What Kind Of Bricks Should You Use For An Outdoor Pizza Oven?

A pizza oven is an outdoor wood-fired oven that is usually positioned on a chimney-like structure and used for cooking pizzas. A typical one might feature two or three chambers, depending on how large it is.

In this article, you’ll find that there are many different types of bricks you can use as they vary according to the size and/or shape of your pizza oven, but may also be determined by your needs when it comes to insulation or cooling.

Things To Think About When Selecting Bricks For An Outdoor Pizza Oven Build

To begin with, you should think about the purpose of your pizza oven.

You will find that depending on what it is to be used for, you may require different kinds of bricks for your outdoor brick oven, as each will have varying strengths and weaknesses.

Also, your design and structure will determine the kind of bricks that you want in order to build your pizza oven.

Where do you want the oven to be built and what structure would be best for it?

When choosing the bricks in this aspect, it is important to ensure that they are able to hold up to extreme temperatures withstanding temperatures of over 500 degrees Fahrenheit, which is when your oven will be at its hottest.

If you’re building an outdoor pizza oven that just needs a simple platform, then you can use any type of bricks as long as they are able to withstand heat.

Which Is The Best Brick Option?

Depending on your goals, you may be looking for the best brick companies. For example, if you want to build an outdoor pizza oven that will be used only occasionally, then you should opt for the cheapest bricks that can withstand extreme heat and still maintain their structure.

But, to me, the best option is:

Fire Bricks

Fire Bricks are also known as refractory bricks and are specially designed for high temperatures of up to 2800 degrees F. They’ll cost a pretty penny, but they won’t crack or flake in high heat. They are a great brick to use for commercial ovens, as they don’t absorb moisture and are very durable.

Build Tip: The best thing about using Fire Bricks for an outdoor brick oven is that it’s easy to make modifications later on if you want to alter the size of your pizza oven, as the bricks are resistant to high temperatures.

Pros

  • Very durable at high temperatures
  • No moisture absorption, so they will not expand or contract
  • Good insulation properties
  • Consistent color and texture

Cons

  • High cost

Other Types Of Bricks You Can Use For An Outdoor Pizza Oven

There are a number of other brick options that you can use. If you’re going to be cutting the layout or building your pizza oven from scratch, then a lot of it will depend on what kind of structure you’d like.

Some of the most common types of bricks that can be used for wood fire cooking include:

Solid Engineering Bricks

Also referred to as engineered bricks, these bricks are made of a uniform size and shape. You can choose between red or brown and they are generally made with a higher iron content than clay bricks. They’re very cost-effective and can be used over many types of structures such as chimneys, stoves and kilns.

Pros

  • Can be used on a variety of different types of structures (kiln, stoves, etc. )
  • Low-cost option
  • Consistent size and shape ( is not going to change in shape or size)
  • Have a great insulation property that can withstand high temperatures and will last for a long time. It is possible to use these bricks to build an oven, however you should consider using refractory mortar in between the bricks so that they don’t crack.

Cons

  • I don’t consider these to be the best looking bricks.

Storage Heater Bricks

Storage heater bricks are made from a mixture of clay, sand and water. Also known as SLH or special line heater bricks, this type of brick is made for use in storage heater kilns. They are usually red or brown in color.

The biggest selling point about these bricks is the fact that they can withstand high temperatures up to 2,000 degrees F. These bricks are considered to be one of the strongest, most durable bricks available and are made from a good quality clay.

This brick is most commonly used when you’re building an indoor pizza oven. It is available in a variety of colors and it is generally made with a clay base that can withstand high temperatures.

Pros

  • Great insulation properties.
  • Relatively cheap.
  • Long heat retention.

Cons

  • They take a long time to cool down – but that might be a pro too!

Normal Bricks That Are Clay And Kiln Fired

This is also referred to as clay brick and these bricks are made from a mixture of sand, clay, and water. They are usually red in color with a very smooth surface. Something that I like about this brick is that it’s easy to carve, so if you’re looking at doing the majority of your project yourself, then this could be an option for you.

They make for a great option for a pizza oven. They’re used in a wide variety of different projects, such as chimneys, stoves and kilns.

Pros

  • Easy to carve (if you have the right tools to do so) – this can save you time.
  • Durable.
  • They are able to withstand high temperatures.
  • Longer time temperature retention due to the insulation properties.
  • Can be stacked on top of one another with minimal mortar when being built vertically (if you want to build an outdoor brick oven.
  • Easy to acquire.

Cons

  • They sometimes can be prone to cracking due to the heat.

Clay Pavers

Clay pavers are made from a mixture of sand, clay and water. They are usually red in color. This brick is very versatile in the fact that you can use it for just about any type of structure, from stoves to chimneys, etc.

They make a good option for a pizza oven because they can withstand high temperatures, which makes it a very durable and durable option. While they don’t have the heat retention of the Fire Bricks and the other options, they are still a great option for an outdoor pizza oven.

Pros

  • Great insulation properties.
  • Easy to work with.
  • Brick can be stacked on top of one another when being built vertically ( if you want to build an outdoor brick oven ).
  • Easy to acquire.

Cons

  • May not be as durable as other options

Bricks You Should Not Use In An Outdoor Pizza Oven

There are some types of bricks that you should not use:

Concrete Bricks

Concrete bricks are made by mixing cement, fly ash and sand. They are usually gray in color, so they are not a good choice for an outdoor pizza oven. Don’t use these bricks!

The main reason to not use these is that they can crack during the heating process and if you’re planning on leaning them into the structure of your pizza oven, it may cause problems.

Bottom line, these just cannot handle the heat that you need for a pizza oven.

What Mortar Should You Use With The Bricks?

You also need to be careful in the type of mortar you choose for your pizza oven. It’s tempting to use mortar that you have lying around the house, but most of the mortars for bricklaying are not made for high temperatures and can crack or crumble in your pizza oven.

Make sure that you ask at your local home improvement store what kind of mortar is best suited for use with clay bricks. You’ll be able to find a refractory mortar that is great for use on a pizza oven.

Related reading – how much does an outdoor pizza oven cost?

Conclusion

Bricks are a very versatile material that you can use to build a pizza oven. It’s very likely that the bricks you use in your oven will be the focal point of any outdoor living area, so make sure you choose wisely.

You’ll need to consider both the type of bricks your looking for and then also the mortar for bricklaying.