How to Build a Pizza Oven at Home
There’s something wonderfully therapeutic about the art of cooking. The praise often goes over-looked when it comes to the topic of cooking at home. Understandably, after a long day at work and endless weeks of trying to think up new ideas, it can feel a little chore-like.
Building your own pizza oven can bring the joy back into dinner times, as well as invite you to a new culinary challenge. Whilst a challenge, taking on the task to build your own pizza oven can be super rewarding and fun to make with the family. What’s better is once you’ve got your pizza oven up and running, you can have the best home-made pizza whenever you like.
How to Build a Pizza Oven
Once you have assigned your pizza a special spot in the garden, you will need to get the materials sorted. Clay and brick are both ideal materials for your pizza oven kit. Combining the two is even better for a sturdy structure, and for surviving the brilliant British weather, of course. The materials you will need are:
● 20 Breezeblocks, or 6-8 large concrete square slabs
● Around 40 bricks
● 5kg of cement
● 200kg of builders sand
● 175kg of clay (you can find this online, or dig it up if you know where to find it!)
● Glass bottles, about 20-30 wine bottles (get drinking)
● Big stones, pebbles, and rubble
● 6kg of wood shavings
Now you’ve got your resources, grab your wheelbarrow and a whole lot of drinking water, and get ready to start making your own pizza oven.
1. Building the oven’s base will be your first task. Using your breezeblocks, or concrete slabs, create a sturdy, hollow square shape. Imagine a 3D square but with a face missing. This gap will allow you to put materials underneath the top where the pizza oven will sit. The cement is your best friend here, sticking each block/slab together. Imagine you’re making a concrete sandwich.
2. In the middle of this hollow square, place a layer of stone and rubble topped with sand. On top of the sand, lay down your glass bottles, so they are all flat next to each other.
3. Fill in the missing face of your 3D square with the rest of your breezeblocks or concrete slabs. This step is where the insulation magic happens, so make it snug.
4. Now, you will need to build your oven dome. Use 120kg of your sand to form a dome shape around which the clay will mould. Place your sand dome right in the middle of your oven floor. It’ll need to be around 45cm high and 80cm in diameter. Cover it with newspaper whilst you deal with the clay to stop the sand from drying.
5. Make a thick sausage-like shape around the bottom of the dome. Mould the clay around the rest of the dome accordingly. The clay will need to dry completely, which will take around 4 hours.
6. With a kitchen knife, cut a semi-circle door that will fit a pizza tray. You don’t want this to be too big. Around this entrance, you will want to build a brick-wall type model. Fashion a large hole behind this brick arch. The hole will be your chimney!
7. Apply two layers of extra insulation to your dome. The first layer is best as a mix of cement, water, and wood shavings. Allow this to dry and then add another layer with cement, sand, and water.
8. Once dry-as-a-bone, your pizza oven is ready to start cooking. Place firewood and newspaper, or coal (your choice) by the entrance of the oven, get it nicely going before pushing – with your pizza tray, no hands please—to the back of the oven.
9. Add pizza!
There will be many nights of sitting around the pizza oven, which makes constructing your own a worthwhile and fulfilling endeavour. The process will be a bit messy and require some elbow grease. If it sounds like too much, or you give up halfway, you can always buy your own pizza oven. It will be a bit of a learning curve throughout, but once mastered, you’ll never order takeaway again!