Beer Keg Pizza Oven (wood Fired)

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Don Runk

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Longing for a wood fired pizza oven but without the room for a proper brick job I built my own out of 50L stainless beer keg.

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Putting it simply you light a fire in the bottom, the fire heats 2 bricks which retain the heat and cook the pizza base. Close the lid and the entire keg gets VERY hot VERY quickly. From the time you light the kindling your bricks are heated and ready to cook on in 30mins. ALOT faster than traditional pizza ovens. Pizza's typically take 2 mins to cook.

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Front view. I weld on handles 50mm out from the faces of the keg. they are only warm to touch when the keg is fired.

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The "lid" is cut along the bottom of the weld where the keg collar (top bit with the hand holds) is welded on. A stainless hinge is welded to allow the lid to open fully. Use heavy duty stainless hinges. The weight of the lid is quite a bit hanging off the hinge.

25mm above the center weld seam drill holes to poke rod (10mm) through to support the bricks. Space evenly so bricks are supported well. this is the perfect height for a standard house brick and gets the pizza close to the lid (when closed) to cook the topping properly and as quick as the base will cook once on the hot bricks.
 

Don Runk

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4.jpg

Cut a 150mm Dia hole in the lid and weld on a flue. and fabricate a butterfly valve inside the flue. (150mm s/s tube is not cheap though)
Alternatively i have cut a 125x125mm square hole and used the piece i cut out welded on with hinge as a "door" to control the amount of airflow.
Generally you only need 2 settings for the flue. full open to heat. And restricted 80% for cooking. So the square method works rather well. open the flap to heat and shut to cook. the hole that the spear was in is the perfect amount of air flow when cooking.

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The fireplace door is cut along the centre line weld (for the top) and 25mm up from the base weld (bottom) and if you lay a tape measure around the keg the width is 400mm. *note* when cutting door be careful as it is under tension. when you cut through it'll spring back a bit and flatten out. Jumping up and down on the door or rolling if you have one will get it back to the correct shape.

You'll also notice a small vent in the back also (100x5mm) alternatively use a series of holes drilled in the back area (up a bit from bottom to allow for coal buildup) while not entirely necasary it does give a more even burn of the fire.

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Weld the door on with a medium duty hinge and come up with a closing mechanism. i made a 3 stage system so it can be locked in different places to control airflow. It isn't really necessary either. 90% of the time mine is either fully open or closed. (the gap around the door along with vent in back is plenty to feed the fire)
 

Don Runk

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Few things i forgot to mention.
before anyone points the finger the keg i used for mine was salvaged from a scrap joint. the spear system was stuffed and had a split seam both of which didn't matter.

you can buy 50L kegs and i recommend doing that rather than steal them.

I've made a heap of these for friends and family now and the system just works wonderfully. Even the not so bright bloke or the one that's had one too many homebrews can run one.

here's one i made for my father in law.
i attached a spit motor mount to one side and a hook to the other so he can use it as a spit also. Wont fit a large leg of lamb but it'll fit 2 large chooks no problem.

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Liam_snorkel

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Thanks for posting this. What a work of art.
No doubt I'll throw you a few Q's when I get the chance to start building one
 

tanukibrewer

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Awesome design, thanks for posting ya pics.will have to show my mate who is a boiley and bribe him with beer to weld up a keg for me,
 

Rowy

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One of my sons is a 3rd year apprentice Boiley.....................I can see some work coming up for him. Great idea bloke love the post and the description with pics :icon_cheers:
 

TidalPete

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Beautiful Don Runk!

Was thinking of Tony's Smoked Malt Thread as I did a walk along the beach this arvo & planning on doing a Google to find a reasonable alternative.
POOF! (No smartarses please :p ) & WHAMO & there you are. :super:
Any tips, etc that you can add to your great thread re your build greatfully accepted.
 

TidalPete

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PS --- I have no doubt that I can adapt your pisa oven to smoke my malt. :beer:
I assume you using fire bricks? I have those on hand already. :beerbang:
 

Don Runk

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thanks everyone. highly recommend building one.

I have smoked in mine before and it worked a treat. i just got a good bed of coals up and dumped a heap of wet wood chips wrapped in foil (with a few holes in the foil) onto the coals. closed up the keg and off it went.
you can do just about anything on them. Patio heater, BBQ (i remove my bricks and place a grill on the bars), spit (with motor), pizza/bread oven, smoker.... now if only i could mount my boil kettle to the top...hmm..

I did try using fire bricks. or at least that's what the guy said he gave me. turns out they took a REALLY long time to heat up so went back to your everyday solid clay house bricks. Never had a problem with theese.

The way you tell when the oven is ready to cook on is when the bricks "clear" Basically when you first fire the oven up the bricks turn black with soot. as the bricks reach temperature the soot layer on them burns away and the bricks appear . well. clear. from memory the temp is around 450c.

Happy to help if anyone needs any more info. Keep me posted if anyone's doing a build and when your done i'll post my tried and tested dough recipe and tomato sauce recipe.
 

doon

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How much you charge to make one for someone?
 

jlm

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Thank Jebus that was made out of a 50L job. I've seen far too many old 18gal kegs turned into BBQ's or similar in the last 12 months. 18gal kegs have one job, and one job only in their retirement........becoming part of someones brew rig.
 

freek

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Don,
That is awesome. Really good design! It looks like you also my two favorite party specialties. Wood fired pizza and home brew.

I have the bunnings portable 250kg unit. If I light a big fire inside it takes about 90 minutes to be ready, if I light a small fire about 60 minutes. For a big fire it will start off cooking pizzas every 2 mins and after about 20 pizzas its cooled down to the point where it takes about 5 mins per pizza. If I light a small fire it will cook about 8 pizzas before it then takes 5 mins per pizza.

How many pizzas can you generally cook before it runs out of energy?

Freek
 

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