A Pizza Oven Born

Jeff has been working on building a backyard pizza oven all summer, and it is finally ready for a test run! There is still lots of work to do to make it beautiful, but it is functional, so we decided to give it a GO! After an entire summer of digging dirt, building forms and pouring cement, we have a pizza oven.

This is the beginning. Jeff dug a forty-eight inch foundation, poured footers and built cinder block walls. The whole thing got filled in.

Here’s the base for the outdoor kitchen, fireplace and pizza oven. Notice the forms and the bags of cement in the background. This was all done with muscle!

Cinder blocks were used to build the counter top base and the walls of the fireplace.

Jeff built forms for the counter tops and poured a stained cement to fill. After the counters dried, he used a grinder to soften the edges and give the top some texture. This picture does not show that work.

By this time, we had the fireplace built with cinder block and completely lined with firebrick. The roof of the fireplace and base of the pizza oven are made with refractory cement and stainless steel chards for strength. No rebar there as it will expand and contract with heat.

Once all the arcs were built and mortared together to make the roof of the pizza oven, the top is insulated with a cement and perlite combination.

Our first fire – Jeff has been saving scrap cedar from residing the house and fence building!

We weren’t sure of the temperature, so the first pizza was tiny. We didn’t want to have a lot of food waste of it was too hot. Turned out it was perfect!

This picture shows a few more layers of insulation and the smoke from three practice runs over the last two weeks.

Pizza toppings.


And some of the soccer team making their own! It’s been fun! And delicious.

Summer 2011

The pizza oven and backyard patio are complete! We don’t normally store the stool in the fireplace, however!

Your gracious hosts having a serious moment before a summer wedding!

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12 thoughts on “A Pizza Oven Born

  1. Jeff, you continue to impress me. WOW! I had no idea you had taken on such a challenge. Congratulations – you can build me an oven anytime! Ha!Ha!

    Sarah, congratulations! I am sure your pizza’s will be works of art and delicious to boot!


  2. Pingback: Kieran’s a Game Changer and Morning Roundup | The Heavy Table - Minneapolis-St. Paul and Upper Midwest Food Magazine and Blog

    • Hi Jen, Jeff’s been keeping track of expenses and so far he has spent about $1,500. Once we have all the stone facade and patio in, we’re probably talking $3,000. This is straight material cost – with labor, you can imagine. The most costly thing so far was the refractory concrete used between the fireplace and pizza oven. We’re happy to share more details if you have questions!


  3. OH MY!!! this looks AWESOME! Bummer… I bet you guys are going to have the volleyball crew over to make pizzas and I’m stuck in Iowa 😦 Tell Jeff to save a spot for me on the team!

    Much love,


  4. I hope you see this comment – I was trying to find your e-mail, but no luck.

    Can you please post or email more details about building/pouring the foundation? We are about to start but I can not find much info about it, all sources I find start with the already made patio or concrete block.
    I would really apprecaite it.



    • Hi Zoya,

      We live in a Minnesota, so we needed to go to at least 42 inches to insure stability of the structure. We dug our foundation to 48 inches and the perimeter was roughly 3 by 4 feet. Once the hole was dug, we built foundation walls with cinder blocks and concrete mortar. Once this had cured, the hole was filled in with dirt and packed down. On top of that we built a rebar reinforced slab/form that was about 4 inches thick. The counter top part of our oven does not have a foundation under it, rather, we dug for post hole tubes and used those for support. These were tied into the slab with cross-tied rebar before the concrete was poured. Needless to say, we built a tornado shelter – it’s not going anywhere! I hope this helps. Let me know if you need more information.

      Vegetarian Perspective

  5. Pingback: Garlic Scapes GO OUT for Pizza! | Vegetarian Perspective

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