It’s probably useful for me to share some of the sources I drew on before I settled on a direction for this project…you may well decide to take a different route – and good for you if you do!
If you google wood-fired pizza oven, you’ll see there are thousands of sites.

And quite a lot of books too….

Russel Jeavons Great BookA friend bought this one for me and I love it. Written by chef and restaurateur Russell Jeavons, an institution in South Australia – Russell opens his restaurant for just 1 night a week and makes oven baked produce throughout the rest week. Here’s why.

Wood-fired ovens have been around for thousands of years and people have discovered that different kinds of food prefer different temperatures. When a fire in the oven burns long and hot enough the oven literally becomes full of heat or ‘soaked’ (something that can take up to a day depending on the size of the oven), it then starts to radiate heat. At that point temperatures are searing – up to 500deg C (over 900 F) and from there if the heat source is removed the oven will gradually cool sometimes taking days to do so.

Having spent all the time and effort to get it there then the smart baker learns to use every part of the heat – starting with a snack before the job of bread baking begins, followed by roasts then pastries finally in the last warmth of the fire egg custards and tarts.

Guess what that little snack cooked for the baker and his assistants in the first heat of the fire has become…yep you guessed it!

There are many interesting designs for smaller wood-fired ovens, and a few – but only a few have been developed with portability in mind. We’ll take a look at idea for portability in the next post.

In this first post, lets look at idea starters for ovens.

clay-ovenI love this web site from Simon Brookes – his blog details many of the finer points of building a clay oven – and the results a fine-looking effort at the bottom of his garden. Also the fact that he has been prepared to share so much is great – look forward to buying you a pint one day Simon!

oven3This oven  looks great – and could be something I look to build once I have some space of my own…

ovenAnd this one I liked for it’s simplicity…though the award for simplicity must go the to the River Cottage guys - Hugh Fernley Whittingstall’s uber brand franchise from South-West England. If you get chance to catch this episode of  “River Cottage Treatement” it’s great. And if you’re UK based you can do a course at River Cottage HQ – and check out this video footage about the course – it looks great fun.


Another stellar resource (and perhaps the one that I found most useful) comes from Yahoo in Australia – and this forms the basis of the design I decided to go for. Grab the PDF from the site (you won’t find a more comprehensive guide) and then  watch the movie…

More soon…

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3 Responses to “Part 1 - Wood Fired Pizza Inspiration”

  1. Steven says:

    Hi Simon and Miriam,

    Thanks for the pizza’s, truly superb, thank god the All Blacks one. Really appreciated your awesome hospitality.



  2. johnzo says:

    hi another pizza nut here! glad that i stumbled onto your blog - can’t wait to build my own wood-fired oven… hopefully sometime soon!

  3. I agree with you that wood-fired ovens have been around for thousands of years and people have discovered that different kinds of food prefer different temperatures. Thanks for sharing excellent link. Thanks for sharing an interesting stuff; I am looking forward to see some more post like this one in future too.

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