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Garden kitchen

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  • Garden kitchen

    So here’s how I built my oven and bbq, please let me know your thoughts and feel free to ask questions.
    I used as many reclaimed, free and lying around materials as I could, I had wanted to build a pizza oven for a while so was always on the lookout for bits and bobs that may be of use, the first thing was to start collecting fire bricks from storage heaters, anyway, when lockdown hit I was ready to go.

    day 1
    I started by building concrete block pillars the spanned then with 3”x2”x2’ concrete council flags. I put a couple of 1 1/2 angle supports on the flag joint and under where the arch would be (just in case) I then set out an outer ring of fire brick, flooded with 3’ of vermicucrete and bed on my firebrick floor

    day 2
    i started cutting my bricks using an evolution rage crosscut with the evolution stone blade(can highly recommend both) I sieved the brick dust and spoil for my mortar.(4brick dust/1lime/1cement/1sand)
    i set out an inner soldier course and filled the void with vermicucrete and left it for a day, we had two damp nights with a warm day in between so it firmed up pretty nice so I thought I’d crack on

    day 4
    made a former for the arch the cut and stacked the first 4 or 5 course, I decided to try this freehand just for shits and giggles. it’s pretty easy at first but gets more and more tricky as you progress. I cut the bricks so no mortar was required, I’m not sure how my home brew mortar will hold up to heat and didn’t want my dome falling in, I used the mortar as a sealant by pointing up the outside of the dome as I went.

    day 5

    continued with dome and pointing

    day 6

    Found this forum and learnt the importance of insulating the floor and dome, it’s too late for the floor but I promptly ordered some ceramic fibre blanket and mesh from vitcas. Whilst I waited for delivery I set about the bbq floor in the same way as the oven floor using vermicucrete to protect the concrete slabs from the heat, I also found some old flue blocks down the garden which I used to start my outer arch and to carry my bbq grills

    day 7

    i could now fit my counter tops, these came out of an old slate hearth that I reclaimed from a job I worked on, I also discovered a big cock up, I had not left a lip on my inner arch for the door to sit against, oooops!!
    i formed a thin frame from a aluminium tile trim, only time will tell if this is good or bad.

    day 8
    I finished the outer arch/vent and mounted the chimney (6-5)
    the blanket has landed so on it went, it stayed in shape a lot better than I thought it would, the mesh however was a pain in the butt. Put a thick heavy coat of render(5sand/1cement/1lime) on to hold the mesh in place. I then made and formed the slate fascia. By the time I’d done this the first coat of render had formed up so as I still had some mix sat in the mixer I wet it up, added some freeflow and slapped on the second coat, again time will tell if I should have waited,

    day 10

    removed the former from the slate arch, threw the vitrious tove pipe on ( stripped out with an old boiler) threw in a couple of sheets of news paper and nervously waited to see if the smoke went up and not out the arch, result, like a steam train, but clean, can’t wait to get some wood in her over the next week or so, I’ll build up bit by bit to cure the oven and I’ll probably loose patience and have her glowing white hot in 4or5 days

    I pretty much had everything except the vitcas stuff so I reckon it’s only cost me about 100, there’s probably 100 in blocks,sand,cement so pretty cheap project if you can collect free stuff.

    just hope it works or it’s an expensive

  • #2
    Can’t get pics on for some reason, I’ll take some more tomorrow


    • #3
      Pics are limited to abt 1.25 mg and max 5 per post
      Google Photo Album []


      • #4
        Finally a few pics


        • #5
          Thanks for posting, I am interested about how the heat storage bricks will do long term. We get asked this question a lot from UK builders. Keep us informed.The uninsulated floor will be a heat sink since there is no insulation under it so a live fire off to the side may be necessary to cook multiple pizzas. Couple things I like, the dual color dome bricks (next time watch out for joints lining up) and I especially like the slate decorative arch.
          Last edited by UtahBeehiver; 06-01-2020, 05:45 AM.
          Google Photo Album []


          • #6
            Cheers for the comments, the slate was a bit of an afterthought, took ages to cut and dress all those pieces. I only had a limited number of the orange brick so had to sneak a couple of course of the blue/browns in, the lack of bricks is sort of why the joints aren’t the best, they wouldn’t sit well and I didn’t have any spares to recut them so they got straight stacked. Most of the bricks will have already done 30 years in storage heaters so don’t know how they’ll last, time will tell. I was going to do the arch and vent in slate but worried about the heat, Glad I didnt. threw some pizzas in with 4th curing fire just for fun, got dome to 530, pizzas were good but very slow. Hopefully she’ll improve with more firings. Got a couple of hairline cracks round the chimney but nothing too concerning. I think you may be right on the floor, but the bases were crispy so fingers crossed
            Last edited by Gregg; 05-31-2020, 06:07 PM.


            • #7
              Had a couple more firings since last post, cooked 6 pizzas nicely the last time then 10 tonight, all around 10inch, I cooked with the fire at the back tonight, I can get two pizzas in side by side that way, they cooked great, probably took 4-5 mins each. I kept a live fire going for the first 6 then managed 4 with the coals, I could have probably done a few more but we were all full. Dome cleared up nicely tonight too, we’ve had a few rainy days so I was a little worried about the oven taking in moisture but seems to be keeping dry. I think I will put another layer of blanket on and re render as the outside of the dome is getting warm. Really happy with the results overall, best pizza I’ve had for a long while


              • #8
                I'll have to try the fire in the back again. I did that the first time I cooked pizza in my WFO and I blackened the far side of the pie as I could not see what the edge was doing. Since then I have been using the side fire so I can observe the browning
                My build thread