Ooni Karu 16 Review

Ooni Karu 16

πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•πŸ• (4.8 out of 5.0)

Ease of use (4.8 out of 5.0):
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Pizza quality (4.9 out of 5.0):
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Looks (4.8 out of 5.0):
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Pros:
  • Ooni's top-of-the-range model
  • Folding legs
  • Multi-fuel options
  • Takes just 15mins to reach cooking temperature
  • Built-in thermometer
  • Respectable 16" max pizza size
  • 60-day return policy
  • 3-year warranty
Cons:
  • Additional cost for gas burner
  • Heavier than other models
  • Quite expensive

The Karu 16 is Ooni’s premium pizza oven boasting both gas and wood fueling options and a maximum pizza size of 16″, but is the Β£700 price tag worth it?

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 16 use?

The Karu 16 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 16?

The Karu 16 is constructed from powder-coated carbon steel, which provides protection against corrosion as well as dings, scratches and discolouration. However, it is not designed to be left outside all year round and should be stored inside during heavy rain or other adverse weather conditions.

How easy is it to set up the Ooni Karu 16?

The Karu 16 takes a little more time to assemble than other Ooni pizza ovens but it’s still relatively simple.

  1. After unpacking, the legs on the unit are extended
  2. Then, the thermometer bracket is attached to the front underside using a couple of nuts and bolts
  3. Next, insert the batteries into the thermometer (7 tiny screws)
  4. Then, attach the thermometer to the bracket from step (2) with a nut and bolt and plug the wire into the socket on the underside of the oven
  5. Next, the pizza stones are inserted into the cooking chamber – the Karu 16 consists of two pizza stones placed into the chamber between guides
  6. Then, the fuel tray is placed at the rear of the cooking chamber
  7. And the door is attached to the front of the unit and secured with two bolts
  8. Next, the fuel hatch door is placed on the top of the rear of the unit
  9. Then, the chimney stack is slotted into the top of the oven and the chimney cap is placed on the top
  10. Finally, the deflection plate is then screwed onto the back of the unit

Altogether, this process takes about 10 minutes, with step 3 being the longest because you have to unscrew 7 tiny screws to insert the batteries before screwing them all back in again. Ooni does recommend that the Karu 16 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 Ooni Karu 16?

The way that the Karu 16 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 16 take to heat up and cook pizza?

It will usually take about 15 minutes to get up to the cooking temperature. When the built-in thermometer displays the temperature at 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 16 portable?

The Ooni Karu weighs 28.4kg, making it the heaviest pizza oven in Ooni’s product range. It can be carried by a strong person, however, it is probably too heavy to transport over longer distances. In addition, because of its size, it can be quite bulky when carried by one person without any carrying equipment.

What is the capacity of the Ooni Karu 16?

The Karu only has the capacity for one pizza at a time and the maximum size pizza that can be cooked in it is 16β€³ (hence, why it is called the Ooni Karu 16).

Does the Ooni Karu 16 come with any accessories?

The only accessories that come with the Karu 16 are the built-in thermometer and the 15β€³ cordierite pizza stone.

Accessories are available from the Ooni store and Ooni usually has deals for the Karu 16 plus a bundle of necessary accessories.

Do I need anything else to use the Ooni Karu 16?

To use an Ooni Karu 16, 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.

Verdict

The Ooni Karu 16 is one of the best mid-range multi-fuel pizza ovens on the market, perhaps only surpassed by the awesome Gozney Roccbox and assuredly the best in Ooni’s product range.

It would suit anybody that wants a solid good quality pizza oven for entertaining guests and wants the flexibility of being able to use either gas (for convenience) or wood (for taste).

It is a solid build and cooks great-tasting pizza. The only drawbacks are the cost, which I feel is slightly too high. I feel that the gas burner and perhaps some accessories should be thrown in at that price and not sold separately, although Ooni does regularly have bundle offers available on their website.

Ooni Karu 16 Datasheet

Manufacturer:Ooni
Environment:Outdoor
Fuel:Charcoal Gas Wood
Portability:Tabletop
Type:Portable
Height:81.7cm
Width:50cm
Depth:81.5cm
Weight:28.4kg
Time to heat up:15mins
Max pizza size:16inches
Max capacity:1 pizza(s)
Price:Β£699 Check for deals