How Can You Set Up an Outdoor Wood-Fired Pizza Oven in a Small Backyard?

April 8, 2024

Imagine the joy of making your own mouth-watering pizzas in a traditional wood-fired oven right in your own backyard. If you believe that your small outdoor space is a limitation, think again. By using bricks and mortar, you can build an efficient and compact wood-fired oven. The process may seem daunting, but don’t worry. We will guide you step-by-step in setting up your outdoor pizza kitchen in a small backyard.

Choosing the Right Type of Wood-fired Oven for Your Space

Before embarking on this DIY project, it’s essential to be aware of the different types of wood-fired ovens available and pick the one that suits your space and cooking needs.

A voir aussi : What Are the Best Design Strategies for a Home with Multiple Generations Living Under One Roof?

Traditional Brick Ovens are widely used due to their efficiency and appealing aesthetics. The bricks retain the heat well, ensuring even cooking. For small spaces, you can build a dome-shaped brick oven with a diameter of 30-35 inches.

Portable Ovens are a great choice for limited spaces. They are lightweight, easy to move, and require minimal setup. However, their heat retention may not be as good as brick ovens.

A découvrir également : How Can You Design a High-Tech Home Gym with Virtual Training Capabilities?

Kit Ovens come with pre-cut and numbered pieces, making them easy to assemble. They are perfect for those who are not confident about building an oven from scratch.

Preparing the Base for the Oven

After selecting the oven’s type, the next step is to prepare the base. The oven will be heavy, especially if you’re using bricks, so it’s crucial to have a sturdy foundation.

Start by marking the area where the oven will be. Clear the space of any debris. The base must be level, so use a spirit level to check this.

Next, build a concrete base. It provides excellent stability and heat resistance. Pour the concrete into the marked area, ensuring it is at least 6 inches thick. Allow it to dry completely, which may take up to a week.

Building the Oven Dome

Building the oven dome is both an art and a science. It’s where the fire will be lit and where the pizza will be cooked.

First, create a sand form to shape your dome. Heap sand into the desired shape and cover it with wet newspaper to prevent the sand from sticking to the bricks.

Then, lay your bricks around the sand form, applying a layer of fire-resistant mortar between each. As you apply the bricks, make sure they are level with each other. Continue this process until the dome is complete.

Creating the Oven Mouth and Chimney

The oven mouth is where you will insert the pizza, while the chimney allows smoke to escape and draws fresh air into the oven.

For the oven mouth, create an opening at the front of the dome. The size should be approximately 63% of the dome’s height.

For the chimney, stack bricks or use a metal pipe above the oven mouth. Ensure it is high enough to draw the smoke away.

Finalizing the Oven

Let the mortar dry completely, then remove the sand form from inside the dome. Apply a layer of fire-resistant mortar inside and outside the dome, smoothing it out with a trowel.

Now comes the most exciting part: firing up the oven. Start with small fires, gradually increasing the size over several days. This process, called curing, will dry out the oven and prepare it for pizza cooking.

Bear in mind that building an outdoor wood-fired pizza oven takes time, patience, and careful planning. But the reward of cooking your own authentic pizzas will be well worth the effort. So, roll up your sleeves and transform your small backyard into an outdoor kitchen.

Insulating the Oven for Heat Retention

No matter how petite your outdoor space may be, an insulated pizza oven is a must to maintain the high temperatures needed for delectable, wood-fired pizzas. This insulation layer helps in heat retention and ensures that your pizza is cooked evenly every time you fire up the oven.

Start by applying a layer of ceramic fiber insulation blanket around your oven dome. This blanket acts as a heat barrier and prevents heat from escaping, maintaining a high temperature inside the oven. The thickness of the blanket will rely on the type of blanket you have, but usually, a 2-inch thick layer would suffice. Secure this blanket with a high-temperature adhesive to make sure it stays in place.

Once the blanket is firmly attached, cover it with a layer of chicken wire to provide a structure for the render, a mixture of sand and cement. Apply this render over the chicken wire, effectively creating a hard outer shell for your oven.

Next, let the render dry for a few days. During this time, avoid lighting any fires in the oven to prevent cracking.

After the render has completely dried, apply a finish layer. This layer could be more cement render, or you could opt for a more aesthetic finish like tiles or mosaic. Ensuring this layer is well-sealed will keep your oven waterproof, protecting it from the elements and extending its lifespan.

Make sure you have a doorway arch in place that matches the height of your oven dome. The arch is crucial as it helps in proper heat circulation within the oven.

Wood Selection for Your Oven

The type of wood you use in your wood-fired oven contributes significantly to the flavour profile of your pizzas. Therefore, it’s important to choose the right wood for your outdoor pizza adventures.

Ensure to use seasoned hardwoods such as oak, hickory, ash, and maple. These types of wood burn hot and slow, providing the perfect conditions for pizza cooking.

Avoid softwoods like pine or spruce, as they burn quickly and produce a lot of smoke and sparks. Moreover, never use treated or painted wood as they can release harmful chemicals when burned.

It’s also beneficial to keep a variety of wood sizes on hand. Smaller pieces of wood will catch fire quickly, helping to heat up your oven fast. In contrast, larger logs will burn longer, maintaining the oven’s temperature.

Conclusion: Enjoy Your Outdoor Wood-fired Pizza Oven

Building a pizza oven in your small backyard may be a considerable task, but it is undoubtedly an achievable one. By following these steps, you can have your own brick oven in your outdoor kitchen. And the joy of crafting and baking your own wood-fired pizzas is truly incomparable.

Remember, this DIY pizza oven project requires patience, precision, and a bit of hard work. But once done, it gives you a permanent facility to enjoy authentic pizzas year-round in your outdoor space. Don’t forget to gather your loved ones for a pizza party when your oven is ready. After all, what could be better than sharing a slice of heavenly pizza cooked in your very own outdoor wood-fired oven?