So, you want to make a woodfired pizza at home. Are you tired of all those pre-made oven pizzas? You’re in the right place. If you don’t have a pizza oven, don’t fear, you can convert your fireplace into a pizza oven.
You can convert your fireplace into a pizza oven, however, you will face some challenges; with heat loss, room to cook, smoke, and other issues. The type of fireplace you have will directly impact if you can actually cook pizza in it.
Keep reading this article to find out how you can make your pizza oven with only a fireplace in your home. You’ll be an expert fireplace converter after reading this article!
Types Of Fireplaces That Will Convert Well Into Pizza Ovens
Large woodturning fireplaces are really the only type you can convert to a pizza oven. The fireplace is unlikely to have sufficient depth to house an entire oven, but you might be able to utilize the flue if you’re prepared to push out the far side of the wall.
Premade metal fireplaces, pellet stoves, or gas fireplaces really won’t work for a pizza oven.
While cooking in a well-maintained wood-burning fireplace is entirely safe, you should never cook in a gas fireplace. Chemicals from the gas will also contaminate the food you’re consuming, which isn’t great. You’ll need to stick to wood-burning fireplaces if you want to cook over an open flame!
The Challenges Of Changing A Fireplace Into A Pizza Oven
While you can convert a fireplace into a functioning pizza oven, you will face some logistical challenges. You may need to put in some intense manual labor to compensate for the design differences between these two heated objects.
Chimney Issues And Rerouting
The chimney comes first. Heat will escape through a chimney with an aperture at the back of the oven, and you’ll never reach pizza temperatures. The oven flue for your retrofitted pizza oven would have to be rerouted to match the existing chimney, requiring considerable demolition.
Another option is to reroute the flue from the oven vent back over the dome and into the existing chimney.
Since the flame tends to ascend to the top of the chimney, and wood fireplaces have large front openings you do lose a significant amount of heat there. One of the benefits is that if it draws well, there won’t be any issues with smoking you out.
However, you’ll need to make arrangements to block it off for baking and roasting. To prevent excessive heat loss in the front, use something that is metal or glass and fireproof to retain heat within your fireplace.
It will be easier to convert if your existing fireplace has a concrete base and is surrounded by a brick wall, a fireplace, and a hefty fireplace insert.
You may cook at a variety of temperatures in your fireplace, ranging from 160°F for gradual roasting to over 750°F for high-heat grilling. The cuisine is grilled over wood, which imparts an unrivaled taste (not to mention a leg up even on your charcoal or grill).
Between 450 and 500 degrees, F is the ideal oven temperature for pizza (250 to 260 degrees C). Specific pizza oven temperatures range from 800 to 900 degrees Fahrenheit.
To achieve the perfectly cooked pizza, you will need to maintain this temperature in your fireplace at this level and cook the pizza evenly.
What Wood Should Be Used In The “Pizza Oven”?
Dry, seasoned hardwoods like oak, maple, ash, beech, and birch are ideal for burning in your pizza oven. When it is compared to other woods, oak is arguably the safest material. It is the easiest type of wood to obtain and burns quite hot.
How to Build A Pizza Oven If You’re Fireplace Is Unsuitable
If your fireplace is unsuitable for converting into a pizza oven, you can always build your own pizza oven. This process requires some hard work and hard-to-obtain materials, but it may well be worth it if your family are pizza-lovers.
How To Build A Pizza Oven At Home
You can build your own pizza oven in six steps if you can source suitable materials and are committed.
Step 1: Design and craft the plinth. This step should take around about 4 hours of manual labor.
Step 2: Make the dome mold. This task will take about 1 hour of your time.
Step 3: Research designs and craft your first oven layer. This process takes about 6 hours total. 2 hours for crafting the oven layer and 4 hours of drying time.
Step 4: Cut the entrance to the oven.
Step 5: Build the brick opening of the oven.
Step 6: Craft the final shell.
How Much Does It Cost To Construct Your Own Pizza Oven?
For an average-sized oven, the cost of materials to create a brick pizza oven is over $950. The most costly option is a brick oven. If you build your own clay or concrete oven, it will cost somewhere between the figures of $275 and $350.
If you don’t want to build anything permanent or that costs a lot of money, check out this cheap model you can make from materials at your local Home Depot. This will cost you less than $100
While it is possible to convert your existing fireplace into a pizza oven, it can be highly time-consuming. It can quickly become a logistical nightmare depending on the type of fireplace. You will need to ensure that you have the correct safety measures in place.
All in all, while it may be slightly more expensive, you will probably be better off building your own pizza oven from scratch or buying a pre-constructed pizza oven. If you cook pizza a lot, this is well worth your money and will save you the time and effort of trying to convert an existing fireplace.