If you want to take your pizza-making skill to the next level, no other oven comes close to Ooni for domestic use. However, like any other piece of machinery, it’s not uncommon to run into issues with your Ooni.
Sometimes it’s the oven’s fault, but most of the time, it’s the users who aren’t doing something correctly. The most common problems Ooni owners run into would be inconsistent temperature, clogged burners, yellow flame, or worse, burnt pizza.
The good news is most of these issues can be easily resolved by following a few simple steps.
In this post, I’ll be discussing the most common problems Ooni users run into as well as troubleshooting tips, so you can get back to cooking amazing pizzas in no time.
Problem 1: Ooni Pizza Oven Not Getting Hot Enough
Wondering why is your Ooni pizza oven not getting hot enough? Well, here’s what I recommend doing if your Ooni oven won’t go hotter than 500 degrees F:
If your Ooni Fyra is not getting hot enough, then:
- Increase the preheating time and make sure the door is completely closed during the preheating period. Otherwise, the heat will escape.
- Ensure the hopper lid is closed when you are not adding pellets to prevent the heat from escaping.
- Don’t forget to remove the chimney cap before lighting the oven.
- Make sure the chimney vent is open.
- Windy conditions can also prevent the cooking surface from getting hot enough. Try to move your oven to a sheltered area or wait until the winds calm down a bit. It’s not recommended to use a wood-fired oven on a windy day.
And as for Ooni Koda, you got to…
- Make sure that you have enough gas in your tank and that it’s turned on.
- Check the burners for signs of damage or wear, especially if you’ve recently moved your pizza oven or dropped or bumped into it while moving it around.
- Make sure there’s no moisture inside the oven before firing it up.
- If the above methods don’t make any difference, then try this:
- Turn off the oven
- Unscrew the gas regulator from the propane tank
- Wait for 5 seconds, and screw it back, making sure it’s tight.
- Turn it back on, slowly turning the control dial until you hear a click sound. This should do the trick. And if this doesn’t work either, call Ooni customer care.
Problem 2: Ooni Pizza Oven Won’t Stay Lit
Ooni oven turning on after ignition, but the flames go out when you release the knob? Flame maintenance is a fairly common issue with Ooni Koda and Ooni Karu. I have done some digging, and it’s likely happening due to the following reasons:
- The propane tank is not full. The solution, in this case, is quite self-explanatory.
- The thermocouple is not tight enough. Try a 1/4 turn after the finger is tight.
- You are not holding the knob long enough. Try holding it for 5-10 seconds to bring the thermocouple to temperature.
- The FSD valve is not tight enough. Now, there’s an easy, albeit time-consuming, solution for this. But before I tell you the solution, remember that doing so yourself may void the warranty unless you’re explicitly told to do so by the company.
So, if your oven is still within the warranty period, talk to customer care first before applying the following solution:
- Make sure the oven is completely cool.
- Turn it off and then disconnect it from the gas source.
- Remove the baking board.
- Collapse the legs and turn the oven upside down,
- Take the bottom panel off by taking the 12 screws off using the triangle screwdriver.
- Find the FSD hex fitting (brass fitting).
- Use an 8mm wrench to loosen the fitting by turning it clockwise.
- Then re-tighten by turning it counter-clockwise. Don’t over-tighten.
- Put the base back on.
Now…the moment of truth. Before firing up the oven, make sure to test for gas leaks. Here’s how to do it:
- Turn the gas control dial to the OFF position.
- Secure the hose at the gas terminal.
- Next, open the gas source. If you hear a hissing sound, cut off the gas supply immediately, as it indicates a gas leak.
Try applying soapy water or a leak detection spray to the connection between the gas supply, hose, and terminal to fix the leak.
Next up, slowly open up the gas supply. Once you notice bubbles in the liquid, turn off the gas supply and tighten the connections. If this doesn’t solve the leakage problem, turn off the supply and call for professional help.
Don’t try to repair the leak yourself unless you know exactly what you are doing to avoid a nasty accident.
Problem 3: Dirty Baking Board
The baking board is the part that sits on top of the oven and acts as a barrier between your food and the heating elements. The cordierite stone baking board in your Ooni pizza oven can withstand high temperatures and evenly cook the pie from all sides.
If you notice an atrocious amount of debris on the baking board, it may be time to clean it.
The cleaning method depends on the kind of dirt you’re dealing with.
To clean the food debris stuck to the pizza stone, Ooni recommends running the oven at max temp for 30 minutes. Then turn it off. This should burn off all the debris.
Lastly, use the Ooni pizza oven brush to scrape off whatever gunk is left. You can also use a paper towel, sponge, or dry cloth to wipe the surface after this. You can also use your pizza peel to scrape off the debris.
Important note: DO NOT clean the baking board with soapy water. The stone is porous, so soap and water can get trapped inside. This can positively ruin the taste of your pizza crust.
If the debris is too stubborn, wait till the oven cools down completely. Remove it gently and then flip it over. Doing so will expose the clean side and allow the underside to clean itself when it gets super hot.
Flip the stone before lighting up the oven whenever you want to use your pizza stone. This will ensure that the clean side is facing up and ready for action.
Problem 4: Inconsistent Heat or Uneven Cooking
Maintaining a consistent temperature in a wood-fired oven is never an easy task. Apart from the quality of the wood itself, airflow, and flame management can also affect the oven’s temperature.
If you have a gas-powered Ooni and still facing the same issue, the issue probably lies with inadequate ventilation.
In the past, I have been guilty of opening the oven door too frequently to check the food. This may have also led to heat escaping from the front of the oven. I’ve also discovered that keeping the oven on an uneven surface can also affect the flow of oxygen.
Lastly, the problem could be the dough thickness and not the oven. If you are shaping the dough in a way that it’s thicker on one side, it will inevitably lead to uneven browning.
I’d suggest doing the following to avoid inconsistent temperature issues:
- Use the right size of hardwood or high-quality wood pellets to maintain consistent heat.
- Check for adequate ventilation around the oven to maintain consistent heat distribution.
- Resist the urge to open the oven door too frequently
- Rotate the pizza during cooking to avoid hot spots and achieve even browning.
- Stretch/roll out the dough evenly.
Problem 5: Pizza Sticking to the Peel of the Ooni Pizza Oven
Honestly, this is my worst nightmare. I hate it when my pizza sticks to the peel! This is a common problem, and it usually occurs because there’s too much moisture on the surface of your dough.
The moisture forms condensation on the peel surface due to the temperature difference between the peel and the dough. Thankfully, there are a few ways to combat this problem, like a pro.
1. Use Two Peels
This might sound “too extra,” but trust me; it will save you a lot of time and frustration. By using two peels, you’ll ensure that your pizza won’t stick to either one. The first peel will be used to transfer the dough from your work surface onto the hot stone in the oven.
Then, once it bakes, simply use the second peel to turn the pizza in the oven and retract it. This way, the prep peel will always remain at room temperature, which would minimize condensation. It is none other than the condensation that causes the dough to stick to the peel.
2. Use the Right Peel Dust
There’s nothing wrong with using plain flour for dusting the pizza peel. However, if even a generous sprinkling of flour fails to keep the dough from adhering to the peel, switch to cornmeal.
While it does make releasing the dough easier, it can leave a gritty residue on the bottom of the pizza. So, I personally like using semolina, and it does the job perfectly.
Problem 6: Pizza Getting Burnt in the Ooni Oven
Having an Ooni was a game changer for me, but I have to admit, it does have a steep learning curve to it. I have lost count of the pizzas I burnt to oblivion before finally getting the hang of it. The solutions are simpler than you think, trust me.
Here are a few tried and tested ways to avoid burning pizzas in your Ooni oven:
- Don’t push the pizza all the way back (towards the flame guard) while launching it.
- Rotate the pizza 180 degrees every 15-20 seconds.
- Preheat the oven on full blast, and once the pizza is in the oven, turn the heat down all the way.
- Use an infrared thermometer to monitor the temperature.
Problem 7: Yellow Flame/ Flame Going Out Quickly
If you’re lately noticing weak or yellow flame on one side and blue flame on the other side, it could be due to one or more of the following reasons:
Misaligned Oven Parts
The flame guards need to be aligned properly and in sync with each other.
Check if there are any gaps between the flame guards and oven walls. If there are, this could affect the flow of oxygen inside the oven, which may cause yellow flames on one side.
Carbon Monoxide Buildup
You can check for carbon monoxide buildup by using a CO2 detector. If the reading is above 800 ppm, then your Ooni needs to be serviced.
The main reason for carbon monoxide buildup is the lack of oxygen which leads to partial combustion.
This could happen when the air vents are blocked or not functioning properly. I strongly recommend calling for professional help if you suspect carbon monoxide buildup.
This is a deadly gas and can cause serious health issues if not dealt with properly.
Inadequate Gas Supply
An insufficient gas supply can produce a weak yellow flame and a hello lot of smoke. To avoid this, first, check if the tank has enough gas and if it’s properly connected. Refill the tank if needed.
If the tank is full, check your gas tank for leaks by using soapy water or a leak detection solution in a spray bottle. If you find any leaks, call a professional to fix the issue.
A clogged or dirty burner can also cause the flames to turn yellow. Dirt buildup in the burner can keep your oven from getting hot enough, thus reducing the baking time.
It can also produce a lot of smoke and more dirt, which will be hard to clean. So, make sure to thoroughly clean the burner once a week to keep your oven working properly.
Almost half the yellow flame-related incidents happen due to the wrong type of gas being used in the oven. If your Ooni model only uses propane gas, the only alternative can be butane. Unknowingly using natural gas can cause the flames to turn yellow.
Yellow flames are detrimental to your oven’s performance, which can lead to an increase in baking time. Or worse, it can increase carbon monoxide emissions. So make sure to keep your oven clean, check for gas leakage from time to time, and use the right gas to ensure smooth operations.
If the yellow flame issue still persists, contact Ooni Support.
Ooni Pizza Oven Troubleshooting Tips
|The oven won’t stay lit
|Gas tank is empty/ Gas valve is closed/ IIgnition malfunction
|– Refill gas tank
– Open gas valve fully
– Check/replace ignition system
– Try holding the knob for 5-10 seconds to bring the thermocouple to temperature.
|The oven won’t get hot enough
Oven not preheated fully/ Low gas flow/ Strong winds/ Ventilation blocked
|– Preheat for 30 mins minimum
– Ensure the gas valve is fully open
– Shelter oven from wind
– Clear oven vent obstruction
– Make sure the oven is properly vented.
|Dirty Baking Board
|Moisture left in the stone/ food debris and burnt toppings
|– Clean the baking board with an oven brush or paper towel.
– Avoid using water to clean the stone
|Inconsistent heat or uneven cooking
|Oven not level/ Hotspots on stone/ Dough too thick in parts
|– Place oven on a flat surface Rotate pizza periodically
– Stretch dough evenly
|Pizza Getting Burnt
|Oven too hot/ the pizza is too close to the flames
|– Rotate the pizza every 15 seconds or so
-Don’t place the pizza too close to the flame
– Turn the flame down a bit once the oven is fully preheated at max temp.
|Pizza sticking to the stone or steel.
|Condensation on the peel surface due to the temperature difference between the peel and the dough.
|– Let the dough come to room temp before placing it on the peel.
– Use two peels, one for the prep and one for launching, rotating, and removing the baked pizza.
|The poor flame quality or yellow flame
|Blocked burner or vents/ Misaligned parts/wrong fuel/ carbon monoxide buildup
|– Clear all vents and burner
– Realign oven parts
– Use the right fuel
– Check for carbon monoxide buildup
Ooni Pizza Oven is one of the best pizza ovens available on the market today. It’s made from high-quality materials and designed with precision and attention to detail. However, even the best products can suffer from defects or malfunctions at some point during their lifecycle.
If your Ooni Pizza Oven isn’t working properly, relax and take this guide’s help to diagnose and troubleshoot the problem. Happy baking!