For the casual pizza maker, it seems fairly obvious to purchase a smaller, cheaper and/or simpler pizza oven for your creations. For the avid pizza connoisseur however, the choice to build or buy your pizza oven may not be as easy. There are many factors which would influence your decision either way.
Buy your oven
A bought pizza oven has several advantages. Firstly and most obviously, there is little to no effort involved. Short of plugging in a gas bottle on an outdoor gas pizza oven, adding some wood pellets or plugging in the cord on a counter top electric pizza oven, there is pretty much nothing involved. They are usually very efficient, and most of the time it is actually hard to fail at making pizza. This is because ovens produced by companies such as Ooni or Big Horn are mass-produced and have been developed to expressly make pizzas at home with little complications.
Alas, the downside of shop-bought pizza ovens is that they rarely allow for any customization and often lack the flexibility to cook other foodstuffs such as meat and fish, only able to cook pizzas.
Build your oven
On the other end of the scale, building your own oven from scratch still has its advantages and disadvantages. The end result may have the potential to produce the most amazing results, but there are a few factors which determine this. The assumption is that if you are building your own pizza oven, it will be of the wood fired variety, as all other ovens can be bought with ease. Many people do not realise the skill involved in cooking a pizza in a wood fired pizza oven. As there are no elements, and fire is nowhere near as consistent, cooking the pizza evenly can be a bit of a task.
Then there is the difficulty in building the oven itself – probably a lot more work than learning to cook the pizza! The raw materials, the manual labour and the sheer amount of time and effort required are enough to put most people off. Getting it right will take some skill and patience but it’s not impossible if you’re confident in your handy work skills. But if you do build your own pizza oven then you will get a huge sense of achievement and the finished product will usually be very gloat worthy, and has the capacity to entertain a fairly large crowd at parties and functions. A DIY pizza oven is a great idea if you fall into this category.
Compromise with an oven kit
Finally, there is a middle ground. This is where the not so handy people can still get away with building their own pizza oven. Pizza oven kits are available in many countries. You can actually build a large outdoor pizza oven from a kit. This means step by step instructions with a degree of customization whereby you can still build and impressive oven without anywhere near the amount of technical know how required to build one from raw materials.
Usually these kits will consist of a ready made dome and base, leaving you the task of building a base for it and adding some customization.
What will you choose?
Whichever route you choose, there is no doubt that homemade pizza is leaps and bounds ahead of take out and supermarket pizza. What are you waiting for, get yourself a pizza oven!