Did you know that outdoor woodfired pizza ovens can be used to make more than just pizza? Many are designed to be used much like a standard oven, but because they are woodfired, your stews, roasts and other dishes will have an old-fashioned flavour that's hard to duplicate in a modern indoor oven.
"I'd love to have an outdoor pizza oven," you say, "but how much does it cost?" Here's what you need to know.
How Much Does an Outdoor Woodfired Pizza Oven Cost?*
DIY pizza oven kits are the least expensive to buy and install. A small table-mounted pizza oven can cost around $550 and a table able to support its weight and the heat from the oven might cost an additional $250. Altogether, a small DIY pizza oven will cost under $1000. A small, clay oven like this will have a longer heat-up time and will be of limited use, but will be an attractive addition to your patio or barbecue area.
More robust DIY woodfired pizza oven kits range in price from $1500 to $2500. Kits in this price range can be ideal for family dinners or entertaining and are designed to heat up quickly and retain their heat.
These prices are for the kits only. Pizza ovens are very heavy (around 350-400 kilos) and if yours has to be shipped to you, extra charges will probably apply. Some kits also have optional extras that cost more.
Most fully assembled or custom made pizza ovens are made from kit components, but can include a concrete base and a custom made cabinet. A fully assembled oven can cost over $3000 (including the base). A custom made oven can cost $5000 or more, depending on the size of the oven and the base or bench size.
Choosing an Outdoor Woodfired Pizza Oven
A pizza oven can be a great investment or a waste of money. Some cheaper ones can take a long time to heat and do not retain heat well. When choosing a pizza oven, make sure you're getting one you will be able to use and enjoy. Look for these features:
- A refractory oven will heat up in as little as 30 minutes and use less fuel than a simple clay oven.
- Look for a large enough internal area to comfortably cook in. An internal area of around 850mm is considered adequate for an average family. For entertaining, choose 1000mm or more.
- A stainless steel flue will outlast a galvanised flue because it is able to withstand the high temperatures created by the oven.
- Insulation is a must. A good pizza oven will have floor insulation rated to 1200 degrees Celsius or more.
- Your opening size is important, too. The opening should be wide enough for you to comfortably work through.
- Ask for assembly instructions before purchasing a DIY pizza oven. Some can be more easily assembled than others.
- Kits do not come with concrete slabs, but some fully assembled kits may come with 60mm thick concrete slabs. Make sure you know what's included and what is not before you make your purchase.
If you choose a DIY pizza oven, expect to spend around three hours assembling the oven. Some models must be rendered after assembly. Because of the weight of the render, it is usually not supplied with the kit. Your instructions should tell you what you need to buy and how to apply render. Applying the render can take an additional three hours.
Many suppliers will include a CD with their kits. A CD will allow you to see how to assemble your pizza oven in a step-by-step presentation.
Make sure you know everything about the woodfired pizza oven you purchase. Know what's included in the price and what is not. Reputable companies will want you to be happy with your purchase and will provide you with all the details you need. When you do your final costings, include everything, including components that are not part of the purchase price and shipping costs. While a good quality woodfired pizza oven is a significant investment, you'll love using it and when you're not using the oven, it will be a stunning feature in your outdoor kitchen.
*Cost and prices in this article are indicative and should only be used as a guide. They also vary locally and are subject to market forces.