If you love pizza, you might consider picking up an outdoor pizza oven.
Before I tried a pizza cooked in a pizza oven, I cooked all my pizzas in my regular oven and had no clue what I was missing out on.
That was until my friend invited me over for some pizza…
Right away I noticed that there was something different about this pizza.
It looked like it had been ordered from a gourmet pizza joint.
Clearly it wasn’t delivery or the cheap pizza you pick up from your grocery store.
My friend must have seen the confused expression on my face because before I could ask where the pizza had come from, they took me outside and showed me their brand-new pizza oven.
The rest is history.
I had to have one of my own, so I did my research.
|Features||Uuni 3 Pizza Oven|
|Max Pizza Size||13"|
|Can Cook Other Foods||Meat, Vegetables, Seafood|
|Fuel Source||Wood Pellets|
|Size and Dimensions||22x36x64 cm / 8.6 x 14.1 x 25.2" (HxWxL) with legs extended, excluding door handle.|
|Height||including chimney: 67cm / 25.2”.|
|Weight||13.4 kg / 29.5 lbs. boxed|
One of the most popular pizza ovens is the Uuni 3, so I thought I’d take the time to review it here today.
Putting the Uuni 3 oven together doesn’t take long.
There’re no complicated instructions to follow and the lack of multiple pieces make it almost a no-brainer to setup.
This makes it easy for those quick impromptu pizza parties where you only have a few minutes to get ready before the guests arrive. Just toss in some wood pellets, and some lighter fluid and it lights with no problem.
Disclaimer: The instructions that come with the pizza oven don’t recommend using lighter fluid. Instead, there’s a small hole on the side of the wood pellet stove that allows for the flame of a small torch to fit to light the wood pellets.
In fact, you could have the whole thing ready to go in about 10 minutes or less.
Simply pull the oven out of the box, unfold the legs, clip the chimney into place and then just screw in the door handle.
There’s two metal pieces that belong inside, so be sure to read the instructions so you know where they belong and how they fit in this whole pizza making business. Insert your pizza stone, add your wood pellets to the dispenser, and you’re ready to go.
Uuni sends a small sampler bag of wood pellets with their ovens so you can get started right away.
I personally recommend hopping over to your local farm and ranch store and picking up a big bag of wood pellets for wood stoves.
It’s the same product, and they’re cheap.
In fact, one bag of wood pellets from one of these stores should last you for quite a while- unless you’re having pizza every day of the week.
Once the pizza is in the oven, make sure you don’t walk away.
It’s not uncommon for your pizza to be ready to be plated within 60 seconds of being placed in the oven.
I recommend giving your pizza a couple of turns in the oven so that it cooks evenly throughout. That seems to be the key in making sure the pizza cooks all the way through.
After you’ve cooked all the pizzas you and your guests can reasonably eat, cleanup is simple.
There’re no cords or anything to unplug or any of that. However, it may take some time before the oven cools down before it can be handled or moved around. Just dump the wood pellets into some water so that they can be disposed of safely. Don’t even try to save them because once the wood pellets absorb the water they tend to turn to mush.
While doing some research on how to get the most out of the Uuni 3, I discovered that this oven isn’t just for pizzas.
You can actually cook other foods like fish, steaks, veggies, and even bread in it.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time justifying spending my hard-earned money on any product that doesn’t have multiple uses.
Especially when it comes to appliances and gadgets.
While the Uuni oven doesn’t quite fit the definition of an appliance, I still consider it to be an appliance.
One of the things I liked the most about the Uuni 3 was how portable this little pizza oven is.
Notice I said little?
It’s small enough to put up on a table (make sure that the table is safe to cook on) so that it’s at a reasonable level (I hate having to bend over). It also doesn’t take up much space, so I’m not worried about needless patio clutter.
If I ever have to move or decide that I want to throw a pizza party somewhere other than my house, I can just disassemble it just as easily as it was put together and toss it in the back of my truck.
As far as design goes, I feel like the designers behind this snazzy oven put a lot of thought into the design.
For example, you’ll notice that the chimney cap also works great for scooping up wood pellets. The lid for the wood pellet area can also be used as a handle to open and close the pellet tray safely without burning yourself.
Just don’t forget to replace the lid before you start the oven.
The rest of the oven is made from what feels like a high-quality stainless-steel material making it easy to clean and attractive to the eye.
Portability isn’t an issue either. This thing weighs less than one of my hiking packs when I’ve really loaded it up.
There is one design flaw that I haven’t been able to quite wrap my head around, and that’s with the handles. There’re two wooden handles on this oven and that just seems to be asking for trouble in my opinion (fire risk?).
One thing to pay attention to is to how the pizza oven is positioned when outdoors on a breezy day.
Some other Uuni fans reported that trying to get the oven to heat up and remain at cooking temps during a breezy day can be quite the challenge. I suggest positioning the oven away from the direct breeze so that the breeze doesn’t put out the flames.
Once you get the fire going though, in the time it takes you to walk inside and grab a cold one while prepping your pizzas with all your favorite toppings, the oven is ready to go at 900F.
Just toss your pizza in the oven and watch the magic happen!
Another thing I noticed that I’m not too keen on is how quickly this oven burns through pellets.
I’m not joking.
It might depend on your pizza and all the toppings you add to it, but you may need to refill the pellet dispenser frequently if you cook a lot of pizzas.
That’s why I suggested picking up the bulk bag of wood pellets.
I also noticed that thicker crusts don’t seem to mix well with this oven, so if you had intentions of recreating your favorite Chicago style deep dish pizza, forget it.
Instead, you’re kinda limited to what I’ve termed the Domino’ style thin pizza crusts.
You’ll also want to go easy on the toppings.
In the case of the Uuni 3 pizza oven, more is not better. Remember how I said that thin crusts are better? Well, the thin crusts will cook better and more consistently, but in my experience they’re not strong enough to support a ton of toppings.
I’ve seen others suggest tossing the crust into your regular indoor oven before adding the toppings in order to “prep” it for the outdoor pizza oven, but I haven’t personally done that because I feel like if I’m going to prep the crust in the indoor oven, then it might as well just stay in the oven to be cooked all the way.
You should also be mindful of how sticky your dough is.
In other words, the stickier the dough, the bigger the chance is that your pizza will flop. No pun intended. The pizza stone that comes with the oven doesn’t seem to play nice with stickier doughs. Instead, expect to use a lot of flour and/or cornmeal to make the dough pliable but not too sticky where it will stick to the pizza stone.
The pizza stone that comes with the oven is also not the most durable.
It tends to chip.
I think that making sure to clean it almost immediately after use and drying it (never letting it soak and don’t put it in the dishwasher) might help with maintaining it, but I can’t say for sure.
Would I suggest the Uuni 3 pizza oven to others?
So, what are my overall thoughts on this pizza oven?
If you don’t mind being limited to 13″ pizzas, then this thing will change how you eat pizza.
The design isn’t too shabby either, but I wish there was more thought put into the wooden handles. You can cook some other foods too, but that requires some trial and error.
Trying to get this oven to light can be tricky, especially on windy days.
If you can overlook the cons and don’t mind the small-ish pizzas, then I think this could be the pizza oven for you.
Especially if you’re on a first-name-basis with your local pizza joints…
They might miss seeing you but once you’ve tried a pizza cooked in a wood burning pizza oven, pizza will never be the same…