Pizza Oven Stand
How to Select the Right Stand
When you look up resources about wood-fired ovens, a lot of people will see various articles about pizza stones, pizza fuel, and the like.
However, one thing that is rarely discussed but equally important is the pizza oven stand.
This structure will serve as the platform upon which the pizza oven will be built.
The most common method of building a stand is to use a blend of concrete blocks and reinforced concrete.
It is important to plan the process carefully to avoid wasting your time, money, and effort.
Thus, this article will discuss the considerations and processes involved in creating your own pizza oven stand. They are as follows:
Planning the Location
The first thing you must do is check if there are local regulations about creating a wood-fired oven.
If so, there might be restrictions on its location.
While most authorities will have no problems, it would be best to check early on to avoid issues in the future.
Secondly, survey the conditions of the desired site. You will need to find a location that can support the weight of the oven. Make sure that the terrain is solid and stable enough to support up to 5 tons.
Do not forget to consider the ground conditions for the rest of the year, especially during the winter.
Avoid sandy areas if possible, it would also be ideal to build it in a place that is not windy so that the smoke can rise without restrictions.
Similarly, a covered position will be ideal so that you can use it under any weather condition. However, If it can’t be helped, there are many ways to address these issues.
Determining the Size
The next consideration would be the size. You would not want to be one of those people who invest heavily in building their own oven.
But, eventually, realize that the stand is too small for what they want.
Make sure you do careful planning when it comes to this aspect.
One thing you need to factor in is the thickness of the oven walls. This is important as it will regulate the insulation of the oven. Don’t forget to account for the space you have. Be realistic in the process of building to maximize the efficiency of the oven stand you are building.
If you are low on space, you can adjust the design plan such as eliminating the frontal landing area. This will involve certain sacrifices, but it is one way to address low space.
Creating the Foundation
Once you actually get to work, you will have to dig the topsoil until you reach the clay base.
You will most likely need to provide a sub-base layer if the solid clay isn’t perfect.
A sub-base layer is often created using compacted crushed rock to support the oven.
You can do this by slightly wetting down the crushed rock and patting it down with the use of a whacker plate. You will also need a concrete foundation slab to support your pizza oven stand.
It would be ideally around 5” thick so that it can protect the structure from corrosion. Reinforcing steel bar should also be installed to prevent cracks and ensure longevity. Create a wooden box where you can pour the concrete.
This will serve as the formwork of your foundation. Feel free to use any form of timber, as long as it is straight and level.
Once you set this up, you are ready to add concrete— it is advisable to buy a mini-mix from your local hardware to save time and money. Be careful when pouring and don’t forget to use a concrete immersion vibrator to fully fill in the formwork. It will also allow the air bubbles to surface, ultimately leading to a sturdier slab.
Screed the slab to ensure that it is flat and wait for it to set and dry. After the initial set, cover it with a wet sheet and a plastic sheet to prevent dehydration and cracking. It is important to keep it perpetually damp by using a hose at least once during a 3-day period. Once you finish this step, leave the slab underneath the plastic sheet for 4 more days.
Blocking the Wall Structure
There are two options when building the walls of your pizza oven stand.
You can either use regular bricks, which you would need to reinforce by using twice the amount.
On the other hand, hollow concrete blocks will help make a straighter structure.
There are plenty of designs you can use when setting up the block wall.
Hence, design the walls around the foundation slab and don’t fail to consider the present condition of your work. When determining the height, it is important that you can see into the oven. This will be useful in the long run as it will reduce the need to bend down often while you are cooking your pizza.
Four blocks that are each 8 inches tall stacked on top of each other should suffice. More concrete is needed to fill out the hollow cores of the block.
When you do this, it is important to get a reinforcing bar that you can place in the center of the core. Box up the underside of your suspended slab. Attach pieces of timber to the inside face of the present block structure by nailing it to the block. Do this for all sides and then secure a plywood surface on top of these supporting edges with the use of screws or nails.
You can further reinforce the structure by filling in the gaps with silicone. After that, you need to reinforce the structure with a steel mesh bar to cover it properly. The next step would be to create the framing structure around the edges with the use of plywood.
Make sure that it exceeds the edges of the concrete structure. Once you finish this step, pour the concrete in the center. The process is similar to the creation of the foundation slab: vibrate, screed, wait, cover, and cure.
You now have your very own pizza oven stand and may now proceed to the rest of the pizza oven building process.
If you are not confident about the process, feel free to contact a local contractor and ask for advice on design, materials, and other considerations.
Careful planning is essential if you want to ensure effectiveness in both the financial and procedural sense of the word.
And be on your way to making great dishes with the right products.