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How to Use the Ooni Karu Pizza Oven (Charcoal & Wood): Set Up Tutorial

By April 12, 2022January 24th, 2024No Comments

Looking to set up your charcoal & wood Ooni? Here’s how to use the Ooni Karu pizza oven. Discover more awesome videos at

Hello everyone, welcome back to another Tom Voyage blog ?

Today I’m giving you a setup tutorial on one of my favourite pizza ovens – the multi-fuelled charcoal & wood Ooni! Included in this blog and my video, there are tips on:

?How to assemble your Ooni Karu pizza oven & set it up

?How to light your Ooni Karu pizza oven

?How to use the Ooni Karu pizza oven

?What to do when your Ooni Karu pizza oven is not getting hot enough

…and more awesome, helpful content!

How to assemble your Ooni Karu pizza oven

First thing’s first – let’s talk about how to assemble your oven for use with charcoal & wood. I won’t bog you down with lots of information because that’ll take the fun out of it… so here’s a quick checklist instead:

✔️ Make sure your chimney attachment is on

✔️ Slot the fuel/charcoal basket into the oven, with the airflow hole facing the back

✔️ Flick the vent switch downwards (located on the back of the chimney)

✔️ That’s it!

✔️ Have your coal lumps, firelighters, wood chunks, lighter, steel poker, thermometer, and gloves at the ready

How to light your Ooni Karu pizza oven

Before lighting your Ooni Karu pizza oven, you’ll need to choose the type of charcoal you want to load into the basket. There are two main kinds: lumpwood or briquettes (top tip: lumpwood burns hotter and quicker, briquettes are slow burners and give off a little dust. I use Cocoshell briquettes from Big K [link: 4kg Coconut Shell Briquettes | Products | Big K (]. You’ll also need some firelighters, a lighter (obviously!), and wood chunks. Beechwood or oak wood works best, I find.

Hop on over to my video to watch me load and fire up the Ooni Karu pizza oven [link].

How to use the Ooni Karu pizza oven

Learn how to use the Ooni Karu pizza oven with my simple steps:

  1. Load your Ooni fuel basket with charcoal lumps – the fuller it is, the longer the burn. You can add more later if you need to.
  2. Bury a couple of firelighters under the charcoal.
  3. Use your lighter or torch to ignite the oven, aiming at the firelighters.
  4. Once the oven’s lit, pop the door on.
  5. Check the vent is open (located on the back of the chimney) by flicking it downwards.
  6. Wait 20 minutes for the oven to light up, leaving it an extra 5-10 mins if needed. You can use a thermometer to check.
  7. Add more charcoal lumps if needed – they will be coated in white ash when they’re hot. Remember to use gloves before you open the door and exposure the red hot coal.
  8. When your oven hits 500 degrees, you’re ready to put your pizza in!

For the next steps on how to use the oven while cooking your pizza, hop over to my video [link].

What to do when your Ooni Karu pizza oven is not getting hot enough

There are 3 things I generally try when my Ooni is taking too long to heat. Take a look!

Technique #1: You can try adding more charcoal or simply leaving the oven for longer to reach the right temperature if you’ve got the time! Ooni suggests the oven heats up in 20 mins, but I like to leave it 5-10 minutes longer.

Technique #2: If you’re using briquettes, you could try out lumpwood instead – which burns faster and you’ll get through more of it – but it will elevate the temperature of the pizza oven.

Technique #3: It’s worth mentioning that you can also use this pizza oven with gas which obviously heats up much quicker, but you need an extra attachment [link to product] first.

Watch me use a thermometer to check the oven’s temperature in my video [link].

Ooni Karu pizza ovens for sale

If you’d like to buy any of the Ooni products, here are some handy links for you:

Buy Ooni Karu (UK) –

Buy Ooni Karu (EU) –

Purchasing via my links means I’ll get a small commission, which helps me to carry on making videos for everyone. I appreciate all of the support!

Discover more about the Ooni pizza oven

Watch my Ooni Karu setup tutorial on YouTube: OONI KARU Charcoal & Wood Set up Tutorial – YouTube. You’ll get an extra 3 minutes of content that I haven’t included in the blog you’ve just read.

Read my comparison guide: Ooni Gas Vs Wood Comparison: Which Ooni Pizza Oven is Best?

Oh, and if you pop over to my channel [link tomvoyageUK], don’t forget to give me a like and subscribe. Thanks guys!