Most cooks are content to prepare a pizza in a home oven. It's a quick and easy meal which requires little preparation and few ingredients. For gourmets who want to create a special pizza, there is nothing like the taste of a pizza cooked in an outdoor oven. Traditionally, these ovens are made of bricks, but innovative pizza-lovers have shown creativity in building pizza ovens from stone. Building a stone oven takes time and effort, but once the oven has been built it will be ready for many years of gourmet pizza-making.
Dig a foundation for the pizza oven. Dig a 1.2 m x 1.2 m (4 feet x 4 feet) rectangular hole. It should have a depth of 15 cm (6 inches).
Mix prepackaged cement mixture with water. It should form a firm paste.
Start building three walls of the pizza oven. The fourth side will stay open. Using flat stones (not from a river) lay the stones on top of each other, held together by cement. Make sure that all gaps are fully filled by cement.
Fit the barrel in and make sure that the three walls of the pizza oven are being built so that they are surrounding the barrel, touching the barrel's circumference on all three sides.
Don't build more than three layers in a day so that the cement will set properly.
Build until the three sides are about 60 cm (2 feet) tall.
Slide the barrel into the oven straight up and down. The top and bottom of the barrel are open. It will serve to funnel the heat from the fire (at the bottom) up to cook the pizza (at the top).
Use a large stone to lay across the gap of the fourth wall (which has not yet been built). This is where the bottom of the barrel should reach (the barrel does NOT rest on the ground but rather is 60 cm (2 feet) off the ground, held in place by the pizza oven's walls which surround it). Cement the barrel to the inside of the pizza oven's walls to hold it in place.
The upper area
Continue building the walls of the pizza oven around the barrel in the same manner. Make sure that all gaps are closed with cement. All four walls will now be built, surrounding the barrel.
Build up the walls of the pizza oven until the barrel is completely surrounded on all four sides.
Continue building up the side and back walls of the pizza oven for another 60 cm (2 feet), leaving the front wall open (as on the bottom).
Lay a rack on top of the barrel. This is where the pizza will be baked in the pizza oven.
Lay a large flat stone over the top of the oven. This will serve as the pizza oven roof. Leave a gap of 15 cm (6 inches) in the back.This will be the hole for the chimney.
Build up the chimney in the back of the pizza oven with stones or by inserting a stovepipe. The chimney should be approximately 15 cm (6 inches) in height.
Cover the rest of the back of the pizza oven roof area, next to the chimney, with flat stones. Fill all gaps with cement.
After the oven is built it should be cured by letting a fire burn in it for several hours. This will solidify the cement and prepare the oven for pizza baking.
Tips and warnings
- After the oven is built it should be cured by letting a fire burn in it for several hours. This will solidify the cement and prepare the oven for pizza baking.