Ooni Karu 12g Review: 2024’s Must-Have or Just Hype?

Ooni Karu 12g Review: 2024’s Must-Have or Just Hype?

Price Range: $$$
Fuel Type: Wood and Gas
Oven Type: Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven

👩‍💼Ideal For:

  • Outdoor home chefs
  • Folks who prefer multiple fuel options
  • Authentic Neapolitan-style pizza lovers with an aromatic smoky flavor
  • Good-looking pizza oven with necessary contemporary features


  • Not ideal for backyard pizzaiolos looking to bake large pizzas
  • Karu 12G has a steep learning curve.
  • Cooking with wood with lots of extra work, including post-cooking cleanup

My Final Verdict with a rating (Out of 5)

The Karu series has always been my ultimate choice for the best dual-fuel pizza oven. While the Karu 12 had its merits, it did have some significant drawbacks. That’s why I’m thrilled that Ooni has addressed those issues with the new Karu 12G.

This improved version of the popular Karu 12 delivers the same exceptional performance. But it rocks exciting new features to enhance the joy and satisfaction of pizza-making.

The powdered coating on the Karu 12 G’s shell is a noticeable improvement. It replaces the shiny stainless steel of its predecessor. This gives it a more appealing and captivating appearance and adds a touch of sophistication compared to the industrial look of the Karu 12.

I particularly love the larger fuel box on the Karu 12G. With its increased capacity, it holds more wood chunks, reducing the need for frequent fuel replenishment. Hence, you get a smoother and more uninterrupted cooking process.

Another significant upgrade is the addition of a glass front door, which is a game-changer. It provides clear visibility of the pizza’s baking progress. So, it’s much easier to monitor without constantly opening the oven.

Overall, the Karu 12G feels just right and offers a near-perfect pizza-making experience. On a rating scale of 5, it unquestionably deserves a solid 4.8. It’s a great choice if you love to entertain friends and family in your backyard or garden.

🎭Compare to Similar Products

  Karu 12G Karu 12 bertello grande 16
Fuel Options Wood and Gas Wood and Gas Wood and Gas
Cooking Space 13.25 inches 13.2 inches 16 inches
Coating High-temperature Powder Coating Stainless Steel High-temperature Powder Coating
Temperature Range Up to 932°F (500°C) Up to 932°F (500°C) Up to 900°F (482°C)
Fuel Capacity Large fuel box Small fuel box Extra large fuel box
Additional Features Temperature Sensor, ClearView™ Glass Door n/a n/a
Weight 34.2lbs 26.4lbs ‎62.9 lbs
Dimensions 29.7 x 28.7 x 16.4 in 31.5 x 30.3 x 15.7 in 30 x 22 x 17 in
Warranty 5 years 5 years n/a


Who Do I Recommend For?

Ooni Karu 12g Review

Wood-fired pizza lovers 一 if you love authentic thin-crust pizza, the Karu 12G is your best bet. This oven delivers a lot of heat to crisp your pizza base while infusing delicious smoke flavor. It has a large fuel box to hold plenty of wood chunks at once for fast cooking.

Dual fuel option seekers 一 hybrid pizza ovens support cooking with the right fuel at the right time. Not everyone wants to work up their appetite before baking their favorite pizzas. So, it’s great to have the option to switch your wood-burning oven to a gas-fuel version. So, depending on the available fuel source or cooking style, the Karu 12G will always have your back.

Premium backyard pizza oven hunters 一 The Karu 12G screams excellent craftsmanship, from its shell to the door’s handles. Unlike the Karu 12, this model features a high-class powder coating. It’s beautiful and looks great in any garden or backyard while increasing its shelf life. Also, the Borosilicate glass on the front door is equipped with the latest-gen ClearView™ technology to keep it free from soot and ash.

Who I Don’t Recommend For?

Large pizza bakers 一 The Karu 12 handles most tasks, except baking larger pizzas. As the name implies, this unit is meant for churning 12-inch pizzas. There’s no way you’ll be making 14-inch or larger in the Karu 12G.

My First Impression


Structure-wise, the Karu 12G looks way better than the Karu 12. It feels more premium and eye-catching. However, it’s compact and lightweight. It’s easy to carry in and out if need be. So, it’s a great choice if you love to take your cooking outside, camping trips, etc.


This unit is made with the finest stainless steel and well insulated with ceramic insulation. The body has a black powder coat that offers an interesting visual while ensuring the oven is safer to touch. Plus, it helped prevent tempering colors, making the Karu 12 look rusty.

The most impressive upgrade is the borosilicate glass door. It’s made with cutting-edge ClearView Technology. I don’t really care about the science. I just love that I won’t spend time wiping off soot and ash on the glass door.

Furthermore, the handle is big for easy grip. Also, there’s a magnet to keep the door properly shut. This way, you don’t have to double-check the door to avoid heat leaking away.


The Karu 12G comes with everything you need to set it up. Unlike the Koda series, this unit requires assembly, which takes about an hour. It was pretty straightforward, and there was no need for a helping hand.


Ooni included a Torx key, which I used to fasten screws. It’s best to start with the oven flat on the table. It’s much easier to fit the door. Then you can flip and extend the three retractable legs.

In the box, you’ll find two stacked metal baskets, a fuel grate, and a fuel tray. Slide them to the back before installing the baking stone.

Next is the long chimney that goes on top of the oven and stays in place with two screws. Now, you’re left with the extra large hatch door that would sit right over the fuel tray on the grill’s back.

Baking Stone

Karu 12G arrives with a thick 15mm Cordierite Baking Stone. I’m impressed with its thickness. Cooking with thicker pizza stones means a smaller temperature drop when you launch your pizza dough.

The upside?

The pizza base gets that searing temperature to crisp the crust in a matter of seconds. Plus, this thick pizza stone recovers faster, so I start preparing to toss the next pizza in less than 5 minutes.

Made of cordierite, this baking board has a porous surface. That means moisture won’t build under the pizza dough, which is usually responsible for a soggy crust.

Fuel Options

This is perhaps why everyone is raving about the Karu series. The Karu 12G offers multi-fuel cooking options. In its standard form, this pizza oven is a wood-fired unit. That means it runs on wood and charcoal to make authentic Neapolitan-style pizza.

However, you can purchase a conversion kit separately. This allows you to cook with gas instead of wood. Not all pizza ovens can do this or at least do it flawlessly like the Karu models.


The Karu 12G has a spacious 13.27″ x 13.27″ cooking space. This is plenty of room to bake an iconic 12-inch pizza without feeling cooped up. Also, you can fit in smaller cookware to roast vegetables, make breakfast and whip up dessert.

Other features

Unlike the older Karu 12, this unit has a temperature dial on the side. This is a substantial upgrade most Karu 12 users complained about.

Other features

With the built-in thermometer, you don’t have to constantly open the door to know the amount of heat inside the oven. It’s not only stressful, but it also leads to heat loss and longer preheating time.

What Makes Karu 12G Special?

This new-selling pizza oven stands out for its upgraded features, multi-fuel options, and reasonable price point.

This model showcases outstanding engineering to deliver unparalleled wood-burning baking performance. Its simplified approach to wood-fired pizza-making experience allows novice chefs to create stunning pizzas.

Of course, there’s a learning curve, like every other wood-fired model.

However, its extra large fuel box, superior insulation, magnetic glass door, and integrated thermometer make it easier to get the hang of this traditional process.

What I Like About Karu 12G

Wide temperature range 一 The Karu 12G, under the right conditions, gets hot up to 900 degrees. Its high heat generation is essential to char pizza bases and crisp crusts and keeps the center tender. Aside from that, it offers unbeatable cooking flexibility. For delicate recipes, I knock down the heat for slow cooking.

Powder-coating shell 一 The old Karu 12 lacked this fantastic coating. After a while, it starts looking rusty because of the tempering colors. The powder-coating is an innovative upgrade that keeps your oven looking pristine at all times with less cleaning requirement. Plus, you don’t get severe burns when you mistakenly touch it like its previous model.

Transparent door 一 with metal doors, I’m cooking blind. I need to open the door to keep track of my pizza-baking progress. So, you understand why I’m all over this unit for its glass door. I can easily peek at the pizza and determine whether it needs to open the door to spin it. Saves me a whole lot of stress.

My Ooni Karu 12G Complaints

No accessories included 一 it would be great to see Ooni include a pizza peel, turner, cover, or something with the oven. You don’t get any bonus for spending hundreds of dollars on this pizza oven.

Cleaning 一 once I’m done baking true Neapolitan-style pizzas with that favorite smoke flavor, there’s a price I’ve to pay. Karu 12G comes with a lot of components that require cleaning. I’ve to clean out the soot and empty the ashes. It’s not a tedious process, but it eats up my time. So, it’s a good thing I can convert this unit to its gas version – almost zero cleanup.

Testing The Karu 12G: How does it perform?

Fuel Performance

The Karu 12G has the same burning spirit as the Karu 12. This model runs on both wood and gas. While I got extreme temperatures up to 850 degrees F on both devices, this latest one is faster. It took about 15 minutes, which is roughly 5 minutes faster than its predecessor.

Cooking with wood or gas is the same. The Karu 12G arrived in the wood-burning version. However, the manufacturer sells a separate gas conversion kit to power the Karu 12G with gas.

This newest unit boasts better wood cooking performance than most Ooni 12-inch wood-burning models. It comes with a significantly larger fuel box. There’s more room for more wood to cook longer without worrying about feeding the rolling flame.

Karu 12G uses less gas than the previous model. That’s because of its newly-improved gas burner and advanced insulation system.

Output Power

Karu 12G puts out a lot of heat and is effectively trapped within the dome. So, this oven can reach up to 950 degrees F faster than its older brother.

Gas is the most convenient option to get the job done. In about 15 minutes, the center of the pizza stone is 800 degrees F hot. This meets the necessary criteria to achieve the perfect crust.

However, with wood and a bit of extra work, I can get this oven to scary temperatures, up to 950 degrees F, in 25 – 30 minutes. This oven generates a lot of heat. So, knowing how to manage this high heat is important to achieve mouthwatering results.

Cooking Performance

If you want a traditional wood-fired cooking experience, the Karu 12G is a surefire. This model cooks well on wood and ensures every pizza slice is infused with the unique smoke flavor.

Cooking Performance

Once the pizza stone is super hot, this oven knocks out pizzas with a crispy crust, beautifully charred edges, and a tender center. And, of course, piping-hot bubbling cheese.

I still get fantastic restaurant-style pizzas with gas that my cousins won’t stop talking and fighting over. But they can tell that the natural smoky taste is missing.

On average, this in-demand oven cranks out the perfect stone-baked pie in 1 – 3 minutes. For the next pizza, it takes less than 5 minutes for this oven to recover. This is possible because of its cutting-edge insulation and transparent door that ensures you don’t lose all of the heat.

Always measure the center of the pizza stone with an Infrared thermometer before launching the pizza dough. The built-in temperature dial is always a measure of the ambient heat. This only gives you the idea that the oven is getting hot. It’s not a great cue to launch your pizza.

What Else Can You Cook?

Contrary to what you might think, pizza ovens are perfect for creating a sumptuous range of culinary dishes in your backyard.

On many occasions, I’ve cooked succulent baked salmon filets, juicy chicken thighs, and exquisite salsas. You can cook more inside the Karu 12G using a cast iron skillet or Grizzler.

The Ooni baking stone is great for cooking dry dough-based recipes. Avoid cooking veggies or meats on it. It’s best to use heavy-duty pans like cast iron to withstand extreme temperatures.

What About Other People’s Opinions?

  • According to most customers’ reviews, Ooni has incredible customer service. They were rated 5 stars for being readily available to resolve any issues promptly, from replacing broken pizza stones to providing insights on pizza preparation.
  • Thousands of buyers said they were impressed by its superior pizza-making performance. They raved about their crisped crust, charred toppings, and delectable smoke flavor.
  • Some users had purchased the Karu 12G because of its multi-fuel ability. They enjoyed being able to cook on wood during weekend parties and switch to gas to meet their mid-week cravings.
  • One particular user said he went for the Karu 12G instead of the old Karu 12 because of its eye-popping aesthetics.

Coupons, Trials, Warranties, Shipping, and Ooni Support

Shipping: Ooni offers free shipping within the United States except Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico. However, delivery outside the U.S. will attract customs duties and import taxes.

Return Policy: Ooni allows you to try this oven for 60 days and return it if you dislike it. The manufacturer will repurchase it, no question asked.

Warranty: The Karu 12G is backed by a standard 1-year warranty. However, if you register your purchase within 60 days of receipt, Ooni will extend the warranty up to 5 years. Ooni, not you, will take full responsibility in case of manufacturer defects.

Quick Things You Know About The About Ooni Karu 12G

Ease of use

Karu 12G features a simple design like its older brother Karu 12. So, it scores high on ease of use. This unit’s extra-large fuel box makes starting and building fires a breeze. Also, it holds more wood or charcoal for a longer burning time without refueling soon.

Using wood takes a while before it becomes second nature. So, it might seem like the Karu is a lot of work or challenging. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll make the most memorable pizzas in this unit.

If you hate the stress of loading and feeding a fire, there’s a gas option. This unit works well with a large propane tank or gas line for a hassle-free pizza-making process.

Cleaning and maintenance

Cooking with wood delivers the most authentic pizza, but there’s much cleaning to do. Except for the glass door, soot builds every other component. You’ll have to wipe them clean with paper soaked in soapy water. Also, you might have to detach the chimney and clean it thoroughly.

If you hate this long cleaning process, cooking with gas is best. This mode does not generate lots of smoke or ashes. The only part that gets dirty is the pizza stone due to spills. It’s easy to clean. Just flip the stone with the dirty side facing down so it burns off and doesn’t affect your food taste.

Upgrades, accessories, and attachments

Pizza oven cart/table

I recommend purchasing one of Ooni’s pizza carts if you need a dedicated outdoor counter. They are available in different sizes and storage options/capacities. They are made of carbon steel, which makes them durable enough to withstand extreme heat and harsh outdoor conditions. Plus, they come with wheels for quick and easy transportation.

Ooni karu 12g cover

Pizza ovens are meant to live outdoors. However, it’s important to protect your device properly. Using a waterproof cover will help prolong your oven’s shelf life.

Ooni Karu 12g Related FAQ

How to turn on Ooni Karu 12G?

With gas, it’s straightforward. Turn the dial counterclockwise and hold until you hear a clicking sound. For wood, it’s quite different. You need one to two fire starters before throwing 5-inch wood or charcoal to build a fire.

What size peel for Ooni Karu 12G?

The Karu 12G has a spacious 13.25-inch cooking space. It’s roomy for baking yummy 12-inch pies. So, the ideal peel size to use is 12 inches.

Is the one Karu 12G worth it?

If making authentic Italian pizza with wood-fired flavor is what you want, then the Karu 12G is worth every penny. Plus, this valuable pizza oven works with wood or gas and creates intense heat for unrivaled cooking flexibility. This unit cooks pizzas and non-pizza dishes to juicy perfection.

Can you use Ooni Karu 12g indoors?

Karu 12G is a great backyard pizza oven. It’s meant for outdoor cooking alone. If you prefer the comfort of cooking indoors, consider the Ooni Volt 12 pizza oven.

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