Author Topic: gas fired brick oven  (Read 23707 times)

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Offline Gianni5

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gas fired brick oven
« on: February 25, 2012, 07:44:55 PM »
Hi everyone,
My name is John and this is my first entry on the forum.  I own a pizzeria in Pleasant Hill, Ca. which is about 40 miles east of San Francisco.  My father started the restaurant in 1971 with just New York style pizza.  Over the years we've expanded the restaurant as well as our menu, adding pastas, entrees, salads, appetizers, etc.  I went to culinary school in Italy years ago and in my travels throughout Italy I fell in love with Napoletana pizza.  I am now looking to add Napoletana style pizza to our menu and i'm in the market for a brick oven.  With our menu being so extensive i am really leaning towards a gas oven as opposed to wood.  I want to come as close as possible to a wood fired pizza just without the wood.  I have it narrowed down to Mugnaini, Forno Bravo, and earthstone ovens.  My problem is that all of my knowledge regarding these ovens is just based on research i've done on the internet so any advice i can get would be much appreciated.  I'm going to test the Valoriani Verace, and a couple other gas ovens at Mugnaini in Watsonville on wednesday so hopefully that will give me better idea of what will work best for me.
Thanks


buceriasdon

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2012, 08:03:09 PM »
I hope you take a IR gun to see what the hearth temp is, I'm very curious.
Don

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2012, 08:08:56 PM »
Hi John
although I have no personal experience with any of these brands, I have heard only good things about earthstone ovens, and some serious issues about Mugnaini ovens as far as being able to do a NP bake.   Please let us know what your thoughts are after having hands-on experience!
thanks
Brian

I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2012, 09:00:06 PM »
With our menu being so extensive i am really leaning towards a gas oven as opposed to wood.  I want to come as close as possible to a wood fired pizza just without the wood.

John, Welcome to the forum!

Gas is obviously more convenient and requires less skill, but you will not get the same results. The wood fire with its coals and flames creates a totally different pizza baking environment. As a consumer, I find that gas-fired brick oven pizza is more of a marketing ploy. I often find such pizzas disappointing.

I love my Earthstone, but I'm just a guy baking a few pies at a time in my backyard.  

Offline PizzaProbie

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2012, 09:16:07 PM »
John,   Melo's makes great pizza and terrific minestrone soup..As for ovens, I have a small propane fueled oven by Pacific Coast Brick Ovens. The burners are on the right side,they heat it up just fine but the center goes cool too quick with hardly any recovery... We have to let it sit empty for a couple of minutes or the bottoms don't darken nice. There is not any direct heat on the floor..
We gave up and purchased a large forno bravo, started with fire in middle of the floor, it gets nice and hot and stays that way thru about 20 small pizza's.
I'm not in the business but we have a hobby (pizza).

Ed

Offline shuboyje

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2012, 09:26:37 PM »
For your goal I think a gas fired Steffano Ferrara Oven should be the first one you look at.  All the others are already crippled by dome height in the first place, add in gas fired and I think you will struggle to get top heat and therefore have to cook at a lower temperature for a longer time.  I think the forno bravo would be second best since it uses the same burner, which is made in italy for pizza ovens.

edited to add a link:

Here is one in action
« Last Edit: February 25, 2012, 09:30:05 PM by shuboyje »
-Jeff

Offline Gianni5

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2012, 11:42:43 PM »
Wow, I can't believe i got this many responses already.  Thanks for all the info.  Thank You Ed for saying that Melos makes a great Pizza.  That's my fathers store and I am starting to take over a lot of his duties at the restaurant.  We have to two double deck Hobart ovens and we very rarely need all four ovens.  That's why I wanted to remove one deck oven and replace it with a brick one.  Does anyone know about the valoriani verace oven specifically?  Its supposedly the first gas oven approved by the AVPN. 

Offline JConk007

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2012, 08:03:07 AM »
Www.marraforni.com great oven great people
John
I Love to Flirt with Fire! www.flirtingwithfirepizza.com

Offline shuboyje

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2012, 11:35:16 AM »
John,

Are those ovens gas fired?  It looks like they have controls for a gas burner, but it is not mentioned anywhere that I could find.  It also says they are recommended by the AVPN, and most of us probably know by now that the Valoriani Verace is the first gas oven they have approved. 

As for the Verace, I would want to see one running first if I were in your shoes.  We just had a discussion about Valoriani ovens in another thread and everybody had the same opinion on them from their experiences, they leave a lot to be desired.  The Verace came up in that thread and since I have read everything I can find on it.  It basically has channels under the floor that it sucks the flue gases through and from the looks of it mixes them with the combustion air.  It also uses different floor tiles then their normal ovens.  This all sounds interesting and I'm sure it yields the even floor temperatures they claim.  My concern is the issue I have personally seen with their ovens in the past is a lack of top heat.  Nothing seems to have been done to address that, and again being gas fired the top heat is already going to be lessened.
-Jeff

Offline Gianni5

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2012, 12:51:22 PM »
I went to marraforni website and also couldn't tell if they had any gas fired ovens. Also I am going to bring an ir gun when I test the verace oven but I don't really know where I'm supposed to measure or what kind of readings I'm looking for in the different areas of the oven.  I'm starting to get worried that I won't be able to get the results I'm looking for with a gas oven and it's bumming me out a little.  I guess I should test some ovens before I get discouraged.


Offline wheelman

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2012, 01:11:19 PM »
You want to know the floor temp where pizza cooking happens. That and cook time will tell all. It would be nice to see 825 or more. Dome heat and height will determine how the tops cook. If it's able to cook top and bottom in the same amount of time and that time is less than 100 sec or so you should be Able to make solid neo pies. I'll be surprised if it can.
Is wood out of the question?
Bill

Offline Gianni5

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2012, 01:48:15 PM »
Thanks Bill.
I just have no experience doing wood especially in a commercial setting and I want to make sure I put out a consistant quality product.

Offline shuboyje

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2012, 05:05:06 PM »
In my opinion the best way to test any oven would be to cook pizza in it.  If Neapolitan is the goal I would want the hearth brought to 900F.  I would then like to see the oven produce a pizza in 60 seconds or less with the top cooked without the pizza being lifted off the hearth..  You may decide to go with a slightly lower temperature and slightly longer bake time for your commercial product, but I would certainly want an oven with that capability for a commercial pizzeria.  In your area I personally feel having an oven that can do this will be critical.  There is a lot of Neapolitan pizza in San Fran, including highly regarded places with traditional neapolitan wood burning ovens.  In many areas you can get by with "fake" 3 minute 700F neapolitan pizza, I doubt you could in your area.
-Jeff

Offline Gianni5

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2012, 05:35:30 PM »
Thanks Jeff
I am in the suburbs of San francisco and actually about an hour drive away.
There are almost no pizzerias doing np pizzas in my immediate area and my clientele are a little less saavy (in general) than they are in the city.  That being said I still want to be as authentic as is possible with a gas oven.  On Wednesday I will be testing the verace  and I was told to bring dough and anything else I want to cook in the oven. 

scott123

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2012, 07:02:43 PM »
John, where are you getting the dough from?

Offline Gianni5

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2012, 07:18:39 PM »
I'm going to make my own the night before.  Just 00 Caputo flour, water, salt, yeast, and a little olive oil.  The sales rep also said he would have dough there as well.  He said it's from a local pizzeria that uses one of their ovens.

scott123

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2012, 07:34:33 PM »
John, the only way to properly test a WFO is with tried and true Neapolitan dough- dough that's been proven to be successful in a WFO. If you never worked with a WFO, you have no way of confirming the viability of your dough. Questionable dough + questionable oven = useless data.

If you were purchasing a regular Ferrara or an Acunto, then it would be fine to learn doughmaking after the fact.  But there's no way you can test an unknown oven without advanced doughmaking skills.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 07:36:48 PM by scott123 »

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2012, 07:40:47 PM »
In addition to the excellent advice of scott123, you should try baking multiple pizzas. Just because an oven can cook one great pizza doesn't mean it can pump out pies for the whole service. Measure the deck temp before baking the first pizza. After it is done, see if there has been any temperature drop at the area where that pizza was baked and how long it takes to recover. If the oven is any good and it was fired-up correctly, any drop should be quickly recovered. 

Offline JConk007

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2012, 08:47:42 PM »
The  Marra forni ovens all have a gas option, they have a full test litchen set up in maryland if you want to go in and try before you buy. They also  supply the oven vpn school at antics ? Thry will also be at expo and demoing the ovens no wood there all gas. I know  it's an option with these ovens . Basically a modified CF corigliano foni oven.  I have the owners names and contact # if you are serious.
John
« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 09:55:31 PM by JConk007 »
I Love to Flirt with Fire! www.flirtingwithfirepizza.com

Offline Gianni5

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2012, 10:01:43 PM »
You both make good points.  I was already thinking theres no way to see how the oven will perform on a busy night.  If the oven is fired hours before I get there it's obviously going to super hot.  I'll just cook as many pizzas as they'll let me.  As for the dough I've been making dough for many years but for ny style pizza cooked at 600 degrees .   For testing I'm  making dough using the recipe on the forno bravo website I just add a little olive oil and take out a little water.  Also the rep said the dough they will provide me with is a pretty standard np style dough.  I'm open to any suggestions or recipes though.


 

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