Build a Brick Oven in 7 Steps

A pizza baking in a brick oven.
  • 5 hours
  • Advanced
  • 250-400
What You'll Need
Wire framing material
Firebrick or soapstone

Building your own brick oven is much cheaper than hiring a contractor to do it, and having a brick oven on your patio will increase the value of your home and please guests for years to come. Here’s how you can start your own.

Step 1 - Find Plans

You can draw your own plans if you think you can get the design elements to scale. Otherwise, you can find plans at masonry and brick stores, landscaping companies, or hardware stores. The advantage of getting plans there is that you can get all the necessary materials at the same time.

Step 2 - Get the Dimensions

The plans you found may need to be adjusted depending on the amount of space you have. Before you begin building, consider the amount of space you have and make any necessary adjustments.

Step 3 - Create the Base

The base can be made of many different materials. Concrete is the most popular material, but you can also use adobe, mortar, rocks, or a combination of these. The base of your oven needs to be durable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it nice to look at, too. Also, take your time on this step, because a poorly constructed base will mean a short life for your oven.

Step 4 - Build the Hearth Slab

The hearth slab is basically just a large chunk of concrete that the hearth sits on. Frame this out with wire and pour your slab. Remember to leave an area in the slab for ashes unless you are going to use a separate ash trap.

Step 5 - Build the Hearth

First, create a mock layout of your hearth so you can get accurate measurements. The hearth should give the overall shape of the hearth slab while still giving enough space for the vault walls.

Next, choose the material out of which you will build your hearth. Most outdoor ovens will use firebrick, which is easy to find. Soapstone is another great material to use since it can hold the heat. Soapstone costs more than basic firebrick, but it will increase the efficiency of your brick oven.

Step 6 - Build the Baking Chamber

With the hearth done, you can move on to the vault and baking chamber. Your vault should have at least two layers, an inner shell for the actual oven chamber and an outer shell for insulation and safety. The inner layer should be made with firebrick or soapstone, and the outer layer can be made with an ordinary brick. You will also need to construct a flue from the baking chamber.

Step 7- Add the Finishing Touches

Now, you can place a cap on the flue, weatherproof the open areas of the oven, and add any decorative elements you want. Wait about a week for the oven to settle and all the materials to dry before you start your first fire.