When it comes to portable ovens that perform just as well, like a brick oven, Ooni has been on top of the market. The Ooni Karu and the new Ooni Koda 16 are two of their best.
In this post, we are going to be focusing on these two ovens which one is a better investment than the other. The Ooni Koda 16 vs Ooni Karu competition is going to be rough because both the ovens are equally good.
They offer excellent pizzas and are both perfect for outdoor cooking. Having the Ooni Karu was an amazing experience. It uses wood and charcoal as fuel, so it is for outdoors.
The bigger, newer Ooni Koda 16 is a gas-fueled oven that can be used outdoors as well. It features amazing portability.
If you are still having a hard time choosing between the two, lucky for you, we will give you a thorough review of both ovens and compare them to help you choose.
The Ooni Karu is known for its simplicity, and it was very popular because it garnered so many people even before its release. The Ooni Koda has an amazing design as well; it is yet to be released as of the time of writing this review.
We will walk through their similarities as well as their differences, and I hope that you will figure out what is best for you.
So, let’s get started!
Features and Design
The Ooni Koda 16 screams simplicity while the Ooni Karu supports portability.
The Ooni Karu
The Ooni Karu weighs at around 12 kilograms, which means you can carry it anywhere you want. It boasts a detachable chimney that is perfect for keeping the head upwards to prevent burns on your pizza.
The chimney can be perfectly fitted inside the oven, and the legs are foldable for the ease of transportation and storage.
The shell of the Ooni Karu is made out of high-grade 430 stainless steel. This type of metal contains no nickel, which means that it can stand the outdoor weather.
The handles are made out of glass-reinforced fibers that are cool-to-touch. You can use them to open or close the doors of the oven.
There are two covers on the oven, one as the door of the oven, and the other as the cover of the fuel compartment.
This means that all the heat that the oven produces reaches maximum temperature in no time and then keeps it inside. But you might be wondering how the fire keeps on burning with the oven covered.
Well, the secret is the detachable chimney that allows you to have better control of the temperature inside the oven.
The air getting inside the oven is from the perforated fuel grate that allows air to enter from the bottom of the oven and perfectly rises to the chimney.
With the airflow feature, the fire goes directly on the roof of the oven and lets the inside heat up very quickly.
The dirt from the fuel is caught by an ash-catcher that lessens the cleaning process so you d,o not have to worry about any ash or coal falling on your pizza.
The Ooni Karu has a 0.6-inch cordierite stone that is perfect in retaining heat. This stone can host 12 inch-pizzas and cook them evenly.
The Ooni Koda 16
With Ooni Koda 16, it is obvious that it can cook 16-inch pizzas from its name alone.
It is a large pizza oven that almost doubles the weight of the Ooni Karu. it comes out of the box at 18.1 kilograms so it is, heavy but you can move it around easily.
The shell of the Ooni Koda 16 is a beautiful black ceramic. It is fiber-insulated and powder-coated that gives the oven a matte look.
Add the silver cast-aluminum front and the oven really stands out on the first look. The Ooni Koda 16 does not have a door but it makes up in heat-retention with its 20mm thick ceramic insulation.
The Ooni Koda 16 and the Ooni Karu both have foldable legs perfect for portability and storage. Since you can easily put them in a bag, you can travel with the ovens.
The baking boards of both ovens also have the same thickness and the material used. However, the Ooni Koda 16’s baking stone is a wider one that can cook 16-inch pizzas.
The Ooni Koda 16 is basically like a bigger Ooni Koda at first glance. What differentiates them is the features inside the Ooni Koda 16.
When it comes to performance, the Ooni Koda 16 and Ooni Kora are quite the same. They can both reach 500 degrees Celsius which is the ideal temperature for making great Neapolitan pizzas.
The Ooni Karu heats up faster at 15 minutes. That makes sense since the Ooni Koda 16 is a larger pizza oven and takes up to 20 minutes for it to reach maximum temperature.
As for the Ooni Karu, you are given a wide array of fuels that you can use. You can choose from wood, charcoal, or propane gas.
However, you still need a propane gas adapter for the gas fuel to work with the Ooni Karu. The combination of the stainless steel, fiber insulation, and the cordierite baking stone is very great in retaining heat.
They do not slow the process of heating and they keep the heat inside for a long time. Add the Flamekeeper technology of Ooni and it is more than great.
On the other hand, the Ooni Koda 16’s most amazing feature for me at least, is its L-shaped burners that distribute the heat evenly inside the oven.
This L-shaped burner means that it can heat up the oven faster, and more evenly. It is a great feature since the size of the oven itself is quite large.
It also does not have covers so it needs a more powerful source of heat. That comes from the burners and the heat-retaining Flamekeeper technology so there are no problems in terms of heat.
The 20-millimeter thick insulation also helps in retaining heat and for cooking evenly.
As for the baking stone, it boasts a large 17-inch stone where you can fit 16-inch pizzas and still have space so the dough does not directly touch the flames.
The Ooni Koda 16 is solely fueled by propane gas. Although Ooni said that they will be releasing conversion kits.
The conversion kit will allow the use of natural gas, which is common in the United States, with Ooni Koda 16.
The door of the Ooni Karu is what makes it heat up faster than the Ooni Koda 16 since they have the same heat-retaining features.
You can also consider the total area that the Ooni Koda 16 has to cover and it really does make sense.
How does it feel cooking in the ovens?
The Ooni Karu is an amazing pizza oven. After it has heated to its maximum temperature, you can easily cook a pizza in less than one minute.
You can choose to regularly turn your pizza every 20 seconds to prevent burns on the edge of your pizza.
There are no temperature controllers for the Ooni Karu so you can do this or remove some of the wood to lessen the burns on your pizza.
Cooking with the Ooni Karu outdoors is impressive. The lid of the oven prevents air from cooling the oven down.
Although the lid is not necessary because of the patented flamekeeper technology so you do not have to worry about the heat-retaining capability of the oven.
The Ooni Karu is also compatible with propane gas. Bringing a propane gas tank will be another hassle if you want to cook outdoors.
So it is great that the Ooni Karu uses wood as fuel because technically, you will not run out of fuel. You can use your propane gas tank if you want to cook in your backyard.
For the Ooni Koda 16, the L-shaped burner is not too much but I still needed to turn my pizzas every now and then so they do not get burned.
This is a heavy pizza oven so bringing it further away from the house might be hard. But with its simple body, with foldable legs, you can easily put it in the back of your car and you are ready to go.
The Ooni Koda 16 can also cook pizzas in less than 60 seconds. The great thing about it is that you can also fit 16-inch pizzas.
This is the first gas-fueled pizza oven that Ooni released which can cook 16-inch pizzas. The size of the oven is great because you can cook pizzas for more people.
Both of the stones perform great as they did not make any uneven cooked or uncooked surfaces.
You can also cook other recipes without damaging them. They can be used to roast chicken, sear vegetables, or cook your steak.
They cook whatever food evenly and quickly. The Ooni Karu is amazing because it keeps the flavors inside the oven and the aroma it releases is very tasty.
The Ooni Koda 16 is an open oven which means that you can always see what is happening with your food. You have more control over how well you want your food to be cooked.
Which one should you buy then?
Deciding whether the Ooni Koda 16 or the Ooni Karu is better will be tough. With all the differences in features and design, it will really be up to your preference.
They have similarities which can also affect your decision but nonetheless, you can never go wrong with these two amazing pizza ovens.
The Ooni Karu is a smaller, lighter oven which is perfect for outdoor cooking.
Do not worry about it getting rust or damage from natural elements as the high-grade aluminum used for its shell protects the oven from rain or sunshine.
The Ooni Koda 16 is an amazing pizza that is perfect for your patio. You get to watch outside and cook while enjoying some fresh air.
The Ooni Koda 16 also uses gas slowly. A 15-kilogram propane gas tank will last you a combined 2o hours of cooking. You can also use this oven outside as the powder-coated shell of it does not only give style but protection as well.
You cannot order the Ooni Koda 16 just yet as of the writing of this review (March 2020) but pre-orders will be available in early April.
Ooni suggests not to use these ovens inside your house because they might still emit harmful gases so they are best kept outside when in use.
Ooni has released a line of pizza ovens that are perfect if you do not have the budget of buying a real brick oven.
They offer portable pizza ovens that can fit in small storage but can cook you that great Neapolitan pizza that a brick oven produces.
Make sure to check out their other products and I assure you that you will find an oven that fits your standards!
Let us know which one of these ovens would you pick and if you have any experiences with them, then do share it with us in the comments below!
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