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Ooni Fyra 12 Review: The Perfect Pellet Grill Companion?

Ooni-Fyra-12-Pepperoni-Review

I’m not even that into pizza (well I wasn’t…).

But, being a big fan of pellet smokers, when I first heard about the pellet-powered Ooni Fyra I was dead-set this would be an awesome addition to our backyard.

Once that initial excitment wore off, I started wondering how good this relatively inexpensive, portable pizza oven could be.

And, since you’ve landed here, I’m guessing your head is in the same space as mine was.

So, after a few months of using the Ooni Fyra on the regular, here’s my thoughts on this no-nonsense, live wood-fired experience.

In this Ooni Fyra 12 review, I’ll answer all the questions you might have before buying one. How steep is the learning curve? Do you have to make your own dough? Are 12 inch pizzas big enough? And, ultimately, how good is the pizza you can cook in one of these?

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Table of Contents

The Quick Version of the Ooni Fyra 12 Review

The pizza you can make on the Ooni Fyra is seriously freaking great! It can turn even the ‘not that into pizza’ person into a die-hard fan. And, learning how to do it really isn’t that hard.

The Fyra runs on the same wood pellets as you use in a pellet smoker. But, it’s gravity fed so you don’t need electricity. Basically it’s 100% wood-fired without the hassle of having to use logs.

It’s easy to get going, heats up in about 15 minutes and cooks a pizza in literally 60 seconds. Because it’s so fast to cook, the Fyra is pretty fuel efficient too.

The only slight downside I’d mention is that the pizza doesn’t taste that smoky if that’s what you were expecting.

Great crust, well-cooked toppings and perfectly melted cheese, yes. But, they’re in and out so quickly and quality pellets run so cleanly that you’ll only get a slightly woody flavor.

Me and my guests aren’t complaining! This pizza is better than you’d get at a lot of pizza restaurants in my opinion.

The 12 inch side is going to be spot on for most couples and families. 12 inch pizzas are easy to handle and let everyone have a bit of fun choosing their own toppings.

Ideal for anyone who’s keen on a simple Friday night meal, likes the idea of pizza parties, or, who wants to be able to take their oven camping, to the beach or to a friends house, the Fyra is affordable, well-built and just like they said… absolutely capital letters AMAZING.

A Bit About the Ooni Fyra 12

The Ooni Fyra 12 is Ooni’s upgrade of their original wood-pellet pizza oven, the Ooni 3 (no longer sold).

Innovatively designed by husband and wife team, Kristian Tapaninaho and Darina Garland, they set out to build something that cooks fast, is portable, affordable, and, makes great pizza. And, the Fyra is just that.

Ooni (originally known as Uuni), has developed 4 other versions of their popular pizza ovens as well as an extensive line of quality add-ons.

They’ve won awards along the way. And, built an avid fan base which you might be on your way to joining.

Features of the Ooni Fyra 12 Pellet Powered Pizza Oven

Construction

  • Commercial grade, cold-rolled carbon steel shell with powder-coated finish
  • Full insulation
  • 10mm cordierite stone baking board
  • Gravity fed pellet hopper (no power required)

Ease of Use

  • Heats to 950°F in 15 minutes
  • Chimney cover doubles as a pellet scoop
  • Adjustable vent to change temperature
  • Collapsible legs for easy transportation and storage

Included Extras

  • 60 day great pizza guarantee

Unboxing and Setting Up the Ooni Fyra 12

Being a portable pizza oven, the Ooni Fyra 12 comes in a pretty compact box.

Beautifully packaged, the parts are neatly nestled together to travel without getting damaged.

Lift the shell and separately packed stone out, fold the legs up, insert the firebox, chimney’s and door and you’re ready for the burn-in. It literally takes a couple of minutes to set up the first time.

Before you fire up your first pizzas, Ooni recommend running the Fyra for at least 30 minutes at high heat to season it. Then, let the stone cool before wiping it clean and it’s ready for cooking.

Construction and Build-Quality

The Fyra’s shell is made from powder-coated commerical grade, cold-rolled carbon stainless steel. Basically, that means it’s great quality and durable enough to handle regular use at home or on the go.

Plus, it’s also insulated to reduce heat loss and maximize fuel efficiency so you’re not chopping through the pellets like it’s nobody’s business.

Inside you’ve got a 10mm thick cordiertie pizza stone.

Cordiertie as a pizza stone material is ultra-durable and heats up well for evenly cooked pizza bases from the bottom up. It’s a top choice and, the Fyra 12 is definitely very well built, especially when you consider it’s relatively low price.

A couple of things to point out about the Fyra 12.

Unlike Ooni’s gas and 16″  multi-fuel pizza oven, the Fyra 12 has a stainless steel door. This helps to keep the heat in and create a more even cook. But, you can’t see in easily although there is a small peep hole. We’ll talk more about the door when we go into cooking on the Fyra.

Also, the chimney cover doubles as a pellet scoop. It makes adding pellets really quick and easy.

Fueling the Ooni Fyra 12

The Ooni Fyra 12 runs off of 100% hardwood pellets.

You can’t put wood chunks or wood chips in there. The firebox is designed to burn wood pellets efficiently for low-maintenance, wood-fired pizza.

The rear chimney is actually the pellet hopper. And, unlike your regular pellet smoker, the Ooni Fyra 12 does not need electricity to run. Instead, it relies on gravity to feed the pellets into the fire as is needed.

You can use any brand of cooking wood pellets in the Fyra 12. DO NOT USE HEATING PELLETS IN THE OONI!

But, if you’ve got a pellet smoker, you can use the same pellets you use in there. Or, see which wood pellets we rate and use.

Because there’s no electricity, you will be manually lighting the pellet fire using a single, natural firestarter. You also control the temperature by adjusting the chimney baffle if needed.

For the high temperatures you need for pizza, most of the time we leave the baffle fully open on the Fyra.

Capacity

The Ooni Fyra 12 is designed to cook 12 inch pizzas.

Unlike Ooni’s gas and multi-fuel pizza ovens, they don’t do a larger Fyra. So, if you’re keen on the wood pellet option, the 12 inch is the only size choice.

Is the 12 inch Ooni big enough?

For most individuals, couples and families, the 12 inch Ooni Fyra will be large enough.

12″ is small enough that the pizzas are pretty easy to work with, stretching out the dough, transferring onto a peel and chopping on a regular cutting board.

They’re also a pretty ideal individual pizza size so everyone can choose their own toppings. But, of course you can throw all the pizza in the middle and have everyone share anyway.

Plus, because you can literally cook a pizza in 60 seconds, you won’t be standing there all night if you’re entertaining or have a lot to feed. So, although with a large family, I was hesitant to go for the smaller 12 inch size, I’ve ended up really happy there was only this option.

Our go-to Ooni Quick Dough recipe makes enough dough for 5-6 12 inch pizzas. For us, that feeds up to 4 adults and 3 kids. If we’re entertaining and need to feed more, we simply make a double batch.

Cooking on the Ooni Fyra 12

If you’ve been reading other reviews about the Ooni Fyra, you’ve probably heard that it takes a while to learn how to cook great pizzas on it.

That’s not what we found at all.

Before using the Ooni, we had almost zero experience making pizza dough and cooking pizzas. Like, we’d thrown premade bases in the oven before but never hand-stretched dough.

The dough took us about 3 attempts to master (and all were totally edible, just a bit hard to stretch and/or holey). Our first pizza was a little overcooked, the second was slightly undercooked and the third and we were 100% converted!

Totally, do not be put off thinking it’s too hard to cook pizzas on the Fyra!

But, here’s how to use the Ooni Fyra

It runs off of the same 100% hardwood pellets you put in your pellet smoker. But, there’s no electricity needed. Instead, the pellets are gravity fed into the firepot which you manually light.

To get it going, you remove the fuel tray and grate. Fill it with pellets (it takes about 2 small handfulls) and place a natural firelighter on top of the pellets. Light it, insert the tray back into the Fyra and give it a few minutes for the fire to get going.

Once it’s burning well, add pellets to the fuel hopper (that’s what looks like the rear chimney) and leave it running with the door on for about 15 minutes to heat up fully.

Once it’s at heat (you can use Ooni’s infrared thermometer to check this but we’ve never use this and haven’t had any issues), it’s time to get a pizza in there.

The only accessory I will say that you absolutely do need with the Ooni Fyra is a pizza peel.

If you don’t have one of these, it’s pretty much impossible to get the uncooked dough and your toppings into the oven. So, load your pizza on the peel, launch it in, pop the door back on and keep an eye on it through the peephole.

After about 20 seconds you’ll need to open the door and rotate the pizza.

There’s two ways to do this. The easiest is by using a turning peel to lift up one side and rotate the pizza while it’s in the oven. But, if you don’t have a turning peel, you can use the regular peel to pull the whole pizza out, rotate with your hand and put it back in again.

Depending on how far you’ve rotated it, you might need to turn the pizza one more time.

We got the best results by doing 3 turns at about 20 seconds each.

Once it’s done, grab your peel and pull the pizza out, slice and enjoy.

A word of warning!

When you open the door on the Fyra, oxygen rushes into the cooking chamber, giving the fire that bit extra and flames will literally shoot out the back of the fuel tray like you can see in the picture above.

It’s completely normal and doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong.

The only thing to be careful of is that you give the Fyra a bit of extra clearance at the back so there’s space for those flames to shoot out without damaging or igniting something flamable.

The Results

Ooni Fyra pizza? Yes, yes, yes… give it to me any day!

I love me a pizza but I only love me a GOOOOOD pizza and the Fyra delivers!

It’s every bit as good as they say. My family loves it, the extended family have now bought Ooni’s as well, and, our friends ask for it when they come around. It’s an all-round hit.

Ooni’s typical neopolitan-style pizza has a thinish base. It comes out crispy yet still soft and not at all dry, the toppings are well-cooked but not overdone and the cheese is melted to perfection with a little bit of crisp depending on how long you cook it.

But, you’re not commited to only using one recipe on the Fyra.

Here’s Ooni’s Chicago-style deep dish pizza recipe, you can do Detroit-style, beer pizza dough or sourdough. The options are pretty endless and we do recommend checking out Ooni’s recipe blog for ideas and inspiration.

Do I Have to Make My Own Dough?

You absolutely can use store-bought pizza bases in the Ooni Fyra.

But, there’s one reason you shouldn’t – homemade bases taste SO MUCH better. They’re not that difficult to do. And, it’s a lot cheaper.

So, use one of Ooni’s dough recipes (we almost always use their Quick Dough). Or, buy premade dough from your local store.

Either way, check out Ooni’s video showing you how to stretch your bases.

What Can You Cook in the Ooni Fyra 12?

You’re not limited to just cooking pizzas in your Ooni Fyra 12. Use a cast iron skillet to grill up a steak, burgers, vegetables, focaccia or even dessert.

Depending on what you’re cooking, you’ll need to adjust your chimney baffle to reduce the temperature and you’re good to go.

Just remember that only dry, bread-based things can sit directly on the pizza stone. Anything else will put moisture into the cordierite, damaging the surface and increasing the risk that your stone will crack over time. So, use your own cast iron cookware or grab Ooni’s with a longer handle.

Check out Ooni’s YouTube channel for a whole range of recipes that can be made in the Fyra 12. Jam-filled doughnuts anyone?

Are Wood Pellets The Best Fuel Choice For Me?

One of the great things about Ooni pizza ovens is that you can choose which type of fuel suits you best.

The Fyra wood pellet pizza oven is ideal if you:

  • Like the idea of wood-fired but don’t want to mess around with logs
  • Want something that’s easy to start and easy to maintain
  • Already have wood pellets because you have a pellet smoker
  • Live somewhere that gets really windy (the gas Koda can blow out easily)

If you were hoping to use small hardwood logs, you need the Ooni Karu instead (read our full review here).

And, if you wanted even easier than pellets, the Ooni Koda 12 runs off of propane gas and still gets amazing results! We’ve used and reviewed that too, click here.

Portability

The Ooni Fyra 12 is marketed as a portable pizza oven and portable it really is.

Weighing just 22 pounds with folding legs, detachable chimneys and being just 29 inches long, it’s easy to put the Fyra in your trunk to take to the beach, a friends house or even tailgating.

Leave the stone in while you’re transporting it, the shell will help to keep it safe. And, you can get a carry bag if you want that extra level of protection against bumps and scratches too.

Optional Extras

There’s a lot of extras you can get for the Ooni Fyra.

So, if you’re an accessory person, kit yourself out! But if you’re not, there’s no need to get anything with your Fyra except for a basic peel and maybe a turning peel.

But, to give you a quick run down on the most popular add-ons there’s:

  • Regular peel – cheaper peel to take pizzas in and out of your oven
  • Perforated peel – slightly more expensive peel that is perforated to let steam and excess flour/semolina out for a crustier finish
  • Infrared thermometer – tells you exactly how hot your oven is (there’s no thermometer)
  • Ooni Fyra 12 carry cover – definitely recommend for easy and safer transportation
  • Pizza oven brush – to make cleaning the stone quick and easy
  • Modular table – this one’s the right size for the Fyra 12 and has hooks for hanging your peels
  • Cutting wheel – faster and easier than using a knife

Watch the video below for a quick run-down of the optional accessories you can use with the Fyra.

Warranty

The Ooni Fyra 12 comes with a 1 year warranty. But, if you register online you’ll extend the warranty to cover 3 years from the date of purchase.

We did actually have a problem with the spring that’s used to adjust the vent. It broke the second time we used it. Contacted Ooni and after sending them some photos, they posted us a replacement part free of charge.

We haven’t had any issues with the replacement part yet. It seems to be working just fine and I’m not sure what caused the original failure.

Cleaning the Ooni Fyra 12

As is detailed in the Fyra quick start guide, to clean it you simply run the oven at high temperature for 30 minutes. That should burn off any food that’s stuck on.

Then, once cooled, you can use the pizza brush (not included) to scrape down the stone, wipe it and flip it over.

This will keep the stone in great condition.

To clean the outside, simply wipe it down with a clean rag when cool.

Although it’s not mentioned in the guide, we do also wipe out the chimney and firebox to clear out any built-up soot. This doesn’t need to be done after each use though. Ours probably gets done about every 4th cook depending on how it looks.

Pros and Cons of the Ooni Fyra 12

What We Like About the Ooni Fyra 12

  • Cooks INCREDIBLE pizza
  • Isn’t that difficult to use
  • Affordable
  • High quality build
  • Running on wood pellets, it’s so much easier than using logs. And, we’ve already got them sitting around for the pellet smoker so don’t need to buy and store extra fuel
  • Fire doesn’t blow out easily if you live somewhere windy (unlike the gas-powered Ooni Koda)
  • Don’t need electricity to run it
  • The oven looks great
  • Small enough and lightweight enough that you can take it on the go

What We Don't Like About the Ooni Fyra 12

Our Verdict on the Ooni Fyra 12 Review

Pellet-fired pizzas are where it’s at if you’re keen on using real wood but don’t want to be messing around with logs, stoking the fire. And, Ooni have done a hands down amazing job of designing the Fyra 12 to be really pretty darn perfect at what it does.

Not just a pretty backyard feature, the Fyra 12 is easy to use, lightweight enough to take camping, tailgating or to a friends house, and really truly does make incredible pizza.

You don’t need electricity. It’s gravity fed hopper means the fire takes care of itself while you focus on the toppings. And, the 12 inch size is large enough for most families while being easy enough to handle.

Perfect for backyard use, RV living or hauling around with you, the Ooni Fyra is a really amazing oven. It brings a lot of fun to dinner time. And, saves a decent amount of cash on takeout too.

Specs for the Ooni Fyra 12 Wood Pellet Pizza Oven

Barbecue type: Wood pellet pizza oven

Barbecue material: Cold-rolled, insulated, powder-coated carbon shell with stainless interior

Stone material: 10mm cordierite

Cooking capacity: 1 x 12″ pizza

Heat Range: Up to 950°F

Fuel type: Wood pellets

Price guide: $$

Model: Fyra 12

Assembled size (in): 29.1 D x 15.4 W x 28.5 H

Weight: 22 lbs

Warranty: 1 year that can be extended to 3 with registration

FAQs About the Ooni Fyra 12

Is the OONI FYRA worth it?

Absolutely! The Ooni Fyra 12 cooks exceptional pizza, is easy to use, doesn’t require electricity and lets you bake wood-fired pizza without having to touch a log. Plus, you’ll never buy pizza takeout again!

Does OONI FYRA 12 come with pellets?

The Ooni Fyra 12 does not come with pellets. You can buy the Ooni ones with your pizza oven. But, the Fyra will work with any high quality 100% hardwood cooking pellet, these are our favorites!

Do I need to use Ooni pellets in the Ooni Fyra?

The Ooni Fyra will work with any high quality cooking wood pellet including Traeger pellets. Good quality is important to prevent excess smoke, soot and ash. We regularly use Traeger’s pellets in the Fyra. But, any of the brands listed in our best pellets for smoking review are ideal.

Can you burn wood in Ooni FYRA?

The Ooni Fyra 12 runs off of hardwood pellets only. You can’t add wood logs, chips or chunks because the firebox isn’t designed to handle them.

If you want a wood burning Ooni, it’s the Karu 12 that you’re after.

Can you use wood chips in Ooni FYRA?

You can only use hardwood cooking pellets in the Ooni Fyra 12. That means no wood chips, wood chunks or logs. The firebox just isn’t designed to handle them.

But, in our opinion, you don’t need wood chips in the Fyra. The wood pellets will give you real wood-fired flavor because they are 100% real hardwood. See our favorite wood pellets for the Ooni Fyra 12 here.

Can I use charcoal in my OONI FYRA 12?

That’s a no for using charcoal in the Ooni Fyra 12. It’s designed to burn hardwood pellets only. If you want a charcoal-based pizza oven, it’s the Ooni Karu you’re looking at. Read our full review here.

How long does it take to cook a pizza on the Ooni Fyra?

Heating up the stone in the Fyra takes about 15 minutes. After that, you’re looking at 60-90 seconds per pizza.

Can I use the Ooni Fyra in the rain?

Yes. The fire inside the Fyra is covered so it will keep burning if it starts raining and the insulated shell will protect it a little from temperature drops. But, your pizza will get wet on the way in and out of the oven so, yes, you can use it but it’s not ideal.

Can I use my OONI FYRA indoors?

No. All Ooni pizza ovens, including the Fyra 12 are designed for outside use only. That’s a no for using them in your garage too, there’s simply not enough ventillation to be safe for yourself and your family.

How do you stop the Ooni Fyra?

Once you’ve cooked your last pizza, simply go and eat it and leave your Ooni Fyra to burn through any remaining pellets.

How long does it take for the Fyra to cool down?

After the fire’s been out for about 30 minutes, the Ooni Fyra should be cool enough to move safely.

Can I store my Ooni outside?

Yes, you can store your Fyra outside. But, even though it’s excellent quality, the sun and rain will damage it over time so we do recommend using the Fyra Carry Cover to protect it. Ooni recommend storing the Fyra inside in really bad weather or for extended storage (but who’d be doing that and missing out on pizza…?)

Does the Ooni Fyra create a wood-fired flavor?

There’s a slight smoky flavor in pizza cooked on the Ooni Fyra 12. But, the pizzas only in there for about 60 seconds so it’s not really long enough to impart much wood-fired flavor.

Does the Ooni Fyra come with a pizza peel?

The Ooni Fyra 12 does not come with a pizza peel. You’ll need to grab a peel separately. Launching pizzas without one is very, very hard if not impossible

What accessories do you need with the Ooni Fyra 12?

You’ll 100% need at least 1 pizza peel (2 is handy if you want to get a bit of a production line going). And, a turning peel makes the cooking easier and faster but isn’t necessary.