Author Topic: FORNO TOSCANO MANGIAFUOCO  (Read 1403 times)

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Offline rackhenry

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FORNO TOSCANO MANGIAFUOCO
« on: January 10, 2014, 03:35:28 PM »
Just came across this oven recently wanted to know if anyone has any experience?



Offline Michael061

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Re: FORNO TOSCANO MANGIAFUOCO
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2014, 11:01:28 AM »
I happen to be looking at this oven as well and comparing it to the Alfa Pizza Forno 4 Pizze oven. They seem very similar to me, yet the Alfa oven is about $1,000 more. So, I called one of Alfa's distributors here in the US - www.woodlanddirect.com. and asked them. The sales rep wasn't immediately knowledgeable about the Forno Toscano oven, but asked if he could call me back after he called the manufacturer, which he did. Unfortunately I was in the middle of preparing dinner and didn't have a chance to take good notes when he called back - which I will do when I speak with him again. I will also be calling the distributor for the Toscano Forno oven as well - Fontana Forni USA, and ask them the same comparative questions. The "gist" of what this guy told me at www.woodlanddirect.com (bear in mind, this is only his input and he's the sales guy) was that the Alfa oven has a better construction - 1 piece SS dome vs. a welded dome on the Mangiafuoco, the bricks are ceramic in the Alfa oven (better heat retention and durability, according to this guy) and they have a lifetime warranty (i.e. can be individually replaced at no charge). I noted that the weight of the Alfa is about 100lbs heavier than the Mangiafuoco, but still portable, and that the only obvious difference to me was the side shelves (which, by the way, are a very handy feature). But, they can't each weigh 50lbs. So, my next thought is - is the steel gauge different, which it is. The Mangiafuoco is a 441 gauge and the Alfa is a 430 gauge. Honestly, I have no idea what that means other than basic research I did that seems to indicate the ability of the steel to withstand higher temps (Type 441 Stainless Steel is a ferritic stainless steel which provides good high-temperature strength (exceeding that of Types 409 and 439 Stainless Steels)). Lastly, the rep said that Alfa invented the SS portable pizza oven and that their ovens (in general) are in use everywhere in Italy. I have no basis to believe this claim so, I actually emailed my cousin, who is from and lives in Italy, to ask him for his opinion. I still have research to do here before I decide which one to pull the trigger on. I am only interested in a portable oven as we will be moving in the next 3 years and I want to take it with me.

Offline rackhenry

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Re: FORNO TOSCANO MANGIAFUOCO
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2014, 03:12:41 PM »
Hi Michael,

Thanks for the feedback! I emailed Fontana Forni USA to get the skinny on a number of critical factors so will post once I get those. I think we can compare.

Here is what I asked

1. Insulation material - What is rock based insulation?
2. What are the cooking tiles made from and thickness?
3. What gauge, not type steel is used for the construction?
4. Where is the 441 used, throughout or only in firebox
5. What is a sustainable temp, I need at least 750 and my Buddies Forno Bravo does 950 easy.

I am only interested in Portable as well, three criteria, size, build quality, sustainable temprature..

One thing that does concern me is the general lack of detail around the product... Seems for that amount of "dough" one should have better info.


David

Offline rackhenry

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Re: FORNO TOSCANO MANGIAFUOCO
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2014, 03:25:33 PM »
Started looking at the build quality of the Alfa and it seems way better. For one it would appear the cart is welded one piece.

Offline Michael061

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Re: FORNO TOSCANO MANGIAFUOCO
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2014, 06:22:49 PM »
Hey David - I actually called the 877# for Fontana Forni today and got someone on the phone after it seemed to ring a bit and then transfer. I started to talk to the guy and had to stop him at one point and say that he sounded a lot like the guy on their videos. He laughed and said - that's because I am. Turns out it was the owner, Kirk. He talked to me for about 10 mins as he was heading through airport security but welcomed me to call him back this weekend or Monday - nice enough guy. What he shared with me was interesting: the Mangiafuoco has a "solid welded" dome vs. the Alfa being "spot welded", which he said is better (I need to verify); insulation is rock insulation and won't break down and it's 12cm thick on the Mangiafuoco, vs. a 2cm thick ceramic insulation in the Alfa (dome only). The Mangiafuoco uses 2 types of bricks - a refractory layer (bottom) and another layer that is certified to come in contact with food. He said the Mangiafuoco can maintain 750 degrees but you need to maintain the fire (i.e. keep wood burning), whereas a traditional masonry built oven will obviously maintain the high heat much, much longer. But, again - I'm not looking at a permanent oven solution - otherwise, I would definitely be considering masonry ovens. He also said the Fontana ovens have been made in Italy with european parts (i.e. not Chinese parts) for over 40 years. Lastly, he reiterated the steel gauge (441) being much better for high heat and corrosion resistance. I have a friend who bought one of his bigger wood burning ovens (Fontana Gusto) and loves it. In any event - I will stop back to see what you learn and also post any additional information I learn in my quest!

Mike

Offline Michael061

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Re: FORNO TOSCANO MANGIAFUOCO
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2014, 08:56:31 PM »
Kirk from Fontana Forni USA got back to me to confirm a few things (see below). Also, I have cousins in Italy from where my family is from and I asked them about both ovens. They had not heard of either company but actually own an oven by Peva Forni, an artisan oven maker in the town of Collecorvino (close to my relatives). It's a WFO oven with a separate fire chamber - similar concept to the larger Fontana ovens. They don't seem to distribute them outside of Italy. In any event, here's Kirk's reply:

No problem.  I appreciate the interest.

Solid welds are obviously stronger than a spot weld every so often.  The solid welds are more time consuming, but give additional strength.

The mangiafuoco also has insulation beneath the floor.

There is only one layer of stone (the one in the video was the prototype).  It is 3cm thick.  It is made for pizza ovens and is certified to be safe to come in contact with food by an outside company

The Forno Toscano is made by Fontana, we simply gave it another name.

441 is the stainless grade

I am dealing with Fonatana because they have decades of experience (Alfa has been making metal ovens for about 2-3 years) and they do everything in house.  They have been in the metal fabrication business for over 50 years.   Alfa does not have the equipment to do everything in house.

Offline rackhenry

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Re: FORNO TOSCANO MANGIAFUOCO
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2014, 06:51:50 PM »
Hi,

I am continuing to compare various different ovens, and the more I compare the more I want to wait. It seems there are trade offs in terms of thermal mass  on the portables, I need to dig into. One thing of note Costo carries the Alfa.

 I am starting to consider more traditional wood fired ovens ( clay brick etc) and noted that some may be movable not what I would call portable but... I am digging. Plus I could skip shipping as one is near me.

http://www.fornoclassico.com/piccolo/

While I would consider this model at 600 lbs far from portable, it is movable if one has to change residence.

David


« Last Edit: January 18, 2014, 06:57:29 PM by rackhenry »

Offline Michael061

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Re: FORNO TOSCANO MANGIAFUOCO
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2014, 09:20:13 PM »
LOL - Trust me, I have gone back and forth about 40 times myself, so I know exactly what you are thinking and going through. I just decided that I don't want to deal with the 40-50 min fire-up time, the weight and non-portability issues, as well as the care that needs to be taken to keep the mason ovens dry (if the oven floor gets wet from rain, you have to cure the oven each time that happens). Not to mention - once it gets in place, it ain't moving again. But, yes - the portable SS ovens won't retain heat like the mason ovens will - you need to keep the fire going if you plan to use it for an extended period of time. But - all things considered, I want to be able to fire it up in 20 mins, cook a few pizzas and be done with it. I've spoken to the president of the company that distributes the Alfa ovens in North America, as well as the president of the Fontana Forni USA company and they both appear to be good ovens. I've also read as many reviews that I can find, including one done in the Canadian version of USA Today - called the Globe and Mail - by a top restaurant and food critic in Canada and I'm convinced the Alfa Forno 4 Pizze oven is the direction I'm heading, assuming I stop reading all of these reviews and opinions...lol. Here's the link to the review, in case you are interested:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/food-and-wine/food-trends/cooking-done-good-and-slow-why-you-need-a-wood-oven-right-now/article14492272/

Good luck with your decision David - I'm sure you can't go wrong with any choice you make!

Mike

Offline rackhenry

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Re: FORNO TOSCANO MANGIAFUOCO
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2014, 11:14:48 AM »
Hi Mike,

Clearly you have done your homework on this and bring up a few salient points!  I am still doing the homework on this, and really for me, part of doing the homework is half the fun. I am looking forward to seeing some of these ovens in person. On that note, seems almost every oven has "forno" in the name, as expected, however it does lead to some confusion. I am not 100 percent sure I know which oven you are buying, is it this one? http://www.alfapizza.it/products/Forno-4-Pizze.html, However NOT this one, http://www.fontanaforniusa.com/forno-toscano-margherita-2/, is that correct?

Please post on your results once you fire that bad boy up!

David

Offline Michael061

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Re: FORNO TOSCANO MANGIAFUOCO
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2014, 02:52:06 PM »
Hey David - yes on your first link, that is the oven I'm zeroing in on - the Alfa Forno 4 Pizze oven. I will definitely post some pics after I have that up and running and blow a few pies learning how to cook with it...;-). I have made NY style pizza's in my home oven but never Neapolitan style, so that's a whole new learning curve in addition to the oven. Should be fun - as you say, 1/2 the fun is just doing all the homework on these ovens. After reading many, many posts - I'm convinced that 1/2 of the "art" is just figuring out how to work your oven and have it make great pizzas. I've seen some pretty phenomenal looking pies out of $300 ovens as well as the big boy, home built ovens. So, this should prove to be very interesting, fun and entertaining (and, I'm sure, frustrating at times) - all in one!

Mike


Offline Michael061

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Re: FORNO TOSCANO MANGIAFUOCO
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2014, 01:01:07 PM »
David - you actually caused me to hit "pause" on my decision process and go back re-evaluate the pre-built mason ovens. I was looking at Forno Bravo and Forno Classico, in addition to the 4GM and a couple others. Well, after a lot of back and forth this week, and a few long conversations with Giuseppe from Forno Classico, I've decided on the Piccolo Grande! I had to do it, given my Italian heritage...otherwise, I just couldn't sleep with myself. Just ordered today - can't wait!! :-)

Offline rackhenry

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Re: FORNO TOSCANO MANGIAFUOCO
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2014, 01:45:36 PM »
Hi Mike,

I spoke to Giuseppe on Monday and wanted to drive up to see the ovens this weekend, however he has none available. That said, looking at the various factors on portables, versus "movables" such as the oven you are purchasing, I am strongly considering the same oven you are. BTW are you near SB? I plan to head up there when he does hove one available.

Regarding the the two ovens Giuseppe sells, I assume that the piccolo 65 is 65 CM and the 80 is 80CM. From what I read one needs at least an 80 CM or larger to even put in a 15 inch pizza and not be too close to the fire.

That said, Congrats on the oven!! Please post some pics and reviews once you get it running!

David

Offline Michael061

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Re: FORNO TOSCANO MANGIAFUOCO
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2014, 01:52:18 PM »
David - I live on the east coast, so not even close enough to look at these up close. But, I've been reading everything I can get my hands on. Yes - it's the Piccolo 80 oven (he calls it the Piccolo Grande too). It's a beast at 700lbs, but I will just get my nephew and his friends to come over and help me get it in place once it's delivered. I will post pics once I have it fired up and running!

Good luck w/ your search!

Mike

Offline rackhenry

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Re: FORNO TOSCANO MANGIAFUOCO
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2014, 04:06:16 PM »
Mike,

Not sure if it is appropriate to discuss prices on this forum but if it is, what is the oven price without delivery?

David

Offline Michael061

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Re: FORNO TOSCANO MANGIAFUOCO
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2014, 04:51:52 PM »
David - his prices are published right on his web site. Have you seen the link?

Mike

Offline rackhenry

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Re: FORNO TOSCANO MANGIAFUOCO
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2014, 05:08:51 PM »
This is the link I have for the 80

http://www.fornoclassico.com/forno-piccolo-grande-80/ it shows no price. the 65 however is listed for http://www.fornoclassico.com/piccolo/ at 2600. Perhaps both the 65 and 80 are the same price or I am  just not seeing it.

Offline Michael061

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Re: FORNO TOSCANO MANGIAFUOCO
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2014, 05:20:44 PM »

Offline rackhenry

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Re: FORNO TOSCANO MANGIAFUOCO
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2014, 09:21:31 PM »
Hey Mike,

Thanks for that link, I noted that there is a huge price delta between the 65 and the 80. That said, I'm curious, I am sure you looked at the Forno Bravo comparative oven, which is significantly less expensive than the Forno classico.  I have both of those in my research portfolio and while I prefer the same over you are purchasing the equivalent Bravo product is around 2K less. If in fact you did compare those two would you share your thoughts of one over the other?

David.

Offline Michael061

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Re: FORNO TOSCANO MANGIAFUOCO
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2014, 11:00:48 PM »
David - In doing my research, the Forno Classico Piccolo Grande oven appears to be constructed better than the Forno Bravo Primvarea 70, although I'm sure both would do a great job. The Forno Classico ovens have a real brick dome, whereas the Forno Bravo is a cast refractory material. The thickness of the Forno Classico dome is more, which I think creates a better thermal mass. Per Giuseppe, it can easily get to 1,000+ degrees. I think the oven floor size is larger as well - 32" x 35" compared to the Forno Bravo, which is 28" x 35" and it's a real, terra cotta floor. I wanted the ability to put 2 or 3 pies in the oven at the same time. Also, the dome height for the Forno Classico is 22" compared to 26" for the Forno Bravo. Everything I have read seems to indicate that lower dome heights are better for creating the heat distribution required for a true napoletana pizza. Plus, you get the granite hearth and the option to have a mosaic tile exterior (option that costs money). Finally, the Forno Classico weighs in at 750 lbs, compared to 600 lbs for the Forno Bravo - simply stated, there's more mass in the Forno Classico oven.

In the final analysis, I didn't want to build an oven and I didn't want to hire someone to build a permanent oven as I wanted the ability to take it with me if/when we move. Albeit, it's a heavy oven (750 lbs), I'm still able to move it when we're ready to move. To me - it's a matter of personal taste and budget. Like I said, I'm sure the Forno Bravo oven is a great oven but the Forno Classico, in addition to the differences outlined above, just makes a personal statement to me - hand built by an Italian artisan (Giuseppe and his team), brick by brick - a real quality, brick oven. As I said before - given my Italian heritage, I'm a sucker for all things Italian...;-).

Mike

Offline rackhenry

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Re: FORNO TOSCANO MANGIAFUOCO
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2014, 12:27:36 PM »
Hi Mike,

No doubt you have done more research on this than I, so I most definitely agree with your pov. My general feeling is that I prefer giuseppe's ovens over Forno Fravo. Interestingly enough, I did not even consider the primavera, It just looks well,... not as visually appealing as the Picollo. I pretty much dismissed it right away, irrespective of price. I was actually considering this one as more comparable, until I saw the weight! 1.5 tons! Toscana100D.

There is also a lot to be said for supporting a local artisan!

Overall, I am not considering the portables any more simply for reasons stated, I don't really need a portable, just a movable and at 750 LBS, that does fit the bill. Enjoy your oven and thanks for the great dialog!

David