Heard about Uuni? It’s Smokin’!
Uuni means simply ‘oven’ in Finnish, but this is no run-of-the-mill kitchen appliance. As well as being an aesthetic triumph, the Uuni is a ground-breaking wood-fired oven that delivers wonderful smoked flavours, from a portable unit, at a far more affordable price-point than anything else currently on the market.
Born and raised in Pyhäsalmi, Finland, Kristian Tapaninaho had design ingrained in him from an early age. This, coupled with a growing love of pizza-making, made it almost inevitable that he would become the inventor of Uuni. He explains: “My family in Finland owned a supermarket with a small in-store bakery, so I grew up learning how to make really tasty baked goods. I came to the conclusion that my pizzas were good, but not great. They lacked that sought after wood-fired flavour that a domestic oven simply can’t provide.”
So, Tapaninaho went on the hunt for a wood-fired pizza oven, but quickly realised that the available options were both expensive and non-portable. So, in pragmatic Finnish fashion, he decided to solve the problem himself by designing his own small, cost-effective wood-fired oven.
Once he had developed the prototype design, Tapaninaho set about raising the funding for his invention via crowd funding on Kickstarter. Unsurprisingly, he wasn’t alone in his quest for the perfect wood-fired pizza oven, and Uuni’s sleek aesthetic quickly attracted legions of supporters to help fund its development and production. The fundraising campaign was so successful that it reached its goal in two weeks; eventually achieved more than 220% of its target; captured the imagination of pizza-making enthusiasts, and attracted 142 supporters from around the world.
The latest incarnation of Uuni, the Uuni 2S, is capable of heating up to 500°C, fired by wood pellets that enables really fast cooking speeds and supply a delicious smoky taste and aroma. You can make a wood-fired pizza in the Uuni in just 60 seconds, but it isn’t just for pizza aficionados, because it can improve pretty much anything that works with fast cooking times. Steak, salmon, flatbreads, and even vegetables take on a whole new depth of smoky deliciousness with Uuni.
Kristian, his wife Darina and their little boys Oskari (4) and Otto (2) very much live the Uuni lifestyle. They recently relocated to Edinburgh, and although they are entrepreneurs with a busy family life, they love spending time together making great food, developing recipes and socialising with friends. This ‘Uuni lifestyle’ has certainly captured the imagination of food enthusiasts, and Uuni’s range of products now includes a much-requested logo -shirt, worn with pride by the fast growing army of Uuni fans worldwide.
Uuni’s Facebook page, and website are great places to find recipe ideas and inspiration, and the oven can be seen in action on the Uuni YouTube channel.
Uuni Pizza and Pizza oven images: Uuni
Kristian Tapaninaho image: Rikard Österlund (www.rikard.co.uk)