How to Use a Pizza Oven. Cooking Pizza in your Cob Oven.

You’re here because you’re thinking of building a pizza oven. You can buy them, but they cost thousands of dollars.  THOUSANDS.  You can build a pizza oven for around $150 in a few weekends.  

If you missed the tutorials on how to build your own pizza oven, click through the links below.

How to Build and Use a Pizza Oven

How to Build a Cob Pizza Oven Part 1. (the base and the basic form)

How to Build a Cob Pizza Oven Part 2. (making cob & forming it)

How to Build a Cob Pizza Oven Part 3.  (the insulation layer and lime plaster)


After a bit of money a lot of work and a little bit of time, the pizza oven is complete. I’ve been using it for 4 years now and it’s held up perfectly. I haven’t had a single problem with it. Since building the oven I’ve also built a custom insulated pizza oven door that can withstand heat so I can keep the oven closed while baking things like bread or whole chickens.

But what do I use this pizza oven for mainly?  Pizza of course.

 

As you can see, the fire goes right inside the oven.  And it keeps going for 3 hours.

The great thing is when it isn’t being used to make pizza, bread, roasts or pie it still looks really great and inviting.

If you aren’t prepared to spend a few weekends building your own pizza oven but still want pizza that’s as good as wood oven pizza (at least nearly as good) just go and read this post of mine. It’s is an insanely detailed post on how to make the BEST pizza in your oven. 

 

But yeah.  It does look its best with a crackling fire.

I have potted herbs all around the backyard to use when making pizza or chicken or whatever else I might throw in the oven.  You haven’t lived until you’ve had a wood fired pizza with fresh basil on it straight out of your backyard oven.  Unless you’re an astronaut. If you’re an astronaut that trumps eating pizza.  No it doesn’t.  I was just kidding.  Pizza rules.

 

 

 

As does bread.  This shot I must admit has been set up. I actually baked the bread in the oven the day before and just rolled it out for this photoshoot.  But it was cooked in the oven and it did turn out as perfect as it looks.

3 loaves fit in the oven and they took about 2o minutes.

 

 

So every night when I have to do horrible tasks like turn the compost pile or wash the green bin that smells like the death of a thousand rotting monkeys, I still smile.  Because I get to see this.

 

 

If you stumbled upon here by chance, I made that pizza oven. And you can to. I have a 4 post tutorial on how to do it.

For everyone else, I TOLD you it was easy. Once you get past the sore feet, massive ass you build up and straw covered feet you won’t be able to imagine how you even lived without a pizza oven. Even if you don’t like pizza. I mean look at the thing. AND unlike most cottages or swimming pools, it’s 4 season friendly.

Now I suppose you want to see it in action and I can’t blame you for that. I had my mother and Fish Pedicure over the other night and made them pizza. It was their first time eating pizza from my wood burning oven.

Just the three of us lounging by the oven, talking, laughing and having, really, what can only be described as a picture perfect day. The kind of picture perfect day you’re only likely to find on the Instagram or Twitter account of someone who constantly needs you to know how perfect their husband/wife/children/life is. You know the type.

Well now I’m one of them ’cause take a gander at this.

 

Pizza Oven

 

After the bleeding knuckles, the sand in your underwear and the straw covered feet you too can have your own pizza oven. It takes about a month at a leisurely pace working weekends. And THIS is why …

So there you have it.  The perfect life of this little blogger.

If you noticed the crack in the oven (and chances are yours might develop a crack too) don’t worry about it.  It’s a small crack in the lime plaster which expands when the oven heats and closes again when it cools down.  It’s just cosmetic.  You can fix it if you want but you don’t have to.

I hope you liked my little tutorial that lasted for an entire week on how to build a pizza oven.  As I’ve mentioned if it seems like the sort of thing you want to do you need to read my tutorials, buy this book and watch these videos from architect Sigi Koko who specializes in building naturally and specifically cob.  Once you do all those things I think you’ll be fully prepared to build your own oven.

I’m not at all sure how you can become an astronaut.

116 Comments

  1. Karen Purpero says:

    I’m excited about this! I have a couple questions. (BTW I love that you always answer my questions!)
    1. Is there a post about how you finished the sides with the sliding doors? It looks amazing. If not, can you please do a post on it?? 🙏🏼
    2. I’m curious if the outside of the oven gets too hot to have it against the house (brick)?
    I ordered the book!

    • Karen says:

      Hi karen! The outside of the oven does not get hot at all. Maybe a tiny bit warm, but you can rest your hand on it no problem. It’s WAY less hot than my oven door gets while cooking. I didn’t do a post on the barn doors I don’t think. :/ I made them myself with flat steel and some pully things. Regular hardware store stuff. If you take a close look at them and you’re handy you should be able to decipher how I did them. It’s really easy. You just cut the metal strips to length, bend two of them in a u shape and then drill holes in the metal u shaped pieces for the pully wheels and then again on the bottom to bolt them to the actual door. ~ karen!

  2. Liam Phillips says:

    I have just discovered this! Excellent vlog and I’m defo going to try this soon. Thanks for the laughs, Liam.

  3. Hey Karen – We are planning our outdoor kitchen with Pizza Oven – Is your outdoor oven Covered at all? Would it need be? Would you recommend a roof — ? We will be spending some time with your tutorials in the next coupla days… Thanks for the inspiration…

    • Karen says:

      Hi Arlene! My pizza oven doesn’t have a roof and you don’t need one. Just make sure once it’s built you do a coat of lime plaster on it. This is something you’ll need to redo every few years. :) ~ karen!

  4. Peter Kruckow says:

    Hi Karen, it’s now over 2 years since you built your oven, so how is it holding up to regular firing, are there any major cracks anywhere or all good? There’s a lot of differing opinions on the best type of oven be it cob or brick.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Peter! The cob oven is holding up perfectly! There are cracks on the outside but they are the very same ones that were there the first time I fired it. They open wider as the oven gets hotter. But they don’t reach down below the insulation layer so it doesn’t matter. I’d say the best way to go is with whichever one holds the heat the longest. Brick gets points because it stores heat well, but cob gets points because you build such a large insulating layer around it which retains the heat. So … basically I don’t know which is better, brick or cob, lol. So far so good with mine though, I still love it. ~ karen!

  5. Suzanne says:

    Karen,
    What size is your oven?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Suzanne! I’m actually not sure! It’s hard to say because the interior is one size and the exterior is another because it’s so thick. The size of the oven you build really just depends on the amount of space you have. The bigger the oven the longer it takes to heat up but the longer it holds the heat as well. I’m not home right now to measure it but as a wild guess I’d say the exterior is about 3′ across at the base? Maybe a bit more. ~ karen!

  6. Vanessa says:

    I am SO excited!!!! I just convinced my land lords (AKA my Mom and Aunt) to let me build an oven in the back yard!!!!! And there is still enough summer left to get it built this year!!

    • Karen says:

      Excellent! Make sure you get the book I recommend. It’s imperative! It’ll really help you through little technical questions you’re going to have. Have fun, follow the instructions and make it as BIG as you can, lol! ~ karen

  7. Iryna White says:

    I was searching for ubiquitous globe fixture and a strand of white lights on your blog website, but instead found this video how to build a pizza oven. Your video is hilariously funny, you have the great sense of humor! That pizza oven is so cool too …It’s so great thing to have it and you always can use it for nice crackling fire while entertaining guests!
    Love your Blog! You have a new fan:)

    P.S. can you still direct me please to the outdoor ubiquitous globe fixture and a strand of white lights on your blog website ?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Iryna! I love my pizza oven too! If the weather isn’t too bad I’ll be making a pizza this Saturday night. Welcome to my site and here’s the post I think you’re looking for. Glowing Outdoor Orbs.

  8. I remember seeing this post last summer and yes, I did not make a comment. I’m sorry. It’s totally rude to watch a fascinating post and not comment. My only defense was that the kids were home on summer vacation, hubby was working in Hawaii (which made me totally bitter) I was taking two online college classes and preparing to move from Phoenix to Fort Worth. But I’m here now. Better late than never and you can believe I am going to continue scrolling until I reread every cob oven related post. Because I now have a deep seated desire to know what the differences are between a cob and horno oven. Is it merely just regional vernacular?

    • Karen says:

      Sheesh you call that busy? Amateur. ;) Cob, horno, adobe, beehive … they’re all the same. There may be slight variations in the shape but they’re the same thing. A layer for heat retention, a layer for insulation and the right sized opening to allow smoke to escape. I can’t even BEGIN to tell you how great it works. Way better than a modern oven. ~ karen!

  9. Thank you! This was great! I would like to ask you how long it took you to build it? I have only a few free hours per day, sometimes none… but I so want to build this!! Hugs
    Chris

    • Karen says:

      Hi Christiane – I wish I could remember how long it took, lol! Honestly, each step takes a few days in total probably. Like it took a couple of days to find my supplies and figure out how I was going to build the base. Then it took a few hours of stomping on cob for a few days/nights until I felt like I had enough to build the oven. (You can premix/stomp on it then cover it with a tarp to keep it moist for a few days). I’d say if you have a few hours a day it would take you about a month and a half to build. That’s allowing all the time that’s needed for the oven to dry in between coats. Just do it! I have a pizza party every single week now, lol! It’s great. Just the most fun thing I’ve ever built. I can’t wait for winter again to bake bread in it. Bread baking out in the snow is just a tinier bit more magical than baking bread in the heat of summer. :) ~ karen!

      • Thank you for your reply! I live in Phoenix, AZ and it’s miserable here during summer. WE had 120F (50C) the whole week last week… I cant wait for fall…It’s going to be a fall project! ;-) I will let you know when it’s done. I will buy the book so I don’t get lost!
        Follow me on facebook if you have an account! Christiane Barbato Sutherland and Blue Door Ceramics! Hugs from Phoenix. Arizona!
        Chris

  10. Jasmine says:

    That was probably my most favourite video post ever. I could have seen myself sitting at the table with Betty and Fishfeet so easily. Until it started to rain. Then I would have been in your pretty kitchen. Hanging out by the moose. Great work Karen!

  11. Barbie says:

    OMG! I am PEEEING my pants laughing at your video! HAHAHAHAHA! SO the way it always is for me too! The ONE day it rains is the day I planned an outdoor bbq! The fact that you used this as your demo on your pizza oven is again precisely why I LOVE you! SO REAL!

  12. Jennifer says:

    Great job Karen! The barn door on the stand is an awesome finishing touch. I have pizza envy.

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