Huge outdoor pizza oven building project pledge

Discussion in 'Building DIY, Machinery & Tools' started by Mark, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,505
    Likes Received:
    1,030
    Location:
    Bellmere, QLD
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    We've talked about this here and I've been thinking about it for a long time to be honest and now the time has come...

    pizza oven sheep.jpg

    I'm going to DIY build my own outdoor pizza oven (or bread bakery) and I'm thinking big! :sneaky:

    I have no building experience (never laid a brick in my life) and have no plan as yet - just the idea.

    My vision is to build a large... make that huge... enclosed brick structure furnace oven thingy with a chimney akin to something out of medieval times. I'll have to lay a slab first and then find appropriate bricks and materials to build the pizza oven with and I also intend to render the outside so it holds in the heat and looks Mickey Mouse.

    Why? Because pizza and bread baked the old fashioned way in an outdoor wood fired oven tastes FANTASTIC. I've had many an outdoor pizza oven experience with friends and family and whilst they have tasted great the one major setback was how slow the process was with most outdoor ovens having limited capacity to cook more then one or two small pizzas at a time and for large gatherings you end up drinking more than eating!

    Mine won't have that problem because it will be designed to cook at least 4+ (large pizzas) at once and hopefully some bread and a roast at the same time :D

    Off the shelf pizza ovens cost a fortune and most are not much bigger than an indoor oven. The premium pizza ovens cost thousands and I reckon I can build my own super duper outdoor pizza oven for a considerable less cost.

    Any ideas, advice, previous experience in building (particularly bricks) is welcome!

    Watch this thread (top right "watch thread" link) to follow me as I make one of the best outdoor backyard pizza ovens the world has ever seen! I will not fail until I have a hot crispy smoky wood fired slice of homemade pizza in my hand... that is my pledge.

    {Caveat - This project may take considerable time to complete. I cannot and will not be held responsible for failing to meet any expectations either stated or implied in this post...but, I will succeed, oooh yes I will whoooarrr...}
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    250
    Location:
    Brisbane Australia
    You little ripper Mark. :cheer:
    I am on-board for the journey with you 100%.

    I will have a think about any advice I can give. It sounds like i will have bit of time up my sleeves .....

    Really awesome idea though. Can't wait! Let the fun begin.:dance:
     
  3. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,505
    Likes Received:
    1,030
    Location:
    Bellmere, QLD
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    Thanks Steve - I'm going to start gathering ideas and information first then make a plan. It's going to be a good project :)
     
  4. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    250
    Location:
    Brisbane Australia
    Right, its only been 2 hours but here is what I already have twirling around my head. It's all just food for thought so take or leave as you wish...

    1. A door - have a think about whether you want a door or not. I don't think it's 100% necessary but it might be a nice idea. I've seen ovens where you use a steel frame in the opening to the oven and the door hangs off that. You brick up around the frame and it would give it some support. If you do have a door I would make sure i can easily lift the door off so it doesn't get in the way if i change my mind. The cast iron look is pretty cool and solid enough.
    2. The Base - make sure the base (the area you slide your pizzas into) is nice and flat. Nothing worse than using your massive spatula (not sure of the correct term) to slide a pizza in and getting it caught on a brick end sticking up. Not a big issue but might make life a bit sweeter.
    3. Wood Storage - unless i had a storage area very close by I would like a built-in area below the oven. It also adds to the look of the whole thing.....wood, fire, bricks, smoke.....ah heaven!
    4. Side benches - I personally always like a bit of area to prep or just store utensils etc close by. If you could incorporate a nice bench either side I think it would make a massive difference to usability as well as the aesthetics. It will add width to the generally narrow oven area to make it look so much more impressive. And remember, he who has the biggest pizza oven area, wins! What could you make it out of you may ask? Well i see either nice chunky wood or brick or even stainless steel would be pretty special. Stainless steel is nice and easy to clean and looks a million dollars but it does get really hot if in the sun. So many ideas...
    5. Location - One of the coolest pizza ovens i have seen was actually built into the existing kitchen wall. From inside the kitchen it just looked like a hole in the wall with a door but then on the outside of the house was the rest of the oven. Very cool indeed. Of course you need the right house for this and permission from OIC house (and possibly an engineer) so it might not be for everyone. And it probably wouldn't work on a high-set house. But seriously, what an awesome idea for those wet and chilly nights when you can't get outside. Maybe have two, one inside and one outside.
    So that's what i have for you so far. Hope it helps in some way.
    Looking forward to hearing your plans.
     
  5. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,505
    Likes Received:
    1,030
    Location:
    Bellmere, QLD
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    Good stuff Steve and all relevant points. Apparently, (and I only just read this) a door is a must if baking bread and not so important for pizzas and since I'd be doing both I'd best make it with a door. It's the steam thing (keeping moisture inside the oven that makes the bread rise well and cook a nice crust) that's what they say...

    I thought about the floor also - last thing I want is what you described.

    Yep, it has got to have good bench space and a wood stowage area. Totally agree.

    This is a good site http://woodfiredpizza.org/index.html here's his video below (bad quality vid but still good)


    Another site resource - http://mha-net.org/docs/v8n2/wildac03b.htm

    Clay - http://www.traditionaloven.com/articles/101/what-is-fire-clay-and-where-to-get-it
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    250
    Location:
    Brisbane Australia
    Yep that's a good site to get some inspiration from. And not a bad vid too to see it all come together.
    Looks like cracking could be bit of a problem. I havent heard of the materials they used (or should have used) in the roof. (ie Vermiculite insulation and perlite insulation)
    Nice design though.
     
  7. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    1,764
    Likes Received:
    639
    Location:
    Clontarf, Qld
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    I haven't looked at the links or video yet (I will do later when on a faster connection).

    Have you got a location for it? I'm thinking if it's for hosting your future tour/open day lunches? then you could set up a complete area for the purpose, like a whole entertainment area, I don't mean expensive, just design it and work towards it? :cheers:
     
  8. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,505
    Likes Received:
    1,030
    Location:
    Bellmere, QLD
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    I'm going to put it down the bottom of our block where we've already got a picnic table and portable BBQ area setup. It's nice because we have the neighbours small dam as a backdrop and the chickens to look at (fun for kids too). Yes, you're dead right, I will need to do it "properly" and also build some sort of matching benches etc with some hard standing - not sure if I have the expertise to build a cover though (gazebo).

    I really will have to concentrate on the oven first as it's a HELL of a job for a non-mason like me - I have to admit it's doing my head in :confused: However, I'm keen to give it a go and pretty confident I can build my Taj-Ma-PizzaOven :D
     
  9. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    1,764
    Likes Received:
    639
    Location:
    Clontarf, Qld
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    How about doing what we talked about previously, building a smaller test one, a "Prototype", that gives you some experience and ideas. Launching in to a major project with no experience could cause issues which could possibly be avoided? I'm not trying to bring the downer, just throwing ideas around :cheers:... just thinking "big" cost money so you could "nut out" a small prototype" first.

    (i'm good at advice even when i have no idea) :tease:
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2013
  10. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,505
    Likes Received:
    1,030
    Location:
    Bellmere, QLD
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    I see what you're saying Stevo but building a small pizza oven is still a lot of trouble - I'd imagine for me anyway :think:I may as well go the full hog I reckon...

    On this page this Woody guy (Tom) makes a base without a floating concrete floor (it looks easier than the concrete base floating method) but he doesn't demonstrate how the oven actually fits onto it - surely it doesn't just sit on the plaster board :eek: http://www.diypizzaovens.com.au/Ovens/style.html

    Sort of leaning towards a concrete floating base, however, Tom's method has got me thinking...
     
  11. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    1,764
    Likes Received:
    639
    Location:
    Clontarf, Qld
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    Keep us updated then,

    Are you going to keep an eye out for cheap materials on gumtree/ebay? or buy new?
     
  12. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,505
    Likes Received:
    1,030
    Location:
    Bellmere, QLD
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    Probably just go to Bunnings they're pretty reasonable they may even give me some free advice :)
     
  13. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    1,764
    Likes Received:
    639
    Location:
    Clontarf, Qld
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    so, looking at google images, they show the fire is in the same space/compartment as the pizza, so you have to have a large area to fit mulitple pizzas and a fire beside it, or do you make different levels/compartments?
     
  14. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,505
    Likes Received:
    1,030
    Location:
    Bellmere, QLD
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    I have seen several commercial ones (steel makes) with a grill compartment underneath but traditional pizza/bread ovens have the coals in the same area as the food with the fire pushed aside of course :)
     
  15. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    250
    Location:
    Brisbane Australia
    I wanna take a closer look at this site and try and work it out how they put it together. Should get some time on Sunday.
    That's my analytical self coming out again. I just cant help it. :D

    In the mean time, here is some other advice i have.
    If you are going to bag or render, or even paint, the brickwork then I suggest using the biggest bricks you can get your hands on, besser bricks.
    It will save you so much effort and time when laying them.

    You could try a demolition scrap yard for cheaper material. But in saying that, i get what you are saying, sometimes it's easier just to go to Bunnings and get it all in one spot. Convenience is their specialty. :D

    As for adding levels, if you can make the oven big enough you shouldn't need to add racks. I love the look of a big ol' pizza oven. The small ones look a bit sad to me so go big or go home I say. Yes!
     
  16. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,505
    Likes Received:
    1,030
    Location:
    Bellmere, QLD
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    Yeah like the besser bricks suggestion they're not bad value either.

    I was considering racks but now you mention it Steve I kind of like the old Big bread oven look also so since I'm building it and not getting a kit or off the shelf pizza oven I'm going Big as practical.

    Regardless this pizza oven will be one of a kind.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    1,764
    Likes Received:
    639
    Location:
    Clontarf, Qld
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    Do you have be carefull what kind of bricks you use because of when they heat up they crack? I think the bricks i have been using would crack if they where cemented in and heated right up.
     
  18. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    250
    Location:
    Brisbane Australia
    Not really knowing much about bricks, but I would say probably only the base that the fire sits on would need to be heat resistant bricks. You can definitely buy them as they use them in kilns and I know some metal work places have them to rest steel on while they heat them up to red hot.
    I'm not sure about the roof bricks. It would probably say in the website links above.:dunno:
    The support area (the bit that holds the whole oven) shouldn't get too hot especially if you have a floating base to reduce heat transfer, not to mention the support is down low where heat would have to work pretty hard to travel down to.
     
  19. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    250
    Location:
    Brisbane Australia
    I just checked out Tom's video on how he makes the base.
    It seems pretty easy and I would think easier than the full floating base, as long as you are handy with an angle grinder to cut out the steel post spots in the brickwork.
    He uses cement sheeting which is some heavy material and would hold the oven pretty easily i think. He actually uses two sheets.
    The steel posts he rebates into the brickwork as the bearers are nice and solid and then the cement sheeting is just to spread the weight. And it must be quite good at high heat applications although i did see in his next video of making the oven that he puts down a row of thin heat resistant bricks, then some sort of insulation, and then another row of thin bricks (that then becomes your cooking surface) so the amount of heat going through the bottom would be stuff-all.

    Hmmm, a few methods to choose from you have.

    I also like the idea of putting a dye in the bagging material to get the colour you want. Very cool.:thumbsup:
     
  20. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    4,505
    Likes Received:
    1,030
    Location:
    Bellmere, QLD
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    What does he use as the insulation on the base - it looks like sand - is that the perlite? And, I wonder if laying the heat bricks for the cooking surface on top of this "sand" could make potential for moving bricks and unevenness over time (as you were saying earlier about wanting an even surface for the big spatula to scoop out pizzas)?

    I've seen examples of the heat pavers begin adhered to the concrete floating base and even just sitting on the concrete base there would be little movement I'd think. I'm not totally convinced the non-concrete base is the better option yet and I'm thinking a floating concrete base may still be worth the extra effort.
     
Loading...

Share This Page