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How to Build an Outdoor Fireplace with a Pizza Oven

How to Build an Outdoor Fireplace with a Pizza Oven

More and more Kansas City homeowners are talking to our outdoor kitchen designers about including a pizza oven with their outdoor fireplace. We love outdoor living elements that do double duty, but unfortunately, we don’t recommend combining an outdoor fireplace with a pizza oven.

Why? Pizza ovens require specific materials and shapes to truly act as an oven—the enclosed space, the extreme heat retention, air convention, etc. If you prefer one or the other, we recommend using a pizza stone on a grate over your outdoor fireplace. If you’re set on a pizza oven, then there are some things you should know and consider to ensure you get exactly the cooking option you want.

Pizza ovens come in wood-fired and gas models. Each type has advantages. Wood-fired pizza ovens are for the pizza purists who want to replicate the best wood-fired pies and don’t mind stocking wood. Gas pizza ovens are for those who want the simplicity of gas cooking and ease of quick heating and cleaning. 

How Much Should You Budget for an Outdoor Pizza Oven?
While it may seem like an extravagance, including a pizza oven in your outdoor kitchen or living space is possible for almost any budget. There’s a wide range of pizza oven styles, ranging from full-sized, custom brick pizza ovens in the thousands to smaller, pre-fabricated options to much less. A portable pizza oven can cost hundreds. And, if you want the ultimate budget-friendly outdoor pizza option, there are pizza stones designed for use on your grill.

You’re Going to Need a Chimney for a Wood-Fired Pizza Oven
A chimney is essential for a wood-fired pizza oven. Otherwise, there’s no way to let the smoke, ash and excessive heat vent from the oven. Imagine, a wood-burning fireplace without a chimney to vent. All that smoke and ash would fill the room. The same goes for your pizza oven and you don’t want smoke and ash on your pizza, nor for it to burn to a crisp. The chimney and venting create excellent air convection for better cooking.

Gas pizza ovens, depending on the model, don’t require a chimney for venting.

How Hot Does a Pizza Oven Get?
The temperature inside a pizza can range from 400-900 degrees. The sweet spot is typically between 650-750 degrees, which results in a quick, crisp, fully cooked pizza. If you’re a thin crust fan, higher temps result in quick cooking times and crispy crust. If you’re on the thick crust team, a lower temp allows the crust to cook low and slow without burning.

Temperature regulation is critical, so it’s best to leave the design and materials selection to our experts.

Is a Pizza Oven Versatile Enough for Other Types of Cooking?
If you’re a baker, then a wood-burning pizza oven is going to expand your baking prowess. A pizza oven’s high heat and air convection are perfect for baking. You also can use your pizza oven to roast meats in a deep baking/roasting pan with the wood acting providing a smoked taste. Be sure to use hard woods such as hickory, cherry and apple for longer-lasting heat and the best flavor (pizza or meats). A well-designed pizza oven stays hot for days, so you can use it to bake or roast long after pizza night.

Mmm, Ready to Indulge in Yummy Goodness?
Pizza ovens are a fantastic addition to your outdoor living space or dream outdoor kitchen. Think of all the fun you, your friends and family will have enjoying pizza made from scratch topped with their favorite ingredients. It’s an investment that’ll never get old.

With so many options out there, count on our outdoor kitchen experts to listen to your needs and budget, then show you all your options. Stop by our showroom or schedule an appointment for a design consultation. Contact us today.