Author Topic: Tommy's Coal Fired (with Gas assist) Pizza  (Read 2007 times)

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Offline JConk007

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Tommy's Coal Fired (with Gas assist) Pizza
« on: February 16, 2013, 09:26:33 PM »
Too funny ! So last week there was an article in the local Sunday Bergen Record on How Coal fired pizza is coming alive and the next craze in New Jersey  ???. The article listed about 8 places and the New Tommys at the Paramus Park Mall.
Well you just know I was there on Monday to see what they had .
More overpriced Neo/Ny pies.
I ordered a Plain and a pepperoni to go for the family dinner along with the wing which the waitress told me were the best around by far.?? Similar to Anthonys with the pepper and ... smothered in onions and peppers  probably par boiled and thrown into the oven for  a quick finish.
When I walked in I immediately walked over to the table where dough was out being scaled. Not 00 flour, But the guys answer was "regular flour?" asked when this dough was Made he said 20Min ago . when will you use  these dough balls ? tonight was the answer. do you put it in the fridge ? "yes in this Box"  this was 1:30 folks !  how hot is the oven? very hot maybe 600 was the answer ? oh boy oh boy here we go again so I checked out the pile of coal in the woodstone oven and to my surprise on the other side was the gas flames coming out? WTF? Why even burn the coal just because the name says it? This is the 3rd one he is opening and article says all of his future store will be in north Jersey because people get that 6-7 min in a gas deck oven dries the pizza out . this baked at around 6- Min. ?
 OK so between the Hilton head  coal place ( Paulie's) I tried , Angelo's in NYC, The New Anthony's Coal fired  and now this ? Well still needless to say I am still  searching for a decent Coal  fired Pizza. but this was probably one of the better. Only because the sauce was bright and fresh all els just OK but the crust was acceptable with all else just  OK little too much bench flour but a nice crisp on arrival. so I am giving it a 7 of 10 compared to the others at 5+6
« Last Edit: February 16, 2013, 09:30:28 PM by JConk007 »
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Offline JConk007

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Re: Tommy's Coal Fired (with Gas assist) Pizza
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2013, 09:36:02 PM »
Heres the (very spicy) Pepperoni I took home. I could only handle a few slices and I love peperoni I will find out who makes it and let you know.
You can see the beautiful Cornicione and excellent rise they got   :-D on the rim ? I did not see them make but if that wasnt a rolling pin?
They have 2 others in Oceean and Brick NJ and were 1st places to open after Sandy do I give the props for that as well . Give it a shot  comfortable place with a full Bar. This one sits  in a Mall with access from outtside so they can open sundau as well Big $$ buildout and rent must be insane ! but hey would not have done it if wasnt working. I will try again as It is convienent and a nice change from the NY slices. Just not the grimaldis/lombardis? I am dreaming of  
« Last Edit: February 16, 2013, 09:41:40 PM by JConk007 »
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Offline JConk007

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Re: Tommy's Coal Fired (with Gas assist) Pizza
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2013, 04:18:53 PM »
Anybody else have a coal fired experience they can share ? am I just too picky?  ScottR how these look to uyou and is thegas assist a popular option now?
JOhn
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Offline scott r

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Re: Tommy's Coal Fired (with Gas assist) Pizza
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2013, 04:36:15 PM »
Gas assist is bull%$#.   False advertising!   Pies look ok, I guess, but dough looks overmixed which is the fastest way to get my slice thrown into the garbage.    The whole point of coal fired pizza is the DRY heat... throw a live flame in there and everything changes.    This pizza could easily be made in a deck oven, and I dont think I could say the same thing about Pepe's/Sallys

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Re: Tommy's Coal Fired (with Gas assist) Pizza
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2013, 04:51:01 PM »
John, after the hideous looking pies Craig was served at Lombardi's

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17056.msg166031.html#msg166031

and my own incredibly disappointing Totonno's experience, as well as your track record with coal, I had completely given up on coal oven pizza.  And then I tasted a Pepe's pie, and that changed EVERYTHING.  We're talking paradigm shift.  It was not without it's flaws- the rim was so black in some areas, I couldn't eat it- but the sauce, the cheese, the romano- oh my goodness, oh my goodness ;D

My eyes roll back in my head when I eat a Motorino brussel sprouts pie. This Pepe's pie didn't have that level of ecstasy, but, rather, you experience this incredibly deep level of satisfaction.  You start eating it and you're happy, you keep eating it, and that happiness continues.  When you hit the last bite, it's like "what, it's over? :(" Unlike other pizza, where the first bite is better than the last, this is just great all the way through.  You don't want to stop eating it  ;D

So, don't give up on coal until you've had Pepe's.

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Re: Tommy's Coal Fired (with Gas assist) Pizza
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2013, 04:53:41 PM »
This pizza could easily be made in a deck oven, and I dont think I could say the same thing about Pepe's/Sallys

Scott, do you think it's possible to modify a coal oven, perhaps with some kind of convection, so that it provides the dryness of coal with the consistency of gas?

Offline Chaze215

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Re: Tommy's Coal Fired (with Gas assist) Pizza
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2013, 04:53:48 PM »
John.. I was to the Tommy's here in ocean county and was not impressed at all. I know they say the pies are crisp but the pies I had were burnt. I prefer Ninos Coal Fired Pizza which is also in ocean county... 2 locations. And as a matter of fact, I was there today with my fiance and had the penne  a la vodka pie. They also have a gas assist oven with some coal in it.. Lol The total bake time for our pie was 5:10. I took a pic of the pie but I can'tseem to find a way to upload it from my phone which is new to me... Lol As soon as I figure it out, and I will post the pic.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 04:55:25 PM by Chaze215 »
Chaz

Offline Chaze215

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Re: Tommy's Coal Fired (with Gas assist) Pizza
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2013, 06:02:56 PM »
Here are the pics as promised...
Chaz

Offline JConk007

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Re: Tommy's Coal Fired (with Gas assist) Pizza
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2013, 09:14:11 PM »
Thanks for the insight
oh I forgot to mention the price  --  1 plain, 1 pepperoni, 20 wings and a few ice teas  $64.20 !! :o
@chaze thanks , yeah Tommys 2 down your way right ?

@ scott123,  I may have to take a trip to Pepes to get it right

@ scottr yes  gas assist total @#$! I was so dissapointed to see the gas flame flowing
give ma a good old Bari oven at 650 anyday over this ?
ie Pizza Town!  :P
 I am going to try Fraterellis next week another convert and this place has an earthstone coal oven will look for the gas pipe as well
John
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Offline Chaze215

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Re: Tommy's Coal Fired (with Gas assist) Pizza
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2013, 09:44:25 PM »
Yeah, Tommy's is on rt 70 in Brick. If u are ever down this way check out Ninos. I would be curious on what u think.
Chaz


Offline dineomite

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Re: Tommy's Coal Fired (with Gas assist) Pizza
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2013, 09:47:48 PM »
Wait?!?!? What?!?! Sixty-four bones? :o Fool me once......

Offline jeff v

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Re: Tommy's Coal Fired (with Gas assist) Pizza
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2013, 11:59:28 PM »
Pies look ok, I guess, but dough looks overmixed which is the fastest way to get my slice thrown into the garbage.

Can you share what you are seeing that tells you that?
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Offline scott r

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Re: Tommy's Coal Fired (with Gas assist) Pizza
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2013, 09:27:33 PM »
aaah scott... finally you have New Haven pizza.... well now you see the light!   Its pretty much the best of the best (along with a perfect neapolitan)

The coal ovens I have used on my consulting gigs (earthstone coal fired) have convection built in.... and are definitely consistent... but they want to hover at too high a temp to do true new haven pizza.   They can do their own thing, which is just as amazing, though.   


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Re: Tommy's Coal Fired (with Gas assist) Pizza
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2013, 09:43:20 PM »
So, if I'm hearing you correctly, Scott, coal earthstones can do coal pies, with a deck oven level of consistency, but they can't seem to successfully maintain Pepe's lower temps?
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 09:46:59 PM by scott123 »

Offline scott r

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Re: Tommy's Coal Fired (with Gas assist) Pizza
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2013, 09:46:15 PM »
you got it.   they can do it, but its seems easier to get even top to bottom browning if you let them idle closer to 700
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 09:59:22 PM by scott r »

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Re: Tommy's Coal Fired (with Gas assist) Pizza
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2013, 09:49:32 PM »
Scott, just to confirm, do the earthstones have convection fans circulating the heat in the oven, or, when you refer to 'convection,' are you talking about the forced air fans pushing air through the coal?
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 09:56:18 PM by scott123 »

Offline scott r

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Re: Tommy's Coal Fired (with Gas assist) Pizza
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2013, 09:58:21 PM »
yes, it pushes air through the coal (but also into the oven... no?)  I suppose its just the natural convection from the heat going on in there, and the fan doesnt add anything, but its definitely a powerful fan. 

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Re: Tommy's Coal Fired (with Gas assist) Pizza
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2013, 10:24:43 PM »
Scott, a few more questions ;D So Pepe's doesn't have a fan forcing air through their coal?

And this whole, 3-7 (8? 9?) minute bake time continuum and, from the photo's I've seen, incredibly wide range of results at Pepe's, with single pies having half that are a bit pale and half that are black- the earthstone completely resolves that?

All of these horrible Anthony-like places that John's been talking about- those are earthstones, right?  Those aren't the oven's fault, correct?

Offline jeff v

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Re: Tommy's Coal Fired (with Gas assist) Pizza
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2013, 10:32:11 PM »
How are you telling the dough is over mixed from the picture? No rise? Crumb? Thanks.
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Offline scott r

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Re: Tommy's Coal Fired (with Gas assist) Pizza
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2013, 12:24:59 AM »
Scott, a few more questions ;D So Pepe's doesn't have a fan forcing air through their coal?  

No, I was talking about the earthstone coal fired ovens I have used.... not pepe's.   BUT.... pepe's does open the door to the combustion chamber on their oven and put a big fan on their coal pile to stoke the flames and get the oven hotter when its temp has dropped.  Its not inside the oven chamber (like the earthstone) though, so im sure that fan isnt convecting inside the oven.  

And this whole, 3-7 (8? 9?) minute bake time continuum and, from the photo's I've seen, incredibly wide range of results at Pepe's, with single pies having half that are a bit pale and half that are black- the earthstone completely resolves that?  

My favorite pies at pepe's are usually done in around 5 minutes. The earthstone does a nice even bake at closer to 3 minutes, but it can go slower with an experienced person tending the oven.  


All of these horrible Anthony-like places that John's been talking about- those are earthstones, right?  Those aren't the oven's fault, correct?


 The earthstone coal oven is great, there is no excuse for bad pizza with that oven.  I think all the places john is going are anthony's coal fired copycats... and they are copying a pizza thats not the best representation of the style to begin with (8 minute NY style dough formulation cooked in 3-4 minutes with pretty bland cheese).   Once your dough formulation is dialed in for the faster bake, the pizza that comes out of an earthstone coal oven isnt the same as pepe's or any of the other amazing new haven pizzerias (modern apizza is a 6 minute pie), but thanks to the dry environment you can do something that is a "tip of the hat" to the classic New Haven pizzerias AND has its own wonderful thing going on.    I think the best pizza I have ever personally made came out of one of these ovens, but I have never had a chance to play around with an oven like they have at pepe's.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 12:37:19 AM by scott r »