Wood Burning Ovens On A Budget

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Question From: Robert in MN

“Do you have experience with DIY wood burning pizza ovens? Was considering building my own for my outdoor patio area. Maybe put it on a trailer or some mobile type device... would love to hear some real world experience - TIA”


HH ANSWER:

Your guests will never value your business more than you do.

If you’re talking about an oven that’s mostly there for ambience/decoration that’s one thing… but if you’re talking about a piece of equipment that’s almost solely responsible for the quality and consistency of your food - I’d consider doing it right or not doing it at all.

I’m not saying you have to bring in a Fontana, Pavesi or a Valoriani oven from Italy but DO buy a manufactured piece or kit and hire an expert / someone with experience to install it. It might not be as good as a customized Stefano Ferrara oven (or as pricey) but you’ll get a level of consistency far greater than you might by building your first...not to mention the potential building and/or fire code violations you are likely to encounter as an amateur.

As another option, one of our chef consultants recommends exploring the story / example set by Flatbread Co. who uses a standard oven design kit yet invites the community to be a part of the building process…and even customize the (exterior).

The result: Oven designs that are unique to each location and built, in large part, by the community they serve. Their pizza may not be a traditional Neapolitan pizza (more of a 72hr aged cracker - topped with signature herbed oil and various toppings) but the appeal of a food product made by and for the local community is undeniably strong.

Remember, there’s a lot of sage wisdom in the old adage: 

“Good work is expensive but cheap work costs even more.”.

-Josh Sapienza