Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Brick Pizza Oven Construction

Introduction:  I had been meaning to build a brick pizza oven for sometime now.  Having grown up with freshly baked bread; I initially wanted to build a tandoor, but decided against it.  Reason being:  brick pizza oven is a bit more aesthetically pleasing, extends my living space outdoor and a bit more versatile.

As I a management consultant and constantly travel for work, I only have weekends to work on the project.  It worked out well since much time is required for curing between the steps of the construction.  Before I get into the details of the construction, a little about my skills in masonry.  None.  I am technically inclined, but I have never poured a foundation or laid a single brick or even cut a tile.

I will describe the steps as I constructed it.  I will also describe where I purchased the materials since it can be the biggest challenge for city dwellers as I live in the city of Chicago.

Construction Planning:  My back patio dimensions are 13X20 feet.  The best place for me to build the oven was on the 13 feet side.  The picture below shows some of my challenges and limitations with space. 

Once I had selected the location, a tough part began; how big should the oven be?  It isn't just a practical question, but also a question of aesthetics and consideration for the neighbours.  

Instead of worrying too much about the inner diameter of dome, I went with 2 1/2 blocks for the sides.  With mortar between the blocks it came out to 39X39 inches. 
Picture 1