Author Topic: gas fired brick oven  (Read 24959 times)

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Offline pizzaneer

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #80 on: April 22, 2012, 02:18:18 PM »
If those pics are any indication, you won't have much trouble selling your new style!  I'd buy one!
Market them to your existing customer base by offering specials, coupons, etc.  I'm sure once they try them, they'll order them again.
 
Once you get the recipes perfectly dialed in, then you go for a larger & more discerning customer base.  Identify the affluent areas near you and bomb them with special flyers, well-printed and well-written and beautifully photographed, extolling the virtues of your NP style pizzas.   This may be a good time to consider redecoration of your establishment, perhaps building a brick or stone - themed area, new sign outside, etc.

As Buceriasdon does, you might try donating your pizzas to charity events in return for publicity, or try to engage the interest of food writers.   

I'm really pleased that a simple tweak to your Blodgett could produce some really nice pies.  Once you get the other mods in place, it should be amazing.
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.


Offline Gianni5

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #81 on: April 23, 2012, 05:39:15 PM »
Thanks pizzaneer
I really appreciate how openly everyone shares their knowledge and take time out to help others.  I had been really complacent with my pizzas and this website has helped me realize there is a lot more out there.

scott123

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #82 on: April 26, 2012, 07:08:08 PM »
John, I'm a little late to this discussion, but here's my two cents.

First of all, great looking pizzas.  If someone would have told me that those had come out of a gas deck oven, I wouldn't have believed them.

Now... regarding the mod.  Just because you can hit 800+ with this oven doesn't necessarily mean that you should.  I really have my doubts that this oven can survive very long running continuously at 825/850. Those kind of temps are hard on ovens.  Neapolitan pizza is an incredibly noble goal, but I think, if you want to avoid having to buy a new oven, you should accept the fact that this oven can't really do Neapolitan bakes and instead do 4 minute NY bakes instead. That's really what these ovens were born to do.  A 4 minute NY pie, made with typical NY malted bromated flour, will always be better than a 2+ minute caputo pizza, imo (as well as being far superior to 6-7 minute NY bakes).  This transition should also be a heck of a lot more easier for your NY leaning customers. Many NY style lovers have a hard time making the transition to Neapolitan, so you'd be talking about a substantial advertising outlay to reach Neapolitan fans- and that's also assuming you're in an area that has enough Neapolitan lovers to support a Neapolitan pizzeria.  In this forum, Neapolitan pizza probably has the market share, because it has a lot of obsessives, but in the real world, Neapolitan pizza is incredibly niche and generally requires urban markets with large populations to thrive.

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #83 on: April 26, 2012, 07:37:43 PM »
Scott,
   as Gianni pointed out early in this thread, it is an older, mostly unused oven.  As such, it's at the very least perfect for making some inexpensive mods and trying out higher temp NP or NY/NP style recipes - and also to test the palate of his customers!   If there proves to be a demand, then onward to a newer oven.   But wouldn't you agree it makes sense to try the water before jumping in?
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #84 on: April 27, 2012, 01:20:10 AM »
Well, Brian, I'm a bit of a worry wort when it comes to extreme oven mods, and I can be pretty biased when it comes to NY style pizza, so I might not be looking at this all that objectively, but I think, from a financial perspective, unless John is surrounded by phenomenal NY style pizza, a 4 minute NY pie will always outsell a quasi-Neapolitan 2+ minute pizza.

As far as John converting these 2+ minute pizzas to 90 second authentic Neapolitans... the firebrick ceiling will help, but I'm not sure how much.  I also think he's going to need a more conductive hearth (but not too conductive). We're talking about some serious alchemy here.

Now, if John is really passionate about Neapolitan pizza, can achieve the necessary alchemy for 90 second bakes and is doing this more for love than for money, then sure, he should go for it.

Offline Gianni5

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #85 on: April 27, 2012, 03:35:10 AM »
It's funny, reading these last couple of posts is like listening to the dueling voices in my head.  I tend to get an idea and run with it, even when it's not Necessarily the right thing to do.  The oven I'm modifying is unused but it's actually almost new.  It's at our second location and we bought it new in 2008 and have only used it a handful of times.  I would be doing NP pizzas out of love but i would want them to go over well.  I'm going to wait for the firebrick and that will hopefully give me a better idea which way to go.  I'm also thinking of a hybrid baked at around 750.  I would only offer them as 12" pizzas and go for an artisanal vibe with high end, local, and/or imported italian ingredients.  maybe call them "artisan pizzettas".  Just thinking out loud.  Thanks for your opinions

scott123

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #86 on: April 27, 2012, 11:56:26 AM »
John, back when you were doing the oven testing, I googled Neapolitan pizzerias in your area to see if I could find a source for good dough.  Most of the hits I got were pretty far south/west of you. If you're near any sort of affluence, which I think you might be, then I think you've got a pretty good market for Neapolitan pizza. I don't have a crystal ball, but I think if you had access to some capital and could open a new Neapolitan pizzeria, I think you'd be better off than trying to transition your existing place.

As far as hybrids go, it depends on how you define hybrids, but if you're talking about something neo/ny, coal-ish... I think you're dealing with an even smaller market than Neapolitan.  Unless you have the name recognition of one of the historical coal places (Lombardi's, Grimaldi's, etc.) neo-ny pizza is a niche slice of an already niche market.

I'm curious, what are your bake times right now? 8 minutes? 10?

Offline Gianni5

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #87 on: April 27, 2012, 06:01:26 PM »
Scott your right, there is no np pizza or really anything like it within 30 minutes of us.  We opened our second location in 2008 just months before the economy tanked and we are finally starting to see some profit now.  We borrowed a lot of money and when the loans are paid off next year it's my dream to do a real wfo napoletana pizzeria ristorante.  Our bake times are around 8 minutes.  Last night I actually timed some pizzas during the rush and they were actually more like 10 to 12 minutes.  I haven't been happy with the blodgett lately.  The only other deck oven I have experience with is bakers pride and I prefer them to the blodgett's any day.  The marsal mb sounds great to me but I don't any first hand experience with them.

scott123

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #88 on: May 03, 2012, 01:10:31 AM »
John, one of these days, when you get the brick ceiling in place, try stretching your NY dough nice and thin (.07 thickness factor) and baking it in 4 minutes (650?). I really think it could be an eye opening experience for you.

Offline Gianni5

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #89 on: July 15, 2012, 11:05:39 AM »
Does anyone have an opinion on this oven?  http://marsalsons.com/default.aspx?pageId=49.  I'm not sure how to post a link so that probably didn't work but it's a new oven from Marsal called the wave oven.  It's a gas oven and they say it's capable of temps over 900 f.


Offline pizzaneer

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #90 on: July 15, 2012, 11:29:52 AM »
The link works fine.  I'd love to hear some firsthand experience with that oven.  The concept looks good.   Are you thinking about pulling the trigger on this?

What happened with your oven mod, anyway?
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline Gianni5

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #91 on: July 15, 2012, 11:45:08 AM »
Modifying my blodgette is going painfully slow because my friend who is a contractor has been really busy and I'm not much of a DIY kind of guy.  I actually finally picked up some firebrick and we might start working on it in the next week or two. 
As for the wave oven I think it's a really new product and I haven't found any info on pricing or anyone with firsthand experience. Im very interested in it but I really need to know more about and see a pizza that's come out of that oven.

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #92 on: July 15, 2012, 11:56:54 AM »
I think your best bet is going to be asking a NY/NJ member to check out their showroom, maybe try to get a test drive.  I'm sure there's going to be some interest - the brick dome inside a side-fired gas deck oven is unique as far as I know.


Glad to hear you haven't given up on the mod- you should have some retail high-temp pizza experience before considering a specialist oven for that style.  A mod's the cheapest way to get that commercially.

 
« Last Edit: July 15, 2012, 12:04:27 PM by pizzaneer »
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #93 on: July 15, 2012, 01:10:47 PM »
I wonder if the wave could be the answer to LBE top heat?
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

scott123

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #94 on: July 15, 2012, 01:37:29 PM »
This is just a Marsal MB with a 40K btu side burner and a funky ceiling brick configuration.

While I'm a huge fan of the MB for NY style, if they're trying to sell this as a NP WFO replacement, I think they're missing the mark.

As far as mimicking Neapolitan WFO side heat, 40K is nothing.

The Drago burner, might be able to consistently give you Neapolitan leoparding, maybe:



and, while I can't seem to find the specs at the moment, I guarantee you that it's more than 40K.  At a minimum, that's the kind of side heat you need. If I were a Neapolitan pizzeria converting to gas, I'd probably install 2-3 Dragos in one oven.

In other words, for customers that might respond favorably to the romance of seeing flame in an oven, sure, this is a good idea.  For the rest of us that actually care about the pizza, I see no benefit beyond the (most probably) less expensive MB.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2012, 01:39:56 PM by scott123 »

Offline Gianni5

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #95 on: July 15, 2012, 03:10:24 PM »
Thanks for your replies
The reason this type of oven appeals to me is mostly because it would fit in my restaurant without major remodeling costs. I wanted to put in either a forno bravo with the drago burner, the valoriani verace, or a gas fired stefano Ferrara but they just don't fit.  With this wave oven I could just remove my double stack 1060 blodgette and replace it with the marsal. The outer dimensions are almost identical. I do highly doubt it's gonna bang out 90 second pizzas but I could live with a 2 to 3 minute bake and just not do VPN napoletana pizzas.

scott123

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #96 on: July 15, 2012, 03:44:02 PM »
John, you're going to get some different opinions on this, but, imo, there's nothing worse than a 2-3 minute Neapolitan pizza (VPN or not).  2-3 minute pizza is kind of like a pizza no man's land.  It's not really NY and it's not really Neapolitan.  You might find a handful of pizzerias nationwide in this area, but you're talking maybe 1 in 5,000.  Both a 60-90 second Neapolitan and a 3-4 minute NY completely blow 2-3 minute pizza out of the water- and that's irrespective of ingredients/flour blending.

I still have yet to see definitely proof of a drago or a gas SF producing consistent 60 minute bakes, but if you can find something that will, and you can find the space, go for it. Otherwise, I highly recommend sticking to NY.

If the blodgett is failing to keep up with your needs and you want to replace it, but don't have the space for anything larger, just go with the Marsal MB.  With a 4 minute bake in the MB, you'll be making up enough money to open up a brand new Neapolitan place within a year.

Offline Gianni5

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #97 on: July 15, 2012, 05:19:38 PM »
I guess I always figured I could just tweak the dough recipe to adjust for the 3 minute cook time.  I think I have a lot to consider here.  We have a very popular Chicago deep dish pizzeria moving in less than a mile away from us and im worried they're going to cut into our business. We've always been the go to pizzeria in town and haven't had a whole lot of serious competition.  I wanted to do something new to generate some excitement in our place.  I like the idea of countering the heavily topped thick crust pizza with a light thin crust pizza with more unique toppings.  The new place is opening in late 2012 early 2013.

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #98 on: July 15, 2012, 06:00:40 PM »
Scott, how would you feel about a visit to Marsal's test kitchen?  I'm interested in what you, as a die-hard NY style fan, would have to say about their new "900+" oven.   You never know.  A lot of people didn't think the LBE concept would work either.
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline shuboyje

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Re: gas fired brick oven
« Reply #99 on: July 15, 2012, 06:40:33 PM »
Regardless of their past and their reputation I'd hold them to the same standard as everyone else.  To launch that oven, and make those claims without a single picture of what it can produce at 900F is a joke.  That speaks for the product more then anything else they tell you.

As for your business situation, why not counter thick with thick and take on their Chicago Style with Detroit Style.  You'd probably be the first one in California to do it, and it seems to do well everywhere people try to sell it outside of Detroit.  Best thing is a standard deck oven will be perfect.

edited to add:

Here is a long thread about Detroit Style in Texas
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16820.0.html
« Last Edit: July 15, 2012, 06:42:36 PM by shuboyje »
-Jeff