Discenza Backyard Pizza Oven

I’m about to start on the actual brick work for the oven, but here are some pictures of the work so far

The site prep - dug into our hillside above the knee-high retaining wall

The first form

Curing the base slab

Slab complete

Part two, the block work:

The first two courses

The form for the side work area

Curing the side slab

The side work surface, this will be sheathed in exterior-grade tiles

Remaining base stages

Final course of block, coated in surface bonding cement

The form for the hearth slab

The hearth slab, with the perlite and portland cement insulated section (too small, so I’m grinding out some of the hearth slab concrete to make the insulation section bigger)

That’s all up to now, I’m finishing the insulation section, and starting on the brick surround tomorrow. If all goes well, I’ll be spreading sand and making my firebrick herringbone on Sunday.


Looks great. And after you correct the insulated part of the slab your going to be so much better off. And it will give so much peace of mind that its right.

Good luck.

I spent the better part of Saturday grinding and chiseling out the extra space for the insulation, so I didn’t get as much completed this weekend. On the plus side, I know that I’ve poured some ridiculously strong concrete.

First two courses done.

Perimeter completed, ready to start on the floor of the oven

Sand bed in place, going to install the herringbone of full bricks during the week, and do the cuts next weekend. Sunday I plan to start on the actual oven. Yay!


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looking good! don’t get in a hurry, it will come before you know it

Did some work during the week, since the slab grinding set me back a bit.

Lay out of the full-size firebricks for the floor

Floor finished, - lots of angle cuts, but the diamond blade in the miter saw did the trick

Something I should have done a long time ago…



The floor looks great! My wife setup our E-Z Up tent for me too. It kept me cool but also kept the mortar from curing too quick. You’ll be cooking in no time.

Good job! Your on your way.

It was a drizzly weekend, but I pushed through.

The second row was no more fun than the first, the form kept wanting to shift.

Once I finished the third row here, the form was going nowhere.

Had to stop here and make more mortar

Yes, the jobsite is a mess, but I’m getting better at the brick work.

This pile of bricks is starting to look like something!

This is where the rain chased me away from the project. I could have kept going, but it was hard to make mortar without getting the cement and lime wet from the drizzle.

Today was supposed to be a total washout, but the rain stopped long enough for me to make a double batch of mortar, ad so I pushed through and built everything but the back wall of the oven. My inner perfectionist came screaming out while making the chimney.

This week, I may lay down a few courses of the back wall, depending on the weather.

More to come, but I’m happy with my progress.


Monday was a soggy wet loss, so I worked some on Tuesday and today

Got the first five rows of the back laid up Tuesday night.

Finished the back (except for some trimming of bricks at the rear) and pulled out the form in chunks and crumbles.
It looks like an oven now!

Should I try and grind off those big mortar splotches?

I wouldn’t. I left those on my oven. You might chip out more than you plan.


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Good work!

Don’t worry about the splotches. Eventually your oven interior will have a coating of soot or ash that will camouflage them. You also risk damaging the joint underneath them, or even chipping a firebrick, which is susceptible to that kind of damage.

Yeah, I left mine…looks kinda rustic

A burst of productivity

I had this extra section of ceramic blanket after a double wrap

Is the extra insulation going to help or hurt?

Chicken wire is not very friendly coming off of the roll

I got it as tight as I could

The first coat of mortar is on
It’s not very pretty now

But we’ll fix that in post…

Today was a busy day

Final layer of surface bond cement
Looks ok on this side
Looks a bit messy on this side
After waiting 45 minutes, I misted with water and gave it a brush finish with a masonry brush
I think it looks pretty good from this side now.

And so begins the hard part of the build:

waiting 5 days before beginning the tempering fires…

We’re going to tile the outside of the barrel and close the opening, but those activities can be done after the tempering, right? We are also looking at a stacked stone treatment for the base, but we’ll see.

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Looks awesome! Your doing a great job. If your going to close the front that may be something you can do while you’re waiting for the stucco to cure. That way when you do the curing fires it all get cured at once. Just a suggestion.

Happy building!

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Got some smaller tasks done today

Cleaned the front row of bricks using very dilute muriatic acid and a wire brush. I think it turned out well.

Hung the holder for the peel and brush on the side of the house.

I will be cutting my leftover firebricks in half to use the finished faces to enclose the front of the oven. That should be happening this week.

Getting close to done!



Looking great! And good idea on cutting your leftover firebrick. Turning it over in my mind just a bit, and it will be thinner than standing them on edge (you definitely don’t want to lay them on their bases because it would be way too thick and wouldn’t leave enough of a ledge for the door). But I believe it will do the job.

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Got the front on, and did some of the burns

Closed off the front with thin slices of the firebrick faces

Laid out a nice matrix of paper, kindling and the first log to start my fires

Second fire burning brightly

Third fire, after cleaning off the front of the oven

Three more fires to go before we start cooking, and Thursday we will go get the veneer materials and I will do my best to make the outside pretty…