Making a brick oven can be a time-consuming and expensive home project, but it's worth it for the delicious food and cozy feeling. First, find an oven model that fits your home and your budget. Next, prepare a foundation for it by digging a hole and filling it with concrete. When it dries, start making the oven. Follow the template to acquire the materials and lay the bricks. Finally, use the oven to bake pizzas, bread and other delicious dishes.
Part 1 of 5: Choosing a Template
Step 1. Find designs for brick kilns
Building them is time-consuming and expensive, and if you get it wrong, the result can crack and throw away all your hard work. To build the oven correctly, you need to follow a blueprint. This can be found online or purchased at a local home improvement and home improvement store. Some examples:
- Pizza oven project (https://yvypora.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/forno-de-pizza/)
- Drum wood oven (https://vamosfeitomassa.blogspot.com.br/2013/05/forno-de-tambor.html)
- Faz Fácil website project (http://www.fazfacil.com.br/reforma-construcao/como-construir-forno-lenha/)
Step 2. Think about the size of the oven
Which design you choose will depend on how much space you can give up. For example, if you have a small garden or yard, you will need to make something that fits in them. Other aspects include:
- If building under a roof, the oven will need to be short enough to fit there. But see if you can get the chimney out of the roof to release the smoke.
- The oven floor will need to be large if you want to prepare large pizzas.
- Consider budget limits. If this is low, make a smaller oven.
Step 3. Choose a dome-shaped oven model
These are igloo-shaped ovens with wooden doors. Their rustic elegance can make your yard quite visually interesting. In addition, they cook food evenly and can be heated to very high temperatures.
- It can be difficult to build such an oven. Some projects even involve carpentry.
- They also take a long time to heat up.
Step 4. Make a drum-shaped oven
These are brick kilns built around a large metal drum. They can be heated quickly and are more energy efficient than some dome ovens, making them excellent choices for hobbyists who want to cook food quickly.
- Ovens of this type are usually sold in a kit that includes a furnace and a large metal barrel.
- Kits usually need to be purchased online, and their delivery fee can be quite expensive.
Part 2 of 5: Building the foundation
Step 1. Plan the base
Most projects include instructions for a concrete foundation. It will support the weight of the oven, keeping it level for several years. The foundation slab must also have at least the same dimensions as the furnace. But if you want to make it bigger, you can also create a patio or seating area near the venue.
A larger yard will require more materials and more construction time until the foundation is finished
Step 2. Make a shape for the foundation
Follow the instructions included with the kiln design to make a wooden form that will be placed on the floor and filled with concrete to form the base.
Use a level to see if the shape is straight. The more level it is, the more straight the foundation will be
Step 3. Dig a space for the foundation
Measure and use flags or chalk to mark the edges. Then clear out the large rocks and debris before using a cultivator to dig the earth. Most foundation designs call for a 15.5 cm deep hole. Cultivators can be rented or purchased from garden supply stores. When using them:
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions;
- Avoid digging too deep too fast. Dig only about 2.5 cm at a time;
- Water the site a few hours before digging to loosen the soil.
Step 4. Install the form
After digging the hole, place the shape in it, pressing down on its sides firmly to bring them into the ground. If you are having trouble installing this formwork, you may need to dig the sides of the hole a bit. After placing it, fill the spaces next to it with earth.
Step 5. Put some gravel
Pour a layer of gravel or crushed stones into the hole and continue until it is about 7.5 cm deep. Then compact well using a soil compactor, which can be rented or purchased at home improvement and gardening supply stores.
If you don't have a compactor, you can use your feet to do the same, but the result won't look as good
Step 6. Place a wire mesh and plastic cover
Cover the gravel with a layer of wire mesh and use a cable cutter to trim or shape it if necessary. Then put a plastic tarp on top and use sturdy scissors to cut or shape it.
Both wire mesh and plastic tarp can be purchased online or at a home improvement store
Step 7. Install a rebar grid
They will help to strengthen and stabilize the concrete foundation. Follow the kiln design to find out how many rebars will be needed. Typically, you install them on the sides of the form and use wire to connect the overlapping parts.
Some people think this installation is unnecessary and skip this Step. But without the rebars, the concrete base can crack after a few years of use
Step 8. Pour some concrete.
Mix a batch and pour into the foundation shape, completely covering the rebar grid. After filling the shape, use a piece of wood to level the top. Allow the slab to dry for a few days before continuing to build the oven.
- The amount of concrete needed will vary depending on the size of the foundation. For more information, use the chosen project.
- Concrete mixers and other equipment for pouring concrete can be rented from a construction supply store.
Part 3 of 5: Using the project
Step 1. Follow the instructions exactly
It's easy to make mistakes when building a brick kiln, and those mistakes can cause cracks, insulation problems, or even cause the structure to fall. If you follow the project, you avoid making them. Resist the temptation to skip steps or improvise, because by giving in to it, you could end up throwing your effort in the trash.
Step 2. Understand basic carpentry techniques
The project will ask you to build wooden molds or even a door of this material for the oven. To do this, you will need to use basic carpentry tools. Some of them include:
- A circular saw, for cutting straight pieces of wood;
- A jigsaw, to cut shapes in the wood;
- A drill to hold the pieces of wood together;
- A wooden level.
Step 3. Use the right types of bricks
The project will call for several different types of bricks. Ignoring the recommendations and using the cheapest or easiest to find can be tempting, but each type has an important function that extends the life of the oven. For example:
- Refractory bricks are used to line the inside of the kiln. They resist heat deformation and can quickly reach the correct temperatures.
- Red clay bricks are often used on the outside of the kiln. They help to insulate refractories and are also heat resistant.
- Other types of bricks, such as concrete, can be used at the base of the kiln. They are chosen because of durability and stability.
Step 4. Use the right cement for the bricks
Normally, when building a structure with this material, a concrete mix is used to cement it. But this same mixture, if used in the oven, can cause the bricks to crack when they expand because of the heat. Instead, prefer a mixture of clay and sand to cement the bricks together, as it will expand and contract at the same rate as the bricks.
- Follow the project proportions. He will usually ask you to mix six parts clay with four parts sand.
- Talk to a salesperson at your local home improvement store if you want to learn more about laying the bricks. It can indicate the correct tools and equipment.
Part 4 of 5: Building the Brick Furnace
Step 1. Support him
Use the cinder blocks to build this structure. Place the first layer in a square, with an opening in front. Use a level to see if it is straight and continue placing the cinder blocks until the support is about waist height.
- After stacking the blocks, fill a yes and no core with concrete to cement everything together.
- You can store the firewood in the space inside the rack.
Step 2. Make the oven floor
Assemble a wooden form in the shape of the floor, place it on the oven stand and fill it with concrete. Use a long piece of wood to level the concrete and let it dry for a few days.
For added support, place a rebar grid inside the wooden form before pouring the concrete
Step 3. Line the floor with refractory bricks
Lay a layer of them using the desired oven shape as a guide. Join them with a thin paste made of one part sand and one part clay and add water until the mixture becomes a thick paste.
Resist the temptation to use mortar to join these bricks together. It won't expand and contract with them, and will eventually cause them to crack
Step 4. Make the oven dome
Arrange the refractory bricks in a circular shape for the walls. When building, slowly slant the layers inward to give the rounded shape. You may need to cut the bricks into smaller pieces using a tile saw.
- Allow the sand and clay paste to dry on each layer before continuing.
- Leave an opening near the back of the dome for smoke to come out of a chimney.
Step 5. Build the chimney
Surround the opening at the back of the dome with a layer of firebricks and stack them over a square to make a tall chimney. Smoke from inside the oven will come out of the opening, and the chimney will direct it into the air.
You can also make the base of the chimney using the bricks, buy a ready-made metal tube and fasten it using mortar
Step 6. Open the oven using red bricks
It is through it that you will add the firewood and place the food. These entries are usually shaped like an arc, but you can make them square if you like.
- Use mortar to bind the red clay bricks together.
- The oven door can be made of wood, or you can just use loose bricks to block the opening when necessary.
Step 7. Cover the oven with insulation
The entire structure must receive a thick layer of insulating concrete based on vermiculite. Allow to dry according to the manufacturer's instructions. When dry, place a layer of red bricks around the oven to give it a traditional look.
Part 5 of 5: Using the oven
Step 1. Review the project
It will indicate how and where to light the fire inside the oven. Try to fully understand the process before lighting the fire, as if you try to cook without reading the instructions, you may burn the food or leave it raw.
Step 2. Buy an infrared thermometer
Different dishes require different cooking temperatures. Brick oven cooking experts can tell the temperature of the structure just by looking at it, but if you don't have that experience, you need an infrared thermometer. This tool can be expensive, but it's an important investment in your cooking experience.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions for using the thermometer
Step 3. Bake pizzas
Make delicious pizzas in your brick oven using the correct method. First, make a big fire in the oven. Let the fire reach the point where the flames touch the top of the structure. Then push the fire to the back of the oven to make room for the pizza. Place it directly on the brick and bake it with the oven open for one to three minutes.
- The oven needs to be between 343 and 371 °C to bake the pizza properly.
- You may need to add more wood every 15 to 20 minutes to keep the flame going.
Step 4. Make an overnight roast
Put wood in the oven and build a large, slow-burning fire. When it reaches 260 °C, the oven will be ready for roasting. First, gently push the charcoal into the ground, putting out the fire. Then put the roast in the oven and close the door. The residual heat will slowly cook the food overnight.
- This method works best with larger cuts of meat.
- The roast must be wrapped in aluminum foil inside a roasting pan.
Step 5. Bake conventional dishes
You can use the oven to bake at temperatures below 160 °C. First, light a fire inside it. When it gets to the right temperature, remove the charcoal to put out the fire. Place the dish in the oven and close the door. The remaining heat inside will cook the food.