Our pizza oven has become a centrepiece in our backyard, and a focal point of activity when we have friends and family over.
It all began very innocently – the seed planted by a gift from my mom 🙂
Received a very cool gift from my mom – a pizza oven that sits on the barbecue grill!
It’s a Bakerstone Pizza oven.
Tried it out earlier this week – and it works great! The dough is easy to make – just takes a little time – so it is necessary to plan ahead a bit.
For the first pizza’s, I was really winging it – and created my own sauce using crushed tomatoes, lots of garlic, olive oil from Evoolution, and some lemongrass mint white balsamic vinegar (from Evoolution as well) – and it tasted great! Going to try a more traditional neapolitan style pizza sauce next time 🙂
Picked up a number of fire bricks, and some insulation brick, in preparation for building a pizza/bread oven in the yard.
Not sure 100% exactly what style I’m going to build – brick or cob/earth oven – but I came across this deal that was difficult to pass up.
With what I have here, I should be able to have a cooking surface almost 36″ in diameter. If I decide to go the brick oven route, I can get more of the fire brick – shouldn’t need any more of the insulation bricks.
Found an article on building a clay wood-fired oven – the approach used for the base may not be as permanent, but I like the simplicity. The materials are largely from a building supply – so pretty easy to get hold of, at a price.
Here’s my list of stuff I’ll need to buy:
- done – 30 fire bricks ($36)
- done – 30 insulating bricks ($30)
- 20 cinder blocks (abt. $60)
- 5kg pail of cement (abt. $17)
- 6 bags of jointers sand (abt. $66)
- 175kg clay
UPDATE : 2015-07-21
No cinder blocks used – just built up the base with urban rubble, sand, and some concrete.
Materials used so far:
- 10 bags of play sand (40 lbs. each) – used this in the base, filling in space between the rubble.
- 12 bags of jointers sand (80 lbs. each) – half was used for the dome form!
- 3 bags fire clay (50 lbs. each) – ran out while doing insulating layer – so getting a couple more bags.
- 2 bags cement – used this on the top of base, then layered jointers sand, insulating bricks, and kiln bricks
Here’s the list of other tools/equipment I’ll be using:
- tape measure
- large tarp
- old kitchen knife
- 5 gallon pail(s)
The other evening some friends and I gave up an evening of cards, foosball, and whisky drinking to instead demolish a stone and concrete planter in our front yard, and using the rubble from it, and a large brick planter in our back yard, built up the base for my pizza oven. We still had some whisky, and enjoyed a great evening around the fire pit as well 🙂
Only bad part was me getting stung in the eye by a wasp that I upset when digging out the gravel from the demolished planter in the back yard. That was a couple days ago, and the swelling has come down – so I don’t look like Igor anymore!
I didn’t use any cement/mortar for now – everything is just laid in place and we’ll see how it works out! I ended up pouring all the bags of play sand onto the base and just lightly tamped it down. I might be able to add more sand once I tamp it down a little harder, and level it out. Next step will be to lay out the insulation bricks, and then the kiln bricks that will make up the actual floor of the oven.
Well, this weekend was a bit of work!
Saturday I formed the sand dome, which acts as a form for the actual oven. Used about 500 lbs. of sand! The floor of the oven is an elliptical shape – 32″ wide x 36″ deep. The height is 17″. After shaping the dome, I covered it up with junk mail flyers – soaked in water.
The following day, I built up the oven itself, making a lot of baseball sized balls of sand, clay and water. The mixture wasn’t too wet – just enough to keep the sand and clay together.
I did manage to get the form covered over completely – with a brief interruption by mother nature and some much needed rainfall. In a couple days, I’ll lay out the oven door, and cut it out. Then the moment of truth when I get to remove the sand form! I’m planning on making the opening around 11 1/2″ tall, and 16 – 18″ wide. Once the opening is made, I’ll build a door, and then add 3-4″ of straw and clay insulation to the exterior of the oven.
Well, after getting the main dome of the oven completed a few days ago, I let the oven sit for a couple days, then carved out the door, and pulled out the sand – and it didn’t collapse!
I let the oven sit for another day, and then couldn’t resist building a small fire, to move the process of drying out along.
And no cracks!
Today I started applying the insulation layer – a fairly wet mixture of clay, sand, and straw. I used fairly equal ratios of sand and clay, mixed with water until I got a consistency that was similar to a medium thick milkshake. Then I kneaded in handfuls of straw.
Once the straw was completely coated in the clay/sand mixture, I added more straw, and repeated. I wanted the straw clumps to hold together – so once I thought the clumps were just about not staying together, I quit adding straw, and kneaded a splash more water into the mix.
I then threw big clumps of the mixture around the base of the oven. I want to try and build up a 4 – 6″ layer of insulation. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough clay to make the insulation mixture cover the entire oven. So I’ll be off to Plainsman Pottery this week to get a couple more bags! I’ll buy extra so that I can put a final finishing layer over the insulation.