pizza oven 2Every pizza joint around here knows TOG. You hardly ever have to explain to them where we are. So it was high time that we made our own pizza oven in the yard.

Loads of pics here

First we had to set some cavity blocks. There’s quite a slope on TOG’s yard so the left side was about 20mm lower than the right. The left side blocks had to be raised to compensate. After the bottom 4 blocks were set, the others were simply stacked on top. Lengths of timber, painted with bitumen paint for waterproofing, were laid across the top, Now we had a suitable platform to build on.

Next we built a timber frame 100mm high, as a mold for a lightweight insulating concrete. Filled the frame with dry vermiculite to find out how much was needed. Made up some wire mesh for reinforcing, some wire rope as a carry handle, and some lengths of cable to make holes for temperature probes. Mixed up 6:1 vermiculite to cement. Levelled out the mix in the frame, then left it to set.

Laid out red bricks to decide the best size and shape. Decided on 3 bricks wide (lengthwise) and 8 bricks deep. Stacked up bricks to make the sides. Used small amount of weak cement/sand mix to seal the gaps in the bricks. Cut 25mm angle iron to support the bricks used for the roof. Lit a small fire to get some heat into the oven and really dry it out. Covered the sides with aluminium foil and rockwool slabs for thermal insulation.

Connected up a makeshift flue and lit a fire directly in the bricks. After a few hours the dial thermometer was almost off the scale at 300 deg C. Time to start cooking! Made a peel from a baking tray and brush handle. Pushed the fire to the back and brushed the hearth clean. Made about 20 pizzas from both readymade bases and dough. There were no leftovers 🙂

They were cooking in about 3 to 4 minutes, with one turn half way through cooking time. 12 hours after letting the fire go out, the inside was still at 101 deg C! Pizza oven makes a great patio heater too 🙂