Top Pizza Cooking Tips using the Ooni Koda 16!

Top Pizza Cooking Tips using the Ooni Koda 16!

My Top Ooni Koda 16 Pizza Cooking Tips!

Hi and welcome to our learning-to-cook pizza journey! This video explains my top tips for cooking pizza in the Ooni Koda 16 gas-fired pizza oven!
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Let’s go through my top Ooni Koda 16 pizza cooking tips!

First, you will need to grab your pizza peels for the Koda 16 pizza oven.  I use a 15” wooden launch peel – it’s the same make as the 12” wooden peel I use for the 12” pizza ovens.

Generally,  I use the longer-handled pizza peels for the 16” ovens.  This is because you will need to place the head of the peel deeper inside the bigger ovens and the longer handles prevent your hands from burning when you manage your pizza inside the oven.

However, for the Koda 16, I also use the short-handled 7” turning peel because the opening is nice and wide and I can manage the pizza without my hands getting hot.    I also use this 12” square peel for both the 12” and 16” Koda pizza ovens because I find it fits both sized ovens perfectly.

Getting the Koda 16 to the right temperature is important.  Before you start cooking,  preheat the oven.  Connect the gas, ignite it using the dial on the side of the oven and you are ready to go. 

Allow the oven to preheat for approximately 20 minutes until the stone inside reaches a temperature of around 820 degrees Fahrenheit (430 degrees Celsius) in the centre. This step is necessary to achieve that well-cooked pizza base.

Getting your stone to the right temperature ensures the base cooks as fast as the pizza toppings and crust.

Ensure your stretched dough can wiggle on the peel.  Do this by dusting your wooden pizza peel with fine semolina to prevent it from sticking then give it a little wiggle. Gently pull your dough onto the peel before you add your toppings.

Once you’ve done that, add your toppings and keep them light.  Heavy toppings can make it more difficult to launch the pizza particularly if you are making a big pizza.

You may not get the chance to cook the toppings properly in the oven if there are too many on there.

Your 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 fine semolina.  Semolina is my favourite to use because it has little roller balls that help the pizza glide off the peel.

I find the semolina doesn’t absorb moisture as easily and therefore can still roll the pizza off a damp base.

Now you are ready to launch your pizza.  Check the stone temperature just before you launch the pizza.  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 to measure the centre of the stone only.

This needs to be approx 820f/430c.  As you rotate your pizza it will pick up the higher and lower temperatures on the stone at the front and back.  With the l-shaped burner, you will have a cooler area to the front and right.



Your pizza cooking time may vary depending on the temperature of your oven, the weather outside and the thickness of your pizza dough. Plus, the cooking time will affect your crust and toppings.  For example, for a crispy crust I cook on a lower flame for a longer cook.  For a softer crust pizza, I turn up the flame for a short fast cook.

If you are new to cooking in this oven you may want to cook the pizza on a low flame to start off with and watch how that flame slowly cooks your crust and toppings.  As you get used to the flame cooking against your pizza, turn up the flame on the dial on the side and you can settle on a flame size that works for you and gives you the pizza cook you enjoy.

My perfect flame size in this oven is a full flame.  I keep the dial on full flame in-between cooks and during the cook.  The dial is so easy to reach that you can adjust the flame at any point during your cook too.  This is why the Koda 16 is so easy to use.  The practical-sized stone and the l-shaped burner make it easy to cook your pizza.  So this oven is really great for new cooks and experienced cooks alike.

Place the tip of your peel at an angle near to where you want the top of the pizza to be.  Use small wiggle movements to launch your pizza off the peel.

Now we are cooking on Gas!  Next, we want to turn the pizza and not burn it.  As this oven has an L-shaped burner you won’t need to turn your pizza as often as you would on one flame-sided ovens.  This means that you can make the most of the double-sided flames.  The inside of the Koda 16 is lovely and bright and this will enable you to see the back and side of the crust cooking easily so you will be ready to turn when you need to.

If you are new to cooking pizza in this oven, you can use the lovely big-sized stone to manoeuvre your pizza away from the flames if they are cooking too fast.  Also, you may want to start off cooking smaller pizza and then gradually increase in size as you get used to launching and turning the pizza.  As you get used to the dough cooking time against the flame, you will become more confident, knowing when to rotate.  The smell and sound of the pizza cooking will help you with this too.

And that’s it!


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!

Check out our YouTube channel here:

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