How to Make a Hearth Oven

By Prev Info - January 21, 2023

A hearth oven can be used as a backyard barbecue.

A wood-fired hearth oven may seem to antiquated and difficult to use. However, a hearth oven can be made with different types of materials and used to bake breads, grill meats and cook other foods. Outdoor ovens can also be used as backyard barbecues and fireplaces to gather around on crisp autumn evenings. A hearth oven can be made of various materials, and can be used as a decorative heater or for practical baking and grilling.

Things You'll Need

  •     Sand and clay
  •     20 to 40 cinder blocks
  •     40 to 60 bricks
  •     Mortar
  •     Bucket
  •     Trowel
  •     Standing grill


  1. Clear an area for your hearth oven by removing grass and plants. The area should be larger than the circumference of the oven itself. Place the hearth oven away from the house, other structures and trees.
  2. Build the foundation of the oven by placing clay or sand in a circular shape on the cleared dirt patch. Arrange the cinder blocks and firmly compact them into a circular shape on the clay or sand. This creates a fireproof foundation for the hearth oven.  
  3. Add another layer of bricks or cinder blocks to insulate the bottom of the oven and raise the hearth off the ground. Approximately 40 inches high is average for an hearth oven.
  4. Build the oven form by placing a dome of compacted sand on top of the hearth, in the size you want the oven. Mix the mortar with water as instructed on the product bag. Place bricks on top of the sand dome in an arch shape. Affix the bricks of the walls and domed roof by applying mortar with a trowel. Make an arched doorway at the front of the oven.
  5. Let the mortar dry completely for several days to firmly set the bricks. When dry, dig out the compacted sand through the arched doorway of the oven. Sweep and wipe away any remaining sand to completely hollow out the oven.
  6. Place a standing grill inside the oven. Use your hearth oven by placing coal or wood beneath the grill and using the top to bake, grill or cook.

Tips & Warnings

  1. Constructing a hearth oven requires masonry and building skills. Get a professional to make this if you do not have adequate skills.
  2. The foundation of the oven can also be made with upside glass bottles that are partially buried in the sand or clay.
  3. The hearth oven can also be made in a circular tube shape, open on one side. Use a metal plate for the roof of the oven.
  4. The hearth or stones around the oven can be made wider, to prevent flames spreading from any sparks that fly from the oven.
  5. Prevent children from getting injured by constructing the hearth oven so the doorway is high off the ground. Also, cover the doorway of the oven when it is in use.
  6. Always have a fire extinguisher readily available when using a lighted hearth oven or other type of open flame oven.
  7. Keep dish towels, paper, wood and other flammable items away from a lit hearth oven.





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