delicious. reviews: the Ooni Volt 12 pizza oven

The Volt 12 from Ooni is a hotly anticipated release in the world of pizza ovens. Why? Because it offers proper pizza from a ferociously hot plug-and-play oven you can use indoors AND outdoors.

We took it for a spin to find out if at £799, it’s worth the price tag. Short answer? It depends on how much you like pizza…

delicious. reviews: the Ooni Volt 12 pizza oven

What’s good about it?

It’s a hard fact to swallow, but domestic ovens simply cannot cook pizza properly. Even expensive ones can only usually reach temperatures of about 280°C. They’ll certainly cook a pizza through, but you can say goodbye to the signature ‘leoparding’ of Neapolitan-style crusts and everything that makes the pizzas you eat on Italian holidays so damn good.

Ooni is the company responsible for making proper pizza cookery achievable at home. Making its name with easy to use, relatively affordable wood-fired ovens to be used outdoors, its latest model – the Ooni Volt 12 – is slicker, easier to use and comes with the huge benefit of being able to be used indoors. It’ll reach a lava-like temperature of 450°C in just 20 minutes and cook probably the best pizza you’ve ever made (and eaten) in 90 seconds flat.

Even the most rookie of pizzaiolos are in safe hands – simply plug the oven in, preheat it to your desired temperature, then use the peel (basically a big flat shovel) to ‘launch’ your pizza into the Ooni. Close the door, watch it ferociously puff up and bubble (which is better than most TV shows) and slide it out when it’s blistered and beautiful. 450°C is the optimum temperature for Neapolitan-style pizzas, but you can also go a bit lower for deeper, thicker crusts, or control the above and below heating elements to tailor the heat to what you need. This precise temperature control puts it way ahead of traditional wood-fired ovens, which require a lot more tinkering and fiddling with to maintain a constant heat.

It also means you can turn up the heat of the top element if you want to get more toppings on your pizza, which solves a problem some of prior models have – namely struggling with fully-loaded pizzas and resulting in cooked pizza dough but raw toppings. It might not be the Italian way, but some people like more than a couple of toppings on their pizzas, and here they are catered for.


While it is a pizza oven first and foremost, the Ooni Volt 12 is a seriously useful tool to have in your culinary arsenal. Its higher temperatures and cooking stone can roast vegetables, cook whole fish, bake bread and caramelise meat in ways no mere fan oven can. This is where I think the Ooni really earns its keep (as you can only eat pizza so many times a day).

What’s not so good about it?

Let’s address the elephant in the room: the price is pretty eye-watering. You really have to like pizza (and not like going outdoors to cook it) to justify the splurge. However, I am a pro at justifying frivolous purchases, so the fact that you’re easily cooking pizzas that are far better than a fair chunk of restaurants and takeaways and increasing your kitchen’s oven real estate (as it cooks a lot more than pizza) helps soothe the financial sting. It’s no more expensive than other professional-standard indoor pizza ovens – you simply have to pay the big bucks if you want Neapolitan pizza of this quality.

You’ll also need to keep it away from smoke detectors if using it indoors, as it can kick out a hefty cloud of smoke when you open the door (especially when you haven’t dusted the pizza peel with enough semolina and catapult toppings onto the red-hot stone, which you will do at least once).

Our favourite feature

We love how adjustable the settings on this machine are. Unlike the gas or wood fired pizza ovens already on the market, there are both manual and automatic temperature settings on the Ooni Volt 12 which mean you can cook a variety of pizza styles well – from Detroit to Napoli – as you’re in much more control of the internal heat. The ‘Boost’ function returns the pizza stone to temperature quickly between bakes, so this is a fast machine that can get out an impressive quantity of pizza with little dawdle time.

Overall verdict

Yes, it’s expensive, but once you start to see it as a powerful oven rather than just a pizza-making machine, the Ooni Volt 12 justifies its price tag. Being able to sling out incredible pizzas when friends come round without venturing out in the rain or waiting hours for a wood-fired oven to heat up makes you very popular indeed, and when you start to cook other dishes in it, you’ll never want to use your domestic oven again. Available from Ooni (£799).

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