Build Your Own Pizza Oven

Build Your Own Pizza Oven – Add a fire pit pizza oven to your outdoor kitchen. Learn how to build a foundation and install it with our step-by-step DIY guide.

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Build Your Own Pizza Oven

We built a structure of cinder blocks and concrete on a cement base. Use 8-inch cinder blocks or concrete blocks to create an L-shaped structure that fits inside the oven and provides counter space. We placed four cinder blocks high up to get the height we needed. Consolidate the stacks of cinder blocks, leaving the holes in the blocks exposed to be filled with concrete. This will ensure that the structure is strong and sturdy enough to hold the oven. Mix the concrete and pour it into the holes around the perimeter of the building. Internal cinder blocks do not need to be filled.

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There are many ways to make the foundation more attractive by using different types of stones and bricks. We used brick tiles as they provide a durable finish without having to lay bricks. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for how many bricks you will need to cover the entire base area. You will need a combination of flat bricks and corner pieces. Mix mortar or cement (any manufacturer recommends gluing the material) and use a trowel to apply a sufficient amount to the back of the brick tile and press it onto the cinder base. Use spacers to make sure the bricks are evenly spaced, we used 1/2″ pieces of scrap wood. Let the mortar dry completely. Use a small trowel or grout bag to fill any gaps with more cement mix.

Now that the base is built, you need a solid worktop for the oven to sit on. We chose a basic concrete slab. To enhance the look, we made a metal frame for the edges of the worktop. Outdoor lumber can also be used for framing. Cut a piece of plywood the size of the countertop. We assembled the frame around the board. If you are using wood siding, attach the exterior wood to the plywood underneath with glue and nails. If you are making a metal frame, smooth the corners with a metal sander and use black hammer spray paint for an even finish. Place the plywood frame on the foundation and place the rebar over the wood in a criss-cross pattern. Rebar will support the concrete and help prevent cracking or splitting. Fasten the reinforcement with tie-down straps. Mix the concrete and pour it into the frame. Use large flat trowels or a wooden board to level the concrete and make it smooth, perfect. Allow the concrete to cure for at least a day and until all the dark spots are gone, dark spots mean the concrete is still wet or damp and not fully cured.

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Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper and complete installation of your oven. Our oven came in several pieces and with all the things needed to put it together. Below are the installation instructions according to the manufacturer of our oven:

1. First, perform a dry installation of the unit including the arc. Place the oven on the board and outline the oven with a pencil or chalk. Remove the elements from the oven.

Wood Fired Outdoor Pizza Ovens

2. Open the bucket of refractory mortar. You can keep the water on it by pouring it into another container. Transfer the grout to a large container for easy mixing (a trough or 5-gallon bucket should do). Gradually add liquid until the grout resembles creamy peanut butter. There will be water, save it so you can cover it with the rest of the grout before storing.

3. All elements under (the floor) are installed on the smooth side and must be horizontal, as this is your cooking surface. Start with a small rectangle in front of the oven. Place three balls of grout under each tile, set and press the piece level. If the tile is not level, pull it up and add more grout, tap to level the tile. Install other tiles in the same way. Let the tiles sit for an hour before continuing. This will allow the tiles to be firm, preventing accidental shifting. Return the remaining grout to the bucket, add the saved water on top, replace the lid and store in a cool, dry place.

4. Put as much grout as you like in a pastry bag and drop the tile, leaving only the joints between the tiles. Jointed seams should be tight enough so that when using a pizza peel or casserole in the oven, they do not rub against the joint compound and possibly flatten it.

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5. The tapered parts fit together well and require a small amount of joint compound. Fill only the female center of the dome elements with approximately 3/8-inch beads of grout. Do not mount the dome elements on the ground elements or resistance pad. Start by placing the male dome element (support) and then the female element with a groove that is slightly punched out. After setting up the dome elements look inside, you will see the area wherever the floor meets the walls of the dome. Do not fill this space; this space is needed to expand the floor tiles when it is hot.

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6. Apply a strip of refractory mortar over the exterior seams of the dome. Do not cover the seams in the oven.

7. Place a small amount of grout on the floor and a large amount behind the arch that touches the oven, seat and hold in place. You can face the arch with other materials such as stone, granite, tile or brick.

The chimney channel consists of two parts: a flue and a small connector located at the top with the smooth side up. This attachment holds the required 6 inch pipe. Apply enough joint compound to the bottom of the chimney element and coupling so that they are even on all sides.

As a finish, contact a builder to give your oven a beautiful stucco finish. Be sure to wait the recommended time for your oven to fully cure before using it, usually around 20 days.

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In 2008, Simon Brookes attended a Build and Bake course at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage HQ in Devon, where he learned how to cook in a wood oven and how to build one. “I came home and thought: I’m going to build my own pizza oven,” Simon recalled. “I don’t work; I can do basic DIY, but construction is out of my comfort zone. If I can do it, anyone can.”

While building his pizza oven, Simon started a blog about the project and the food he cooked in the oven. Soon they were being contacted by would-be furnace builders all over the world, sharing pictures of their furnaces and tips on the trade. He eventually put all his experiences into an e-book called How to Build a Traditional Fire Clay Pizza Oven.

The Backyard Bread & Pizza Oven Ebook

Simon’s project was not just a flash. “It replaced our barbecue,” he said. “The clay oven takes an hour to get up to temperature, but once it’s there, you cook a pizza in 60 seconds, with a hot base and a nice smoky aroma.”

Wood-fired ovens bake at very high temperatures – about 400 °C. Home furnaces cannot heat it. But it’s not just about pizza. Once the coals have been swept away and allowed to cool slightly, the oven is ready for slow roasting. “I cooked the klobs overnight at about 130°C,” says Simon.

Rather than a new invention, clay ovens are thousands of years old. The ancient Egyptians used clay ovens, and examples have been discovered in Roman Pompeii that would still work today if cleaned and fired. These ovens are built in public places and shared by families.

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