Building a Brick Pizza Oven

Believe it or not, my hubby gets crazy ideas too! About this time last year he and I installed wood floors in my friend Liz’s house and then we ripped up some nasty old carpet and installed bamboo in two rooms in our house.

This year, I’m taking it easy on him 😉 Because his “honey do” list is pretty darn short, I encouraged him to build the brick pizza oven of his dreams. Way back about 10 years ago, we build a mammoth bread oven in our back yard in Ohio. Baking bread in a wood fired oven is quite the undertaking, involving heating the whole thing up, which takes hours, then pulling out all the coals, putting your bread loaves in, closing up the door tight and praying. LOL! We never did get that whole thing quite right, and learned later on that pizza ovens were entirely different, constructed to heat up more quickly, and you keep the fire burning while cooking the pizza, which should cook VERY quickly because you’ve got the base blistering hot.

It should not surprise you that he has been researching this new construction method for years, and he finally had the time to begin this next adventure while Logan and I were away in Massachusetts. He took lots of pictures (to share with facebook friends) of the earlier stages, and I’ve been around for the later stages.

Edit: It should not surprise you that although the techniques used are very user friendly, the materials used are VERY specialized! I asked hubby to supply me with some details and links to where he learned how to do this and here are his reponses:

Here’s some pix of the process:

Stirling had lots of fun – but all this commotion did not deter him from his new hobby – eating ripe tomatoes from the vine half a day before his humans would pick them.

Patience is a virtue, there will be days of small fires to dry this out, and then a large fire to cure/kiln the clay from the inside out. But hopefully, if the whole thing doesn’t fall apart on firing, someday soon we’ll have friends gathered round eating pizza on this empty patio.

Want to join us when that happens?

10 Responses

  1. This is just too cool! I want one! Where did you get the clay for the outside? Did you use fire brick or just bricks that were laying around? I will be looking forward to the first pizza that comes out of the oven!

    1. Unfortunately, we didn’t cure it long enough and it developed a crack. It was small to begin with but has been increasing in size, so we’re building a bigger, better one now:

  2. Wow. Never thought of that as a DIY type of project! Very ambitious! The camp my kids are at this week has one that they use for baking bread.

    1. Years and YEARS ago, hubby did a summer camp/school thing called “Governor’s Scholars” in Kentucky for rising high school Seniors. One project he did with them is to build clay ovens – literally hollowed out mounds of clay (local I believe) and they cooked break and pizza in it… some of which turned out AMAZING, some not so 🙂 This type of project satisfies so many of his interests…I will be delighted if all works out as planned. He has listened to my aesthetic concerns and I’m happy this oven fits in with our yard. The bread oven he built years ago had a “rustic charm” (ahem) that made me really insist that this one be more finished. Of course, he starts by showing me pictures of all sorts of absolutely amazing ovens, but they are waaaaay out of our reach in so many ways!

  3. OMFG….this is why I don’t normally comment but OMG that oven looks so totally cool. Tell your hubby Great Job-it looks amazing. Miss you guys we just got back from Delaware so I am recouping as well just to jump on a plane Friday to go to Florida. Tell everyone “Hello”!!!! Loved the visit and all the pix! BTW I just purchased a Droid hahahahahah I have AT&T so it is a samnusg infuse….I LOVE IT!!!!!! Hi Liam really missed seeing you this visit…maybe you could just come out sometime and leave the parents at home K? TTYAS : ) Shelly Shaw

  4. Has your brick oven stood the test of time? If so, how does it cook? Love the design!