Concrete design mix


Can you provide a design mix recommendation for the base and dome? My plan was to strengthen with chicken wire. This is the dome, Afrer removing forms I will set on top of base with chairs.

Hello Ken, and welcome to the BrickWood forum.

Interesting design! But I’m not quite sure what you’re asking here.

Are you more interested in what kind of concrete you should be using for your base? Is your dome already poured?

The forms look interesting, and I’m guessing they are salvaged from a wire or cable spool because of the wood and the close spacing of the planks.

Please reply with a little more detail about what you need to know, and thanks!


I started this project based upon a you tube video where they built a pizza ove out of a yoga ball and concrete w perlite. I did not like the ball design so I came up with what you see in the pictures and the I found your posts which made me question where I was going with this. The original intent was to follow the yoga ball design with concrete but I could easily convert to brick with this design if that is the recommendation. If I go as planned will high strength concrete and perlite allow me to get to 750 degrees or do I need to switch to brick? I live in Michigan

Ken Tokarz

The oven can get up to 1000 degrees so not sure just concrete would work. I’m also in Michigan and the brickwood oven has taken everything Michigan weather has been able to throw at it for two years now.

Changing topics: If you decide you need/want it, I have a bag of fire clay and a bag of hydrated lime that I would really love to get out of my garage. :slight_smile:

I really wish those YouTube videos weren’t out there, but I also believe in the First Amendment.

The yoga ball idea itself is a clever hack, but pouring 4000psi or 5000psi concrete into a form and hoping it will make a lasting durable pizza oven is where the videos go wrong. Just for the record, you can cast concrete for structures like park fireplaces, fire pits, and cooking grates, and that’s perfectly fine. When you turn that casting upside down, try to enclose those flames and capture the heat for high-temperature cooking, the concrete will eventually break down. I also expect that you’d see some spalling—powdery leachate that will work its way into whatever you’re cooking.

So, yes, as @kgondoly Ken says, this would not be the right material.

If you want to use the mold you built, I’d suggest you look at the (free!) instructions for one of the dome-style ovens and note the materials list and instructions for casting. You’d also do yourself a huge favor by building the insulated base per BrickWood’s instructions. Otherwise, I doubt you’d achieve the 750 degree temperatures you’re seeking.

Everything you need would be locally sourced, and Ken does have those spare materials from his build…

And finally, if you want to shift gears completely, you could build one of BWO’s designs and really raise the odds in a northern environment that your oven will perform the way you want it to. (I am not an employee of BrickWood, nor do I get paid to say things like that! My interest is in encouraging people like us to get the ovens we really want.)

Let’s keep talking, Ken, and figure this out!

1 Like

Getting back, thoughts on fire brick with refractory mortar for done? Then insulate and another layer of face brick?

Ken, it sounds like you are trying to figure out what form of oven to build. BrickWood has instructions for both arch and dome styles. In my opinion, castable refractory mortar is more suitable for the dome style, and the brick/mortar construction you describe here is more suitable for the arch style.

From reading hundreds (thousands?) of posts here, the dome style is better if you mainly do pizza and baked goods. The arch style is better for more variety, as it can accommodate more volume.

In the end, I think you should start with what you want to cook with your oven, then decide the form it should take. Most of the folks here have built a BrickWood design, so their experience is based on what they’ve learned from doing that. Most of them, I’m sure, would agree that you would end up being very happy with the final product for a first oven project. I also know that some of them feel confident in designing and building (or modifying) a second project after building a BrickWood to spec.

Hope this helps, and let’s keep talking!