Which Oven to Build....or just buy?

Hello everyone. I apologize if this has been answered but I did not see it in my searching. We are ready to build an oven and I am having a hard time deciding on which one to build. The other option of course is to buy a “dome” type one from a local company out here that gets them from Mexico built.

Obviously the buying it is the easiest way to go, but no where near as fun so we are leaning towards building it our selves since it would be a fun project for me and my wife and son, and I have plenty of construction experience that nothing on the build really scares me other than the time it takes and if it’s easy to find the material here in Phoenix.

That being said, our uses is going to be mostly for pizza. I don’t know that we will do anything else in it but that’s not a 100%. That being said we tend to lean towards the Mattone Barile for the style and the options to really customize it to look the way we want. I am struggling to decide if getting the Grande is a good idea or if it just ends up looking so large and for us to fire it up to cook a few pizzas it’s a complete over kill, etc.

We have plenty of room to put whatever we want, we are in AZ so we have lots of outdoor weather to cook (except maybe now we could just set the pizza on the patio and let the sun cook it!).

Any suggestions or thoughts?

Thanks so much!

I agree with you on the “build vs. buy” question. There’s no doubt it’s easier to build a base and plunk a precast dome on it, but if you have construction experience already, you will find building it yourself a very satisfying endeavor.

On the “regular vs. grande” question: well, I built a Grande and I don’t believe it looks like a monster looming over our yard. Without the plans right in front of me, I believe it involves just a few inches of length and width added to the slab, and an increment more material. The question isn’t really overkill, but whether you think there will be any time when you would regret not having the interior space. It won’t take more wood to heat it up (especially in that Arizona sun!), and personally I like having that increment of space so I can move pizzas around as they are baking.

I should add that it’s not at all a question of which oven makes you somehow more a “pro”—either is great at what it does, and the only thing you add with the Grande is a little more wiggle room inside.

Hope this helps. I know you’ve been at this research for a year now, which is a lot like my experience when I was thinking about this!

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Definitely go with the Grande. The amount of effort it takes to build either is going to be about the same (I built the grande). The grande gives you the space you need to build a strong fire, keep it in the back of the oven, and leave enough floor space to comfortably bake your pizzas.

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Thank you so much for the replies. I have been researching this for quite some time…I tend to over think too many things so it’s great to be able to bounce ideas off others in the forums that’s for sure. I think we will just go with the Grande. It will be a lot of fun. I am going to work on getting the package ordered and then hopefully it won’t take me another year to decide what I am going to make it look like! :slight_smile:

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Awesome, you won’t regret it! I took the supply list from the free plans to a local masonry supply yard, and before I knew it I had everything (4 or 5 pallets) delivered.

If I had to do it all over again, I think I would hire a cement truck for the base and the hearth slabs. While I did rent an electric cement mixer and it was a big help, it was still a lot of work lifting and dumping all those bags of concrete mix. The actual block and brick work was fun, and I learned a lot.

Please keep us posted on your pizza oven journey!

Yes that amount of cement is a lot of mixing! I do have a mixer so that would make it easier but a truck is a good idea.

I need to figure out where to source all the bricks and such here in AZ. I looked at the website that shows a few options out here so I need to make some calls and get the ball rolling. It is a snowball though as it’s also creating a new deck, etc. Never just an easy project! Ha ha.

I also plan on adding a propane burner to it. Had a thread about that a while back and got lots of good ideas. Would make it nice for no burn days here in Phoenix (although they exclude cooking I believe) but it would also make it fast to get fired up.

We are excited to go and my son who is 6 said he can’t wait to build it.

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