Are Pizza Ovens for You?

An outdoor pizza oven is a very cool addition to any baker’s backyard. It’s perhaps one of the easiest appliances for someone to make themselves, and it creates a rustic and homey mood in any backyard kitchen (and a delicious aroma) during long summer nights. Outdoor pizza ovens are great for making not only pizza, but slow cooking meat like a shoulder of lamb, belly pork, beef ribs, pork ribs and even a whole pot of curry as well. Believe it or not, it doesn’t take much money or skill to create one of these fun home additions, so here’s a DIY guide so that you can entertain guests with fresh homemade pizza.

ppLet’s start out with what you’d need for this fun project. Your necessary tools are going to depend somewhat on the design you choose for your outdoor oven. There’s a variety of choices to choose from, so now’s the time to figure out if you want small clay ovens or larger scale concrete ovens. You’re going to want to make your decision with budget, location size and constraints, time and planned meals in mind. You also might want to think about whether you want to be able to move your pizza oven; building an oven on a wooden crate will make it possible for you to take it from place to place. Of course, you’d need a fork lift or a pallet truck to move it in that situation as the construction should weigh somewhere in the vicinity of half a ton, but it still can be useful to have the option. If you know exactly where you want the pizza oven, you might benefit from putting it on a brick stand so that the oven is at waist height.

Regardless of your chosen design, there are some materials that you’ll almost definitely need. These include sharp sand (or general purpose sand with small amounts of aggregate in the mix), builders’ sand (finer sand for detail work), cement, aggregate, a bucket or pot for the chimney (not totally necessary), a spade for mixing, a trowel for brick laying, bricks (best case scenario heat resistant but not totally necessary), a large cellophane sheet, some old pieces of wood/foam for shaping the arch, chipboard (if building on a pallet, and make sure it’s for outdoor use or it will warp), a wooden pallet (if building on a pallet), a drill, wood screws and a wood saw.

pizza ovenAgain, exactly how much you need of each depends on how large of a pizza oven you actually want. You can build the oven in stages, so you don’t have to know all of the exact quantities of each material that you need right from the beginning. Heat resistant bricks are generally thought to be a good idea when building an oven, as standard building bricks may expand and crack in the heat.

Your first step in making your pizza oven is to create the base. If you’re using a pallet, lay it down and make sure it’s horizontal before doing anything else.

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