Pepperoni Pizza on the Ooni Karu: A Comprehensive Guide and Review

When it comes to culinary adventures, who doesn’t love a good challenge? The sizzle of pepperoni, the melting mozzarella, and that perfect crust – ever wondered how you can achieve all of this at home with an Ooni Karu? Are you ready to unlock the secrets of making the perfect pepperoni pizza in your backyard?

First, ensure the Ooni Karu is preheated to 930°F (500°C) for about 15 minutes. Then, stretch your pizza dough to about 12 inches, spread a thin layer of homemade sauce, and evenly distribute mozzarella and pepperoni. Lastly, bake your pizza in the Ooni Karu for roughly 60-90 seconds, turning occasionally for an evenly cooked, deliciously crispy crust.

This article will guide you through the step-by-step process of crafting the perfect pepperoni pizza using the Ooni Karu, accompanied by expert tips and a comprehensive review of the oven itself. So sit back, prepare to learn, and let’s transform your pizza-making experience.

The Perfect Pepperoni Pizza Recipe for Ooni Karu: Step-by-Step Guide

Nothing beats the mouthwatering combination of crispy crust, tangy sauce, bubbling cheese, and flavorful pepperoni. Here’s your comprehensive guide to crafting that perfect pepperoni pizza using the Ooni Karu.

Selecting the Best Ingredients

Like any great work of art, the masterpiece that is your pepperoni pizza begins with top-notch raw materials. You’re not just making pizza, you’re creating culinary magic!

  1. Pizza Dough
    • 2 1/4 cups of “00” Italian flour (you can also use all-purpose flour if “00” isn’t available)
    • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
    • 1 teaspoon of sugar
    • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon of active dry yeast (or natural yeast)
    • 1 cup of warm water
  2. Homemade Pizza Sauce
    • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
    • 1 teaspoon of sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
    • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
    • A handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
  3. Toppings
    • 1 to 1.5 cups of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced or grated
    • 1 cup of thick-cut pepperoni slices
  4. Additional
    • A little extra flour for dusting your work surface
    • Olive oil for greasing the pizza stone in the Ooni Karu
    • Fresh basil leaves for garnish, if desired

Remember, the quality of your ingredients plays a significant role in the final taste of your pizza, so choose the best ingredients you can find.

Preparing Your Dough: Tips from Food Experts

When it comes to making pizza, the dough is the foundation of your culinary masterpiece. Here are five expert tips from professional pizza makers for the perfect pizza dough:

  1. Quality Ingredients Matter: Use high-quality, high-protein flour for the best results. The protein helps develop gluten, providing the dough with the elasticity it needs to rise and create those beautiful, airy pockets in the crust.
  2. Hydration is Key: The water-to-flour ratio in your dough (known as hydration) can dramatically affect the end product. A hydration level of about 60-65% is typically ideal for pizza dough. This means if you have 1000g of flour, you’d use 600-650g of water.
  3. Take Your Time: Allow your dough to proof properly. This process can take anywhere from 24 to 72 hours in the refrigerator. The slow, cold fermentation helps develop a deeper flavor in the dough.
  4. Temperature Control: Let your dough come up to room temperature before shaping it. This allows the gluten to relax, making it easier to stretch without tearing.
  5. Hand Stretch, Don’t Roll: Rolling pins can compress the dough, taking away those lovely air bubbles that give your crust its texture. Gently hand-stretch your dough to retain the airiness in the crust.

Remember, practice makes perfect when it comes to pizza dough. So don’t worry if your first few attempts aren’t perfect. Keep trying, keep learning, and soon enough, you’ll be tossing that dough like a pro!

Assembling Your Pepperoni Pizza: 5 Steps Layering Techniques

When it comes to building your pizza, layering is crucial. It determines the flavor profile of every bite and the overall aesthetics of your pie. Here are five steps to layering your pepperoni pizza like a pro:

  1. Start With The Dough: Roll out your dough to your desired thickness. Remember, hand-stretch rather than use a rolling pin to keep those delicious air bubbles intact. If you prefer a thicker crust, leave a bit more dough around the edges.
  2. Sauce It Up: Spread a thin layer of your homemade pizza sauce onto the dough, leaving a small border for the crust. Be careful not to use too much sauce; otherwise, your pizza might turn out soggy.
  3. Cheese, Please: Scatter a generous amount of mozzarella cheese over the sauce. Ensure even coverage so every bite comes with a gooey cheese experience.
  4. Pepperoni Time: Now it’s time for the star of the show – the pepperoni. Arrange the slices evenly across the pizza, making sure that every slice will get its share of pepperoni. Feel free to put as many or as few slices as you like.
  5. A Dash of Flavour: For an added touch, sprinkle some dried oregano, red pepper flakes, or freshly grated parmesan over the top. This gives your pizza an extra kick of flavor.

With your pizza assembled, it’s time to introduce it to the blazing heat of your Ooni Karu pizza oven. In just about a minute, you’ll have a perfect pepperoni pizza with a crispy crust, gooey cheese, and mouth-wateringly good pepperoni. Enjoy!

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Pepperoni Pizza Recipe on the Ooni Karu

Enjoy restaurant-quality, homemade pepperoni pizza right in your backyard with this easy recipe designed for the Ooni Karu pizza oven.

  • Total Time: 17-20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 slices 1x


Units Scale
  1. Pizza dough, enough for one 16-inch pizza
  2. 1 cup pizza sauce
  3. 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  4. 1/2 cup pepperoni slices
  5. Optional: Dried oregano, red pepper flakes, and freshly grated Parmesan for topping


  1. Preheat your Ooni Karu pizza oven to 950°F (500°C).
  2. Roll out your dough to a 16-inch diameter, making sure to leave a crust around the edges.
  3. Spread a thin layer of pizza sauce onto the dough, leaving a crust border.
  4. Sprinkle a generous layer of mozzarella cheese over the sauce.
  5. Evenly distribute the pepperoni slices across the pizza.
  6. Add any additional toppings, such as oregano, red pepper flakes, or Parmesan.
  7. Carefully transfer the pizza to your preheated Ooni Karu oven using a pizza peel.
  8. Cook for about 1-2 minutes, making sure to rotate every 30 seconds for an even cook.
  9. Once the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbling, remove the pizza from the oven. Let it cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.


Ensure your pizza peel is well-floured to prevent the pizza from sticking when transferring it to the oven.

  • Author: Jay
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1-2 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Pepperoni Pizza, Ooni Karu, Homemade Pizza, Wood-fired Pizza

Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

The Ooni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven: Product Review

The Ooni Karu 16, crowned as the first pizza oven to be ‘Recommended for Domestic Use’ by the respected international authority Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, is a game-changer for home pizza making. It’s not just an oven; it’s a tool that transforms your backyard into an authentic Italian pizzeria.

Ooni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven

Understanding the Ooni Karu: Specifications and Features

The Ooni Karu heats up to a scorching 950°F (500°C) in a quick 15 minutes, meaning you won’t have to wait long before you can slide in your pizza. Its multi-fuel options provide unmatched versatility: use wood or charcoal right out of the box or switch to gas with the separately sold Gas Burner for Karu 16.

The oven’s innovative features, such as the new hinged oven door with ViewFlame™ technology, provide enhanced visibility, ensuring you won’t miss a second of your pizza’s transformation. The mounted digital thermometer keeps you informed about the internal ambient oven temperature. And, with a generous cooking area that can accommodate a 16-inch pizza, the Ooni Karu is ready for any pizza challenge you throw at it.

What We Like About It:

The Ooni Karu pizza oven has been a game-changer for our family meals. It’s not just about cooking; it’s about creating experiences and lasting memories. There’s something inherently exciting about firing up the Karu, watching the flames dance, and the anticipation of a mouthwatering, homemade pizza. The joy on my kids’ faces as they watch their very own creation turn from raw dough and toppings into a beautifully cooked pizza is priceless.

The versatility of the Ooni Karu has also made it a significant part of our weekend rituals. It’s not just for pizzas. We’ve cooked fish, roasted vegetables, and even tried baking bread in it. It has ignited a passion for outdoor cooking in all of us. The children love experimenting with different toppings, and we’ve had some surprisingly delicious outcomes. Who knew that blue cheese, pear, and walnut made such a fantastic pizza?

One of the unique experiences that stand out was during a family reunion. We set up a make-your-own-pizza station and let everyone, from the youngest to the eldest, craft their own masterpiece. The Karu was the star of the show, effortlessly catering to everyone’s varying tastes. It turned the event into a fun, interactive experience, far from the usual predictable barbecues.

The simplicity and ease of use of the Ooni Karu have made it a beloved fixture in our backyard. It’s not just an oven; it’s a conduit for connection, culinary creativity, and, most importantly, the joy of sharing delicious food with the people we love. That’s what I love most about the Ooni Karu. It’s not just a product; it’s an experience.

Pros of the Ooni Karu Pizza Oven

  1. Versatility: One of the standout features of the Ooni Karu is its ability to use multiple fuel sources. You can use wood, charcoal, or gas (with a separate attachment), giving you flexibility and control over your cooking.
  2. High Temperature: The Ooni Karu can reach temperatures up to 950°F (500°C), replicating the conditions of professional pizza ovens. This results in a beautifully cooked pizza with a crispy base and perfectly melted toppings.
  3. Portability: Despite its cooking power, the Ooni Karu is relatively lightweight and portable. It’s great for backyard cooking, but also for taking to picnics or camping trips.
  4. Quick Heat-Up Time: The oven heats up to its maximum temperature in about 15 minutes, meaning less waiting around and more eating!
  5. Large Cooking Area: With a cooking area that fits up to 16-inch pizzas, the Ooni Karu is perfect for feeding a crowd.

Cons of the Ooni Karu Pizza Oven

  1. Learning Curve: Cooking pizza at such high temperatures can take some getting used to. It may take a few tries to perfect the cooking process.
  2. Price: The Ooni Karu is a bit of an investment compared to basic pizza ovens. However, given its performance and features, many users find it worth the cost.
  3. Requires Attention: Due to the high heat and quick cooking times, pizzas in the Ooni Karu need to be closely monitored and rotated to avoid burning. This is not a set-and-forget type of oven.

How to Use the Ooni Karu: A Detailed Guide

Here’s a step-by-step guide on using the Ooni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven:

  1. Assemble the Oven: Begin by following the manufacturer’s instructions to assemble the oven correctly. This step usually involves setting up the stone baking board, adding the fuel tray, and fitting the chimney.
  2. Preheat the Oven: Choose your preferred fuel – wood, charcoal, or gas (with a separately sold gas burner). Load the fuel into the oven and light it up. The Ooni Karu reaches the optimal pizza-cooking temperature of 950°F (500°C) in just 15 minutes.
  3. Prepare Your Pizza: While the oven is preheating, start preparing your pizza on a pizza peel. Add your sauce, cheese, and pepperoni, and make sure to flour the peel to prevent sticking.
  4. Cook Your Pizza: Carefully slide your pizza from the peel onto the pizza stone in the Ooni Karu. Close the oven door to maintain the heat.
  5. Monitor and Rotate: Use the ViewFlame™ technology to keep an eye on your pizza as it cooks. Rotate the pizza every 30 seconds or so for an even cook. It will only take around 60-90 seconds to cook.
  6. Remove and Rest: Once done, use your pizza peel to remove the pizza from the oven. Let it rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
  7. Clean Up: After cooking and once the oven has cooled down, clean the oven as per the manufacturer’s instructions to keep it in top condition for your next pizza cooking adventure.

And there you have it – delicious, homemade pepperoni pizza straight from your very own Ooni Karu pizza oven. Enjoy!

Ooni Karu’s Performance and Comparison with Other Pizza Ovens

In terms of performance, the Ooni Karu stands tall among its competitors. Its swift heating time, diverse fuel options, and large cooking area make it a formidable player in the pizza oven market. Comparatively, it outperforms many similar models in terms of heat retention and consistent cooking.

FeatureOoni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza OvenCompetitor A Pizza OvenCompetitor B Pizza Oven
Maximum Temperature950°F (500°C)932°F (500°C)840°F (450°C)
Heat-up Time15 minutes20 minutes25 minutes
Fuel OptionsWood, Charcoal, GasWood, GasWood, Charcoal
Cooking AreaFits up to 16-inch pizzasFits up to 12-inch pizzasFits up to 12-inch pizzas
Additional FeaturesViewFlame™ Technology, Mounted Digital ThermometerBuilt-in ThermometerBuilt-in Thermometer
Return Policy60 days30 daysNo returns

One of the most compelling features of the Ooni Karu is its 60-day return policy. The team at Ooni is so confident in the oven’s ability to help you make great pizza at home that if you don’t agree, you can return it for free within 60 days. The promise of Ooni + you = great pizza or they will buy it back is a testament to the Ooni Karu’s stellar performance and value.

5 “Toasty” Troubleshooting Tips for Your Ooni Karu

Whether you’re a seasoned pizza maker or a rookie to the art of pizza making, here are some troubleshooting tips to ensure your Ooni Karu experience is always sizzling.

  1. Flame Flickering : If your flame is flickering or seems weak, check your fuel. Dry hardwoods are the best for a consistent, hot flame. Also, ensure the air vents aren’t blocked to allow for proper airflow.
  2. Unevenly Cooked Pizza: If your pizza is cooking unevenly, remember to rotate it every 30 seconds. This helps to ensure all sides receive equal, direct heat.
  3. Burnt Crust : If your pizza crust keeps burning, try reducing the oven temperature or cooking time. A pizza peel can help you quickly rotate or remove the pizza if it’s cooking too quickly.
  4. Soggy Pizza: Too much sauce or toppings can lead to a soggy pizza. Use less next time and ensure your oven has reached its maximum temperature before cooking.
  5. Cleaning the Oven: Regular cleaning and maintenance are crucial for your Ooni Karu’s longevity. Wait until the oven has completely cooled before attempting to clean it, and always consult the manufacturer’s instructions.

FAQ: Pepperoni Pizza on the Ooni Karu

Over time, several common queries have emerged from pizza enthusiasts keen on mastering the art of making the perfect pepperoni pizza on the Ooni Karu. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

How hot should the Ooni Karu be for cooking pizza?

The Ooni Karu should reach a temperature of around 950°F (500°C) for the perfect pizza. Use the built-in thermometer to check the temperature before cooking.

How long should a pizza cook in the Ooni Karu?

Pizza cooks incredibly quickly in the Ooni Karu due to its high heat. On average, a pizza should take about 1-2 minutes, but remember to rotate it every 30 seconds for even cooking.

What kind of wood should I use in my Ooni Karu?

Hardwoods, such as oak, hickory, or ash, are recommended. They burn hot and create excellent coals, giving your pizza that authentic wood-fired flavor.

Can I cook other foods in the Ooni Karu besides pizza?

Absolutely! The Ooni Karu is versatile and can cook a wide range of foods, including steaks, fish, vegetables, and more.

Conclusion: Your Journey Towards Pepperoni Pizza Perfection with Ooni Karu

Your path to pizza perfection is now clear. The Ooni Karu, with its ease of use, versatility, and superior heat capabilities, makes it an excellent investment for home chefs and pizza aficionados alike. Combine that with our detailed pepperoni pizza recipe, expert insights, and pro tips, and you’re on your way to create pizzas that will rival your local pizzeria. Here’s to many mouth-watering, cheesy, pepperoni-loaded pizzas in your future! Bon appétit!

OONI Website:


Hey there, I'm Jay Whyms – web developer by day, food maestro by night, and full-time family man!

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