Author Topic: converting wood oven to gas...commercial  (Read 15279 times)

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Offline pizzaneer

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Re: converting wood oven to gas...commercial
« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2012, 12:51:16 PM »
Erm, first let me say "Congrats" on your happiness.   
 I can appreciate the trouble high turnover of staff would cause in running a WFO in a restaurant.  There are many, many WFO pizzarias that produce wildly inconsistent product, and this is largely due to operator error.  So sometimes they just give up on high-difficulty items in favor of what the staff can handle producing reliably.    In turn, this gives WFO's a bad name to the general public.  Not  us, obviously, because we're pizza-obsessed.  But in general.
   Again, your solution seems very satisfactory, given that it allow you consistency, even when cursed with your high turnover rate.  That kind of leads to another point. 
   I don't mean to offend,  but retaining good workers is a sign of a good work environment.  You seem a little... touchy, and quick to anger.
Again, congrats on your oven.  Best of luck in exploiting its new characteristics to benefit your bottom line.
 
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.


Offline Fourlix

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Re: converting wood oven to gas...commercial
« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2012, 03:11:08 PM »
Exactly.  And I really shouldn't have brought this whole thing up on this forum.  I didn't realize I was going to stir up such a hornet's nest.  This is a delicate subject from several perspectives, and I went right to the wrong place to talk about it.  PMQ would have been a better choice as suggested, but I am done for now.  Looking for, finding, and sharing information is what I have always used forums for. I guess I need to be a little more discriminating.
"Seacrest out".....

scott123

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Re: converting wood oven to gas...commercial
« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2012, 09:12:41 PM »
PMQ would have been a better choice as suggested, but I am done for now. 

Good luck with that.  PMQ is a ghost town.  Pizzamaking gets around 30 times more posts per day. Any pizzeria owners with an online presence are here, not there.  Not to mention that if someone does reply to you there, it will most likely be less friendly.

Believe it or not, we're friendly in this forum.  Even though you're getting less pats on the back than you were hoping to get, doesn't mean that the members here don't value your contribution or your experience.  If you can frame this in a way that's applicable to John Q. high temp WFO owner, you will get that pat on the back that you're looking for.  Instead of reacting emotionally to perceived slights (that, frankly, aren't happening) crank up both burners, see how high it tops out at and give the Neapolitan fanatics here the info they're looking for.

Offline Fourlix

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Re: converting wood oven to gas...commercial
« Reply #28 on: May 15, 2012, 11:04:06 AM »
Here are some pics,  But it/they look so much better in real life...

buceriasdon

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Re: converting wood oven to gas...commercial
« Reply #29 on: May 15, 2012, 11:15:58 AM »
Thanks for sharing the photos. Impressive. I have a question if I may. Is this a low or high pressure system? TIA
Don

Offline Fourlix

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Re: converting wood oven to gas...commercial
« Reply #30 on: May 15, 2012, 12:00:35 PM »
This is natural gas. Which is pretty cheap here in New Mexico.  It is possible to jet it for Propane.  It is going to be very interesting to see what my gas bill is next month.  I predict it will be the same as what I was paying for firewood.
The girls however are high pressure,,,at least as far as my blood pressure goes when they are around...

Offline Fourlix

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Re: converting wood oven to gas...commercial
« Reply #31 on: June 13, 2012, 10:43:39 AM »
I just got my first gas bill...Last month was $168, This month $188.  Natural gas.  $20 Bucks?  That's it?
wow.  I talked to the gas company, they said the bills go out right after the meter is read.  We have had the Drago for a little over a month.   With wood fired we would have some sort of "train wreck" in pizza land twice a week.  "In the weeds".  people waiting 45 minutes for a pizza with a rail full of tickets. Pizzas burnt on top, undercooked on the bottom. Customers complaining of soot on the bottom of their pizzas. ALL GONE>>>>>>
 We have had only one incident where the guys got behind in this entire month.  I have also reduced the number of employees from 3 to 2, except for Friday night where we still use 3.  The pizzas look more golden brown with a little charring.  Where the wood fire would radiate laterally from the fire, the long flame of the Drago wraps itself against the ceiling and radiates down on to the floor.  The pizzas are coming out with very well done bottom crusts.  We do have to be carefull when cooking a lot of pizzas to let the floor temp recover, hit the booster with no pizzas in the oven to reheat the floor. 

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: converting wood oven to gas...commercial
« Reply #32 on: June 13, 2012, 11:05:43 AM »
Sweet!

Sounds like you have hit a home run with your oven mod.

Just recently I was at a local place for a friends birthday.  They had an EarthStone, a BIG, BEAUTIFUL oven, with gorgeous tile inlay, marble landing, stainless steel everywhere.   The fire was on.  It looked nice. 
   Guess what?  THERE WAS NOTHING IN IT. The LED temp readout on the front said "480".  This was on a busy Saturday night.  I had a look at their pizzas for slices that were in a glass case on the counter.  Utterly horrible.  Flat as a f**kin pancake, white as a ghost.

   So, now that you are happy with your oven, and you seem to know how to use it, how about sharing some pictures of your pizzas? 
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline Fourlix

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Re: converting wood oven to gas...commercial
« Reply #33 on: June 13, 2012, 11:46:13 AM »
Oh yeah.  The secret is in the dough, not the oven, not the sauce, not the cheese.  Of course that all helps, but without a good dough recipe/technique it is all a waste of time and money.  I know a place....where they have a great big earthstone oven, tiled, beautiful,  lousy pizza, and it is because of their dough.  When I built my backyard oven I thought I would automatically be able to make great pizza....yeah, didn't happen.  My pizzas were still lousy.   I paid $25 for the "secrets from a pizzaria" and was finally on the right track.  I didn't stop there.  I kept researching, and experimenting with flours and techniques.  It's simple, but elusive.  We have a simple and reliable technique now, with great tasting crust.  I'll post some pics,,,,but it is all in the flavor of the crust. I can use our dough from work and get a pretty good pizza in my home kitchen gas oven....for that lazy day I don't want to do any more than I have to. 
        Some basics that we use:   All Trumps 50143 unbleached, unbromated flour, Fresh yeast, sea salt, filtered water.  24-48 hour cold rise.  The rest is secret. 


Offline pizzaneer

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Re: converting wood oven to gas...commercial
« Reply #34 on: June 13, 2012, 12:28:06 PM »
        Some basics that we use:   All Trumps 50143 unbleached, unbromated flour, Fresh yeast, sea salt, filtered water.  24-48 hour cold rise.  The rest is secret. 

Keep your secrets, pal.  Don't want them.  I'm not a commercial maker, and I'm pretty happy with my dough too.  Don't you wish you had found this site a long time ago, back before you shelled out money for someone else's recipe, then had to spend years tweaking it?

We're all here to help each other, show off our pies and trade stories.  People with secrets tend to not hang around.
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline Nebula

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Re: converting wood oven to gas...commercial
« Reply #35 on: June 13, 2012, 03:41:56 PM »
Dang, you already have a secret recipe. I was hoping to put you in contact with the pizza savant in this thread.

Maybe you need a buffalo wing recipe...  ::)

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: converting wood oven to gas...commercial
« Reply #36 on: June 13, 2012, 04:28:54 PM »
LOL, that thread is the whole reason for my reaction to the "secret recipe"!  What a nutjob.
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline Fourlix

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Re: converting wood oven to gas...commercial
« Reply #37 on: June 13, 2012, 11:49:39 PM »
 I am attaching a pizza pic I took today, and a picture of our cold proofer, which is an old Pepsi fridge. And for those of you who like Coke better.......keep it to yourself.   You seem to want to argue about everything. 

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: converting wood oven to gas...commercial
« Reply #38 on: June 14, 2012, 12:29:57 AM »
Alex,
  thats one nice looking pie!  Without telling us any of your trade secrets, what's on it?
Brian

and I like the um, soda case too. Very handy.
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline Fourlix

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Re: converting wood oven to gas...commercial
« Reply #39 on: June 14, 2012, 01:40:55 AM »
The "Gila Monster" is Jalapenos, GYRO meat, pepperoni, hot Italian sausage, Green Chile, & onions.
It's a really good combo, especially for Southwest tastes.  We have a "Gila Monster Challenge", eat two of them in 40 minutes.  Get them for free and a T-shirt.  That's 5 & 1/2 pounds of pizza (5-6 lbs is what the guy on Man v Food can eat) Nobody has been able to get eat more than 1 & 1/2.  The Jalapenos are a big factor, it is hard to eat a lot of them.  And the next day........Caca Fuego !!

Offline Fourlix

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Re: converting wood oven to gas...commercial
« Reply #40 on: June 14, 2012, 10:15:02 AM »
Giving credit where it is due.....I found Jeff Verasano's website shortly after buying the "secrets of the pizzaria" recipe.  I think that has to have been about 10 years ago?  I only found this forum about two years ago, when I was gearing up to go commercial.
     Jeff's website is still up, and is still the best and most thorough discussion of pizza dough I have yet seen.  I have seen some professional baker's sites lately with some more intense discussion of dough temperatures than Jeff covers, but Jeff's info really does get you where you need to be.
      Secrets of the pizzaria was a push in the right direction, but the bitch is from Dominos....How good could that be?  But I got the high protein flour, KA Sir Lancelot, and cold rise from her. There is a lot of discussion, or scuttlebutt on NYC water. Water out west is loaded with minerals. I used to use bottled distilled water, but thanks to Grimaldi's in Tucson, I discovered that a good water filtration system works just as well. 
     But  I got that zing, that tangy sourdough like flavor I was looking for because of Jeff and his discussion of hydration and secondary enzymatic action. I may have found All-trumps on here, as I used KA when I was still amateur, but then I also discovered that I could make great pizza with just good bread flour too. I think one of the real pluses to All trumps is the addition of malted barley flour.  What is good for beer is good for pizza......

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: converting wood oven to gas...commercial
« Reply #41 on: June 14, 2012, 10:23:24 AM »
Thats interesting.  Currently theres a lot of discussion going on in the NY style thread about different types of flour used in the "old-fashioned" pizzerias compared to what they use these days.  One thing that was mentioned was that they used to use bread flour, but eventually went more to the high gluten flour.

Heres the link for that thread.  I think you'll find it interesting.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,19253.msg188257.html#msg188257
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.


Offline SinoChef

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Re: converting wood oven to gas...commercial
« Reply #42 on: June 15, 2012, 09:31:26 AM »
Fourlix,

Thank you taking the time out of your day to post this. Very informative and succinct. Never mind the negative responses. I actually may need your advice in a couple months for the never ending, “next project” here. I have never used one, and for a 21,000 square meter, tri level monstrosity, open in lees then 2 months I don’t have time to learn it. And my employer knows nothing, only that it aesthetically pleasing, and trendy to have one of these things in an open kitchen.

 
Quote
Too often Americans take a good idea and get carried away with it, as in taking it too literally...Like Pasta Al Dente.  No Italian would eat the American version of pasta cooked al dente,,,to them it is undercooked.  To me it is raw flour
.

That killed me. That’s makes 2 of us saying the emperor has not clothes. Raw bloody flour packed up in my molars, and I am supposed to sit there and be impressed because someone learned a new catch phrase? Crunch,crunch,crunch.

Quote
We make fresh pasta and cook it to order.  It is never dried. Occasionally we get somebody asking, or complaining, for their pasta to be al dente.  Fresh pasta cannot be al dente because it has never been dried.  It is done when the flour is cooked, like all pasta, even the dried kind.
Numerous times I have been rebuked in my own dinning room in the US, for not “knowing” how to cook pasta “properly”. Dried is one thing, but when I take the time out of my day to make fresh, and get complaints……

Last hotel I had there. 6 inch hotel pan, filled with water, and some Liquid smoke. Spare ribs poached for 6 hours in water with S&P. Covered in bottled KC master piece. Umm, no.

 I went a bought a home smoker from Target (don’t tell the Health dept.) and started doing some baby backs out on my loading dock. Holy hell, what a mistake! I made some people very angry with ribs you could not mash into paste with your fork.
Quote
Why so many Americans have developed a taste for undercooked flour is beyond me.
That and risotto. Risotto, risotto, risotto. Respect it, or don’t serve it. I think I had the only restaurant in MPLS that did not have risotto on the menu in the mid 90’s. I remember that, because I actually had some people thank me for not doing it.

Quote
And another thing.  This thread is about CONVERTING A WOOD OVEN TO GAS......COMMERCIAL.   Not any of the crap you backyard WFO purists are talking about.   Not a deck oven,  Not achieving perfect Neapolitan at 850, but converting a Commercial oven from wood to gas.  PERIOD
Quote
You guys have done nothing but bitch and moan because I made gas work for me, and it might work for someone else. 
     If you are not interested in a gas conversion why are you reading this thread other than to just flame me?


+1

Looked at your site. Your not a dedicated pizza restaurant. You a restaurant that delivers a dinning experience.

Success is found at your till count at the end of the night.

 Not if you have imported Italian water from the tap of your Italian grandmothers home, and tomatoes picked by a one legged, blind guito leper from the hills of Tibet. Who has perfected the pinch and twist method of harvesting, rather then the direct pull from san marzano tomato plant which is located at at 160.6 latitude, and 5.68 longitude. Which has been decided to be the most ultimate spot on earth to grow a tomato, according to “experts”.

Good on ya.

Thanks for the info.

Offline Fourlix

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Re: converting wood oven to gas...commercial
« Reply #43 on: June 16, 2012, 05:34:05 PM »
Thank you.  Pizza provides an inexpensive alternative to our more expensive BBQ brisket, ribs, pasta, grilled salmon or seabass, and most recently steaks, (hence the new gas grill).  Silver City, New Mexico is a small town with a struggling economy (like everywhere else), and our customers need that option.
       Pizza out west has always been a real challenge, (kind of like Mexican food back east, yuk). Our town, population 15,000, only has Papa Johns, Pizza Hut and Dominos, and none of them serve beer.  It is big enough to have McDonald's and Burger King as well, but doesn't reach the population level needed to support an Outback, TGI Fridays, Olive Garden, Chili's etc.  So that is good for me, as I am trying to fill that "dining experience" you mention.  And because it is a small town I have to rely heavily on repeat customers, and give them enough variety that they don't get bored with the menu. My restaurant is about half the size of one of these big chain "dining experience" restaurants, with 100 seats.   And because I designed and built it myself, it cost a tiny fraction of what a "chili's" costs.  I already owned the building which was my failed ATV/Motorcycle dealership, which was blown away by the new economy. We had wanted to add a restaurant to the Dealership, and I had already started accumulating equipment, so when the dealership went down in flames, it was the restaurant idea that we went with.
       We have tried a lot of different things, ideas, and menu items.  My crystal ball doesn't work very well though, and it is amazing what works and what doesn't. I am very fortunate that the original premise of good pizza, fresh pasta, good cold beer, real BBQ, interesting decor and cute waitresses has been successful.
    And, pizza sales are up, I am using one less employee, customers like the new pizzas better, and we have not had one customer complaint about not having wood fired pizza any more. I also changed the menu to read "Brick oven Pizza".

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: converting wood oven to gas...commercial
« Reply #44 on: June 16, 2012, 06:07:27 PM »
Thats a great story, and I'm glad to hear things are working out well.   So many businesses bit the big one, or have just limped along since 2007, my own included.  At the end of the day, your happiness is the most important thing.

Could we see some more pictures of the cute waitr... er pizza?  :P
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: converting wood oven to gas...commercial
« Reply #45 on: June 16, 2012, 07:17:04 PM »
Exactly on all cylinders.  I also looked at your site, and your concept seems to be the same as another member is attempting to open, Jak123, here:  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,19431.0.html

He should call you and get the scoop.  Good luck and keep it going!

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: converting wood oven to gas...commercial
« Reply #46 on: June 16, 2012, 11:21:36 PM »


Could we see some more pictures of the cute waitr... er pizza?  :P
Ha!  Nice try Brian...maybe they could add a new section to the site, eh?    >:D

Bob
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline SinoChef

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Re: converting wood oven to gas...commercial
« Reply #47 on: June 17, 2012, 01:18:10 AM »

What are you saving in just fuel costs every month with the switch?

And then over all, what do you guess, with out the hassle of extra maintenance, staffing, etc..

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: converting wood oven to gas...commercial
« Reply #48 on: June 17, 2012, 07:17:25 AM »
Ha!  Nice try Brian...maybe they could add a new section to the site, eh?    >:D

Bob

That would be the Hot Pizza topic!   ;D
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: converting wood oven to gas...commercial
« Reply #49 on: June 17, 2012, 10:18:25 AM »
Here we go.................. :angel:

Does that nice looking young lady work for you Pizzaneer?
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 10:37:01 AM by Chicago Bob »
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