Introduction: PizzaPro- $50 Brick Oven Pizza Grill

Want to be able to make your own delicious brick oven pizza at home but don't want to invest the hundreds of dollars and precious backyard space to make a traditional pizza oven? Make the PizzaPro for only fifty dollars and a few hours of time. The pizza pro is a modified BBQPro charcoal grill that can easily be made in an afternoon. Its is inspired by the FrankenWeber grill by pizzahacker

After moving from New York City to Springfield Missouri I was extremely disappointed to find out that pizza in the Midwest is either cracker thin or an actual tomato pie with sauce and meat thrown in. So I started to make my own NY style pizza and found it to be delicious and pretty easy. During the summer though turning the oven on heats up the whole house and makes it a hassle to cook. The easiest solution to this is to make your own outdoor pizza oven! Read on for the details of how I built mine.

Step 1: Get Your Supplies and Assemble the Grill

Required Items:
A Charcoal BBQPro Grill $27 at Kmart
8 Fire Bricks ~$13 check your local hardware store or stone lot.
Metal Hangers 
Furnace Cement ~$5 at Ace Hardware
A pizza Stone or Unglazed Terra Cotta tile ~$2

Grand total: 47ish dollars

Tools Needed:
Masonry drill bits
Hammer and Chisel
Putty Knife
Metal Snips to cut the Hangers

Once you have the needed supplies you can assemble the grill according to the instructions and start working on converting it to the PizzaPro. The first step in the conversion is to remove the hinges that hold the top of the grill onto the base. Then you need to move the handles from the front of the grill to the top so that you can lift the lid on and of easily. I used the same screws and handles that came with the grill and just drilled new holes in the top.

Step 2: Mount the Fire Bricks to the Top Cover

The next main step of the conversion is to drill two holes in each of your fire bricks and mount them to the the top of the grill in a way that covers just about all of the grill with as few gaps as possible. To do this I drilled matching holes in the grill and firebricks and then threaded in a piece of of the metal hanger and bent it to keep them in place. Originally I had the sharp pieces of hanger sticking out of the top of the grill but decided to have them point into the grill after getting snagged by like three hangers as I lifted the top off.

To drill the holes in the firebricks be sure to use a masonry bit in your drill and go slowly. Be careful switching the bit out because it gets extremely hot. In order to get better coverage you can take one of the fire bricks and break it with a chisel so that the pieces fit in the spaces between the full firebricks. The bricks I went with were half cut so they were longer and thinner than the normal type of brick.  Once you have all of the bricks mounted you can then work on patching the gaps between the bricks...

Step 3: Fill in the Gaps With Furnace Cement

Now you need to fill in the holes between the fire bricks with furnace cement. You can try to patch it with just normal cement but that heat from the fire will make it crack and not cure correctly. You need the higher temperature furnace cement that is designed to be used on stoves and fireplaces. The kind I linked to is ready to use but I found that I had to add a little bit of water to it in order to be able to spread it easily. Use a putty knife and fill in any of the holes that you drilled into the fire brick and try to make sure you have at least a bit of cement on each of the hanger end that are sticking through the fire bricks. Let it sit for about an hour and cure then you can fire up the grill and start cooking some pizzas....

Step 4: Fire Up the Grill

Once the top of the grill cures for about an hour you can put it back on top of the base and fire up the grill. Careful because the top is now really heavy. Light the charcoal like it says on the bag and wait until most of them ash over then spread them out. Place the pizza stone or terra cotta tile on the surface of the grill area and put the top onto the base. Your PIzzaPro is now complete! Now lets grill up some pizzas....

Step 5: Pizza Time

Now its time to grill up some brick oven pizzas. I use the dough recipe from Billy Reisinger's Ridiculously Through Guide to Making Your Own Pizza. Its a great dough that is perfect for cooking NY style pizzas. A couple of tips for cooking with this setup: Make thin crust pizzas since the stone gets really hot and can burn the bottom of the pizza if you are not careful. Make sure your toppings are defrosted and ready to be eaten. Make sure to use lots of cornmeal so that your dough doesn't stick to the stone but be sure to brush the burnt cornmeal off the stone between pies so that you don't get a pizza that tastes like burnt cornmeal.

The chicken wing pizza that I make in the pictures is inspired by this delicious wing sauce recipe that you should really try to make.

Congratulations you just finished your PizzaPro the portable brick oven pizza grill that costs less than $50. Enjoy your delicious brick oven pizzas that cost less than $3 a pie to make!

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