your pizza peel.
The main difference is that the pizza stone of the Karu 16 that it has two parts, making it better at expanding or contracting when it is hot or cold to prevent it from breaking apart.
The Koda 16 only has a large cordierite pizza stone that might break easily if exposed to extreme temperature changes. The Karu 16 can prevent this by having two separate stones.
What Fuel Do They Use?– Ooni Karu 16 vs Ooni Koda 16
The fuels used is also one of the main differences between these two pizza ovens from Ooni.
They can both fire up their interiors and cook pizzas quickly, but they use different types of fuel to do so.
The Koda 16 is a more straightforward pizza oven as it has a connector for a propane gas tank.
That means that it is gas-powered and you can only use it with propane gas tanks.
The Koda 16 is not compatible with natural gas unless you purchase the Ooni conversion kit sold separately.
It is less than $50 so I recommend getting the conversion kit.
The Karu 16 is a more versatile pizza oven in terms of fuel as it has many options.
It comes with a wood and charcoal burner tray that allows you to switch between two fuel types.
The Karu 16 can also put some authentic wood flavors into your food with the smoke that wood fuel produces. You can switch to propane gas with a separate burner attachment.
Unique Features– Ooni Karu 16 vs Ooni Koda 16
Here we will be talking about the improved features in these pizza ovens.
We will look at the new features and compare them and see which one has it better.
The Koda 16 does not look like a lot has changed with it compared to its original model.
However, if you look deeper, you will notice some simple twists in the oven.
First, the gas burner attachment is now installed under the pizza oven instead of at the back.
This was perfect as I felt a more sturdy and balanced stance when I let it stand by itself.
The knob for controlling the temperature and gas is on the side, so you do not have to reach back or go around the pizza oven and control the temperature from the back.
The knob also has its automatic ignition, but that is not the newest feature.
The L-shaped flames feature was also very impressive as it helped the pizza oven heat up quickly.
Not only that, but the formation of the flames also helped in balancing the temperature properly.
With it, you only need to turn the pizza once when it is cooking as the heat is well-balanced.
As for the Karu 16, the feature that I liked most was the ViewFlame technology, a special glass feature on the pizza oven door that gives you a full view inside.
There is also the new digital thermometer installed in front so you can see the temperature inside at a comfortable angle. Plus, it does not get obstructed by the door.
Cooking In The Pizza Ovens– Ooni Karu 16 vs Ooni Koda 16
They can both get up to a maximum temperature of 950 degrees Fahrenheit which meant that they could cook the pizzas in just 90 seconds or less which was pretty quick.
There was not much time for me to turn the pizzas before they got burnt.
This was the learning curve for me as I needed to quickly turn the pizzas in time before burning them.
It was harder with the Koda 16 because of the intense fire from the burners on the side.
I needed to turn the pizza every 20 seconds to prevent burning it.
You get authentic Neapolitan pizzas easily cooked inside the pizza oven.
I liked how I was able to control the finish on my pizza more with the Karu 16.
I was able to see when and where to turn the pizza easily with the help of the glass so managing it was easier.
Ooni Karu 16 vs Ooni Koda 16– The Better Pizza Oven?
If I were to choose, I would go with the Karu 16 since it is more convenient. Convenient in a way that you can see the insides without opening the door and in cooking.
It is also better in controlling the heat so the pizzas I cooked were more presentable with no burns. The Koda 16 was great, but I did have a hard time controlling the temperature.
Both the ovens are great but when it comes to a better pizza oven amongst the Ooni Karu 16 vs Ooni Koda 16 then I will go with the Karu 16.
It has the best features amongst all Ooni Pizza Ovens and it is possibly one of my favorites out there.
If you want more comparison posts then check out the Ooni Karu 12 vs Ooni Pro 16.
So, check out these pizza ovens and let us know what you think in the comments below!