Author Topic: Marsal vs. Baker's Pride  (Read 7644 times)

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Offline caseyspizza

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Marsal vs. Baker's Pride
« on: June 16, 2011, 01:11:48 PM »
anyone have an opinion on whether a Marsal MB series will cook faster and hotter than a Baker's Pride Y-600? 


Offline JConk007

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Re: Marsal vs. Baker's Pride
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2011, 06:29:46 PM »
My opinion The Marsal brick oven is a better oven hands down!
John
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Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Marsal vs. Baker's Pride
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2011, 02:33:11 PM »
Look, both ovens throttle to 650°F.

Marsal MB Series has a floor with 2" of firebrick

Bakers Y-600 has a floor with 1.5" of cordierite.

Both have enough mass to mitigate the effects of heat loss and recovery time during peak business hours.

However, cordierite is a superior conductor of heat than firebrick...by a meaningful amount. At 650°F, there is simply going to be more heat transfer from the cordierite into the crust than the firebrick. That means a faster bake time.

The Marsal MB series does have firebrick on the ceiling as well. This is where Scott123 could help. Since the ceiling would not be in direct contact with the pizza, would it be better to have the superior conductive cordierite in the ceiling or the better heat retentive properties of firebrick on the ceiling? The reason I ask is that a place in Baltimore with a Y-600 oven opted to have 1.5" of cordierite installed in the ceiling as well.

During peak busy cycles, most gas fired deck ovens (regardless of manufacturer) often show signs of heat loss in the ovens which is evidenced in the resultant pizzas….with reduction in top browning often occurring first due to the door being opened repeatedly and heat escaping the oven. Both the two places in town with the Marsal MB series and the one joint with the BP Y-600 oven (with the cordierite ceiling as well) show signs of this during their peak busy hours.

However, the two places in town with the MB Series ovens also have pizzas which show definite signs of heat fatigue in the floor…with the bottoms of the pizzas noticeably cooked less than they would be during off-peak hours. The place with the BP-Y600 oven displays markedly better heat retention as evidenced by the bottom of the pizzas during peak business hours….there are times during a particularly heavy crush where the pies lose the depth of char on the bottom, but the drop off is not nearly as noticeable as in the Marsal MB pies. And the place with the BP-Y600 oven is knocking out a few hundred pizzas on many evenings a week. Granted, the two Marsal pizzerias make a style of pizza that is thicker than the thin crusted pies at the other place, so take all of this with a gain of salt.

That being said, here is a picture straight from my cell phone of a BPY-600 cooked pizza that I took specifically because the pie was made during a very busy rush at the pizzeria. Almost looks like a WFO, no?

Casey, I only ramble because from my experiences seeing these two ovens in action, and actually being allowed to point my temp gun into each, one of these ovens does NOT blow the other away. Hopefully you can find a way to cook some pizzas in each to get a better gauge of what you prefer.

Good luck.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2011, 04:16:41 PM by pizzablogger »
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Re: Marsal vs. Baker's Pride
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2011, 09:23:44 PM »
Casey, I have some thoughts to add to Kelly's valuable musings, but before I get into that, I have a question.  On your website, it appears that you're currently selling Neapolitan pizza and have established what looks to be a formidable following.  Does the purchase of the new oven mark a decision to move in a more NY style direction/bake time?

Offline JConk007

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Re: Marsal vs. Baker's Pride
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2011, 09:32:50 PM »
Pizza Blogger, That was just my opinion. Fact , I have no experience with either. Fact - have never checked during peak hours. so its only an opinion.  I was basing it on my taste from both ovens on many occasions and various locations. If I did 10 Marsal pies and 10 Bakers pride I would prefer the Marsal over the BP probably 8 to 10 But again its just my taste. It could also be a completely different dough formulation that is helping out  at certain places. It could be the stone roof inside that I like? I agree, try them both and get what you like. I just like the Marsal pies better, no matter what the material. I don't like conflict ,and hate to cause any, so I apologize for my rookie opinions.
John
« Last Edit: June 17, 2011, 09:34:51 PM by JConk007 »
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scott123

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Re: Marsal vs. Baker's Pride
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2011, 09:50:50 PM »
John, stop calling yourself a rookie, or you'll really be in for some conflict!  :-D

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Marsal vs. Baker's Pride
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2011, 09:58:45 PM »
I don't like conflict ,and hate to cause any, so I apologize for my rookie opinions.
John

You are certainly not causing any conflict and I am sorry if I seem to be causing some.

And I mean this in all seriousness....if there is a rookie in this thread, it would be me before it would be you.

Keep slinging out the pies!  :)
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline JConk007

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Re: Marsal vs. Baker's Pride
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2011, 11:59:24 PM »
Thanks guys for the kind words! OK,  how about rookie on Gas deck ovens in a commercial setting, would that work?  :P seriously - conduvtivity, cordierite, heat tranfsfer, I really  dont have a clue about that stuff. Maybe a touch biased and it could be just a coincidence,  but my favorite top 3 slice joints all use the Marsal ovens so this may have impaced my initial statement.  I would never turn down a good bromated NY/Jersey slice from any oven, and guessing theres a real good reason there are so many of the Y-600 around because its also a fine oven! but I do favor the fire >:D
John
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Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Marsal vs. Baker's Pride
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2011, 09:22:46 AM »
Scott....I believe Casey's aim has always been to produce pizzas which are closer to the old school New York-Neapolitan style, not traditional pizze Napoletana.

Last I heard, Casey was incorporating some whole wheat flour into his formula...and I think he may have been planning on increasing the amount of whole wheat in the formula.
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

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Re: Marsal vs. Baker's Pride
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2011, 05:24:15 PM »
John, without actual Marsal or BP oven owners, which, unfortunately, neither this forum (nor, most probably any other forum) can produce, it all boils down to theory and eating experience, so opinions about eating experiences do carry weight.

Kelly, the reason I asked my question is that, as you go to Casey's website:

http://www.caseyspizzas.com/index.html

The first image you're greeted with is this:

http://www.caseyspizzas.com/images/home_03.jpg

and the first, most prominent review is this:

Quote
"Baking on a couple of modified Weber grills, Casey Crynes puts out Neapolitan-style pizzas with light, char-speckled crusts that rank up there with Una Pizza Napoletana, Tony's, and Zero Zero."

Even if Casey isn't classifying it as pure Neapolitan, on the Neo-NY spectrum, it's pretty darn Neo-y. I think you'd be really hard pressed to get this pizza out of either of these ovens. The only deck oven that can guarantee this bake time is Varasano's custom made electric Pizza Master.

Regarding firebrick and cordierite... I have retired many keyboards conveying the innate superior conductivity of cordierite as compared to firebrick, only to recently become aware that, unfortunately, not all cordierite is created equally and that it can vary tremendously in quality.  Good quality, dense, non-porous cordierite IS a better conductor than firebrick, but cheap, inferior, porous cordierite may not be.  And, if that wasn't bad enough, it seems, in recent years, a lot of deck oven manufacturers seem to be going the cheap/inferior route. To further complicate things even more, firebrick can contain varying amounts of alumina, making some brands better conductors than others (more alumina, better conduction). If you would have asked me a year ago to choose between 1.5" cordierite or 2" firebrick, I would have said cordierite.  Now, I'm not sure.

If I were deciding between these two ovens (for NY style bake times), I would contact the companies and get the weight for the stones.  Once you have weight, you have density.  Generally speaking, for ceramics, less than 1.9 g/cm^3 is questionable, more than 2.5 g/cm^3 is good. Based upon my recent experiences with Baker's Pride, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the hearths clock in at around the same (or even less) density than the firebrick.  If they did happen to be the same density and similar conductivity, then the thickness would make  the Marsal a clear winner. But, that's only after a few phone calls are made. Beyond finding out deck weight, if the company could provide composition and/or conductivity as well, that would be fantastic, but I think that might be a bit of a long shot.

As far as bricks on the ceiling go... my vote is yes.  This isn't like a LBE where you launch the pizza and then crank the burner so the blast of heat laps up and around the stone to bake the top of the pie. It's also not like a Neapolitan bake where a log is burning on the side and the heat from the flame is bouncing off the ceiling. The burner in the deck oven will be cycling on an off as the thermostat reaches the target temp, so, for some pies, the bottom burner won't be on.  In those instances, I'd much prefer a pre-heated brick ceiling rather than a very thin layer of insulated steel.

But a brick ceiling, even pre-heated to 650 won't get you a Neo-y bake time. And it's not like you can move the hearth up and reduce the vertical space either. That works great in a home oven where you don't have pies to get to in the back, but not in a deck. Hitting a Neo-y bake time for the undercrust is no problem.  Custom steel decks will do that and should be relatively inexpensive (the company's steel deck option is probably a boatload of cash for flimsy steel). But browning the top in that same 2-3 minutes.  I'm not picturing that with these ovens.


Offline caseyspizza

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Re: Marsal vs. Baker's Pride
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2011, 09:06:19 PM »
the decks on these new Marsal MB 60's are 2 inch fibrament, which i've heard differing opinions of. I particulary don't like that you can't get them wet. But the back and ceiling are the standard split firebrick. Check this video...

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7668961/fibrament_baking_stone.mov

Offline caseyspizza

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Re: Marsal vs. Baker's Pride
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2011, 09:12:45 PM »
Scott....I believe Casey's aim has always been to produce pizzas which are closer to the old school New York-Neapolitan style, not traditional pizze Napoletana.

Last I heard, Casey was incorporating some whole wheat flour into his formula...and I think he may have been planning on increasing the amount of whole wheat in the formula.

it's true i've been going for more old NY style (Lombardi's, DiFara, etc), however, the LBE ends up making my pies look and feel more Neo-Neapolitan. I've had decent luck doing pizza service outside on the LBE and then the next day inside using the electric Baker's Pride counter top ovens w/o anyone really noticing the difference. The counter top ovens have a very small compressed bake chamber with electric elements right above the pie. I should be more concerned about what to expect with a larger deck oven like the Y-600  with less focused heat. My main concern is to produce pizza that is not too dry and crackery with the longer bake time in a Marsal or BP deck. I want moist, tender inside with a nice sealed crisp and charred exterior. Perhaps I'll have to use a wetter dough.

Then there is Pizzeria Delfina here in SF that are using modified Marsal MB's with temps in 700+

Offline caseyspizza

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Re: Marsal vs. Baker's Pride
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2011, 09:32:12 PM »
The other thing to consider is which oven/deck material will hold up better in the back of a pizza truck? The roads here in SF are filled with potholes, etc. Note, the Marsal MB 60 single deck is actually 515 lbs more than the Baker's Pride Y-600.

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Re: Marsal vs. Baker's Pride
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2011, 01:15:15 AM »
Casey, perhaps, if someone were starting a pizza shop and was striving for crappy 7+ minute pies and/or had no intentions of going mobile, fibrament would work, but for anyone looking for 'old NY style' bake times and/or stones that will stand up to a lot of jostling, fibrament is complete garbage.  The fact that Marsal is choosing to use fibrament is a massive black mark on their record, imo.

Fibrament is the poster child for long bake times and fragile stones.  If you go with Marsal, do NOT get the fibrament stones.

I get the feeling that we're kind of getting lost in the terminology here.  Let me clarify myself. Style labels aside, your pizzas look a heck of a lot like 2 to 3 minute bakes. Neither of these ovens can do 2 to 3 minute bakes.  Look at the photo of the pizza at the top right corner of this forum.  That's what these ovens are made to do.

Countertop ovens are completely different animals than decks.  From the widely varying specs I've seen on countertop ovens, I'm getting a really strong feeling that they're all imported from China and re-branded. In other words, the countertop oven you're successfully using may be Baker's Pride, but it bears absolutely no resemblance to the Y-600.

The extra weight in the MB is most likely because of the brick ceiling.  Like I said before, if you want to break the 4 minute bake barrier like you're doing now, you need all the help you can get from a top heat perspective, so, no matter what model you go with you, you're going to want a brick ceiling. I guess, you could, in theory, possibly put in slightly thinner bricks, but it's still going to weigh a lot. As far as fragility goes, steel decks would be the most sturdy, but the cheap porous cordierite in the Y-600 should be pretty sturdy as well.

When you're fighting against an anemic oven, additional water in your formulation is a losing scenario. The extra water will only extend the bake time and trash your oven spring in the process.

How did Pizzeria Delfina modify their MB's?  Can you do the same thing?  With a brick ceiling and a cordierite hearth at 700, 3 minute bakes should definitely be feasible.

Casey, you really need to track down an MB or Y-600 owner that pushes their oven to it's highest setting and see what kind of bake time it can achieve. That will show you what you're up against.  
« Last Edit: June 25, 2011, 07:15:41 PM by scott123 »

Offline caseyspizza

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Re: Marsal vs. Baker's Pride
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2011, 06:38:32 PM »
Scott - so why are you do down on Fibrament? Do tell...

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Re: Marsal vs. Baker's Pride
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2011, 07:12:47 PM »
Casey, the relevant specs for fibrament can all be found here:

FibraMent vs. Cordierite (Engineering Data)

Quote
FibraMent
Density: 1.762 g/cm3
Thermal Conductivity: 0.69183088225 W/m-K
Maximum Temperature: 538 °C
Strength
Flexure: 10.58345 MPa
Compressive: 73.29127 MPa

Thermal conductivity dictates bake time.  The slower a material transfers heat, the longer it takes for the heat in the stone to reach the dough, the more time it takes for a pizza to bake.  The speed at which a pizza is baked relates directly to it's oven spring.  Faster bake times produce greater and more explosive amounts of expanding steam. Faster bakes produce puffy and airy (better) pies, slower bake times, dense and bready. Fibrament's extreme lack of conductivity as compared to other materials make it the worst pizza stone on the market.

Conductivity aside, fibrament's flexural and compressive strength are rock bottom compared to other stone materials, so even though it's lack of conductivity is enough reason to avoid it, in your particular case, it's innate fragility makes it an especially poor choice. A couple of potholes and it's toast.

Offline caseyspizza

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Re: Marsal vs. Baker's Pride
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2011, 01:52:59 PM »
turns out Marsal switched to fibrament decks in their ovens due to customers requests of an easier oven to bake with (ie. shops were getting too much char on the bottom with firebrick). but Marsal will still give you firebrick decks if you request. yes, please.

scott123

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Re: Marsal vs. Baker's Pride
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2011, 01:29:18 AM »
turns out Marsal switched to fibrament decks in their ovens due to customers requests of an easier oven to bake with.

That's kind of sad. If customers are having problems with charring/uneven bakes, instead of handicapping their hearth with a lower conductivity material, Marsal should really be finding ways to boost their ceiling heat. For instance, a darker colored firebrick ceiling would help.

Offline scott r

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Re: Marsal vs. Baker's Pride
« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2011, 02:15:41 AM »
Guys, late finding this thread.   I have used both of these ovens!   One thing is for sure, you have found two of the best options out there for gas deck ovens.  I honestly thought the marsal worked better for me, but neither of these ovens  were modded for high temps, or were able to do anything like a neapolitan or even a coal oven style pie.  A pizzeria consultant that I know who lives in San Fran who is friends with the delfina people told me that the mod to their marsal is just an upgraded higher temp thermostat.   This can be done to any gas deck oven, and I have even had it done to a 25 year old blodgett with good results.  Even though the oven could go hotter, getting a sold 650 on the deck was about as far as I could push the blodgett with the mod and still have an even bake during busy times at the pizzeria, but I suspect either of the ovens you are looking at could have done a bit better with their newer construction and brick lining (the y600 has brick lining now too).      There is nothing to fear with a lower bake temp.  Getting 650 on the deck can yield some truly amazing pizza with the right flour, dough recipe and cheese, but if your looking for coal or neapolitan style pies its going to use a lot of gas and be a lot of work to mange the oven during your rush periods (I think).  Those delfina pies made in the modded marsal are fairly high temps, and the oven would probably be great for coal style pizzas,  but not quite neapolitan.     I think the easy way to do this stock without any guesswork would be with an electric oven, and those bakers pride electrics can do a perfect coal oven pizza if you want them to.   There are a number of professional imported eurpoean electric ovens that can do neapolitan temps now as well.   good luck with your endeavor!    
« Last Edit: July 01, 2011, 03:11:01 AM by scott r »

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Marsal vs. Baker's Pride
« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2011, 11:23:34 AM »
Scott r: Those Bakers Pride Superdeck Electric Ovens have a thermostat which goes up to 800°F. Almost like a giant version of what some of us have done in a home oven under an electric "U" shaped coil configuration.

I bet one could do some serious pizzas in one of those ovens....and run up one hell of an electric bill in the process!  :)
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