Pizza cooked in ooni karu 12
Outdoor Pizza Ovens Pizza Ovens

Ooni Karu 12: A Multi-Fuel Outdoor Pizza Oven Review

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Ooni is no stranger in the world of outdoor pizza ovens. It is known for making some of the best pizza ovens out there. The Ooni Karu 12 is Ooni’s one such product. The Ooni Karu 12 is an all-in-one pizza oven that will serve all your needs.

Ooni Karu 12

If you’re looking to buy this, this article will be quite useful. In this in-depth review, I will cover all aspects of this oven. But first, let’s just have a look at this beauty.

front view of ooni karu 12
front view of ooni karu 12

Front view of Ooni Karu 12

Angled view of Ooni Karu 12

side view of ooni karu 12

Side view of Ooni Karu 12

Let us have a quick glance over the specs first!

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Multiple Fuel Options (wood, charcoal, gas (gas burner kit sold separately))
  • Can Reach 950 Fahrenheit in 15-20 minutes
  • Light weight (only 12 kg)
  • Foldable legs
  • Stainless steel body

Now, here’s OUR TAKE on Ooni Karu 12!

OUR TAKE ON:OONI KARU 12

transparent logo of Ooni

What We Like

  • Max versatility at such price
  • Good build quality
  • Easy assembly
  • See-through door gives more control
  • Fabulous build
  • Decent price
  • Can give good wood fire taste
  • Good option for camping

What We Don’t Like

  • Small fuel tray demands constant fuel feeding after some intervals
  • Slight learning curve
  • Need to pay extra for gas burner kit

Here are the things that I’ll be going through in this article.

Build Quality

This is the one thing that Ooni never compromises on; it didn’t with this one either. The build quality is truly fantastic.

Unlike its brother, the Ooni Koda 12, the Ooni Karu 12’s body is made up of stainless steel. Because it is not made of carbon, it’s slightly heavier than the Ooni Koda 12 is.

1.Fully insulated stainless steel body to retain maximum heat and three foldable legs.

2. Metal chimney vent mainly used to control the airflow.

3. Fuel hatch that is also insulated fully.

4. Rear vent cap to control the intensity of flames.

5. Insulated and thick door. Door has a handle to open and close when the oven is hot.

6. Creatively designed burner with holes to assist air flow and preventing ashes to get in burning area.

7. Cordierite stone baking boaard to retain max heat.

8. Chimney cap to prevent anything going in oven. It is also used to cover the chimney area when cooking with gas.

Portability

Like other outdoor pizza ovens, the Ooni Karu 12 is portable. The three legs can be folded easily and the oven can be “disassembled.” Even though the oven is made of steel and not carbon, it is still very light.

Weighing at 12 kg, it isn’t hard at all to carry. The chimney can be a problem when transporting for some people.

The Ooni Karu 12 Carry Cover is a must for anyone who owns this oven. It is not to be kept in the rain. The straps on the cover make it easy to handle.  You can get the cover to help you with transportation. The Ooni Karu 12 Carry Cover can be bought from Ooni’s official site by clicking here.

Dimensions of Ooni Karu 12

The unboxed dimensions of Ooni Karu 12 are: 31.5 x 15.7 x 30.3″ (80 x 40 x 77cm)

The boxed dimensions of Ooni Karu 12 are: 19.8 x 13.7 x 29.1″ (50 x 35 x 74cm)

Insulation

Since the Ooni Karu 12 is made of stainless steel, it needed some sort of insulation. Steel is a good conductor, so the company had to use another separate material for insulation.

A 20 mm ceramic fibre insulation coating has been used to prevent the outside from heating up. The 20 mm sheet is quite effective at containing heat. Upon touching the exterior, you usually do not feel the heat.

Fuel Source

This is the most interesting part about this oven. Unlike other ovens that I’ve covered, the Ooni Karu 12 is a multi-fuel pizza oven. Wood, charcoal and gas – all can be used as a fuel source in this.

Being multi-source, it can prove to be a handful oven. You can cook whatever type of pizza (taste-wise) you feel like eating.

If you’re looking for a short answer as to which fuel source, among gas and wood/charcoal, is better, the answer is wood/charcoal.

Gas

For portability and accessibility, this is the best option. If you plan on using gas to cook your pizzas, you’re going to need the Ooni Karu 12 Gas Burner. Connect it with a propane gas tank, and you’re good to go.

The flame is on the top of the pizza, so the toppings are cooked properly.

With the gas burner, you can control the flame. Doing so gives you much greater control over the crispiness of your pizzas.

The gas burner can be bought from Ooni’s official site for $99.99. However, I think this is too expensive.

Using a gas gives you more control at the cost of … well, money (and some portability).

It is worth mentioning that the chimney and door of the oven should be removed when using gas as a fuel to cook.

air flow of ooni karu with gas as fuel

Wood and Charcoal

Using wood/charcoal would be the better option of the two for many reasons. The first and foremost would be the money factor. Economically, this is so much better than the gas option is.

The other reason is portability. Instead of having to carry a propane tank with you, you can just pick a few wood/charcoal pieces. Even better, you can ask for some wood from where you go. You can find pieces of wood almost anywhere.

Just cut those according to your need, and you’ll be good to go.

Then, there’s the falvour aspect of the whole wood vs. gas debate. With gas, you cannot get the BBQ type of falvour that you get by cooking with wood or charcoal.

When cooking with wood and charcoal, good air-flow must be ensured to reach optimum temperatures. Leave the door on and remove the chimney cap to let good flow of air.

Ooni karu airflow image when powered with wood and charcoal

Oh, did I mention that you will have to keep it topped with the wood/charcoal? You’ll have to do so every 5-10 minutes or else the temperatures will drop. (Not like they won’t even if you do so, but they’ll drop significantly if you don’t do so).

You can buy the Ooni Premium Hardwood 5” Oak Logs for $29.99.

Assembly and Cooking

Thinking of how to assemble Ooni Karu 12? Assembly of Ooni karu 12 is very easy. One can assemble it together in no time. And when assembled, who waits to cook their first delicious pizza in their oven they just bought?

Below is a video that demonstrates how to set Ooni Karu 12 together and making it ready for the first cook. Thank me later!

Efficiency

This is where the Ooni Karu 12 gets beaten. Unlike its brothers (like the Ooni Koda 12 and the Ooni Frya 12), the Ooni Karu 12 isn’t quick with the heating process.

Where other pizza ovens take only 5 minutes to pre-heat to 500 degrees Celsius, this one takes around 15-20 minutes. That’s still a pretty decent time.

However, comparing it to other models, it is not as fast. If an extremely short pre-heat time is your priority, I would not recommend this one to you.

Multi-fuel AND Multi-purpose

It’s not just pizzas that you can cook with this thing. You can cook a variety of different things. From vegetables to steak, you can cook (almost) anything in this oven.

To cook some things, you’re better off using gas. For others, wood would be the better choice. Since I have not experimented with cooking different things on this, I cannot tell you which fuel source to use for different sorts of food items. That is something you’ll have to figure out on your own.

Pricing and Installments

The Ooni Karu 12 is priced at $399.

Ooni Karu 12 Essentials Bundle

If you buy the Ooni Karu 12 essentials bundle (Ooni Karu 12 + Pizza Peel + Carry Cover ), it will cost you $469 rather than $478.98 (at the time of publishing ie. Jan 2022). You can buy it from Ooni’s official site by clicking here.

image of Ooni kar12 essentials bundle

You can also buy the oven with interest-free installments over a period of four months at $99.75 per month.

Price to Performance Ratio

I’ll take into account all of the possible factors before giving you a concrete number of the Ooni Karu 12’s price to performance ratio.

The build quality is decent, but the oven is made up of steel. It is around 2-3 kgs heavier than its competitors. The portability factor is there as well. The pre-heat time isn’t as good as those of other single-fuel ovens.

Any type of fuel can be used, but to use gas, you’re going to have to buy a gas burner separately. That, and the fact that the complete package is for (almost) $530, would make me give it an 8/10.

This is not ideal for the average consumer. However, if you’re someone who’s going to be using different types of fuels, this is the best option for you.

In fact, I would say this is one of the best, if not the best, multi-fuel outdoor pizza ovens out there.

60 Days Money-back Guarantee

According to Ooni, “You’ll make great pizza with your Ooni Pizza Oven or we’ll buy it back within 60 days!”

That means if you’re not satisfied with your product, you can return it to Ooni.

However, I suspect there may be a catch to this. The wording “buy it back” might mean that they will buy it back from you but maybe not at the price that you bought it at. Again, I could not find any concrete evidence or such experiences but this is what I thought.

I personally have never had an incident where I had to return the product, so I cannot say for sure about this.

3 Years Guarantee

Ooni’s products are made to last, and they know. Ooni offers a 3 years guarantee for their products. For accessories, the guarantee is only as long as you use them with their specified products.

Their customer support is great. If your product is behaving weirdly or something’s wrong, you can contact them for assistance. If they still can’t fix your issue, they’ll get it fixed.

Worth It?

Now, coming to the main point. Is the Ooni Kura 12 worth it? Well, keeping in view its versatility, it’s definitely worth it in this price.

Many people find it great cooking in this oven. It’s just too much fun cooking your own pizza in your own oven in the backyard, in the garage or in the lawn.

Ooni Karu 12

Host pizza parties and spend some quality time with friends and family members.

Once you get over the learning curve, cooking in this oven is just fun.

As a multi-fuel outdoor pizza oven, this is one of the best. As just an outdoor pizza oven, this would be an average one. Its strength is its functionality.

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