Not much beats the taste of a fresh, wood-fired pizza cooked outdoors on a cool summer evening. Backyard pizza ovens are easily constructed by average homeowners without expensive materials or highly technical construction techniques, using cob. Cob is a simple, highly durable and environmentally friendly material made of everyday, elemental ingredients. If a pizza oven is somehow damaged, it is easily repaired by simply patching holes with more cob.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Breeze blocks
- Kid's pool
- Clay soil
- Paver stones or bricks
Erect a 40-inch tall, 48-inch diameter pedestal with breeze blocks and large rocks.
Put just enough sand in a plastic kid's pool to cover the bottom. Add 30 gallons of clay-based soil. Stomp the sand and soil until they are well mixed. Remove and set aside about one-tenth of the mixture. Add straw or long, dried grass gradually and keep stomping until the straw or grass is consistently distributed throughout the mixture. The straw mixture is the cob.
Gradually mix water into the sand and soil mixture that was set aside until a thick, pasty consistency is formed.
Smear some of the cob over the top of the pedestal. Pack it down firmly and smooth it down by hand. Lay paver stones or bricks on top to create the oven floor.
Create a 20-inch high, 24-inch diameter, 3-inch thick, domed oven chamber out of wet sand. The wet sand will provide a temporary armature.
Spread a 3-inch thick layer of the sand and soil mixed with water over the sand dome.
Add a 3-inch thick layer of cob over the dome, smoothing down the surface as much as possible. Leave the cob to dry for three weeks.
Make a new batch of cob. Add a final, 3-inch thick layer of cob over the dome. Allow the cob to dry for another three weeks.
Dig out and remove the sand from inside the oven chamber.
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