Tandoor Oven Buying Guide

Tandoor Oven Buying Guide

Anyone that enjoys Indian food is probably familiar with the term tandoori. While many assume this term refers to a specific recipe or combination of spices for Indian food, it is in fact a name of an entire cooking process involving a tandoor oven.

Given how popular Indian cuisine is around the world, tandoor ovens have now become widely available, allowing you to prepare authentic tandoori-style recipes with ease. A tandoor oven for home use is a great investment for anyone that loves making curries and other Indian food, working similarly to a barbeque or pizza oven.

What is a Tandoor Oven?

A tandoor oven is a type of cooking device commonly used throughout India. Traditionally made from clay with a cylindrical design, tandoor ovens are used to cook meats and naan breads at high temperatures. Many modern tandoor ovens are made from high quality metals like stainless steel. 

The pot-shaped oven is filled with coals or wood, helping it achieve extremely high temperatures, upwards of 400C. These high temperatures produce a wonderful char on meats while cooking fresh naan bread in minutes.

Moreover, a tandoor oven uses a combination of live fire, convection heating, and smoking to produce a unique flavour and aroma to the food – this is the classic tandoori style cooking many are familiar with.

While traditional clay tandoor ovens use fuel like wood or coal, there are also electric tandoor ovens that achieve similar results but work more like a standard kitchen appliance. 

Why Buy a Tandoor Oven?

The best tandoor oven will make your Indian food taste more authentic and delicious than ever before. This device may sound complex but it is simple to use, simply being filled with coals/wood or plugged into a power source (if electric) – think of it like a barbeque or pizza oven.

To create tandoor style meats, you just create a marinade to coat your meat, place it on skewers and then let the oven cook it. You can also cook naan bread at the side of a traditional clay tandoor oven, giving it that restaurant-quality finish at home.

If you want to make incredible-tasting Indian food, a good tandoor oven will serve you well. Meats come with an unmistakable charr, with the combiation of smoking, fire cooking, and radiant heat producing a wonderful finish that is smoky on the outside and succulent on the inside.

You can cook all kinds if Indian fare inside a tandoor oven, such as tandoori chicken for a curry, or delicious skewers with meats, vegetables, and your favourite Indian marinade. Plus, it functions like a barbeque, smoker, and oven in one, meaning you can use it for all kinds of other foods beyond Indian cuisine!

Types of Tandoor Oven

There are several types of tandoor oven available, any of which may be suitable for your needs. Some are designed for people that frequently cook lots of Indian food, while others are suitable for those making curries and such every now and then.

Here are the main types of tandoor oven currently available:

Clay Tandoor Oven

A traditional outdoor tandoor oven, it is a tall, cylindrical oven that is filled with either wood or coals. These slowly raise the temperature until reaching the desired heat, after which you can quickly cook meats on skewers and naan breads, the latter cooked on the walls inside the oven.

While great for authentic tandoor fare, they do require a lot of work, filling with coals and then waiting to reach the appropriate temperature for cooking. They do look great, so can be a fixture of your outdoor space, like a barbeque or outdoor pizza oven.


Often made from stainless steel, these tandoor ovens resemble an oven you would find in a restaurant. Either cylinder or square shaped, metal tandoor ovens are available for indoor and outdoor use, working on electricity, gas, or coal/wood.

Metal ovens usually come with clay interiors, providing an authentic cooking environment like a traditional tandoor oven. They are usually more convenient to use, coming with features like temperature control, allowing for more precise control over your cooking.

Electric Tandoor Oven

An electric tandoor oven is great for occasional indoor use, plugging into mains electricity like other conventional kitchen appliances. These are usually square shaped, resembling a toaster oven, being especially useful for making homemade naans.

They are naturally smaller and more compact to fit indoors on counters, so they will offer a smaller cooking capacity. Still, they are very convenient, automating most of the heating and cooking process for effortless homemade tandoori.

white plain raw naan bread in Tandoor oven with fire flame.

Choosing the Best Tandoor Oven

Finding the best tandoori oven is challenging if you are unsure what you need or what features to consider. Check out some of the below tips for how to choose a great tandoor oven:


Consdier what type of tandoor oven is best for your cooking habits. For example, if you frequently cook Indian food and are experienced with the cuisine, then a clay or metal tandoor oven that is used outdoors may be preferable.

Indoor electric tandoor ovens are great for people that want to try making tandoori food but don’t want to overpay for an appliance they may not get much use from. These are much cheaper so less of a risk, and they make the tandoor cooking process straight-forward, although the food may lack that same quality finish that larger clay or metal ovens offer.


How much food are you likely to make at one time using a tandoor oven? Larger tandoor ovens offer space for several skewers of meat and veg, with space for naans at the side. While this is great for making large batches of Indian food, the oven will take up a lot of space!

Indoor electric ovens and portable ovens are great for people making smaller portions, offering enough capacity to make meals for 3-4 people at a time. They also cost less and are easier to store when not in use!


A tandoor oven is not a cheap investment, especially if you want a traditional clay or metal oven. These are heft pieces of cooking equipment, so make sure you set a budget to help you find something suitable in your price range.

Naturally, outdoor clay and metal tandoor ovens cost the most, while indoor electric models are generally more affordable.