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  • Writer's pictureStephen

The Rocket Stove Pizza Oven

Updated: Feb 27, 2018

Who doesn't like pizza? Wood-fired pizza to boot.

Our final exam at TAFE was to build a pizza oven. My teachers were highly practical, like that time we had to make our girlfriends a rose holder and water jug Valentine's Day. Good times.

Back to the pizza oven. It's had a pretty good life. Normally I run it on BBQ heat beads and it can cook a pizza in 3 minutes; any longer and I'm treating my guests like gods, presenting them with flaming burnt offerings.

I had an idea for a gravity feed rocket stove, and thought that it would be a perfect match for my pizza oven. Gravity feed rocket stoves are very efficient, require less supervision to keep them running, as gravity feeds the wood in for you - thus the name, gravity feed. It's what you need for an oven situation or a rocket stove heater.

Changing over from coal heat beads to the rocket stove was quite simple, and I can still use either or even both to introduce the smoky flavour to the pizza.

“I like pizza. Flat bread, plenty of olive oil, tomato paste and a plethora of toppings, including banana, you should try it!

If you want to see the details on how I built this and married the two together, check out the YouTube video. (There are two videos, this one details the building of the gravity feed rocket stove and Part 2, shows how I married the two together and the finished product.)

So how well does it work? I can hear the question burning in your brain.

Our current set up works about as well as our indoor electric oven; and we have cooked things other than pizza in it, like a whole lentil stuffed pumpkin.

The rocket stove doesn't create the crazy heat that the heat beads do, so it takes a bit longer both to get going and to cook the pizzas, but in a black out situation, it's a nice standby. I have a temperature gauge on the door but it got so hot it broke, so I can't tell you the exact temperatures we reach.

If you don't use the heat beads, and only the rocket stove, cooking time increases from 3-20 minutes per pizza, a little bit more normal and not quite so intense to watch and time.

I now have the flexibility of a dual fuel pizza oven, and a great talking point at parties.

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