Author Topic: WoodStone Fire Deck Stone Hearth Ovens?  (Read 6274 times)

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Offline pie eye

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WoodStone Fire Deck Stone Hearth Ovens?
« on: May 27, 2011, 04:55:14 PM »
Anyone used one of these or have any reviews from others who have? They're all gas fired and apparently can replicate wood fired results- minus the flavor and beautiful aroma anyway.....

Seems like the smallest one is around $20K. Wow, they better be magical, I guess.

Have some places lined up to try in my area that use them.

Thanks for any feedback! Happy "Beginning of the Summer Season" Weekend all!


Offline pizzaboyfan

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Re: WoodStone Fire Deck Stone Hearth Ovens?
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2011, 06:10:13 PM »
The one I saw in action was actually wood fired.
It turned out an excellent pie.
Seems like they offer either wood or gas as an option.
In my experience, wood offers BTUs, not flavor or aroma.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2011, 08:14:24 PM by pizzaboyfan »

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: WoodStone Fire Deck Stone Hearth Ovens?
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2011, 07:55:51 PM »
I used a fire deck for about a month and a half and they aren't worth the money at all. They had 2 of them and I think they were the second biggest if not the biggest one woodstone makes. You could fit about 8 16" pizzas in the oven. The head chef said they each cost $40K :o. You have to constantly play around with the temp knobs and moving around the pizzas. No matter what we did the pizzas would not cook evenly. I can't totally blame the oven though because their dough had some issues as well.

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: WoodStone Fire Deck Stone Hearth Ovens?
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2011, 05:26:49 PM »
Fire Deck Series = Waste of Money

If you are going to use Woodstone, the Mountain series would be a better bet due to the more even heat distribution in the air above the pizzas.

Both of the places I have been to with Fire Decks constanty struggle with getting even bakes...and the pizza makers at both places are not fond of these ovens.

When considering the costs of WoodStone products, if your goal is to replicate wood-fired pizza then you may want to consider an Italian built wood fired brick oven from the likes of Forno Napoletano, Stefano Ferrara, Acunto, etc. They are price competative (even when considering shipping costs) and perform much better. --K

"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline pie eye

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Re: WoodStone Fire Deck Stone Hearth Ovens?
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2011, 12:14:14 PM »
Thanks for chiming in. WoodStone definitely seems to be the king of price. Thanks for some of the other suggestions. I'm most interested in creating a wood fired/Neapolitan type pie, but without using wood.

The options have got to be out there. Finding a solid substitute has been a challenge for sure.

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: WoodStone Fire Deck Stone Hearth Ovens?
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2011, 02:00:24 PM »
I'm most interested in creating a wood fired/Neapolitan type pie, but without using wood.

Why? Do you have fire burning laws?

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: WoodStone Fire Deck Stone Hearth Ovens?
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2011, 12:39:09 AM »
Pizza don't care where the heat comes from, what you are really looking for is an oven that can maintain 800-900 temps on the deck.

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: WoodStone Fire Deck Stone Hearth Ovens?
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2011, 08:37:04 AM »
pie eye, I am not familiar with the quality of the Earth Stone ovens, but Jim Lahey uses a gas fired model to make high temperature cooked pizzas at Company (Co.)

http://www.co-pane.com/

In addition, because of an older antiquated law still in effect, Brooklyn pizzerias utilizing a wood fired oven must have a gas assist installed in the oven. Both the Renato oven at Motorino Williamsburg and the Stefano Ferrara oven at Paulie Gee's have gas assists in the oven...although the gas assist is rarely on. The gas assist is typically a small bar located in the floor on the back quarter of the refractory chamber opposite where the wood pile is. (There is a joint in Brooklyn that said screw it and went ahead without the assist installed, but I ain't telling who it is).

I have seen the gas assist at Motorino Williamsburg on full blast early in the morning just prior to opening and the flames are pretty intense. I'm not sure how hot it gets, but since these oven makers are familiar with installing a gas assist, perhaps they would entertain a custom shaped gas feed where the flames from the floor come up in a semicircle for more even and hotter heat in the oven?

Pizza don't care where the heat comes from, what you are really looking for is an oven that can maintain 800-900 temps on the deck.


That's true, but what is also needed (ideally) is an even distribution of heat above the pizza as well.

The Woodstone Fire Deck series can maintain a high temperature on the deck, but the rectangular shape of the oven and oversized mouth/opening means the air above the pizzas is not being reflected and distributed evenly above the pizzas.

In days past, less efficient ovens like the rectangular ones found at Lombardi's, Frank Pepe's, etc were mitigated by the fact you had dedicated stick and pie men that knew the ovens intimately and how to best move the pizzas around in the oven while cooking to get an even bake. Now a days, more modern places utilizing such an oven is likely to have a seasonal employee or someone who is not passionate about pizza at the sticks...which argues for an oven which would do more of the work for you.

« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 08:39:27 AM by pizzablogger »
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: WoodStone Fire Deck Stone Hearth Ovens?
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2011, 08:37:23 AM »
If you dont want to use wood. Stefano Ferrara makes an oven with a gas option. Here is a video of one in action
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcH1efI87l4" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcH1efI87l4</a>
at 0:57 you can see the gas flame. These are pictures from that same event http://www.dinosantonicola.com/dinosantonicola.com/Dino_Santonicola/My_Albums/Pages/International_Pizza_Expo_2011_-_Las_Vegas.html.

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: WoodStone Fire Deck Stone Hearth Ovens?
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2011, 08:51:45 AM »
I was speaking to the source of the BTUs, not the distribution.


Offline pizzablogger

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Re: WoodStone Fire Deck Stone Hearth Ovens?
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2011, 09:18:04 AM »
I was speaking to the source of the BTUs, not the distribution.

I know and agree. There are high temp gas, electric and oil ovens which do the trick.

But, regardless of the source of the BTUs, how that heat is distributed is arguably as important as the absolute temperature itself.
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline pizzaboyfan

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Re: WoodStone Fire Deck Stone Hearth Ovens?
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2011, 11:46:38 AM »
I have no interest in any commercial oven, and I only bothered to look at the brand, because the pie that come out was as good as it gets....(mine <g>).
Slightly crispy, not soggy crust., perfectly cooked with just enough char to make it delicious.
Caputo, for sure.
From DOCG in Las Vegas

Offline pie eye

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Re: WoodStone Fire Deck Stone Hearth Ovens?
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2011, 12:23:12 AM »
BrickStoneOven-

Thanks for the heads up about the Ferrara gas models. They seem to produce an awesome pie. None in use from what I found out in the US, but they are in use in Italy. Seems like it would be the opposite. They seem to be pretty talked about and dare I say, "hip" right now, so they may be in the future.

The gas kit runs the better part of $3000, alone, not to mention freight and then, yeah, the oven. Pricey, but still less than a WoodStone.

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: WoodStone Fire Deck Stone Hearth Ovens?
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2011, 09:04:36 AM »
No problem, glad I could help with your search. Like you said it is still cheaper than a WS oven.

Offline mlutfy

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Re: WoodStone Fire Deck Stone Hearth Ovens?
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2011, 11:12:58 AM »
I'm in the planning stages of opening a bistro style restaurant that will offer pizzas in a style similar to Serious Pie in Seattle, a thicker crust, longer bake time (the use Mt. Rainier WFO, no gas assist at a deck temp of about 650°). But that will only be part of the menu. We plan to offer seared steaks, fish, roasted chicken, veggies, in cast iron and ceramic bakeware flowing in and out of the oven as well, so maintaining floor temp will be challenging. I'm considering the Woodstone 9660 Fire Deck, with combo wood on one side, gas burner on the other and the floor burner option. It will be the main appliance for the entire restaurant, an open kitchen, although we will have a range with convection oven for saute and low temp baking.

I know the focus here is all things pizza, but does anyone have any experience using these ovens cooking pizzas with other items at the same time? I've been to the Woodstone factory and was impressed with how easily they cook all of these items at once, but that is a factory demo. Again, not after the charred high temp Neo-style pizza (we have one of those in our small Southwest tourist town already), but more in line with Wolfgang Puck style cafe/bistro (there's nothing like that within 4 hours of here), high temp stone hearth cooking. The dome series takes up a lot more space, doesn't fit on the line as easily, and has more limited access, but I could work with it necessary.

Pizzablogger and Brickstoneoven, I'd really be interested to talk to those chefs you mention that have struggled with the Fire Decks. If that's possible, contact me personally and I'll give you my contact info to pass on to them.
Many thanks for your input—we are literally building out a historic location around the oven, so changing it out will be extremely difficult/expensive, so the choice is critical.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2011, 12:10:40 PM by mlutfy »


 

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