Ooni Karu 12 Review

Ooni Karu 12 Review

Ooni Karu 12

Ooni Karu 12

For a number of years I have fancied myself a bit of a good pizza chef.   Mind you, I only made pizzas for myself and family and friends but I’m getting pretty good at it.  My craft has evolved over the years.  But I have really stepped up my game with the addition of an Ooni Karu 12 Multi Fuel Pizza Oven.

I want a giant kitchen with a real brick oven but at 60 years of age I’m probably in my last home.  Over the last couple of years I’ve been eyeballing outdoor pizza ovens.  The other day I was in a local Dick’s Sporting Goods store and I saw one in a store for the first time.  They have always been sold out.

An employee came by and asked me if I was interested and I replied, “Maybe”.  His response was “We can’t keep them in the store”.  Okay, John, it appears the time to get an Ooni is now or never.   I got just the oven and I sprung for one of their pizza peels as well.  I have no beef with the pizza peel but I’m a woodworker and subsequently made my own wooden pizza peel.  Probably should have just done that from the start.

Bye Bye Miss First Pizza Pie

Ooni Karu 12

A Houston, We have a problem

My first attempt at the Ooni was a bit of a misfire.  I used mesquite briquettes and the temp of the oven was good and hot.

Also, I have never used a pizza peel before.  I just bake pizzas in a pan in the oven.  As you can see the tail end of my pizza stuck like a big dog.  I was using the metal pizza peel I bought and it never occurred to me that it would or could stick.

My friends dubbed it the Millennium Falcon.  With friends like that ……………as they say.

Just kidding.  They were right.   It does look like that. However, the crust was amazing and the flavor was better than any old oven baked pizza I had made in the past.

Recommendation To New Users

Before you take a stab at this like I did, do a little research on pizza peels and sticking.  Ooni has videos and there is no shortage of pizza videos online.  In my retirement I have a little woodshop in my back yard shed and I just happened to have a board of canary wood that I ripped into strips and glued up.  I had been staring at it for a couple of weeks wondering what it would become.  After the Millennium Falcon incident I knew immediately what it needed to be.

Ooni Karu 12

Pizza Peel

After grinding a little flour into it I found that nothing sticks to it.   Lots of my friends and lots of YouTuber’s recommend Corn Meal or Semolina flour as well.

Anyway, pizza dough, and pizza peel sticking is a real thing.  Take some time to do a little reading, and then start cranking out some epic pies.  Once I figured out how to keep the pie round via science  (pi r round, cornbread r square)…….it was game on.  And what a game it was.

Pizza Party (click pics to enlarge)

What Fuel To Use In Ooni Karu 12?

I started out with mesquite briquettes and then started on day two with lump charcoal.  I also bought a digital thermometer.  Here’s what I have learned so far.  Briquettes burn LONGER but lump charcoal burns HOTTER.  Flavor might be a tad bit better with lump charcoal as well.  I personally have found that the stone needs to be close to 500 degrees or hotter for pizza and I prefer my calzones to cook a bit cooler than that so they don’t char up too fast and the bread cooks through and browns up nicely with a tiny bit of char.  I like to be able to tap the crust on the calzone and have it make a decent “thunk” sound.

I didn’t buy a gas burner kit and I don’t know if I will.  I have always preferred charcoal to gas.

Final Thoughts

If you fancy yourself a cook and you like hot sandwiches, calzones, Stromboli’s or oven fired pizza then you NEED an Ooni.  I have used it 3 days in a row now and created nothing but deliciousness from it.

Nothing cooks the items I mentioned above like a brick oven and while the Karu 12 is small, it is mighty.  I can really for see us having family over soon and making a pizza bar playing pizza chef.  I’m not only making delicious, hot pizzas and calzones so far, I’M HAVING FUN.

When’s the last time you threw together a succession of meals and called it fun?

While I tell it like it is here, and I don’t hesitate to destroy inferior equipment on my blog I can say that the Ooni Karu 12 Multi Fuel Pizza Oven is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by John’s Tech Blog.

Ooni Update

I emailed Ooni Support and shared this blog with them.  They responded by asking me for my shipping address.  Yesterday, (24 June, 2023) I received a big beautiful coffee table book entitled Ooni, Cooking With Fire Cookbook.  Looks like it is a $20 value.  They also included a nice HANDWRITTEN note.

You really have to appreciate a company who’ll throw you a bone after communicating with them and who will take the time to actually hand write a note in this day and age.   Thank you, Ooni.

Ooni Karu 12

Ooni SWAG!


One thought on “Ooni Karu 12 Review

  1. Stephen Avery

    I have tried cooking steak in it on a cast iron skeelet, absolutely lush and juicy. Only 2 -3 minutes on each side for medium succulent steak.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *