Monday, March 25, 2013

Outdoor pizza oven kits

Revised on April 27, 2016

I am revisiting this post with some updated information.  I have considered creating kits for building brick ovens the way I build them myself.  Having built many ovens, and as I talk to and consult with people building their own ovens from information on this blog, I better understand the challenge for a first-timer wanting to do it his or her self.

A set of pre-cut dome bricks would be easy for me to deliver.  The difficulty comes when you are splicing the mouth arch to the dome.  And because mortar joints vary at lease an eighth of an inch, the bricks may not be consistent from one oven to the next.

What is the solution?
In investigating the market for cast refractory kits, from really cheap to high end, I've found that I can offer my on-site services along with the bricks for a cost that is competitive with the best kit ovens.

I am not attempting to sell a thousand ovens a year (as any manufacturer would need to).  By hand building your oven, even inviting you to assist me, I know that the oven is built properly and that it is exactly the size and design you want.

I can understand the attraction of kit ovens; one of the first oven I built was from a kit.  I soon found the flaws of refractory concrete shells and the restrictions that an oven designed to be turned out in a factory imposed (poor proportions for mouth and face).

So, if you want a kit that includes the builder, contact me.  If you need to economize, there are multiple other options that I would advise that you approach with consideration.

Below is the former  post:

Of the four words in the title, only one of them accurately represents the work I do as a true brick oven builder.  Here's why:

  • In all but the most moderate weather environments in the U.S. (or internationally), an OUTDOOR brick oven is a luxury for which there are a dozen days a year of perfect cooking weather.  Even here in New England, where the women are tough, the men can cook, and the children wear shorts in January, outdoor wood-fired brick ovens will get a tenth of the the use of sheltered or home-attached brick ovens.
  • At first glance, the ovens I build may be seen as PIZZA ovens.  A brief experience later it will be discovered that they can cook anything...superbly.   Foodies see these ovens for what they are: the most versatile, traditional, cooking 'appliance' ever invented... the 'Holy Grail' of chefs.
  • Although 'OVEN' is what these are, once you have one, you will push the boundaries of what even an oven can do, grilling, smoking, and dehydrating foods as the oven environment changes.
  • Finaly KITS.  When people see the way the fire bricks in my ovens are cut it is natural to assume that a kit version of these ovens is possible.  Perhaps.  Getting the 400-500 pieces cut to form a dome would make anyone's job easier.  As a mason, I take the safety of these ovens seriously.  The way in which the bricks are assembled and the protective insulation around the oven as well as the flue system, is something best left to experienced builders, especially when the oven is built-in or adjacent to a house or restaurant.  Secondly, cutting bricks for kits would transform my work from artisan/craftsman to factory worker or I would need to hire someone to be the less-skilled brick cutter.
  • Not included in any kit is the custom exterior finish of the oven, the place where owner, mason, and style meet.
TBO instructed owner-built oven
There are many kit versions on the market, largely cast refractory.  I prefer the real fire brick dome and have been happy to assist owner/builders in understanding how to do-it-themselves.
I also offer an arrangement where the owner assists me, lowering the costs of the oven build while letting the owner have a literal hand in the project.

For the person who wants to do it all his/herself, I recommend browsing this blog for info and finding sources of materials named.  With care and physical effort, it is possible to build one yourself.  I encourage anyone wishing to do so.

Starting in 2014, True Brick Ovens will be building 32" interior diameter oven cores for shipment.  Contact us for more info.  Go to  and click on "Your Checklist".  That will supply me with sufficient information to fulfill your possible desire for a real brick oven.  Thanks.