How to Build an Outdoor Pizza Oven
Your family and friends will love outdoor get-togethers at your home if you can provide the fun of fresh-baked pizza. Brick and concrete pizza ovens can get as hot as 800°F, which can cook a perfect pizza in around a single minute. Whether you choose gas or wood-fired is your choice. Either way, here’s how to get started.
What you will need:
- Concrete and grout mixes, refractory mortar, cement mixer or tubs for hand mixing
- Small and large cement trowels, shovel, circular saw, tape measure
- Safety equipment: Goggles/glasses and rubber gloves
- Cinderblocks, firebrick, exterior-grade wood or plywood
- Oven kit containing pre-fabricated pieces for floor, dome, metal door, thermometer, chimney flue, arches, and insulating blanket
Choose the oven kit first so you know what dimensions to build to. You can focus on clean-up with a dumpster rental to manage the heavy debris.
Building the Base
Prepare a concrete pad where you want the oven located. Let it cure at least a day. If you see dark areas, it isn’t dry yet. Stack your cinderblocks on the pad in a U-shape large enough to support the oven and provide countertop space. Stagger the blocks so all the gaps can be filled. Stack the blocks as high and as wide as you’ll be comfortable with. Mix concrete per instructions on the bag and fill the outer wall of your base, smoothing over the tops. Line the inner cavity with firebrick. You can finish the base by simply smoothing it over and filling the gaps, or be creative with colored stucco, cement, tile, stone, or brick.
Add the Countertop
Start by cutting the plywood to the proper size. If you’re going to finish the countertop with a thick layer of cement, you might want to use rebar or angle iron to brace it and secure the edges, especially if you’re using plywood. Otherwise, you can spread some grout and use any kind of tile you like. If you got decorative with the base, you might want to stick with that material. You can also just use wood and stain and finish it however you like. Just make sure the countertop is sturdy and level.
Assemble the Oven
Always follow the instructions that came with the kit. It’s a good idea to do a dry run-through first so you can see how everything will line up. Use a piece of chalk to mark out the base. The most important step is to ensure the oven floor pieces are smooth side up, and as flat and level as possible. When adding the flue, use enough grout around the base connector so that it sits flush and square.
It normally takes about 20 days for the grout to cure well before you can fire it up. From there, your only worries will be about making good pizza dough!