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My very first (portable) pizza oven

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  • My very first (portable) pizza oven

    Hey guys,

    This is my very first post at this forum. I aspire to build my very first pizza oven. Of course I want to make it woodfired. Because of spacial problems I want to start off with a portable oven.

    I have done some research on the internet how to build a (portable) oven, and I'm in the progress of making a design for it. I want to base my oven on a 55-gallon drum.

    I have worked out a concept in a 3D program called Google Sketchup. I wanted to first draw it out instead of going ahead and build it, so I can calculate how much stuff I need to build it.

    My progress so far: Barrel wood pizza oven - YouTube

    I am planning to:
    • Add a form of insulation
    • Adding a door, and maybe create a ridge at the top so smoke doesn't escape

    I could use some more tips to help me get started. All tips are welcome!

  • #2
    Re: My very first (portable) pizza oven

    Update: I just revised the design for my pizza oven. I thought about it for a while and found it a bit risky to make a compartment for my wood so close to the oven floor, because it isn't insulaten (yet!).

    I also think the oven wasn't high enough, the last thing I want to do is to burn the pizza at the top. I also had some doubts about the chance for smoke to run out of the front of the oven, zo I made a ridge for that.

    I'm planning to add hinges instead of having a loose door.

    See the progress so far here: Wood fired oil drum pizza oven - Revision 2 - YouTube


    • #3
      Re: My very first (portable) pizza oven

      That?s an interesting concept. I have a couple of questions that you may consider in your design efforts.
      1) You said you were planning on adding some form of insulation. Only place I see available is under the floor. Are you planning on insulating the roof?

      2) If you do insulate the roof, will it be inside the barrel (eliminating more of the very precious space you already don?t have) or wrapping the entire thing in blanket/like insulation outside the barrel?

      3) How portable is portable? Your design (base on about 55 bricks) is in the 400-450 range right? The design on your stand is not robust enough to support mobilizing it. It?s possible that it will work if it is not being moved, but scary nonetheless.

      That's my initial read on your design, but I'm no expert (not even close). Hope that gives you some ideas. You may also want to consider you chimney placement.


      • #4
        Re: My very first (portable) pizza oven

        I see a few drawbacks.
        1. Thin steel and heat do not go well together. You are inviting rust, unless your drum is stainless.
        2. You have no insulation so you will have difficulty maintaining heat leading to excessive fuel use.
        3. Using steel outside the refractory bricks will make the steel dangerously hot because steel is very conductive. It will rob the bricks of their stored heat.
        4. Using an updraft flue design as in your plan will lead to plenty of flame up the flue. You will need to make it stainless and fit a damper. A cross draft flue with the flue at the front and independent from the oven is more efficient.

        If you go ahead with your idea be sure to wash out your oil drum REALLY well.
        They blow up really easily, the volatile fumes ignited by spark or flame. I know personally of two deaths from this accident, it is common.
        Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


        • #5
          Re: My very first (portable) pizza oven

          Thanks guys for the really good feedback. I'm planning to insulate the drum with sheets of insulated blankets around the steel frame, so heat will be retained within the oven itself. I think this will also solve David's points 2 and 3.

          I definitely will keep in mind when purchasing an oil drum it's an oil drum that has been cleaned well or hasn't been used to transfer flammable or dangerous stuff. I hope to find a stainless steel one.

          I decided to not design the drum in a way that the insulating blanket is wrapped around the bricks, that would compromise too much in terms of space.

          Do you guys have any good ideas how to make a stable stand for the oven but still retain portability?


          • #6
            Re: My very first (portable) pizza oven

            For the stand add cross bracing.


            • #7
              Re: My very first (portable) pizza oven

              I saw the sketch I would not do the legs i would gear more towards a welded steel frame like a box with cross bracing like OKN suggested you could also add casters to it if you wanted


              • #8
                Re: My very first (portable) pizza oven

                Also whats keeping the fire bricks on the dome being that you plan on making it portable i dont know if you should rely on gravity