What ever size outdoor space you have there is a cooking option for you. One of those, and increasingly popular, is an Outdoor pizza oven. Traditional woodfired ovens look excellent but are not necessarily suitable for all spaces. So to make sure you get both your perfectly cooked pizza and the room to eat it outside. we take a look at how big a pizza oven you need in the article below.
Outdoor pizza ovens vary in size from small portable residential units to large commercial ovens. Larger ovens take longer to heat up and will maintain a steady temperature for longer. A good-sized oven for a small family will cover roughly 690-775 square inches and take two 10″ pizzas.
Pizza ovens typically have a spherical dome, so the hot air circulates evenly around the pizza to cook it faster. I needed to work out how big a pizza oven is, how much space is needed to have one built, and what I could expect to spend. Did I need a large oven, or would a smaller one do?
How Big is an Outdoor Pizza Oven
Outdoor pizza ovens come in various sizes, depending on how many people you’re regularly going to cook for and the style of oven you want to have.
If you’ve seen traditional, commercial woodfired pizza ovens at your local pizza place, you’ll know they’re big. Those floor-to-ceiling brick ovens are designed to have loads of storage space underneath for wood and to fit in several pizzas.
Even though we’re a family of four, I knew we didn’t need to go quite that large. I was also unsure if one of the small portable wood fired and gas-powered outdoor pizza ovens would be big enough. They looked great on paper, but I wanted something permanently in place.
I needed to know what would be a good-sized brick outdoor pizza oven for my family and how much space I would need to have clear for construction. My oven also needed to be raised on a platform to be at the right height.
While my heart was set on a traditional clay and stone oven, I discovered that even small firebrick ovens with a cooking surface of 20″ x24″ would easily set me back $2,600.00 with the stand.
If I looked for a larger prefabricated model, the smallest ones started at $2,850.00. The overall size of the oven was 34″ x43″, with a cooking surface of 28″ x32″.
It was clear that an outdoor pizza oven was an expensive business, and I wanted to avoid a pricey mistake.
What is a Good Size for a Pizza Oven
I discovered while researching that people often buy pizza ovens that are too large. We think we need to be able to fit four or more pizzas in an oven when it’s pretty difficult to manage more than two pizzas at a time.
The larger your oven is, the longer it will take to heat up and the more wood you’ll use. While wood might seem like a cheap fuel source, if you’re going to use a lot of it to heat an overlarge oven, it will soon add up.
Since it could take so long to heat them to the correct temperature, traditional ovens were built to retain the heat for a very long time. Modern residential ovens are often made of lighter materials that heat up fast but cool down quickly when the fires are out.
This information clarified that I only needed an oven that would take two standard pizzas. I wasn’t running a pizzeria or home bakery where I needed to keep the oven lit all day, so a good size for us would be on the smaller side.
Pizza Oven Dimension in Inches
I needed an outdoor pizza oven that would heat up quickly, take two standard 10″ pizzas, and fit into my garden space. The options were for round pizza ovens or barrel-shaped ones.
The barrel-shaped pizza oven specifications I found that would work for me were:
- Cooking surface – 28″ x 33″ to 32″ x 40″
- Total area in square inches – 690 to 775
- The smaller size would take approximately 25 minutes to heat up, and the larger about 40 minutes.
If I decided to go with a round oven, I’d need:
- a 34″ – 42″ diameter cooking area
- total area in square inches – 907 t0 1,385
If I did decide I wanted a large outdoor pizza oven that would take up to seven 10″ pizzas, I would need a lot of space and a long heating time.
A pizza oven with a 48″ by 56″ cooking space would cover an area of 1705 square inches and take over an hour to heat up – 75 minutes.
We have a series of articles in a cluster to help you make choices and decisions on the best Pizza Ovens for you, and how to maintain and even build them. You can check out the list below.
How Deep Does a Pizza Oven Need to Be
Pizza ovens need to be deep enough to accommodate your pizzas so that they are placed in such a way as to heat evenly. In a round pizza oven, the fire is on one side, and two pizzas are placed opposite – as though each pizza and the fire are the points of a triangle.
The heat moves from the outside in and is drawn toward the center. This movement bakes the pizza on the outer and inner sides.
How deep your pizza oven is will depend on the oven’s interior cooking size.
How Far Away From a Fence Should a Pizza Oven Be
Pizza ovens get very hot and need to be insulated, and raised on a suitable platform that can carry the weight of your oven. Some outdoor ovens might need a flue or vent to help draw the smoke out of the oven.
You will need enough yard space to ensure your pizza oven isn’t situated too close to any fences and is far from anything flammable such as washing lines or children’s outdoor play equipment.
Build your oven no closer than 3 1/2 yards from the entrance to your house, and don’t have the opening of the pizza oven facing the house.
If your pizza oven is well-built and correctly insulated, you should only need a few inches between the oven and your fence.
Can I Build My Own Outdoor Pizza Oven
If you are a reasonably skilled DIYer, you should be able to build your outdoor pizza oven, provided you meet all the planning regulations. Going DIY, especially if you have leftover building materials, can save you a lot of money, and I have seen some fantastic examples of homemade pizza ovens.
It looked like too complicated a task for my skills, but I did feel up to building my pizza oven base, which saved me some money I could put towards the oven style I wanted.
You don’t need a large outdoor pizza oven unless you have a huge family or are running a small home baking business, so choose a pizza oven that will take two regular pizzas. A smaller oven will take up less yard space and heat faster. A portable gas-powered pizza oven is a good alternative.