Introduction: We Wanted Pizza So We Built a Wood Fired Oven

Picture of We Wanted Pizza So We Built a Wood Fired Oven

Step 1: This Is the Finished ,(almost) Oven.

Picture of This Is the Finished ,(almost) Oven.

Step 2: We Made a Sturdy Base for the Poured in Place Counter.

Picture of We Made a Sturdy Base for the Poured in Place Counter.

Step 3: The Oven Dome

Picture of The Oven Dome

Step 4: Testing for a Perfect Cladding Mix

Picture of Testing for a Perfect Cladding Mix

Step 5: My Wife Welded These Perfect Doors

Picture of My Wife Welded These Perfect Doors

We also made the hinges

Step 6: The Door

Picture of The Door

Step 7: Making Pizza

Picture of Making Pizza


t.rohner (author)2012-07-16

Hi there

Very nice oven, congratulations.
How does it behave? Temperaturewise and so on.
Do you also bake bread in it?

I just built another adobe style oven for a friend and still enjoying the one in my backyard.

I intend to make a instructable for the smaller oven. We built it in two Saturdays.

drewgrey (author)t.rohner2012-07-16

Thanks. I have used it alot though it does use more wood than some of the smaller units I've seen posted. The tempature on the floor averages 750 fahrenhite while cooking and when i'm good and cut the wood right it don't smoke at all once hot. We often have cinnamon rolls for dessert after pizza.
Have you discovered fennel seed? It helps give a "chicago " flavor.

t.rohner (author)drewgrey2012-07-16

750 F (400C) is on the higher side here. I mostly bake pizzas around 670F (350C).
Well, bigger isn't always better. My oven also needs more wood, than the smaller ones i made.
I made mine for baking bread originally. But i mostly make pizzas in it now.

I think, i will make a pizza instructable. Until a while ago, i always had the problem of a too elastic dough. When i stretch/roll it, it will simply shrink back.
This was very annoying with many guests waiting for their pizza...

Check out my Flammkuchen receipe. They are so easy and tasty.

drewgrey (author)t.rohner2012-07-26

I have to admit we buy our dough...trader joes is our source and then we cut it into quarters. This yields 4 small 7" or so pizzas that our guests roll out. The kids and big folk seem to enjoy this. Recently I found a nice slab of granite just big enough for this . We have also raided the local restaurant supply house for flour shakers and stainless bins for the toppings. We will have to try your recipe. Cheers

t.rohner (author)drewgrey2012-07-27

I just had a pizza party with some friends. I made 14 pizzas and flammkuchen.
I made the dough in the morning in my Kenwood kitchen machine.
Then two to three hours before baking, i divided the dough and formed balls.
This is very important to relax the dough. Otherwise the stretching won't be easy.

drewgrey (author)t.rohner2012-09-27

I noted that you are in switzerland. Do you have mountains in veiw from your oven? I have a fairly big volcano behind mine, Rainer. For a few seconds I thought about shaping the oven like the mountain . Then I came to my senses.

t.rohner (author)drewgrey2012-09-27

Not exactly.
It's placed behind the house, where my "house hill" is ascending.
This 3'300 ft hill blocks the view to our "house mountain" which is 8250 ft.
When i look left, i can see the Austrian mountains, where the first row is around 8000 ft.
Mount Rainier is much higher, than the mountains and hills in my region.
I live in the rhine valley, 20 miles upstream from the lake constance. I live on 1550 ft. on the northern side of the alps in the so called pre-alps. Many skiing resorts are in a 1 hour driving radius.(most of them in Austria, the Austrian border is 10 minutes away)
Munich in Germany is 2 hours, Milan in Italy is 3 hours away.

drewgrey (author)t.rohner2012-10-03

Wow, sounds like another beautiful place to live. I'm curious , have you noticed that mozzerella has less fat ..and taste than it used to? I like a nice healthy pizza but sometimes I crave the cheesy chicago style pizzas of my youth. Next week we are going to combine a pizza party with an apple pressing....SCRUMPY!

t.rohner (author)drewgrey2012-10-03

I can't comment on the mozzarella, because i was always suspicous on what the pizzerias really use here.
Mozzarella was always too bland for me.
I use mozzarella as a base, then i add some non-pasteurized Taleggio. This kicks ass.
I have two cheese shops in town, besides the supermarkets. One of them stocks the real stuff from the Piemont in Italy. I normally need to cool it, to cut it.
This stuff not only brings the fat, but also a wondeful cheesy taste.
In terms of healthiness: eat the best stuff, but not so much and take a walk.
The latest findings in Cholesterol reducing drugs show, that you will have many side effects, if you use them.
I had a hard time in the U.S. to find my daily milk. (I mean the un-fat-reduced, un-revitamized real stuff from four-legged cows... even harder for yoghurts)

Fat is good for you, if you work it out.
That said, i should probably knead the building material for the next oven by feet again ;-)

I would love to see your apples pressed. I dehydrated some of mine. But i also made New England Cider a couple of years ago.
This was a real relevation. I also loved the "Apple-Ale" from the New Glarus brewery in Wisconsin. But as far as i know, they don't make it anyomre.

drewgrey (author)t.rohner2012-10-06

I am going to my favorite import shop sometime this week and will try to find this Taleggio . Thanks for the tip. Yes I agree about the whole diet thing. I work as a carpenter so burning a few calories is no problem. I have seen the diets of some of the olympic athletes and they seem to prove that there is no overeating..just underworking. I also have been adding a little sea salt to the pizzas since the sodium has been removed from much of the modern cheese along with the fat ...and taste. Thanks again for the help

nareto (author)2011-05-26

i like this scientific approach :)

drewgrey (author)nareto2011-05-31

Thanks. Last week I made a dinner bell (triangle) for a friend and want to make more. I want to do an instructable to find the relation between steel size ,type and treatment and the tone it makes. I'm thinking of using audacity or a similar program for analizing the tone.

nareto (author)drewgrey2011-05-31

strange for me recommending non-open source software, but I don't know how good spectrum capabilities audacity has; so you might want to look into sonic visualiser and baudline

drewgrey (author)nareto2011-06-01

Thanks, I'll check those out!

nareto (author)drewgrey2011-06-02

you're welcome :) don't know what I was thinking, but just checked and source code is actually avaiable for both

cgates30 (author)2011-01-31

It looks really nice! How's the pizza and what kind of temperatures does it maintain? How long to heat up? Which mixture did you find to be the best for retaining heat and having some flexibility? I like your idea of measuring strength.

drewgrey (author)cgates302011-02-04

Thanks, We like to take it slow especially on the first fire after a period of unuse. Generally about 2 hrs to get up to cooking tempature and it holds at 700 or so with little wood added during cooking. I have had it up to 1100 degrees but that was excessive. My post earlier was my favorite recipe for the cladding. The pizza is a work in progress and this year we may unleash a secret weapon, home made mozzarella! I still want to find chicago style sausage and cheese.

mikejs (author)2010-09-01

Beautiful construction! I may have missed it, but what mixture did you determine was best for your tiles?

drewgrey (author)mikejs2010-09-01

The tiles were only used to test the cladding mixture. The cladding started with a scratch coat that was heavy on the masonry mix and quite wet and it is applied by flinging-messy but fun, just pretend your a monkey. The next 5 coats were of a mix leaning towards flexablity (more perlite) on the first layers and ending with a hard but brittle layer that makes it so birds cant just drill into it. Eventually it will have a metal dome after I borrow and learn to use an english wheel. I will look up the data on our tests and share that if you want .

neffk (author)drewgrey2010-11-15

Nice work. I see that it works and even looks nice.

Why a metal dome? It won't last longer than stucco... Are you going to put loose perlite between the metal and outer masonry layer?

drewgrey (author)neffk2010-11-16

No , the perlite was ,along with fireclay ,sand and masonry mix , a component of the 10" thick layer of mortar cladding. The cladding was tested for heat strength and flexability and don't crack. The last top coat is just mortar so it wont soak up water and will be bird proof (the cladding is soft ) Problem is that that last coat does crack and in fact is a tempature gauge. When the crack in the outer layer is open 1/8 it's ready to rock and roll. To permanantly weather proof it I am leaning towards a metal dome . What I havent decided is how ,though I would like to have dragon scale looking metal tiles.

neffk (author)drewgrey2010-11-16

I like your style, what with the testing and all. Can you tell us more about the test and results? There are lots of people building ovens and they're looking for good information like this on the interwebs.

drewgrey (author)neffk2010-11-16

My mixture varied from layer to layer slightly with the inner layers having more perlite and fireclay to insulate and retain heat. Our tests showed that what heated slowly generally cooled slowly. I increased the amount of mortar as I reached the outer layers. I would encourage people to do some testing to be application specific but the average mix for my cladding was
1 part masonry mix ( this is to mortar what portland cement is to concrete)
1 part perlite
1 part fireclay
1 part sand
Hand ful of fibermesh concrete reinforcer

To increase hardness on the outer layers I increased the masonry mix to 2 parts with the rest being 1 part each.

To increased flexability next to the firebrick and in the layers with lots of chicken wire and pencil rod (1/4 rebar) I increased the perlite to 2 parts with the other componants being 1 part each

junits15 (author)2010-09-01

Are you Italian? Because this looks very good and that pizza looks like Italian style.

craig3 (author)junits152010-09-08

That and everyone has moustaches

junits15 (author)craig32010-09-08

stop watching family guy!!

drewgrey (author)junits152010-09-01

!/4 sicilian and my inspiration for this oven came from a friend who is from the old country and has one in his yard. His is built into a shed and has a larger dome but the formula for the dome was from him. We can also make bread but have not done much yet.

junits15 (author)drewgrey2010-09-02

im 1/2 calabrian 1/2 american, and i personally think italian pizza is way better than new York style :)

buckminsterfullerene (author)2010-09-07

Best. Title. Ever.

canida (author)2010-09-01

It looks excellent. How does the pizza taste?

drewgrey (author)canida2010-09-01

Thanks, The pizza is great but I am trying to figure out what cheese was used by the cheap corner pizza places I frequented in chicago growing up. My favorite part is picking fresh basil and placing it right on the pizza.

AngryRedhead (author)2010-09-01


About This Instructable




Bio: My name is Drew and I like to make things.
More by drewgrey:using a koi pond to produce great lemons and using a vegetable filter to clean a koi pondMaking and using a hand crank lathe for use with a plasma cutterUsing my water saving valve box
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