Frequently asked questions

Can I use ordinary cement to make the inner pizza oven dome?

Ordinary cement can't handle high temperatures.  This is very unfortunate as its cheap and readily available.  Without getting too technical, its chemical composition starts to break down to the point of severe weakening at 400 degrees.  This is the ideal pizza cooking temperature and your oven will likely, at times, reach higher temperatures than this.   Using ordinary cement your oven is going to crack up and degrade.   

 How do I avoid the oven cracking?

You won't.  They all crack somewhere. It's just a matter of limiting the cracking and making sure the oven retains its weather proof layers.  There are many factors (see cracking section) but the single best thing you can do is slowly dry out your oven and gently build the fire up when in use to avoid thermal shock.

Do I need special skills to build a pizza oven?

The cardboard mould is designed to make building an oven a lot more simple than traditional methods.  With our detailed instructions the key skill you will require is the patience to go through them methodically and then follow them step by step.  The instructions are designed for people with little knowledge and skill in oven building. The key thing you need is enthusiasm!

Is there a best way to build the fire?

Whether you stack the wood or build a teepee the concept is the same.  Fire burns upwards so the more wood that is stacked above the flames the faster it burns. There needs to be sufficient space around the wood for oxygen to feed the flames.  What is key is to avoid the fire building up too quickly causing too much thermal shock to the structure.  Also avoid making the fire too hot as the oven can take a long time to drop down to a sufficient cooking temperature. 

What wood is best to use in an oven?

A mixture of hard wood (like gum) and softer wood (like pine) works really well.  the softer varieties keep the hard woods burning so they can produce some good heat. Use smaller pieces (50-70mm in diameter) so you have more control over temperature and have a faster burning fire to reduce smoke.  Pizza ovens are not log burners.  Don't worry too much about how the wood is 'flavoured' because you are not smoking items and generally cooking with residual heat in the oven.