How To Build A Pizza Oven Dome | Outdoor Brick Oven Plans

The top of the Pompeii brick oven is a circular parabolic dome built from brick. The attic condition is designed to efficiently absorb heat from a wood arouse, and to evenly reflect store hotness, and heat from a live fire inside the oven, down to the fudge surface .
figure 1 provides a good overview of the dome layout, including the first chain of upright bricks, the crook of the dome, and side view of the oven opening. trope 2 shows a cross section of the curvature of the arch, and gives you an mind of the in angle that you will build .
To Form, or not to Form
There are two fundamental ways for how to build a pizza oven dome : the first gear is a free-standing dome, where “ chains ” of self-supporting brick circles are built on top of one another. The inward fish of the dome wind can set set either freehand, or with wooden shims. The moment method uses Styrofoam forms, which determine the oven dome ’ s in angle, and are removed after the attic is completed. Both methods have advantages, and both are vastly superior to the old-world method acting of mounding wet sand as a form .
The free-standing dome approach path has a number of advantages. It is a relatively easily and very time-efficient method acting, which we think is within the skill set of person who is ready to build a brick oven. additionally, because the brickwork is accessible from the inside the entire meter the dome is being built, it is possible to continually check the attic for the accuracy of the brick put at all times. You can continually clean the inside of the dome brickwork, which will result in a fine-looking end product.

This overture besides reduces the gamble of something going incorrect. Simply put, you know the entire time that you are working that your oven attic is standing, and will continue to stand. Any meter you produce brickwork based on forms, you are faced with the consequence of truth, where you remove the form, and hope that the oven doesn ’ metric ton fall devour. I have personal know with this, where the first course of arch bricks on my orthogonal, barrel vaulted oven fell in three times before I finally got it right .
The free-standing dome approach builds on itself, where the first few chains are not difficult to build, giving the builder the know and assurance necessity to continue through the subsequent chains .
alternatively, the Styrofoam shape method makes it easy to follow a pre-defined inward dome curve and oven condition, and it eliminates the need for shims. This method acting besides gives you good inner entree to your brickwork for checking and cleaning. Styrofoam itself is easy to find ( Home Depot or Lowes ), easy to work with, cheap and it easily breaks out of the oven when you are finished with the dome — unlike the complicated, hinged wooden forms that some professional builders use. See photograph
It is besides possible to build your oven using both methods, where you build the first 5+ chains using the freestanding methods, then building forms for the final chains that close in the oven dome .
To discuss the pros and cons of the two methods further, before you start you oven, join the Forno Bravo Forum, and see what other builders have done, and what they think .
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Oven Dimensions
We recommend either a 36″ or 42″ ( home diameter ) attack oven, using either a high ( Tuscan ), or abject ( Neapolitan ) vault plan. These sizes provide you with enough oven space to cook multiple pizza at a time, or to cook a ridicule with multiple side dishes, without being besides large or unmanageable to build, or excessively slow to fire. The trade-offs between the two oven styles is described below, and will help you decide which oven to build .

Interior Diameter Interior Height Opening Width Opening Height
Low Vault 36 14.5″ 18 10
42 15.5″ 19 11
High Vault 36 19″ 19 12
42 20″ 20 12.5

Oven Style
There are two basic styles of italian wood-fired pizza oven : the Neapolitan oven, which has a more aggressive curve and a lower dome stature, and the Tuscan oven, which has less aggressive curve and a higher dome. While both oven styles perform well with all types of cook, it is said that the Naples-style oven is more tune to pizza, where the lower dome heats up a fiddling firm and gets hot for cooking pizza .
The higher dome of the Tuscan-style oven is more efficient at holding heat, and uses less wood, has a larger doorway opening for larger roasts and pans, and is better for cooking bread and roast. It is besides true that the higher dome is reasonably easier to build, as the inward curve is less marked, and the risk of a chain of bricks falling in before they are locked in place with a anchor in less .
It is our opinion that the differences between the two oven styles has be exaggerated by some vocal folks, and that you will be highly happy with either of the outdoor brick oven plans, or your own hybrid between the two .
Regardless of which style you choose, the parabolic oven vault supreme headquarters allied powers europe serves to evenly reflect heat down on the fudge surface. note that the diameter of your oven does not have to be precisely 36″ or 42″, but quite the nearest size that you reach without cutting bricks. Build a exemplar on a flatcar space to get your claim measurement for the bricks you are using. Do not allow distance for a mortar joint, as you will be setting the edges of the bricks facing inside the oven blush with each other .
The Oven Opening Dimensions
The basic tradeoff a builder faces when selecting the oven open size is balancing the ease-of-use for getting food in and out of the oven and the size of pans, oven tools and roasts you want to use vs. your oven ’ s ability to hold and retain estrus. The larger the open, the easier it is to work with the oven, and more your oven will lose estrus. A minor opening will enable your oven to hold its heat well, but can limit you from using your front-runner terra cotta pan, or a nice big pizza peel. The hatchway stature and width we recommend here should work well for a majority of builders.

Read more: Who Invented Pizza?

How To Build A Pizza Oven Dome
To set the position of your oven on your fireplace slab, foremost measure and mark the center of the slab from side-to-side ( left/right ) and the center of your oven floor back from the oven bring and vent bring. then, using a bowed stringed instrument and marking penitentiary, build a compass half the diameter of your oven ( 18″ or 21″ ), and mark the circumference of your oven floor .
The dome itself a series of self-supporting circular brick chains that curve inward, until they meet at the anchor at the oven lead. The first chain is a ring of brick cut in half and standing on their ends, with the sparse edge ( 2 1/2 ) facing inside the oven. You can adjust the accurate diameter of your oven to match the size r-2 that your bricks form, so that you do not have to cut a brick in your beginning chain .
The subsequent chains are made up of brick cut in half and set on their wide border ( 4 1/2″ ) with the clean border facing in. The angle of the inbound curve is set using a standard wooden shim. To determine the fish of your oven ’ south inward curve, and of the shim itself, build a trial layout as shown in graphic 2 and cut your shim accordingly. Do not allow space for a mortar joint, as you will be setting the edges of the bricks facing inside the oven flush with each other .
Begin laying your bricks using High Heat Mortar. The bricks will follow the fish and curvature set by the woodwind shim. After the angle is held in place with mortar, remove the shim ; fill the open space created by the shim with mortar, and move on .
Start each chain either adjacent to, or over the oven opening. This will allow you to set you keystone where it can not be seen when you look inside the oven. The anchor is a particularly cut brick that locks each chain into topographic point. When you reach the end of each chain, where you can not fit the last life-size brick, make a composition template of the man that is required to finish the chain. Transfer the template to your brick, and make your stinger. The keystone should be tight, and require that you lightly tap it into home, but not so rigorous that it causes the pillow of the bricks in the chain to shift .
Oven construction is done without any forms or bracing through the first six or eight ( out of 10-12 ) chains. How far you can get without forms is up to you, and will depend on the slant and specifics of each oven .
Building the Oven Opening
There are four traditional ways for framing your door open, though we recommend the first, and easiest method. The easiest, fastest and least dearly-won way of framing the pizza oven open is to use standard size bricks to frame the side of the open, and a distance of 2″x 2″ x 3/16″ lean iron to support the top of the open .
The other methods are : building a curved arch using bricks to frame the opening ; build up ( or having a metallic storyteller build ) a arrant door frame built, either from steel or casting iron ; or framing the orifice with stone lintels. The wind arch method is beautiful, but difficult to build. Because the oven first step tends to a little bootleg and coal-black, we aren ’ t indisputable it is worth the feat. Having a welder build a door inning that besides integrates your oven vent is something you might want to consider if you have entree to a full storyteller. The rock header approach is authentic, and will look great, but you are on your own when it comes to finding the mighty material, and it can be catchy making your outdoor brick oven plans influence with the non-straight lines of the rock .
An update ! We recommend that you set back the vent side bricks back 1/2″ to allow for a reveal that you will use to “ form ” the open into the oven. You need to leave a lip that your door can close tightly against, fully sealing heat and steamer inside the oven chamber, and wholly cutting off the air out add. With this mind, Photo 11 shows the vent walls in line with the pizza oven, not set back, as we recommend .
About your Bricks
We recommend using gloomy duty firebrick for both the oven dome and cooking surface. The firebricks that make up the dome provide a majority of the oven ’ sulfur ability to hold inflame, and will allow the oven to deliver the high temperatures that are needed for cooking pizza. Check out our Brick Primer for more backdrop information on bricks .
much of the Pompeii Oven attic is constructed using a standard size brick ( about 2 1/2″ ten 4.5″ x 9″ ) cut in half. The cut side of the brick faces out, away from the inside of the oven, allowing the clean, manufactured side of the brick to face in where it will be seen. Depending on the brick type and size you choose, the thickness of your oven dome will be between 4″ and 4 1/2″, which is the correct measure of thermal bulk for a home oven. The dome will be coated with 1/2″-1″ layer of either fractious mortar or fire clay mortar, farther increasing the oven mass .
You are quick to close in, and Finish your Oven Dome.

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Tips and Hints
There are three ways of cutting the bricks for your dome : you can either purchase an cheap tile go steady ( see Materials List for ideas ) or rent a tile see ; you can use a diamond-coated masonry blade on a standard circular saw or mill ( see Materials List for more information ) ; or you can score your bricks and break them .
You can either purchase pre-mixed refractory mortar, or mix your own fireclay mortar. Read our High Heat Mortar Primer for more information .