How to build a brick pizza oven – step by step

Build an outdoor pizza oven

Building a pizza oven from used solid bricks can be a very rewarding project.

This Australian homemade brick pizza oven building project was started in May 2010. It’s a DIY, do it yourself, style of DIY brick pizza oven or building a brick pizza oven.

A lot of work went into exploring different traditional brick pizza ovens websites like and

Here you will find the step-by-step pictures of my homemade pizza oven so you can build a workable oven that cooks real pizzas and marvellous bread.

The pizza oven is a traditional dome type whereas the tunnel type of pizza oven is easier to build. If you have any questions feel free to make comments. This pizza oven is designed to be moved by forklift, but not towed on a trailer.

Use our free guide to help you with your DIY build. There’s quite a lot of information available for building Wood Fired Pizza Ovens on the internet. You will notice with the build of this brick pizza oven we use high-quality insulation over the oven dome and underneath the floor. The more the better.

DIY Brick Pizza Oven Plans

DIY pizza oven

When you follow this thread you will find lots of information on building your own DIY pizza oven. A solid base is a good start and sorting your own solid pizza oven bricks to make a lovely brick pizza oven helps with your brick pizza oven plans. Mine has been going on for ten years now, so we are confident that this method will work for you.

Step 1.

The DIY pizza oven base

First of all, determine what type of DIY pizza oven base you require. Delta core concrete made this light and strong and transportable. “Deltacore” are in Perth, Western Australia. I got my base home with my 6×4 trailer. This means I can pick the brick oven up with my forklift and place it anywhere I want. Most people will choose to build theirs in place using concrete or bricks.

brick pizza oven base
The oven base is made by Deltacore a local concrete company.

The base is 1500 x 1200 mm and 150mm deep. You will need to add two tension bars across the base to give tension in that direction. If not, the concrete will crack.

Pizza oven bricks

There are many different types of pizza oven bricks available to make a pizza oven. In my pizza oven, I used red solid bricks for the oven dome. The floor was made of furnace bricks. Some people use brick clay pavers for the oven and floor.

Red Solid Bricks

Old Australian red solids bricks found around the organic farm were used on this build. Some are very soft and others very hard to cut with the fourteen-inch friction saw.  We found soaking the pizza oven bricks in a bucket of water. This reduced the amount of dust when cutting them and they were easier to cut too.

Step 2.

Brick Pizza Oven Dimensions

Determine the inside diameter of the brick pizza oven. This brick pizza oven is one metre inside diameter. That’s 39 inches in diameter. The internal height is half a metre, half the diameter of the internal diameter.

Pizza oven base with brick setout
Brick Pizza oven base

Here I have marked it out and placed the outside base layer of red solids in place. Glue the red bricks into the concrete with a mixture of clay, lime and cement. Remember you are building a brick pizza oven, not a mortar pizza oven. To do this keep the gaps between your bricks less than 3mm.

Brick Pizza oven with concrete base
Concrete Pizza oven base
Pizza oven base board and safety glasses
The Pizza oven baseboard
Pizza oven base, brick cutoff saw
Pizza oven base saw

To set the base out I drew the one-metre diameter on a 6mm sheet of cement sheet with the entrance of the brick pizza oven door too. Under the sheet went a 25mm layer of high-temperature ceramic insulation.

To cut and shape the bricks I used a 14-inch friction saw, with a masonry disk. Old bricks are easy to cut and if soaked in a bucket of water have a reduced amount of dust. You can use the brick dust in your mortar mix.

Bricks and Mortar

In building a pizza brick oven, mortar should be used in only up to 6mm thick applications.  Mortar should be used to assist in forming the brick walls and shouldn’t be used in plugging large holes as it will burn out.

This is the brick mortar ratio I used:   10 : 6 : 2 : 3 – Sand, Fire Clay, Portland grey cement, and lime.

Pizza oven floor insulation

Insulating a brick pizza oven

Insulating a pizza oven floor and ceiling is most important. Mineral wool is the best insulation as it will withstand 2000C, much more than required. Rockwool is the next best or perlite insulation, depending on whether it is under or on top of the bricks. If the insulation is under the brick floor it needs to be supported to not squash the pizza oven insulation.

How to support the insulation

There is a product on the market, used in foundries called a chaplet to support the insulation. Available in various sizes they will hold solid surfaces apart. Use them to stop the floor or ceiling insulation from being squashed.

Pizza oven base insulation
Brick Pizza oven base insulation
Pizza oven base with insulation installed
oven base mineral wool insulation
The oven base insulation is under the cement sheet.
The oven base insulation is under the cement sheet.
oven base insulation floor close up
More oven base floor
The oven base insulation is under the cement sheet.
oven base floor with mineral wool just showing.
oven base floor insulation
The oven base floor insulation
oven base floor bricks
oven base floor bricks
oven base floor bricks
The oven base floor bricks

Here is the first layer in place, ready for the next layer.

Step 3.

Finish the Pizza oven floor.

oven base floor made of floor tiles
The oven base floor bricks
oven base floor tiles that crack
pizza oven base floor bricks

The pizza oven first outside layer of bricks and the floor finished with red floor tiles.

Here I have used clay floor tiles, in hindsight, not a good choice as they crack under heat stress. A later version has ceramic furnace tiles in place of these. NB that under the floor tiles is a layer of 50 mm brick pavers sitting on top of the cement sheet. Next build I will place 50 mm of insulation under the brick pavers, using chaplets to hold the baseboard up from squashing the insulation.

The photographer now a graphic artist
Who is the photographer
The brick pizza oven builder.
The pizza oven builder.
The brick pizza oven builder with hat on

Step 4.

Making the oven door and formwork.

The brick pizza oven form work for the door
Red Tile floor
The brick pizza oven form work for the door 2
The Tiled floor

You will require two pieces of steel, one for the oven door and the other for the flue entrance. I bent these the hard way with a hammer. In the centre of the photo is the form for building the brick dome. The door is 550mm wide and 260mm high.

Shep the sheep dog watching on.
Shep watching on.
Setting out the oven door
Pizza oven Tile floor – Planning
Setting out the oven door

The Pizza oven former is a piece of sheet metal angle welded to a steel rod. At the centre is a washer welded to the rod.

Can you see the pin in the centre of the Pizza oven floor, next to the cup? It’s a bolt through a piece of plywood and stuck to the floor with masking tape.

note the pin in the centre of the oven floor
See the pin in the centre of the floor

Here the second layer is stuck to the first layer. Looks like the last brick need to be cut to finish this Pizza oven layer.

The former mounted on the pin for the brick oven
The former
Second layer of bricks in place
The second layer in place
Pizza oven, third layer of red bricks in place
The Pizza oven third layer in place

The third layer in place.

The fourth layer nearly finished.
The fourth layer nearly finished.

Note the small pieces of brick used as wedges.

The fourth layer nearly finished.
The fourth layer nearly finished.

Step 5.

The Pizza oven chimney

A mock up early in the build of the brick chimney
Early in the build.
A mock-up of the Pizza oven chimney early in the build.
A tricky bit of brickwork over the oven door
A tricky bit of brickwork over the door
Another layer of brickwork over the oven door
Starting another layer
Another layer of brickwork
Another layer of brickwork over the oven door
Another layer of brickwork over the oven door
Another layer of brickwork over the oven door
Another layer of brickwork above the oven door
Another layer of brickwork with the formwork holding a brick inplace

A mock-up early in the build.

Another layer of brickwork from the inside
Good Pizza oven brickwork
Another layer of brickwork from the outside
Halfway there
The Pizza oven builder – Duncan
Duncan – the Pizza oven builder
Another layer of brickwork from the outside with Duncan in the background at Harris Organic
The builder bricklayer – Duncan
Another layer is finished.

Note the inner top Pizza oven bricks are getting towards being vertical, meaning the mud between the bricks has to dry before moving the former.

Step 5

Finishing the dome

The final part of the brick building. In this step, I placed a disk of sheet metal inside through the door up under the dome. It is held up with red bricks and wood. On top of the sheet is some sand formed into a dome and the remaining Pizza oven bricks are placed onto the sand.

Build nearly finished
Nearly finished, just need to add the flue.
Another layer of brickwork from the inside without Duncan in the background at Harris Organic
The build is nearly finished- looks good where it counts

Once all the Pizza oven bricks are in place the sheet is removed and it all stays together.

The Pizza oven inside is finished.

The dome of brickwork from the inside
See the good brickwork
Good brickwork
The finished dome before the mortar seals it
Another cup of tea on the hearth of the pizza oven build
Another cup of tea on the hearth

The first Pizza oven chimney in place. just needs mortar.

Another view
Finished Pizza oven
Picked up with the forklift

Step 6

Firing and drying

See the first small fire
Chimney redesigned #2

Chimney No. 2.

The first Pizza oven chimney was OK but smoked on startup. After making the larger chimney #2, which was much better, I found that they all smoke on startup. It is the volume of smoke produced that the Pizza oven chimney can’t cope with even if you have a big fire. The answer is to start with a small fire right under the chimney. Once the fire is going in your brick pizza oven, push it inside.

Step 7

Finishing the outside of the pizza oven

Insulating the brick oven.

Here, I have used old fibreglass batts to insulate the rick oven, however, “Rockwool” is recommended to finish the outside of the pizza brick oven. Once you have the insulation, you have a couple of options.

One is to cover the outside with mortar or build a waterproof structure over the brick oven.

Pizza oven Shotgun chimney
pizza oven nearly finished
pizza oven insulation

Brick Pizza oven – new chimney

Step 8 – Add the mortar over the chicken wire.

pizza oven mortar coat
pizza oven insulation cover

Painful. The lesson with this is to place aluminium foil or some other non-combustible on top of the insulation under the wire mesh. Also, you may need to place foundry chaplets in the insulation too so the mortar will not squash the insulation. Then, if the insulation is compressed the chaplets will hold the mortar away from the bricks. In this case, the mortar overhangs the concrete base, which does not help. There is a better way.

The mortar layer is all finished.

Duncan, the proud owner

The finished article. Later, we cut off the daggy bits covering the base and added some sheet metal angles to support the mortar layer.

DIY pizza oven plans free

If you require drawings and all you want is free plans, then check out Forno Bravo.

DIY pizza oven plans free is a common search term on the internet.  At you will find many interesting articles on building the perfect brick oven.

One hot pizza oven
One hot pizza oven

Then allow some time for the mortar and bricks to dry inside and out and then it’s pizza time.

Pizza oven running with woofs
Pizza oven running with WWOOF
Duncan making wood fired pizzas
Making pizzas
Hot wood fired Pizza
Just out of the oven

And, what more do you want with hot wood-fired pizza than a glass of Harris Organic Wine?