Ooni Karu 16 vs Ooni Karu 12 Review – Which Is the Best Homemade Pizza Oven in 2021?

Do you want the best multi-fuel homemade pizza oven for your next outdoor pizza party?

Then read our latest backyard pizza oven review and comparison!

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We’re about to compare the brand new Ooni Karu 16 vs Ooni Karu 12 – the Ooni Karu 16’s smaller and lighter variant.

Which outdoor pizza oven do we recommend for an epic Neapolitan pizza party?

Keep reading to find out!

New Ooni Karu 16 vs Ooni Karu 12

Ooni Karu 16 – Best for Cooking Large Pizzas Quickly

Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven
Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven

The new Ooni Karu is a hoss of a pizza oven – and it looks like something out of an authentic Italian pizzeria that you would find in Naples.

The Ooni Karu 16 is our best homemade pizza oven recommendation if you host pizza party get-togethers and want to cook delicious homemade pizzas without keeping your guests waiting.

Ooni Karu 12 – Best for Cooking Smaller Pizzas

Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven
Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven

The Ooni Karu 12 can also cook delicious, fluffy, and crispy homemade pizza in just 60 seconds. But – it’s much tinier than the Karu 16.

If you’re only cooking pizzas for one – or two, and if you don’t mind cooking smaller pizzas, then the Ooni Karu 12 still rocks for cooking fresh homemade pizza straight from your outdoor Ooni oven.

Ooni Karu 16 vs Ooni Karu 12 – Quick Comparison

SpecificationsOoni Karu 12Ooni Karu 16
Oven Dimensions:28.7 by 15.7 by 26.6 inches33 by 32 by 20 inches
Oven Weight:26.4 pounds62.6 pounds
Max Pizza Size:12-inches16-inches
Cooking Surface:13.2 inches by 13.2 inches16.7 by 16.7 inches
Heat Up Time:15 minutes15 minutes
Cooking Time:60 seconds60 seconds
Fuel Options:Charcoal, Wood, GasCharcoal, Wood, Gas
Cost:$349$799
Warranty:3 years if you buy on Ooni.com3 years if you buy on Ooni.com

Ooni Karu 16 Review

Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven
Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven

The first thing you’ll notice when comparing the Ooni Karu 16 vs. the Ooni Karu 12 is that the Ooni Karu 16 dwarfs the smaller Karu 12.

Karu 16’s size isn’t the only impressive feature – it also cooks large, 16-inch homemade pizzas (and other delectable delicacies) quickly and efficiently.

The Ooni Karu 16 fires up mouth-watering homemade pizza using firewood or charcoal. Right out of the box!

You can also use your Ooni Karu 16 with gas – but you need the Ooni 16 Karu gas burner extension – which you need to buy separately.

You can find the Ooni Karu 16 gas burner extension on Ooni’s official website. However, the gas extension is selling like hotcakes and it’s currently out of stock! Check back soon for updates.

Even if you don’t want the gas burner, the Ooni Karu 16 bakes delicious authentic pizza in only 60 seconds. (The oven takes about 15 minutes to preheat.)

If you’ve seen the Ooni Karu 12 and appreciate the versatility of the epic pizza oven, but you’re looking for something more substantial, then the Karu 16 checks all the boxes you need for delicious, wood-fired homecooked pizza.

The best part is that setting up your Ooni Karu 16 only takes a few minutes. 

After seasoning your Ooni Karu 16 for 30 minutes – you’re ready to cook delicious homemade pizza with your favorite homegrown pizza toppers – like peppers, tomatoes, onions, and even homemade cheese.

Ooni Karu 16 Features and Benefits

When I first laid eyes upon the Ooni Karu 16, I thought the Ooni 16 would look perfect on nearly any backyard patio – and the homemade pizza oven’s size was noteworthy.

Was size the only selling point – or did the Karu 16 have other tricks up its sleeve?

After further investigation, I discovered that the Karu 16 pizza oven is Ooni’s largest and most advanced multi-fuel homemade pizza oven – and it has loads of cool features.

The following are some of my favorites!

Ooni’s Largest (and Most Advanced) Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven

If you don’t like feeling cramped working with smaller cooking surfaces of other pizza ovens, then the Karu 16 gives you enough room to let your culinary creativity flow like a raging river.

Ooni Karu 16’s massive stone floor also gives you tons of cooking versatility.

The closer your food gets to the flame – the hotter the stone gets.

That way, you can manage your backyard pizzas (and other foods) to your preference.

Don’t forget to rotate your pizza every 15 seconds for a fresh, even bake! 

(With a mouth-watering pizza aroma that your neighbors will notice!)

ViewFlame Technology

Not only is watching your homemade pizza cook in your Ooni Karu 16 a ton of fun – but it can also help you bake delicious pizza with crispy (yet fluffy) crust.

When it comes to cooking the perfect homemade pizza in your backyard – timing is everything!

That’s why the Ooni Karu 16’s ViewFlame technology is one of the most exciting features.

ViewFlame helps your Ooni Karu 16 stay cleaner longer – so you can keep your eyes where it matters most. 

On the pizza!

Tips to Get the Most from ViewFlame:

  • Fuel Tray – Don’t overfill your fuel tray! Stick to a slow and steady cooking routine for the best results.
  • Open Vents – Open the chimney baffle and the ceiling vent to the fully open position when cooking at high temperatures.
  • Temperature – Fire your Ooni Karu 16 to 850 degrees Fahrenheit when baking Neapolitan pizza.

If you decide to buy Ooni Karu 16 – also read the Ooni Karu 16 essentials guide!

You get maintenance tips, quick-start instructions, plus a handful of succulent-looking homemade recipes that put your Karu 16 oven to good use.

Pizza lovers of the world, rejoice!

Cook Way More Than Just Pizza

Nothing beats the aroma of wood crackling in the backyard as your fire up a thick crust pizza with ripe tomatoes fresh from the garden!

(Add a few slices of pepperoni, prosciutto, and a dash of fetta cheese for serious bonus points.)

But – even though homemade pizza is tough to top – the Ooni Karu 16 lets you cook much more than just pizza.

The Ooni Karu 16 is big enough and gets hot enough to let you cook a wide variety of dishes.

Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven
Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven

Cooking Ideas for Your Ooni Karu 16:

  • Steaks
  • Ribs
  • Salmon
  • Veggie burgers
  • Homemade bread
  • Calzones
  • Pasta dishes
  • Grilled veggies
  • Legendary grilled potato salad
  • Tons more!

My mouth is watering in anticipation as I imagine all of the treats you could prepare with your Ooni Karu 16 – no fancy culinary arts degree required!

What’s Inside the Karu 16 Box

  • Ooni Karu 16 pizza oven
  • Pizza oven door (ViewFlame)
  • Pizza baking stones (Cordierite pizza board)
  • Ooni Karu 16 pizza oven chimney
  • Ooni Karu 16 chimney cap
  • Grate and burner tray
  • Defender plate that protects against drafts
  • Fuel hatch
  • Digital pizza oven thermometer
  • Essential pizza oven guide
Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven
Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven

As you look at your Ooni Karu 16 for the first time, you’ll also notice another big difference compared to the original Karu 12. 

I’m talking about the massive digital thermometer on the Karu 16 oven’s body!

Now you can get a close look at the internal temperature of your Ooni Karu 16, allowing you to plan every artisan pizza with masterful precision.

The thermometer has a large typeface and displays temperatures in either Fahrenheit or Celcius.

Ooni Karu 16 Specs

  • Dimensions: 33 by 32 by 20 inches (50 by 81.5 by 83.7 centimeters)
  • Box Dimensions: 37.4 by 24 by 15.75 inches (95 by 61 by 40 centimeters)
  • Weight: 62.6 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 86.6 pounds
  • Cooking Surface: 16.7 by 16.7 inches (42.42 by 42.42 centimeters)
  • Baking Stone Width: .6 inches (15 millimeters)
  • Body: Pizza oven body of carbon steel (powder coated) and stainless steel

Overall, Ooni’s new Karu 16 gets major street credit for cooking yummy homemade pizza crust with an authentic crunch that your friends and family will thank you for sharing!

The Ooni Karu 16 also gets additional bonus points for aesthetics – the machine looks like a million bucks.

Ooni Karu 12 Review

Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven
Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven

After reading my glowing review for the Ooni Karu 16, you may wonder if there’s any point in getting an Ooni Karu 12 – the original Karu.

There are three significant advantages that the Ooni Karu 12 has over the brand new Ooni Karu 16.

Ooni Karu 12 Advantages

  • The Ooni Karu 12 is much lighter and more portable.
  • The Ooni Karu 12 is much cheaper.
  • The Ooni Karu 12 has a much smaller profile.

If you want a multi-fuel homemade pizza oven that you can store in your RV, in the back of your truck, or even on your back porch without trouble, then the Ooni Karu 12 is still among my favorites.

Also, please note that while Ooni Karu 12 doesn’t have the fancy bells and whistles of the Karu 16 – the original Karu still cooks a mean slice of pizza.

Ooni Karu 12 Features and Benefits

Thinking twice about the Ooni Karu 16?

Maybe you want a pizza oven that’s a tad bit smaller – and more portable?

If so, then let’s take a look at the Karu 12’s features and benefits.

There’s a surprising amount of pizza-cooking engineering jammed into an affordable price point – so let’s investigate!

Portable Pizza Cooking Power

The biggest secret to cooking delicious homemade pizza is the heat!

That’s why I love the Ooni Karu 12. You get tons of homemade pizza cooking power in such a tiny package.

Here’s a tiny pizza oven that fits almost anywhere that also gets up to 932 degrees Fahrenheit. (That’s 500 Celcius.)

Tons of Versatility in A Lightweight Package

Just like the Ooni Karu 12’s bigger sister, the Ooni Karu 12 effortlessly cooks a whole lot more than just delicious pizzas.

What do you like to eat?

Seared meat?

Zesty vegetables tickled with natural herbs and open flame?

The Karu 12 can help.

Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven
Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven

Cooking Ideas for Your Ooni Karu 12

  • Homemade bread
  • 12″ Neapolitan pizza
  • Homemade vegetable dishes
  • Lasagna and other pasta dishes
  • Seafood
  • Racks of ribs
  • Cheeseburgers
  • Mouth-watering chicken
  • And more!

When you consider that you can prepare all of these foods (plus more) on the go – it’s easy to see why the Ooni Karu 12 is still desirable for many homesteaders who love to eat!

(Me included.)

One of the Most Affordable Homemade Pizza Ovens

The Ooni Karu 12 is ridiculously inexpensive.

The Karu 12 costs roughly half of what the Karu 16 costs.

Don’t get me wrong!

The Karu 16 is definitely worth the price – if you cook lots of pizza or love large 16-inch homemade pizzas.

But, if you’re a homesteader on a budget who wants homemade pizza without breaking the piggy bank, then the Karu 12 is worth a second look.

What’s Inside the Karu 12 Box

  • Ooni Karu 12 Pizza Oven
  • Pizza oven door
  • Ooni Karu 12 pizza oven chimney
  • Pizza baking stone (Cordierite pizza board)
  • Fuel door tray
  • Burner grate plus charcoal (and wood) fuel tray
  • Ooni Karu 12 chimney cap
Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven
Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven

The Ooni Karu 12 is renown as one of Ooni’s tiniest multi-fuel homemade pizza ovens.

You can effortlessly cook with either wood or coal out of the box.

If you love to cook ciabatta, focaccia, breadsticks, sourdough, or homemade Italian-style rolls, the Karu 12 makes it fast, easy, and fun. 

The homemade bread also tastes delicious when dipped in homemade tomato sauce or olive and garlic oil! 

Make sure to heat your tomato sauce or garlic oil just a tad bit for a mouth-watering treat that makes life worth living.

(Try cooking bread with charcoal for a taste that you’ll savor!)

Ooni Karu 12 Specs

  • Dimensions: 28.7 by 15.7 by 26.6 inches (73 by 40 by 67 centimeters)
  • Box Dimensions: 19.8 by 13.7 by 29.1 inches (50 by 35 by 74 centimeters)
  • Weight: 26.4 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 44 pounds
  • Cooking Surface: 13.2 inches (33 centimeters)
  • Baking Stone Width: .6 inches (1.5 centimeters)
  • Body: Glass-reinforced nylon, 430 stainless steel, (brushed)

Even though the Ooni Karu 12 is tiny and portable, it’s still rock-solid, and it’s an elegant pizza cooking tool – not a toy!

The oven itself is insulated so that you get excellent fuel efficiency.

The Karu 12 also has non-stick legs that feel snug, so your pizza oven doesn’t tip over when you’re maneuvering your pizzas to and from the Ooni pizza oven.

When I think of aromatic and smokey flavor without spending too much cash, the Ooni Karu 12 wins hands down.

Ooni Karu 16 vs Ooni Karu 12 – Which Is the Best Pizza Oven for You?

Have you ever felt frustrated because pizza delivery never tastes as good as authentic brick oven pizzerias?

Then you need an Ooni pizza oven!

They’re my favorite brand after researching various pizza oven manufacturers from all over the planet.

But – which pizza oven is right for you?

Ooni Karu 16 vs the Karu 12?

The Ooni Karu 16 Is for You If:

  • You want the latest and greatest pizza oven from Ooni.
  • You love 16-inch pizzas straight from the oven.
  • You want to cook large skillets of beef, meat, and fresh garden vegetables.
  • You love the idea of flame-cooked ribs, chicken, and fresh garden tomatoes.
  • You cook pizza for lots of people and host backyard bonanzas!

The Ooni Karu 12 Is for You If:

  • You want excellent pizza-cooking technology in a much smaller package.
  • You don’t cook 16-inch pizzas and prefer smaller, 12-inch pizzas.
  • You use your pizza oven on the go and want a portable option.
  • You don’t cook for many people – perhaps just one or two dinner guests.

You get two guarantees from Ooni when you purchase your pizza oven from the official Ooni website.

Guarantee # 1 – Great Pizza Guarantee

If you don’t like your homemade pizza made in your Ooni Karu oven, you get your money back.

No stress or haggling required!

You get 60 days to test your homemade pizza oven.

See if the pizza isn’t gratifying and savory.

If you don’t like your Ooni? You can send it back for a full refund.

No stress!

Guarantee # 2 – Free 3-Year Warranty

When you buy either Karu pizza oven from Ooni’s official website, you get a 3-year warranty.

That way, you can host as many pizza parties as you want.

Put your Ooni to the test.

Make sure to register your pizza oven on Ooni.com so that you get the extended warranty! If you fail to register, you only get a one-year warranty.

Both Ovens Give You Get Delicious Pizza in 60-Seconds!

Which homemade pizza oven do you prefer?

Karu 12 vs. Karu 16?

I think both are excellent options and you won’t be disappointed with either oven.

In both situations, you can cook pizza with wood-fire or charcoal right from the box.

I promise, the first time you fire up a homemade pizza, your life will change for the better.

Then, as your pizza cooking skills become more advanced – after your 2nd, 5th, and 20th cook – you’ll develop a legendary reputation as the most likable chef, neighbor, and dinner host ever!

(And your friends will gossip behind your back about your elite pizza-cooking skills! – That’s the type of gossip I don’t mind!)

Happy cooking, and thanks for reading!

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