Everybody loves pizza. Even better if it’s freshly baked and homemade! You don’t need to have an outdoor kitchen for this to be possible. This hand-built outdoor pizza oven is the solution.
This relatively cheap outdoor pizza oven project will definitely improve your backyard. It’s a great way to entertain guests during summer, and even during winter. The outdoor pizza oven is a great centrepiece that allows you to bake homemade bread and pizza, as well as slow-cooking meat.
This outdoor pizza oven project is so easy that even new DIYers can accomplish it. Make the workload even easier by getting your friends and relatives to help you out. After all, they’ll be around eating the bread and pizzas of your labour 🙂
Love freshly baked pizza and bread? Then build this DIY outdoor pizza oven!
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- Sharp Sand (general purpose sand usually contains small amounts of aggregate)
- Builders Sand
- Bucket or Pot – for the chimney (optional)
- Bricks – heat resistant
- Large cellophane sheet
- Wood or Foam – for shaping the arch
- Chipboard – make sure it is for outdoor use
- Wood Screws
- Trowel – for bricklaying
- Wood Saw
- Spade – for mixing
Steps to build an outdoor pizza oven
When you have decided on a location for the outdoor pizza oven, lay the pallet down and make sure that it is level. The floor that it is laying on might not be flat so use some off-cuts of wood to wedge under the pallet to raise it up if needed.
Cut some strips of chipboard that are about 50mm high to form a perimeter around the top of the pallet. Make sure that there are no large gaps between the boards as this will form the seal to hold in the concrete!
Mix the concrete in a 1:2:4 ratio (1 part cement, 2 parts sharp sand, 4 parts aggregate). Use the spade to put the concrete in the wooden mould. You can use a long wooden baton lengthways to ensure that the concrete is flat and has the best finish. This top layer will create the floor for the outdoor pizza oven so try and get it as smooth as you can.
It is a good idea to roughly lay the bricks in the correct position before permanently fixing them in place. With the standard house brick, I would advise chopping them in half so you can have more shape for your outdoor pizza oven. Arranging the bricks before ensures that you know roughly where the bricks are going to go and also roughly how many you are going to need.
The arch is going to form the roof of the area where you access the inside of the oven. Generally speaking, the arch is about two-thirds the height of the whole oven. We used foam to create support but you could use layered cardboard or even off-cuts from the chipboard to create the curve on which the archway bricks rest. This purely provides support whilst the archway bricks are drying.
The advantage of having a curved archway rather than a flat one is that you can use the weight of the bricks resting on each other to provide support (almost wedging themselves in place).
The first steps here is to cement the first (ground) layer of bricks in place using a fine mix of cement and fine sand (a ratio of about 1:3 would be fine). At this stage, I would also cement in place the arch. Lay the cellophane sheet across the base layer and begin to fill with sand.
A sand mould of the inside of the oven is created so that the bricks can be supported on the sand whilst being cemented in place (prevents a collapse whilst the cement is wet!). The sand is wrapped in cellophane or plastic sheeting to prevent the sand from sticking to the inside of the oven where there may be some wet cement.
Begin layering up the bricks and working up the side of the cellophane sheeting. At this stage, it is good to cement in place the chimney.
Having the chimney slightly higher than the door ensures that the smoke travels out of the chimney as opposed to just coming out of the front of the oven. Don’t worry about the cement looking a bit messy. This will be sorted out in the next step.
Mix some more concrete up as in step 2. Liberally spread it over the entire outside of the pizza oven. Not only does this make the pizza oven look better, it provides more insulation which will keep your oven hotter for longer!
Once the concrete has dried (usually a couple of days), it is time to remove the supports for the archway. This will then provide access to the bag of sand that currently still occupies the inside of the oven. Carefully rip the side of the bag and begin digging out the sand.
Once the majority of the sand has been removed, the whole plastic sheeting can be pulled out bringing with it the remaining sand.
Thank you Phil Reilly for this wonderful tutorial.