What's more fun than an outdoor pizza party? (Seriously, can you think of anything more fun?) That's because the mood boost that comes with sharing good times, fresh air, and delicious food is hard to beat.
Now, just because the weather turns colder, doesn't mean pizza parties are canceled — all you have to do is give your pizza station a little cool-weather makeover to keep your outdoor fun rolling late into the year.
To show you how to do it, we teamed up with Ooni Pizza Ovens to set up the ultimate backyard pizza station with everything you need to have lots of outdoor fun (and super delicious pizza) year round.
A few tips to keep in mind off the bat? Prep for the party by adding fluffy throw pillows to chairs and placing baskets with extra blankets around the seating area so guests can stay cozy. It's also worth investing in a tall standing heater or two once the temperatures really dip, and you can prepare a batch of a hot beverage in advance (like mulled wine or hot apple cider) to help people stay warm from the inside — along with their hot, gooey pizza, of course.
Step 1: Choose a pizza oven
The most important part of a good pizza party is (obviously) good pizza, which means you need the right oven for the job. And if you want to create restaurant-style 'za, finding an oven that can reach high temperatures is key.
To make your cheesy pie taste professionally cooked, try Ooni's Koda 16 Gas Powered Pizza Oven – an alternative to the Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven – that can fit to 16-inch pizzas. And to make sure your oven has been heated to the proper temp, grab a high-tech Ooni Thermometer, which gauges the temperature of the baking stone.
Step 2: Create your cooking surface
Placing your oven on a wide, elevated surface is important for creating a safe cooking environment. Ooni's Large Modular Table is designed to neatly fit any style of pizza oven on top and tuck a propane tank underneath.
Plus, it comes with built-in hooks and shelves for storing all your pizza-making accoutrements. Or you can add on additional storage like the Ooni Utility Box, which snaps onto the side to hold sauces, beverages, and more to have on hand while you're playing chef.
Step 3: Organize your toppings
Pro tip for upping the fun factor at your pizza party: Let guests choose their own toppings. Fill the Ooni Topping Station with extra sauce and cheese, plus a variety of popular pizza toppers like pepperoni, banana peppers, basil, or pineapple (if you're into Hawaiian pizza).
Got toppings left over? You can store them in the space-saving Ooni Stack to keep them fresh until you're in the mood for pizza again (so, soon).
Step 4: Get ready to cook
Now that you have the foundation for your outdoor cooking station, you can start assembling the essential tools to handle your pizza. Slide your pizza into the oven using the 16in Ooni 16" Bamboo Pizza Peel & Serving Board, which features a moisture-resistant, smooth bamboo surface that prevents dough from sticking.
To help your pizza get optimal heat exposure on all sides, turn it and retrieve it like a pro with a non-stick turning peel, which slides easily underneath. After the pizza is fully cooked, slice it with a rocker cutter and serve up clean-cut slices.
Step 5: Keep a pan handy for sides
Want to really take your gourmet, at-home pizza experience to the next level? Grill up extra sides or toppings like sausages or roasted peppers on one of Ooni's Cast Iron Grizzler Pans, which comes with a removable handle to help you slide it in and out of the oven. With pizza this expertly made, as soon as they polish off their last bite your guests will be asking when your next outdoor pizza party will be — no matter what the temperature outside is.