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DIY wood fired pizza oven


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Morning chaps, with the advent of spring and the likelihood of not really having a proper holiday this year, in the hope that we will soon be able to actually meet with family outside I am planning to build a wood fired pizza oven in the garden.

I am looking forward to some even nicer home made pizzas than the wife currently makes in the kitchen oven with the pizza stone and the possibility of some slow cooked joints overnight....

I am pretty clear on how to build, plenty of online plans as I am too tight to spend >£1000 on a kit but what I am struggling to find is clay in bulk other than one shop on the south coast which is currently out of stock.

Has anyone built one? Any tips? Anywhere know where I can buy clay in bulk?

 

Thanks,

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There are a few places that do "fire cement" such as *bay (big bags of 25kg just add water) and screw*** small tubs of 2kg ready mixed- about same price per kg. I haven't used it but also been looking for very same reasons for a pizza oven.

would be very interested in the outcome, but I like the idea of the "portable one" just using fire bricks so can take down when not being used as seen on youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHMQ_QQJtbY 

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I made one last summer. I've posted on here somewhere about it if you do a search. Used a 55 gallon drum lined with bricks. Very easy and gets very hot. 

Done all sorts from pizza, curries and roasts. Well worth the effort. 

Pearlite and cement in 5/1 mixture is an amazing insulator. Engineering, red, or fire bricks are required for thermal mass if you want to slow cook. They absorb the heat and hold it for ages. The insulator stops it leaking out. 

The whole thing was made with a bucket, chainsaw, bricklayers trowel. Cost less than 100 quid as I had bits and bobs laying around that I made work. And work it does. 

Edited by GingerCat
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41 minutes ago, JTaylor91 said:

Thanks - I’ll have a look who’s most local. 

29 minutes ago, GingerCat said:

I made one last summer. I've posted on here somewhere about it if you do a search. Used a 55 gallon drum lined with bricks. Very easy and gets very hot. 

Done all sorts from pizza, curries and roasts. Well worth the effort. 

Pearlite and cement in 5/1 mixture is an amazing insulator. Engineering, red, or fire bricks are required for thermal mass if you want to slow cook. They absorb the heat and hold it for ages. The insulator stops it leaking out. 

The whole thing was made with a bucket, chainsaw, bricklayers trowel. Cost less than 100 quid as I had bits and bobs laying around that I made work. And work it does. 

Now that I am going to search for - I’ve priced up from the plans I was intending to use and it’s about £270 of materials - 150+kg of clay being the biggest element of cost. I can’t find much other than a comment on a thread - do you have a link? 
 

I should have put this in craft/diy - feel free to move mods as I don’t think I can 

Edited by oscarsdad
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17 minutes ago, oscarsdad said:

Thanks - I’ll have a look who’s most local. 

Now that I am going to search for - I’ve priced up from the plans I was intending to use and it’s about £270 of materials - 150+kg of clay being the biggest element of cost. I can’t find much other than a comment on a thread - do you have a link? 
 

I should have put this in craft/diy - feel free to move mods as I don’t think I can 

Unless you want to make a big oven, have you considered buying a fibreglass based one second hand or even new for a small ish one? At £270 to build your not far away from decent oven money? 
 

 

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Some really clever people up at Cambridge have decided that burning wood is highly dangerous, have you not taken this into consideration. Has to be true even though I am now over 80 and reared alongside a wood/coal burning large cast iron grate /oven and have burned wood in our own log burners for the last 50yrs how am I to argue with such high intelligence. 

Yes, those barbie/pizza ovens do look good and have to admit I have been tempted to build one or buy a commercial one.  I already have a large commercial barbecue which easily copes with ten guests so may not go there but nothing really beats cooking outdoors.

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save yourself much of the aggro and get yourself one of these and build a nice base for it. We have a very similar one its great, my brother has built his own and its.... ummm rustic and he is a pretty handy chap.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/brick-outdoor-wood-fired-Pizza-oven-100cm-white-Deluxe-model/272316311280?hash=item3f675126f0:g:cD8AAOSwXtNaY0u2

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I built one last year loosely following the series of videos below. I think in total I spent aprox £100 but had some of the materials lying around.  It is formed by using a cement & vermiculite mix around an exercise ball strengthened with chicken wire. I added a layer of 50mm ceramic fibre insulation from Victas and then covered this with a sand/cement layer to make it look good. I also used fire bricks for the base on top of the cement/vermiculite the videos use. Ill attach some build photos and later some of the results as I'm firing it up for pizzas tonight.

If you go down this route, just shout if you have any questions.  

 

 

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It was on this thread. 

https://forums.pigeonwatch.co.uk/forums/topic/411930-bread-making/page/2/?tab=comments#comment-3809861

The barrel is an easy way to go. You lay the bricks upside down and turn it over. Thought about clay but it got costly and labour intensive. Don't go smaller than 55 gallon drum though. Its been big enough for me to do pizzas and roasts and things with ease. 

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1 hour ago, stumpy69 said:

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8B659755-2F79-430F-950C-3D5B933B6A69.jpeg

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They look great. I was bored during a conference call this afternoon and found lots of the YouTube vids on using exercise ball and vermiculite or perlite. Looks like the way to go and I’ve costed it at less than £150 so much more palatable. I note your open wooden base - the original plans I had for the clay version had a solid base filled with sand and bottles as a heat sink to maintain temps for longer - how long does yours stay hot on the stand base?

29 minutes ago, GingerCat said:

It was on this thread. 

https://forums.pigeonwatch.co.uk/forums/topic/411930-bread-making/page/2/?tab=comments#comment-3809861

The barrel is an easy way to go. You lay the bricks upside down and turn it over. Thought about clay but it got costly and labour intensive. Don't go smaller than 55 gallon drum though. Its been big enough for me to do pizzas and roasts and things with ease. 

I like the look of that - if I can source a barrel may try that route. 

Edited by oscarsdad
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If you want slow roasts you may struggle with the exercise ball method as it will have no thermal mass to stay hot long enough. 

I can light mine, get it to temp, say 700.c and close the door. It will be warm enough to cook bread 14 hours later. 

If you want pizza or the odd bit of fast cooking ikes chops and steaks then the exercise ball is probably the way to go.

Material wise the difference is a few bricks (about 20) for the roof and less again for the floor, and the barrel which you can normally scrounge. I had one from the garage at work and just lit ahot  fire in it to clean it out of oil. 

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33 minutes ago, oscarsdad said:

They look great. I was bored during a conference call this afternoon and found lots of the YouTube vids on using exercise ball and vermiculite or perlite. Looks like the way to go and I’ve costed it at less than £150 so much more palatable. I note your open wooden base - the original plans I had for the clay version had a solid base filled with sand and bottles as a heat sink to maintain temps for longer - how long does yours stay hot on the stand base?

The base is open wood so I can store wood underneath. On top of the wood frame is paving slabs then the bricks are there to hold in a layer of vermiculite/cement mix. I put my fire bricks on top of that as a cooking base before mounting the inside dome.

Heat retention is good. If I put the door on after cooking (8PM ish) it is still around 180-220°C. I had an accident with some very well seasoned oak once and the inside got up to 650°C and the outside render was only 28°C according to the laser thermometer.

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2 hours ago, oldypigeonpopper said:

Hello, I am sure Island gun made one that looks very nice, have a search, 

Hm cheers OPP, well the picture shows approximately where im up too.  JKD advised that the engineering bricks might crack and low and behold after extensive testing in my multi/coal house stove with half bricks they did indeed crack, at prolonged temp at over 500c, I have now found some solid bricks in Skye and will build the oven with those as i don't want to risk it, Notably the standard sand/ cement mortar turned to dust at high temperature, I will be using fire cement

DSCN2816.JPG.3e6d7151e312dafe7528e6cb7ddd91f7.JPG

Edited by islandgun
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1 hour ago, Smokersmith said:

They’re a lot of fun.

A good tip is to always have a use for the residual heat once the Pizzas are done. I’ve used it this free heat for veg, fish and a haunch of venison!

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Looks great, that’s what I was thinking....Friday night pizza night, then stick the meat in, door on and let it cook for the next day. 

1 hour ago, stumpy69 said:

The base is open wood so I can store wood underneath. On top of the wood frame is paving slabs then the bricks are there to hold in a layer of vermiculite/cement mix. I put my fire bricks on top of that as a cooking base before mounting the inside dome.

Heat retention is good. If I put the door on after cooking (8PM ish) it is still around 180-220°C. I had an accident with some very well seasoned oak once and the inside got up to 650°C and the outside render was only 28°C according to the laser thermometer.

Perfect...that’s close to my current thinking. Vermiculite dome, ceramic cloth insulation, chicken wire, more vermiculite sat on a slab base with a vermiculite slab between concrete slab and fire bricks. Then plan to render and paint it. 
Choice now is whether I go fora timber frame from railway sleepers or build a breeze block frame - whilst I can’t currently think of a reason to need to move it, a timber frame at least means I could move it if needed. 

Edited by oscarsdad
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1 hour ago, islandgun said:

Hm cheers OPP, well the picture shows approximately where im up too.  JKD advised that the engineering bricks might crack and low and behold after extensive testing on my multi/coal house stove with half bricks they did indeed crack, at prolonged temp at over 500c, I have now found some solid bricks in Skye and will build the oven with those as i don't want to risk it, Notably the standard sand/ cement mortar turned to dust at high temperature, I will be using fire cement

DSCN2816.JPG.3e6d7151e312dafe7528e6cb7ddd91f7.JPG

Sorry about that 😕 I'm sure it's more to do with density and solidity, and using the correct cement 🙂 Any air pockets or layered materials [ie limestone etc] the intense heat will find the weakness. When you've successfully cooked some bread, send me a loaf 😉😀

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14 minutes ago, JKD said:

Sorry about that 😕 I'm sure it's more to do with density and solidity, and using the correct cement 🙂 Any air pockets or layered materials [ie limestone etc] the intense heat will find the weakness. When you've successfully cooked some bread, send me a loaf 😉😀

Will do, I left the half bricks in the coal over a number of days and they simply cracked at the narrowest point's, this was in a very intense heat which I doubt a woodfired oven will reach ?.  but it would be a shame if after completion and covering in render,  bits of brick started to fall onto the base, I will post some pictures when its done, probably in the summer now !

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