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 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.

 

 

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.

110 Comments

  1. Auntiepatch says:

    It says Error 404 – NO VIDEO!!!

  2. Laura Bee says:

    Frickin’ beautiful. The door is crazy cool. Meeting with a realtor Wednesday-need to make this happen next summer. But first need to make a new house happen…one with room for a pizza oven.

  3. Auntiepatch says:

    You are too funny – and Betty too! “How do I know if it’s taping?” – your face!!! Priceless!

  4. Lavada says:

    Like the oven, LOVE the hardware! A detail question on your barn door hardware, please. Is the “slider bar” (which remains stationary) also just a flat piece, using the bolts as spacers needed for the pulleys to move to and fro or is that angle iron? And, is that a “stopper” of sorts toward the left of the “slider bar”?
    Thanks so much.
    You ROCK!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lavada – Thanks! The slider bar is just a flat piece of metal that I drilled holes into and attached bolts to keep it away from the barnboard base to allow room for the actual wheel sliders as you noted. (good eye) There is no stopper. What you may see further down the slider bar is a metal hook for hanging my tongs on. ~ karen!

  5. Laura says:

    It was so worth the wait!

  6. Sue T. says:

    OMG Karen… your video is a riot !!! Gonna watch it one-more-time just to here your mom snickering and watch you making a run for the pizza in the rain!
    The oven is awesome, a work of art that functions AND looks gorgeous. I’m always impressed with the ‘big projects’ that you tackle and how well they turn out… you are a brave woman.

    Curious – about how much do you think this project would cost if you had to purchase everything, and about how many hours spent working on it ? Thanks

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Sue! If you had to buy EVERYTHING, it would probably cost a few hundred dollars (but more if you do a similar barnboard base and had to buy the barn board. Add on even more if you have to buy the barn door hardware. They’re both pretty expensive) The majority of your $300 or so would be spent on the lumber for building the base. So you’d have to buy sand, clay, lumber or stone/brick for the base, hydrated lime and straw. Plus nails or screws etc. ~ karen!

  7. Maggie V says:

    Great job Karen. Maybe my sista Marilyn could make one. She is the crafty one in the family and she lives close to you just in case things happen and not in the right way. Just sayin.

  8. Ellen says:

    …… and you are entertaining in your nightgown……….teehee.
    I want to build a pizza oven now.

    • Karen says:

      I wondered if anyone would notice that!!! Good for you! ~ karen

      • Laura says:

        I caught that too!! Looks great. I’ve been dying to see what the finished thing looked like — this was totally worth the wait.

        I think a round up of your favourite pizza toppings is in order! I need good recommendations because I always get too excited and jam way too many toppings on.

  9. nancy says:

    I am doing this, BTW. I did the lighted orb and stuffed LED fairy lights into a vase. I am now ready to move onto more difficult projects. I watched the video and need to know how you brush and wipe up the floor of a 800 degree oven without the brush and cloth exploding into flames??

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nancy – Good for you. I think sticking fairy lights into a jar and then building a pizza oven is a natural progression. Go for it! 🙂 Since the coals are all pushed to the back the brush doesn’t catch on fire. Just the heat of the oven floor isn’t enough to make anything burst into flames. ~ karen!

  10. Pam'a says:

    Those lies’ll get you every time… Karma’s a B.I.you-know-what. Heh.

    That’s one seriously beautiful oven, though. Here’s wishing you many enjoyable evenings out in the backyard. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hah! Stupid thunderstorm. Had another much larger pizza party last night and it turned out great! Of course, I didn’t tell any lies last night sooo . ~ karen!

  11. Lin says:

    Awesome oven Karen! The video was a hoot but ya know we really didn’t see a pizza emerge out of it. Sure you ran across the patio carrying ‘something’ but how do we know you really made a pizza?

    • Karen says:

      Hah! There were shots of the pizza (with all of the toppings stuck to the cloth I draped over it as I ran into the house) but my sister (the one who wasn’t sure if the camera was running) thought she was recording and … actually wasn’t. 🙁 Hah! So … you’ll have to take my word for it. And if any of my relatives who were at my larger pizza party last night are reading this maybe they can attest to the fact that it does in fact produce pizzas. 🙂 ~ karen!

  12. Merrilee says:

    I have been wanting to build a pizza oven for ages! Thanks for the directions, and for those who think they should skip this video, don’t! Best Video Ever. Also love the photogenic backyard from every angle in this post.

  13. Louise says:

    It looks absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I love how it’s surrounded by herbs to use in the cooking, and your whole garden is gorgeous. Having said that, I think I’ll have to be a guest along with your sister and mother, because having to care for a fire for 3 hours(!!!) and more before you can even cook the pizza . . . well, that’s not going to happen here. I get exhausted just tearing open the box and the plastic film off Lean Cuisine meals!

  14. Tigersmom says:

    Your face when Fish Pedicure asked how you know its taping!!!!!!!!!!!! Classic.

    I was wondering how you kept the door from burning. Thanks for answering that.

    Your Target nightie makes an adorable dress. I’ve been a fan of wearing their sleepwear T shirts as day wear for years. For some reason, they are more well-made than the ones they make for actual day wear.

    Your backyard is looking wonderful and now that I know it serves homemade pizza…..well, its probably best for you that I’m far away in Texas.

  15. LazySusan says:

    Your cob oven is gorgeous! Based on how well the hypertufa planter my husband and I made came out, as well as that we live in a tinderbox, I don’t think we’ll be making one. But if we lived in a moister climate, without a canopy of very tall and currently dry trees over the entire property, we’d be out there building one right now, or at least planning where to put it! Congratulations on yet another job well done!

  16. Su says:

    I bow down.. it’s pretty cool… rock on baby

  17. Deb says:

    Your video is great, it’s inspiring to see a family that is as perfect as mine enjoying a sweet moment together. But in my further research I came across a flabby Australian in a speedo enjoying his own cob pizza and it must be shared here.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZPUHi-7NUM

    • stefani says:

      Now I have to watch Karen’s video again to get this one out of my head.

      • TucsonPatty says:

        Me, too! Oh my gosh – the bread!
        Karen – your oven is amazing times 1000! I love it and I wish I had one.
        I would have a hard time waiting that long for the wood to burn down.
        But you can see amazing crust on the pizza – crispy crunchy and wonderful looking.
        I’ve been eating wood-oven baked pizza at my favorite place here, and I think the people I go with might build one of these!!! Wooden’t ; ) that be amazing!!!

    • Debbie says:

      Oh, my. He is not Speedo material. However, he thinks he wears it well and I guess that is what counts.

      • Louise says:

        I think he’s cute – but I have low standards! Actually, he looks awfully fit for a man over the age of 40, and I didn’t see any flab until he was sitting down, full and happy.

  18. jainegayer says:

    I can just taste that pizza!!! Must be so much better cooked in your own oven.
    And I enjoyed the video. You always make my mornings better, Karen.

  19. Gina says:

    It’s gorgeous! How many hours would you say it took to build?

    • Karen says:

      I wish I could remember exactly Gina but I can’t. That whole portion of last summer is a bit of a blur, lol. Um … I would say it would take a normal person 4 weekends to complete it maybe? That’s if you ONLY had weekends to do it and not week nights. There are times when you have to wait for various layers to dry and that’s what takes the time. ~ karen!

  20. lynda dunham-watkins says:

    You are so clever. The oven is awesome!

  21. Suanne says:

    My book is on order and should arrive this week. My husband and I are trying to find the best place to put it. I would love to have it on the deck, but he is concerned about the weight and also being so close to the house (we have a log home). We have a little time to decide. You are an inspiration Karen! 🙂 I too wonder what kind of brush to get so that the bristles won’t melt…..and if you WANTED to fix the crack, would you use more lime mixture or could ou calk it somehow? Would LOVE to see another pizza party when the weather doesn’t interfere. You ROCK!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Suanne – Don’t build your oven too close to your house. The one reason being is the smoke. When your fires are low or just starting they smoke a LOT. So all that smoke would get in your house. The brush I use is a metal pizza brush with metal bristles. And then I push away the remaining ashes with a damp cloth (tea towel). ~ karen!

  22. Fab video!
    I never knew a pizza oven got so hot, that would explain why our pizzas don’t turn out so well at 250c!
    Can’t see that building project happening here, but enjoyed living vicariously through yours. You rock, Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Mimi! I made pizza last night and paid more attention to keeping the fire hot and the oven was at least 650c! ~ karen

  23. marilyn says:

    maggie..i will not be making one..just saying..lol brother mark is the pizza king..let him make one and he lives even closer to karen..maybe he can just borrow hers lol

  24. Ev Wilcox says:

    Wonderful. Wish the vid would work. Glad you had a perfect day. Wish I were an Astronaut. Your oven looks great and prob really enhances your beautiful outdoor area.

  25. jen says:

    I don’t eat grains or dairy, but I *still* want a cob pizza oven. Sadly, it looks like a lot of work for something that would be purely decorative 🙁

  26. sheila says:

    Now we/I just need your bread recipe. That stuff looks great!

    I, too am trying to talk my honey into building a cob oven. I think I have to start talking faster. He’s got kind of a doubtful look in his eye – HA!

  27. Janet says:

    I CAN’T EVEN BELIEVE IT RAINED!!!!!!

    Surely you can do another video on a perfect day, right? I mean, the rain was totally entertaining and all, and it sounded really really nice, but I would love to see a somewhat less frantic presentation. If your mom and/or sister aren’t available, I’m happy to do a stand-in performance…. just putting that out there…..

    Your patio area is gorgeous.

  28. Jody says:

    Spec.tac.u.lar! First the chickens, now the cob oven. I want them both. Someday could you give us a video tour of your yard. It looks so lush and peaceful. PLEEEEEEEEEEASE

  29. Lisa says:

    Does it vent through the door when the fire is burning? So you have to leave it open while it’s heating up?

    Sorry another question – you just put the pizza directly on the fire bricks? Or do you keep it on the metal slider thing (The giant spatula…. ) while it’s cooking?

    I have a vision of myself trying to slide a cookie sheet in there, LOL. Speaking of which – have you made cookies in there?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lisa! The oven is built to specific dimensions so that it does indeed vent through the top of the door. Food goes directly on the bricks. Haven’t made cookies, but have made other desserts. I have video clips of me making bread in the oven somewhere. I’ll edit those together and get it up in the next week or so so you can see the process. ~ karen!

  30. mgn says:

    This is so inspiring! We are looking to buy our first house and this is very high on my list of new house projects now. I have ben waiting a whole week for the money shot of some pizza though.. come on!

  31. Chana says:

    You, Ma’am, are a goddess! I may just try this when we get our house! Rock on, mighty stuff doer!

  32. Marion says:

    Absolutely beautiful! And that video was pretty great.

  33. Jackie says:

    Karen, you are Awesome. You do projects that I wouldn’t even think of doing – And you do them well. I love that your family came over & helped out. Too bad it rained on your parade. I love your blog. Thanks for taking the time to do this for us.

  34. JeannieB says:

    What a sweet video! karen, I love your yard. It’s enchanting and looks so private. It will be so wonderful to entertain and cook out there this summer. Can I ask a question? All those beautiful ferns and plants that are growing in urns and containers. under the tree.Do you over-winter them inside or do you just buy new each year? Your back garden is perfection. And I do love a summer shower!

    • Karen says:

      Hi JeannieB! Thanks. The yard is very private and relaxing. Nothing overwinters in this climate in pots sadly. 🙁 ~ karen

  35. Gretchen Sexton says:

    I just want to come over to your house and eat pizza that you made in the cob oven of your dreams.
    Really.

  36. Olga says:

    I have to say that corner in your backyard was just perfect for the pizza oven. I can’t imagine you having anything else there now, but that perfect pizza oven!

  37. Jane says:

    What amazes me most is that you made that oven at a time when I would have been lying in bed eating chocolate for weeks. Well done!

  38. Ruth says:

    DWL! *dead*

    This is just begging for that little Skype emoticon that rolls around on the ground cracking up with laughter… Did the pizza get wet on the return trip?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ruth. NO! Luckily the pizza didn’t get wet. The entire toppings including cheese, pepperoni, etc., instead got stuck to the towel on top, lol. All of them. ~ karen!

      • Ruth says:

        Oh dear… I hope you got your sister of the fish pedicure fame to take on the fish role and nibble her pizza off the towel. At least the towel wouldn’t scream. 😀

  39. Jen says:

    I love you. That is all.

  40. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    OK..I’m pretty sure of this now..I want to marry you..You are everything I ever wanted in a husband..the pizza oven is just what I needed to make my decision..I know..you like living alone..Just build a little shed out back for me..preferably not far from the pizza oven..that way you can just give me a little holler when dinner is ready..yup..let me know soon..I’m hungry..for pizza…and bread..definitely some bread..

  41. Next: Cowboy cauldron! How cool they are and you could also make chilli! (My delete key vbrike when I cleaned my keyboard with Windex…sorry! Can you show how to do that the right way, too?)

  42. Barb says:

    Karen I love you. I’ve been following for a while but this is my first time commenting. I’m lucky and live in the country so I have the room to build this but it will have to wait til next summer. Must finish the potting shed first – it’s really like a little house, just finishing installing my 1930s cookstove for canning an I think that cob oven would go nicely outside the back door. That and I’ve got barn board up the hoop, wish I had known you were looking for some!
    Question – did you use a special drill and bit to make the hardware, and how hard did you have to hit the iron to bend it? Regular hammer or sledge hammer? Did you make the door before the hole to get the size right or after? Maybe you should just run a workshop on this for us all to come and learn – I volunteer my place!
    You are one amazing woman thank you for the inspiration and motivation

  43. Mariella says:

    Hey Karen,

    is that your target dress you got all wet? I think I recognize it from a previous post…The oven looks amazing!

    Mariella

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mariella! Good eye. 😉 That is indeed the Target nightgown, lol. And thanks. I absolutely LOVE my oven. 🙂 ~ karen!

  44. Karen says:

    You and your Mom look like great fun. Can I come to your next pizza party? I’ll bring a nice Barolo. And the sun….

  45. Maria says:

    What kind of wood do you burn in a pizza oven? What do you do with the ashes? Is it hard to clean out?

  46. Mindy says:

    That video was perfection. The hidden beer was my favorite part.

  47. Deb says:

    Oh.my.gawd. That is AWESOME!!! I’m so beyond impressed it’s embarrassing. I no longer own my own home so I won’t be building this in the corner of my yard (wait, I probably could), but I’m definitely going to pick at my daughter constantly to do this. The thought of peasant bread just sends me in a tailspin!

  48. Best. Video. Ever.

    Just sayin’.

    I need to say that again.

    Best.Video.Ever.

    hahahahaa!

  49. Janice says:

    I am too lazy to read through all the posts to see if anyone asked about the crack? Is that just on the lime coating or did the crack go deeper?? Did you not beat the cob enough? Did you get all sucky and wimpy because your knuckles were all bleeding and not beat it the way I will beat my pizza oven when I build it so that my oven is better than yours? I thought you were tough….wimp. (P.S….my oven will not be as nice as yours…I hope it will but I am doubtful. My attention span is not ver

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