Dry stack wood-fired pizza oven


August 2021

Dry stack wood-fired pizza oven

How to build comfortably in one day!

No pizza tastes better then a pizza cooked in a wood-fired pizza oven, but how much does it cost to buy one? Lots!! Having looked at several models on the market I realized that even the smallest one would have cost me an arm and a leg, and all of that for the occasional family and friends pizza night.

Making pizzas myself I felt quite disheartened thinking that despite my pizzas would taste lovely cooked in such an oven I was going to be restricted to the usual electric one in the kitchen. And because I am stubborn and fairly DIY orientated, I decided to look into how to build one by myself. Some years ago I went for a day course on how to build a clay dome pizza oven. It was quite fun and I understood the technique and built a small one so I knew I could one day repeat the experience. Unfortunately, it is not easy to find the right clay and to be honest it is a fairly long process to build one and time is my enemy!

So I looked into it a bit more and found the most amazing solution. A dry stack wood-fired pizza oven! To be honest at first I was a bit sceptical. Having a dry-stack oven means the oven is not really sealed and the wind goes through it at leisure. But once I built it I was amazed at how well it was working and the pizzas cooked very quickly and tasted fantastic!

The building of the oven is very easy, you need:

Cement blocks
Concrete board
Angle iron
Clay bricks

The number of cement blocks depends on the height you want to achieve. I used 2 rows of 4 blocks each. This is because I wanted to use large paving slabs I had in the garden instead of buying a large concrete board.

So….how to build the oven.

Step number 1: Build the concrete blocks into 2 rows and then sit the concrete board on top. This will be the base for your clay bricks.

Step number 2 : Lay the bricks on top of the concrete board. This will be your cooking surface. This layer of bricks allows air to circulate beneath the flames and also is essential in building and retaining the heat needed for great pizza and breads.

Step number 3: Stack bricks in the space around the cooking surface to create walls (as per picture).

Step number 4: Start building the roof of the oven. Lay 2 strips of angle iron down to support a row of bricks and repeat until the roof is complete. Double layer the bricks for stability and heat retention.

Step number 5: Fire the oven and cook your pizza. Buon Appetito!