My partner Roma and I started building our first pizza oven around 1982. I used an old cast-iron boiler. It was initially a success until I realised it was dropping rusted fragments on to the Pizza’s! I came to realise this was a common fault of cooking in metal ovens, it has now been turned into an outside open fireplace. It was then I began to build my existing oven closer to the kitchen, for more convenience.
I used a precast mould shipped in from the west coast of Australia, it cooked pizza brilliantly! You’ll often find my pizza oven operating on a Sunday afternoon awaiting friends, neighbours and sometimes relatives to attend our now regular Happy Hours! I keep telling them “bring your own toppings!”
I built a few other pizza ovens with friends using this same method, but the cost of the precast dome, and the weight and freight costs were a major hindrance. Often it took 5 good men to lift the cast dome into place. One time friends hired a crane to lift the oven into position! As well I built an oven cast in pieces, so I could get it to the rear of the house through a small side gate. Both operations I considered difficult.
Finally, it dawned on me there must be a better way. I had met a man at a party some 20 years prior, he told me over a beer that he was designing cardboard furniture for China and Japan. I never gave it much thought, until one day I imagined people sitting on a cardboard chair. Why not a strong cardboard structure that would act as a mould, and then you cast over it with refractory cement or other material, depending on what nature can supply! With the help and skills of a cardboard engineer, Pizza Oven Kit In a Box was born.
Refractory & Ceramic Supplies
50 Geddes Street
Mulgrave VIC 3170
Phone: 03 9560 4477
The Fire Brick & Refractory Company
8 West Circuit
Sunshine West VIC 3020
Phone: 03 9314 3211
Bianco Construction & Industrial Supplies
45-47 Secker Road
Mount Barker SA 5251
Phone: 1300 24 26 26