Best Outdoor Wood Fired Pizza Ovens?
There are several types of outdoor wood fire pizzas ovens available today. There are wood fired pizza ovens made from all kinds of materials such as stone, bricks, metal, concrete and even plastic. These various types of outdoor wood fire pizzas ovens have different advantages and disadvantages. Some of these advantages include:
The heat generated by the fire produces a crispy crust which makes your pizza taste better.
You don’t need to worry about the possibility of burning down your house because there is no danger of fire since it’s not connected to any electrical source.
It is easy to keep up with maintenance since you do not have to pay attention to how much fuel or oil you use. You just turn on the stove and let it run for hours!
If you want to save money, then you can buy one of those cheap ones that come in the stores. They are usually made out of cardboard and they burn hot enough to melt through a piece of paper. But if you really want something good, then you will have to go for a high quality outdoor wood fired pizza oven.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Each Type Of Outdoor Wood Fire Pizzas Oven?
Brick or Stone: There is a good reason why you see brick ovens so often at your local pizzeria. It’s because they work great and you can even make them at home. On top of being cheap, they have excellent insulation properties which makes them hold heat for an extended period of time. You can also easily stack firewood inside which makes loading and unloading a lot easier.
The only bad thing is that they weigh a lot (which is good for insulation, but not so good for people who want to move them). They are also extremely heavy and require a foundation that can support their weight.
Metal: The second most common oven is the metal oven. Some of these are made from car engines and they work perfectly. They are easy to carry around and you can even place them on some bricks to raise the level.
They can get a little hot on the outside, but that can serve as extra insulation.
The only bad thing is that they rust if they get wet so you might want to put a protective coating of some sort. Most people like the car engine type since they already have a natural insulation property and you won’t have to do any prep work before placing firewood inside. You may have to do some welding to reinforce the oven before you use it though.
Concrete block: This is a combination of a stone pizza oven and a metal oven. You can purchase these at most home improvement stores or you can build one yourself. You basically take a mold and fill it up with concrete.
The mold will give it an interesting shape such as the arches that you see on brick ovens. After the concrete dries, you have a stone oven that is pretty resistant to heat.
The only bad thing is that you still need to reinforce it before you can use it since the concrete blocks aren’t all that strong by themselves. On the other hand, you can do what the guy in the video does and build your own mold out of bricks, mortar and sticks. All you really need is something to give it an interesting shape and something to reinforce the inside.
What Do You Need To Consider Before Buying An Outdoor Wood Fire Pizzas Oven?
There are a few things that you need to think about before you buy an outdoor wood fire pizzas oven. The first one is whether or not you should build one yourself or just buy one of the cheap models available at your local home improvement store. The second thing that you need to consider is what type of materials you want it to be made out of.
The third thing is what kind of cooking surface do you want your oven to have? Do you want round firebricks? Flat firebricks? Earthen floor?
Do you want the floor of the oven to be made out of stone, brick, or concrete?
You can use just sheet metal as long as you line the bottom with firebricks.
How Much Are You Willing To Spend?
As with most things, the more money you spend the better quality you will get. If you are handy, then building your own oven is always an option. While it will probably cost half as much as buying a pre-made oven, you still have to consider the time that you are going to spend building it.
It is probably going to take you a week just to build it, but if you love working with your hands and building things, then this option is definitely for you.
If you want to buy a high quality oven that is ready to use, then expect to pay at least $1,000.00. They do have really cheap models that go for around $200.00, but they also tend to fall apart within two years of using them regularly.
How Much Time Do You Want To Spend Building The Oven?
If you like to work with your hands and build things from time to time, then you can build your own outdoor pizza oven. It is really not that difficult if you have the right information and plans.
You will find several different plans online for free. Some even come with a how-to video to make it very easy for you. In fact, you will be able to build the entire oven in a week if you have the right help.
If you want to build a custom outdoor wood burning oven from scratch, then expect it to take you about a week. Granted, this is a part-time job since you can only work on it in your spare time.
Another option is to buy one of the cheap ovens that they sell at home improvement stores. These are very cheap and will get the job done for you, but they are made with very cheap materials. Expect it to fall apart within two years if you use it on a regular basis.
The third option is to find an old metal ducting fan somewhere and use that to prop up your oven. You will need to spend a little bit of money on cement and rebar, but you can find both of these things at any construction supply warehouse or home improvement store.
You might even be able to get the metal ducting for free because they are always replacing them with the newer versions. If you have a welder, then you can just weld the existing ducting to the bottom of your brick oven.
What Type Of Cooking Surface Do You Want?
This refers to the type of floor that your oven has. You can use either firebricks, which are the most common and come in different sizes; you can use a metal sheet measuring about 3 feet by 10 feet or larger; or you can use an earthen floor. The earthen floor is just what it sounds like. You build your oven floor using dirt that has been mixed with cement to reinforce it.
If you decide to use firebricks, then you need to decide whether or not you want a flat floor or a stepped floor. A stepped floor is going to be similar to what you see in most outdoor wood-fired ovens. It has a raised section in the middle that contains the fire.
The flat floor provides more space inside of the oven, but it takes away from the space that you have to cook on. This means you will have to rotate the food more often.
If you decide to use a metal sheet, then you will have more options than just the firebricks. You can also use metal roof flashing, though this is a little more difficult to obtain and can be expensive compared to other types of metal sheeting.
The advantage to using firebricks is that they usually come pre-cut and you can get them fairly cheaply if you are willing to get them in the short length. You can also find used firebricks fairly easily, though you will most likely have to get them cut down to size.
The metal sheet is going to provide you with the largest working surface. You just need to make sure that it is flat, which is not always the case. If you are using a piece of metal roof flashing, then it will most likely need additional support along the edges.
You can use cement or another material to build up the edges so that it is level and sturdy enough for use as your floor.
This is really a matter of personal choice. Some people swear by firebricks, others prefer metal, and still others like the traditional earthen floor. The choice is going to depend on what you can find, what your local resources are, how much money you have to spend, and how much effort you want to put in.
Even if you buy your floor, it will probably be cheaper than the price of a new brick oven and you can always build it yourself.
The choice is up to you.
You now have the three basic parts of your oven, the dome, the floor, and the opening. You may also have a brick support arch, but this is not always necessary.
If you are making an outdoor oven, then you can just leave it open at the top if you want. Chances are it will not be perfectly level on the top. Most outdoor ovens that I have seen do not have a flat surface on the top.
This is because they are often built up from the ground to accommodate a specific height. You can just build your oven up from the ground level to the height that you want your opening to be.
If you are making an indoor oven, then you are not going to want a large opening. A couple of feet in diameter should be plenty. This is so you do not lose heat inside and therefore have to rely on a lot of the heat coming from the walls of the oven itself.
The opening should be level and this is pretty easy to do. You just pour a thick layer of sand inside the oven on the floor. Then you can build your oven dome right on top of this sand layer. This layer is not necessary, but it does help regulate the heat better.
When building an outdoor oven, you can sometimes use natural stone to make the arch for your opening rather than having to use bricks or other materials. You have to look around for the right size stone, but often times you can find what you need right where you are building. Chances are that there are a lot of stones of various sizes just lying around where you are building the oven.
Just use your imagination and see what you can come up with.
You can also build a brick support arch or even use metal to make a frame for an opening instead of using natural stone.
You should be careful when using bricks or other non-natural stone that you do not make the opening so large that the oven loses all of its heat.
If your oven is going to be built inside another structure such as a fireplace, then you can make the opening as large as you want since you will be relying on the walls of the structure itself to retain some of the heat.
You should have some sort of flat surface for a floor. This does not necessarily have to be perfectly level since a little slant helps drain the water and other liquids away from the oven. I have even seen people just leave a dirt floor for their ovens.
The opening in the floor should be just a little bit smaller in diameter than your dome so that there is a lip on the bottom and the sides to hold the dome in place and keep it from falling into the oven. This is especially important if your oven has a very tall dome.
If you are building an outdoor oven, then the placement of the floor and the opening is pretty obvious since you are going to want it to overhang the area where you will be placing your fire to bake your pizzas.
If you are building an oven inside a fireplace or some other structure, then you are going to have to do a little more work. You are most likely going to have to cut into a wall to make the opening. You should have someone that is a little skilled at doing this type of work if you do not have that skill yourself.
You will then need to line the inside of the opening with brick or stone for the floor of your oven and for the sides as well if it is going to be an indoor oven.
Obviously if you are building an outdoor oven, then it makes sense to build the oven where you are going to use it. If you are building an oven to be used inside or on the patio of a house, you might want to think about moving it somewhere else later. This is not always easy and can sometimes be a lot of work.
You need to think ahead of time about this since it can be a major undertaking and if something goes wrong, you could find yourself having to build another oven.
If you are building an outdoor oven, then it makes the most sense to build it where you are going. You can always move it later if you decide that you do not want it there anymore.
An outdoor oven needs to be built where it is going to stay permanently. If you are going to build a movable oven though, then you need to build it in a area that you have permission to do so and where it will not be in the way of anything.
You are going to need a flat sturdy surface to build on and something like cinder blocks or a few short pieces of wood to build up the height of the oven itself so that you will be able to work inside of it.
If you are building an oven in your backyard, then you are going to need enough room to be able to walk all the way around it. This means at least three feet away from it on all sides and this is a bare minimum. I would say five feet or more would be better so that you do not accidentally kick the bricks with your foot while you are working inside of the oven.
After you have decided on the placement of your oven, you need to make sure that there are no underground utilities where you are planning to build. If you are building an outdoor oven, then there is no problem. If you are building an oven inside a structure of some sort, then you need to make sure that there are no pipes or anything like that in the area.
You also need to make sure that you have a clear path for the wood delivery and removal.
Sources & references used in this article:
Paper bags, planes and pizza ovens… by S Tapley – Primary Teacher Update, 2012 – magonlinelibrary.com
Infrared gas grill by WH Best – US Patent 4,321,857, 1982 – Google Patents
Outdoor oven by L Briens, M Bojarra – AAPS PharmSciTech, 2010 – Springer
Heating assembly and cooking apparatus by I O’Brien, D Crawley – US Patent App. 11/371,829, 2007 – Google Patents
High temperature bake oven and method by WH Best – US Patent 6,114,666, 2000 – Google Patents