It finally arrived after a few months on pre-order and it didn’t take long for me to get this new Ooni Karu Pizza Oven set up, ready for its first cook using charcoal and wood.

I've created a Pizza for Beginners YouTube playlist that gives some great tips to help your learning to cook pizza journey! Enjoy your Pizza Cooking!

This oven was very easy to put together.  I didn’t show that part on this video but all I did was:

  • Pull down the folded legs
  • Insert the fuel burner bowl into the back of the oven with the lip and lower part facing the front
  • Insert the pizza stone (I would recommend using it with the Ooni logo facedown and you’ll find out why in the video below!

OONI US SHOP HERE:

Ooni pizza ovens

After the initial set up I then added some lump wood charcoal to the oven, lit it up with a butane gas burner and placed the oven door on.  About 15 minutes later I added some kindling wood to the charcoal and in 5 minutes, this oven was ready for the pizza cook.

The stone temperature crept up quickly to a good 430c in the centre.  My lumpwood did create a lot of ash on the stone before the cook which I brushed away quickly.

This was the lumpwood and not the oven’s ventilation system that caused the mess, as it was spitting everywhere as I heated it up earlier.

Once the pizza was in the oven I decided to cook with the pizza door off.  This is something personal to me and most pizza cooks would advise that you cook with the door on as it should create a faster and better cook for you.   I’m happy to make that compromise every time.  

I’ll make a video using the pizza door to show the proper way to use the wood-fired oven, but then I'll go back to my favourite way!

OONI UK SHOP HERE:

Ooni pizza ovens

The pizza cook went as planned - it is difficult to gauge how the oven’s heat levels work, particularly on the stone.

One thing I noticed on this first cook was that the stone got very hot in the middle but was cooler all around the outside area.

I also realised that my folding plastic table was not suitable for this oven.   The surface got very warm and I’ve bought a new metal table to cook on.

Overall, I really had fun using this oven.  I love the way it cooks the pizza - it has a nice inside oven length which gives your pizza extra room at the back,  away from the flames but close enough to cook your pizza well.

The fuel bowl acts as a flame guard  - that’s a great help and the stone is deeper than the Koda’s and the Ooni 3’s.

Even after just one use, I’m pretty sure that this is going to be very hard for me, particularly from my experience of using the Ooni 3 and the Ooni Pro.   Wood fuel gives off such high heat levels and it’s just so easy to bring your pizza oven up to 550c without much fuel.

To try and maintain the stone at 430c is a challenge in itself - the oven fluctuates in temperature after the first cook - it goes up high, comes back down etc.  Am I going to manage to keep this oven at 500c max temp using wood?   I’ll do my best - my stone tends to reach 550c at the back most times.  

Wood-fired Ooni Karu

This should not be an issue for the gas burner - it can never create the same heat levels as wood.  My next video will be the second ever pizza cook in this oven.  I swapped over the wood burner for the Ooni 3 gas burner straight after this first cook.

I also filmed some unboxing and first impressions of the Ooni Karu- the video is here.

It’s a shame to know that this oven will never look as sparkly and shiny as this ever again!