Wood Fired Ovens! You’ve seen them at your favorite pizza place, you’ve seen them on TV, and all over the Internet and Pinterest. You simply MUST HAVE ONE and you want to build your own… Great! Now what?
You might have the best kitchen gadgets in your kitchen and even a place to get started on building your very own woodfire oven, but before that, the absolute first thing you need to do before even procuring the materials is making sure that building a wood-fired oven on your property is doable. If you have an HOA or ARB to deal with, make sure you get approval before you start – there’s no easy way to move a fixed oven. Even if you are building on a movable stand, it’s still a good idea to check into local codes or covenants. With a substantial investment in time and resources like this, don’t ask for forgiveness instead of permission.
Once you’ve gotten permission (if applicable) you want to figure out the best place to put your oven. If you already have a patio or outdoor kitchen, it’s wise to build your oven nearby. You don’t want to travel across your entire yard every time you make a pizza because you built your oven on the other side of the house.
That being said, if you’re prepping your pizzas indoors and walking them out to your wood fired oven to bake, you don’t want to be too far from the kitchen entrance either. Make sure your location makes sense logistically for when you’re actually using the oven – it will save you a lot of headaches later.
The next step is to think about what you’d like to make with your wood fired oven, because this will dictate how large you want your oven to be. Strictly pizza? We get that. Consider that you may eventually want to roast larger items like turkeys or large trays of veggies though. Chances are you won’t ever regret making your oven too big – make it too small however and you’ll be kicking yourself later when your turkey or roast won’t fit through the door!
With that in mind, here’s a very brief outline of basic questions you’ll need answers to before you start your wood fired oven project.
1. Do I have room/permission to build a wood fired oven on my property?
2. What style of wood fired oven do I want to build?
3. What will I use my oven for primarily?
4. What size should my wood fired oven be?
5. Should I build it myself (DIY) or buy it prefabricated or in a kit?
6) How much time will it take to build my wood fired oven?
7) If going the DIY route, do I have (or do I want to commit) the time needed?
8) What is my budget?
This is a basic list, and differing circumstances will dictate a huge variety of answers. With my current oven, I never even intended to take it as far as it went. I built a stone stand, designed for a small cob oven, as an experiment. One thing lead to another and before I knew it, I had a full scale brick oven on my hands.
I ended up with a 33″ oven, because I didn’t plan ahead beyond the base footprint for anything larger. That was just one of the never ending changes I made as the project moved forward. Even with proper planning on your part, you may run into issues that you didn’t foresee, so be prepared to be flexible as your wood fired oven project progresses.
To help you with that, we’ll be delving deeper into each of these topics in future blog posts, but we wanted to take this opportunity to invite all of you over to our new wood fired oven discussion forum in the meantime. There you can post questions and get encouragement and advice from fellow members who have already built wood fired ovens, or are professional masons.
You can also share your experiences, recipes, and even show off photos of your wood fired oven project, your culinary masterpieces, or maybe even your epic pizza fails (trust me, we all have them!)
So if you’re contemplating building a wood fired oven, or even if you already have one and have questions about using it, join the forum and start a topic in the appropriate section. If you need help, we’re always checking in – just let us know what we can do. You’re input is important to us, and we are all looking forward to helping you through your project!!
See you on the forums!