The Great Pizza Project

When good friends moved out of state, they offered us their pizza oven. We said yes immediately despite it being large, heavy, and fragile. We originally thought to put in the back near the fire pit but quickly realized carting it all the way to the far end of the yard would be impossible. I reluctantly agreed the only place for it was right in the middle of our back garden. I started moving plants and Jonathan started planning the oven move.

The oven was heavy enough to require a concrete pad (although oddly, it could be placed right up against our wood fence) so Jonathan framed out a pad and a friend in construction helped with the concrete since the amount was simply too much for our little mixer to manage. Unfortunately, the mix was bad–the sidewalk across town they laid crumbled within days–so they had to do it all over again.

The comedy of errors continued when the mover cancelled on us and we were left without anyone who could move it from our friend’s backyard to ours. To our complete surprise, we found that a local company who sells gun safes also had the equipment and people needed to move a pizza oven.

It ended up looking fine, although I did lose a good part of the garden. And it’s very nice to have it near the patio and the kitchen so that the cooking was simple.

After our first test run, we did trim the tree a bit to make it easier for Jonathan to manuever around the oven. He also added a post to hang his pizza tools on, as well as a place for an axe and a kindling cracker. It’s definitely a guy’s version of cooking.

Also, one side had been damaged when our friend initially placed it in his backyard–it’s just a lot heavier than you would expect. He had given it a rough patch which had held for years but we pulled some paint swatches and found a color that matched close enough. I suspect that with all the smoke, it’ll eventually blend in.

Our first try we made about a million different types of pizza and realized the best ones have limited ingredients. The crust is thin and the oven heats to about 800 degrees Fahrenheit so it’s important not to overload the crust. Eventually we’ll move beyond pizzas but right now, this is perfect.

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