Author Topic: Electric vs. Wood fired oven  (Read 4925 times)

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Offline Pizzakoning

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Electric vs. Wood fired oven
« on: November 15, 2012, 09:18:53 AM »
Suppose i buy a electric oven and heat it to around 350-400-450 degree celsius, what is the difference in result when compared to wood fired oven?
I mean heat = heat.



Reason for asking, i've seen a second hand unit of this machine;
http://www.diamond-europe.com/article.aspx?a_id=1251280258&langue=nl-be
And i really would like to have a wood fired oven, but it is just to big in my garden, relatively expensive and only useable with good weather.

I make pizza napoli.


Thanks.


Online TXCraig1

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Re: Electric vs. Wood fired oven
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2012, 09:45:31 AM »
I mean heat = heat.

Yes and no. I thought the same thing when I got my wfo, and I was wrong. There are three major types of heat transfer in play in an oven, right? Conduction (the pizza touching the floor), convection (hot air moving around the top of the pizza - the heat enters the pie via conduction and air is a very poor conductor of heat), and radiant (heat transferred via IR). IMO, 450C is not hot enough to properly cook Neapolitan pizza in a WFO. It's plenty hot for the floor - depending on the floor material, it may be too hot. It's just hot hot enough for the walls and ceiling; an electric oven may be different.

As important as the heat itself is the balance of heat. In a WFO, the more you rely on the IR from the fire/coals, the harder it is going to be to bake a pie evenly. You need balanced IR from the fire and the walls. This is why the walls need to be well over 450C - closer to 500C+, and the ceiling hotter than that. An electric oven, where you have even IR coming from electric coils or lights may be different. To this extent, heat is heat. I believe you can engineer an electric oven to produce good Neapolitan pies. The heat balance can be created in other ways, but what doesn't change is the requirement of balance. Another obvious difference is that heat from an electric oven would be drier. I'm not convinced that is a good thing.

I've seen Neapolitan pies from electric ovens that look like they came from a WFO, but they are relatively few and far between. It generally also takes a good bit of effort and tinkering to make it work and the results are often inconsistent. I can't speak to the oven you referenced specifically. Maybe someone else can. I'd want to see pictures of Neapolitan pies baked in it before buying if it was me.  

I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline scott r

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Re: Electric vs. Wood fired oven
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2012, 02:51:04 PM »
dont forget about the drying aspects of all the convection going on within the wfo... or even more drying within a coal oven.    Of course the larger the baking chamber on an electric oven the dryer it will be as well.    Pizzas put out a lot of moisture when they back, so the small countertop ovens have hard time getting the pizzas crispy, but are excellent for bread.   

Offline scott r

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Re: Electric vs. Wood fired oven
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2012, 03:09:52 PM »
my oven is the largest one at the bottom of the page.    I love it for Ny or coal style pizzas, but to do a neapolitan bake I still prefer my home oven on the cleaning cycle.   My best pies have come out of a WFO, or a CFO, however.   

http://www.gourmetpizzaexpress.com/products.html

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Electric vs. Wood fired oven
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2012, 09:54:58 PM »
I will differ from the conventional wisdom and agree that the pizza doesn't care where the heat comes from.  It does care where it is applied, however, and this is what makes the type of oven like you posted fall short.  You will never get balanced heat from that, even though it claims an ambient temp that is adequate.  Neapolitan pies do not rely on ambient temps, WFOs are designed to exploit IR heat which is not easy to replicate in an electric deck type oven.

That oven would be great  for a 3-4 minute NY or NY-elite pizza though if it performs to spec.

Online TXCraig1

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Re: Electric vs. Wood fired oven
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2012, 11:35:51 PM »
I will differ from the conventional wisdom and agree that the pizza doesn't care where the heat comes from.  It does care where it is applied, however, and this is what makes the type of oven like you posted fall short.  You will never get balanced heat from that, even though it claims an ambient temp that is adequate.  Neapolitan pies do not rely on ambient temps, WFOs are designed to exploit IR heat which is not easy to replicate in an electric deck type oven.

Isn't that saying that pizza does care where the heat comes from?
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline mkevenson

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Re: Electric vs. Wood fired oven
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2012, 11:45:51 PM »
The pizza don't care where the heat comes from, cause the pizza don't think!!!!
The PEOPLE care where the heat comes from, cause they make the pizza. :chef:
"Gettin' better all the time" Beatles

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Electric vs. Wood fired oven
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2012, 11:51:01 PM »
It cares where it IS, not what creates it. 

Online TXCraig1

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Re: Electric vs. Wood fired oven
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2012, 12:26:11 AM »
It cares where it IS, not what creates it. 

I agree it doesn't care what creates it, but it does care about the form (i.e. IR vs. air to pie conduction).
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Online Chicago Bob

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Re: Electric vs. Wood fired oven
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2012, 12:37:47 AM »
It does care where it is applied,
[/quot
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Offline Woodfiredovenpizzero

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Re: Electric vs. Wood fired oven
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2012, 01:51:26 PM »
my oven is the largest one at the bottom of the page.    I love it for Ny or coal style pizzas, but to do a neapolitan bake I still prefer my home oven on the cleaning cycle.   My best pies have come out of a WFO, or a CFO, however.   

http://www.gourmetpizzaexpress.com/products.html


Looking at the specs for this oven I see thats it is for 50 Hz. In the States, electricity (if thats the correct term) its 60 Hz. I don't recall if this makes a difference but do now that it will on microwave ovens. I think this might limit the temperature output of the oven. Something to think about...

Online Chicago Bob

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Re: Electric vs. Wood fired oven
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2012, 02:11:25 PM »
Here's a good article. http://sound.westhost.com/articles/50-60hz.htm

And an excerpt from it..".One thing that residents of the US and Canada (or other 60Hz countries) don't need to worry about too much is the frequency. Any 50Hz equipment will run cooler at 60Hz and is not usually a problem - other than appliances that use induction motors!"
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline Pizzakoning

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Re: Electric vs. Wood fired oven
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2012, 05:30:40 AM »
OK.

I'm not from america so, the whole 50hz/60hz discussion does not really affect me (i guess). I'm from the Netherlands and we use 50Hz.

So, as far i can understand; in short it is fair to say that an electrical oven doesn't dry the pizza (dough+topping) as quick as an wood oven. And a that is something you taste after baking?
And maybe the heat spreads more even is an electric oven? So that affects the overal cripsyness of the pie?

Is it correct to think that this does also affects the baking time?
Could a pizza be ready in 90 seconds in such an electrical oven?

Offline sub

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Re: Electric vs. Wood fired oven
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2012, 03:24:57 PM »
Hi Pizzakoning,

You can do great Neapolitan pizzas in an electric oven, but the oven you've linked is not very powerfull for it's internal dimensions.

Instead look at the Effeuno P134H made for profumi dal forno with a top heating element of 1700w, it can bake a pizza in 90sec.



Offline scott r

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Re: Electric vs. Wood fired oven
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2012, 06:54:42 PM »
I have a similar oven with a 2500w top element, and trust me, its a real battle to do a neapolitan pizza in 90 seconds.    Sub.... have you used this oven a lot to do 90 second bakes, or are you just going by what the manufacturer/salesperson is telling you?    Yes, technically you could easily do a pizza that fast.... one that is burned to a crisp on the bottom and not done on top.     The problem with these small ovens is that even if you set the bottom for 800 degrees and the top for 925 degrees (which is roughly the offset you need to make a pie cook evenly at these temps)  the top element just keeps heating up the stone up higher past its 800 degree setting.   There are only a few inches between the stone and the top element.    

my model is the top of the line IR model 50/13 http://www.gourmetpizzaexpress.com/infrared%20pizza%20oven.pdf   and from my research its the cadillac of the countertop high temp ovens  (its made in italy, not china like many).      Its a great oven, but I just dont want people to think they can do a neapolitan pizza in an oven like this.    

I actually have better luck with my bosh home oven on the cleaning cycle for 90 second pizzas.  

Im not saying an oven like this cant do a pizza that fast, but its not easy.   Many games need to be played, and it becomes very difficult to do a bunch of pizzas in a row for a party.   
« Last Edit: November 19, 2012, 06:58:38 PM by scott r »

Offline sub

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Re: Electric vs. Wood fired oven
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2012, 08:26:52 PM »
You're right  scott, maybe it's harder to get good results in an electric oven, but it's possible.

I don't own the P134H but I've seen good pizzas baked in on the italians forums, I've only a small G3Ferrari.

A friend mod his  baker pride P22 with two 1450W heating elements on top, a firewall to prevent the toppings from burning and he can cook realy good looking pizzas in 90sec.

 you can see his oven
here


his last margarita:

Offline scott r

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Re: Electric vs. Wood fired oven
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2012, 10:05:35 PM »
those are beautiful!   I saw some pizza disks on the video.   does he bake his pies on these metal disks, or do the pizzas go right onto the stone of the oven?  also, could you further explain the firewall?   

Offline Pizzakoning

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Re: Electric vs. Wood fired oven
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2012, 05:31:12 AM »
That oven looks absoluty great!
But it's very expensive. The oven i've seen was only 500 euro. And the bakers pride is listed here for 2000+
http://www.amazon.com/Bakers-P22-BL-Countertop-Single-Compartment/dp/B005QBFH4C/?tag=pizzamaking-20

I have a G3 Ferrari also at the moment, but i am not very pleased with the heat spreading of the machine.

I've mailed the company for the price of p134h pizza oven. That also looks good.
You think it is a better one then the second hand unit one i've linked on my start post?

Online TXCraig1

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Re: Electric vs. Wood fired oven
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2012, 07:21:10 AM »
Somebody here modified a G3 Ferrari so it has two heating elements and was making some beautiful pies. I forget who it was, but if you do  a search, I bet you can find it. There were lots of pictures of the set-up.
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline Pizzakoning

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Re: Electric vs. Wood fired oven
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2012, 07:48:41 AM »
Yes, that must be this one;
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=19732.0

Looks excellent, but i'm not skilled enough to modify the oven like that person did.
I would buy it, for sure!
The rotating stone is an excellent idea!


 

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