In this instructable we will describe how to build a real Portuguese brick pizza oven.

Portuguese ovens are characterized by higher dome than the Italian / Neapolitan ovens. What this means in practice is less intense heat. In all of these ovens the heat is reflected from the dome back onto the cooking floor and the lower the dome the higher the heat. While the Italian pizza ovens are made primarily for pizza (they cook other foods too, but most people buy them for pizza) the Portuguese ovens are made with cooking a variety of foods in mind: slow roasts, lasagnas, bread etc. For all of these you will need less heat than for pizza and hence a Portguese ovens can come in handy. Now, this does not mean that it won't cook pizza - it absolutely will! But maintaining 900-1100F heat is easier in quality Neapolitan oven than a Portuguese one.

The video posted on this page shows the entire process (it's a combination of static shots and video). we describe the process in more detail and with relevant pictures in the following steps.

Portugal has centuries-old oven building traditions. Drive around and you will see. Wood fired ovens and charcoal grills are sold along major highways like ice cream in America, it's pretty amazing.

Up next: the Portuguese clay oven.

Step 1: Portuguese Terracotta Oven / Pereruela Oven

Before we jump to the main topic - the brick oven - it's worthwhile to point out that Portugal has another kind of oven which works the same way but is built from terracotta clay. It's called "Pereruela" style after a Spanish city where this style of oven is popular - and maybe even originated. The video on this page describes it all. Basically clay os rolled by hand until the oven shell is completed. Once this is done the oven (dozens of them actually) is heated in a huge kiln - also wood fired - and then afterwards insulation, cement, tiles, door, and other things are added to make the oven complete. We have attached some pictures on this page.

The result is a great oven with a beautiful interior - one piece terracotta. However for most people this is not a DIY home project. Rolling clay this way takes experience and hence we decided to concentrate on the brick oven - which is a common DIY build.

<p>I also forgot to ask how wide and tall is the front opening</p>
<p>Great Project </p><p>What is the inside diameter of the oven floor or what size is optimal? Also how high should the floor of the oven be off of the ground? It looks higher than table hight? </p><p>You wrote &quot;This is not yet your cooking surface! Cover the whole thing with cement&quot;. <strong><em>How much cement?</em></strong> </p>
<p>wow...excelente job! <br>Here in Portugal it's common to use sand when building the dome. You make the shape with sand and build the dome around it. In the end you take off the sand! </p>
How do you make the sand keep the shape while you are building around it?
<p>Make it wet and pack it hard. You can find all sorts of videos on it on Youtube, just look up &quot;cob oven&quot; its the same idea</p>
After the wet sand is shaped, cover it with wet newspaper to keep things separate.
Ssmithsonian just answered!
<p>You are a true master! Thanks for sharing your craft! I love it!</p>
<p>Thank you!</p>
<p>Nice to hear nice things about Portugal, thanks! :)</p><p>Went to my Blog:</p><p>http://faz-voce-mesmo.blogspot.pt/2015/02/reparar-rodas-dentadas-e-2-pro-raspi-um.html</p>
<p>It looks like a nice instructible but Your first statement irritated me being part Italian as it showed a basic lack of googling our generations greatest tool. Even without basic knowledge of Italian cooking you could easily have googled how pizza ovens are properly used, that lasagne is Italian and that portuguese ovens are somehow better, they are different but pizza ovens are probably more efficient. </p><p>Possibly this misconception comes from commercial Pizza ovens but in Italy they come in a whole range of sizes for different applications. The ones at home are similar if a bit bigger than your one from what I have seen and they go right up to a massive one in a castle in my ancestral home town where you could probably fit 10 people inside and almost certainly cooked for the entire castle! Just please don't make sweeping comments about a large part of a countries heritage when they are completely not true.</p>
Where do you get the door? And how do you frame up a jamb to install it?
The door is hard to find, it's not usually sold separately. There are some beautiful cast iron doors sold by Halmat in Poland. They come with the frame. Otherwise you can make a stand alone door, without the frame - just cut out a half-moon shape and then bend the bottom 4&quot; at 90 degrees - it's going to stand on this bend...
<p>Very nice instructable, I only wish I had thought to add my effort 8 years back for this my version of a Greek oven .It is built from firebrick like a stopped off train tunnel ,rather than a dome .... the insulated dome is made by bending chickenwire between two insulated walls and then skimming it with layers of cement , when dry I cut a hole in the dome and poured in vermiculite insulation .It does settle after a little while , but you then top it up .Heat retention is unbeleivable , as the hearth is floating on a concrete base with vermiculite included in it , topped off with refactory bricks . You can cook pizzas,bread, casseroles, tandor meats , nans , anything and everything in one of these ovens , and without having to clean the oven after</p>
Looks great, thanks for sharing! do you have cold spots? tunnel ovens have them sometimes...
Hi thanks , yes , I have twice cooked a huge Christmas turkey in the oven , it did the job well but I noticed the floor tends to go cool when cooking something like this in a big tin , so I had to remove the bird halfway thru, rake the charcoals back over the floor of the oven , and then push them to the back of the oven , and continue cooking . I made a trivet to raise meat off the floor , so it now cooks better , and I bought an ir thermometer , which saves a lot of guesswork. Happy cooking !
Nice job. You make it look like something I could do!
Functional Art...the best sort!
Thank you for putting this out there. I'd definitely be interested in learning how to cure the oven so I don't ruin it. I hope that instructable is on the way soon!
<p>Yes, we will try!</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: We are importers of wood fired pizza ovens from Italy and Portugal. We are based in East Rutherford, NJ, please visit our website!
More by grillsnovensllc:Cooking on a Wood Cook Stove How to Build an Outdoor Kitchen How to Build a Portuguese Wood Fired Brick Pizza Oven 
Add instructable to: