We tested every home pizza oven in the universe. This is the one you want in your backyard.


You can order pizzas to your front door from a phone app, but the people you love will love you more if you make them yourself in the backyard. 

So why not? We’re smitten with the Carbon pizza oven, a transportable, gas-fueled tabletop unit that makes it easy, fun and nearly foolproof. Making restaurant quality pizzas involve slittle more than mixing a few ingredients then letting the dough rise overnight. 

The Carbon is a newcome, but it’s already the best pizza oven you can buy. best in class. It’s sleek, hefty, and feels solid, Its performance is unequaled. Designed and manufactured by a Southern California company that specializes in high-end stone hearth restaurant ovens, the Carbon packs all that commercial quality into a sturdy, compact oven that’s ideal for your backyard. 

Carbon’s designers focused on all the details that matter: riveted steel, foldable legs, substantial insulation, and a hefty stone cooking deck that held steady heat no matter what we cooked on it. 

Other portable pizza ovens roll a single propane-fueled jet of flame along the ceiling of the cooking chamber as the heat source. That works fine if you’re only cooking one or two pizzas, but each pizza pulls heat from the stone floor as it cooks, which can lead to underbaked pizzas if you’re baking more than two in a row. 

Carbon solves that problem by incorporating a second, independently adjustable propane burner below the stone floor. That extra heat allowed us to cook one pizza right after another without waiting for the stone to recharge its heat from above. Those dual burners and the oven’s sturdy construction earned gold medals from our testers. 

Pizzas baked in the Carbon puffed up quickly and reliably in under 90 seconds – even in our clumsy neighbor’s hands – turning out the kind of crisp-crust, pillowy pizzas our other friends envied. Two burners offered another advantage – they could blast the oven’s internal temperature to more than 900°, which meant we could also achieve deeply charred, restaurant quality steaks and vegetables in the oven when we cooked them in a cast iron skillet. 

We only have a one quibble with the Carbon: its 60-pound hulk means it’s portable, but only in a pinch. You’re not going to be hauling the Carbon to the beach, your lake house or your neighbor’s backyard on the regular. 

Details: The Carbon pizza oven ($699, including free shipping) is sold directly from its manufacturer at cookwithcarbon.com. A version of this story appears in the May issue of 360 West Magazine.