How to build your own pizza oven
Important Note: Construction, fire and oven building can be dangerous. Only continue reading if you take full responsibility for the construction of your pizza oven.
What you need: Medium duty firebricks for the cooking floor and dome. Concrete bricks for the structure and red clay bricks for the other parts and some decorative materials. You will also need some wood to create a dome, a spirit level, concrete mix and a stove pipe. You can also use plain rocks to decorate the outer side.
Important: You will need basic construction knowledge.
Step one: Choose the area where your oven will be. The oven will be permanently installed, so choose correctly. Make sure you are not close to trees or anything that can burn. Once you figure out the safety of the design you might also want to consider smoke. Make sure smoke will not be a problem. Although the design has a smoke vent, make sure you are not directing smoke to your neighbours garden or to the streets.
Step two: Level the ground. Lay down a base ground layer of Cement. Make a firm base and make sure it is levelled. Dig in a few inches into the ground to make the cement ground base.
Step three: Lay down the concrete bricks on the ground base and make a rectangular base. The structure base should run from the ground to about your waist. You can make a square base or a horse shoe base if you want. The shape is a matter of choice. Make sure you leave an open end. Make sure the structure is safe, levelled and stable.
Step four: Now add some middle bars on top. Add cement to make the top side of the base structure. Use wood to case the cement in. Now you should have a base with a table like structure.
Step five: Add medium duty firebricks to the cooking floor. The cooking floor of the oven is the top of the base you just made. Make it circular. This is the floor where the pizza and the fire will rest.
Step six: Around the cooking floor add one layer of tilted vertical medium firebricks. Go round and around until you have a circle. Leave space for the pizza to come in.
Step seven: Make a structure of a dome with wood. The size is up to you. Now cover the wooden dome structure on the outside with medium of high duty firebricks. Add the smoke pipe before covering the entire dome.
Step eight: Cement the dome. The result should be a single structure rising from the ground with a cooking floor and the dome as the roof of the oven. Decorate if you want with stones.
Once the structure is complete and dry, light a fire and try it out. It is important that you wait until the oven is dry. Lighting a fire in a damp construction can crack the bricks and the cement. You can try smoking a pizza and you can also cook different things in your new oven. This guide is helpful to point directions. You can find more information on pizza ovens, tips and designs at Forno Bravo, find them at www.fornobravo.com.
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