The Top Ooni Koda 12 Pizza Oven Cooking Tips!

My Top Ooni Koda 12 Pizza Cooking Tips!

Hi and welcome to our learning-to-cook pizza journey! This video explains the best tips for cooking pizza in the Ooni Koda 12 gas-fired pizza oven!

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Let’s go through my top Ooni Koda 12 pizza cooking tips!

First, you will need to grab your pizza peels.  I use a 12” wooden peel to launch the pizza and a 7” metal round peel to turn the pizza.  You can use a square peel and rotate the pizza outside the oven too.  That’s how I started off cooking pizza before learning to turn the pizza in the Koda.  

Getting the Koda 12 to the right temperature is essential.  Before you start cooking,  preheat the oven.  Connect the gas, ignite and you are ready to go.  Allow the oven to preheat for approximately 15-20 minutes until the stone inside reaches a temperature of around 820 degrees Fahrenheit (430 degrees Celsius). This step is crucial to achieving a well-cooked pizza base.  The base needs to cook as fast as the pizza toppings and crust.

My next tip is to ensure your dough can jiggle on the board.  Do this by dusting your wooden pizza peel with fine semolina to prevent it sticking then give it a little jiggle. Gently pull your dough onto the peel before you add your toppings.

Once you’ve done that, add your toppings.  I would advise to keep the toppings light.  Heavy toppings make it more difficult to launch the pizza.  You may not get the chance to cook the toppings properly in the oven if it’s too layered.

The pizza must be able to move freely on the peel before the launch.  Give it another wiggle test and if it’s sticking, just add more semolina.  Lift up the corner of the pizza and give it a little puff of air.  This will remove the excess semolina from the peel. Semolina is my favourite to use because it has little roller balls that help the pizza glide off the peel. 

Flour tends to get lumpy if it gets in contact with moisture and damp areas under the pizza.  I find the semolina doesn’t absorb moisture as easily and therefore can still roll the pizza off a damp base

The next tip is to check the stone temperature before the cook.  Use a digital laser thermometer for this – one that can reach a temp up to 600c.  It needs a single laser beam not a double, as we are only measuring the centre of the stone. 

This needs to be approx 820f/430c.  So as you turn the pizza, it will pick up higher and lower temperatures on the stone at the front and back.

Place the tip of your peel at an angle near to where you want the top of the pizza to be.  Use small jiggle movements to launch your pizza off the peel. Avoid using big movements as you don’t want your pizza flying off to the back of the oven along with all your toppings.

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Next, we want to turn and not burn.  If you are just starting off cooking pizza, it’s better to turn a lot and that could be every 10 seconds.  This will help you get used to the flame and the time it takes to cook the crust. 

As you get used to the dough cooking time against the flame, you will become more confident, knowing when to rotate.  Smell and sound are key too.  The crust and toppings will give you a cooked smell and you will hear it sizzle.   Just keep your eye on the pizza cooking at the back at all times.

Your cooking time may vary depending on the temperature of your oven and the thickness of your pizza dough. Plus, it’s about cooking the pizza the way you like it.  If I want a crispy crust I cook on a lower flame for a longer cook.

For a softer crust pizza, turn up the flame for a short fast cook.

Also, cooking on a low flame is a great way to get to know your oven.  Watch how the flame cooks your toppings and crust.  The cook will take longer but it will give you more control and time to turn the pizza.

As you get more practice, turn the flame a little higher on the dial.  My perfect flame size for this oven on the dial is with it set at 3/4 to the full flame mark.

I would also start off cooking a smaller pizza and then gradually increase the pizza size as you get more confident with the dough cooking against the flame.

And that’s it!

Enjoy!

PIZZA OVENS – if you are looking to buy a pizza oven check out all my pizza oven review videos as there are a number to choose from such as the Ooni Volt 12, Ooni Karu 12G, Ooni Fyra 12, the Ooni Karu 16,  the Ooni Koda 16, Ooni koda 12, Gozney Roccbox and the Ooni Karu 12!  

Check out our Pizza Stone Cleaning Video here.

I’ve created a Pizza for Beginners – Learning to Cook Pizza and How to Use Pizza Ovens YouTube playlist that gives some great tips to help you with your learning to cook pizza journey!

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