How to make a homemade Pizza Oven

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Picture of How to make a homemade Pizza Oven
This is a step by step guide on how to build a homemade pizza oven from scratch!! This is a great, relatively cheap project, that will keep you entertained all through the summer and surprisingly, even the winter!! I made it with Darren Lewis and Josh Bagshawe and it always ends up getting lit at every party and actually becomes quite the centre piece!!

As you will discover, as well as making fantastic pizzas, this oven comes into its element when slow cooking large joints of meat! Lovely slow cooked shoulder of lamb, belly pork, beef ribs, pork ribs and even a whole pot of curry! Whatever joint you decide, wrapping it in layers of tin foil will protect it from the fire and keep it tender and succulent!

Happy building! I look forward to seeing what you make! For further designs and projects please check out my website - www.philreillydesigns.com

All the best,


Step 1: What you will need

Picture of What you will need
There are many different styles of pizza oven, ranging from small clay ovens to larger scale concrete ovens. What you decide to build depends on a few factors including budget, location size constraints, time, what you wish to cook etc.

We decided to build this pizza oven on a wooden crate so we had the option of moving it if we needed to! Although if you decide to do this, please remember that the construction will probably be about half a tonne so a pallet truck or fork lift will be required! A lot of people find a more permanent location for the oven and build a brick stand for it so the pizza oven is at waist level when stood infront of it.

What you require:

• Sharp sand (general purpose sand usually containing small amounts of aggregate in the mix)
• Builders sand (finer sand that is good for detailed work)
• Cement
• Aggregate
• A bucket or pot for the chimney (Optional!)
• Spade for mixing
• Trowel for brick laying
• Bricks (ideally heat resistant but not essential)
• Large cellophane sheet
• Some old pieces of wood / foam for shaping the arch
• Chipboard (if building on a pallet) - make sure it is for outdoor use otherwise it will warp!
• Wooden pallet
• Drill
• Wood Screws
• Wood Saw

The exact quantities depend on what size you decide to build. You can build this oven in stages so there is no need to know exact quantities when you initially start building. Lots of people say that heat resistant bricks should be used when building an oven. When heated to a high temperature, standard building bricks can expand and cause the oven to crack a little. We have had this oven extremely hot and have not had issues with cracking so a lot if down to personal preference!

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danzo3211 year ago
So pizza just sits on a wire rack? You don't need air to enter from below?
Phil Reilly (author)  danzo3211 year ago
Hi danzo321!

You can do either, a lot is down to personal preference. We started by heating the oven really hot and then clearing all the coals to the side and cooking the pizza on the hot floor of the over (stone baked pizza). This gives you the rather traditional pizza which usually gets a little crisp around the edge where it gets near the coals. If you want more evenly cooked pizza, we tried putting an oven wire rack supported on a couple of bricks and laying the pizza on some tin foil on the rack. That also worked very well indeed!

Hope this helps!!

Phil, When I made pizzas the small stove got to 700º and we had ceramic shelves, which I'd suggest, sitting on a few bricks with coals underneath.
Your bricks look yellow-white, are they firebricks?
Nice job.
Phil Reilly (author)  danzo3211 year ago
Hi Danzo, ceramic shelves sound like a good idea but the metal rack worked well for us. Either way supplies heat from below and makes pretty good pizzas!

They are actually rather expensive Cotswold bricks that we managed to get for free! So we decided to use them! Fire bricks would be the best solution if possible but you would probably have to buy those! We got our oven very hot indeed and the bricks seemed to hold up ok!

When I was building my foundry to do aluminum casting, I made the bulk of the insulation layer with a high-temp concrete "Fireplace and Stove mortar" mixed with vermiculite. The high-temp concrete was fairly expensive, but using vermiculite to bulk it up worked excellently. Reasonably inexpensive "fire bricks" could be made of this combination, and depending on mixture of morter/vermiculite the end result can be quite strong.
I wonder if the cement board used for tilework would be a good replaceable shelf. I do not believe regular concrete can take this kind of treatment for long without degrading the surface. I don't know from Cotswold but sounds like they are good, I'd put them in the floor too. I am thinking, little passages through the floor or sideways through the bottom of walls would let air in to give a better fire.
Fantastic you did a great job...

How much does the whole project cost?.. Its awesome by the way!

MESHAAL1 month ago
Thank you for the instructubles. I built my oven following your steps
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CarolJ42 months ago
Hi do you have to use fire cement

I noticed some discussion on what to use as a cooking surface. While the bottom of the oven would probably work fine, you could try using unglazed ceramic tiles. They are cheap, can take the heat and most importantly are easily removed and replaced which would be nice for cleaning up. Not my idea, it's all over the web.

1 example:


NetWt4Lbs7 months ago


this link above was posted onto a Facebook page i follow, by another follower of the page
the author seems to have taken your pictures and everything

EliF110 months ago

Pretty awesome for a first go. There may be issues later on with respect to the concrete not being able to handle the high temperatures and fluctuations. It would probably make things easier if the oven was a little higher off the ground too. I've made an article with further information here: http://pinkbird.org/w/How_to_build_a_pizza_oven

bakken1 year ago

My dad made one out of adobe or fire resistant bricks, he herring boned or basket weaves bricks together to make the cooking surface and it holds the heat in pretty well. I think the bricks would work as a better insulator than concrete for the bottom. Also left about a 3" hole in the back to regulate the air flow through his oven, he used a piece of circular sheet metal a bit bigger than the hole as his vent cover he would just adjust it to the side and use a crutch made out of a metal rod to hold the vent open. Nice oven btw and inexpensive.

davin_x1 year ago

This is amazing. Is there an issue with brick (normal) vs some kind of 'fire-brick'? Here in South East Asia, I've never really come across 'fire-brick'. Would really love to be able to do this, but I don't have the space right now (maybe if I ever move to a house with a yard).

Also, Tiger beer! Yay.

Sorry, missed out another question, is there a need for some 'special' flooring material (I see a lot of reference to 'pizza stone' around online)?

aci9251 year ago

Thank you for your instruction. Can i use metal sheet instead of bricks and cement ?

Phil Reilly (author) 1 year ago
For all those people out there that like large grills, I have designed and made one..! And it's up for sale! Have a look - http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Large-Modern-Charcoal-BBQ-Barbeque-Grill-1m-x-0-5m-with-Stainless-BBQ-Tools-/111352349006?pt=UK_Home_Garden_BBQ_s_Accessories_LE&hash=item19ed1e014e
Phil Reilly (author) 1 year ago
For all


Jaynestown1 year ago

Hey, it looks very cool. Thinking of making one but I need to buy everything for it so I was wondering if you could tell me how many bricks it needs and the size of a individual brick.

cristoph1 year ago
Looks a bit like forge don't you think
juan_k1ng1 year ago
fekkin awesome want one
jack ruby1 year ago
Nice work! About how many bricks did you end up using for this project? How much cement?

Phil Reilly (author) 1 year ago
Hi jackamo! Yeah you could use this although you have to get it very hot, we reversed a vacuum cleaner so it blew and used that as a blower to supply oxygen to the fire to dramatically raise the temperature! Quite a lot of people use an oxy-acetylene torch instead of a forge but it's harder to evenly heat the blade!
Oh wow thanks that's really cool. I'll definitely look into that!
jackamo981 year ago
So can this be used to forge the knife you posted too? Because I have no way to forge a knife but if I could make this it would solve that problem.
dziegler11 year ago
In step 5 what are the little "sticks" protruding out of the cellophane covered sand pile? Are they just a guide for stacking the bricks? Nice Instructable - easy to follow.
Phil Reilly (author)  dziegler11 year ago
Thanks! We actually used those to help pin the cellophane sheet down as it was a little windy at the time!!
Phil Reilly (author) 1 year ago
Hey wkahlich! We managed to get the bricks free which would have been the most expensive part! I think it cost us about 40 quid, including the spade that was a tenner!
wkahlich1 year ago
how much did all of this cost you?
wkahlich1 year ago
so about how much did all of this cost you?
Eh Lie Us!1 year ago
A pizza igloo!

Right on!
nixes81 year ago
great work! bold and "macho" oven. i have a cob oven on our backyard, and she's turning 4 years this december. but i still wanted to build one made of bricks. i'm just having a little trouble finding those fire bricks.. i'll definitely use your instructibles for building one.
aebe1 year ago
Hornos are a very good way to cook , and yours looks great .
If you sweep out the coals and ashes before you start cooking , you can plug your chinmey and door , have more heat for longer , and no ashes in the stew .
State of California has a horno recipe that calls for a layer of vermiculite for insulation , but that takes away the benefit of having a lot of mass to hold heat .
hey Phil your idea is really works well .thank you .
pb4041 year ago
Looks great! One suggestion would be regarding the layer of plastic sheeting between the sand and the dome. You ideally want the inside of the dome to be as smooth as possible so try to have no wrinkles in the plastic. When I made my oven I used wet newspaper but you could also use the plastic sheeting cut into smaller squares or something like that.
rondust1 year ago
I really like this, you can even move it with a pallet trolley.
But why cant I download it as a pdf??
Why is that?
Weird, it is working now, false alarm.
Billster361 year ago
wondering why you put the chimney in the front instead of to the back of the oven. Is there a reason not to put it in back?
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