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Artisan style pizza lovers, and most other kinds of pizza lovers as well, will all tell you that using a specially designed pizza oven really helps to elevate the taste and texture of the oven. Everything from the crispness of the crust to the lovely brown skin of melted cheese on top is just better when your pizza is fresh from a pizza oven.
It gets a little more complicated when you start looking for a good pizza oven for yourself. After all, the big restaurant models are too large and too hot to use at home and cheaper home models don’t always perform the way they’re supposed to.
Having a great outdoor pizza oven at home takes a relatively high-quality and high-performance design. There are a few brands to choose from, but Napoli and Ooni pizza ovens both stand out from the crowd. The question is, which of these oven brands offers the better value?
Napoli vs Ooni Company Profiles
Both of these companies offer high quality, extremely high temperature, backdoor pizza ovens. That means you have to look a little closer to start seeing the difference between the two brands. Let’s start with the companies themselves.
Napoli By Bertello
Napoli pizza ovens are the product of Bertello, though the name Napoli still gets better recognition in most pizza circles. This company first rose to fame after their appearance on Shark Tank, where the owners were able to make a deal with Mr. Wonderful (Kevin O’Leary) to get their company off the ground.
They’d started in 2017, and were also able to get a significant Kickstarter campaign going to help launch the company. Even that early, it was clear that Napoli had a high-quality in-demand product on their hands.
Fortunately, the company has always committed to using high-quality products that produce incredible pizza ovens, and they consistently work to push their innovative designs further.
Right now Bertello only offers the one pizza oven, but in a variety of packages so you can customize its performance as well as the fuel types it works with. That means you get a fair amount of cost flexibility, but their simplest packages don’t come with a lot of accessories or cooking options.
Overall though, it’s clear that Bertello has a great product and that they are focused on maintaining quality while also making a high-end pizza oven accessible for the average family.
Ooni is known for producing the world’s first pellet pizza stove back in 2012. Since then the company has had a dual commitment to producing fantastic backyard pizza ovens for a global market and to having great company culture and benefits for their multi-national staff.
Ooni offers a wider range of ovens than Napoli does, each with slight performance and power source tweaks so you can get the exact kind of oven you’re looking for.
The company also tests their product consistently, so they know that they’re getting the same high-end performance from newer models and designs as they were getting from the original pellet oven. The company also has a serious eye for flavor, between their pizza and the small in-house microbrewery they also run. That means that the recipes Ooni supplies are consistently top-notch.
Ooni also tests to make sure the flavor of their pizzas doesn’t change with different fuel types and oven designs, so you can expect a high level of consistency from every oven, especially when you’re using their pizza recipes.
Oven selection isn’t necessary, but it’s worth comparing the options these two companies give you to help you decide which brand of oven is the right choice for you.
Ooni ovens offer a little more selection, but they mostly have a couple of identical designs that have been adapted for different fuel sources.
Right now there are three basic models, Fyra, the wood pellet model, Koda, the gas-powered model, and Karu which is a multi-fuel oven. They also offer a slightly more advanced model of Karu, their Pro multi-fuel oven which allows for you to choose between gas or wood fired fuel.
That means that you can get a specialized oven if you already know that you need a wood-fired oven, or would prefer a gas hookup, or you can get their multi-fueled version that’s a little more similar to the Bertello Napoli.
One thing that is worth noting here is that these ovens tend to be a bit more expensive than the Bertello Napoli ovens, which means they can be a little more cost-prohibitive. That said, Ooni does have a longer track record on the market, so their ovens have had more time to be consumer tested for durability.
These ovens are also portable, for the most part. The easiest way to transport them is to use the carry covers made by Ooni, but the covers are an additional accessory. You’ll need to spend a little more if you need the carry cover to protect the ovens or to move them from place to place.
Bertello’s Napoli oven is currently the only model of pizza oven they offer. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though since that one design is incredibly versatile. The oven works with multiple different fuel sources to provide the heat necessary for cooking pizzas.
That’s a big advantage because you can work with whatever fuel source you have available. Not everyone is going to have a good source of wood pellets or an affordable gas supplier, so having an oven that can work with several different fuel sources will make it easier to keep your pizza making tools on hand.
However, one thing that’s worth noting with Napoli ovens is that the more accessories you need, the bigger package you’ll likely need to buy. Their basic kit comes with the oven itself, a cooking stone that helps Distribute heat more evenly across the bottom of your pizza, and a steel pizza peel.
More advanced setups come with additional accessories, like the gas-burning kit, and charcoal compatibility.
One of the biggest advantages of the Bertello oven is that it’s actually a very portable oven. You don’t have to leave this model outside when you aren’t using it, which is great since outside weather can damage your oven relatively quickly. This oven can be moved into a storage shelf inside or moved around your yard to wherever is most convenient for cooking.
Still, the lack of oven selection does mean that you’re stuck with one design with this brand. Eventually, they might offer a second model, but for the moment this design is the only option.
This category is less important overall than the ovens themselves but having the right tools for your oven can make a big difference in your results, so we wanted to cover the accessories offered by each company as well as the oven themselves.
Ooni definitely outshines Bertello in this category. They have a wider range of oven peels, in both steel and wooden designs than Bertello. Ooni also offers a griddle plate, for their pizza oven which allows you to cook other kinds of food in the oven as well.
Their carry bags and modular tables are a fantastic option for people who don’t already have a set location for their pizza ovens, or who want to have a little more mobility, like professional caterers.
Pizza cutters, oven scrubbers, and even recipe books are also available through Ooni to help you get started making delicious traditional (and not so traditional) pizzas at home.
Bertello is a lot more sparing in the accessory category. They mostly just offer additional peels and their gar burner add-on for people who buy their oven without it to start with.
They do also offer an infrared thermometer to help you tell when your oven is ready. That’s a helpful enough tool that it’s worth considering regardless of which oven you decide to buy in the end.
Now let’s get to the real meat of this comparison. We’ve talked about fuel options and the portability of these ovens. Both brands have similar stats in both of these respects, so it really comes down to price and performance to decide which oven is the best option for you.
Napoli Oven Performance
One of the things that makes the Napoli oven stand out from other pizza oven designs is its high heat output and the concentrated heat it produces. Both are key to making a great pizza. High heat won’t do the job if the heat isn’t concentrated where it needs to be, it’ll just dissipate into the surrounding air.
Napoli Ovens don’t have any problems in either respect, the oven can reach an impressive 932 degrees Fahrenheit, the perfect temperature for quickly cooking traditional pizzas. That temperature, especially with the Napoli oven Cordierite Baking Stone will fully cook the dough, forming a crust sturdy enough to hold the other ingredients and with a lot more texture and tooth than your average pizza. It’s a real traditional experience.
The heat on top also helps fully heat the ingredients, including melting the cheese, without losing the crisp texture and flavor of the vegetable and herb toppings. The heat also helps bring out the bright acidic flavor of tomato-based pizza sauces.
The 12.5″ wide x 13.5″ cooking surface is perfect for single-serving pizzas and even pizzas for couples. It mimics the cooking behavior of a traditional wood-fired brick oven, helping bring more traditional flair to a very modern looking metal oven.
From a cooking experience standpoint, the heat is well concentrated in this oven. You don’t need a super long peel to keep from overheating while you’re cooking.
This oven takes about 30 minutes on average to reach the ideal cooking temperature. That’s plenty of time to prepare several different pizzas to be ready for cooking when the oven is ready. You might even have time to do some of your prep work, like making a fresh pizza sauce or chopping some of your ingredients while the oven is heating.
These ovens are designed to cook an average pizza in 1-2 minutes. Pizzas that are lighter on ingredients, like a traditional Pizza Marguerite might take even less time to cook. Assuming you’ve gotten your prep work done ahead of time, you can pump a lot of pizzas in and out of this oven.
The oven also holds heat reasonably well. You might need to pause briefly between pizzas to maintain your ideal cooking temperature, but you might not.
Ooni Oven Performance
Ooni offers similar cooking performance in terms of the speed and heat of the oven. Their ovens will also reach an impressive 932 degrees Fahrenheit, which is perfect for crisping the pizza crust and melting mozzarella without overcooking any vegetable and herb toppings.
One of the big differences with this brand is that there are a couple of different oven sizes which means you have more options in pizza size whether you want to make single-serve pizzas or if you’re looking for an oven that can make a larger pizza to share.
Like the Bertello ovens, these ovens do have baking stones that will help mimic the taste and appearance of a traditional brick oven. This brand also offers its stones in several different sizes, and you can buy them as an additional accessory for each oven.
The griddle option also makes these ovens a good option for fast grilling and other high-heat cooking. That means that all of their ovens are just a touch more versatile overall.
But the real advantage offered by Ooni ovens? They are incredibly efficient and reach the ideal temperature much faster than the Bertello ovens. Ooni ovens average only about 15 minutes before they reach their ideal temperature. That also means that Ooni ovens are more fuel-efficient on average, meaning you won’t need to use a ton of wood fuel for your pizza oven every single time you fire up your oven.
Since these ovens reach the same temperature as the Bertello ovens, they also cook a 12” pizza in 60 seconds or less, once they’ve reached ideal temperatures.
Looking at these two very similar ovens and very similar brands it’s difficult to call a clear winner. However, focusing on the differences that are there, we’d have to give the slight edge to Ooni ovens. The greater versatility of their ovens combined with the faster heating time and a wider range of accessories just make their ovens a little more efficient at making that delicious artisan pizza.
That said, Ooni is a good bit more expensive than Napoli ovens. So, if you’re looking for an effective and traditional-tasting pizza oven at more affordable prices then you might be better served by the Napoli than a more expensive Ooni oven.