This is topic Outdoor Wood-Fired Pizza Ovens! in forum Our stupid lives at The Geek Culture Forums!.

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Posted by Colonel Panic (Member # 1200) on July 14, 2007, 20:08:
I'm in love.

I have to build an outdoor, wood-fired, brick pizza oven.

It's like salmon to spawning ground. Moths to a fire. Righties to a big fat lie.

Well, OK, Cinnamon says I need one, and Sweet Chastity thinks it would be fun, too. Who am I to argue?

Anyway, the idea seems really cool. I'm in uber-geek mode finding every thing about them. I want to build it myself, too.

Here on the southeast shore of Lake Michigan there is plenty of apple wood for stoking a fire, too.

Anybody know anything about this?

Posted by stevenback7 (Member # 5114) on July 14, 2007, 20:23:
sounds really cool

Don't have a clue on how to build one but fresh pizza from a wood fired brick pizza oven sounds delicious.
Posted by The Famous Druid (Member # 1769) on July 14, 2007, 20:37:
I vaguely remember there being some tricks to mixing the mortar, the usual mix doesn't cope well with frequent exposure to fire. Don't have any details, sorry.

Of course, the first rule of pizza making is... there is no such thing as too much garlic.
Posted by iWanToUseaMac (Member # 4993) on July 14, 2007, 23:37:
Nice, I love pizza made the ol' style; it's more tasty.
Posted by MacManKrisK (Member # 955) on July 15, 2007, 07:16:
From Wikipedia
Wood-fired ovens are most commonly made of cob, brick brick or refractory cement. Regardless of material they all have an oven chamber consisting of a floor, a dome and an entry.

For some foods, wood-fired ovens are far superior to conventional gas or electric ovens. Food is cooked evenly since heat is conducted from the floor below and at the same time radiated from the dome above. A wood oven can cook a pizza in 90 seconds and reach as high as 500°C/900°F, the temperature that is mandated for authentic VPN, or Naples-style, pizza.

Another wikipedia link

And... a site that is "dedicated to amateur bakers who want to build woodfired ovens for pizza, bread, and other foods."

Oh... it's making my mouth water just thinking of it!
Posted by NoRealReason (Member # 6992) on July 15, 2007, 07:44:
I built an outdoor pizza oven about 4 years ago in my backyard. I basically used the Sunset magazine adobe oven as a guide, and modified it as I felt like it. Instead of building it directly on the foundation, as they have, I build a 3x4x4 cinderblock platform for it to rest on. I do remember mixing fire-clay in with the mortar to set the firebrick floor. The best trick I learned from that article was using a cardboard barrel cut in half to form the dome. One thing, the opening that the article suggests was something like 12 or 13' wide, which was nowhere near wide enough for my pizza peel. I adjusted the opening by using the width of my peel, adding a couple of inches on either side, and then using a formula to come up with how high the oven should be. I have since forgotten the formula, but it should be somewhere in the excellent page MacMan pointed out.
It was a long, labor intensive project, especially since I had never built anything with cinderblocks, bricks or adobe before, but it was fun also, and well worth it. I wish I had made my adobe walls and dome thicker. I wish I had built in an ash drop. Other than that, it went fairly smoothly, and we enjoyed our pizzas cooked in about a minute. Give it a try.
Sunset Adobe Oven
Posted by alfrin (Member # 3836) on July 15, 2007, 10:25:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:

Of course, the first rule of pizza making is... there is no such thing as too much garlic.

Tell that to Dracula.
Posted by whoson1st (Member # 9661) on July 15, 2007, 13:13:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:

Of course, the first rule of pizza making is... there is no such thing as too much garlic.

Agreed...if you run out of garlic, you run out of food. I'm in the habit of keeping fresh garlic, garlic powder, and garlic salt in my cabinets...woe betide the individual coming to dinner who has no taste for garlic.
Posted by WinterSolstice (Member # 934) on July 15, 2007, 13:28:
Just no crushed garlic... why ruin such a beautiful thing?
Posted by nerdwithnofriends (Member # 3773) on July 15, 2007, 15:17:
I remember, long years ago, in my youth, some buddies and I drove up to Flathead lake with my dad's boat and just got hammered over 4th-O-July weekend. Anyways, we were hungry, so we drove into a wee town called Lakeside and stopped at a pizza place. We ordered a nice big pizza, and five minutes later the guy hands it to us and says, 'here ya be.' Apparently, they didn't cook them- they just made them, kind of a papa-murphy's type deal.

So we took our pizza back to our camp, built up a huge fire, and let it settle to coals. Then, we put the grae down low (I should mention that this was a standard Forest Service fire pit) and put the pizza on it. Then we took a mylar space blanket and covered the entire thing and waited for 45 minutes; oila, delicious pizza!

Of course, the wood we used was pine, so it tasted a little- odd. But not bad. Just thought I'd share my wood-baked pizza story.
Posted by Colonel Panic (Member # 1200) on July 17, 2007, 18:53:
This is sooooo cool.

Thanks everybody for your encouragement on this project.

Special thanks to MacManKrisK and NoRealReason for the great links!

NoReal, I hope the 10' restrictions mentioned in Sunset will allow for a variance here in Glacier Melt. I have gone to a small footprint lifestyle and don't have much room in the back yard. I hope firewalls can help me on this subject -- much like they do when they allow a fireplace in a home.

Kris, I've seen those links before, but I'm reassured to know somebody else has confidence in them. NoReal, I may need those dome curve calculations you came up with, since I have a small space and need to make the most of it. I have seen pizza ovens built on patios in Tokyo, so something has to give!

This project started as some side research for a writing project on ovens and the history of cooking -- think "Modern Marvels" type of stuff. And in the middle of the research I came across the bread ovens of the Medeterranian. (Rhonnie, will you proof the spelling on this for me? Thanks, doll.) Cool enough, but one night during the research, I caught a hint of an apple wood fire and knew exactly what was going on -- kinky sex and wood-fired pizza. How dare they out-Colonel the Colonel! Bambi was pissed, so was Sin-amon and Sweet Chastitty!

Here in Glacier Melt, apple wood is quite common. Just ask KrisK, cause he's from about 10 miles south of here. So this is now a must have!

The weather has been cool and dry and just perfect for firing up a wood oven and having friends over for pizza.

I have been looking for a long time for the perfect thin crust pizza dough recipe and found this:

The recipe will give you the Shakey's pizza crust made even more famous on "South Park". I will testify after cloning righty-banned embryos that this is authentic. I'm not busting your balls here, either [Wink] !

Basil, Roma Tomatoes and Garlic come straight from the garden. In fact the patio is set in the middle of it all. The Romas are perfect for sauce (I reduce about 36 quarts a year). Plus the fresh ones go right on the pizza.

I bake it in a steam-assisted convection oven with a pizza stone and it is OK, but I want something better. Something with a special cache, something a little bit freaky -- a little bit geeky. And this is it.

Cool nights in Glacier Melt on the Sunny banks of Lake Michigan.

Kris, if you and your dead heads want to stop by, that would be fine.

Bring Mr. Mo-Man with you, too!

No righties allowed, unless they want to pretend they are a pizza!


Thanks all!

Colonel Panic
Posted by Rhonwyyn (Member # 2854) on July 17, 2007, 19:17:
Hey now! I'm probably what you'd call a "right-winger," but you also called me "doll." Hmmm... do I see a bit of a soft side peaking through that crusty exterior, CP? [Wink]

But since you asked: Mediterranean [Applause]
Posted by Colonel Panic (Member # 1200) on July 17, 2007, 19:47:

As long as poor-spelling, overpaid writers like me need proofreaders, righties like you will always be a considered a "doll" -- minimum.

Don't you have that in your current contract?

As for crusty -- 600-degress F will do just fine, sweetie.


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