We’re big fans of Ooni and their compact pizza ovens, which are small enough to set up in a tabletop in the backyard. Heck, if you travel with a camper or a motorhome, you can even throw it inside to make pizza when you’re camping. Despite that, they’ve never really marketed it as a portable option, with the outfit opting to recommend their line as backyard pizza makers. That changes with the Ooni Karu, a pizza oven designed to be viable for portable transport.
A wood-fired pizza oven, it allows you to make pizzas and other dishes using natural fuel sources, similar to the outfit’s original releases. Unlike them, it collapses into a much smaller bundle without having to mess with tools, allowing it to fit comfortably into the boot of any car. That way, you can quickly assemble the oven when you get to camp, allowing you to enjoy pizza in the backcountry as conveniently as you do in the city.
The Ooni Karu isn’t exactly compact, as it takes on similar dimensions as their regular models. With folding legs and a removable click-lock chimney, though, it can collapse to a reasonably portable size that can easily be transported in a car and carried in a bag when you need to hike to your desired camp site. In this collapsed state, it measures 31 x 30 x 15.7 inches and weighs 26.4 pounds, which is perfectly manageable for a single person to move around in any outdoor space.
Similar to their other pizza ovens, it can be loaded with charcoal that you pack with you or real wood sourced from the vicinity (if you’re into chopping logs and stuff), which can heat the oven to 932 degrees Fahrenheit in around 15 minutes. In this temperature, you should be able to cook pizzas in as little as 60 seconds, allowing you to crank out multiple ties in no time. Aside from pizza, you can also use it to flame cook other food – just put them in the oven and expose them to the extreme heat to get nearly any dish cooked up in a jiffy.
The Ooni Karu is made from high-grade stainless steel that’s insulated with ceramic fiber, enabling the heat retention that allows it to stay very hot for extended periods. A perforated fuel tray allows ash to easily fall off (just put a tray under if you want to collect it), all while allowing air flow into the fire to better optimize the burning. Each oven comes with a 0.6-inch cordierite baking board, an adjustable air vent (so you can raise or lower temperature at will), glass-reinforced nylon handles, and non-slip coated feet that will allow it to stay in place throughout its use.
Want to use propane to cook instead of having to scrounge for wood? Not a problem, as it’s also compatible with the outfit’s Gas Burner accessory, which you can attach to replace the natural fuel with a handy propane can.
The Ooni Karu recently wrapped up a successful Kickstarter campaign. They’re currently continuing preorders at Indiegogo, where you can reserve one for $279.