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.


  1. 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 :(

  2. 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.

  3. marilyn says:

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

  4. mimiindublin says:

    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

  5. 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!

  6. lynda dunham-watkins says:

    You are so clever. The oven is awesome!

  7. 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!

      • Nancy Blue Moon says:

        So..if it would take a normal person 4 weekends to build long did it take

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

    • 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.

  10. Su says:

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

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  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. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. Pam'a says:

    Those lies’ll get you every time… Karma’s a 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!

  17. 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!

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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!

  21. Laura says:

    It was so worth the wait!

  22. 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!

  23. Auntiepatch says:

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

  24. 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.

  25. Auntiepatch says:

    It says Error 404 – NO VIDEO!!!

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