Mueller Pizza Lab
Gus's experiments in making pizza with very hot ovens.
Published Jul 17, 2012

Last week I took Marvin (my hacked up Weber pizza oven) to visit my friends at the OmniGroup, and I ended up making 16 pizzas for them in about an hour (with help from Omnian Jordan Johnson who put on the toppings for most of the pizzas). Sixteen pizzas! That's a new record for Marvin.

I've also managed to not change anything about Marvin for over a month which is another record for me. I think it's safe to say that Marvin is pretty much stable at this point, so I might as well write down what his final form looks like:

To start off, you'll need a Weber 22.5 inch grill. The cheapest one is about $99 bucks (the "Silver" model, which is what I have), though if I had to do it over I'd get the Gold model which has a better way to trap the ashes.

Next you'll need a Kettle Pizza. They sell a couple of different models of this, but the basic one is all you need and that's $142 on Amazon.

Marvin has two stones in it- the one I cook on is a FibraMent 16" grill stone ($67.00). I've tried a bunch of different stones, and this is the only one that hasn't cracked on me (yet). The grill version also comes with a metal plate for the stone to sit on so it's not touched directly by the flames. Turns out this works as a great dampener as well so I don't need to stack two stones like I have in the past.

The second stone is the "Grilled Pizza Stone" ($55) which I talk about in a previous post. This guy sits on a second grate ($22) above the lower stone. It's job is to lower the ceiling, absorb, and radiate heat.

If you want to add a swinging door below (and you do!) you'll also need a hacksaw, a hinge, and a lock. This will cost… oh around $8 at your local hardware store?

So that brings the total to almost $400 with tax and shipping and such. You'll of course need some charcoal and hardwood to bring the temp up to 900° (I'm using apple wood right now), so that will add a bit more to the cost.

So there you go, all the materials you need to make a portable wood fired oven at home.

Optional: Insulated gloves to handle opening the door or adjusting things, a fire poker / claw guy to adjust the wood or add more through the lower door, and a laser thermometer to see how hot the stone is before you put your pie on.

Now here are some recent pics:

Yes, you can make pies like this at home.
Yes, you can make pies like this at home.

Quick note and a warning: Marvin gets really fucking hot. Please don't burn your house down, and keep a hose close by just in case.