Author Topic: My test of the Mighty Pizza Oven  (Read 8927 times)

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Offline TXCraig1

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My test of the Mighty Pizza Oven
« on: August 04, 2012, 09:06:26 PM »
The original Mighty Pizza Oven (“MPO”) thread is drifting off target, so I’m going to start a new one for this review.

A couple weeks ago, Bert (MightyPizzaOven) asked me if I would test the MPO.  With the Pizza Summit just a couple days away, the timing was perfect. The guys gave it a run through its paces with an emergency dough as you saw in the TPS thread. I was working on other things when they were playing with it and didn’t really have a chance to participate. Tonight I gave it a try, and my conclusion is that this is the little oven that could.

Picking a dough for this oven was somewhat a shot in the dark. I settled in on a dough that was quite a departure from my normal dough while still retaining some of my signature:

100% KABF
64% water (effective ~67% hydration)
7.5% Ischia culture
2.5% salt
2.0% shortening (HT Chau)

16 hours at 60F bulk + 6 hours 60F balls + 4 hours 77F balls (14” pies, 370g balls)

I started by opening a bottle of Greenock Creek Cabernet 2001. Then I covered the sides of the grill with foil and, let the MPO pre-heat longer than the guys did at the Summit – about 45 minutes. By this time, it was showing a little under 900F on the thermometer (I really don’t know what this really indicates, if anything) and 550F on the stone. I don’t remember if we even took the stone temp at the Summit, but it was only showing 600F or so on the thermometer, if I remember correctly.

The first pie was my favorite two cheese – a thin sauce made with Cento crushed tomatoes, LOTS of evoo, and some salt, HEB dry part-skim mozz, white cheddar, and black pepper. I didn’t time, it, but I would guess about 5 minutes. As you will see in the pictures, the top heat was there and the top actually baked faster than the bottom. This pie was not as crispy at all – it was more NP-like that NY. 

By the time we finished the first pie, the stone was up to 650F (the thermometer was still showing a little under 900F). The second pie was pepperoni (Hormel pillow pack which I personally like). The sauce for this pie and the next was Cento crushed tomatoes, a little evoo, sugar, and salt. The cheese was HEB part-skim dry mozz. As you will see, there was a significant improvement in charring on the bottom. This pie timed in at exactly 5 minutes, and the crust had a bit of crispiness.

By the time we finished the second pie, the stone was up to 750F, and again, the thermometer was still showing a little under 900F. The third pie was a spicy “margherita” with sauce and HEB whole milk dry mozz; Calabrian chilies and basil Napolitano from the garden added post bake. This pie was wonderful. The charring was beautiful, and it had a nice crunch. The flavor was all there. I didn’t time it, but I’d guess it was also about 5 minutes. If I were to use it again, I would pre-heat to 750F on the stone. It might be different for other grills. One would have to experiment to find out.

There was some concern at the Summit that it would be difficult for one person to use the MPO by himself. I had no problems. I was a little nervous about landing a 14” pie on a 14.5” target, but my old BBQ mod pizza skills were there when I needed them. (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9614.0.html).  One person can easily manage this oven. The only difficulty is that with my IR burner at the back, the MPO just barely fits, and you have to slide it forwards a little top open, and it with messed with the foil I put on the sides a little when it slid. I weighted down the foil with a couple large nuts and bolts, so it was not an issue.

There is no doubt in my mind that 1) the MPO can make a better pie than an un-modded home oven, and 2) with just a little effort, one could develop a recipe that works beautifully in it. My first attempt was very close, and it is a style I know little about.

Bottom line: the MPO is not going to bake NP pies. If that is your goal, you will need to look elsewhere.  It may say it’s 900F above the pie, but it isn’t. I got 2:30 pies out of my BBQ mod, but that was a wholly different animal as you will see in the link above. Notwithstanding, the MPO can bake 5 minute pies that beat anything I’ve ever pulled out of my home oven, and there is no modding involved – other than a little foil anyways.

Without regard to the cost of the MPO, I would confidently pit the MPO against any grill insert oven I’ve seen.

Craig

Pizza is not bread.


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: My test of the Mighty Pizza Oven
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2012, 09:06:55 PM »
Pie #1: Two Cheese Pie - 550F Stone
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 09:19:33 PM by TXCraig1 »
Pizza is not bread.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: My test of the Mighty Pizza Oven
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2012, 09:07:16 PM »
Pie 2: Pepperoni - 650F Stone
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 09:19:49 PM by TXCraig1 »
Pizza is not bread.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: My test of the Mighty Pizza Oven
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2012, 09:07:51 PM »
Pie #3: Spicy "Margherita" - 750F Stone
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 09:20:13 PM by TXCraig1 »
Pizza is not bread.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: My test of the Mighty Pizza Oven
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2012, 09:08:09 PM »
Refreshments
Pizza is not bread.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: My test of the Mighty Pizza Oven
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2012, 09:18:29 PM »
I should note that I ran the oven with the chimney about 90% closed and I turned the pies a little bit about every 30-45 seconds after the first minute.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline shuboyje

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Re: My test of the Mighty Pizza Oven
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2012, 11:18:56 PM »
They look great Craig.  One thing that really jumps out to me is how even the browning is on the crust.  It seems like most alternative ovens struggle with this.  They either get heat on the top but not the side, or heat on the side but not the top.  Either way they end up with a pale halo in one location.  That is not the case here, it is very even.  It looks like the MPO essentially turned your grill into a high end brick lined deck oven.
-Jeff

Offline Don K

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Re: My test of the Mighty Pizza Oven
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2012, 11:22:31 PM »
Pies look great, especially considering that it was emergency dough.
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Offline wheelman

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Re: My test of the Mighty Pizza Oven
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2012, 11:34:33 PM »
Nice work doctor!

Offline rcbaughn

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Re: My test of the Mighty Pizza Oven
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2012, 12:00:50 AM »
Has a base price been laid out for these yet?
More is better..... and too much is just right.


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: My test of the Mighty Pizza Oven
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2012, 01:22:07 AM »
Pies look great, especially considering that it was emergency dough.

It wasn't an emergency dough. It was 26 hours. Actually it was on of the things most pleasing to me. I had to make an educated guess on the culture % and I hit it right on the head.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: My test of the Mighty Pizza Oven
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2012, 01:22:31 AM »
Thanks Jeff and Bill.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Don K

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Re: My test of the Mighty Pizza Oven
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2012, 01:43:14 AM »
It wasn't an emergency dough. It was 26 hours. Actually it was on of the things most pleasing to me. I had to make an educated guess on the culture % and I hit it right on the head.
:-[ Duh, If I would have took the time to read your post thoroughly I would have seen that.

Craig, something tells me that you could make a great pie on a hibachi with some tin foil.

The MPO looks very promising. Did you have to turn the pies or did they cook evenly without?
« Last Edit: August 05, 2012, 01:58:44 AM by Colonel_Klink »
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: My test of the Mighty Pizza Oven
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2012, 06:52:37 AM »
Did you have to turn the pies or did they cook evenly without?

Don,

See Reply 5.

Peter

Offline Don K

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Re: My test of the Mighty Pizza Oven
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2012, 08:21:17 AM »
Don,

See Reply 5.

Peter
Thanks Peter.  :-[ :-[ That's strike two for me reading this thread. I should have just went to bed last night. Way too tired to concentrate.
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Offline MightyPizzaOven

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Re: My test of the Mighty Pizza Oven
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2012, 09:39:56 AM »
I am extremely fortunate to have MPO part of Texas Pizza Summit  and to have you making another thorough test.... Great looking pies, I hope I can do half decent pies.

I feel more encouraged to move forward with MPO... I still have few things to improve on, mainly the cost and minor design details to support lower cost.




Bert,

Offline deb415611

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Re: My test of the Mighty Pizza Oven
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2012, 09:43:50 AM »
Very nice Craig.

I haven't used my gas grill since I bought my pellet grill.  I may have to rethink selling it and using it for pizza since a wfo is not in the near future.  I was never able to mod it enough to do what I wanted.

Offline norma427

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Re: My test of the Mighty Pizza Oven
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2012, 10:07:22 AM »
Very nice craig!  If anyone can do the test you can.   You have done great work with your grill before.  Looking forward to seeing more.  Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline MightyPizzaOven

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Re: My test of the Mighty Pizza Oven
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2012, 10:33:44 AM »
I have couple of options to reduce MPO 1st released version cost:

- Make the chimney as an option to add later but retain the capability of controlling hot air flow.
- Eliminate front opening, the reason i have it now, is to allow rotating the bottom pizza stone which is not really necessary with MPO.
- Postponed the use of pizza turning device to another version of MPO
- Eliminate thermometer... it does not reflect actual oven temperature anyway.
- Use thin top stone

These changes will make the design simpler and more cost effective without compromising on material, quality and performance.  It will take some time to figure out cost reduction impact.



Bert,

Offline Michael130207

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Re: My test of the Mighty Pizza Oven
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2012, 12:43:36 PM »
I completely agree that Craig's pies look awesome from this test drive. From his description of his technique he rotated the pie at least 4 times after launch. To truly test the MPO I think it needs to be compared to a control given that Craig's skill may over represent the benefits of the MPO over a simple grill setup.  I don't want to make too much work for Craig. And I know in the past he has done grill setups. But if he would indulge us,  I would love to see him use the same grill, bottom stone, dough, and technique with a simple mod like the one I have pictured below as a case control. It only cost about $15 plus the stone, you probably could use a couple firebrick on the top instead of a broken old stone. It uses nothing fancy, no infrared broilers, just a stone on the grill and a full size sheet pan supported by two half firebrick with a vent cut in the middle of the pan with a hole saw. On my grill I did have to trim the pan a little to make it fit so that the lid completely closed during cooking. I would love to see how Craig's pies on a simple setup like that compare to the MPO.  I also have a pic of one of my pies below from this simple mod, stone was about 600F and bake was about 4 min,  but I think Craig can do a lot better.
Michael


 

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