Who wouldn’t love to be able to serve guests coal-fired pizza straight from a backyard pizza oven? Building a pizza oven may seem like a “when I strike it rich” goal, but it’s more achievable than you think. This project doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or require specialized construction skills to build. But you should definitely build in some drying time!
Using brick, sand and cement as the core components, you can create a beautiful, durable backyard pizza oven. You’ll want to choose a location in your yard that won’t get damaged by intense heat or smoke.
A standard wooden pallet of 40″ x 48″ will serve as your base. (While it’s optional, a brick foundation underneath can give added support.) Once you’ve leveled your pallet, add a 40″ x 48″ chip board over it. Then attach 4-inch-wide pieces of chip board around the edge to hold back the concrete you’ll pour into the base. Add 3-4 inches worth of concrete to this base, smoothing it out to ensure a flat surface for your oven.
Once this surface is dry, lay down a circular base line of bricks to create the body of the oven. Cut some bricks in half so you can use them on corners, and to create a dome. Aim for the oven to be waist high for ease of use. Cut a large piece of foam to support the opening you’ll be creating, stacking whole bricks at the bottom and then half-size pieces to create an arch. The arch should be approximately two-thirds the height of the oven itself.
Now it’s time to cement. Starting with the first layer, cover your work with a large plastic sheet. Pack sand tightly around and on top of this cemented first layer. Continue the process of cementing, putting down a plastic sheet and adding sand until you’ve reached the top of the dome. Don’t forget to leave a hole for a large diameter pipe to go in to serve as a chimney. The pipe should be placed higher than the archway opening to encourage smoke to go out the chimney.
Cover the exterior of your work with a smooth layer of concrete. After everything has dried in a couple of days, you’ll want to remove the foam, sand and plastic sheets.
You’re nearing the fun part now. It’s time to do a test run of your oven! Set your first fire and check for cracks where smoke is leaking. If all looks good, you’re ready to invite friends over for that first outdoor pizza party!