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Knock Down Pizza Oven From Bricks, Scrap Iron

Clever idea from Eric Rochow of GardenFork:

[O]ur oven uses used clay brick and 24″ angle iron we cut from a old bed frame. You have to heat up the oven for an hour to get it up to temperature. The brick pizza oven has to be on sturdy sawhorses or cement blocks. We used cement tile board to insulate the plywood table from the heat of the brick oven.

[Thanks, Eric!]

GardenFork Plywood Boat

34 thoughts on “Knock Down Pizza Oven From Bricks, Scrap Iron

  1. An excellent design, but I was told to use fire bricks for safety (I use mine as spacers in my Big Green Egg). Isn’t there an explosion risk with red brick?

    1. My understanding (which could be wrong) is that it’s not an explosion risk so much as a durability problem. Fireplaces in very old houses (e.g. 19th century) are often made of red brick, and the owners have to have them re-lined or shielded in various ways because the bricks deteriorate over time from the heat. Firebricks tolerate it much better. For a knockdown pizza oven, it’s probably not critical.

      1. This is probably what I saw:

        “Firebricks and fireclay are available at kiln and pottery supply stores. Use these over standard red bricks as the red bricks tend to pop or explode when reaching extreme temperatures.”

    2. The oven design is based on a pizza oven in Bread, Earth, & Fire by Stuart Silverstein. He uses the used clay brick in the many ovens he has successfully built and documented in his 300 page book on backyard brick, mud, cob, and cement ovens.

      thanks for watching and the questions, eric.

      1. I would guess, and this is totally a guess, that while fire bricks are safe wet, heating damp red bricks would be a risk. For Neopoltian pizza you want a floor around 900F, which is a bit. Building a hot fast fire to reach that. Well.

        Again FWIW, when my Big Green Egg has been damp (even though it is a fire rated ceramic) I might run it at low heat for an hour before opening up the vents for 900F+. If you are using red bricks that you suspect are damp, you might also start the fire slow.

      2. 900F in a Green Egg is amazing. neat. I priced new firebrick at the local lumberyard and it was $2/brick, making this oven a $200 project if we went that way. I found these used bricks at a neighbor’s house for free. good point about the wet brick. thx, eric.

  2. As an aside, I sometimes do cook pizza in my Big Green Egg. With a good draft going the charcoal fire can peg the thermometer (around 1000F). I use a couple fire bricks to space up the pizza stone (first tempered at lower temp) and have had no problems. The Big Green Egg, even my “medium,” isn’t totally cheap though.

  3. For any project involving metal pieces. The hardware store is the last place I’d ever go unless I need a very minuscule amount. The first place I check if I need any small amount of metal is the local welder / fabrication shop and also some scrap buyers. A lot of them will sell off small pieces per foot or per pound. Then if I need more then a small piece or it is economical enough to buy bulk sizes I got to the local metal supplier. A full shop size of any metal is typically not much more at these places then you will pay for half or 1/4 of the amount at the hardware store.

  4. I’d imagine that red clay bricks might explode at ceramic-firing temperatures of 1800-2300 degrees, but remember, they’re fired at 900-1200 degrees when they’re made, so we know they can handle pizza oven temperatures. Why spend 4 times as much for fire brick?

  5. Just came across a bunch of free clay brick. What did you make the saw horse out of? Is it a metal saw horse?

  6. Am wondering if this would work for baking loaves of bread? I am liking the knockdown aspect as I want to be able to haul this to rendezvous to bake breads for the mountainmen.

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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