Maryland Man Builds Wood-Fired Pizza Oven in His Yard

According to the Associated Press, “It was love at first bite for Hagerstown resident John Cangemi.”

“The scene was Italy, where Cangemi and his wife, Joan, were visiting family years ago. The thief of 54-year-old John Cangemi’s heart was the oven-baked Neapolitan pizza he tasted there. No American version could compare, he said.”

“Cangemi was so obsessed with the pizza that he built his own wood-fired pizza oven in his backyard, off Howell Road. The oven was completed about three and a half years ago and took him around four months to build.The front of the stove has a scene in mosaic tile of Teatro Greco in Sicily, with a view of Mount Aetna and the coastline. It’s a place he and his wife visited on their trip. He said that part of the tiling only took about two weeks. He plans to add mosaic tiles on the sides and back.Cangemi, a graphic artist, is doing the tile work himself.”

“‘Once you get all the colors in and you’ve got the design already laid out, putting the tiles on the mesh is pretty easy,’ Cangemi said. As for cooking, pizzas only take about two minutes to cook in the oven, which is heated to somewhere between 800 and 900 degrees.’The great thing about a pizza oven is, too, that when you’re cooking in an oven outside, it’s drawing in moist air from the outside,’ Cangemi said. ‘You can roast a chicken in two and a half hours and the breast meat and everything inside is completely moist. There’s no dryness whatsoever.'”

“Friends and family have benefited from Cangemi’s passion. He fires up the oven every weekend. ‘Rain or shine, snow, whatever _ doesn’t matter. I’m out here,’ Cangemi said.”