For the pizza aficionado, a wood-fired brick oven is the pinnacle. nothing else cooks a proto-indo european the same way, with the 800°F–1,000°F temperatures needed to get that thin, wrinkle layer of smoky char covering a damp, aeriform crust. unfortunately, these types of ovens are normally big, expensive, and complicated to build, leaving most of us to keep making dry, boring pizza baked for 15 long minutes in our kitchen oven set at a disappoint 375°F .
here ’ s a brick oven design that overcomes those hang-ups. It ’ sulfur arsenic childlike as stacking blocks, and with a couple of helping hands, you can put this together, cook amazing pizza, and tear it apart in an afternoon. Brick sizes vary, so modify the layout as needed. I first built one during a weekend course led by Michael O ’ Malley at Machine Project in Los Angeles, and have since helped inhale others to make their own .
1. Pick a location
The burden of the bricks is considerable, then make sure you start with a firm workbench on a tauten, floor surface. We used a metallic element welding postpone — expression for used ones on Craigslist — but you can besides create a hardy 4′ by 4′ platform of cinder obstruct topped with 2 half-sheets of ¾ ” plywood .
2. Lay the pavers and firebrick floor
Make a 4′ by 4′ insulating base with the cement pavers on top of your chopine. Centered on clear of that, make a airfoil of firebrick, laid compressed, roughly 10 bricks wide and 5 bricks deep. Keep the bricks tight together — this is the shock of the oven.
CAUTION: Don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate use standard red bricks, as they may shatter explosively when heated to high temperatures. Use Firebrick .
3. Stack the walls
Begin with the back wall, 4½ bricks wide-eyed by 5 bricks improbable, lay categoric. You ’ ll indigence to split some bricks in half ; do therefore by scoring a argumentation and hitting with a chisel and malleus, or use a masonry blade on a round determine. Save the chips. Offset each layer by half a brick, so the seam sit in the middle of the bricks below. Center 5 more on lead, in two levels .
To build the sides, first drill two 3/8″ holes in each 48″ fish iron, 1″ from both ends, in one branch of the angle. Lay 2 fish irons front-to-back on the platform, facing inward so that bricks can sit in the inwardly corner. Slot threaded rods through the drill holes and tighten a nut onto each end .
Build the side walls by standing 13 bricks on end inside each fish iron, starting from the back wall. If already blend, run a line of clay mix ( Step 6 ) on the inwardly bed edges. Cap each slope with 3 bricks laid flatcar, then place the remaining 48″ slant irons on top, facing down. Add threaded rods and nuts .
4. Make the arch
To make the roof, build an arch-shaped jig of plywood screwed to two 2×4 legs. The arch length should be precisely shorter than the distance between the side walls — mine is about 32¼ ”. The height should be about 5¼ ” tall, with a spoke of about 27″. Cut 2 matching pieces with a jigsaw, then affix to the 2×4s sol that the peg extend about 9¼ ” below the plywood — you want this jig to stand a morsel tall than your beginning row of standing bricks ( Figure A ).
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To assemble the arch, place the jig against the back wall, on top of the ¼ ” risers. Stand the bricks on edge, pointing forward ( Figure B ). Keep an even space between the bricks by filling the gaps with brick shards. Remove the jig by sliding out the risers, then shimmying the leg forward to tip it backward. Repeat 2 more times to get an arced ceiling 3 bricks deep .
5. Build the entrance and chimney
On each side of the front of the oven, push-down list 2 layers of 3 bricks on edge, running front to back. These will frame the oven ’ second mouth. Bridge the acme with a 24″ lean iron facing up and in. invest 3½ bricks across the battlefront of it, on edge. Add 4 more on either side extending back to the arch .
position the last 24″ angle iron against the arch to bridge the gap, facing up and out. Center the cadaver flue pipe slip in over the gap, with its edges resting on the bricks and the fish iron ( Figure C ). Cap any gaps with bricks .
6. Cover in clay
Smoke and inflame will escape this oven unless you seal it. Mix the fractious clay with water and sand and liberally coat all external brick seams and gaps — go fleshy on the arch. It won ’ metric ton be reasonably, but you won ’ triiodothyronine mind when your abdomen is fully of amazing wood-fired pizza. Your oven is now ready to be fired up — no bring around needed ( Figure D ).
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To disassemble, let the oven cool down at least a couple hours before dismantling. then spray the clay off the acme and sides with a hose, and just unstack the bricks. store in a commodious spot, or pack into a trailer for mobile deployment. Or replace the fractious clay with a hardening mortar and make this a permanent wave repair in your cubic yard. Buon appetito !