My first woodfired brick oven pizza party!

At the start of the year my goal was to bake something in the oven before Christmas, it was my 2007 goal as well but this year I made it!  Dec 14th was the day and we made about 29 pizzas on a beautiful calm and sunny evening.  So the oven is not completely finished, but it works!

First pizza coming out.

The first pizza was one for the kids. The crust by the fire gets black pretty quick!

Checking on the pizzas.

Making pizzas at last!

My daughter trying to decide what to put on her pizza.

It was a great day, a little nervewracking at the beginning but once the pizzas started coming out it was all good!



My line has been so slow, I didn't manage to see your pix until today.

Your oven is mighty handsome, and is producing delectible breads. Talk about major envy!!


Oh I really have to get back to building mine...

I'm green with envy Matthew.

Andrew Connell

Thanks Andrew and TP

I'm a very happy camper at the moment, and planning the next party and when to build the door so I can load it up with bread.



congratulations on the oven. I notice you have large brush leaning against the oven. Is it a wire brush? I can only find tiny little barbecue wire brushes here in Malaysia. I do find it quite troublesome to clean out the oven without a nice brush.


Martin Prior


No it's not a wire brush.  I just bought a large brush with natural bristles and expect to replace it regularly.  I try and move the coals with a metal rake and then use the brush for the ash before scuffling the floor.  I haven't really looked for a large wire brush and just followed the example of a bakery that I visited (albeit a bakery that uses deck ovens and not a wood fired oven).




I would strongly recommend you check with your local authorities before starting to build your oven. It took me about three weeks before I got a clear answer to all my questions.  The biggest problem with calling your local authorities in regards to a backyard brick oven is that they usually have no idea what you're talking about :) In my case they also liked to refer me to other departments. One day, I was transferred 6 times and I ended up talking to the first person again. I found out from the Zoning Department that the setback should be 5'  from the property sidelines and 15' from the front/back of the property. They also suggested I keep the foundation at least 10' from any tree in order not to damage the root system

Love your oven I have a same type of wood fired oven and I love to make pizza in it. One of my friends from Australia gave me a recipe for beer pizza dough it's great, also I have converted the dough from yeast to sourdough beer pizza dough love the flavor and it's easy to work with.


One of my pizzas, I also made a banana pizza it was great.

I think the spam bots have latched on to this thread - might be a good move to get rid of the spam posts! Just mentioning it in case you haven't noticed...


Thanks Ross, all fixed.

Wow !! Mathew . Even I've been trying to cook some food with my family and have some quality time along with my family . But I've never been able to manage some time . Even I have a  Wood Fired Pizza Oven at my backyard but have never used it once . So , now looking at your devotion and time that you manage time for your family made me try spending ,cooking and spend some quality time with my family . Thanks Mathew you've been a huge inspiration .

Thats a handsome oven you've built there. I am in the planning stages of one for my backyard, and hoping to christen it by mid summer! The bricks you used for the oven could really complement all kinds of outdoor furniture very well! Your success is very inspiring and the style of your oven really evokes a neo-colonial sentiment that could flourish in any backyard!


Good luck with your oven. Look forward to seeing the result.

 Hi Matthew

Regarding  the broom for clearing the ash, have you thought about placing the fire on/in a metal tray and then just sliding the tray back?


Hi Matthew,

I would appreciate your advice/expertise on cooking pizzas in the wood fired oven. I also have a wood fired oven (built by people who knew what they were doing) but am struggling with the cooking process. The problem I'm facing is that if I put the pizzas directly onto the base of the oven floor, they don't cook. I've tried pre-heating the oven for a couple of hours, getting it really hot but what tends to happen is that the base doesn't seem to get hot enough and all the heat remains at the top of the oven - so the tops burn but the dough stays raw. To overcome this problem, I'm now having to spread the coals and put my pizzas onto aluminium trays which I then place directly onto the coals - at least this way my dough cooks.  Look forward to your feedback.



Hi DoughReMe,

Are you building your fire in the middle of the oven, allowing the fire to burn until the top of the dome appears white and then allowing the fire to burn down to coals and then rake these hot coals to the back of the oven? I experienced a lot of success with the woodfired oven at our previous house.  The first items to be placed in the oven over the bricks where the fire was will colour very quickly so I would always make a couple of foccacia style breads that don't have the extra topping that would require extra cooking time. The advantage of this is that it's a great way to start of a gathering, offering foccacia or pizza bianca while waiting for other guests to arrive. Following this process I would always have a great heat coming up from the bottom of the oven and then I could adjust the radiant coming down on top by throwing a few bits of wood on the coals and getting them burning as and when necessary.   If you are doing this, then I don't know what else to suggest.

Hi HelenF,

Thank you for your advice. I'll keep practising with the fire and let you know how I go.