Author Topic: Pizza Raquel  (Read 187025 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline sourdough girl

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 664
  • Location: Marysville, WA
  • First the bread, NOW the pizza dough!
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #360 on: November 04, 2007, 06:07:13 PM »
It has been fascinating watching all the steps with this project!
I notice that the oven seems to be in an enclosure, looks to be glassed in, but I guess it could be fine screen... I was wondering about ventilation?  Is there a roof of some sort on this enclosure or is it just a windbreaker?

Sure looks like an idyllic spot to cook pizza!!

~sd
Never trust a skinny cook!


Offline 2stone

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 520
    • 2stone blog
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #361 on: November 04, 2007, 06:44:29 PM »
pftaylor,

do you have to wait for the standard
21 day concrete curing cycle, or can
you fire up the oven before that?

willard
2Stone blog: www.2stoneblog.com

Offline pftaylor

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1113
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • Life's Short. Get Wood Fired Up!
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #362 on: November 05, 2007, 10:07:54 AM »
Hi sourdough girl,
The Raquel Oven is located on our pool deck which is enclosed with what Floridians call a "bird cage." A bird cage is a screened enclosure which promotes the year-round Florida outdoor lifestyle.

You bring up a good point about ventilation. The top of the bird cage is some twelve feet above the pool deck. The chimney should have plenty of space to dissipate heat.

2stone,
Not sure where the 21 day cure cycle came from but refractory materials generally require both heat and time to fully cure. Moisture needs to be slowly baked out of the oven. Chemical bonds require the presence of heat to properly develop.

We plan on doing this over a seven day period where the oven temperatures will be increased a little more each day. We have been casting the dome sections for the past two weeks so once the chimney is placed this weekend, we will fire Raquel up the following weekend.

BTW, I have read about your oven design will great interest. A couple of years ago, I commissioned an engineer to develop a similar enclosure for my infra-red TEC grill. We developed a few prototypes but never advanced the project due to my yearning for an authentic wood-burning oven. You are a true innovator and I wish you success.
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline pftaylor

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1113
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • Life's Short. Get Wood Fired Up!
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #363 on: November 07, 2007, 06:35:07 PM »
Today's update is quite minor in nature. I thought the community would enjoy seeing the load of oak which was delivered today. Cost for the "face cord" was $180 delivered and stacked. Cash only. Also included was a giant trash bag full of wood chips (perfect for flash blazing a pie without jacking up the heat too much).

How does that stack up with wood prices elsewhere? The wood was cut in 16" lengths and feels pretty light. According to the delivery driver, he estimated the wood has been seasoned for a minimum of 8 months and more likely 12 - 15.
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline abatardi

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 432
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Santa Clara, CA
  • It's MOOPS!
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #364 on: November 07, 2007, 09:11:34 PM »
My mom was paying $180/cord up in maine for seasoned hardwood for her wood stove, but that's not all oak... stove length and split but not stacked, just dumped in the yard. 

- aba
« Last Edit: November 12, 2007, 03:30:53 AM by abatardi »
Make me a bicycle CLOWN!

Offline pftaylor

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1113
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • Life's Short. Get Wood Fired Up!
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #365 on: November 17, 2007, 11:53:15 AM »
abatardi,
$180 for a full cord is a killer price. I paid $150 for a third of that and another $30 for delivery and stacking.

I have another update to report. The dome is finally finished. The vent and chimney are revised for initial placement this upcoming Wednesday. I know, I know, I fell victim to a two week "uncontrollable" delay. I wish it weren't the case.

We opted to go with an insulated double walled 10" chimney. Costs more, in fact a lot more, but it really is the optimum system available. The cap is significantly larger than what I imagined...
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline abatardi

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 432
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Santa Clara, CA
  • It's MOOPS!
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #366 on: November 17, 2007, 01:03:52 PM »
cool.  so where is that pipe going to fit in?
Make me a bicycle CLOWN!

Offline pftaylor

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1113
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • Life's Short. Get Wood Fired Up!
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #367 on: November 19, 2007, 03:01:31 PM »
abatardi,
The chimney pipe will fit into the cast vent which was poured yesterday.
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline pftaylor

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1113
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • Life's Short. Get Wood Fired Up!
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #368 on: November 24, 2007, 06:01:24 AM »
Some progress to report from yesterday's activities and an update.

We should be able to test fire the Raquel Oven today after wrapping her in a ceramic blanket. The specific purpose will be to determine what oven builders call the "draw." Ultimately, the curing procedure we will follow will be to bring the temperature up to 250 degrees F for 5 hours, then raise the temperature by no more than 50 degrees an hour. Unfortunately, the curing fire may have to wait. A lot.

My travel schedule has finally caught up with me. As fate would have it, I now find myself on the brink of finally being on the verge to properly bake pizza only to have to be in travel status through mid-December. The pizza gods are really testing my resolve...
« Last Edit: November 24, 2007, 06:24:19 AM by pftaylor »
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline csacks

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 94
  • It takes some big onions.
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #369 on: November 24, 2007, 10:55:06 AM »
I can't tell where the vent is.  Please show some more pictures when you get the chance.  Craig


Offline pftaylor

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1113
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • Life's Short. Get Wood Fired Up!
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #370 on: November 25, 2007, 08:33:49 AM »
After wrapping the Raquel Oven in a ceramic blanket, the first firing went off without a hitch. The draw was impressive. It was tempting to fire her all the way up but we went the conservative route and stayed with the program. 

My son said, upon seeing the white smoke billowing out of the chimney "it looks like a new Pope was elected." Funny how a younger generation sees things...

csacks,
Sorry for not posting better photographs of the vent but it was intentional on my part to not show it. Why? Well, we constructed a temporary section on the front to test the draw. The final section will be finished upon my return from Europe. 

The ceramic blanket insulating the dome will ultimately be four inches thick. Four inches of 2,300 degree rated ceramic blanket may be a bit of overkill for a residential oven but I'm convinced more insulation is better than less. While two inches could probably do the job, four inches removes all doubt.
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline mmarston

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 534
  • Location: Altamont, NY (Albany)
  • I can stop eating Pizza any time I want!
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #371 on: November 25, 2007, 01:19:39 PM »
In upstate NY full cords of mixed hardwood run around $200 wet-$240 dry. Unstacked!
Nobody cares if you can't dance well.  Just get up and dance.  Dave Barry

Offline Amir

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 41
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #372 on: December 01, 2007, 04:14:10 PM »
pftaylor, great thread and great project!  I am in the same boat, researching the best oven I can get for our kitchen remodel.  In the process, I have learned a few things which you seem to be incorporating in your design.  Was curious whether they were intentional or not :) :

1.   You are putting the floor inside of the dome.  I assume this lets it maintain its heat better as opposed to having the dome sit on it.

2.   You are using wedges instead of larger casting.  I assume you are doing so to avoid cracks from expansion of much larger castings.

3.   You have a low dome as to get more heat to the top of the pizza and also to reflect more of it to warm the floor.

4.   You are using ceramic blankets which achieve better insulation factor as opposed to insulating refractory material.  You get to have more insulation for less space.  I assume commercial companies don’t like to go this route due to higher cost.  For me though, given the indoor situation, lower weight is important.

Now the part that I don’t quite understand is the poured refractory for the center piece.  Other designs have that be a separate casting.  By pouring it, aren’t mechanically bonding the pieces together and hence, increase the chance that there will be cracks?  I assume this is helpful in one dimension as it reduces the thermal impedance of the pieces due to lack of seams there, where most of the heat is concentrated.  But still, if you have a crack in the dome in the center, that would be an awfully bad place to have it I would imagine!

Did you make the above decision because it would have been too expensive to make the cast for the top piece separate from the others?

One other point Marco has made which kind of made sense to me was to curve the flu as to hug the dome.  This is said to warm it faster and/or to higher temp, aiding in combustion of the wood.  I notice that a number of Italian designs use metal flu formed this way.  Of course, others argue that a cast flu section has more thermal mass but I have seen no explanation as to why I would need to have thermal mass in the flu compartment.

Offline widespreadpizza

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1213
  • Location: NH
    • my beer store opening in june 2011
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #373 on: December 11, 2007, 10:54:03 PM »
Hey pftaylor any updates?  just waiting to see how its working........ -marc

Offline pftaylor

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1113
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • Life's Short. Get Wood Fired Up!
Pizza Raquel
« Reply #374 on: December 18, 2007, 09:49:32 AM »
widespreadpizza ,
I have just returned from traveling abroad and intend on reigniting the Raquel Oven Project as soon as my sleep patterns return to normal. I haven't been home a single day since Thanksgiving weekend so needless to say, I'm behind.

The oven will be fully functional (though not cosmetically finished) around New Year's day. I expect to serve Pizza Raquel then as I have no more travel planned for this year. The curing process has to be restarted and we may place the vent this weekend. There are no other obstacles to overcome.

Amir,
I look forward to your results as well. An overarching statement about the Raquel Oven Project is that every single aspect of the design has been painstakingly researched and implemented without regard for cost. The design goal was and is the ultimate oven for wood-fired pizza at home. Not in a commerical setting but in a residential setting. More to the point, in my specific setting. 

The Raquel Oven is primarily based upon my personal field research and incorporates the best design features of what has been accomplished till now by others and some new original ones as well. Frankly I owe a great deal to pizzanapoletana, Jonathan Goldsmith of Spacca Napoli, Bill/SFNM, and the community here in general. Without their guidance I would be eating potentially unhealthy coal-fired pizzas right now instead of being on the verge of wood-fired heaven.

Perhaps my largest influence came from pizzanapoletana with his precious posts and advocacy for all things Neapolitan. If I owned a pizza shop, and wanted to serve the best Neapolitan pizza in the US, I wouldn't hesitate to buy all his wares, including his Forno Napolitano oven and hire him as a consultant to boot.

Spending time with the exquisite oven at Spacca Napoli also greatly influenced my design choices. It was there that I saw first-hand a perfectly uniform 40 second or so bake. Spacca's oven was hand built by one of the premier families of oven building in Italy. In fact, it is the only true low dome oven I have personally encountered.

My affiliation with a professional oven builder of twenty-six pizza ovens gave me the courage to embark on this journey even though I'm likely to relocate in the next year or so. And that very reason is why we cast the dome. If I'm forced to move, I will build another.

Your question about why we didn't cast the center piece is a good one. The Raquel dome is 4.5" thick and very well may crack over time. Though with our time-proven curing process, and the very nature of our material composition, the likelyhood is lessened greatly. No one however can flatly state cracks won't occur in the future with complete certainty. That said, any cracks likely to appear can easily be filled.

If my design goal was to make a commercial offering I would certainly make the center piece out of cast. But that is not my goal. I also would not of incorporated the use of bricks lining the deck.

Keep the questions coming. That's how we all learn.
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline pizzanapoletana

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 958
  • Location: London -UK
  • Pizza Napoletana as it was made in 1730!
    • Forno Napoletano - Pizza Ovens
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #375 on: December 18, 2007, 12:20:09 PM »
Peter,

Thanks for the aknowledgment.

I understand your goal and the reason for the project but I am worry you have made few design and material choice mistakes that even in a home setting will potentially result in quite few problems.

About Spaccanapoli, as far as I know together with Il Pizzaiolo are the only true Neapolitan ovens built on site in America by the ONLY two rival families that have common design origin and teacher. Other then that there are only few (but increasing) number of pizzeria in US using mobile ovens built by the same criteria).

Anyway, I also did not understand the choice of the two sharp angles in the dome casts???

Anyway good luck for completing your project and I have no dubt of the step up you will achieve compared to your grill or any modified home electric oven.

Regards

Marco


Offline pftaylor

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1113
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • Life's Short. Get Wood Fired Up!
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #376 on: December 20, 2007, 10:26:45 PM »
Tonight I had the pleasure of baking the first "test" pies in the Raquel Oven. The focus was not on the pizza just the oven. I needed to determine the answer to the big question - does the Raquel Oven work? The final vent is still not completed and now likely won't be for a few more weeks (due to my engineer being in Boston for the remainder of the year) so I decided to give it a go rather than wait. As such I put together a quick dough and hoped for the best. Temperatures were not quite at maximum as I am still being cautious and conservative but none the less we recorded a consistent bake range of 80 – 87 seconds for all of the 12 inch pies.

Temperatures recorded just before the first pie was baked were as follows:
Dome temperature directly above wood: Maxed out the Raytek MT6 laser gun (932+ degrees)
Dome temperature at center: 887 degrees
Dome temperature at far end: 781 degrees
Side wall temperature nearest fire: Maxed out laser gun
Side wall at center rear: 833 degrees
Side wall temperature at far side: 717 degrees
Deck section temperature left front (partially supporting fire): 751 degrees
Deck section temperature left rear (partially supporting fire): 768 degrees
Deck section temperature right rear: 723 degrees
Deck section temperature right front: 719 degrees

The Raquel oven only took six small logs (triangle cut 16” long) and slightly less than two hours to get up to the above temperatures. I must admit, I was very tempted to jack the temperature sky high but I remained disciplined. The Raquel Oven felt responsive and was itching for more. A lot more.

The dough was a hybrid Raquel formulation utilizing San Felice flour with a short 24 hour cold rise and the famed Varasano preferment. As fate would have it, my wife had my camera this evening at a school event and I ended up using my Son's camera which had no flash. Sorry for the yellow hue.

A few new oven toys showed up today which are also shown with the pizza photographs. Special thanks go out to Bill/SFNM for his expert recommendation on oven tools. I still have an 8” peel coming which I could have used to spin the pies easier. One important note was that the pies seemed to bake uniformly. In fact, there was no need to hoist the pies to the ceiling for a uniform bake. While there is no law against hoisting, the Raquel Oven didn't need it - at least for tonight's experiment.

All in all, the Raquel Oven surpassed my humble expectations. Frankly, I had set a rather low bar since this was my first time operating a wood burning oven, the curing cycle wasn't fully completed, the vent wasn't completed, and my dough formulation had never been tested in a wood burning oven before.

This weekend I plan on achieving a sub 60 second bake. I trust the membership will enjoy the attached photographs of tonight's affair.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2007, 03:02:34 AM by pftaylor »
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline pftaylor

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1113
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • Life's Short. Get Wood Fired Up!
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #377 on: December 20, 2007, 10:28:01 PM »
More
« Last Edit: December 21, 2007, 02:57:36 AM by pftaylor »
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline November

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1876
  • Location: North America
  • Come for the food. Stay for the science.
    • Uncle Salmon
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #378 on: December 20, 2007, 10:40:11 PM »
Peter, congratulations!  Who likes wood?

Offline 2stone

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 520
    • 2stone blog
Re: Pizza Raquel
« Reply #379 on: December 20, 2007, 11:04:18 PM »
Congratulations
from me too!!

By the way what is the little gizmo
on the floor with your tools used for.

willard
2Stone blog: www.2stoneblog.com