Uuni 3 Pizza Oven Review
There was once a time when a true wood fired pizza oven was only for those with deep pockets or construction skills. Well today there’s a huge range of pizza ovens for everyone. We’ve looked at the best pizza ovens for every budget, and one of the best for the mid-range category was the Uuni 3.
Uuni was launched on Kickstarter in 2012 and was met with huge success. It reached the funding goal in two weeks and went on to raise 220% of its funding goal by the end of the campaign. It’s grown ever since then and is fast becoming one of the best pizza oven brands around. We’ll take a look at what’s good and bad in our Uuni 3 Pizza Oven Review.
What’s Included with the Uuni 3
- Uuni 3 wood-fired oven
- Wood Pellet Burner
- Cordierite stone baking board
- Pizza peel
- Manual and safety instructions
- Weight: 13.4 kg / 29.5 lbs. boxed
- Size: 22x36x64 cm / 8.6 x 14.1 x 25.2″ (HxWxL) with legs extended, excluding door handle. Height of Uuni 3 including chimney: 67cm / 25.2”.
- Stone baking board size: 33.7 x 33.7 cm / 13.2 x 13.2″
- Max pizza size: 13”
- Max clearance above stone: 11 cm / 4.3”
- Power: approx. 6 kWh
- Fuel: wood pellets
- Materials: 439 stainless steel, stainless steel rivets, FSC certified wooden handles, cordierite stone baking board.
The Uuni 3 features a fully stainless steel body. This has been insulated to help with maintaining heat more efficiently.
There is a new wood pellet burner for the Uuni 3 which is said to help control temperatures and make cooking more consistent. This and the fully stainless steel body allow the Uuni to reach temperatures of 932°F (500 °C). This means you can cook a pizza in as little as 60 seconds. The new wood burner and insulation also mean that getting the Uuni up to temperature is much quicker. It can reach max temperature in 10 minutes, from cold.
The Uuni uses wood pellets as its source of fuel. They are exactly the same wood pellets as those used in pellet smokers. These are very energy-dense and cheap. They’re made from regular wood that has been shredded into tiny pieces and then compressed into highly dense pellets. There are no additives or glues, it’s just wood. Perfect for cooking and eco-friendly. Uuni are taking their sustainability project one step further and are offering to plant a tree for every Uuni 3 + blag of pellets sold. Learn more here.
The chimney has a new clip that makes it incredibly easy to take off. This and the fact that the Uuni is very light and compact means that it is very easy to transport. You can easily take it anywhere.
This Uuni 3 has only 3 legs. The old model had 4. The new design has reduced the weight even further, and improved the stability on uneven surfaces. It makes the Uuni even better for cooking outside now that it can rest flat on more surfaces. The legs are also foldable to make the Uuni 3 perfect for storage and transport.
Build Quality and Design
The design of the Uuni 3 is pretty simple. The fire pit at the back and the chimney at the front cause a nice flow of heat. The sides get hotter than the middle, but for an oven that runs on wood, that’s acceptable.
As a whole it looks good, it’s sleek and has a nice finish. The finish won’t last long though, due to the heat. The stainless steel is relatively strong, and can easily withstand the very high temperatures. It does feel a little flimsy but that’s because it’s so light but as it’s stainless steel you know it’ll be durable. We wish the wooden handles were a little better quality, but you can’t have everything.
Some of the best design features are found in the wood pellet burner. It has a slide out tray that holds the pellets which makes it easy to add the initial pellets and to clean. Lighting them you can use a starter cube in the tray before-hand then place into the burner. Or you can use a blow torch and light the pellets when the tray is in position using the blow torch hole. Adding more pellets is very easy as there is a dedicated pellet shoot. The top cap for the main chimney that is used to keep the rain out also doubles up as a pellet scoop. A very nice, efficient use of materials that works great.
The cordierite baking stone can handle high temperatures very well and will give a great finish to the bottom of your pizzas. Cordierite is one of the best materials for baking stones as it’s so good at storing heat. To find out more about cordierite and baking stones, check out our guide to the best baking stones.
Ease of use
The Uuni 3 was built with portability in mind. It is easily broken down into smaller components that make it very easy to transport and store. This also means that the initial construction is very simple. It will take roughly 10-15 minutes using the included instruction manual.
The best thing about the Uuni 3 is how easy it is to use. That doesn’t mean you’ll be guaranteed to get amazing results without trying though. Cooking with fire always requires a learning curve and this is no different. It is however one of the best beginner pizza ovens and with a little care and attention you’re sure to get great results.
Lighting the Uuni is incredibly easy. As it uses pellets it will light in a very short time and having a blow torch hole is ideal to quickly get it started.
Having an included pizza peel that is built specifically for the pizza oven that you’re using makes moving your pizzas very easy.
Overall, you’re not going to find a simpler wood fired pizza oven to use. You don’t have to worry too much about the fire as the pellets and fire box control it relatively well. When you start to learn how your Uuni cooks and where the hotter and colder spots are you’ll be able to adjust to make perfect pizza each time.
What we Like About the Uuni 3
- The price! For around a tenth of what some wood fired ovens will cost you you’re getting a brilliant little backyard pizza oven.
- The pizzas are great. Having a cordierite baking stone really helps add a crispy base and crust.
- Other food works just as well in the Uuni 3. Uuni have a great list of other recipes to try out.
- Being able to build the Uuni and take it apart in just a few minutes is ideal for taking it to friends and for storage. They have designed it to be very portable and with the Uuni carry bag/cover storage and portability is easier than ever.
- The included peel is very nice. It fits perfectly and does a great job.
What we Don’t Like About the Uuni 3
- The Uuni does have a rather uneven cooking area. It’s not too bad compared to some of the cheaper pizza ovens out there. But the back is much hotter than the front and the sides seem to cook faster. With a bit of experience and practice this won’t be a problem.
- Sometimes the insides of the oven can get a bit sooty and it can fall into the food. This only really happens if you’re using it for long periods of time and are burning a lot of pellets.
- One of its selling points is the high temperatures that it can reach. This is sometimes a negative for us as it can just get a bit too hot. Regulating these temperatures are difficult as the only way to do it is through the amount of fuel you use. We recommend picking up a laser thermometer to see what temperature the stone is at. If you’re working with the very highest of temperatures then be very careful not to leave your pizza for too long as it’s very easy to burn. Or even just wait until it’s at a more manageable level.
- The wooden handles on the front door and pellet shoot lid could be better as they feel a bit cheap.
- Doesn’t come with any pellets. They can be bought from Uunis website, or Amazon.
The Uuni 3 is one of the best pizza ovens you can buy today. The fact that it is so cheap, highly portable and can cook brick oven style pizzas in a couple of minutes is amazing. It does have a few drawbacks but a lot of those can be fixed with simply practicing and learning how your Uuni works.
The best thing about the Uuni is how accessible and fun it makes cooking proper outdoor pizzas.
Check the latest price of the Uuni 3 on Amazon.
How to make the most of your Uuni 3
- We recommend this for all pizza oven pizza. Keep your bases thin and don’t overdo it with the toppings. A thin base will cook a lot better in your pizza oven and fewer toppings will make it much easier to slide the pizza on and off of the peel.
- As the back of the Uuni reaches the highest temperatures, you’ll need to spin the pizza around during cooking. If you are cooking with temperatures around 900 °F then we highly recommend you pay full attention to it and even keep a timer. It is very easy to burn if you look away for even a few seconds too long. But keep practicing and you’ll soon learn the kinks of your oven.
- Wait until the pellets have burnt down a little. If you cook a pizza when the insides are engulfed in flames you’re going to leave a bitter taste to the final pizza.
- Scrape the pizza stone between uses. If you leave a little bit of fallen tomato sauce on the base it can easily cause the next pizza to stick.
- Wipe down your pizza peel between uses. This just helps remove any leftover food from the previous pizza and will make sliding on the next pizza as easy as possible.