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Two hands wearing Ooni Pizza Oven Gloves pulling out a Dual-Sided Grizzler Plate with roasted tomatoes from an Ooni Koda 16.
Two hands wearing Ooni Pizza Oven Gloves pulling out a Dual-Sided Grizzler Plate with roasted tomatoes from an Ooni Koda 16.

Our Top 8 Tips for Grilling with Ooni Ovens

Summer may be known as the season for grilling, but here at Ooni, we firmly believe it’s a year-round affair. That’s because our pizza ovens are not just for crafting mouth-watering Neapolitan-style pies (among many other pizza styles) – they also excel at roasting an array of delectable dishes. Whether you're craving a succulent steak, crispy and tender salmon, or roasted vegetables, our ovens are the ultimate tool for soon-to-be (or current) grill masters.

Ready to turn up the heat? Here are our top eight tips for grilling like a pro with an Ooni:

1. Invest in the good stuff

To master the art of grilling, having quality tools is essential. Equip yourself with an infrared thermometer to gauge the oven’s temperature and ensure it’s high enough to kill bacteria and reach the desired heat. For carnivores, it’s also a good idea to have a meat thermometer for even more precise temperature control.

Our cast-iron collection is another worthy investment: When well taken care of, a good pan will last years, and it’s one of the only materials that can go from the stovetop to a 950 °F (500 °C) oven. As an added bonus, they become more non-stick with use and need less scrubbing than other pots and pans.

Of course, when grilling, safety should always come first. Remember to get yourself a pair of oven gloves and consider having a folding table nearby to keep all your equipment and ingredients within easy reach.

Grilled steak with a pat of butter on an Ooni Cast Iron Grizzler Pan next to grilled asparagus on an Ooni Cast Iron Grizzler Pan on a table.

2. Sizzle with seasoning

No matter what you’re firing up at home, every ingredient can benefit from some extra flavor. Simple yet effective options like salt, pepper, and olive oil can elevate the natural tastes of meat, sure, but also fish and veggies. And if you’re using a cast-iron pan, they become more seasoned with every use, adding oomph to savory and sweet dishes alike. The fuel you use can also make a difference – wood and charcoal will add a subtle smoky flavor to the ingredients.

You can also explore various condiments (think a bold and smoky barbecue sauce), rubs and marinades that complement your chosen ingredients. And when the food comes out of the oven, there’s still time to play with taste buds: adding a bit of extra fat, such as in our seared steak with garlic butter, can take a dish from yum to wow in seconds. We also love a good salsa verde, which elevates oven-roasted carrots to a deliciously sweet and lightly-charred treat.

3. Preheat like a pro

Before you start grilling, it’s important that your oven has reached the desired temperature, but don’t forget to preheat your pan! This ensures even cooking, and if you’re using the grizzler pan or dual-sided grizzler plate you’ll also get those coveted char marks. Cast iron may be slow to get hot but retains its heat for a long time and provides much more even temperatures than other types of cookware. This high heat sears your food to perfection, creating a delectable caramelized crust on steaks and char marks on sides like blistered padrón peppers and BBQ potato salad.

A plate of cooked “over-the-pit” Buffalo wings on a table.

4. Direct or indirect

Understanding the difference between direct and indirect heat is fundamental to grilling success. Direct heat – when the fire is positioned directly below the food – is ideal for smaller, tender pieces that cook quickly. Think “over-the-pit” Buffalo wings or a delicate honey garlic salmon.

Indirect heat, on the other hand – when the fire is placed on either side of the food – is excellent for larger or tougher cuts of meat like striploin for fajitas or pork steaks that require longer cooking times. Wondering how this works with an Ooni? Simply rotate and reposition the cast-iron cookware to ensure an even distribution of heat for the best results (always using your gloves, of course!).

5. Stay on (heat) target

Maintaining the right temperature can be a delicate dance with heat when it comes to grilling. You’ll want to keep a close eye on your infrared thermometer to ensure your oven stays at the desired temperature, depending on what you’re cooking. This will help you achieve consistent results and allow dishes to cook to perfection, from elotes and okra to skillet smashburgers.

Depending on your fuel, you’ll have to either add wood or charcoal as needed or increase or decrease the gas input. Before cooking, be sure to have plenty of fuel on hand, whether that’s in the form of hardwood logs, pellets, charcoal, or gas.

Cooked roasted chicken and onions with sprigs of rosemary in an Ooni Cast Iron Skillet Pan on a table.

6. Baste, baste baby

While cooking, don't shy away from adding extra layers of flavor with basting. A common culinary technique, basting is used to moisten poultry, meat, or any food, really, that you don't want to dry out. This can be done with butter, as we do with our lobster tails and rosemary chicken, as well as stock, pan drippings, or other liquids. This simple move will take your dishes to the next level, making them stand out with every mouthful.

7. Flip it and rotate it

To ensure uniform cooking and avoid any hot spots, remember to flip and rotate your food during grilling. This technique ensures that each side receives equal attention from the heat, resulting in a well-cooked and delicious dish. When to flip and rotate depends on the ingredients, so be sure to follow the instructions closely!

Schlemmerfilet – Herb-crusted cod with creamed Savoy cabbage in an Ooni Cast Iron Skillet Pan on a wooden base on a table.

8. Serving grill master vibes

When the food is ready and it’s time to eat, we love a good serving moment. Luckily, each pan in our cast-iron cookware line comes with a sustainably sourced beech wood serving board, making it both utilitarian and stylish. Grilled meals that look as good as they taste? Yes, please!


Dana De Greff is a writer based in Austin,Texas. When she’s not eating pizza and working as Ooni’s Content Editor, you can find her reading, biking and searching for the best al pastor tacos in the city.

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