Author Topic: LBE / MBE Ovens  (Read 1117 times)

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Offline littlebritaly

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LBE / MBE Ovens
« on: March 20, 2013, 06:00:29 AM »
First let me introduce myself, I'm Paul Fonzarelli, from the UK and own a company that sells/hires/builds lightweight mobile wood fired ovens, I've also modified one of our ovens to use propane instead of wood.

I'm not here to promote my company, but if you'd like to see the type of oven I sell/hire, please have a look at a  youtube video I've uploaded  (
M2U00585
) of one of my ovens being used for the first time by a trainee, there's more videos there if you want to know more.

I've browsed the forums and came across the terms LBE and MBE and don't mind admitting I was stumped as to what these were, I think they must be Little Black Egg and Medium Black Egg, is that correct ?.

I knew about pizzahacker as I'm researching new ways to produce lightweight portable ovens, then I came across the term LBE, was intrigued and found this site.

From what I can figure out, you guys appear to be taking a dome shaped barbeque, fitting a propane burner in the bottom, adding a pizza stone, maybe some insulation, then cooking pizza.

I think from what I've seen so far that I can make these ovens even better, but would love to pick up some ideas from the more experienced LBE builder.  One area I think can be improved is the floor, I use a silicon carbide insulated board for the floor in some of my ovens, I'm pretty sure this would lend itself well to the modified BBQ's.

I most definitely do not want to  use propane in any of my ovens again (I find it creates a dry environment inside the oven), but would love to see if it's possible to modify one to use wood.

Does anyone have any experience of using an LBE with wood ?

Thanks for reading, I've deliberately left out my companies name etc, but if you'd like to know more about what I do, PM me and I'll send you a link to my website.





Online scott123

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Re: LBE / MBE Ovens
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2013, 01:03:35 PM »
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,24022.msg244023.html#msg244023

Paul, welcome to the forum. I took a look at your website. The idea of hiring (renting for us Yanks  ;D) is quite novel.

I'm curious, is there thermal mass in the dome or is it an insulating material only? The reason I ask, is that, from the videos, it looks like the heat balance might be a bit off– the bottom of the pizza seems to be cooking exponentially faster than the top.

Offline littlebritaly

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Re: LBE / MBE Ovens
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2013, 02:00:12 PM »
Thanks for the welcome Scott.

I was the first in the UK to offer ovens for hire, there's a couple of more companies doing it now, it's not a huge market, but it is growing year on year.

It only works in the UK because of the size of our island, I can be in Scotland in just over an hour, Liverpool 2 1/2 hours or so, London maybe four (assuming traffic is not too heavy), we charge the customer for delivery (we just cover our own costs).

The first couple of pizzas ALWAYS burn on the bottom, once you get past the first couple things tend to settle down and the Pizzas cook evenly.

There is no traditional thermal mass as most people understand it (eg firebricks used to store the heat then radiate it back over many hours) used in the construction of the oven at all, but the insulation used is so good that even though the inside top of the dome can be 700 to 800c you can still touch the outside wall of the oven, the majority of the heat is radiated back into the oven.

This video demonstrates this quite well
Mini Oven :- A demonstration of it's insulation properties.


Because of this, my ovens tend to heat up in 30 minutes or so and also tend to cool down relatively quickly (2 to 3 hours), brilliant for pizza, not so good for bread baking, roasting etc (this is possible though with practice).


This video
Little Britaly Wood Fired Pizza Oven - Cooking a pizza
shows an oven in operation a couple of years ago, a Pizza cooked in around 90 seconds.  I've cooked 120 pizzas in an hour using that same oven.




Offline shuboyje

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Re: LBE / MBE Ovens
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2013, 09:51:52 PM »
The LBE is a bottom heat only oven.  I have yet to see a bottom heat only oven produce Neapolitan pizza with a solid fuel heat source.

The reason the LBE works is simple.  The burner is HUGELY oversized.  Take a look at the size of a wood fired furnace that puts out the btu's a typical LBE burner does?  Do you want one of those under your "portable" oven?
-Jeff

Offline littlebritaly

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Re: LBE / MBE Ovens
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2013, 04:30:22 AM »
Hi,

Thanks for that info.

No, I do not want any propane burners under any of my ovens, but I'd be interested to see what type of burners people are using.

I have propane burners fitted to the vast majority of my everyday equipment (griddles, baine maries etc) so am comfortable working with them.

I've fitted one inside an oven, it worked well, was quick to get up to temperature, was more controllable than a WFO, the downside is that the oven environment was somehow different than with wood (it works on both wood and propane).

Propane was much cheaper to run than wood.

Here's a link to a propane converted oven running at a low temperature (with this burner it can still reach 550c) , it still cooks pizza but takes a lot longer
M2U00573



I've seen a "bottom heat" oven in operation before, not an LBE but a rocket stove with a mini cast oven on top, basically the rocket stove heats up a tile which is inside an insulated dome.  The oven reaches 500c in around 20 minutes.

I built a mini rocket stove last week from tin cans, it works quite well for such a small quantity of wood, maybe this technology could be modified to work with an LBE.




The LBE is a bottom heat only oven.  I have yet to see a bottom heat only oven produce Neapolitan pizza with a solid fuel heat source.

The reason the LBE works is simple.  The burner is HUGELY oversized.  Take a look at the size of a wood fired furnace that puts out the btu's a typical LBE burner does?  Do you want one of those under your "portable" oven?

Online scott123

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Re: LBE / MBE Ovens
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2013, 12:41:01 PM »
There is no traditional thermal mass as most people understand it (eg firebricks used to store the heat then radiate it back over many hours) used in the construction of the oven at all, but the insulation used is so good that even though the inside top of the dome can be 700 to 800c you can still touch the outside wall of the oven, the majority of the heat is radiated back into the oven.


Paul, are you telling me that you built your ceiling out of an insulating material? If so, this has been attempted and proven not to be viable. Without thermal mass in the dome, it's impossible to achieve a balanced top and bottom heat. A 90 second bake time doesn't mean much if the top of the pizza isn't baking at the same rate as the bottom.

Not that much is known about the materials Pizzahacker has used in the past and is using now. It is believed that he began with an insulating material for a ceiling, but, as time went on, he saw the limitations of a low mass ceiling and added mass.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14532.0.html

Offline littlebritaly

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Re: LBE / MBE Ovens
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2013, 04:57:06 PM »
The whole dome is built out of modern refractory materials, I can't reveal any more details than that.

The Pizzas do bake top and bottom at the same time and often cook quicker than 90 seconds, the only time they don't cook evenly is immediately after light up, eg the first couple of pizzas.

I'll look for a video that demonstrates this, if not next time I'm out working with the ovens I'll take my camcorder with me.

I know I have one video that demonstrates it quite well, we were testing an oven and had run out of cheese so had to use a cheddar (yellow) one, if you can stand the pain of pizza being spoilt by using that sort of cheese, I'll upload that.

Incidentally, there is one outlet not too far from me who used ONLY yellow cheese on his pizza, his reputation was so good (sadly he died a couple of years ago) people would travel 50 miles to buy his food.

Pizzahacker was almost certainly using different materials than I, our ovens work really really well, much better than many of the ovens on sale in the UK, they're also very fuel efficient.



Paul, are you telling me that you built your ceiling out of an insulating material? If so, this has been attempted and proven not to be viable. Without thermal mass in the dome, it's impossible to achieve a balanced top and bottom heat. A 90 second bake time doesn't mean much if the top of the pizza isn't baking at the same rate as the bottom.

Not that much is known about the materials Pizzahacker has used in the past and is using now. It is believed that he began with an insulating material for a ceiling, but, as time went on, he saw the limitations of a low mass ceiling and added mass.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14532.0.html

Offline shuboyje

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Re: LBE / MBE Ovens
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2013, 05:41:54 PM »
Littlebritaly,

Hope you don't mind a little bit of constructive criticism.  If your oven truly can perform better then you need to upload new videos to the web showing such and make sure the videos linked in this thread are buried in the deepest pits of the web never to be seen again.  Often users ask about ovens on this site.  Sometimes it is a fairly traditional wood fired oven from a known or unknown manufacturer, but sometimes it is a non-traditional oven similar to your.  Regardless of which type it is, but especially if it is a alternative style oven I have my doubts about, I go and find any pictures or videos I can from the manufacturer of the pizza the oven produced.  I make the assumption that ANY pizza used to market the oven will be as good as it can produce, that is just common sense and business sense.  If someone asked about your oven and I came across those videos I would tell them to run away as fast as they can.  Those videos seem to show a very unbalanced oven that does not produce pizza of the level this community expects from a product demonstration.

I really hope this doesn't offend you.  I'm not looking for a conversation on your oven design because I truly don't feel that is why you came here and I like the way you presented yourself, but you've got to present your product in the best way possible, and if what you say is true those videos are not doing that.   
-Jeff

Offline littlebritaly

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Re: LBE / MBE Ovens
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2013, 05:14:34 AM »
Of course I don't mind criticism, how else can I improve ?.

I know our ovens perform very well, I'm NOT trying to promote or sell them on this site, but when I do have some better videos, I will upload them.  I may have some photographs, if so I'll post them.

The vast majority of my business comes from hires, street trading or catering for people at parties etc.

The Pizza business in the UK is a totally different animal to that of the US, the vast majority of people here don't have a clue about traditional style Pizza, to them Pizza is a thick, stodgy base topped with grated cheese (hardly ever mozzarella, generally a moz & white chedar mix).

Having said that I hired an oven to a family two weeks ago, they have a home in Italy, at least one person who attended the party was Italian, he spoke poor English, but managed to tell me that they were very happy with the Pizza they made and the way the oven operated.  I've hired the ovens to Chefs, they have also been very pleased (or so they tell me).


I'm always looking to improve though and will take your suggestions on board.

I'm not offended at all, in fact thanks for the advice, I am aware and have been for some time that I need some good promotional material.









Littlebritaly,

Hope you don't mind a little bit of constructive criticism.  If your oven truly can perform better then you need to upload new videos to the web showing such and make sure the videos linked in this thread are buried in the deepest pits of the web never to be seen again.  Often users ask about ovens on this site.  Sometimes it is a fairly traditional wood fired oven from a known or unknown manufacturer, but sometimes it is a non-traditional oven similar to your.  Regardless of which type it is, but especially if it is a alternative style oven I have my doubts about, I go and find any pictures or videos I can from the manufacturer of the pizza the oven produced.  I make the assumption that ANY pizza used to market the oven will be as good as it can produce, that is just common sense and business sense.  If someone asked about your oven and I came across those videos I would tell them to run away as fast as they can.  Those videos seem to show a very unbalanced oven that does not produce pizza of the level this community expects from a product demonstration.

I really hope this doesn't offend you.  I'm not looking for a conversation on your oven design because I truly don't feel that is why you came here and I like the way you presented yourself, but you've got to present your product in the best way possible, and if what you say is true those videos are not doing that.


 

pizzapan