Author Topic: Countertop Oven -- chinese  (Read 2839 times)

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Offline barryvabeach

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Countertop Oven -- chinese
« on: September 29, 2012, 05:41:40 PM »
I have been cooking mainly NY style pizza's for a while, and played around with a number of diff. methods, BBQ grill, stone in oven, steel plate in oven, and countetop ovens. I like the countertop ovens best for a variety of reasons, mainly I like that with a small cavity, when you open the door you don't lose all the hot air, and I like the ease of access in terms of height.  I bought a Bakers Pride PX14, modified it some, but didn't like the fact that it was limited to a 12 1/2 inch pizza,  then bought a Bakers Pride MO2T, which is the old version of the P18, and changed out the stones, and was pretty happy with the results. As a result of a recent remodel, the BP was too tall to fit, so I went looking for a shorter countertop oven, preferably 220 volts, because the warmup and recovery times with the MO2T were pretty long.  While I liked the SAGE countertop oven, it was too large to fit in the space I had, and stumbled across a listing in ebay for what seemed to be an ideal countertop oven for me.  It was described as 2.4 Kw,  220 volts, with 4 3/4 insulation around the entire chamber, thermostats for the upper and lower elements, a window in the door and a light. While the listing said 350 degrees was the limit, that is C, in F that is about 662, which is plenty for the pizza's I like.  It took about 6 weeks to arrive, and the outside looks great - the stainless steel passed the magnet test.  It was missing one screw for the handle, but I bought that.  Although the listing says that you can plug it in, http://www.ebay.com/itm/16-Electric-Pizza-Oven-Commercial-Grade-Counter-top-Series-Stainless-Steel-/170827285879?pt=BI_Commercial_Ovens_Ranges&hash=item27c6198577   it doesn't actually say it comes with a plug, and it didn't. When I checked the label on the back, it has a CE listing, which is nice, but the wattage is listed at 1.6 kw, not the 2.4 advertised by the seller.  Also, when you measure between the inside and outside wall on the left side, there is only a 1 inch gap, so not sure how they got 4 3/4 inches of insulation, same for the bottom. The top is hard to measure, but it could be as much as 2 1/2 inches.  Due to these discrepancies, I am contacting the seller to see what can be worked out so I may not be making any pies in it.  I did run some tests -   It took just 30 minutes for a thermocouple sticking a few inches above the stone to read 645.  I checked the stone with my IR gun and it read the same.  As I moved the thermocouple to diff heights, I am not sure it will get much heat from the top.  I set the bottom element for about 450, the top thermostat shut off when the  thermocouple read in the 520 to 570 range - depending on the height of the thermocouple.  On the plus side, the on off and light switch are both illuminated, the theromstats seem nice, the outside of the case was mostly below 100 degrees, some areas were 125,  the window area read 350 , but since I was using an IR, not sure how accurate that is, and the elements look pretty nice.  On the cheap side, the "stone" is extremely thin, and the window has glass only on the outside, not the inside, and it is a single pane of glass -  I would have expected double glass.  I posted this review in case anyone here was thinking of buying from this seller. Ebay says he has sold 3 and has 7 more to sell.  Scott,  I know you are not a big fan of these ovens, and in this case I may have just confirmed your belief, though I am still in search for something.  Worse comes to worse I will have to build my own, though right now I am still looking.   The wire in the top photo is the lead to my thermocouple,  In the bottom photo I took out the stone so you can see both the elements.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2012, 05:46:48 PM by barryvabeach »


Offline norma427

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Re: Countertop Oven -- chinese
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2012, 09:06:49 PM »
Barry,

I am not very good at looking at pizza ovens to know what they can or can not do.  Your new oven looks something like the pizza oven Fred used in his pizza class at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13261.0.html  I have no idea if you oven is anything like Fredís or not though, but his did make really good pizzas.

I am sure Scott will know more about your oven.

Norma
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Offline scott123

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Re: Countertop Oven -- chinese
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2012, 08:35:40 AM »
Barry, you are a madman with these countertops  ;D Talk about a glutton for punishment!  :-D

Seriously, though, I am impressed and concerned, in just about equal parts.  My biggest concern is that this company has zero track record and that you'll use this oven a few times, a spark will shoot out of the control panel and it will be dead. After that, the fraudulent advertising isn't great, especially when it involves the most important specs- watts and insulation. If you do end up keeping this, I would definitely both make sure not to put the oven near anything flammable and I'd also crack open the outer shell and see how well the wiring is insulated.

As far as the areas that impress me, well, the elements look surprisingly formidable.  I'm curious, at full power do they both glow bright red?  If they do glow red, with that thickness and those number of passes, you have a winner there. The stainless is pretty sharp looking as well, both inside and out.

The specs say that that the internal height is 3.5"- is that true?

Are you sure that this is 220 V.? The ad references 'Standard 3 prong power' which is 120.

My feelings are definitely mixed.  If it doesn't die prematurely, then I think there's a chance you might have a winner on your hands.  Is it worth gambling $400 on? That's a really tough call.  I haven't a clue.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2012, 08:41:11 AM by scott123 »

Offline barryvabeach

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Re: Countertop Oven -- chinese
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2012, 09:53:04 AM »
Scott,  I am a gluten for punishment, though I haven't done that bad in the past - when you buy and sell used on craiglist and  ebay, you don't get hurt too bad -  your main loss is shipping.  It is definitely 220v,  again the ad is pretty misleading when it talks about a plug, but the CE label on the back says 220 - 240, and that is the way I wired it.  The elements have plenty of passes, but the upper one doesn't glow bright red -  I am assuming that is the difference between a 800 watt element, and a 1200 watt element.  It may actually work for my purposes, though I definitely want some money back from the seller.  At the least, I would add a neoceram glass panel to the inside of the door, and if the thermostats are rated for higher wattage, I could always take out the lower element and replace it with a stronger element for better bottom recovery, and of course, redo the wiring to handle the increased load, the wiring is pretty basic.  I wonder whether the CE rating means anything - or whether that is just fiction.  I will admit I was pretty suspicious when there was no name on the outside of the oven in the advertising, but there is apparently a tiny market for a true countertop single deck oven with a stone floor. 
Norma,  I had read your post on his oven before I ordered this one, my guess is that this is a bit of a knockoff, the door hinge looks somewhat similar, but it uses a regular broil element, not infra red for the top heat. And Scott, the clearance is more like 3 3/4 inches.  I read where Matthew added a stone to get the pizza closer to the top element, then later posted that wasn't necessary - so not sure how that would work out.   

Offline MightyPizzaOven

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Re: Countertop Oven -- chinese
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2012, 02:30:11 PM »
Barry, just curious, did you run new circuit for 220? I am not aware of any houses in the US that have pre wired 220 v circuit. Except for the washer.
Bert,

Offline barryvabeach

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Re: Countertop Oven -- chinese
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2012, 09:22:37 PM »
Yes,  I ran a new circuit, though not just for this, I had to run a new line for another new appliance in a pantry.  At this point, I am trying to contact the Seller to arrange a return.  It turns out the Sage was the size I wanted - the correct dimension was on the Sage website, the ebay ad just used the wrong ( larger ) dimensions. When I contacted the sage ebay seller, he checked and confirmed the size of the PD11A, and I may be buying that one instead.  Going back to the circuit issue, for occasional use, you could probably get by with a 120 volt outlet   1800 watt pizza oven, if you can find one with just one rack, and around 16 inches.  The problem is that many makers, like Bakers Pride, try to get two shelves - with 3 elements, and with a 1800 watt limit, that gives about 1,200 watts for one pizza top and bottom, which is not much in terms of recovery.  I don't know of anyone that makes the 1800 watt 120 volt configuration with a stone deck.  The  other option in 120 is the wire rack, no real door, like the PX14,  which I also tried for a little while, with some modifications, and it was okay.  While a home oven has a much higher wattage, it also has a much greater volume, and looses tons of heat each time the door is open.

Offline scott123

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Re: Countertop Oven -- chinese
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2012, 04:32:06 AM »
And Scott, the clearance is more like 3 3/4 inches.  I read where Matthew added a stone to get the pizza closer to the top element, then later posted that wasn't necessary - so not sure how that would work out.

If you do keep this oven, I wouldn't add a second stone, but I would raise the stone about 3/4".  I would also, as I'm sure you're already thinking about, replace the existing stone with 3/4" cordierite.

Offline MightyPizzaOven

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Re: Countertop Oven -- chinese
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2012, 01:02:00 PM »
for occasional use, you could probably get by with a 120 volt outlet   1800 watt pizza oven

I did consider using electric elements for my oven, but 110 volt circuit didn't  offer enough power to heat up top and bottom stones and It was not cheap to run 240v circuit. So I  went with the gas grill as a heating source.

I really like the convenience of a counter top pizza oven... but on the other side, I wish there is a way to limit the heat released every time you open the oven. In the winter, this is not an issue.

Bert,

Offline sajata

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Re: Countertop Oven -- chinese
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2012, 03:03:33 PM »
CE is the EU equivalent of UL in the states. And yes it means that the unit is safe and conforms to all codes in the EU.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CE_marking

Offline barryvabeach

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Re: Countertop Oven -- chinese
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2012, 07:33:09 PM »
Scott,  I am trying to return it. Unfortunately, the seller took so long to ship, it is too late to file a paypal dispute, but I did pay through credit card, so I will protest the charge and see what happens.  If I had to keep it, I was thinking of changing the elements, I found a bendable heating element from McCaster, unfortunately, the longest one that had that fits my wattage is around 48 inches ,which wouldn't let me do a number of tight passeshttp://www.mcmaster.com/#tubular-heat-elements/=jjus73   At the same time, I thought I would like to mount the upper element lower in the oven to get more browning.  Based on my experience with the BK,  using a 3/4 stone would involve preheat times around 1 1/2.


Offline scott123

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Re: Countertop Oven -- chinese
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2012, 07:46:15 PM »
Barry, when you say 'fits my wattage' are you saying that you're sticking with the original wattage?  The only way I'd put in a different element is if I could increase the wattage- to at least 3 kW. For this much surface area, 3 kW should be a happy number. That beats the watts per square inch of the $5000 PizzaMaster countertops- the best, imo, of this class.

Offline barryvabeach

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Re: Countertop Oven -- chinese
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2012, 07:52:35 AM »
Scott, sorry I wasn't clear,  Yes I would want to increase the wattage. The limiting factor, at present, is the thermostats - I wouldn't want to have to replace those, so I would want to max out the watts, but stay within the rating for  the thermostats, and of course replace the wiring.   Do you have any ideas for sources of electric elements if I go that route?  I run the math a little different than you.  From your recent poll, a strong home oven has about 3000 watts.  A 30 inch cavity would have roughly 4 cubic feet.  A 16 inch, countertop oven with an 8 inch high compartment would have about 1 cubit foot volume.  While the heat required to bring the stone up to temp is the same, since the volume of air to be heated is about 25% of the home oven, and less lost air when you open the countertop oven door,  I think 2400 watts would be very strong.  The sage oven is 2200 watts and from what I have read, that is plenty.  The other factor, as you have pointed out, is that you would like to have the heat evenly distributed over the surface of the pie to avoid uneven heating, that is why the bendable elements, though a great wattage, and convenient because they can be bent by hand, are not that idea.. Prebent elements are tough because most are designed to fit a full sized oven, and wouldn't fit a 16 inch chamber.   

Offline scott123

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Re: Countertop Oven -- chinese
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2012, 10:39:24 AM »
Barry, the average home oven in my poll is about 6 kW.

From a wattage perspective, there's no real vertical aspect to oven thermodynamics.  No matter what the oven, you're going to want the broiler as physically close to the hearth as you can comfortably work with, but as far as the relation of the bottom burner to the hearth is concerned, it can be an inch below it or two feet- it makes no difference to the watts.  The heat from the bake element will rise. Because of the lack of a vertical aspect, it's helpful to look at the area of the hearth rather than the volume of the oven.  This is why I run all these ovens through a spreadsheet that gives me watts per square inch.

Offline scott123

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Re: Countertop Oven -- chinese
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2012, 10:41:16 AM »
As you can see, at 1.6 kW, your oven is pretty comparable with the Baker's Pride (which isn't saying much), and, at 2.4 kW, it's a bit better, but it's still pretty far from the Pizzamasters and nowhere near a home oven. If there's any chance the thermostats can handle 3 kW, that's what I'd go with.

I, honestly, haven't done a great deal of shopping for elements.  There was a thread a while back where the poster was building an electric oven and he had a few links. If you want I can see if I can track it down.

Offline MightyPizzaOven

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Re: Countertop Oven -- chinese
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2012, 11:49:53 AM »
Scott, your knowledge is unbelievable. I am very impressed , you must have an engineering background.

This may or may not help . I was looking at steplless motor controller to control heat element, it is 110v, they should have it 220, or something similar.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000HQAVNI/?tag=pizzamaking-20
Bert,

Offline barryvabeach

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Re: Countertop Oven -- chinese
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2012, 12:33:30 PM »
Scott, as to home ovens,  I was comparing my Viking, and the other home ranges, and thought 3,000 was  an average number for one element. My two deck BP had about 1200 Watts per deck , if you ignore the fact that one
does double duty.  This Chinese one is better since it is 1600  per deck, with a slightly smaller deck. A business might need more, but for a guy goofing off making pizza one night a week,  I am hoping 2,400 would be plenty, especially since the Sage is only 2200 and well received.      BTW,  for those that think Scott is the man as to Pizza oven construction, you miss that her has a great recipe as well, it has been my mainstay, though modified for home ground whole wheat,  for quite some time
Scott,  I will do a search, the only posts I recall was someone who nailed what looked like toaster element to the roof of a masonry oven

Offline scott123

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Re: Countertop Oven -- chinese
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2012, 12:58:09 PM »
Bert, thank you for the kind words.

Barry, sorry, I wasn't clear.  When I talk about home ovens being 6 kW, it's for both elements. My recommendation for 3kW is for 1.5 kW per element. The Sage has a thermostat that allows it to get inferno hot, but I don't recall many conversations about recovery time.  2.2 kW might not be great on multiple pies.  You could, in theory, improve the recovery with a thicker cordierite stone- perhaps 1", but that could take a very long time to pre-heat. I'm sure you'll be able to work with 2.4 kW (1.2 kW per element), but I think a little higher might make your life easier.

Here's the thread where elements were discussed:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16346.msg159928.html#msg159928
« Last Edit: October 03, 2012, 02:02:49 PM by scott123 »

Offline barryvabeach

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Re: Countertop Oven -- chinese
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2012, 08:55:25 PM »
Scott, thanks for the link,  I had read that the other day, and actually started looking for elements from that company, but had trouble finding a size that would work, even though I must have looked at over 50, that is why I started looking at the bendable ones.   There is one thing that has me stumped - I tried to do thought exercise but it only made by head hurt.  Say I have  a 1/2 inch stone  ( woefully thin is the term you used).  Say it takes 1/2 hour to heat it to 575 -  and that when I take the pie off 4 minutes later, the stone has dropped to 500, and I want it to return to 575 again - and that it takes 10 minutes to raise the 1/2 inch stone to 575.  Now if you switch out to 1 inch stone, obviously the first heat up to 575 will be longer, and I would guess that when I take the pie off after 4 minutes the stone will have dropped less in temp, or even if the top of the stone dropped to the same 500, right below that it might be 525 and even higher near the bottom.  Well, my question is, to bring the top of the stone up to 575 why would that  be any quicker than raising the temp of the thinner stone - because the thicker stone has so much mass, even if it only drops to 525,  I have to bring the bottom of the stone higher than 575 to get the top up to 575?  In other words, my guess is that the thicker stone helps in preventing hot spots --  since the element is farther away and the conductive nature of the stone distributes the heat, and also would help a little on the second pie, since it won't drop as much as the first, but it seems to me once you got to multiple pies, the extra mass wouldn't help all that much since you have to heat up all that extra mass as well.

Offline sub

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Re: Countertop Oven -- chinese
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2012, 11:44:04 AM »
hi barry,

try to raise the stone closer to the top heating element (2inches beetween them)

and trick* the top thermostat to always get heat


* maybe if you remove the knob  you can  set it with a screwdriver