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Pizza oven for your dad

Give Dad lifelong memories this Father’s Day

If you’re old enough to read this, your father has probably been doing this dad thing for awhile. And if he’s been doing this dad thing for awhile, he has probably celebrated Father’s Day with a barbecue or two. At this point, maybe you’ve even thrown him a barbecue or two.

This year, pay tribute to his awesomeness with an updated approach to his big day: A pizza party in which the whole family takes turns playing chef. It’s a novel way to engage everyone in dinner prep, learn a new skill together — and have a lot of fun along the way.

Maybe you’ve never made a pizza in your life… or maybe you think your dad will never set aside his trusty grill for a pizza oven. (If you need help selecting said oven, keep reading for a handy primer on different pizza oven styles.) Regardless, you can rest assured that with the right tools and just a little preparation, this Father’s Day meal will be one you’ll remember (and likely repeat) for years to come.

To get started, you’re going to need some dough. There’s no wrong approach here, so whether you choose to make your own or outsource it to the pros (cough), you’ll end up with a world-class pizza. Ooni pre-made dough balls can be delivered straight to your door, along with other gourmet pizza essentials; if you’d like to make it yourself, Ooni Classic Pizza Dough is a great go-to recipe to try. You’ll want to allow for ample time to thaw (pre-made dough) or proof (homemade dough), so remember that you’ll need to start well ahead of time. The payoff, though, will be well worth it.

We’ve also partnered with the AVPN to offer online pizza-making sessions to help you get a handle on working with pizza dough. Even if this isn’t your first time making it from scratch, the class comes with enough hands-on guidance and expert techniques that you’ll still come away with noticeably better results. (And it doesn’t hurt that pizza class is another thing you can enjoy with your father.)

Next, you’ll want to consider your toppings. Does Dad have a favorite that he always requests, or does he like to mix it up? Do you want to put together a topping bar so everyone can build a pizza to their own taste? However you choose to customize your approach, keep a couple of things in mind:

  • Distribution and weight are important factors when making your own pizza. Spread your toppings unevenly and some slices will be more appealing than others. Load up with too many toppings, and you may end up launching them straight off your pizza base.
  • In terms of your cooking approach, not all toppings are created equal. Some can be baked right along with your pizza base, but others may need to be blanched, pickled or sauteed beforehand. Still others may not need cooking at all, and can be added after the pizza comes out of the oven.

Before you begin actually cooking your pizza (which, by the way, is the fastest part), you’ll want to make sure you have the right tools on hand. Pizza peels are essential when working with a pizza oven that reaches 950°F; the Ooni perforated peel is our recommended peel for launching and retrieving pizzas, while the Ooni turning peel is smaller and more maneuverable so you can easily rotate your pizza as it bakes. You’ll also want a serving board nearby so you have a place to deposit and slice your freshly baked pie.

Fathers day dinner

Finally, for the oven itself. All Ooni pizza ovens heat up to 950°F in a matter of minutes and flame-cook pizzas in 60 seconds, but whether you’re buying one for your own use or gifting your father an oven, it’s important to look at where and how you’d like to use it. Ooni offers three types of pizza ovens in two different sizes, so factors like fuel preference, versatility, and portability all need to be taken into account.

The Ooni Koda 12 and Koda 16 are fully gas-powered and come in a sleek, easily totable shape. It’s ready to use straight out of the box and since the fuel can be regulated by the turn of a dial, it’s incredibly easy to use and great for beginners. The “12” and “16” refer to the size of the baking surface; the Koda 12 makes 12-inch pizzas and is a bit more portable, whereas the Koda 16 accommodates 16-inch pizzas on a wider stone.

The Ooni Fyra is a pellet-fueled oven that infuses pizzas with wood-fired flavor. Thanks to a removable chimney, It’s compact enough to make it a great companion for outdoorsy cooks who want to make pizzas off the beaten path. (You wouldn’t believe some of the places this oven has been.)

The Ooni Karu 12 and Karu 16 are multi-fuel ovens designed for versatility. Either oven can be powered by hardwood, charcoal or gas, depending on your cooking needs, and comes with a built-in thermometer so you can keep a close eye on your heat. The Karu 16, the largest of the Ooni ovens, also has an extra-tall interior for cooking breads, veggies, larger meats, and other dishes beyond pizza.

The great news is, any of the Ooni pizza ovens will work well for your Father’s Day pizza party, so regardless of your cooking style, you’ll be well-equipped for your celebration this year. And, we’re willing to bet, countless other celebrations to come.

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