Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? We’ve got answers! If you’ve seen some of the other resources on our website, you may have noticed that we like to go into detail…lots of detail! You’ll find that in some of our answers below we have gone full detail, where maybe you were just looking for something more brief.

To make life easier, for some of our more detailed answers we have put a TLDR at the bottom (Too Long, Didn’t Read) to give you a quick answer. If you can’t find your answer here, please feel free to Contact Us.

General

  1. Quality. Since our inception in 2011 we have focused on manufacturing Wood Fired Pizza Oven Kits of the highest possible quality. Every material and component has been thoroughly researched to ensure we are providing you with the best possible product, while keeping the total cost to a reasonable level by using well designed manufacturing processes. The raw materials used in our Oven Kits are the highest quality that we can source, with locally made materials being used where available, and imported materials being sourced from large, well established international companies.
  2. Detailed Engineering Design. Our founder, Ben Guilford has a double degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, having studied (among other things) Fluid Mechanics, Heat Transfer and CAD modelling, all of which he has used to help develop the best possible Wood Fired Ovens. Our Ovens are designed with performance and longevity as overriding design factors; while we’re proud that they look good, it’s far more important to us that they work well.
  3. A no-compromise manufacturing approach. A great example is our Oven Door – the first door prototypes were made from laser-cut mild steel, which were then welded together, sandblasted and painted in a variety of different high temperature coatings, to see which performed best. We found that regardless of the type of coating used, the mild steel would eventually start to rust. So instead, we switched to using stainless steel (around twice the price of mild steel) which is then sandblasted and painted in a high temperature paint capable of withstanding over 1400°F. The door handles are made from beautiful Kwila hardwood, with CNC turned stainless steel ringlets at the top and bottom of each. Gorgeous, if we do say so ourselves. Which we do.
  4. Detailed Construction Resources. We have made it our mission to provide our customers with the best possible resources to help them build our Oven Kit. Our instructional video series took more than 12 months to film and edit, with over 12 hours of carefully edited videos the result. The entire series is freely available on our website and our YouTube channel, so you can get a full, detailed understanding of what it is that we are offering, before you even think about purchasing one.
  5. Customer Support. We work incredibly hard to manufacture great quality products, and we work just as hard to back those products up with outstanding customer service. Our Wood Fired Oven Kits are a full-on DIY project, and you need to know that we will be there to back you up every step of the way. We encourage every customer to call or email us as soon as they have a question about their project, whether it’s to do with the construction of the oven, or the stand to build it on.

TLDR: Quality, well engineered Oven Kits made in Australia. Detailed written & video instructions, with a friendly, helpful customer service team waiting for your call. 

Once you understand how a Wood Fired Oven works (see above) then the next thing you’ll start seeing is that there are two main types of proper Wood Fired Ovens – those made from Fire Brick, and those made using PreCast Sections. The logical question is of course – “Which one is better?”

The answer is neither. Brick and PreCast Ovens each have their own pros and cons, so our goal here is to help you to fully understand each type of oven so that you can decide which one is going to be better for you and your family. Check out the video below!

We manufacture our products in Melbourne, Australia where we have a beautiful showroom for customers to visit and see our Wood Fired Ovens up close. To keep our pricing to a reasonable level we don’t currently have a showroom in America for customers to visit. Our Oven Kits are stored in shared 3PL warehouses where they can be collected from, but unfortunately they don’t have any displays for you to see! One day… one day…

TLDR: Not just yet.

We offer a 12 month warranty on all of our products. To see the finer details of our warranty check out the written instructions for any of our Wood Fired Oven Kits.

Absolutely! We take great pride in manufacturing high quality Wood Fired Oven Kits, and we take the same pride in providing after-sales support to all of our customers. Our Wood Fired Oven Kits are a full-on DIY project, and you need to know that we will be there to back you up every step of the way. We encourage every customer to call or email us as soon as they have a question about their project, whether it’s to do with the construction of the oven, or the stand to build it on.

This will depend on stock availability in America. While we work very hard to ship enough kits to the USA to satisfy the demand, we do find that sometimes we sell out and there will be a short waiting time while new kits are manufactured and shipped across from Australia. The worst case scenario would be a 6 week lead time if we got really busy.

If there’s stock in the warehouse we can have it shipped out to you within 48 hours!

TLDR: If there’s stock in the warehouse, it’s super fast. If we have run out it could be up to 6 weeks.

Contact us

Shipping

  1. Warehouse Pickup. If you’re within a reasonable distance of our 3PL warehouse in Compton CA or Kearny NJ, you could head down with a suitable pickup or trailer and the team there will be happy to load the crate on with a forklift for you. Please be aware that the order will need to be raised and paid for prior to collecting it from the warehouse.
  2. Curbside Delivery – PreCast Kits. We offer curbside delivery for our P85 PreCast Oven kits throughout America, which will see the crate delivered to the foot of your driveway using a liftgate truck. Please note that Curbside Delivery means the crate will be placed beside the curb, at the foot of your driveway. Sometimes it makes more sense to have the crate delivered to a local depot and pick it up from there, as then you have it in your pickup or trailer and back it right up the driveway, close to where you need it.
  3. Curbside Delivery – Brick Oven Kits. This is a tricky one. Our delivery company (Estes Express) are not contractually required to deliver any shipment weighing over 2000lb, as the terminal that services your area may not have the right equipment to safely deliver anything over 2000lb. The D105 weighs in at a hefty 2550lb, well in excess of this limit. However, Estes have sucessfully delivered hundreds of D105 kits to customers driveways over the years, but occasionally a D105 crate will reach the servicing terminal and they will contact us to advise that they cannot deliver it. In this situation you would have to collect the crate from the servicing terminal, and we would give you a refund for the additional amount you paid for the Curbside Delivery (such that you only pay for the Depot Delivery rate).
  4. Depot Delivery. We have a great network of transport depots across America that we can deliver any of our Wood Fired Oven Kits to. Once the crate arrives in the depot, the team there will get in touch with you to arrange a time for you to collect it. Head on down with your trailer and the depot team will load the crate on with their forklift, and away you go! Once you’re home, crack the crate open and unload the contents piece by piece.
  5. Forklift on Site. If you have a commercial premises with a forklift onsite, we can have the crate delivered directly to your address during business hours.
Get a price for delivery

It’s pretty straightforward – you’ll need a car with a trailer, or a vehicle with enough space to fit the Oven Kit into, such as a flatbed ute. Once you’ve been notified by the transport company that your order has arrived at the depot, head on down and they will load the crate on with a forklift for you.

Once you get it home, you’ll bust out your prybar, open the crate and unload all of the kit components. We have designed each part such that at most of the kit components can be safely lifted by one person, with only the cast sections requiring two people to lift them.

Our Wood Fired Oven Kits all come packed in heavy duty timber crates, lined with plywood to make them water resistant. Each one is hand-packed by our team, taking care to ensure everything fits in nice and tight, to prevent movement and damage in transit.

Kit Dimensions and Weights

P85 PreCast Oven Kit: 120 x 120 x 90cm (LxWxH) weighing 680kg

D105 PreCut Brick Oven Kit: 120 x 120 x 130cm (LxWxH) weighing 1150kg

D130 PreCut Brick Oven Kit: Two Crates – both 120 x 120cm. One stands 90cm high, the other is 130cm high. The combined weight is 1400kg

No, however we offer collection from our Auckland warehouse at no additional cost.

This is our single most common question! Please see the Delivery page to get your price – we have created a clickable map showing all the available freight depots in the country, complete with pricing.

DELIVERY OPTIONS

We take a lot of care in packing and shipping our Wood Fired Oven Kits, so damage to kit components is rare (which is a very good thing). If you unpack your kit and find something is damaged or missing, we ask you to take photos and get in touch with us right away. We confirm the components that need to be replaced and we send out replacement parts via air-freight, usually on the same day that we’re notified about an issue.

We work very hard to ensure that nothing is damaged during shipping, but please rest assured that we will be able to get replacement parts out to you very quickly should that be necessary. We see this as part of our commitment to quality products and quality customer service.

TLDR: Don’t worry – we will get it sorted.

You certainly can! Once the order has been paid for, we raise an order with the warehouse, who will then contact you to confirm that your order has been picked and is ready to collect. There is no additional cost for warehouse collection.

TLDR: Sure thing. 

Once the order has been fully paid our system will notify the warehouse, who will book in the shipping of your kit. The transport company will generally collect the crate within 2 working days and from there, it will depend on your location. We use Fliway for our freight and they do not muck around – they can usually get the crate to most depots within 4-5 days or less.

TLDR: Approximately 7 days from payment, depending on your location.

Payments

We get this question quite a lot – in this day and age of buying everything online we’re looking for the ‘Add to Cart’ button when we see something we like! We are a little bit old-fashioned in this regard – we figure most of our customers would like to have a chat with someone before they commit to ordering something like this, so we ask you to get in touch with us to place your order. Send us an email or give us a call, and we will be more than happy to put an order through for you, making sure we have answered any of your other questions beforehand.

TLDR: We’re old-school. Give us a call, or send us an email!

Once you have placed an order with us we will send you an invoice via email, which will include our NZ bank details so that you can pay by online bank transfer.

We are also working on setting up Stripe to take payment by credit card, however there will likely be a 3% surcharge applied to credit card payments once they’re up and running.

Unfortunately this isn’t something that we can offer in New Zealand at this point in time.

Not at this stage – their fees are high and we would have to raise our prices to compensate, something we aren’t interested in doing.

We run our New Zealand business from Australia, so we don’t have staff on the ground to take payments by cash or cheque unfortunately.

As a small high quality manufacturer based in Australia, we aren’t able to offer any trade pricing. We are working hard to keep our pricing competitive, while still ensuring that we can afford to maintain our high level of quality and customer service.

We work extremely hard to make the best quality Wood Fired Oven Kits that we can, and hold ourselves to a very high standard when it comes to before and after-sales service. We have set our pricing to be competitive, while ensuring that we are covering the costs of manufacturing our products in Australia. We have never had a ‘sale’, nor do we offer any discounts whatsoever. Please don’t ask for one, as we don’t want to disappoint you.

TLDR: No discounts. We value our work.

Yes, we are sure. We have been asked countless times, in every possible way. The answer always has, and always will be, a polite but firm no. 

Just the best customer service that we can possibly give you!

Understanding Wood Fired Ovens

This is a great place to start in your Wood Fired Oven Journey! Once you understand how a Wood Fired Pizza oven really works, you’ll then know what to look for in a good quality wood fired oven.

Rather than write a long essay on the subject for you, we have put together a video for you. Enjoy!

This is a good question, but it comes back to an understanding of How Wood Fired Ovens actually work. See the video here for some further information on the topic.

Basically, it comes down to Thermal Mass (a topic described in the video linked above). The walls and floor of your Wood Fired Oven are not just keeping the fire contained – they are storing heat with which to cook your food! Cooking a pizza is a great way to understand this – think about the base of the pizza, how is that being cooked? It’s by heat conducted into the pizza from beneath, through the oven floor. The fire brick that makes up your oven floor is like a thermal battery – you heat it up and it stores the heat inside the bricks, waiting for a tasty pizza to be put on top.

This one is best understood by watching a video, please see below!

Where do we start… If you’ve already watched the video How a Wood Fired Oven Works then you’ll know how important it is to have plenty of Thermal Mass in your Pizza Oven. You’ll find that all of their options are very light-weight, and claim to heat up in less than 20 minutes! They will! The problem is, as soon as the fire dies down a little bit, they’ll cool down very quickly. This is because they have very little Thermal Mass to store heat in.

Of course you also have the difference in quality, customer service, longevity and authenticity among many other factors. Quite a few of our customers have had this type of oven in the past, and while they’ve made a few pizzas, they’re calling us because they now want to upgrade to the real thing.

We like to do things once, and do them right the first time.

You’ll find this information and a whole lot more on the page that we have built for each oven, which we have linked below.

Heat Up Times (to 400°C/750°F)

It’s important to have a good understanding of how much fuel will be required to do a full firing of the oven you’re planning to install, particularly if you don’t have a hardwood forest on your property!

A good rule of thumb is the more thermal mass an oven has, the longer it will take to heat up, and the more fuel it will need to do so. The figures below are approximate, and based on firing the oven from cold, all the way up to 400°C/750°F using quality seasoned hardwood.

The first thing we like to talk about here is quite often, this simply isn’t an issue! What you need to know first, is that in our ovens, pizzas will cook in less than 2 minutes. 

So, let’s say you can fit two pizzas at a time, and you’re organised. You could cook almost 60 pizzas in one hour! What we’re getting at here is that the pinch point is not how many pizzas you can fit. It’s how quickly you can stretch out and top the bases – that’s the slow part!

But, to give you an idea of the cooking area inside the oven, please see the images below.

Promptly. Quickly. Rapidly! In fact, you’ll need to be on your toes when they’re cooking as you can cook a lightly topped pizza in less than 60 seconds when the oven is running at 400°C/750°F. A pizza with the recommended amount of toppings will take almost exactly two minutes to cook.

A customer gave us a saying he had come up with, due to the number of the pizzas he had burnt because he was chatting to friends and not paying attention to what he was cooking;

“Talk to a mate, and your pizza will cremate!”

If you take good care of your oven and use it regularly, we are expecting to see our ovens still working perfectly well in 25 years time. The reason we can say this with confidence is that we are using tried and tested materials that have already proven themselves to last in these environments. Moreover, we are using the highest quality refractory materials that we can source, rated to more than double the temperatures that you’re likely to take your Wood Fired Oven up to.

TLDR: A very long time if well maintained!

It is completely normal to see some hairline cracking in your oven, in fact we can guarantee that you will! This is because you’re heating up a rigid, ceramic structure to extremely high temperatures, which creates thermal stresses. To relieve this stress, the oven will develop several small cracks, usually around 1mm (3/64″) or less in width. It’s common to see a crack starting at the base of the dome that runs all the way up to the keystone, as well as some fine cracks in the mortar joints of the Vent Arch, and around the Flue Gallery. You’ll also see some cracks in the Perlite Render radiating from the junction with the Flue Gallery, and some fine cracks in the Flue Gallery itself.
 
Don’t let these cracks concern you at all. You should be expecting them. This cracking is normal and there’s nothing that you can do to prevent it. Cracking is and always has been a part of owning a Wood Fired Oven. What’s important to know is that they won’t get worse over time, they’re just there as thermal stress relief.
 
If you get a large crack in your mortar, over 2mm (1/16″) width then we have repair materials that can be sent out to you, however this is rare, and is usually due to the oven being over-fired early in the curing stages. Any cracking in the Perlite render will be covered by the roll-on acrylic coating that you’ll apply once the oven is fully cured.
 
TLDR: Yes – it’s completely normal.
 

We have two basic types of Wood Fired Oven Kit – Brick and PreCast. They share a lot in common, in fact the main difference between them is in how the internal dome of the oven is constructed.

Let’s break it up into the different sections of the ovens;

Under-Floor Insulation

P85 PreCast Oven – 50mm (2″) Calcium Silicate Board
D105 Brick Oven – 50mm (2″) Calcium Silicate Board
D130 Brick Oven – 100mm (4″) Calcium Silicate Board

Oven Floor

P85 PreCast Oven – 50mm (2″) Fire Brick Tile
D105 Brick Oven – 50mm (2″) Fire Brick Tile + 25mm (1″) Refractory Castable Heat Bank
D130 Brick Oven – 50mm (2″) Fire Brick Tile + 50mm (2″) Fire Brick Tile Heat Bank

Internal Oven Dome

P85 PreCast Oven – 4 Precast Refractory sections, 65mm (2.5″) thick
D105 Brick Oven – 255 PreCut Fire Bricks, 115mm (4.5″) thick
D130 Brick Oven – 360 PreCut Fire Bricks, 115mm (4.5″) thick

Dome Insulation & Render

P85 PreCast Oven – 50mm (2″) Ceramic Fibre Blanket + 50mm (2″) Perlite Render Shell
D105 Brick Oven – 50mm (2″) Ceramic Fibre Blanket + 50mm (2″) Perlite Render Shell
D130 Brick Oven – 75mm (3″) Ceramic Fibre Blanket + 50mm (2″) Perlite Render Shell

For further information on each material used, check out the Refractory Materials section.

There are quite a lot of different components in our Wood Fired Oven Kits, so we have quite a few different suppliers! Raw refractory materials like fire bricks, high temperature insulation and refractory castable aren’t manufactured in Australia anymore (the mines for the raw materials are now more valuable as real estate) so we source these from large, well established overseas companies.

We source the majority of our Fire Bricks and Airset Mortar from Thailand, with our Ceramic Fibre Blanket being manufactured in China (we are looking into an alternative manufactured in Japan).

Our Refractory Castable is produced by a French-owned company in Vietnam.

The Calcium Silicate board in our kits is manufactured by Skamol, in Denmark.

The raw materials for the other items in the kit, from the Stainless Steel Door down to the printed templates for cutting the insulation board, are sourced locally here in Australia, with most of the manufacturing proudly done by our team!

All of our Wood Fired Oven Kits are made by our team in Melbourne, Australia to ensure that we deliver kits of the highest possible quality. While we buy the raw materials for our kits from external suppliers, we do the vast majority of the manufacturing in-house;

Casting

We have invested significant time and resources to build our refractory casting capability. In January 2020 we installed our Italian-made O.M.G. Planetary mixer, capable of mixing more than 650kg (1430lb) of refractory castable per batch. We’re very glad we installed it when we did, because we are now pouring up to 20,000lb in a single week!

Fibreglassing

In addition to making high precision fibreglass molds for our castings, we make fibreglass domes to use as formwork for finishing the keystone of your Wood Fired Oven kit.

TIG and MIG Welding

The Oven Doors are made from stainless steel, which are TIG welded by our team before being sent out to a local coating specialist to be sandblasted and painted in high temp paint.

The Trammel Tools are MIG welded from locally made laser-cut components here in our workshop.

Assemblies

Our kits are fairly complex, so there are a lot of assemblies to put together! From the CNC cut timber formwork, to the completed Oven Doors, our team are always busy getting things put together.

Brick Cutting & Grinding

If you are a fan of extremely loud, wet and dusty work, then you should definitely look into a career in cutting bricks! A big part of what we offer in our Oven Kits is that we take care of the brick cutting for you – your job is to assemble the oven like a big Lego set. While a lot of our bricks are pressed into shape in custom-made tool-steel molds, we still do a lot of brick cutting for you.

One of the features of our Brick Oven Kits is the Entry Arch (where the internal brick dome meets the door opening) – we actually grind the curve of the dome into the back of the bricks that make up each side of the opening, to give you a smooth transition from the dome into the doorway.

Packing

Something that we receive great feedback on from customers is how carefully everything in our kits is packed – we have CAD modelled the contents of each crate to find the optimal way to pack the components, not only to make them fit, but to ensure they don’t move around during shipping.

TLDR: We manufacture them in Melbourne, Australia, with great care and pride.

Each of our Oven Kits has a long list of inclusions, which can be found in the written instructions for each kit (linked below). As an example, please see below the list of inclusions for the D105 PreCut Brick Oven Kit;

CALCIUM SILICATE BOARD
3 x Calcium Silicate Boards 40”x24”x2”
This is the 2” thick insulation board layer that you will install underneath your oven; it comes with printed paper templates & drawing pins so that you can pin the templates onto the CalSil board and cut out the pieces you need, following the lines shown on the paper templates.
 
REFRACTORY CASTABLE
4 x Refractory Castable 55lb bags and 1 x 13lb bag
Refractory Castable is premixed high temperature concrete, which you’ll use to form the sub-floor heat bank under the Fire Brick Floor Tiles, and for pouring the dome keystone. The 13lb bag is extra, just in case.
 
FIRE BRICKS – OVEN DOME
All bricks for the Oven Dome are provided, carefully cut to keep the internal gaps on the inside face of the oven to a minimum. These fire bricks are 38% Alumina, rated to 2460°F and are 4.5″ thick.
 
FIRE BRICKS – FLOOR TILES
The Floor Tiles are all cut to size and ready to lay; the center tile has a 1/8″ hole pre-drilled in the center for the trammel tool to lock into. The fire bricks used in the oven floor are 38% Alumina, rated to 2460°F with an exceptionally hard wearing surface, and are 2″ thick.
 
FIRE BRICKS – ENTRY & VENT ARCHES
The bricks for the Entry and Vent Arches that form the mouth of the oven are all cut to size from 38% Alumina fire bricks rated to 2460°F, ready to lay.
 
The Entry Arch Bricks (the opening into the dome) are machine-ground on their back face to follow the curvature of the dome, to give you a smooth transition from the dome into the opening.
 
The Vent Arch Bricks are carefully selected as these will be on display at the front of the oven. They are all cut to size, and are designed to lock into the Entry Arch for strength and stability.
 
FORMWORK – ENTRY & VENT ARCHES
We provide CNC machined timber formwork with your kit to construct the Entry and Vent Arches around, to ensure that your brickwork is exactly as per our design. The Formwork is clearly marked to help you position the arches accurately, and has machined markings showing the location and thickness of each mortar joint.
 
TRAMMEL TOOL
The trammel is a tool that you will clamp each dome brick into, enabling you to lay the dome bricks in a perfect hemisphere. It has a hardened pin in the base that fits into the hole drilled in the center tile.
 
FIBREGLASS DOME FORMWORK
To lay the last few rows of bricks in the dome we provide you with a fibreglass dome form, made to the same curve as the oven dome. It comes with a round timber support, to spread the load when you jack it into position.
 
HYBRID REFRACTORY BEDDING MORTAR
Dry Airset Refractory Mortar: 1 x 44lb bag
This is the mortar you will use to lay the fire brick tiles that make up the oven floor. Please be aware that you will need to mix the Airset mortar with General Purpose Cement, Lime and Washed Sand* in the ratio shown on the bag. This makes a smooth hybrid mortar mix perfectly suited to bedding down fire bricks for oven floors.
 
Refractory Mortar (two part mixture)
Refractory Mortar Part A: 3 x 55lb bags
Refractory Mortar Part B: 1 x 55lb bag
This is the mortar you’ll use to lay all of the dome bricks in the kit. It is rated to fill joints up to 3″ width.
 
PRECAST FLUE GALLERY
The PreCast Flue Gallery is the molded section that fits over the brick arches at the front of the oven. Made from refractory castable and reinforced with stainless steel fibres, it’s fitted with 7” Stainless Steel Flue sleeve, ready to attach the flue section onto. A brushed stainless steel ring covers the flue expansion joint.
 
CERAMIC FIBRE BLANKET
One full roll and one half roll of 1″ thick Ceramic Fibre Blanket are provided, which will give you two full layers over your brick dome for 50mm coverage which is precisely what we recommend.
 
PERLITE RENDER
LiteFill Perlite: 2 x 26gal bags + 1 x 13gal bag
This is the material you will use to cover the Ceramic Fibre Blanket layer, which you will be mixing with GP Cement, Lime and Washed Sand* to make a high-build Render mixture. There is enough Perlite in the kit to build up a 2″ shell of render over the oven dome, with plenty left in reserve if some is wasted on accident.
 
* Sand, Lime and GP Cement are available at hardware stores and need to be purchased in addition to the kit.
 
STAINLESS STEEL FLUE & HAT
1 x 7” Stainless Steel Flue – 900mm Length
1 x 7” Stainless Steel Cowling
 
ACRYLIC ROLL-ON BASECOAT RENDER
1 x 1.3gal MAC ‘Rustic Roll-On’ Acrylic Render (White Basecoat)
This is the membrane coating that you will apply over the outer dome, once the oven has been completely cured and all moisture has been driven out. It gives the dome a good waterproof basecoat which can be rolled over with more roll-on render, or other similar exterior acrylic coating. It can be tinted at most paint stores.
 
OVEN DOOR
The final part of your kit is our Stainless Steel oven door, coated in a satin black finish. The handles are beautiful oiled hardwood, with solid stainless steel rings top and bottom. The door comes with a vacuum sealed temperature gauge accurate to 1000°F (packed inside the bag of extras within the door box).
 
WATERPROOFING SYSTEM
Roll of 6” wide Aluminium Flashing and 1 x Cartridge of Sikasil High Temperature Silicone
To prevent rain being drawn into the oven from beneath the outer dome (the perlite render layer), install our waterproofing system around the oven perimeter prior to rendering. Only needed for outdoor installations.
 
HIGH TEMP SPRAY PAINT
Spray can of PPG Temptec 328 in Satin Black.
Great for painting the Flue Gallery to make it look sharp.
 
EXTRA ITEMS PROVIDED
Plastic Formwork for Sub-Floor Heat Bank
Plastic Strips to support the Timber Formwork
Roll of Chicken Wire & Galv Tie Wire
12 x Long Nails
25 x Long Phillips Head Screws
2 x Long Sleeve ‘Vet Examination’ Gloves
 

The Oven Kits are very comprehensive, so there is very little that is needed in addition to what you’ll receive in the kit. The only materials that we don’t include are those that are available to purchase locally, at a much cheaper price than we could offer them to you for. There is a ‘shopping list’ of additional material quantities required for each kit in the written instructions for that oven.

Additional Materials Required

  • General Purpose Cement (also called Portland Cement)
  • Hydrated Lime (also called Slaked Lime, Builders Lime) 
  • Washed Sand (Playground Sand/Paving Sand/Gap Sand)
  • Household aluminum foil
  • Masking Tape

We don’t offer gas burners with our Oven Kits, but that’s not to say you couldn’t install one. There are several after-market gas burners available that you could retrofit to one of our ovens (this would need to be done by a professional plumber/gasfitter).

We have heard several reasons that people give for wanting to fit a gas burner, however once they understand how our Ovens work, they often decide not to bother!

Reason #1 – Easy Start-Up

This is the most common reason for wanting to have a gas burner fitted – the ability to just walk out and press a button to start the process of heating the oven. This comes in part from the misconception that to heat up the oven, you’ll need to stand in front of it for two hours, tending to the fire and adding timber regularly. To be honest with you, that was what we thought at the beginning too! This is not the case, not if you use our ‘Fire and Forget’ firing method.

Check out the video below. You’ll see that you can actually set up the firewood in the oven well beforehand – you could build the fire in the morning but leave it unlit. Then all that needs to be done is for someone to strike a match and light the fire, just like pushing a button to turn it on.

Reason #2 – Consistent Temperature

If you’ve never had one of our Wood Fired Ovens, you might think that it’s a challenge to keep the oven hot enough for pizzas, that you’ll be constantly throwing in more firewood to maintain temperature. This is not the case! Our ovens all have significant amounts of thermal mass, which means they will take a while to heat up, but once they’re hot they stay that way for a long time!  Maintaining 400°C/750°F in our ovens is as easy as keeping one or two pieces of wood burning gently, which also gives you light to cook by.

Reason #3 – Use on a Total Fire Ban day

Most countries have clear rules that ban the use of soild fuel heaters and/or cooking devices on days where the weather conditions create a high risk of a wildfire. However, gas-fuelled devices are exempt from this ban as they don’t produce any embers, so if you have a gas burner fitted to your pizza oven you could use it on a day of Total Fire Ban.

As someone who lives in a region that gets about two weeks of Total Fire Ban days each year, I wouldn’t want to be standing in front of a red-hot pizza oven on most of those days. They tend to be very hot, dry and windy days, which frankly are better spent in the pool, or at least in air-conditioning!

The exception here is some dry, arid regions that have very strict rules banning solid fuel heating and cooking for much of the year – if you live there, then you have a valid reason for wanting a gas burner.

TLDR: You sure can! We don’t offer them, as they usually aren’t necessary.

Our Wood Fired Oven Kits all come with fire bricks specially cut to size to create the Vent Arch – the brickwork that makes up the exposed front of the Oven. We are often asked if it’s possible to have these bricks supplied in a different colour – unfortunately it’s not something that we can offer at this time.

We use a ‘fireclay’ type of fire brick for our wood fired ovens, made from natural clay that is high in alumina content. This means that all of our fire bricks are a similar light tan colour. That being said, if you wanted a different look for the Vent Arch there are other ways to achieve that;

1. High Temperature Paint

If you wanted a super-sharp, modern look for the front of your oven, you could consider painting the brickwork with high temperature paint. We would recommend only painting the outside of the brickwork to avoid any possibility of paint fumes getting into the oven chamber. We have kept in touch with customers who have used this approach and we have found it to be highly effective, and long lasting! A recoat is needed every two to three years to touch it up.

2. Tiling

This method involves using tile adhesive to attach decorative ceramic tiles to the outside of the Vent Arch bricks, it can look really sharp! The only issue is a lack of data on the long term performance of this finish, we will be following up clients who have done this to see how it holds up over the years.

Our only concern is that the adhesive holding the tiles to the bricks might deteriorate over time, as the outside of the Vent Arch bricks can reach temperatures over 200°C (390°F). However, if a high quality tile adhesive is used this method could work very well, particularly if you don’t rake the hot coals all the way into the Vent area. We don’t recommend using the refractory mortar to attach these tiles, as it’s a mortar rather than a ‘glue’ – it is great for joints that are in compression, but not for joints in tension or shear (like a tile on a vertical wall).

3. Create a Façade

You could build the oven behind a wall, and completely obscure the face of it. This is quite involved so we have created some detailed guidance on the subject for you – follow the link below for more info.

Using a Wood Fired Oven

The first thing to wrap your head around is to understand How a Wood Fired Oven Works – once you know how they work then you can start looking into some different firing techniques, check out some of the methods below!

Yes you can! There are a few ways of going about this – we have seen several customers build an external firebox that’s plumbed into the side or floor of the oven, so that a fire lit in this chamber will provide heat and smoke that flows into the main oven chamber. To be honest, this looks hard.

Let’s think about what hot-smoking requires – it’s not rocket surgery; you need Heat and Smoke.

Heat

Rather than using an external firebox connected to the oven to introduce, why not just rely on the oven’s thermal mass? Let’s say you fired your D105 Brick Oven up to 400°C/750°F on a Friday afternoon, and cooked a bunch of pizzas that evening, putting the Oven Door in place at the nights end. By Saturday afternoon (24 hours later) the oven temperature will have dropped to around 220°C/428°F and by Sunday afternoon you’ll be down to 110°C/230°F – perfect smoking temp. While the oven will continue cooling while your delicious brisket is smoking, it cools very slowly.

OK – we’ve got the heat sorted, now we need smoke.

Smoke

There are two ways that we know of introducing smoke into the hot oven chamber – you can dry out a log in the middle of the oven in the leadup to your smoking, then light it and let it smolder to create the smoke (and some additional heat). This is great if you’re an expert with fire and have some nice lumps of fruitwood or grapevine to burn.

Alternatively you could use a Smoke Maze to burn wood pellets – these are brilliant and provide you with consistent smoke for hours. These are easy to find – just search for ‘smoker maze’ and you’ll find something in your area. We recommend the pellet burning type rather than those that burn sawdust.

Check out the video that we made on the subject!

Just about anything! Pizzas of course, but you can do roasting, baking, grilling, smoking, slow cooking and much more! Check out the first of our cooking videos below; our first Flamesmith Feast!

You’ll definitely be needing some tools, and there are some great Oven Tool manufacturers out there. While we don’t currently have any accessories available in the USA, it’s worth watching the video below to get a better understanding of the kind of tools that you’ll need.

The Oven Door is a great tool – it serves two main purposes; regulating airflow into the oven (effectively working as a damper) and preventing smoke from billowing out of the oven mouth on windy days.

Because the flue is out in front of the dome, the door can be put all the way into the oven mouth to seal the dome completely, with almost no hot air escaping up the flue. This is one of the reasons our ovens can retain heat for such a long time!

Check out the video below to get a better understanding of how to use your oven door.

There are two parts of your Wood Fired Oven that you might want to clean as time goes by; the Vent Arch bricks that make up the oven mouth, and the Oven Floor.

Cleaning Soot off the Arch Bricks

You’ll find that despite how well the flue draws, if your oven is exposed to any wind then a small amount of smoke will occasionally come out of the oven mouth, and over time this can leave soot marks on the brick arch. Personally, I don’t mind these as they give the oven some character, but if you want to remove the soot then it can be done (mostly!). You have two options here – get the vent arch bricks to over 350°C/660°F at which point the soot will burn off, like it does inside the oven dome. This is challenging to do, and requires the use of a blowtorch! The risk here is that if you get the bricks too hot, they will change colour slightly which will alter the overall look of the oven. The second option is good ol’fashioned elbow-grease. Get a non-scratch scourer (the green ones leave green makrs behind) and go to town on those bricks with hot soapy water. You’ll be able to remove most of the soot, but there will still be some left behind, stuck in the pores of the brick.

Cleaning the Oven Floor

Cooking in a Wood Fired Oven is messy; after a big night of pizzas there will be all kinds of marks left on the floor, typically oil stains from cheese and the like. You might see these and wonder how on earth you’ll get them out, as the oil has soaked right into the bricks. The floor is actually very easy to clean – just fire the oven right up and rake the coals over the area you want to clean. Keep the fire burning over that area for about 30 minutes, then move the coals to the next section. You’ll find that when you push the coals back, the floor will be good as new! What happens here is the bricks are heated up to the point that the oil in them vapourises and is burnt off, leaving them spotless.

See the video below where we take a very sooty oven in Portland, Oregon and give it a good clean up.

You sure can – there are a couple of ways you could do this. One is to take out a grill section from your barbeque and perch it on a couple of bricks to raise it above the floor, and rake the coals beneath it.

The other is to get yourself a ‘Tuscan Grill’. this is a bar grill set up on short legs, designed to sit over a bed of hot coals. Check out our Tuscan grill below – we are hoping to be selling this here soon!

Planning your Oven Build

Have you seen the video comparing our Brick and PreCast Ovens? If not, watch that first below. Once you’ve decided on whether to go with Brick or Precast, the decision becomes much easier!

P85 PreCast Oven Kit

This is our biggest selling product by a fair margin – with its compact footprint and 1.25 hour heat-up time it’s the right choice for a lot of families. With a 36 hour cool down time it’s no slouch, you can still bake in the P85 more than 12 hours after a night of pizzas!

D105 PreCut Brick Oven Kit

If you’re after an authentic Brick Oven for home use, the D105 is everything you need, and quite a lot more. With almost 50% more cooking area than the P85, you have loads of room for cooking everything from pizzas through to suckling pigs.

D130 PreCut Brick Oven Kit

If you’re building a restaurant and need a Wood Fired Oven for commercial cooking, then the D130 PreCut Brick Oven Kit is going to be the right choice for you. If you’re thinking of putting one in at home, it’s not something that we would normally recommend. It’s not that it’s too big, there are lots of big properties out there where the D130 Oven would look right at home. It’s the heat-up time. The D130 takes 4 hours to get to 400°C/750°F, which is quite a while. Sure, you will use it for big events, but we’re hoping our customers will fire up their oven on most weekends and get lots of use out of them. The downside of the long heat-up time is that while you’ll use the oven for parties, you might not want to fire it up when there’s only a small group of you there to feed. We won’t stop you from buying one for home, but we will ask you about it and try to make sure it’s the best choice for you.

Planning the location of your Wood Fired Oven is a critical step, and while we can’t tell you exactly where you should put yours, we do have several things you should think about before you make the decision, as it will be a very permanent one!

Weather

If you live in an area that is known for warm, sunny days with almost no chance of rain spoiling a great night of cooking outdoors, you can breeze right past this section! We live in Melbourne, Australia which is well known for its tendency to display all four seasons in one day… This means that while the weather report might be suggesting clear skies for the weekend, we definitely don’t count on it. Ever. If that’s you too, you might want to think about building the oven such that you can use it regardless of the weather conditions. This means positioning the oven so that the mouth is under cover – the dome can still be outside but the oven mouth is tucked under a veranda, which keeps it (and you) nice and dry regardless of the weather conditions.

Climate

If you’re in a region that experiences ‘freeze-thaw’ conditions, where the frost is so severe that it penetrates deep into the ground, this is something that you really must consider.

The refractory bricks and insulation that make up our Wood Fired Oven Kits are very porous, so they will soak up rain or melted snow that falls on them. The mouth of our Wood Fired Ovens is made up of hand-laid fire bricks, which gives our ovens their distinctly authenttic appearance. The downside is that the mouth of the oven is going to soak up any water that lands on it.

This is usually not a problem in itself – if you slowly fire the oven up after the oven has absorbed some water, the heat will drive the water out and the oven will return to its original state (if the oven is noticeably wet we strongly recommend you go back to Day 3 of the Curing Fires to gently dry it out). However, if your oven has gotten wet and experiences a deep frost, the water held in the fire bricks and insulation may freeze and expand, causing serious damage to the oven. Water freezing on the outside of the oven dome can also damage the roll-on render coating.

The only sure way to prevent this is to build the oven into an enclosure that keeps it completely dry, so that when the cold weather comes, it will have no adverse effect on the oven at all. If this is not possible, an alternative is to fire the oven thoroughly before the end of Autumn, then remove the flue and protect the oven with a suitable weatherproof cover for the winter. The key is to keep the entire oven completely dry in deep cold conditions. This will no doubt affect where you build the oven, so keep this in mind as you plan.

Stand Construction

Our Brick Ovens in particular require brick or concrete block walls going all the way down to reinforced concrete foundations. When you assess your area, you may find that some locations might be significantly more difficult to build a stand in than others. For example, it might look great directly opposite the dining area, off the edge of the verandah. However if you have a 10 foot drop to the ground in that spot, it’s going to be a significant undertaking to build your stand.

Neighbours

There’s no escaping the fact that Wood Fired Ovens generate some smoke, particularly when they’re cold, as the fire is just getting started. Keep this in mind when you’re deciding on the oven location – there might be a place that works well for you that will also minimize the smoke wafting into your neighbour’s property. Remember, you can always extend the flue higher to get the smoke up and away from them (and you!).

Local Laws

While we have found that many local councils have no issue with the construction of Wood Fired Ovens and don’t have any rules around them, please don’t assume this is the case. Get in touch with the relevant governmental planning department for your area and check to ensure there won’t be any issues.

Convenience

If you’re building an entire alfresco area then there’s no doubt the Oven will be the roaring heart of it! The rest of the alfresco should flow around the oven, with prep-benches nearby if possible. These benches don’t have to be permanent, they could be trestle tables, but they’ll prove very useful.

You’ll also need a reasonable amount of space in front of the oven, where you’ll be standing. Think about the oven tools that you’ll be using, they’re typically about 1.5m (5′) long and you’ll be using them a lot, so make sure you’re not going to be too cramped, or likely to hit your friends and family in the face with an oven tool…

Do a Test Fit

If you’re a bit nerdy (like us), you could draw up your alfresco in 3D using a CAD program like Sketchup. We have detailed 3D models of our Wood Fired Oven Kits available to download, which you can find on the page we have created for each Oven Kit.

If you’re more hands-on, and like to see things in full size right in front of you, we have you covered! You’ll find an ‘Oven Template Drawing Guide’ on each Oven Kit page, which shows you how to draw a full scale layout of that particular oven, on a piece of paper or cardboard. With this in hand, you can do a Test Fit of the oven in different locations to see how it will work there.

The Template also shows you where the Flue will start from, which should form part of your planning.

It depends. If you’ve done a lot of masonry work before, it will be a quicker process for you. If this is one of your first masonry projects (which it is for almost all of our customers!) then it will take you a bit longer, but trust me, you’ll enjoy almost every minute of it…except for the bit where you have to get in and clean the dome. That’s not great…

The times below are working hours, not including the time required to let different stages set.

Approximate Build Times

P85 PreCast Oven Kit ~ 20 hours

D105 PreCut Brick Oven Kit ~ 50 hours

D130 PreCut Brick Oven Kit ~ 65 hours

You’ll see there is a significant difference between the Build time of the Precast and the Brick Oven Kits – this is because there are just a lot more pieces to lay in the brick ovens.

Watch the video below to better understand the differences between our Brick and PreCast Oven Kits.

While we have found that many local councils have no issue with the construction of Wood Fired Ovens and don’t have any rules around them, please don’t assume this is the case. Call the relevant governmental planning department for your area and check to ensure there won’t be any issues.

If it’s possible, build your oven somewhere sheltered from the wind. If this isn’t possible, then don’t worry too much about the wind direction, because there’s no really ‘good’ direction for it to be blowing! If it’s blowing from the back of the oven, this will create a region of negative pressure at the oven mouth, drawing the smoke out. If the wind is blowing into the mouth of the oven, this will also blow the smoke out the front. Wind from either side creates turbulence around the oven mouth, which, you guessed it – will try to draw the smoke out.

To combat this you can use your Oven Door as a Draft Door – placing it in front of the oven mouth to control the flow of air into the oven, which has the benefit of directing all of the smoke up the flue. See the video below for more information on this.

TLDR: Aim to build in a calm location, but if you can’t then don’t worry about the wind direction.

To understand the answer to this question, we first have to understand what happens to an oven that’s been built outdoors, exposed to the weather. It’s going to get rain driven at it from every direction, and despite your best efforts in sealing the dome and fitting the water barrier system, if the brick front of the oven is exposed to rain then the bricks will absorb that rain and draw it into the oven. This will mostly be from water soaking through the firebricks at the mouth of the oven, which is then drawn into the Calcium Silicate Insulation board. All refractory materials are porous, so your fire brick floor and sub-floor insulation will soak up this rain water very quickly.

You – “OK, we get it, if the oven is out in the rain it will absorb water. Is that a problem?”

This really depends on where you live.

Warm Conditions

If you’re in a relatively warm climate that doesn’t experience really cold weather (ie. it never snows where you live), then the oven getting mildly damp is annoying, but not a disaster. A damp oven will take a long time to heat up, and will cool down much more quickly than it should because the insulation is wet and thermally conductive, transferring heat out of the oven rather than holding it in.

If your oven gets really wet (where leftover ash in the oven feels wet and muddy), it means that you will need to go back to Day 3 of the Curing Fires to gently dry it out again (to completely rule out the possibility of a steam explosion in the oven floor – this would only happen if you got a big fire going in a very wet oven, but is something we have to be very careful to avoid). This applies to Wood Fired Ovens everywhere, regardless of climate. 

We live in Melbourne, Australia which is well known for its tendency to display all four seasons in one day… This means that while the weather report might be suggesting clear skies for the weekend, we definitely don’t count on it. Ever. If that’s you too, you might want to think about building the oven such that you can use it regardless of the weather conditions. This means positioning the oven so that the mouth is under cover – the dome can still be outside but the oven mouth is tucked under a verandah, which keeps it (and you) nice and dry regardless of the weather conditions.

Alternatively you could create a waterproof cover to put over the oven when you aren’t using it – you could remove the flue sleeve and cap and put a cover (such as a tarpaulin) over the entire oven to keep the rain out. We are working on a range of covers for our ovens at the moment to find something that we can offer you to compliment the oven.

Cold Climates

If you’re in a region that experiences ‘freeze-thaw’ conditions, where the frost is so severe that it penetrates into the ground, it’s a different story. In this climate if your oven has gotten wet and experiences a deep frost, the water held in the fire bricks and insulation may freeze and expand, causing serious damage to the oven. Water freezing on the outside of the oven dome can also damage the roll-on render coating.

The only sure way to prevent this is to build the oven into an enclosure that keeps it completely dry, so that when the cold weather comes, it will have no adverse effect on the oven at all, as your oven is always kept dry.

If this is not possible, an alternative is to fire the oven throroughly before the end of Autumn to ensure that it is completely dry, then remove the flue and protect the oven with a suitable weatherproof cover for the winter. This method would require you to do at least 4 major firings (keeping the oven covered between firings), raking the coals forward into the mouth of the oven toward the end of each firing to ensure that the oven is bone dry from front to back, and top to bottom. The key is to keep the entire oven completely dry in deep cold conditions. 

TLDR: Rain will eventually get into the oven if it’s not undercover. This is annoying in a warm climate, but potentially very damaging in a cold climate. Please read this one in full.

This depends on where you build your oven. In Cold Climates we always recommend that your oven be built under cover, such that no part of it gets rained on, particularly during winter. 

You – “Okay… why is that??”

To understand the answer to this question, we first have to understand what happens to an oven that’s been built outdoors, exposed to the weather. It’s going to get rain driven at it from every direction, and despite your best efforts in sealing the dome and fitting the water barrier system, if the brick front of the oven is exposed to rain then the bricks will absorb that rain and draw it into the oven. This will mostly be from water soaking through the firebricks at the mouth of the oven, which is then drawn into the Calcium Silicate Insulation board. All refractory materials are porous, so your fire brick floor and sub-floor insulation will soak up this rain water very quickly.

You – “OK, we get it, if the oven is out in the rain it will absorb water. Is that a problem?”

This really depends on where you live.

Warm Conditions

If you’re in a relatively warm climate that doesn’t experience really cold weather (ie. it never snows where you live), then the oven getting mildly damp is annoying, but not a disaster. A damp oven will take a long time to heat up, and will cool down much more quickly than it should because the insulation is wet and thermally conductive, transferring heat out of the oven rather than holding it in.

If your oven gets really wet (where leftover ash in the oven feels wet and muddy), it means that you will need to go back to Day 3 of the Curing Fires to gently dry it out again (to completely rule out the possibility of a steam explosion in the oven floor – this would only happen if you got a big fire going in a very wet oven, but is something we have to be very careful to avoid). This applies to Wood Fired Ovens everywhere, regardless of climate. 

We live in Melbourne, Australia which is well known for its tendency to display all four seasons in one day… This means that while the weather report might be suggesting clear skies for the weekend, we definitely don’t count on it. Ever. If that’s you too, you might want to think about building the oven such that you can use it regardless of the weather conditions. This means positioning the oven so that the mouth is under cover – the dome can still be outside but the oven mouth is tucked under a verandah, which keeps it (and you) nice and dry regardless of the weather conditions.

Alternatively you could create a waterproof cover to put over the oven when you aren’t using it – you could remove the flue sleeve and cap and put a cover (such as a tarpaulin) over the entire oven to keep the rain out. We are working on a range of covers for our ovens at the moment to find something that we can offer you to compliment the oven.

Cold Climates

If you’re in a region that experiences ‘freeze-thaw’ conditions, where the frost is so severe that it penetrates into the ground, it’s a different story. In this climate if your oven has gotten wet and experiences a deep frost, the water held in the fire bricks and insulation may freeze and expand, causing serious damage to the oven. Water freezing on the outside of the oven dome can also damage the roll-on render coating.

The only sure way to prevent this is to build the oven into an enclosure that keeps it completely dry, so that when the cold weather comes, it will have no adverse effect on the oven at all, as your oven is always kept dry.

If this is not possible, an alternative is to fire the oven throroughly before the end of Autumn to ensure that it is completely dry, then remove the flue and protect the oven with a suitable weatherproof cover for the winter. This method would require you to do at least 4 major firings (keeping the oven covered between firings), raking the coals forward into the mouth of the oven toward the end of each firing to ensure that the oven is bone dry from front to back, and top to bottom. The key is to keep the entire oven completely dry in deep cold conditions. 

TLDR: Rain will eventually get into the oven if it’s not undercover. This is annoying in a warm climate, but potentially very damaging in a cold climate. 

It’s not critical to have a landing in front of the mouth of the oven, but if you have the depth available on your stand, it’s highly recommended! The landing serves three main purposes;

1. Checking what’s Cooking

If you’re making a roast, you’ll need to pull it out of the oven at some stage, to check its internal temperature and perhaps to turn it over, baste it and so on. If you don’t have a landing, you’ll need to pull the whole tray out and put it on a nearby bench to do these things. If you do have a landing, you can pull the tray out onto it, do your thang, then push the tray back into the oven. Simples.

2. Supporting the Door

If you have a landing, you can position the Oven Door in front of the brick arch, using it as a ‘Draft Door’, to regulate the airflow into the oven. This stops the smoke billowing out on a windy day, and allows you to restrict the airflow to slow the rate of combustion down.

3. Trimming the front edge of the Oven Floor

Once you’ve built the oven you will need to cover the exposed edges of the Oven Floor, beneath the Vent Arch area. There are many ways to do this and installing a landing is one of them.

Absolutely – but some careful planning is needed. Firstly you need to be fully aware of the safe clearances to combustible materials, as you’ll need to build a structure in close proximity to the oven.

SAFE CLEARANCES TO COMBUSTIBLE MATERIALS

Next, there is a key decision that you’ll have to make – to build the oven through the wall, inside the wall or behind the wall. Each method has it’s own pros, cons and construction considerations;


THROUGH THE WALL

In this method, the Vent arch and chimney flue are built on the inside of the room, as shown below.

Pros
  • You get to see the Vent Bricks and Flue Gallery, which look great (if we do say so ourselves).
  • It really makes a statement, it’s very obvious there’s a pizza oven there!
Cons
  • If you have combustible materials lining your internal wall or the ceiling, you’re going to need to get a special flue installed to protect it those materials from the heat.
  • Takes up some of the internal space in the room, which is valuable realestate.
Construction Considerations
  • If at all possible, build the wall after you’ve built the oven. This is much easier than the alternative.
  • If the wall is already in place, we recommend putting in a lintel (follow your contractor’s advice) and removing a decent section of the wall around the oven to allow you to build the it more easily. Once the oven is built, you can reinstate the wall around it, finishing neatly against the dome.
  • Ensure you comply with our rules around safe clearances to combustible materials.

INSIDE THE WALL

Another approach is to built the oven Inside the Wall, where the facing wall is built around the sides of the Vent Arch. This is similar to building the oven behind the wall, but doesn’t set the oven as far back.

Pros
  • A very clean look
  • Minimal intrusion into your alfresco area
Cons
  • The wall cladding and framing will have to be non-combustible
  • Some tricky framing required
  • Difficult to use a brick wall as there isn’t enough depth in front of the flue unless you rake it back on a 45 degree angle as it comes out of the flue gallery.
Construction Considerations
  • As per the Cons above – you’ll most likely want to use a steel stud frame with cement sheet cladding for the wall as it’s not very thick.
  • You’ll still need to use a twin or triple skin flue with the above method if you’re going to render the wall, or glue tiles/stone to it as the heat from an uninsulated flue in close proximity to this wall could be enough to affect the adhesive or render finish.
  • Ensure you comply with our rules around safe clearances to combustible materials.

BEHIND THE WALL

Building the oven Behind the Wall is probably the most simple approach, particularly if the wall hasn’t been constructed yet. In this method the oven is built as normal, and then a brick wall is laid in front of it, with an arched opening created to match the oven mouth.

Pros
  • Can be a very simple, minimalist look.
  • Zero intrusion into your alfresco area.
  • Depending on your wall and roof material, you could use the standard flue on its own.
Cons
  • If the hole in the wall is made to the same dimensions as the mouth of the oven, this makes the mouth quite deep which can restrict your access with Oven Tools.
  • Depending on how it’s presented, the oven can be overlooked as it’s largely hidden from view.
Construction Considerations
  • It’s definitely best to build the oven before you construct the wall in front of it, but if this is not possible we recommend putting in a lintel so that you can create a larger hole in the wall to give you access to build the oven, then you can reinstate the wall afterwards.
  • Think about making the arched opening in the wall wider than the oven mouth (like the build shown below), so that you don’t make the oven mouth into a deep, narrow tunnel.
  • Ensure you comply with our rules around safe clearances to combustible materials.

Building a Wood Fired Oven Indoors is absolutely fine providing that all of our rules around Safe Clearances to Combustible Materials are carefully followed (see image below). We have a significant number of our ovens built indoors, particularly in restaurants.

SAFE CLEARANCES TO COMBUSTIBLE MATERIALS

PLANNING FOR AN INDOOR BUILD

There are several things that you should think of before you start building an oven indoors;

TYPE & LOCATION OF FLUE

If you’re building your oven indoors, it’s almost certain that you will need to have a triple-skin flue system installed to take the flue up and through the ceiling. This will need to be done by a suitably qualified tradesperson. We recommend locating the oven such that the flue doesn’t have to pass through any rafters, otherwise you may have to have a dog-leg in the flue, or move a structural beam.

PASSIVE VENTILATION

Something you may not have considered is that as the flue for your oven draws the smoke and hot gases up and out, the air being removed from the room will need to be replaced by fresh air from outside. If you don’t have enough passive ventilation (vents in the walls and the like) the oven will be pulling air into the room underneath the doors and anywhere else there’s a gap. This can cause a slight negative pressure in the room, which will cause smoke to come out of the oven mouth rather than going up the flue.

Install air vents into the room, the air can flow in easily and you’ll avoid the negative pressure issue.

HEAT IN THE ROOM

This goes without saying, but a Wood Fired Oven does give off some heat, particularly when the door is open and the fire is roaring! Keep this in mind, in winter it will be a welcome source of warmth. In summer, you will want to have some air-conditioning working to stay comfortable.

We are working on developing a list of recommended oven installers in each region that our ovens are sold in, but it takes a long time for us to build a relationship with a tradesperson to the point where we are confident to recommend them. We don’t yet have any recommended installers in your area.

That being said, our kits are designed for DIYers, so if you can source a good tradesperson – any bricklayer, stonemason, landscaper or general contractor with an eye for detail and the willingness to read and follow our instructions will be able to put our oven together to a very high standard. A good analogy is buying an IKEA wardrobe – if you want someone to assemble it, you don’t go looking for an ‘IKEA Expert’, you just find a handyman. Why? Because IKEA have worked very hard to make the wardrobe simple to assemble, they just have to grab that allen key and get to work. Our kits are more complex, but the same principle applies. They are DIY kits that any good tradesman can build.

TLDR: Unfortunately not, but any good tradesman can assemble the kit for you.

Stand Construction

The type of stand required depends on the type of Wood Fired Oven that you’re going to build.

All of our Brick Oven Kits need to be constructed on a benchtop made from reinforced concrete. This usually means that the supporting walls are built using in double-brick or core-filled concrete blocks (a steel frame is possible but would need to be engineered and can be expensive). To support all of that weight, you’ll need reinforced concrete foundations – the design of these foundations will depend on your ground conditions.

Our PreCast Oven can be built on a steel frame, using 18mm (3/4″) compressed cement sheet as the benchtop. The combined weight of the oven and stand is usually less than 800kg (1760lb) which means that a full reinforced concrete foundation isn’t necessary, just concrete footings to support each corner.*

*If you’re in an area that experiences freeze-thaw, you may need to speak to a local contractor to check if your footings need to be dug below the frost line.

This is one of the key differences between our Brick and PreCast Oven Kits, see below for more.

We have created some very detailed plans to help you get your stand built, please see below!

If you’re building our PreCast Oven, then the answer is yes, absolutely. We manufacture a rectangular steel frame for our Australian customers, but don’t currently have it available for sale in your area.
But fear not! We have put the drawings below for you to take to a local welder or fabricator.

The benchtop for the designs below should be made with 18mm (3/4″) compressed fibre cement sheet. If this is unavailable in your area, you could use two layers of 12mm (1/2″) compressed fibre cement sheet laminated together with liquid nails construction adhesive. If you need to use multiple pieces of board ensure that all edges are supported by the steel frame, even if that means you need to add more steel sections to the design.

Rectangular Stand Design

Corner Stand Steel Frame Design

We get asked regularly if we offer a Steel Corner Stand, which we don’t, for several reasons. They’re quite bulky, making them expensive to ship. They’re also complicated, with complex cutting required.

While it is possible, building a stand using timber is not something that we recommend. Timber is a great building material, but has a tendency to warp over time, which could cause unwanted twisting or buckling in the benchtop that it’s supporting. This would likely result in some fairly large cracks occurring in the oven structure, which is something that we want to avoid.

Timber also needs to be monitored and maintained to prevent rot, and to ensure it’s not munched on by termites. A stand built from brick or concrete block requires zero maintenance and termite proof! Remember, you’re building something that will be there for decades. Keep that in mind in your design.

Oven Construction

It depends. If you’ve done a lot of masonry work before, it will be a quicker process for you. If this is one of your first masonry projects (which it is for almost all of our customers!) then it will take you a bit longer, but trust me, you’ll enjoy almost every minute of it…except for the bit where you have to get in and clean the dome. That’s not great…

The times below are working hours, not including the time required to let different stages set.

Approximate Build Times

P85 PreCast Oven Kit ~ 20 hours

D105 PreCut Brick Oven Kit ~ 50 hours

D130 PreCut Brick Oven Kit ~ 65 hours

You’ll see there is a significant difference between the Build time of the Precast and the Brick Oven Kits – this is because there are just a lot more pieces to lay in the brick ovens.

Watch the video below to better understand the differences between our Brick and PreCast Oven Kits.

We have put ten years of work into the design of our Wood Fired Oven Kits, to make building a high quality Wood Fired Pizza Oven as easy and enjoyable as we possibly can. Our test for your capability is very simple – if you can build the Oven Stand, then you can build the Oven! 

Something that we recommend doing is going through all of instructions to build the Oven to get a really sound understanding of the building process. We have made all of our written instructions and our very detailed video instructions freely available, so that you can see the entire process of how the oven kits go together, and decide on whether it’s something that you want to tackle.

Wood Fired Oven Kit Instructions

PreCast Oven Video Instructions

Brick Oven Video Instructions

We have a piece of advice that we often give to customers looking to build their oven for an upcoming party or big event – aim to have it built at least a month in advance of the big day.

Why such a long time? Several very good reasons;


1. Waiting and Curing the Oven

Regardless of the weather conditions during your build, your finished oven will still be holding water. Each brick was soaked before being laid, so your oven will be holding water in the walls, floor and CalSil board. If you were to light a large fire in the oven now, this water will vaporise and cause significant damage! You need to slowly dry the oven out, or ‘cure’ it before you start lighting serious fires.
 
However, before you start your curing fires, you need to wait long enough to allow all of the refractory materials to set properly before getting any heat into them.
 
THE SEVEN AND TWO RULE
  • Your Refractory Mortar needs to set for at least 7 days before you light the first curing fire.
  • Your Perlite Render needs to set for at least 2 days before you light the first curing fire.
Example 1:
You’re an oven building machine, and you complete the dome bricks, insulation and render all on the same day. You would then wait for 7 days, giving the mortar and the render both enough time to set.
 
Example 2:
You build the oven at a more enjoyable pace; you completed the brickwork two weeks ago, and just today you’ve put your final coat of Perlite render on. You now only have to wait for 2 days, as the mortar has already had time to set good and hard, you just need to allow the render time to set.
 
At this point you can start your curing fires which need to be done over a period of at least 7 days. 
 

So, a conservative approach when planning how soon you could really fire up the oven is to allow two full weeks from the date you finished building it. But then why do we say to allow a month?


2. Getting some Practice!

If this is your first Wood Fired Oven, you’ll definitely want to get a chance to practice using it before you have to cater for a big crowd. Give yourself a good couple of weeks to play with the oven; experiment with different dough recipes and firing techniques so that when you’re cooking for all your friends and family, it’s not your first rodeo! Trust me, you will be very glad that you got the practice.


3. Enjoying the Building Process

Something that we have seen many times over the years is a customer wanting to get the oven built in a hurry, usually to have it ready for a significant birthday party. While we encourage you to bless your friends and family with your Wood Fired Oven, building it on a compressed timeframe can make a really enjoyable project into a really stressful one. As we say in the videos – enjoy the process!

TLDR: If you’re building the oven with a big event in mind, give yourself plenty of time!

Why aren’t there a whole lot more questions about how the oven is built? Because we have gone into loads of detail in our Written Instructions, and even more in our Video Instructions! See more below.

Wood Fired Oven Instructions

PreCast Oven Video Instructions

Brick Oven Video Instructions

Refractory Materials

We recommend using refractory fire bricks for building a Wood Fired Oven, due to their exposure to ‘Thermal Shock’. Thermal Shock is when a material undergoes a rapid change in temperature, from cold to hot, or vice versa. Pressed red bricks are capable of withstanding high temperatures as they’re fired to over 1200°C (2190°F) when they’re made. What they don’t handle well is Thermal Shock – rapid change in temperature. Don’t believe us? Check out the video we’ve made on the subject.

WANT TO LEARN MORE?

Part of our mission is to provide you with the most detailed, accurate and helpful material about Wood Fired Pizza Ovens! We have put together a whole lot more terrific resources for you such as 3D CAD models and layout drawings, Cooking Videos and much more. Follow the link below!

LEARN MORE ABOUT WOOD FIRED OVENS