Building a pizza oven is an idea that surely crosses the mind of any pizza lover. But is it that easy? After all, how much does it cost to build a pizza oven?
We’ll talk about all the important aspects, from the necessary budget to the detailed steps of building one.
In the end, if it doesn’t seem like your thing, there’s always the alternative of directly buying the best oven for you.
How Much Do Pizza Ovens Cost on Average?
If you take a medium-sized pizza oven that has an average baking quality, the needed budget would be around $300-$500 on average.
However, the number varies considerably from one oven to another. The most important aspect to consider when choosing a pizza oven is the building material.
While electric ovens are perfect for indoor cooking and are a great alternative if you don’t have a backyard, wood or brick ovens are the way to go if you’re a professional looking to master the skill.
With that in mind, electric pizza ovens are probably the most budget-friendly, with prices that start from $150.
For some extra comfort, smart features like timers and adjustable temperature devices can be added.
Another idea worth considering is a countertop pizza oven. Smaller and more efficient, this model costs almost $150-$500.
Next in line, gas ovens are the middle alternative. With medium prices and respected quality, these pizza ovens are perfect for preparing a pizza every day of the week.
They are durable and affordable at the same time, with prices averagely starting from $450, combining the easy use of the electric model with the quality of the original brick oven.
Finally, the wood-fired pizza oven that can be built with your own hands requires a minimum average budget of $1000.
It can be made out of brick or metal, and it guarantees the best conditions for cooking those delicious Neapolitan pizzas.
Simple Calculation of How Much Does it Cost To Build a Pizza Oven
Now, for DIY amateurs and skilled builders, here is the necessary budget for building a pizza oven, depending on the used materials.
01. Brick Pizza Oven
This is the most expensive model described, but great quality and original taste come with a price.
A brick pizza oven is a perfect option if you’re truly passionate about the art of pizza making. It will surely impress your friend delight everyone’s taste buds.
While the professional oven requires at least $950 on average, the DIY alternative can be done with as little as averagely $200, including the cost of mortar cost.
Building any pizza oven requires building a dome. While other materials are more wallet-friendly, a professional brick dome with 200-250 bricks costs at least $700 on average.
However, it ensures higher durability, as well as better cooking.
You probably won’t need to worry about waterproofing the oven or adding dome support, and when it comes to the pizzas, their ticker, delicious crusts, and crispy taste make these ovens worth all the effort.
The next components are approximately the same for all pizza ovens. You need to build a heart(floor), a chimney, and a tunnel, each with its unique and crucial role.
Another aspect to consider is the size of the oven. The average brick pizza oven can fit about 10-14 pizzas at a time, so it will be enough for the whole family.
A DIY alternative for those who simply want to cook one incredible pizza at a time at a low cost involves 47 small, classic bricks and 2 larger bricks used as the heart and lid of the oven.
One amazing tutorial can be found on the YouTube channel ChefSteps.
Unraveling the physics of the best pizza oven, the channel presents a simpler, almost cost-free way of building your brick pizza oven.
02. Clay and Sand Mixture Pizza Oven
The perfect pizza is not only achieved in the famous brick oven. A clay & sand mixture called “cob” is also a popular material used for baking pizzas.
This option requires doom support and waterproofing, but it’s considerably cheaper than a more accessible material cost.
The cost of building a clay & sand mixture pizza oven can be under $200 on average.
With quality insulation and a layer that ensures rain protection, it may go up to $300 on average, but that’s about it.
As a support structure, a mound can be created from damp sand, while the insulation layer can be improvised using straw/wood chippings.
An efficient DIY way of building this oven is presented in detail on the YouTube channel “Totally Handy.
“Keep in mind that a quality mixt, as well as a powerful support structure, are essential for the success of this project.
Once you manage to apply enough of the mix to the structure and you ensure its stability, the support can be removed, and more layers can be added.
One creative idea shown in the video is to add a wire mesh fence for durability. Insulation is used to maintain the hot temperature in the oven and save fuel.
The good news is that it only costs you, on average about $50 for the clay dome and almost $120 for the large brick dome.
Its role is crucial and should not be overlooked. Insulation should be applied beneath the heart in all cases, as well as between the layers of the dome.
An average $50 chimney and almost $25 tunnel are also necessary for the final structure.
03. Vermiculite/Perlite and Concrete Pizza Oven
Remember all the details about the heart, tunnel, chimney, and insulation for your pizza oven.
Their cost applies to almost all types of ovens, with the mention that brick ones will always be more expensive, depending on their size.
When it comes to the doom, other wallet-friendly materials that replace bricks are vermiculite/perlite and concrete.
You only need an average of $100 for building the doom, as vermiculite is a common mineral you can use as a great insulator.
As an even better alternative, vermiculite can be combined with refractory cement to create special concrete.
Adding the insulation/waterproofing cost to the cost of the main structure (doom, heart, tunnel, and chimney), this project will need about $300 on average to be successfully completed with high-quality materials.
Step By Step Building & Cost to Build a Pizza Oven Outdoor
Now that we have established how much it costs to build a pizza oven let’s explore the steps for actually building one.
Step 1: Dome
Start by determining the perfect size for your dome, then make sure to check that you have a leveled surface.
You can create and use a wooden mold at first and add the bricks later if you’re looking to build a professional, large pizza oven, or you can start directly by building the foundation with the first set of bricks.
Next, you need to prepare the mortar by following the manufacturer’s suggestions. When it’s ready, apply it to the first set of bricks.
One efficient way is to place the mortar on the face of the brick and on one of its sides. Leave space for the chimney at the top of your structure.
As an alternative to bricks, you can use wet materials, such as clay or vermiculite concrete, for building the dome.
They need to be mixed and applied to a support structure that will be removed after the oven gains stability.
Total cost for 200-250 Bricks Dome: $600-$700 (on average)
Total cost for 50 Bricks Dome: $120-$150 (on average)
Total cost for Concrete Dome: $80-$90 (on average)
Total cost for Clay Dome: $90-$100 (on average)
Step 2: Hearth(Floor)
Fire bricks are heat resistant and are needed for the doom and heart of the oven. They will draw moisture from the pizza and create its crispiness.
The floor will require about 25 fire bricks.
Place the bricks in a herringbone structure to create the floor of the oven. Glue the bricks together using the mortar mixture from the dome.
Total cost for the floor of the oven: $70-$80 on average
Step 3: Support
A brick dome may require a mold, while wet materials, such as cob (a mix of clay and sand) or vermiculite concrete, surely require base support.
You’ll apply layers of these mixtures to the support structure.
For the brick dome, cut 2 wooden arcs and attach them together to create the mold. For the clay & sand dome, create a support structure from damp sand.
For the vermiculite concrete support structure, use wood chippings/ fire blankets or vermiculite.
Total cost: $15-$20 on average
Step 4: Insulation
Next, add insulation between the layers of the dome you just built and underneath the oven’s floor.
Use calcium silicate as a more efficient form of insulation, or improvise it using vermiculite concrete and other common materials, such as a fiber insulation coat stabilized with a wire mesh fence.
Total cost: $90-$100 on average
Step 5: Waterproofing
This step is important for the durability of your project, and it’s necessary, especially for pizza ovens made from wet materials.
A brick pizza oven can function without it, although it’s always recommended.
To create a water-resistant structure, after finishing the doom and the heart, cover them in a waterproof substance/mix. Buy it from the store or create it yourself DIY.
Total cost: $40-$50 on average
Step 6: Chimney
Build the chimney on the top of the doom, where you left an open space.
For a more professional appearance and higher efficiency, the chimney can also be placed at the front of the pizza oven.
Place the bricks on top of each other and seal them with mortar. For cheaper alternatives, create the chimney from clay/concrete.
Total cost: $30-$50 average
Step 7: Tunnel
This step should not create too many difficulties. The tunnel can be created out of the same materials as the doom.
For an improved appearance, bricks can be used. Fire bricks are not a must, as the tunnel doesn’t have the same importance in the cooking process as the floor or the dome.
As an alternative to heat-resistant bricks, regular ones or wet materials work like a charm.
Total cost: $20-$25 on average
Step 8: Tools
Last but not least, possessing the right tools for this challenging project is the recipe for success.
Start by finding a resistant set of gloves. They will be useful both while building the pizza oven and after.
Also, add some safety glasses and hearing protection if you’re going to create a wooden mold.
Next, find these tools: tape measure, level, spade shovel, chisels, garden hoe, concrete float, and of course, a trowel.
Depending on the type of oven you’re going to build, and the type of mold you’re creating, more specific tools may be needed.
Keep in mind it’s always best to have around a drill, hammer, and multi-functional utility bar.
Cost of Building a Pizza Oven With Oven Kits
So, building a pizza oven requires some skills, time, patience, and of course, building materials.
From this point of view, an oven kit is an item that can make your life easier.
Oven kits come in multiple sizes, covering a lot of options for the perfect pizza oven.
The cost of these kits varies depending on their specifications and content.
While a small, decent oven kit can be found at a minimum of $500 on average, more advanced and large options can cost as much as $10.000 on average.
The large range of these kits makes them perfect for anyone.
As an example, a simple kit that includes a 600mm cooking area for preparing a pizza in minutes, as well as proper insulation and reinforcement, costs on average $650 if it’s constructed with refractory bricks and quality materials.
How Much Does a Portable Pizza Oven Cost?
Now that we analyzed all the details about how much it costs to build a pizza oven, what about the cost of portable ones?
While portable pizza ovens have smaller dimensions, they offer a modern and efficient alternative to the classic ovens in our backyards.
They are way easier to transport and can be placed either inside or outside, depending on their specifications.
Even more, these ovens are way more affordable, as their price range starts from $200 and usually doesn’t exceed $1000.
The stainless steel offers durability, while the smart design ensures rapid heating and a delicious pizza that’s ready in minutes.
To add to all these, some models include special features, like a rotating plate or preheating function.
If you are more than happy with a well-cooked pizza and you’re not looking for the perfection of that original, crispy taste, these portable ovens will surely save you some time and money.
Is it Worth Buying Premade Pizza Ovens?
If building is not one of your best skills, there are a lot of other options out there.
You can hire a professional to do the job, or you can directly buy the oven that suits your needs.
For a simpler, more accessible option, a portable oven should be perfect.
However, if you dream of an outdoor pizza oven with exceptional function and an incredible appearance, a premade pizza oven may be the one for you.
So, to answer the question, getting a premade oven is surely worth it, but it depends on the person.
A premade oven is the most expensive option available, with a price range that starts at $1000 on average, but it also assures the best quality and durability in time.
Moreover, it’s perfect for pizza lovers who need to prepare more pizzas at once.
Tips For Building a DIY Pizza Oven
- Use a wooden mold before building a large brick oven, as it’s easier to properly calculate the dimensions and arrange the bricks.
- Make sure to add a chimney for a large brick oven or a lid for a smaller brick oven, as it ensures proper airflow and radiant heat.
- Use fire bricks that are heat-resistant when building the dome and the heart of the pizza oven. If the bricks lack this property, they will crack in time.
- Level the ground before you start building the foundation of any kind of outdoor oven
- For the small, DIY version of the brick pizza oven, air circulation must be achieved by smartly designing the structure. Make sure to let an empty space at the back of the oven that works as a vent.
- Stone bricks can be used as the floor of the pizza oven
- Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when preparing the mortar
- Vermiculite concrete can be used as a great insulator instead of the expensive calcium silicate board
- Clay & sand ovens can be stabilized and insulated using a wire mesh fence covered in multiple layers
- Don’t forget to add the insulation layer beneath the heart of the oven, as well as between the doom’s layers
How Much Time Does it Take To Construct a Pizza Oven?
If you have some free time and the weather allows it, an outdoor pizza oven can be built during the weekend.
Is There an Exact Number of Bricks Needed For a Pizza Oven?
Not exactly. The number varies depending on the size of the oven.
For the DIY version, 30 bricks will be more than enough for an efficient structure. Also, concrete blocks or clay bricks can be used.
Does The Pizza Oven Cook Only Pizza?
The short answer is no. While some ovens are not great at cooking other food items, others do an excellent job of preparing any sort of meal.
Portable pizza ovens are especially good at performing this function.
Is There The Best Material For Building The Floor of an Oven?
Considering all the history that stands behind the art of preparing pizza, the perfect material for creating the heart of a pizza oven is considered the Valoriani firebrick.
All in all, owning a pizza oven seems to be a requirement for any pizza lover who wants to experience an authentic taste and with so many options available, all you have to do is start searching for the one that suits you best.
Now that the question “how much does it cost to build a pizza oven” has been answered, it’s time to put your skills into practice!