Ooni Karu 12 Review

Ooni Karu 12

πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•πŸ• (4.5 out of 5.0)

Ease of use (4.6 out of 5.0):
πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•

Pizza quality (4.4 out of 5.0):
πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•

Looks (4.6 out of 5.0):
πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•

Pros:
  • Folding legs
  • Easy to use
  • Multi-fuel options
  • Takes just 15mins to reach cooking temperature
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
Cons:
  • 12" Max pizza size
  • Gas burner not included
  • Durability not as good as other models

The Karu 12 is a smaller and more affordable version of the Karu 16, Ooni’s premier pizza oven. Although some compromises have to be made to justify the lower cost of just Β£299, the Karu 12 is still a decent pizza oven.

About Ooni

Ooni is a multi-award winning pizza oven designer, manufacturer and distributor that continuously innovates and improves its product range.

It was founded by Kristian Tapaninaho and Darina Garland in their quest to develop an affordable pizza oven for the masses.

The company was formed in 2012 (so they have been around for almost a decade) and was originally funded by Kickstarter money.

Their name was originally Uuni, but changed to Ooni in 2018 due to different pronunciations of the former around the world.

What fuels does the Ooni Karu 12 use?

The Karu 12 is multi-fuel and can burn both gas and wood, however, to use propane gas you will need to purchase the optional gas burner for an additional Β£80.

Gas-powered pizza ovens are typically easier to use because it is simpler to regulate the temperature using a control knob rather than managing a wood fire. In addition, they are easier to clean because they don’t leave any ash behind.

Wood-fired pizza ovens provide a more authentic traditional taste as smoke from the burning wood is infused with the pizza.

How durable is the Ooni Karu 12?

The Karu 12 is constructed from brushed stainless steel, which provides some weather-proofing but it is not advisable to leave it outside during adverse weather conditions as it may lead to corrosion. The steel is potentially prone to scratches and dings, which is not an issue with other Ooni models that have a carbon powder coating.

How easy is it to set up the Ooni Karu 12?

The Karu 12 is very simple to assemble.

  1. After unpacking, the legs on the unit are extended
  2. Next, the chimney stack is slotted into the top of the oven and the chimney cap is placed on the top
  3. Next, the pizza stone is inserted into the cooking chamber
  4. Then, the fuel tray is placed at the rear of the cooking chamber
  5. The door is then slotted onto the front of the unit
  6. Finally, the fuel hatch door is placed on the top of the rear of the unit

Although the setup process is very quick, Ooni does recommend that the Karu 12 is seasoned before first-time use, which involves heating the unit up to full temperature for 30mins before letting it cool and wiping down the inside with dry paper towels. This burns off any oils or coatings that are still present from the manufacturing process.

How easy is it to use the Karu 12?

The way that the Karu 12 is used will depend on whether you will be using gas or wood as your fuel.

To use gas:

  1. Attach the gas burner to the rear of Karu 12 and attach the other end of the hose to the propane gas tank
  2. Open the valve of the propane gas tank to allow gas to flow into the oven
  3. Close the chimney vent (vertical position)
  4. Push in the control knob on the front of the unit and turn it anti-clockwise until it clicks and the burner ignites
  5. Keep the control knob held down for another 5 seconds or so before releasing
  6. Adjust the heat with the control knob until you reach the desired temperature

To use wood:

  1. Open the chimney vent (horizontal position) and remove the chimney cap
  2. Add a few pieces of wood and some firelighters to the fuel tray via the top hatch
  3. Ignite the firelighters and close the hatch
  4. Continue to top up the wood as required

How long does the Ooni Karu 12 take to heat up and cook pizza?

It will usually take about 15 minutes to get up to the cooking temperature. If cooking with gas, you can check the temperature of the pizza stone using an infrared thermometer and if using wood, there is a built-in thermometer on the door. If the temperature is 400-500 degrees Celsius, you are ready to cook your first pizza.

A pizza can be cooked in 1-2 minutes.

Is the Ooni Karu 12 portable?

The Ooni Karu weighs 12kg, so it can be moved around fairly easily but ideally should not really be carried over long distances. With the foldable legs, it has smaller dimensions compared to the larger Ooni ovens and could be taken in the car for a day out.

What is the capacity of the Ooni Karu 12?

The Karu only has the capacity for one pizza at a time and the maximum size pizza that can be cooked in it is 12β€³ (hence, why it is called the Ooni Karu 12).

Does the Ooni Karu 12 come with any accessories?

The only accessory that the Ooni Karu 12 comes with is the 15β€³ cordierite pizza stone.

Accessories are available from the Ooni store and Ooni usually has deals for the Karu 12 plus a bundle of necessary accessories.

Do I need anything else to use the Ooni Karu 12?

To use an Ooni Karu 12, you will need to buy a pizza peel for transferring your pizza in and out of the oven and turning it around. If you plan on cooking with gas, you will also need to purchase the gas burner for an additional Β£80. You will also need fuel for your oven – either a propane gas tank or wood and firelighters. Finally, you will need a thermometer so that you know when your oven has reached the optimal cooking temperature.

Verdict

The Ooni Karu 12 is a decent multi-fuelled pizza oven that cooks decent pizza. It would be suitable for someone that wants the flexibility of being able to use either gas or wood fuel and will not be cooking pizzas larger than 12″.

The Karu 12 multi-fuel pizza oven has the same price tag (Β£299) as the gas-only Koda 12, which on the surface appears to be a better deal. However, remember that you have to shell out an additional Β£80 for the gas burner with the Karu. Therefore, it is useful to think about the Karu as a wood-fired pizza oven with a gas option for an additional cost.

Ooni Karu 12 Datasheet

Manufacturer:Ooni
Environment:Outdoor
Fuel:Charcoal Gas Wood
Portability:Tabletop
Type:Portable
Height:80cm
Width:40cm
Depth:77cm
Weight:18.2kg
Time to heat up:15mins
Max pizza size:12inches
Max capacity:1 pizza(s)
Price:Β£299 Check for deals