What makes the best pizza oven? I’m here in Williamsburg on a rooftop with Chef Mike Fadem of Ops Pizzeria. Chef, welcome. Thank you. We’re here to test two of the best portable pizza ovens on the market. We have the Roccbox, and the Ooni. So the Ooni Pizza Oven
goes for about $275, and then the Roccbox
goes for a whopping $700. So Chef, what makes a
really good pizza oven? We want it to get really hot, and we want it to stay really hot. Kind of keep that heat going, so we can kind of keep cooking pizzas very consistently. The way the heat cooks, so
that we cook the bottom, the top all around. You know, these both have stone bottoms which is really great for cooking the bottom of the pizza really well. So what heat source do you like to typically use for pizza oven? Traditionally like what
we do with the restaurant is we use wood, the way wood cooks things is really consistent,
gives a lot of ambient heat to the whole oven. Which kind of lets it cook
really consistently and evenly. I believe both of them sort of work on different heat sources. You could do propane and then you can use these wood pellets. I honestly don’t think it’s
gonna be much of a difference but I do think it’s cool that you have the option of using both. But I’m really interested to see how the wood pellets work out. So both these pizza ovens claim to get up to 932 degrees
which is very high in heat and it’s very specific. Does that really matter? I think it’s probably
some kind of rule book number for Neapolitan pizza. ‘Cause they definitely in Naples traditionally cook pizzas crazy high temperatures and really fast. Let’s start lighting these up. Yeah, let’s get ’em hot. Since we love comparisons, we’re gonna see which oven
gets to 932 degrees faster. So starting with the Ooni, so this comes with this
little handy dandy scooper. So we just load this tray up right? Which I will do and I’ll… Here we go. Then we have the starter
that goes straight on top. Okay. We are burning, we’re ready. So moving onto the
Roccbox, same idea right? Yeah I think basically we just fill up this back chamber with these pellets. Yep. And then we have the starter again. I’m gonna light it up. All right, we’re hot. Chef, it’s been about 17 minutes since we lit the ovens. For fun, which oven do you think won? In the heat competition.
In the heat race? You know, I’d probably say the Ooni because of this door. Okay, so–
Keeping it closed. Kind of like trapping in all the heat. Uh-huh, so the Ooni says that it gets hot within 20 minutes and then the Roccbox about 20 to 30. Now we’re gonna take a look at what the actual temperature reading is. So I have the deck
reading about 700 degrees. Wow. Okay 700 degrees. – [Mike] Very hot. – [Esther] So this is ready to roll. – [Mike] Yeah this one’s hot, very hot. And then let’s take a look at this one. We have the deck reading about 380 or so. Oh, so we were right. This does take a lot longer. – [Mike] Yeah, this one’s taking longer. – [Esther] It’s getting
there though right? Yeah, it’s definitely getting hot. So yeah I really like the design of this oven on the inside, here you can really see how the
fire’s going all over the top of the deck so it’s gonna
kind of cook the pizzas on top really nicely and consistently. Really similar to a real
Neapolitan wood oven. And the Roccbox, I’m not really seeing the same kind of fire happening. It’s kind of just smoking out and kind of doesn’t even
look like it’s on right now. I’m not sure how much
longer it’s gonna take us to get all the way up to heat. So Chef we had a little bit of trouble with the Rocckbox in
the heat element, right? It just didn’t get as hot. Yeah it’s definitely taking much longer than the Ooni, the temperature
is still pretty low. But we’re trying to get it up high enough. The chamber for the wood doesn’t seem quite as well designed as for the Ooni. It’s not bringing the heat up. Thank you so much for
bringing your special dough from Ops Pizzeria. Can you tell me a little bit about this dough versus
a typical pizza dough? Instead of using yeast, we
use a sourdough starter. So does it cook differently then? It does yeah, it definitely benefits from a little longer bake. So that you bake out a
little more of the moisture. Should we do like a little sample to see how the ovens are working? Yeah let’s do that. We have some smaller pieces of dough here, and we’re gonna– – [Esther] Ooh this dough feels nice too. Use plenty of flour or it’ll just stick ’cause of this heat. (upbeat music) Cool, all right. – [Esther] Ta-da. – [Mike] Cool. – [Esther] What do you think so far? Yeah so, structurally, they seem baked. I like this, the bottom crust on the Ooni. This is what it’s supposed
to look like right? Yeah it looks nice, it looks like it was really cooked and firm. This one, less so. There’s less color, you can
kinda feel the crust less. – [Esther] Yeah, and it’s kind of flimsy. Neither of them are really
getting great top heat right now, I think maybe if we’re loading the pizza in and kind of trying to feed the fire a little bit at the same time
we might have a better chance of getting some better heat on top. It’s a beautiful dough, by the way. Oh, thank you. Can I taste?
Yeah, please do. This just has a better crust on it. – [Both] Yeah. Meaning that this is a lot hotter, right? – [Mike] Yes, definitely. So we’re building pizza. We’re gonna have you
shape and form the pizza so that they’re super even and uniform because mine might not look as good. Chef, so how long did it take
you to perfect this dough? Yeah, it probably took almost two years. Wow. To really get it figured out. Maybe a little more. Our dough is a little more delicate so we kind of treat it
in a very specific way. Yeah, so these look pretty good. A thick sauce. – [Esther] Nice, beautiful. It’s important not to
put too much sauce on, ’cause it’s not gonna be
in that oven very long. And then we’ll probably do
a little bit of olive oil. Little bit of salt just in case. – [Esther] Nice. Now we’re ready to go. (upbeat music) Okay. They’re in. Oh wow, that looks like
it’s already cooked too. Best way to rotate?
I’d say kind of like pull it out and maybe just– Oh got it.
Give it a turn. – [Esther] Wow that looks
pretty good already. – [Mike] It looks Neapolitan for sure. Chef how’s that one look? – [Mike] Not as done, for sure. – [Esther] So you have faith that that’s gonna get
to where this one is? – [Mike] I don’t think so. – [Esther] Okay Chef what do you think? Yeah I mean it looks– Ready?
It looks cooked. – [Esther] Looks cooked? I’m gonna take it out then. Yeah, great. I wanna eat it, yeah, looks great. – [Esther] Pizzas are done,
it’s my favorite time ever. Eating the pizza. – [Mike] Yes, I’m ready. Will you do the honors?
Yes, I will. Yeah, it cooked it really nicely. – [Esther] It has some
beautiful leopard spotting too. Yeah, definitely. So this seems really nice. The one that we cooked in the Roccbox, not quite as nice, doesn’t seem like we really got good good bake on the top. And it’s a nice bake on the bottom. – [Esther] Doesn’t have
as much color right? – [Mike] No. Okay, starting with the Ooni. – [Mike] I’m really excited. Yeah that’s like the nice crust. Do we do a pizza cheers? (laughing) – [Both] Cheers. What do you say?
Rooftop pizza, it’s pretty good. Yeah, rooftop pizza. What do you think compared
to your restaurant? It’s pretty close. I think we’d have to maybe
dial in the temperature a little better in
terms of the bottom heat and the top heat, it’s a little maybe dry and firm on the bottom. – [Esther] So you think
that means it’s over? It might’ve stayed in a little too long. We probably could’ve gotten
it out a little earlier. But, this is great. It’s so good. Beautiful, nice sourdough flavor, too. How ’bout the Roccbox? Let’s go for it. Yeah, let’s try it out.
Let’s see. It’s definitely softer, right? Mhmm, much softer. Like not as sturdy. – [Mike] Yeah. I feel like it almost tastes different. Yeah the bake is so different that it definitely,
it’s eating differently, and it’s tasting differently. It’s definitely not bad. You know what, it does remind me more of like a bread, in this form. There’s definitely like a denseness to it that’s not here which is nice, which was better about this one. Yeah this is definitely lighter, right? Yup, yeah. So Chef, best crust on
the bottom, hands down. The Roccbox the bottom
is a little nicer than– Oh really?
Than on the Ooni. How ’bout the top, do you think? The top, is definitely Ooni. The color’s great, it looks
like you wanna eat it. How ’bout overall product-wise? Definitely the Ooni. Got hot a lot faster, stayed hot. Baked in a really nice way, where you got this great cook on the top of the pizza which was very surprising, it’s designed really well. Do you think that you can achieve something similar to
this with the Roccbox? From our testing, I don’t think you can with the wood option. I think probably with propane, it probably works really well. But it doesn’t seem like they designed the wood function quite
as well as Ooni did. A good friend of mine
uses it for catering, he has two of ’em set up and he uses it with the propane tank and the pizzas come out perfect. Come out amazing, so– I’m sure with propane right? Yeah, I think that’s probably where this one really shines. So which out of these two ovens is the best portable
wood-fired pizza oven? Ooni wins. Are you surprised? I am, I’m totally surprised. It’s crazy yeah, for half
the money you get somethin’ really that you can
make pizza really fast. Thank you so much for joining us. – [Mike] Thank you it’s my pleasure. And your pizza dough is sick. Awesome. If you haven’t checked out Ops Pizzeria look for Chef Mike, look for Ops Pizzeria. ‘Til then, see ya next time.