Enjoy cooking up a storm at your place? Turn up the heat and do it all outdoors with your own wood-fired oven. Popular for cooking pizzas, these cool cookers can also be used to barbecue, roast, grill, smoke and even bake bread. And you don’t have to build your oven from scratch, as you can buy kits that have done most of the hard work for you. All you really need to do is assemble, render and get cooking. To turn the oven into a real statement piece, build a feature wall around it, complete with firewood bay and an ethanol burner – cooking outdoors will feel so cosy!
You will need
• Concrete slab
• 390 x 190 x 190mm besser blocks
• 190 x 190 x 190mm besser blocks
• 390 x 190 x 50mm besser block cappings
• 1000 x 100mm arch bars (4)
• Hebel PowerPanels
• Amalfi DIY BBQ Pizza Oven Kit
• Classique ethanol table fireplace
You’ll also need
Brickie’s sand; cement; wheelbarrow; pointed trowel; rubber mallet; spirit level; stringline; 12-inch angle grinder; plastic render corners; clout nails; dust mask; protective eyewear; red oxide dry powder; drill with paint mixer attachment; 20kg Dunlop Multipurpose Acrylic Render; plasterer’s trowel; bucket; hammer; straightedge; sponge trowel
Note: Check with your local council before laying slab or building wall.
Mix 4 parts sand and 1 part cement, then slowly add water until mixture is stiff. Starting with left front-corner block, place a bed of mortar on concrete slab, position 390 x 190 block on top and tap into place for a 10mm thick mortar joint. Check for level.
At opposite end of 3.4m edge, bed a second block in the same way, but with short-face facing out. Check it’s level with first block. Stretch stringline between front edges of these blocks.
Run bed of mortar for front and back edges of blocks between corner blocks. Lay an intermediate block, applying mortar to block ends. Gently tap top and sides to bed in place, using stringline as a guide. Repeat for length of wall.
Lay a second course, staggering the joints by starting with a full block face out on right-hand corner. Stop for firewood storage opening 3 blocks from right-hand side. Leave pizza oven end at this stage. Add a third and fourth course, leaving a 2-block opening 190mm from end for ethanol fireplace. This can be done with 390 x 190 blocks at end and 190 x 190 blocks between openings. Check for levels and plumb as you go. Bed 2 block cappings into burner opening. Lay 2 arch bars across opening, check for level and lay bed of mortar for next course.
Lay 3 full blocks over burner opening, bedding them to blocks and arch bars with mortar and ensuring ends are flush. Tap into place and check for level.
Bed two 390mm block caps to the first course as the base for the 800mm-wide firewood stack opening.
To make platform for pizza oven, lay 4 courses around square end of slab in stretcher bond pattern, leaving a 600mm opening on 1 side for more firewood storage. Measure and cut Hebel panels to fit. Use mortar to bed on top of base. Check it’s level.
Build pizza oven according to manufacturer’s instructions or visit woodfiredovens.com.au for full video.
Use angle grinder to cut and slice blocks to fit around front of pizza oven and maintain levels of mortar joints each side of firewood opening. At 1400mm, lay 2 arch bars across opening.
Install flue and cut blocks to fit around it. Secure with mortar. Build up wall to finished height of 1800mm and cap top.
Nail plastic render corners to each corner with clouts.
Add a cup of oxide to 20kg acrylic render and mix until smooth. Use a plasterer’s trowel to apply render to all surfaces, then smooth with straightedge.
Once nearly dry, rub with sponge trowel. Allow to dry thoroughly. To use, allow oven to heat up for an hour, then push fire to back and you are ready to go!