OFF-GRID: How to Build a Cheap Backyard Brick Oven

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you'll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

by the editor of Feed Your Family No Matter What (now available in paperback)

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for off-grid ways to cook. I found this great video that shows you how to easily make a brick oven in your backyard for just a few dollars.

Modern Refugee shows you how it’s done in this video:

Modern Refugee has got some great videos, so be sure to follow him on YouTube.

You don’t even have to wait for an emergency to use this oven. It would be a great addition to your hot-weather cooking repertoire.

I love projects like this that don’t require a whole lot of construction skills. Next weekend, we’re going to try to make an oven along these lines for homemade pizza.

(You can learn more about off-grid foods by checking out our free QUICKSTART Guide on what to eat when the power goes out.)

Need a pizza dough recipe?

This recipe is from The Flat Broke Cookbook, available in PDF or paperback.

Ingredients

  • 2.5-3 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp of active dry yeast
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Stir water, sugar, and yeast together and allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Add olive oil and salt, then stir in the flour until well blended.
  3. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, then let it rise, covered, for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425F.

To Make Pizza

  1. Knead the dough again, then roll it out and place it on your pizza pan.
  2. Add your toppings.
  3. Bake the pizza at 425 for 20-25 minutes until the crust is done and the cheese is melted.

If you’re making this in an outdoor oven, you may not be able to get the heat to 425, so adjust your cooking time. You will need to rotate it at least once during the cooking time – be sure to watch it carefully!

Looking for some thrifty pizza ideas? Check out this article with 7 yummy ways to eat pizza.)

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Have you ever made an outdoor brick oven?

Have you made or cooked with an outdoor oven? Share your experiences in the comments below.

About Daisy

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, adventure-seeking, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty; 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived; and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. Her work is widely republished across alternative media and she has appeared in many interviews.

Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books, 12 self-published books, and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses at SelfRelianceand Survival.com You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

  • That was an awesome, inspiring video!
    Keen to share the making/cooking/eating with my permaculture group!
    Thanks Daisy and Refugee

  • Cute design with minimal cost.

    But one thing that caught my eye is the smoke. If one is in a survival situation where one wants to keep hidden, that smoke can give one away. I saw it already happen. A person was illegally camping in a national park. He was very well hidden. But the smoke from his cooking fire gave him away. He was arrested.

    If you need to cook over a wood fire in a survival situation, a better option is cook over this kind of stove http://www.focuscampingstove.com/product/mini-backpacking-stove-campfire-ring . A little one-man version of the same technology is like this https://www.amazon.com/Ohuhu-Camping-Stainless-Backpacking-Potable/dp/B0125U36Q2?SubscriptionId=AKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q&tag=duckduckgo-ffab-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B0125U36Q2 . The secondary burn eliminates almost all the smoke. I personally prefer to steam bread instead of baking it, though that rules out pizza. It’s easy to make a steamer, harder to make an oven.

  • OMG, Daisy, you created a monster with this one LOL! DH watched this and wants to make one! (I won’t complain!) Thanks for the introduction to Modern Refugee, I am not a bit youtube user, but now I know someone I can look to for inspiration and ideas!

  • I have been kicking around the idea of building a outdoor oven.

    Concerning the pizza, try milk instead of water. I think it makes for a more tender crust.

    Also, save a piece (bout a cup) of the dough. Put it in a container in the fridge for 2-3 days. It will slowly ferment, have a slightly alcoholic smell to it (called a pre-ferment). Add that into your next batch of bread dough. It will give it more character/flavor AND I have found bread will last longer before developing mold. By 3-4 days longer than bread made with out the per-ferment.

    • Saving dough is also known as lievito madre…mother yeast.. look it up and you find how to make this yeast with various base ingredients BUT I hope you have lits of friends because once this grows and you keep feeding it…it GROWS.. you’ll have enough yeast to supply ALOT of bakeries 😉
      However good to know how to make lievito madre…when we were in cvd lockdown here in Italy…..no flour sugar or milk was easy to find but yeast …not even paying in gold was it found. Worth knowing how to make it.

      • Hello Angela!
        Thank you for that input.
        Funny enough, I just made my first go at Italian Bread the other day! Turned out well. It use a pre-ferment or lievito madre that was as much (by weight) as the regular bread flour.

    • If you are making bread, substitute 1/4 cup of cream for that amount of water and eliminate the tablespoon or so of oil and the bread will taste a lot nicer.

      Plastic bread bags keep my bread still fresh after a week.

  • I cook in a wood oven. Aka…fireplace. If its a bit taller yet enclosed…you use a triangle pedestal with live coals underneath and your terra cotta pan on the pedestal. Here in Italy it was widely used during the old days. Once you have tasted foods prepared this way you notice a huge difference in flavors. Yes…takes longer to cook this way and you need to keep coals underneath always but it is so well worth the time.
    They also do something called fuoc’sopr e fuoc’sott’…..basically coals under tripod and a flat pan cover with slightly raised edges and coals put on top. Phenominal taste.

    • We have a type of dutch oven with short legs and a flat, rimmed lid, called a “spider.”

      The legs keep the dutch oven off the coals, which you would pile underneath it, and you would pile more coals on the top.
      Good for camp fire cooking or fireplace cooking.
      I just got one from Lehman’s, which is an excellent store for things useful for off-grid living.
      Haven’t used it yet, but I hope to bake bread in it this fall.

  • Another way to avoid the occasional government prohibitions on picking up forest wood or stealth wrecking problems with smoke is to buy or build one of the various types of solar cookers. The current version of the “All Season Solar Cooker” [Model “Camper”] on solcook.com or on Amazon is a panel cooker that works from sun-up through sun-down … and is fairly portable even if a bit large for backpacking. For determined frugalites there are DIY plans on YouTube for a version of the light-weight/dirt cheap/globally portable Copenhagen style panel cooker. There are also box cookers (with lesser usable hours, roughly mid-morning through mid-afternoon), double-wall vacuum insulated solar glass tube cookers, or even large Fresnel lens solar cookers (for which you need really effective welder’s eye goggles for protection) for quick high heat applications.

    –Lewis

    • Lewis,
      I think if we get to the point where there are government prohibitions on picking up forest wood or worrying about smoke, we are in a whole different kind of SHTF.
      A few years ago, I was in the fields with the livestock when I smelled someone cooking something. The closest home was about 80yrds. The next, about 130yrds. Based on the wind direction, I think it was the 130yrd home I was smelling.

      Some of the Germans are experiencing their own heating issues now and into the coming winter. As I understand it, there are no wood stoves to be had in the entire country. For a while, firewood was trending.
      I consider ourselves lucky to get the upgraded cast iron wood stove when we did.

      • Per 1stMarineJarHead:
        “Lewis,
        I think if we get to the point where there are government prohibitions on picking up forest wood or worrying about smoke, we are in a whole different kind of SHTF.”

        Since Daisy’s audience is very much international … I try to respect situations that may affect offshore readers as well. In the case of government prohibitions on forest wood fired cooking, it was an alternative methods cooking video on YouTube that I saw recently from a Canadian narrator. Whether the globalist simulation in July 2021 “Cyber Polygon” of a widespread power outage will be followed by the real thing (as has happened following other such simulations they’ve done), my gypsy fortune telling crystal ball is as cloudy as anyone else’s.

        In no way was my mention of various solar cooking technologies intended to demean the quickie brick-built DIY backyard oven that head-lined today’s article. I am however addressing the SHTF possibilities when/if widespread famine changes the game rules. When starving multitudes smell your cooking smoke, learn of your water supplies, and sense that what you have might keep their children from starving … suddenly the quickie DIY backyard brick oven (that worked so well during civilized times) becomes a red flag liability warning to the neighborhood that what you have they desperately want.

        In such desperate times, the covert use of light-weight, portable, non-smoking cooking technologies (such as solar — maybe even in combination with thermal cooking concepts) might be a vital strategy.

        –Lewis

        • Yes, solar cooking is a nice option.
          I recently built a solar cooker/oven thats roughly 20 X 14, with a collapsable/fold down top that cover the glass tray top n it holds the cookware inside,
          It is very lightweight n easily storable in my van.
          I have yet to try it out but plan to soon.
          Excellent videos on youtube for making these.

  • This is almost the same recipe that I have used for 40 years, only (minute) difference is I use 1TBSP (tablespoon ) of yeast
    (Red star) . I have trouble with blood sugar and I LOVE pizza so I divide the dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a 12 inch pizza … I eat one , freeze one , and share the other 2 with neighbors… I bake at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes or in a “horno” (outdoor oven) for 7 minutes.
    I baked some night before last using whole wheat flour ….
    They are ok but I’m going back to my organic unbleached bread flour until I have to use the whole wheat.

  • That is a clever design for an oven.

    For making bread, I already steam bread instead of baking it. It takes about the same amount of time, but in the absence of a regular oven, steaming regulates the temperature so that the bread is properly cooked. I’ve also heard that steaming preserves more of the proteins in the flour. I use a Chinese steamer like what can be had at oriental grocery stores.

    I also saw a person who was well hidden, yet was betrayed by the smoke of his fire and arrested for illegal camping.

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