Author Topic: Millar Stainless Steel Pizza Oven  (Read 18111 times)

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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Millar Stainless Steel Pizza Oven
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2013, 04:36:22 PM »
I disagree with the harsh assessment of the F3.  I own one, use it all the time and am delighted with it.  I seriously researched at least 20 different non-masonry, portable wood fired ovens and after a lot of conversations with a couple of company representatives and considerable thought, decided to purchase the Millars F3.  It performs extremely well.  It's quick to fire up to proper temperature and coal characteristics and holds its heat well ... even in the dead of the (Western Pennsylvania) winter.  I'm sure there are lots of good ovens out there.  But this is one of them, I can personally attest to that.
Glad this oven is working out for you. I feel the Millars are doing themselves a great disservice with the pizzas they show on their site.
 BoTrojan , do you have some of your own pizza pics you've made in you oven?
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Offline BoTrojan

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Re: Millar Stainless Steel Pizza Oven
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2013, 04:41:35 PM »
Sure, Chicago Bob ... here's one.  Look any good to you??  My pizzas are usually a little rounder than this, but you get the idea.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Millar Stainless Steel Pizza Oven
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2013, 07:05:58 PM »
Sure, Chicago Bob ... here's one.  Look any good to you??  My pizzas are usually a little rounder than this, but you get the idea.
Thank you BoTrojan,
Would you happen to have an up skirt and crumb shot of your pie?
Also, what brand/type of sauce an cheese are you using?
Thanks!
Bob
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Offline shuboyje

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Re: Millar Stainless Steel Pizza Oven
« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2013, 08:09:03 PM »
Happy to hear you are happy with your oven Bo, that is always the most important things.

Sometimes our critique's can seem a bit harsh, but that is simply the product of this great community.  There are very elite pizza makers here with some very elite setups(Craig...cough cough).  What may be a crowning achievement for even a well seasoned home pizza maker often does not meet the minimum requirements for members here(Omid's Da Michele clones of for example) .

That brings us back to the Millars oven.  Generally when wood fired ovens are critiqued here a major factor is their ability to properly and evenly cook a 60 second Neapolitan pizza because that style is the most demaning on the oven.  Once you lower your expectations away from that, the door opens for LOTS of ovens to fit the bill, and although those ovens may meet the needs of some, you will not hear most members here singing their praises.  Right now there is simply nothing to show the Millars oven can produce that elusive 60 second pizza.  If you get into Neapolitan pizza in the future and find it can indeed produce a balanced 60 second bake I am sure the community would love to have you share that information, but until then I don't think many opinions are going to change.
-Jeff

Offline BoTrojan

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Re: Millar Stainless Steel Pizza Oven
« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2013, 08:45:15 PM »
Very interesting feedback.  I have to tell you, I've had pizza in at least 50 pizzerias in and around Naples, though mostly outside of Naples in the province of Caserta, which borders the Naples province to the north/east.  I also happen to have relatives who have a pizzeria/ristorante (it's called Due Monti) in Baia e Latina, a village about an hour from Naples where my father's parents came from.  I've spent hours eating and making pizza with them in their amazing brick oven.  Some of the Pizza Margherita you get in the pizzerias in Caserta certainly looks like the Da Michele pizzas, but a lot of it does not at all.  Frankly, very few of the pizzerias I've been to in that area make their pizzas in 60 seconds, as far as I can recall.  My cousins, the Perrottas at Due Monti, certainly do not.  It's typically more like 2 to 2 and a half minutes, actually, depending on the pizza.  Regardless, to cook a pizza in 60 seconds, you would certainly need an oven to be hotter than the Millars oven can do.  So I can answer your exit question straight up and without hesitation:  if that level of heat and that short of a cook time constitute the immutable standards for you, then forget about the Millars oven.  You can, however, easily maintain 750 to 800 degree floor temperatures, which is fine for a 2 to 2 1/2 minute pizza that is also perfectly authentic by my apparently pedestrian standards. 

On the topic of whether a pizza has to look exactly like the ones that come from Da Michele (it's famous, I know, and I admit I've never been there) in order to qualify as authentic "pizza napoletana" ... well ... that one's just a head-scratcher for someone that has been to the area as many times as I have and eaten at as many pizzerias as I have.   

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Millar Stainless Steel Pizza Oven
« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2013, 09:00:05 PM »
Bo,
How many minute pizza is this...and at what temp?
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Offline shuboyje

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Re: Millar Stainless Steel Pizza Oven
« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2013, 09:03:22 PM »
Every regional pizza style seems to vary a bit.  Heck, even here people can't agree on what defines New York Style, this countries most famous.  That said, Neapolitan pizza is actually the easiest style to define due to the fact that it is a protected product in the EU and has an official definition.  For instance a pizza must be cooked in under 90 seconds to officially be considered Neapolitan.  

Here is the documentation that defines Neapolitan Pizza:
http://www.pizzanapoletana.org/public/pdf/disciplinare%202008%20UK.pdf  
-Jeff

Online jeff v

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Re: Millar Stainless Steel Pizza Oven
« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2013, 09:12:44 PM »
Well Bo, I'm glad you like your oven and the pizzas that come out of it. Aside from VPN standards there is a ton of things you can learn here about pizza that will help in whatever type or style you make. Information here on kneading, fermentation, tomatoes, cheese etc etc will help you in whatever level of pizza geekery you choose to get to.

I hope you stick around to contribute what you learn too.
Jeff
Back to being a civilian pizza maker only.

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Millar Stainless Steel Pizza Oven
« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2013, 09:13:53 PM »
The definition of pizza Napoletana is pizza that has a certain texture, crumb, and level of ingredient that can only be achieved by baking at high temps for 60-90 seconds. Not all pizzerias in Naples do it, but more do than not. Da Michele is only one example. There are pizzerias in Caserta that bake this way as well, such as Stefano Pepe in Caiazzo. But many other styles of pizza are also made throughout Italy. That does not negate what is traditional pizza Napoletana in Naples.

The takeaway here is that baking the pizza you enjoy and experienced in Italy is the ultimate goal. For some of us the 60 second bake version is the only acceptable one, and the most difficult to achieve due to the very specific design of the Neapolitan oven.

John

Offline BoTrojan

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Re: Millar Stainless Steel Pizza Oven
« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2013, 08:19:42 AM »
Wow, very interesting discussion.  OK, the newbie has been taught some good lessons  :D . I definitely understand better the nature of this forum and the incredible knowledge of the people that are contributing here.  Maybe what I can contribute in the near-term is a better understanding of the actual qualities and limitations of the Millar's oven that I have.  It's pretty clear, however, that it will not meet the exacting standards of pizza napoletana purists.  That has been established.  What CAN you do with it, how does it really perform?  I'll try and shed some light on that in the future.

Let me address some of the questions about the picture that I did post.  It was a mistake to post it, in retrospect.  It was, literally, the VERY first pizza that came out of the oven, but it's the only picture I have.  That picture is NOT typical of the pizzas that are coming out of my oven now.  So I'll take some more pictures and post some.  I also haven't (... and I can hear the gasps now!!) closely timed the cook time.  To be honest, every time I make pizza, I have a house full of hungry people and so it's been more about cranking out pizzas than rigorously testing the oven.  Also, I will say that these ovens don't hold the heat like larger, masonry ovens, and virtually every time I've made pizza so far, it's been extremely cold outside, in the teens or 20s.  I think (don't know for sure, but will find out), that I'll be better able to maintain a consistent temperature when the weather warms up.  I try to keep the oven floor temp from dropping below 800, but sometimes it does, and when it does, the cook time is longer.  All of that said, the cook time is probably rarely less than 2 minutes and never more than 3 minutes.

I always make my own sauce from scratch using crushed San Marzano tomatoes most of the time (Costco sells these beautiful, huge cans of whole San Marzano tomatoes), but generic crushed plum tomatoes when that's all I have ... with some garlic, basil, oregano.  Very simple.  I have used all kinds of different cheeses (remember, I'm usually trying to feed 20-30 people), from mozzarella di bufala that I've managed to get a little bit of in the Pittsburgh strip district, to 2-3 kinds of fresh cows milk mozzarella you can get in the super market, to ... gulp ... good old shredded part skim "mozzarella" pizza cheese.  When I make Pizza Margherita at one of my pizza parties, I virtually always use some kind of fresh mozzarella, but if I'm just making pepperoni pizzas for the kids, I'll use the stuff in the bag.  Chicago Bob ... I'm pretty sure the cheese on that test pizza picture is shredded from a drier type of fresh mozzarella that is available in our local grocery stores.  It's drier than better quality cow's milk mozzarella, but cheaper.  All of the cows milk mozzarella that I can get around here is drier and firmer than mozzarella di bufala, and obviously tastes different.  But such is life.

Thanks for the information.  Look forward to learning.       


Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Millar Stainless Steel Pizza Oven
« Reply #30 on: January 31, 2013, 08:47:18 AM »
Let me address some of the questions about the picture that I did post...

It sounds like you are having a great time with your oven, and sharing with your family friends. That is the best part of owning a wood fired oven - all the minutia we get into here on the forum is just for fun and the obsessed (like me!). Thanks for sharing the story.

I am now interested to see a more recent pie from your oven. If you are maintaining an 800 floor I do not see why you could not produce a 60 second pie (maybe with some copious doming of the pie). Is your dough formulation a low-yeast, long room-temp fermentation?

John

Offline BoTrojan

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Re: Millar Stainless Steel Pizza Oven
« Reply #31 on: January 31, 2013, 09:22:06 AM »
Hey John,

I basically use three different doughs when I make pizza, depending on how much time I have.  I have a low yeast, room temp fermentation dough that takes me around 8 hours to make, altogether.  There is a medium yeast, medium temp dough that takes me about 4 hours to make, altogether.  If I'm in a hurry, (ie., I figure out that I need more dough fast), I have a high yeast, high temp recipe that gets me from zero to dough in about an hour and a half.  To be honest, I mostly use the middle ground approach.

Do people give away their secret family dough recipes on this board?  I'm ALWAYS interested in trying something new/better.

Bo   

Offline bfguilford

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Re: Millar Stainless Steel Pizza Oven
« Reply #32 on: January 31, 2013, 10:03:47 AM »
Do people give away their secret family dough recipes on this board?  I'm ALWAYS interested in trying something new/better.


As testy as things can get once in a while, that's what I like best about this board... it's a community, and there are people with a lot of knowledge who are really open with what they have learned. A great example of that is Craig's thread here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,20479.0.html.

I make NY style. I had made a grand total of 1 pie before I discovered this forum, and if it wasn't for guidance from people like Scott, Peter, Norma, Craig and many others, I doubt that I would made the progress that I have.

Lots of support. Do your research (sometimes the search function can yield a quantity of results that are a little overwhelming). Ask questions. Post results with photos.

Barry
Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Millar Stainless Steel Pizza Oven
« Reply #33 on: January 31, 2013, 10:16:07 AM »
To come somewhat to Bo's defense, my recollection is that pizzanapoletana (Marco), who had discussions with the people who were behind the Disciplinare documents, viewed such documents as guidelines rather than strict measures to be followed. See, for example, the following:

Reply 116 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1298.msg13378.html#msg13378

Reply 3 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1235.msg11119/topicseen.html#msg11119

Reply 11 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10507.msg93074/topicseen.html#msg93074

Reply 21 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4225.msg39750/topicseen.html#msg39750

The above notwithstanding, I believe that Marco by and large subscribed to the basic principles contained in the VPN documents. Otherwise, he would not have lobbied to have natural yeast included in the documents (see, for example, Reply 15 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3722.msg32332/topicseen.html#msg32332 and also page 2 of the AVPN document that shuboyle/Jeff referenced in his last post). But, at the same time, the Naples VPN was an organization and, as such, was limited in what it could do in the way of enforcement (see page 11 of the AVPN document). I think it is also important to note that the AVPN association is rather small. According to its website, at http://www.pizzanapoletana.org/eng_associati.php, I count a total membership of 162 in Italy. That is for all of Italy. For Campania, there are 103 members. Da Michele is not one of them, although there are a few names on the list that I recognized as having seen them on the forum. To put matters further into perspective, according to Marco, in 2010 there were 500 pizzerias in Naples City Centre and another 1000 in the immediate province and several more thousands around Campania (Reply 10 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10621.msg94714/topicseen.html#msg94714).

I don't mean to impugn the AVPN and its charter and principles. I personally like what they do. But its role is rather limited. And that may help explain and account for what Bo has reported in his experience with the Neapolitan style pizza in Naples and its surroundings.

Peter

Offline scott123

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Re: Millar Stainless Steel Pizza Oven
« Reply #34 on: January 31, 2013, 10:51:03 AM »
Peter, while your links reveal that Marco was/is somewhat flexible in regards to the Disciplinare documents, I believe his flexibility is in areas other than bake times above 90 seconds (bold mine):

Finally, A neapolitan pizza must be soft indeed, like Scott has pointed out, but even in Naples you may get "out of hours" slightly crispier pizza (very, very slightly). When I say out of hour, I mean out of the 13.30-15.00 lunch and 20.00-21.30 dinner services. This is due to the oven decreasing slightly of temperature and baking more closely to 90 seconds. In my book, if everything else is correct and the 90 seconds aren't really surpassed, the pizza still qualify as authentic.

From his numerous references to 45 second bakes and Franco Manca's own sub 60 second product, if he is flexible about bake time, it's the lower end of the spectrum, not the upper.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Millar Stainless Steel Pizza Oven
« Reply #35 on: January 31, 2013, 10:59:55 AM »
Peter, while your links reveal that Marco was/is somewhat flexible in regards to the Disciplinare documents, I believe his flexibility is in areas other than bake times above 90 seconds (bold mine):

From his numerous references to 45 second bakes and Franco Manca's own sub 60 second product, if he is flexible about bake time, it's the lower end of the spectrum, not the upper.

scott123,

You are absolutely correct on that. In fact, Marco used to get into some big arguments with other members on this, and Neapolitan oven design in general, to the point where we had to lock the threads sometimes. That is why I didn't mention this point earlier.

Peter

Offline PN.pizza

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Re: Millar Stainless Steel Pizza Oven
« Reply #36 on: January 31, 2013, 10:44:13 PM »
I am curious to hear more about the thermal properties of the Millar and how quickly it cools down.  I know that it won't retain heat as long as a brick oven, but is there enough retained heat after making a few pizzas that you'd be able to make some bread afterwards? Or does it cool down so quickly that a fire must always been maintained?

While the oven doesn't have the necessary properties for true VPN pizzas, I think that it serves an audience that might not have the time/desire to build the necessary infrastructure for a large brick oven.   The maintenance seems lower - no need for curing after rain, etc.  No concerns about the dome cracking..  I'm looking at a similar oven - the Fontana Forni Margherita which is stainless steel similar to the Millar & Alfa ovens.

I'd love a breadstone mobile 700C FGM oven but can't swing the ongoing maintenance at this point in my life.  Maybe when the kids are older..

Offline BoTrojan

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Re: Millar Stainless Steel Pizza Oven
« Reply #37 on: February 01, 2013, 07:24:45 AM »
@PN.Pizza ... the Millars oven absolutely holds heat.  I've probably given mixed messages on this.  The oven maintains heat very well, just not as well as the typical masonry oven, from what I gather.  Again, I have not precisely measured and timed the oven's heat retention properties yet, but I will.  Seems like I owe it to this community to do so.  One of the problems so far is that ALL of my experience with the oven has been in really cold weather.  My sense is that this has to affect, at least a little bit, the heat retention properties of the oven.  Like I said, I need to do some more precise measuring and will.  But the oven easily retains enough heat to make bread ... I have had pretty good luck the few times I've taken advantage of the lower temps on the back end of making pizza, to make bread.

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Millar Stainless Steel Pizza Oven
« Reply #38 on: February 01, 2013, 09:00:41 AM »

Do people give away their secret family dough recipes on this board?  I'm ALWAYS interested in trying something new/better.

Bo   

Bo - Yes, absolutely. If you can, try a 12 hour dough so you can get a more pronounced leoparding. Leoparding is not a requisite for NP pizza, but it does add to the character.

I don't know what flour you are using. If you have Caputo 00:

100% Caputo 00
61% Water
2.8% kosher salt
0.1% IDY

Dissolve the salt in water. Add the flour, then sprinkle the IDY on top. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to look smooth, around 5-7 minutes. Let sit in bulk for 4 hours, with one stretch and fold at the 2 hour mark. Ball at 300 grams, and let sit at 70 degrees until doubled and ready to bake - around 8 hours.

If you are using a different flour, one that has malt, up the salt to 3%. And if you know that the flour your are using works at a better (higher) hydration, by all means use that figure.

John

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Millar Stainless Steel Pizza Oven
« Reply #39 on: February 01, 2013, 09:20:09 AM »
I doubt Caputo is the best choice for that oven unless he's targeting a very light colored pizza. Based on what he has written and what I've seen from the manufacturer, it looks like it runs a little cooler than my old grill mod. KAAP performed significantly better than Caputo at those lower temps, for me anyway.
Pizza is not bread.


 

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