If you dream about your own pizza oven, but for various reasons you still haven’t decided to buy this kind of product – we are here with some good news. You can build your own DIY outdoor pizza oven that you will like much better than the industrial version. Especially for you, we have prepared an article about useful tips for building your perfect pizza oven. We believe these tips will make the building process easier!
What should you know about DIY outdoor pizza ovens before building one?
If you consider taking on a DIY pizza oven outdoor project, know that there are numerous things to think about before you start. Luckily, you don’t have to feel left alone with everything. We suggest what to pay attention to – location, materials, and a few more aspects. We believe that basic DIY skills are enough to build a great pizza oven!
DIY pizza oven is by no means worse than the ready-made oven
If you think that a DIY wood-fired oven is somehow worse than the oven that you can buy in a shop – the first thing you should do is to change your mindset. Pizza ovens built from scratch by their owners (usually laymen) are amazing and one of a kind! You can even say that such a DIY pizza oven has a soul. It is really worth building your own pizza oven in your backyard. Satisfaction after finishing all the tasks related to building is enormous.
Before you start building, you definitely need to think about the best possible location in your garden. The perfect location is the one that is away from all sorts of flammable materials such as washing lines or children’s toys. Building your DIY pizza oven near trees isn’t the safest option, either. Make sure that your oven is no closer than 3-4 meters from your home’s entrance. Safety first!
Equip yourself with the best available high-temperature insulation materials
If you want to try your hand at building a pizza oven, you will need refractory materials. Building a base, a dome, an oven floor, creating an insulation layer – those tasks cannot be done without the right materials.
You might need fire cement, refractory setting cement/mortars, fire bricks, zircon refractory products, refractory castables, breeze blocks, sharp sand and so on. Of course you can try looking for some of those products in a local DIY shop, however, the highest quality heat resistant products are the ones that you can find on the website https://www.vitcas.com/.
Be patient and take the time – building a wood-fired pizza oven can be time-consuming
You need to realize that building will take you some time. It will surely be time full of fun, but still – you have to be aware that going through the process will probably take you longer than you expect. Creating your perfect oven can be time-consuming! Actually, the time it takes to build your own oven may range from a few hours to even a couple of weekends. It all depends on the materials used while building.
How to build a pizza oven? Building a SOLID base is crucial
Each pizza oven tutorial should start with an emphasis on how crucial a solid base is. Be sure that you build the base of your oven on a sturdy surface which will not move. We strongly recommend having a concrete slab reinforced with rebar mesh. Bet on a concrete block – take into account that the role of the base is to carry even a few thousand kilograms of mortar, brick, and stone.
Keep the right proportions
Another tip connected with building a base is to keep the appropriate proportions between the base and the height. Making sure that there is enough space for placing the door is equally important at the stage of designing. Please remember, that in the case of buying an insert, you will see guidelines for how wide and tall your base needs to be according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Complete your tasks in the right order
You have to dig out a base for the foundation – the depth depends, among others, on the softness of your soil and the area’s climate. Don’t pour concrete directly into the dig. There is a much better option – just put down a layer of gravel and as well as a grid of rebar and only then you should pour concrete.
Thanks to an appropriate sequence of actions, the foundation of the base will remain intact for many years. Not only that, the foundation will be strong and solid enough to support a heavy brick structure.
Building the oven dome? You can do it in two ways
The first option is indeed building the dome on your own. The second possibility is buying a ready-made insert for your outdoor pizza oven. Which one to choose? Well, it depends on how much money you can spend. If you decide to choose the first option, equip yourself with patience and don’t get discouraged – this stage requires accuracy and precision.
What to consider before building the dome of the oven? You definitely need to think about the width and height of the dome. Also, you should consider the size of the tunnel. Don’t forget to decide about the thickness of the mortar joints. What also matters is the size of the bricks. Remember that the traditional pizza ovens are always dome-shaped, however, it doesn’t mean that you cannot select an aeroplane hangar-shaped one or the “igloo” style. It’s up to you!
Build the dome as right as possible, step by step, because if it happens that any part of the process goes wrong, you might have to face cracks in your oven. Another consequence could be poor circulation. You should do all you can to avoid this kind of situation – after all, you want to eat delicious wood-fired pizzas instead of undercooked or burnt meals!
The next stages of building your pizza oven in a nutshell
The next steps of building consist of building up oven walls and oven floor. Build up three courses with the use of clay stock bricks. They are necessary for creating the outer “skin”, which eventually will be plastered over. Screed over the lintels with a dry mix providing a smooth base for the floor of the oven. Form a compact lump from the mixture and then pat it down with a float. Leave it for 24 hours or more to let it dry completely.
Then continue the oven walls, build the barrel vault, complete the vault, build the doorway, finish the oven floor, continue with the doorway and the chimney (optional, depending on the project), finish touches, clean out any remaining sand and… fire out!
Know how to heat up your pizza oven properly
Lighting your pizza oven is easier than you think. You should start with opening the door of the oven and chimney vent. Then, you should place your kindling in a teepee shape with firelighters in the center. The third step is all about lighting a firelighter and then carefully placing it in the kindling’s center.
The kindling started burning? Great! Now you can add more logs slowly. Keep the fire lit – do it until the dome of the pizza turns black from the smoke. Then you ought to add logs once again to raise the heat up to 500 degrees Celsius.
This is the right time to close the chimney vent. At this point, you should make space for your food by moving the embers to the side. The last step is to place your perfectly prepared food in the oven. You have to admit that it doesn’t sound so complicated!
When your DIY pizza oven is ready, indulge in the passion of cooking!
Don’t waste the potential of the DIY pizza oven and prepare delicious meals as often as you can! You can experiment with different types of pizzas, meat, and fish. Half-jokingly, half seriously, cooking pizza in your own oven in your backyard should become your new hobby.
You should also try preparing vegetables, loaves of bread and something sweet, such as cinnamon rolls. You can focus on cooking at high temperatures, but you are also free to try using residual heat for pastry, cakes, and slow-cooked lamb and pork. The taste and smell of the meals taken right from your DIY wood-fired oven will be amazing, trust us!
Building a DIY pizza oven outdoors is worth considering. Just think about it – you can gain a great excuse to organize garden parties with your family and friends. You no longer have to order meals – you can prepare them on your own. Trust us, you will truly love the smell and the taste of pizzas and other dishes! Not only that, you also gain a chance to improve your cooking skills. Those are the advantages of having your own DIY pizza oven. After reading this article, you already know that the building process can be time-consuming, but on the other hand, it’s worth the effort. You also know that even laymen can manage to build a pizza oven on their own. You only know if you try it!