Anyone built a much taller oven?

Our backyard is on a pretty decent incline and we have basically made it usable with retaining walls. No issues there. However, I was wondering if anyone had built one of these significantly taller than the standard base? By significantly, I mean 3-4 feet taller. If I could do that, the oven could be accessible from our deck. Otherwise, if I have to put it down lower in the yard I am afraid it wouldn’t get used as much.

I would certainly take precautions and keep it 2-3 feet away from the deck and maybe even put some fire retardant material on that side. I read in the plans that I should consult with a structural engineer if you go much higher than the plans but I was wondering if anyone had built one much higher before.



Welcome to the BrickWood forums, Clint!

Your rough plan makes sense. You do want to be careful about your deck.

I tried to check the photo galleries but the main site appears to be “down” this morning. I’m sure BrickWood can point you in the right direction as to past builds.

But you do want to discuss your plans with a structural engineer. The standard base is designed to bear the load in a “squatty” fashion, keeping its center from exerting much stress on the block walls. If your build becomes taller than the base is wide, you start losing that secure base.

I am completely not an engineer, but I’m sure you’ll need to consider some kind of incremental mod in your base dimensions. The base itself is designed much stronger than it needs to be, especially when the concrete block voids are filled with high-strength concrete.


Just saw your post. I am in the process of building an oven integrated into my deck. I had a GC doing some renovations which was helpful in a couple ways. Here is what I did.

  1. With the help of the GC and a backhoe, dug to the frost line. It was a long way down, I am in Montana. :wink:
  2. Compacted the ground with a jumping jack. Built a form that was larger than the specified base, added some gravel and rebar. Poured the slab. I can’t remember if the form was 6" or 8" high. See picture.
  3. Using the same dimensions as a normal “grande” base, built up to the deck level. Poured a “floor” in place. Picture attached.
  4. To make it bomb-proof, I core filled everything.
  5. Attached is a picture of the above-ground portion of the oven for scale. Probably about 7 feet above ground and 2.5 feet below. So much taller than a normal oven.

Let me know if that helps.

  • Mark

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Mark, these photos are so helpful. Thank you!

As I’m looking at them, I do wonder about one issue, and you may already have thought of it. When your oven is working, and afterwards, you are going to have hot flames and embers to deal with. I don’t think it’s going to be a big issue with the pergola (which looks really low, but I’m sure that’s more to do with the camera than the design), especially if you are using a chimney with a spark arrestor.

But you will need to protect your decking in the area immediately around the front and sides of the oven. Most ovens are built away from the house, and are surrounded with turf, dirt, gravel, concrete, or similar materials that aren’t subject to heat and flame damage.

Your oven intrudes into the deck area itself, so the mouth of the oven is about four feet above the planks. I’m wondering how you plan to keep stray glowing embers off those surfaces. Like I said, I’m sure you’ve got a plan, and it would help others.

My question is not strictly academic. My next door neighbors had a nice deck that include a covered pavilion where their smoker lived. One summer late evening we smelled smoke and looked out at about the same time a passer-by noticed the same thing. The neighbors had their house closed up and the A/C running, so it took the fire department arriving to finally get them out back. Glowing embers from the smoker had dropped through a vent and onto the wooden planks, and yes, they were just about to flare. Since the deck was attached to the house, the house would have been next, and the neighbors wouldn’t have known until their kitchen was on fire and the smoke alarms went off.

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