Using our easy brick pizza oven plan, learn these tips for building your wood fired pizza oven and how to cook pizza in it. After using our DIY pizza oven several times, I wanted to share with you all some things I have learned about firing the brick oven and cooking pizza in it. If you haven't watched our how to build a portable brick pizza oven, check it out here.
Planning helps a lot to have a successful brick oven pizza night. I suggest you start assembling the oven 4 hours ahead of time, and starting the fire 3 hours ahead.
Build the pizza oven on a strong base. Don't use flimsy sawhorses, they will break! Again, learn from my mistakes here...
Start your pizza dough at least 24 hours ahead of time, if possible. You can check out our pizza dough recipe videos here. If this is a spontaneous pizza night, go ahead and use the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day dough recipe. It all tastes good!
Don't burn green wood. Learn from my mistakes! I grabbed a bunch of kindling that I did not realize was green, and had to rebuild the fire after it didn't start well. Oak works best, I think.
Rake most of the coals to the back of the oven, and then throw another large log onto the coals, you need to keep the fire going for multiple pizzas.
Our homemade pizza peel works great with the brick pizza oven, watch the pizza peel video here. Use cornmeal on the pizza peel, it helps the pizza slide off the peel onto the oven floor.
Rotate the pizza halfway through the baking process, it helps to even out the cooking.
Don't pile on the ingredients, less is better in this case. Vegetables should be sliced thin. Vegetables such as broccoli are best blanched first, so they cook along with the pizza. You can also add things after the pizza comes out of the oven.
Here is the how to build the brick pizza oven video:
Click here to see some of the pizza ovens people have built after watching our how-to vids, have you built one? Please send us pictures: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yum, cooked just the way I like it, burned on the outside, raw in the middle.
What fun! The log-fall, too, was a good cautionary tale--thank you, Eric, for making all the mistakes so we don't have to! I'm wondering if, with my next attempt, I couldn't put a grating in, or a second layer of bricks; something that still keeps my pizza in close proximity to the fire, but a bit less likely to be attacked by ashes. The possibilities are endless!
Your oven should be hot enough for pizza after a one hour firing. No need to wait three hours. An ideal floor temperature is 700ºF. You can guess at the temperature, but your first pizza might very well be the "sacrificial pizza." A point and shoot laser thermometer will give you the exact floor temperature, but you don't need this device. I have one because I like devices.
You don't want a fire in front of the pizza. That's asking for a mess and a burnt hand.
If you want to separate the fire from the pizza, a small length of angle iron will work. Just lay it on the hearth.
Wooden peels are best used to slide pizza into the oven, but they are difficult to use for taking pizzas from the oven. Metal peels work much better for this.
Spinning your pizza in the oven to get it to bake evenly is best accomplished without the peel. Simply reach into the oven with a scavenged metal poker (a long "L" shaped device), grab on to edge of the pizza and give it a turn.
Eric Gunnar Rochow
Thanks so much Stu. Appreciate all the info from the oven guru who inspired us! Eric.
Oh my Gosh you two......... I LOVE the "Bad Log" Video ..........been a subscriber for a while, and love your video's.. Happy Thanksgiving!! Regards, sharen
Eric Gunnar Rochow
Thanks Sharen! It's cool to hear from you. Eric
I have used the NY dough recipe shown on this site for grilled pizza multiple times and have never been disappointed. You may want to check it out.
Love your video can't wait to get some bricks for my driveway pizza
Dave from Frankford On Canada
I liked you pizza oven... lol when "bad" log happened. It's my style of doing stuff so I've learned to engineer around by "bad logs" in life.
Question: Have you ever explored the art of making fire logs or bricks by recycling water-soaked newspaper and then compressing and drying? Apparently, they make clean-burning fuel to be used like a briquette.
Been looking for an easy build pizza oven and came across your site. Just what we are looking for, got lot of bricks so just need to build some portable stands.
I am in New Zealand so your great oven is going around the world.
Will look at taking it to Kiwiburn a regional version of Burning Man.
Eric Gunnar Rochow
great to hear Ray, take some pictures for us! email@example.com
CAN YOU BAKE BREAD IN THIS PIZZA OVEN
I've been meaning to re-visit your site since it provided the perfect solution I was looking for in 2013 when I wanted to build a pizza oven on my roof here in Cambodia.
I stacked and built mine on a custom made angle iron table with the angle iron bars ($40). Then I found these perfect 2 inch think angled cement pieces to put under the oven ($10). Once I found the place to buy the old bricks from the French Colonial buildings being dismantled at a price of $1 for 4, things got a lot easier - but finding the bricks was not an easy task given the language barrier and neither did the fact that it's a 5 story building with no elevator. Although I did get a great workout bring it up and continue to do so with each or cord of wood. One original modification on made on your design was not to stack the bricks vertically but instead all of them flat.
I have now re-built the oven three times, replacing cracked bricks and modifying the design slightly. I originally had a chimney in the back but found it was really non-essential. One nice feature I added was an elevated level in the front for cooking the pizza on. I also built it up two brick levels higher over all as the brick price is pretty inconsequential here. I use terra cotta tiles to cook on in the oven and on top of the oven to keep the pizzas warm, help the dough rise and get the crust a bit crispier.
Here is a timelapse the 2.0 build. The picture in the link is how it looked originally and now after last nights 3.0 build. http://vimeo.com/cspeaking/pappaspizzaoven
Thanks for the inspiring solution. If you are ever in Phnom Penh, Cambodia come over for a pizza with one of the best views in town.