Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Jul 16, 2007 05:25 AM

Authentic pizza oven outdoors

My hubby and I have done all the google searches and have bought books, but they are more aesthetic as opposed to authentic and functional. We are planning to build and outdoor pizza over where we can roast meats, make pizzas, and cook veggies in. We want an authentic Italian pizza oven so we can even bake bread to get that nice crust.

1. We heard through word of mouth that you are supposed to pile the wood on one side (left?) because of heat or something, but there is a specific side. Anyone hear this?

2. Secondly, the opening should be small correct, or does that not really matter?

3. Anyone have pics or stories about theirs; advice, problems, suggestions?

4. We see those kits but ny husband who is an architect and works a lot supervising job sites wants to do this himself. Is this a D-I-Y project?

5. Could we attach and outdoor fireplace along side or should this be separate?

Sorry to ask so many questions, but this is being built under a large pergola and outdoor living area so it will be a focal point. His engineering mentality is plan, plan, plan and do it once but do it right. It has worked for us so far.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. There are two fantastic resources that you need to know about:

    Alan Scott & Nick Scott's Ovencrafters:

    Note the many picture galleries of ovens under construction.

    And Alan's Book:

    Background, baking and construction are all covered.

    3 Replies
    1. re: FuzzyT

      Thanks Fuzzy; do you have one and did you make it?

      1. re: itryalot

        I don't, but have been researching it. The resources cited above come from individuals who have been building and using these ovens for years. During the process of learning about these ovens, I keep running into references that lead back to them.

      2. re: FuzzyT

        BTW, interesting thread. We do have an oven, probably built a couple of centuries ago. It is quite big as it was used when people had large families and they would cook bread every week of forthnight. We have used it only a few times for cooking bread and pizza. I would not recommend using a large pizza oven just to cook a couple of pizzas...It takes too much time, work and wood. IMHO it's justified only for professional use.
        However, we did find an unexpected bonus: we use it as a barbecue! We burn wood and we cook steaks or whatever on the coals. Afterwards we just put the cover back on: no need to clean, dispose of ashes, etc. and very convenient in wintertime. We just sweep the ashes to the side ( the left side actually :-) )
        P.S. Actually, you don't burn wood on the left. That's done in the center. You push the ambers and ashes to the left because that's easier, at least for right-handed people. Try the opposite and you'll see... Lefties will probably want to do on the other side.

      3. Your best bet is to locate pizzerie that make good pies in wood-fired ovens ansd consult with the owners.

        Pile the wood on either side; don't think it makes a difference except to traditiopn (which is good enough reason to keep t on the left). Small opening in front, small smoke hole in the rear--the idea is to retain heat, yes? Hardwood only except maybe for small amount of kindling to start not pine, fir, whatever junk is found in watse piles. the skids (only) of many shipping pallets are oak--perfect. When the interior of the oven is white with ash and the fl;ames are dancing a slow waltz, then you can cook.

        1. last time I tried to post this link it got moofed, buy I'll try again.. or you can emailme (my emails in my tag line on my profile)

          My husband and I just recently built one.. well.. got one built...

          check out my blog at

          Plenty of pics to get an understanding of the logistics of it...although, the way ours was built will probably appall your engineer husband....

          1 Reply
          1. re: purple goddess

            Loved it!!! Hahahahaha! Can't wait for another update. Plus, I am once again reminded that by buying ours preassembled and having it craned over the house, we may have saved our marriage!