How to DIY Your Pizza Oven Installation
Home-made pizza is one of life’s little delights, and it’s easy to do. You can whip up a pizza in minutes using your home oven or microwave. But if you really want to do it right, you could invest in a wood-fired pizza oven. They’re really easy to install, and you can set it up yourself with a few simple instructions.
- First, you have to find a pizza oven supplier. A good one will offer you, multiple models, to choose from and will give you the option to either put it up yourself or buy a pre-assembled model put together by their team. Look around for reviews as you select which company to buy from. If possible, find an active oven that you can look at and maybe even try out.
- Outdoor pizza ovens usually consist of a dome-shaped section with a chimney for ventilation. The dome sits on top of a base that has two purposes. It supports the oven, and it holds the fuel. Flames in a pizza oven usually come from the bottom of the dome itself, to allow for thorough fuel consumption and effective baking.
- The pizza will cook on an elevated pizza tray that raises it above the fuel source, promoting air circulation to keep the fire burning. Having the fuel below the cooking surface enhances the flavour of the pizza since the smoke positively influences the taste of your pizza.
- These ovens usually run on logs, wood pellets, charcoal, or briquettes. Wood fuelled ovens are the most common, since wood is easily available, affordable, and cooks with great results. Some pizza ovens have in-built side slots where you can slide a wire tray to support the pizza as it cooks. Others have a permanent wire tray that sits a few inches above the slab.
- There are two kinds of dome pizza ovens. In traditional ovens, the mouth of the dome is lined with stone, clay, or concrete, while some modern styles like the Wildfire use a metal cowl to line the pizza oven’s arch. It gives the oven a sleek, futuristic look without compromising form and function. Choose a design that matches your personal style.
- Pizza ovens come in different sizes, so make your choice based on the space available and the kind of food you plan to cook. Pizza ovens can be used to make more than just pizza. You can bake bread, cookies, or even barbecue meat, so ensure the size of your entry arch and dome are adequate for your favourite cut of meat.
- If you’re a regular baker, get an oven that’s on the larger side so that you can save time by baking more than one loaf at a time. You also want a dome diameter that’s large enough to fit your king-size pizza, or a large Christmas turkey if the need arises.
- Many homeowners prefer to build a bench for their pizza ovens. You can make it from concrete, natural stone, or even wood. Set it at a comfortable height so that you don’t strain too much when you use the oven. Waist-height is a good size for the bench.
- A useful design feature is to include a hollow space or drawer within the slab for storing fuel. You can include a decorative finish on your bench, such as tile, marble, stone, brick, or adobe. Once your bench is complete, build the oven slab. This is the base of the oven.
- If you order a pre-assembled unit, it comes with a ready-made slab, but since you’re using a DIY kit, you need to lay your own slab. This slab can consist of concrete, individual bricks, or cut stone. Lay the slab, making sure it’s flat and even. An ideal slab thickness is 100mm.
- Next, comes the dome. It generally consists of four pieces that need to be assembled. The front pieces include a cowl. These sections are pushed against each other forming dry internal joints. The joints allow the oven chamber to expand and contract without cracking while you cook. Position the chimney or flue in place between the dome pieces.
- On the outside, the dome is held together with mortar. It can be additionally insulated with a layer of chicken wire over a crematic blanket, though this isn’t necessary. Secure the chimney in place with mortar as well. Some units allow you to screw it into place for ease of assembly.
- If you’re using dome pieces that have distinct gaps like bricks, make a mould with foam, wood chips or cardboard and place it in the oven. It will maintain the dome’s shape and hold the bricks in place as they dry.
- Cover this foam mould with cellophane then reinforce it with a layer of sand wrapped in cellophane or plastic sheeting. It will help to maintain the shape of the dome as it dries. Create the arch and position the chimney while you’re creating the dome, so that they can set at the same time.
- Once the sand is in place, lay the bricks around the mould, holding them in place with cement. Once all the parts are laid, coat the whole dome with a layer of concrete. Leave the oven to dry for three or four days.
- Then remove the foam and pierce the plastic that was holding the sand mould, allowing the sand to pour onto the oven floor for extraction. Once all the sand is out, peel off the plastic sheeting and brush the inner surface of the oven to remove any leftover specks of sand.
- Set aside a few days to get your oven setup, and once it’s installed, do a dry-run without pizza to ensure everything is working properly. That first lighting will dry the oven pieces further and set everything in place. Now you can bake your first home pizza.
Reading these instructions can make the process seem quite complex, but it’s not. When you buy a DIY Pizza Oven, it comes with its own DIY Pizza Oven Kits. And if you have any difficulties, you can always call the supplier for help. Good luck!