How To Build a Wood Fired Pizza Oven in Your Backyard

$5000
6 Months
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Have you ever had real Neapolitan pizza? It's cooked in a wood-fired pizza oven at around 1000 degrees, and only takes 90 seconds to cook. It's also insanely delicious. I became obsessed with the idea of building a pizza oven in my backyard, despite having no masonry experience at all, and ended up with an amazing outdoor kitchen.
It's the perfect outdoor entertaining space, and we can feed a crowd--easily, deliciously, and quickly! It's dinner and a show, all in one.
A concrete pad and simple dry-stacked concrete block wall created a solid foundation. I did this all myself. While I was pregnant. I nest with power tools.
The floor of the oven came next--a counter height concrete slab on which I'd build my brick oven dome.
The firebrick dome was built over the course of the long Thanksgiving weekend.
We built the enclosure out of metal studs and concrete backerboard. No fire should ever get out there anyway, but it never hurts to be extra careful! That's a picture of me signing my masterpiece. Nobody will ever see it, since it's enclosed, but I know it's there! ;-)
Finishing touches--stone veneer. I did so many squats applying the stone! Best leg workout ever.
And the end result? AMAZING pizza. We actually can get three days of cooking from the retained heat from a pizza fire. Pizza the first night, artisan breads the next morning (500ish degrees), calzones and lasagna made from leftover pizza ingredients the second night (375ish degrees), and then low, slow cooked things like beans or some meats overnight and into the third day (225 degrees). I love my WFO!

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Nikki Wills

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 22 questions
  • Eli
    on Jul 31, 2018

    Hey

    When you said you cooked for 2 or 3 days with the retained heat, where there still flames/ burning coals? Or was all the fire extinguished and it still retained the heat?


    Thanks!

    • Krafty Mrs.K
      on May 21, 2019

      How thick is your fire brick?? is It Hard brick or Soft brick.

      My kiln has 3 inches of soft firebrick but it is cooled to room temp in less than 24 hours. That is after a stoneware firing to 2200 degrees.

      We did cook hot dogs and soft pretzel in the kilns at college.

  • Robert L Rodriguez
    on Sep 6, 2018

    How many brick you use y the proyect

    • Nikki Wills
      on Sep 6, 2018

      Oh man, I'm sure I knew at one point, but that was years ago at this point! I'm sure the plans I used from Forno Bravo (linked to in the post) have an accurate count in the materials list.

  • Fritz Lee
    on Nov 18, 2018

    Would you share your technical designs.... Love your creation.

    • Nikki Wills
      on Nov 19, 2018

      I got the plans from fornobravo.com . The plans--and the message board full of builders ready to answer any questions--are exactly what you'll want and need to build one!

Join the conversation

4 of 117 comments
  • Srebrenka Bogovic
    on Apr 3, 2018

    Shouldn't the interior be lined with fire-resisting bricks. Cinder blocks & cement will "blow up" under such high heat.

    • Nikki Wills
      on Apr 3, 2018

      The dome and floor of the oven is made with firebrick and high heat refractory mortar, not cinderblock, and rests on refractory insulation. The cinderblock is only for the oven base, and is completely insulated from the heat. You're right, regular bricks or cinderblock would spall at those temperatures!

  • Eli
    on Jul 31, 2018

    This is incredible! The coolness factor of your house just skyrocketed!!!

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