How to Build an Outdoor Pizza Oven
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- concrete mix
- cement mixer or large tubs for mixing
- large and small cement trowels
- grout bag
- circular saw
- safety glasses and rubber work gloves
- tape measure
- 8-inch cinderblocks
- exterior grade plywood
- angle iron
- brick tile
- oven kit (ours included: 5 base elements, 2 dome elements, metal door with thermometer, flue manifold 6-inch interior diameter, arch, thermal insulating blanket, refractory mortar)
Build a Base
On top of a cement pad, we built a structure using cinder blocks and concrete. Using 8-inch cinderblocks or concrete blocks, build an L-shape structure that will fit the oven and provide counter space. We stacked four cinderblocks high to get the height we needed.Stagger the stacks of cinderblocks leaving the holes on the blocks exposed so that you can fill them with concrete. This will ensure the structure is solid and strong enough to hold the oven. Mix the concrete then pour it into the cinderblock holes along the perimeter of the structure. The inner cinderblocks do not need to be filled.
Cover the Base
There are many ways to make the base more appealing using different types of stones and brick. We used brick tiles because they provide a durable finish without having to lay bricks. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions as to how much brick tile you will need to cover the entire surface of the base. You will need a combination of flat brick and corner pieces. Mix mortar or cement (whatever the manufacturer recommends to adhere your material) then using a trowel, apply a good amount to the back of the brick tile and press onto the cinderblock base. Use spacers to make sure the bricks are evenly placed, we used 1/2” pieces of scrap wood. Let mortar dry completely. Use a small trowel or grout bag to fill all the spaces with more cement mixture.
Make the Countertop
Now that the base is built you need a sturdy countertop for the oven to sit on. We chose a basic concrete countertop. To enhance the look, we made an iron frame for the countertop edges. Exterior-grade lumber could also be used for the edging. Cut a piece of plywood to the size of the countertop. We welded a frame around the plywood. If you are used a wood edging, attach the exterior grade wood to the plywood from the underside using glue and galvanized nails. If doing a metal frame, smooth out corners with a metal grinder then use black-hammered spray paint to give it an even finish. Lay the plywood frame on top of the base and lay rebar on top of the wood in a crisscross pattern. Rebar will support the concrete and help to prevent cracking or separating. Attach the rebar with wire ties. Mix the concrete and pour it into the frame. Use large flat trowels or a wood board to even out the concrete and give it a smooth, flat finish. Let the concrete cure for at least a day and until all dark spots are gone, the dark spots mean that the concrete is still wet or humid and not fully cured.
Assemble the Pizza Oven
Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for a complete and correct installation of the your oven. Our oven came in several pieces with all the materials needed to put it together. The following are installation instructions as per our oven’s manufacturer:
1. First do a dry installation of the unit, including the arch. Center the oven on the slab making an outline of the oven with pencil or chalk. Remove the oven elements.
2. Open the bucket of refractory grout. Save the water on top of it by pouring it into another container. Transfer the grout into a larger container for easy mixing (a trough or a 5-gallon bucket should do). Slowly add the liquid until the grout is the consistency of creamy peanut butter. There will be water left over, save it so that you can pour it back over the remaining grout before you store it.
3. All the bottom (floor) elements are installed with the smooth side up and should be level because this is your cooking surface. Start with the small rectangular floor element in front of the oven. Put three individual globs of grout on the underside of each tile, set and tap the piece level. If the tile is not level, then pull it up and add more grout, tapping the tile until level. Install the other tiles in the same manner. Let the tiles sit for an hour before continuing. This will allow the tiles firm up thus preventing any accidental shifting. Return the remaining grout to its bucket, adding the extra water that you saved on top, replace the lid and keep in a cool, dry place.
4. Put as much grout as you’re comfortable with in a pastry bag and grout the tile, grouting only the seams between the tiles. The grouted seams should be depressed enough so that when you will run a pizza peel or casserole across the oven floor it will not bump against the grout and possibly chip it.
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5. The dome pieces interlock snugly and need only a minimal amount of grout. Grout only the female groove on the dome elements with about a 3/8-inch bead of grout. Do not grout the dome elements to the floor elements or to the refractory pad. Start by placing the male dome element (support it) then the female element with the slightly grouted groove. After the dome elements are set, look inside, you will notice a space all the way around where the floor meets the dome walls. Do not fill this space; this space is needed for the expansion of the floor tiles when heated.
6. Apply a strip of refractory grout across the outside seams of the dome. Don’t grout the seams inside the oven.
7. Put a little dab of grout on the bottom and generous amounts on the backside of the arch that touches the oven, set and hold in place. You can face the arch with another material such as stone, granite, tile or brick.
Install the Chimney Flue
The chimney flue consists of two parts: the flue and a smaller connector that is placed on top, smooth side up. This attachment holds the required 6-inch pipe. Put enough grout at the base of the chimney element and the connector to make them level in all directions.
As a finishing touch, contact a mason to give your oven a nice stucco finish. Make sure you wait the recommended amount of time for your oven to completely cure before use, normally about 20 days.
Family-Style Cook Space
This fully equipped outdoor kitchen is separate from the rest of the living space, allowing the two areas to be utilized entirely on their own. Greg Schaumburg of Hursthouse Landscape Architects & Contractors says an outdoor kitchen is most efficient when it's zoned into logical uses. According to Greg, your cook space should have plenty of prep space, room to set down utensils and stage ingredients, and a comfortable buffer from the seating island to keep guests protected from the heat. Photo courtesy of Hursthouse Landscape Architects & Contractors
The Cook's Corner
Situated away from the dining area, the gas grilling station from HGTV Green Home 2012 offers the cook a spot behind a stacked-stone privacy wall. The four-burner stainless steel grill features undercounter carts that offer additional storage and trash space. Nighttime cooking? No problem! Sconces by the grill make evening food prep a breeze.
HGTV Green Home 2011 features an outdoor living space and grilling station created for alfresco gatherings. The compact grilling station, encased in synthetic limestone, features temperature zones, stainless steel cooking grates and an infrared rotisserie burner. To make summer entertaining even more enjoyable, an awning with a natural cedar underside was added to keep the deck and outdoor kitchen shaded and cool.
Room With a View and BBQ
With breathtaking countryside views and a brand-new accompanying outdoor room, these homeowners now have even more reason to be outside. To make use of the existing white and cream limestone patio, the designers built a barbecue unit and a two-level L-shaped grill area. For a Texas-style touch and extra shade, a hand-scraped cedar and stained pergola covers the entire space. Design by Dean Marsico and Derek Stearns
Wine and Dine
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Cozy Courtyard Dining
The New England-style courtyard from HGTV Green Home 2010 is the ideal setting for hosting both small and large gatherings. Various seating areas and dining spots allow for larger groups to be hosted comfortably, while a more intimate family dinner can be enjoyed at a single table. For quick cleanup, simply slide the barn doors shut to conceal the outdoor cooking area in a snap.
Rustic Garden Patio
For the homeowners, the built-in brick grill was a selling point of this Spanish-style home. And after a serious outdoor remodel, their courtyard is now a comfortable place for both relaxing and entertaining. It's equipped with two grills, a living wall, hammock, shade panels and lush greenery.
Great Plains Party Room
This rustic outdoor kitchen is ready for summertime barbecues. To create this spacious entertaining spot, the designers used flagstone for the patio and red cedar to create the pergola above. The kitchen offers a large island, gas grill, side burner, refrigerator and bar seating. On the other side of the patio guests can gather around a cozy fire pit and seating area. Design by Dean Marsico and Derek Stearns
Luxurious Poolside Retreat
This covered outdoor patio is certainly not lacking in atmosphere. A trio of chandeliers helps create a stunning ambiance at night, especially when the light reflects off the nearby water. The patio itself houses a fully equipped kitchen and grilling area, spacious dining table, lounge and fireplace. Design by Randy Angell of Pool Environments
The outdoor living room from HGTV Dream Home 2012 focuses on casual, comfortable design and the surrounding views. A perk to this cozy spot is the 12-foot island, housing a gas grill, rotisserie, two warming drawers and hidden storage for grilling accessories.
A Trip to Cairo
When redesigning this tiny backyard, Jamie Durie used his recent trip to Egypt as inspiration. First he focused on ensuring the homeowners received the functional outdoor kitchen and dining space they wanted. Then he transformed the remainder of the space into a tropical, Cairo-inspired oasis with a water feature, Egyptian papyrus and palm trees and an earthy, desert-style color palette. Photo courtesy of Jamie Durie
At-Home Pizza Parlor
There's no need to fly to Italy when you have a personal pizza parlor right outside your door. This backyard is party-ready with a custom-designed patio enclosed by a two-sided sitting wall. Soft lights, lush plants and a genuine Italian pizza oven add the perfect finishing touches. Design by Dean Marsico and Derek Stearns
This poolside patio has all the amenities of a high-end retreat. A steel arbor covers the entire outdoor living space, making it feel as though it's a continuation of the home's interior. The grilling station features a double side burner, sink, undercounter refrigerator and drawer/door combo beneath. Additional countertop space provides plenty of room for food prep and setup, creating the ideal setting for alfresco poolside entertaining. Design by Randy Angell
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Designer Trent Hultgren created an extension of the home's interior by leaving the entire outdoor space covered. Floor-to-ceiling draperies provide shade, privacy and protection from the wind, rain and cold. Outdoor cooking is simple and convenient with a fully equipped kitchen and bar right next to the dining area.
Every lakeside retreat needs a spacious outdoor kitchen and grilling spot to host year-round parties. This living space is complete with an extra-large patio, retaining wall, dining area, fireplace, custom-built dining table and fireside sofa. Design by Dean Marsico and Derek Stearns
English-Style Outdoor Space
This home needed a tranquil outdoor space to calm the collective energy of the eight-member family inside. The old brick patio was updated into a quiet English-style retreat with intimate seating areas, arbors, statues, urns and an extra-large dining table for family meals. Design by Dean Marsico and Derek Stearns
Nothing says "party-ready" quite like this outdoor retreat complete with a swimming pool, full kitchen, fire table, dining table, lounging area, aluminum shade structure and flat-screen TV. Day or night, this space is the ideal setting for friends and family to gather. Design by Ahmed Hassan
Alfresco Dining Spot
With a desire to host year-round soirees, these homeowners traded in their old picnic tables to create a one-of-a-kind outdoor dining oasis. The space's true focal point is the wooden gazebo at the far end of the yard next to a fire pit surrounded by Adirondack chairs and a decorative stone wall. The grilling, cooking and dining area are all in one spot, making the grill-to-table transition an easy one. Design by Dean Marsico and Derek Stearns