Author Topic: Any thoughts on these chiminea pizza ovens?  (Read 9108 times)

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Offline moose13

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Any thoughts on these chiminea pizza ovens?
« on: November 09, 2011, 12:45:40 PM »
I was thinking about building a brick oven in the back yard next summer.
I ran across these and wondered how they would work with a pizza stone?
Thanks for any comments.
http://www.castironchimineas.co.uk/The%20Pizza%20oven.htm


Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Any thoughts on these chiminea pizza ovens?
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2011, 01:23:08 PM »
Those appear to be just very fancy grills. You might be better off using a standard grill and placing your pizza stone on that.

John

Offline moose13

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Re: Any thoughts on these chiminea pizza ovens?
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2011, 01:25:41 PM »

Online scott123

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Re: Any thoughts on these chiminea pizza ovens?
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2011, 01:49:13 PM »
Quote
The second pizza wasn't cooking on the top

This is pretty much the theme song for bottom heat scenario ovens.

The wood fired ovens that are suitable for pizza making have relatively wide hearths to allow for a fire next to the baking area. This fire on the side throws off a lot of radiant heat, which browns both the side of the pizza as well as bounces off the ceiling. When burning wood (or charcoal), this side fire scenario is pretty much the only way to achieve Neapolitan bake times. A fire beneath the hearth pretty much trashes your ability to brown the top of the pizza quickly.  Theoretically, if the ceiling is low enough, you can try to deflect the heat up and around the hearth and off the ceiling, but that's hard enough to do with the controlled heat of a gas burner and most likely almost impossible to do with burning wood- and this ceiling, as it exists, is way too high. You also have smoke to deal with.  Neapolitan pizza gets a slight amount of smokiness from being in a WFO, but it's not baked in the middle of smoke like this pizza would be if you put in a lower ceiling (like the link did with firebricks).

You're talking about taking a very expensive oven that, out of the box, can't really make pizza, but might, with lots of tinkering and additional expense, make something decent. Maybe. I wouldn't bet on it.

If you're going to be tinkering anyway, you might as well invest your time in an LBE.  It's incredibly difficult to do Neapolitan with an LBE, but NY style is not that hard, and it will run you about half of what this costs.  It won't be as pretty, but it will make great pizza.

buceriasdon

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Re: Any thoughts on these chiminea pizza ovens?
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2011, 01:49:53 PM »
moose13, I have seen pics of your present pizza and to my eyes they look way better than on the blog. The ones on the blog lack top heat and color, though he claims they are baked through and his bake times are too long. Why go with something that is no improvement over what you have now? My quibble with chimineas and I have worked with them, is they are very lossy as most of the heat you want goes up the chimney. Build the WFO. That's my two pesos worth.
Don


Offline moose13

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Re: Any thoughts on these chiminea pizza ovens?
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2011, 02:01:14 PM »
Ok then, with your expert opinions, i will scrap the idea.
Just thought it would be really cool to have a backyard wood fired pizza oven for entertaining in the summer. I wondered about the amount of smoke as well.
I will look into building the real thing. I am pretty handy, and they don't look too hard to do. I just thought the chiminea would be easy and portable. 
But, if it wont make great pizza then never mind. Thanks guys!

By the way, whats a LBE? ???
« Last Edit: November 09, 2011, 02:06:13 PM by moose13 »

Online scott123

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Re: Any thoughts on these chiminea pizza ovens?
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2011, 02:07:20 PM »

Offline moose13

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Re: Any thoughts on these chiminea pizza ovens?
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2011, 12:01:28 AM »
Little Black Egg


What a great idea, i am a welder of 25 years so i bet i could make one with a cool stand.

Offline chickenparm

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Re: Any thoughts on these chiminea pizza ovens?
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2011, 12:40:59 AM »
Moose,
Since you can weld,you might be able to make something like this as well.

http://www.2stonepg.com/
-Bill

Offline mvnolan

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Re: Any thoughts on these chiminea pizza ovens?
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2011, 03:28:53 PM »
I actually have one of these.   ;)  I like it alot, but strangely, have never used it to cook pizza.  My brother used it once, and claims it actually cooks quite well, but being cast iron, it makes a heck of a chiminea since it holds heat for hours!!  I got mine about 13 years ago as a birthday present from my now ex wife.  She bought it from Service Merchandise when they were still around for about $150, and other than a little surface discoloration from using it, it is in remarkable shape.  My plan has been to weld casters onto the base to make it easier to move around since it is HEAVY!  I might do that this weekend, and will try a pie to see what happens.  I'll try and post up some results.


Offline moose13

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Re: Any thoughts on these chiminea pizza ovens?
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2011, 11:19:39 PM »
I actually have one of these.   ;)  I like it alot, but strangely, have never used it to cook pizza.  My brother used it once, and claims it actually cooks quite well, but being cast iron, it makes a heck of a chiminea since it holds heat for hours!!  I got mine about 13 years ago as a birthday present from my now ex wife.  She bought it from Service Merchandise when they were still around for about $150, and other than a little surface discoloration from using it, it is in remarkable shape.  My plan has been to weld casters onto the base to make it easier to move around since it is HEAVY!  I might do that this weekend, and will try a pie to see what happens.  I'll try and post up some results.

Very cool, how is the quality of the unit? I almost bought a Blue Rooster one this summer, but without seeing it in person i passed. Was not even planning on cooking with it at that time. I am now looking into a earth or brick oven for the backyard. A little more ambitious but i think they are cool. I would like to see your pics if you make a pie.

Offline mvnolan

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Re: Any thoughts on these chiminea pizza ovens?
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2011, 12:37:55 PM »
As far as quality, this thing is built to outlive me.   :-D  It actually came in an almost flat box.  It is held together by brass nuts and bolts with the pyramid part being able to be easily (although almost hernia inducing heavily) lifted off the base.  Overall, it's a fantastic unit.  Like I said, mine is at least 13 years old and spent all of it's life on an uncovered patio, and I expect it to last another 20 years.  I am hoping to get to fire it up Saturday night and will definitely post up pics after.  If you can find someplace local that has them, it's worth the money just for a fantastic chiminea.  I will let you know it's cooking abilities after the weekend.


Offline Paulthebread

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Re: Any thoughts on these chiminea pizza ovens?
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2011, 08:35:00 PM »
This is pretty much the theme song for bottom heat scenario ovens.

The wood fired ovens that are suitable for pizza making have relatively wide hearths to allow for a fire next to the baking area. This fire on the side throws off a lot of radiant heat, which browns both the side of the pizza as well as bounces off the ceiling. When burning wood (or charcoal), this side fire scenario is pretty much the only way to achieve Neapolitan bake times. A fire beneath the hearth pretty much trashes your ability to brown the top of the pizza quickly.  Theoretically, if the ceiling is low enough, you can try to deflect the heat up and around the hearth and off the ceiling, but that's hard enough to do with the controlled heat of a gas burner and most likely almost impossible to do with burning wood- and this ceiling, as it exists, is way too high. You also have smoke to deal with.  Neapolitan pizza gets a slight amount of smokiness from being in a WFO, but it's not baked in the middle of smoke like this pizza would be if you put in a lower ceiling (like the link did with firebricks).

You're talking about taking a very expensive oven that, out of the box, can't really make pizza, but might, with lots of tinkering and additional expense, make something decent. Maybe. I wouldn't bet on it.

If you're going to be tinkering anyway, you might as well invest your time in an LBE.  It's incredibly difficult to do Neapolitan with an LBE, but NY style is not that hard, and it will run you about half of what this costs.  It won't be as pretty, but it will make great pizza.
Hi folks

I'm the guy with the chiminea you've been discussing, so I thought I'd come on here and tell you what I really think.

There's no doubt if I had my druthers - and the expertise - I'd have one of these:

https://picasaweb.google.com/115426447285405371194/WoodFiredOven

(Posted on http://woodovenukforum.forumup.co.uk/about384-woodovenukforum.html)

But I have limited space, so I decided on the Castmaster.

As you've probably seen it's been a bit of a struggle to get it to produce pizzas on demand. But now I can have the finished pizza on the table within 1 hour and 20 minutes - which is a lot quicker than the brick built ovens.

It is a bit of a faff - but anyone thinking of getting one of these can short-circuit all the experiments that I did, and get cracking straight away.

Best wishes, folks - nice forum! :D

Cheers, Paul

buceriasdon

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Re: Any thoughts on these chiminea pizza ovens?
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2011, 06:36:45 AM »
Hi Paul, If I may ask, how did you achieve more top heat?
Don

Offline Paulthebread

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Re: Any thoughts on these chiminea pizza ovens?
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2011, 08:08:27 AM »
Hi Paul, If I may ask, how did you achieve more top heat?
Don
Hi Don

I used firebricks to make a mini-oven. I used three for the base - the middle one I stand on its side so that more heat is allowed inside. Then one standing on each side and two at the back. I balanced two large wall tiles I just happened to have around, over the top, then covered those with a couple more firebricks.

While the oven is heating up I have the middle firebrick standing on its side in the middle - when i begin cooking I place this back as part of the floor of the oven. I can get a pizza cooked in 3 minutes - including turning it round (there's not as much heat at the front).

Now I've got the arrangement in the oven I just leave it there - except for the middle brick as I've explained. I've had a lot of fun getting to where I am - and it's there for whenever I need it. As I say in the blog I need to see how many pizzas I can make in one firing. I'm guessing an unlimited number with pauses whilst heat is built back up again.

I also need to plan more for the heat remaining after all the pizzas are made. Perhaps focaccias - down to baked potatoes!

Cheers, Paul

buceriasdon

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Re: Any thoughts on these chiminea pizza ovens?
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2011, 08:53:13 AM »
Thank you Paul for the explanation. The lack of top heat as been one of my quibbles with chimineas, though the cast iron one spoken of here has the room for such a modification. Also, an aside, it's difficult to tell from the photos whether the base is cast or not but for those thinking about welding casters to the base, cast iron, and a welding shop should know this, requires special rod and techniques for the welding process to work. Don

http://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-us/support/welding-how-to/Pages/welding-cast-iron-detail.aspx
« Last Edit: December 12, 2011, 08:56:58 AM by buceriasdon »

Offline Paulthebread

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Re: Any thoughts on these chiminea pizza ovens?
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2011, 09:09:32 AM »
Also, an aside, it's difficult to tell from the photos whether the base is cast or not but for those thinking about welding casters to the base, cast iron, and a welding shop should know this, requires special rod and techniques for the welding process to work. Don
http://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-us/support/welding-how-to/Pages/welding-cast-iron-detail.aspx
Hi Don

The actual base is most likely aluminium - it's very light and strong. I can take a close-up if you'd like.

I've bought myself a trolley to move it around from place to place. It's quite possible to adjust its position on the decking - I've done this whilst it's been alight, wearing gloves of course. Better say I just have the smaller one, weighing 66kg.

Cheers, Paul

buceriasdon

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Re: Any thoughts on these chiminea pizza ovens?
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2011, 09:21:19 AM »
hmmmmm, Cast aluminum is just as difficult as cast iron to carbon steel welding. Dissimilar metal welding even with a TIG welder is a challenge. Mechanical fasterners would be better for those thinking about adding wheels.
Don

Offline Paulthebread

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Re: Any thoughts on these chiminea pizza ovens?
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2012, 05:24:27 PM »
Fired up the chiminea yesterday and made 5 pizzas (two potato pizzas - my wife dislikes tomato - 3 vegan pizzas) and a loaf.

Took quite a bit longer than last time, since there was a shortage of charcoal, but I managed it - with a little help from the grill!

Haven't mentioned it on my blog, yet, but the chiminea has developed a couple of faults. One of the bolts holding the top oven door has sheered and the housing of the other one has fractured. I'll see if I can't get a close-up of this to show you what I mean.

Thought I'd better alert anyone on here who's thinking about one.

I'll put the story - and the pic if it's any use - on this post one my blog:

http://nobreadisanisland.blogspot.com/2012/01/chiminea-firings-of-2011-number-1-7112.html

Cheers, Paul


 

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