Author Topic: Earthstone Gas Fired Pizza Oven  (Read 17823 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline nahu123

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 17
  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • Margarita stands alone
Earthstone Gas Fired Pizza Oven
« on: October 14, 2005, 06:18:16 PM »
Having been an avid reader of this website for several months - and a lover of pizza for my entire life - I have finally made it official.  I'm posting my first topic.  In fulfilling a long time dream, I am building an outdoor kitchen at my home in San Diego – where outdoor anything can last all year; included in the project is my new Earthstone Pizza Oven.  Why Earthstone, my favorite pizzeria, Arrivederci’s, here in town, uses the same oven – although a slightly larger model.  Their pizza’s are as close to what I have enjoyed in Italy as I have found.  Like Arrivederci’s, I elected to go the extra yard and install the gas and/or wood model for the convenience of operating it wood free when desired.  Tomorrow will mark the second bake since installation last weekend. 

My thoughts so far – the oven arrived and installed just as promised.  Jean-Paul, the builder, and owner, was very helpful in answering my questions and putting concerns to rest.  The first bake was a delight – although a steep learning curve from the first pie to the 16th of the evening.  I decided to add to the pressure of the new oven by inviting a few friends to act as test eaters – they all wanted to come back, so I guess it worked out all right.

Going from my kitchen oven to the pizza oven required some changes to my dough – luckily, this website prepared me.  I began adjusting a month ago in preparation.  So far, only IDY dough has been used, although I intend to try my starter this weekend. 

I have searched the postings and have found none for gas fired, but would love to hear from others and learn from their experiences.  My entire approach to making pizza’s has been altered through the lessons I have gleamed here, I’m sure that I can continue my “education” with the help and advice of the group.

Thanks, and I look forward to reading more.


Offline nahu123

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 17
  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • Margarita stands alone
Re: Earthstone Gas Fired Pizza Oven
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2005, 03:14:33 PM »
Here's some pictures I thought you might enjoy.

Here's the oven being craned over our house. With tight access to our neighbors on either side (our yard is shaped like a slice of pizza -- a coincidence? I don't think so) and the prospect of 2,500 lbs. of oven and two fights of stairs to conquer, up and over seemed the way to go.

We had delivery on Friday and cured the oven over the weekend per Earthstone's direction. Finally Monday (Columbus Day -- another good omen), we were ready to bake. After preheating, I got the oven up to 640º. Here's the first pie hitting the oven.

Now, I do not profess to be an expert. While I've made pies for over 20 years in my kitchen ovens, I haven't had much practice with the real thing. The first pie was a learning experience -- a small tear in the dough promptly trailed sauce all across the floor of the oven. After 10 minutes and 4 more pies, here's where we were.

I like to call this one on the right, tomato focaccia bread. Yes, we dumped one upside down. And with a friend in the kitchen with perhaps too great a love for sauce, we had a huge mess. We ate it though, and it tasted great.

Finally a picture of one of our pies. I followed the 00 or High Gluten recipe from this board -- thanks so much for all the info. This is our friend Brad. He'll be over as often as possible -- he has a trip to the Middle East in his near future and we plan on treating him as much as he likes before he heads over.

We made 16 pies that night and another 20 last night. Not a crumb left either time. Were they perfect? Not by a long shot. But a week in and we feel like time will tell. Tomorrow a few more folks are coming over (word spreads fast) and we're attempting Pizza Sophia.

We'll take more pictures of the pies tomorrow and post those.

Offline Steve

  • Steve Zinski
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 1954
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Richmond, VA
    • pizzamaking.com
Re: Earthstone Gas Fired Pizza Oven
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2005, 07:30:07 AM »
Nice pictures! And nice oven!  8)
Pizzamaking.com is a member-supported public resource. Click HERE to become a Supporting Member.

Offline Bill/SFNM

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4040
  • Location: Santa Fe, NM
Re: Earthstone Gas Fired Pizza Oven
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2005, 10:48:44 AM »


I got the oven up to 640º. Here's the first pie hitting the oven.



Where are you measuring the temp? My Earthstone (non-gas) has a probe embedded about 1" into the brick in the dome. For pizza baking, this probe is pretty much useless. The most important temperature is the temp of the deck where the most heat is transferred to the dough. For Neapolitan-style pies, I shoot for about 800F.

Bill/SFNM

Offline JPY

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 109
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Earthstone Gas Fired Pizza Oven
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2005, 06:58:11 PM »
the gauge located inside of the dome gives a mass temperature of the oven, which is a good guide.  Obviously when you start a wood fire in the middle of the oven, the floor will be very hot, hotter then what you want.  Those orange embers are 1600F.  When the gauge is showing around 700F, you can bet that the floor will be hot enough to cook those thin crust pizzas.  Of course the probe location is also helpful for roasting and baking bread.

JP
-JP-

Offline David

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 966
  • What’s So Funny ‘Bout Pizza Love and Understanding
Re: Earthstone Gas Fired Pizza Oven
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2005, 09:55:45 PM »
I don't know about a gas oven,but after my oven has turned from black to white,then I pretty much know that it's hot enough to cook my Pizza.I've cooked pizza when my raytek was reading 650-700,and the dome of the oven hadn't turned white-the Pizza was just not cooking within 60 - 90 seconds.
I was told that  gas produces a "moist heat "? If that is so,then I assume this would be a benefit if you want to use your oven for baking Bread etc,but detrimental if your focus is purely Pizza.
Any thoughts on that theory?
                                                                                       David
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline Bill/SFNM

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4040
  • Location: Santa Fe, NM
Re: Earthstone Gas Fired Pizza Oven
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2005, 09:05:18 AM »

I was told that  gas produces a "moist heat "? If that is so,then I assume this would be a benefit if you want to use your oven for baking Bread etc,but detrimental if your focus is purely Pizza.


David,

This is not a direct answer to your question, but I do have little indirect experience. Although I don't have a built-in gas burner in my oven, I use a cactus burner (as shown in a previous thread) to help start the logs burning. I have also tried a few times (pure laziness :))  to use it as the only heat source to get the oven up to baking temps. Since I had the cactus burner turned off while baking, the water released by the combustion of the gas was not an issue. I didn't much like the quality of the pie. A live fire produces a better tasting and looking pizza, IMHO.

When baking bread, I use a spritz bottle to inject whatever moisture I need to get a crispier crust.

I usually fire up my oven 4 hours before baking. By then, the inside is always white. How long do you preheat yours? Since wood burns cooler at my altitude, I'm sure others don't need as much time.

 

Bill/SFNM

Offline David

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 966
  • What’s So Funny ‘Bout Pizza Love and Understanding
Re: Earthstone Gas Fired Pizza Oven
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2005, 09:40:53 AM »
2 Hrs usually does the trick for me Bill.
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline nahu123

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 17
  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • Margarita stands alone
Re: Earthstone Gas Fired Pizza Oven
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2005, 09:59:11 AM »
Speaking on the gas side, I'm preheating about 4.5 hours for a gas only use.  In talking to John-Paul at Earthstone yesterday, he indicated a combination of gas and wood would allow for a preheat to above 750 (mass temp in the dome) in 1.5 hours.  Although I don't think that short a time would give me that "white hot" wall and floor that you both speak of.  I'm going to give the wood a try this weekend - any suggestions on what type to use?

As I continue to use the oven, I am getting better results with each days use -  this may be more to do with my growing ease in using it, I haven't flipped a pie upside down since that first day, or that the oven is seasoning (if that is even possible).

Kevin

Offline Bill/SFNM

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4040
  • Location: Santa Fe, NM
Re: Earthstone Gas Fired Pizza Oven
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2005, 12:31:31 PM »
Kevin,

You may find the whole log burning thing is quite a bit more problematic than gas heating. Issues include:

- reliable sourcing of seasoned hardwood. I use oak and pecan because that is what is available around here. Fruitwoods from commercial orchards can have pesticide residues, but I'd bet that at the temps we're baking, those residue are long gone (I hope ::)).

- Starting the fire. I guess having built-in gas is a real benefit here.

- Pushing the coals to the side or back and clearing away the ashes when you are ready to bake. Some will tell you to use a wet cloth to clean away the ashes. That cools down the deck which is OK for baking bread, but when baking Neapolitan-style pies, I want as much heat as possible. After using an ash stick to push the coals to the side, I use a natural fiber in-line brush (Jean-Paul sells them) to clean the deck.

- Stoking the fire so that flames shoot up the dome and down onto the top of the pie. When baking at very high deck temps, this helps the top get cooked and colored at the same time the crust is done.

- Keeping the deck hot for multiple pizzas

etc.

It is a lot more effort to cook with wood, but IMHO, it is well worth the effort.

Bill/SFNM


Offline nahu123

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 17
  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • Margarita stands alone
Re: Earthstone Gas Fired Pizza Oven
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2005, 02:10:12 PM »
Thanks Bill, I'll contact J-P about the tools.  It may be a bit more trouble, but heck, if we just wanted easy, we'd order take-out.

Kevin

Offline David

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 966
  • What’s So Funny ‘Bout Pizza Love and Understanding
Re: Earthstone Gas Fired Pizza Oven
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2005, 08:03:08 PM »
Well Bill,sometimes I just wish I had kept my mouth shut!Tonight I fired up the ove.I hadn't used it for about 10 days as we've had terrible rain here in the NE.The oven ,Wood, and seemingly everything vas VERY damp.It took me over 3 hrs to get up to temp. tonight.just out of interest I decided to try and cook at different temp as i was heating up and see how it went.i snapped a few photos to aid in the results.All Pizzas were Marinara from the same batch of dough (Caputo 18 hr room temp.)the first was cooked at a floor temp of 650,the second at 700,and the last one at 750.I've shown the Cornicone and underside of the last one only.To my surprise (or possibly i'm under some Pizza induced drug ?) I found that the pizza cooked at the highest temperature had the most pronounced salty flavour and also the best texture/crisp/chewey balance of the three.Visually you can decide for yourselves which you prefer (if any !)I would say that the underside of the first was white ,and virtually without color.The underside of the second had excess flour (my fault) and slight even coloring.
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline David

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 966
  • What’s So Funny ‘Bout Pizza Love and Understanding
Re: Earthstone Gas Fired Pizza Oven
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2005, 08:20:36 PM »
Here is the first .......
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline David

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 966
  • What’s So Funny ‘Bout Pizza Love and Understanding
Re: Earthstone Gas Fired Pizza Oven
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2005, 08:22:55 PM »
the second..
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline David

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 966
  • What’s So Funny ‘Bout Pizza Love and Understanding
Re: Earthstone Gas Fired Pizza Oven
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2005, 08:25:16 PM »
and the third.
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline David

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 966
  • What’s So Funny ‘Bout Pizza Love and Understanding
Re: Earthstone Gas Fired Pizza Oven
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2005, 08:29:14 PM »
Underside of the third.
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline Bill/SFNM

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4040
  • Location: Santa Fe, NM
Re: Earthstone Gas Fired Pizza Oven
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2005, 08:46:22 PM »


To my surprise (or possibly I'm under some Pizza induced drug ?) I found that the pizza cooked at the highest temperature had the most pronounced salty flavour and also the best texture/crisp/chewey balance of the three.


David,

I don't understand your surprise. With a highly-hydrated Caputo 00 dough, the hotter the better, no? I also think saltiness is overlooked. Most breads I've enjoyed in Italy have been saltier than other European and American breads. My latest formula calls for 3% salt.

Bill/SFNM

Offline David

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 966
  • What’s So Funny ‘Bout Pizza Love and Understanding
Re: Earthstone Gas Fired Pizza Oven
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2005, 08:54:12 PM »
I wasn't so much surprised at the texture issue,more of how the flavors seemed to come through.I really didn't expect a 100 degree difference to have such an impact on the flavor.It is the first time i've done a side by side comparrison so really never noticed before.I just did a margerita for my ife and she concludes that it is the best i've made to date.Maybe it's time to splash out on the buffala!Thinking of which ..............have you ever considered a share in a Water Buffalo?I know they do it with racehorses!  ;)
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline Bill/SFNM

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4040
  • Location: Santa Fe, NM
Re: Earthstone Gas Fired Pizza Oven
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2005, 09:01:22 AM »
I wasn't so much surprised at the texture issue,more of how the flavors seemed to come through.I really didn't expect a 100 degree difference to have such an impact on the flavor.It is the first time I've done a side by side comparrison so really never noticed before.I just did a margerita for my ife and she concludes that it is the best i've made to date.Maybe it's time to splash out on the buffala!Thinking of which ..............have you ever considered a share in a Water Buffalo?I know they do it with racehorses!  ;)

If I don't pay close attention to maintaining the fire, the deck can cool a little with each successive pizza. In these cases, the first pizza is the best. I don't see the bottom as burned as the one in your photo. I think the higher the hydration, the less carbonization, the better the texture, and the harder it is to avoid sticking. "Still learning".

Regarding the water buffalo, I've got a backyard with wild buffalo grass, so we could keep it here.  :) But I don't know nothin 'bout milking no cows.  :)

Bill/SFNM

Offline nahu123

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 17
  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • Margarita stands alone
Re: Earthstone Gas Fired Pizza Oven
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2005, 09:58:35 AM »
Bill and David,

First off, great photos - I can hardly wait for the weekend and my next attempts.  Speaking as the lone gas user - I have noticed the opposite when it comes to floor temp.  Although I have not invested in a instrument for reading exact temp, I have found that my pies are improving with each successive one.  Although I can not quantify if this is solely a result of the oven, or my growing patience as the crowd begins to slow down their gorging.  I can say, that the texture and colorization improves as the oven continues to be used throughout the baking sessions.  I look forward to seeing the difference between gas and wood this weekend - as well as the first bread baking.

Kevin