Is Buying a Pizza Oven Worth It? (Pros, Cons & Key Considerations)

If you happen to think pizza is groovy, there’s a chance that you’ve considered buying a pizza oven at some point in your life. If that time is now, then you’re in luck, because here we’ll cover the topic of whether pizza ovens are actually worth it.

Spoiler alert: at a place called pizzaisgroovy.com, the answer is obviously going to be that pizza ovens are worth it, but here you’ll get a reasonably unbiased view on what you should probably consider before splashing out a load of dough just for a few slices (it’s about as unbiased as it’s going to get!)

If you do end up buying a pizza oven, then where better than Pizza Is Groovy to help you elevate your homemade pizza game. But before any of that, let’s cover some key pros and cons of owning a pizza oven.

Benefits of a Pizza Oven

Here’s some of the main benefits of buying a pizza oven:

Authentic Flavour

Because pizza ovens reach a ridiculously high temperature that regular ovens just don’t, this enables you to create crispy, charred crusts that replicate the authentic flavours of a traditional Neapolitan pizzeria. Buying a pizza oven is really the only way to go if you want to make seriously groovy tasting pizza like you’d get in Naples or New York.

Speed and Efficiency

Pizza ovens can cook pizzas in just minutes due to their high heat retention and direct heat distribution, making them faster and more efficient compared to conventional ovens. While there’s way more to pizza making than this suggests, a main benefit is definitely how fast you can churn out the pizzas for your guests, once you know how.

Improve Cooking Skills

Owning a pizza oven basically forces you to learn new skills, which is hardly a bad thing. It’s totally true that making perfect pizza requires a lot of learning, something you’ll only understand once you start. The good thing is that anyone can learn to make pizza, and with a proper pizza oven, your pizzas should only get better and better as your skills and experience improve.

Entertainment

Pizza ovens can improve your outdoor entertaining experience, simple as that (and indoors, with certain ovens). Gathering around a pizza oven while watching the dough transform into a perfectly puffy pizza creates a social event like no other. Owning a pizza oven is just fun, and it allows you to unleash your creativity by experimenting with different pizza toppings, crust styles and flavours.

Possible Drawbacks of Pizza Ovens

Here’s some potential downsides to buying a pizza oven:

Cost

Pizza ovens are a reasonably sizeable financial investment, especially the highest quality and most reliable models. So the cost of a pizza oven is definitely a drawback and takes money from your pocket that could otherwise go on buying pizza flour, San Marzano tomatoes or some gourmet toppings. But without the pizza oven, these things are just ingredients.

Space Requirements

Pizza ovens, especially larger ones, will take up dedicated space in your home or backyard. Ensuring you have adequate room for installation and storage when not in use, is something you’ll need to consider. If you’re planning to host pizza parties, you’ll also want to factor in space for shaping, topping and serving your pizza.

Learning Curve

While owning a pizza oven helps you to learn new skills, it can also come with some frustration on occasions if your pizza doesn’t turn out quite right. This isn’t usually the fault of the oven itself, but instead a gap in your knowledge on the basics of pizza making or how to best use the oven. As annoying as it is, achieving the perfect pizza usually takes practice and involves a learning curve.

Maintenance

Pizza ovens, particularly wood-fired ones, need regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity. So you’ll want to consider the time, effort and materials required for upkeep of your oven. Many modern pizza ovens are low maintenance, but there’ll always be at least some level of cleaning needed.

Buying A Pizza Oven: Things To Think About…

Amount of Use / Enjoyment

When thinking about big purchases (buying a decent pizza oven is a reasonably big purchase for most), it’s natural to jump straight to the consideration of budget. And while we agree that making sure you can afford what you’re buying is important (budget happens to key consideration #2), there’s also the enjoyment factor to consider and how much use you’ll actually get out of a pizza oven.

A good way to generally think about such purchases, is to realistically consider how much the oven will cost per use, over the period of it’s expected lifespan. For example, if you use a £400 pizza oven only twice, that’s a couple of hundred quid per pizza party that you throw. But if you dish up eight pizzas with the same oven five times a year for ten years, that’s just £1 per pizza (excluding ingredients and fuel for the oven).

Budget / Affordability

There’s no denying it, a decent pizza oven costs more than we’d ideally like to pay for the privilege, but a privilege it is to make your own pizza (seriously, once you master the perfect crust, the taste is hard to beat). Pizza ovens come in a range of prices, from affordable portable options to bespoke built-in versions. Clearly, you need to consider your budget and how much you’re willing to invest in a pizza oven.

As groovy as pizza is, it’s probably not worth getting yourself into financial difficulty in order to buy a pizza oven. Probably better to save up for a while and learn the essentials of pizza making in the meantime. There’s always the option of splitting the cost and sharing with a mate, and if it comes to it, chances are you can recoup some of your money by selling your pizza oven second-hand, if for some strange reason you don’t enjoy making your own pizza.

Space

Naturally you’ll need to consider the available space for a pizza oven in your home or backyard. Pizza ovens come in various sizes, so ensure you have enough room to accommodate the oven and any necessary accessories. Not so much of an issue for basic portable models that take up limited room, but you might want to get the tape measure out if you’re thinking about a larger, built-in oven.

Versatility

Consider whether you want a pizza oven solely for pizza-making or if you’re interested in its versatility for cooking other dishes, such as bread, roasted vegetables, and grilled meats. This links into the previous point on how much you think you’ll use the oven, but also focuses on the fact that a pizza oven is actually more than just a pizza oven.

If you’re a believer that all food is groovy and not just pizza, then you’ll probably be a fan of the idea that pizza ovens can basically be used as a year-round replacement for your home oven and an alternative to a BBQ too, while encouraging you to cook more outdoors and generally adding more excitement to your cooking game.

Health & Safety

Not to piddle on the pizza parade, but it’s worth mentioning that pizza ovens, by design, reach a crazy high temperature and so you should probably consider your home/garden set up and whether such a purchase is safe for you and those you live with (your mind has understandably been on the pizza, but think kids, pets, clumsy partner, etc!). Generally not an issue if you’re sensible, but worth considering.

In Summary

The temptation to make your own homemade pizza is difficult to ignore. Only thing is, you do really need a pizza oven if you want to do it like the pros (making “proper pizza” is mainly about cooking at a very high temperature, which purpose-made pizza ovens are designed to reach).

While a pizza oven will provide the potential to make some seriously groovy pizza, not to mention versatility and outdoor entertainment, it’s important to consider things like the cost, space requirements, learning curve, and maintenance involved too. Hopefully this’ll help you to make the right decision for you.

Overall, a pizza oven is totally worth it if you’re going to get good use and enjoyment out of it on a reasonably regular basis, simple as that. Feel free to check out some groovy pizza gear that’s recommended for beginner pizza makers, but honestly, more important than that is to make sure you learn the basics of pizza making first…

Stay Groovy. Eat Pizza.