I guess at the heart of the matter, people want to know how different two ovens, which are designed to cook pizza in a relatively similar manner could really be so different. The fact is, that, they are. The process to get your oven to temperature is similar in all respects. Kindling, matches and larger pieces of wood. The process to maintain your oven is also similar: maintain your fire on a particular side of the oven and make room to place your pizza on the other side, and continue to add wood. So, how would you ask, could there be any major difference? A fair question. And in response, I would like to explain my experience with the first oven as well as my experience with the second oven.
Initially, both ovens fire up well. There doesn't seem to be much difference in either of the two ovens when it comes to lighting a fire. And, bringing the ovens to temperature (for cooking) is similar, but with one major difference. The floor on the first oven gets to temperature a lot quicker, and begins to lose temperature at a much more rapid pace. After cooking a couple of 16", the floor temp departs quickly. And compensating by adding more wood in the oven, raises the overall temperature but the floor begins to spike to high. The floor picks up the heat to rapidly and then starts to burn the next couple of pizzas on their bottom. After the dough robs the floor from this heat, it starts to mellow out for another set of pizzas, before dramatically losing its heat again. So to recap:
1) at start up floor is at moderate heat
2) after first set of pizza, the floor begins to lose heat dramatically
3) after more wood is added, the floor jumps to temp that are to high
Conclusion: The floor is not maintaining a relatively consistant temperature. Result, undercooked pizza, or burnt pizza for the majority of sets. A huge juggling match, where you are constantly fighting to get an even keel with temp in oven, and on floor.
The second oven on the other hand, takes a bit longer to heat up. Maybe 15 or 20 minutes longer. But after the wood is pushed aside, and oven is at temp, the floor miraculously cooks sets of 16" with a dependable cooking time and a longer period between sets. Adding wood doesn't spike the floor as it did in the first oven. Pushing large pieces of wood over the floor in between cooking sets to maintain floor heat can be done as well. But overall, cooking the pizza in the beginning, during a 4 or 6 hour catering/market event, is genuinely an even keel.
This is just my experience, with these two ovens. However, there is more to the story. I have a kitchen with the new oven and did not have a kitchen with the first oven (I had to create a makeshift kitchen on the grass, under the tent). And, as I said in an earlier post, this is not the standard. Nor, will be allowable in the near future (at least not in my area). Health officials are tired dealing with fly by night tent vendors, that are not in compliance with their strict rules and regulations.
As such, I would suggest to anyone who is interested in starting this business, or continuing in this business to ask the difficult questions, and be persistent with determining what exactly you need, in order to start a mobile wood fired business. Or even if you are a pizza hobbyist, looking to tinker around with a mobile oven, be sure to ask lots of questions and find out which oven is going to work best for you. I hope this is helpful.
All the best