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DIY Wood Fired Pizza Oven

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DIY Wood Fired Pizza Oven
Photo credit: Aaron Landry / Flickr

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Why a DIY Wood Fired Pizza Oven?

There’s nothing like the taste of a fresh, wood fired pizza pie. Some of the best pies in the world come directly from a brick oven. The flavor from anything that comes out of these brick ovens is unmatched. You can have that kind of taste by building your very own oven that works as great as a ceramic or custom-built masonry model.

There is very little cost in a basic wood fired oven and the materials are easily obtained. If you plan on adding elaborate detail and want the oven to look aesthetically appealing to guests, then the cost could quickly rise.

Building Your Own Oven

Yes, this is possible though you’ll likely need some help in completing a viable oven. You’ll also need a list of materials in order to build a basic wood fired pizza oven. Red or fire bricks, builders/masonry sand, subsoil, cement, and more are just some of the necessary items for a DIY wood fired oven.

But before you even begin, you need to know the size, style, and design of the oven. Typically, a 27-inch oven will suffice, if pizza is the only item you plan on cooking. A dome-shaped oven works just fine and is one of the easiest to build by hand.

Because you’d be building the oven from scratch, you’ll have to mix the packing mud, construct the oven floor, and the door yourself. While the oven can likely be completed in a day, it may take a full 24 hours, especially to ensure the oven floor is solid enough to cook on.

How long can you cook in the oven?

If built with fire bricks, a wood fired oven can actually cook for several hours at a time. Brick ovens built with the sole purpose of cooking pizza are usually dense and very well insulated inside and out. The cement and mixed mud used to coat the oven floor and inside of the oven help keep the oven hot for long periods of time. With a typical wood fired oven, you can cook for up to 6 hours with the oven remaining at the temperature staying fairly hot for that long.

How long does a wood fired pizza oven last?

That really depends on its construction. For most wood fired ovens, even the DIY kind, the longevity of its usefulness is finite. Since bricks can withstand high temperatures for long periods of time without being destroyed or altered, they make the best oven material.

Even with temperatures getting up to 450 degrees for 20 minutes or longer (some people cook more than one pizza in a day), the DIY wood fired pizza built on this ever-lasting material will continue to stand strong for years.

How do I fire the oven up?

Just like building a fire, you’ll need wood. If you plan on baking bread and other foods, as well as pizza, when you fire up the wood, you’ll need to keep at least a small fire going throughout the cooking process. Normally, you’d let the fire go until there are only embers left.

But with pizza, the fire that’s started should be kept blazing slightly throughout the baking process, making sure to keep the pizza some distance from the fire. Use an oven thermometer to keep tabs on the temperature inside the oven to prevent it from getting too hot.

It normally takes between 1 and 1 ½ hours for the oven to get heated up. Of course, this also depends on the size of the oven you’ve built.

If you’re looking to entertain guests and want them to enjoy the flavorful tastes of a wood fired pizza and other foods, then a DIY wood fired pizza oven is the way to go. It’s right in your backyard, cost effective to building, and lasts as long as you want it to.


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