Convert your range into a pizza oven

Building a home pizza oven, fast and cheap



Want a pizza oven at your house? You can convert your regular range for less than $40.

The goal is to build a wide insert with a low ceiling that will concentrate the heat when baking. It should be wide enough to easily slide a pizza onto the base using a pizza peel or inverted cookie sheet (allow at least an inch on either side, so 14 to 16 inches wide for a 10- to 12-inch pizza), and shallow enough to make the most of the concentrated heat (allowing 4 to 6 inches of vertical clearance).

Measure your oven's inner dimensions so you know the rough size of the insert you want before you shop. Make sure your racks are in good condition to withstand the weight of the insert.

Then purchase materials -- firebrick and unglazed ceramic or terra cotta tiles and pizza stones -- that can withstand your oven's consistently high heat. Double-check at the store to make sure you have the right materials. If all that sounds just too complicated, you can still get a decent pie using a simple pizza stone or by lining your rack with unglazed ceramic or terra cotta tiles from the hardware store.

Pizza stones are available at kitchen supply stores. Unglazed ceramic and terra cotta tiles are available at tile stores and some large hardware retailers.

Firebrick can be found at masonry supply stores, several of which are listed here:

Armand's BBQ, 9400 Venice Blvd., Culver City, (310) 839-5555, www.armandsdiscount.com.

Balboa Brick & Supply Corp., 16841 Roscoe Blvd., North Hills, (818) 785-7492, www.balboabrick.com.

Pennsylvania Builders Supply, 6659 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 957-7620.

Sepulveda Building Materials, 78092 Forbes Road, Laguna Niguel, (949) 347-2100.

Thompson Building Materials, 141 W. Taft Ave., Orange (714) 637-7373; or 11027 Cherry Ave., Fontana, (909) 350-3000.

-- Noelle Carter