Having your own backyard wood-fired clay oven gives you and your family a convenient place to make your own delicious homemade bread or pizza.
If you have children who love pizza, building your own clay oven can pay for itself in the money you save on dining out.
A quality wood-fired clay oven can be built out of simple and inexpensive materials, making it an attractive remodeling project for many homeowners.
Be sure to plan ahead and choose the location well so it does not bother your neighbors, but is still close enough to the home to be convenient.
Building a backyard wood-fired clay oven: Plan ahead
Before you start building your clay oven, check your local building code to see if you need a permit. Some municipalities even have regulations preventing the construction of an outdoor wood-fired clay oven.
Usually, you will be fine if you keep a sufficient amount of space between the backyard oven and your home.
Some building codes may also require a roof or other type of covering to be built over the top of your backyard clay oven.
When deciding on a location for your clay oven, remember to consider your neighbors as well. You do not want to build a wood-fired oven in a place where the smoke will drift over to your neighbors’ homes.
Building a backyard wood-fired clay oven: Required materials
Building a clay oven can be an easy and inexpensive do-it-yourself project because it does not require any special materials.
A functional wood-fired oven can be built using only free materials like regular dirt from your backyard, straw, clay, and sand. The base of the clay oven may involve some sturdier materials, but most of these can be found for free or very cheap.
Old brick, chunks of concrete, or rocks are strong enough to establish a good base for your backyard wood-fired oven.
Check your area for construction sites or home remodeling projects. Many contractors are willing to give you these discarded materials that can no longer be used for new construction.
Building a backyard wood-fired clay oven: Beehive-shaped ovens
The most basic type of clay oven is the simple beehive style. These wood-fired ovens do not usually have a chimney, so ventilation may be difficult. All that is needed for a beehive clay oven is some regular backyard dirt that contains a good amount of clay in it.
This clay content is necessary to help give the oven its shape. Mix in some straw and sand to strengthen the clay-dirt mixture. Now you should have a pliable material that can easily be shaped into the backyard clay oven style of your choice.