Pizza Oven Buyer's Guide


Get your FREE Pizza Oven Buyer’s Guide and arm yourself with trustworthy information!


Buy with Confidence

These days there is so much information on the internet it can often be confusing trying to determine what’s trustworthy and what’s not. The Free Pizza Oven Buyer’s Guide is written by us at ABC Ovens and our aim is to take the confusion out of buying a wood fired pizza oven whether it is a finished pizza oven or DIY pizza oven. This way – you can spend less time researching and more time cooking!

Sick and tired of cowboys and misleading nonsense, I decided to put together this resource to help you, the public undertstand what’s trustworthy and what’s not, so you can know what’s good and what’s not. I also have a pizza oven business – ABC Ovens and we have our own range of DIY and finished woodfired pizza ovens. Please feel free to check us out.


Travis - ABC Ovens

My dad taught me when buying a car – see how well the doors close – if they have a tinny, cheap sounding noise when closing, the whole car is probably built poorly. For the pizza ovens though, check out how well the hearth bricks have been laid. If they are level, the chances are that the entire oven has been built well, with precision, with care. If these fire bricks are not level, it’s possible either the oven is cheap quality or very little care has been taken in building it. These small details can indicate whether the pizza oven overall is of good quality or not. There’s nothing worse when using a pizza peel, than constantly hitting up against the edges of the bricks.


Make sure the oven opening is able to accommodate a door that goes behind the flue, not in front of it. This will enable you to be more versatile with your cooking – allowing you to shut off the draft from the flu. This is important when slow cooking overnight, or for baking breads and cakes etc. The oven should have a complete return (10 – 30mm) behind the flu for a door to butt up against. Make sure the return goes from the floor right around to the other side – this will give you a better seal. The flue should always be at the front of the woodfired oven.

Your pizza oven walls will consist of dense refractory, and insulating refractory. Dense refractory is what you see when you look inside your oven. It’s the material that absorbs, and holds, the heat given off by the fire. The insulating refractory is the material behind the hot face refractory, and it radiates the heat back into the oven chamber. You shouldn’t be able to see the insulation. In simple terms, you can’t have one without the other. If you had dense refractory without insulation – your oven would take too long to retain heat, and you would be continually adding wood in an attempt to get it hot enough. It would be unsafe to touch the outside of the oven due to the temperature. If you have insulation with no dense refractory – your oven will not get hot enough to cook without a constant fire. This is because the insulation doesn’t retain heat – it reflects it. Insulation is also needed to keep your oven cool to touch on the outside.

Dense Refractory: Thickness really depends on the type of materials used. However, a general guide for a solid refractory wall is 50mm – 80mm. Anything thinner can increase the probability of cracking (precast ovens), and won’t get as hot as a thicker wall lining. 50mm is the absolute bare minimum for a dense refractory (castable) wall, and anything less shouldn’t even be considered. A thicker lining will take longer to heat up, but will retain heat longer, and use less wood over time. 

Insulation: Likewise, this depends on the material used. The most common, and by far the best, insulation on the market is Ceramic Fibre blanket. Second to this is Rockwool, which is adequate. If your oven is insulated with Rockwool – it should be at least 100mm thick. If it is insulated with Ceramic Fibre blanket – the minimum thickness is 50mm. These days manufacturers tend to steer away from Vermiculite and Perlite mixes, as they are messy and inferior compared to newer refractory technologies such as Ceramic Fibre or Biosoluble blanket.


Topics Include:

  • Introduction

  • Firebrick V Precast Ovens

  • Layman’s Guide to Refractory

  • Thermal Challenges Re: Refractory

  • Curing, Cracking & Water Content

  • Refractory Glossary

  • 10 Must Know Tips Before Purchasing Your First Pizza Oven

  • Good Questions to Ask

  • Mearsy Wood Ovens

  • Who Are ABC Ovens

Get your FREE Pizza Oven Buyer’s Guide and arm yourself with trustworthy information!


“After much searching and hunting I stumbled on your website. It was like finding gold.”

- ­Chris Gear