Author Topic: Essential Equipment  (Read 1398 times)

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Offline sourbug

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Essential Equipment
« on: December 04, 2013, 10:21:40 AM »
Hello,

I'm just getting started and I used the search function, but couldn't find a post about this.  I'm just wondering if people could recommend what they feel are "essential" pieces of equipment to get started with making great pizza at home. For instance, I see a lot of talk about having a great mixer (which I don't have).  I have a couple good books on the way, a stone and a peel, but what else would really help me get started?  Thanks!


Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Essential Equipment
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2013, 10:27:59 AM »
A scale.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Essential Equipment
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2013, 11:07:10 AM »
And I wouldn't put too much stock or trust in the books. I've never seen a book that can compare to what you can learn on these boards, although I admit I haven't looked at any books in many years. Still, I don't expect that to have changed much because both book publishers' and authors' primary objective is to sell books and make money. Even if they know the best pizzamaking tricks and whatnot, such information usually doesn't make it into books because the best pizzamaking tricks require readers to think a little bit and do things differently than what "common knowledge" has taught them. Also, a lot of pizza books are written by bakers and chefs. Pizzamaking is not the same thing as either baking or cooking. Consequently, most bakers and chefs are not pizzamaking experts (or anything remotely similar).

Books have a real nasty habit of showing pictures of pizzas that weren't made by following the instructions shared in the book. If you follow the book's directions, you'll never end up with pizzas that look like the pizzas in the book's pictures. So save yourself a lot of frustration and realize right now that if you follow the books' instructions, you will almost certainly never make pizzas that look like the pizzas in the books' pictures. Conversely, when I share pictures on this site, my pictures show pizzas that were made exactly how I said I made them (except when I miscommunicate). I'm sure every other member of this site operates the same way I operate. My pictures are nowhere near professional quality, but my pictures show pizzas that you can expect to make by doing the things I've done.

To elaborate on my previous post: You want a scale that measures in ounces and/or grams; most likely digital. It's easy to find such scales at places like Target and Costco for $20-$30. Mechanical scales are fine, too, but if you think you might want a mechanical scale, you'd probably want a foodservice quality scale, which would probably cost at least twice as much as the scales I already mentioned. Also, mechanical scales are less versatile than digital scales. For your needs, I'd suggest a digital scale. And try to use metric measurements (grams), rather than ounces. I've always measured in ounces until recently, and as a result it's very difficult for me to think in grams.

Offline sourbug

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Re: Essential Equipment
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2013, 12:19:26 PM »
Helpful info.  Thank you.  It turns out that I'm also a brewer and I have a good kitchen scale that I use for measuring those ingredients.  Thanks for the feedback.

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Essential Equipment
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2013, 12:49:06 PM »
A good pizza cutter, a pan or two of the type for your pizza style, and a flat bottom ladle are really all you need.  Obviously, there are many other things you can use, but not any that you need.

Offline Surffisher2A

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Re: Essential Equipment
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2013, 01:10:34 PM »
I would say a scale and containers to keep dough balls in.

Offline MightyPizzaOven

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Re: Essential Equipment
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2013, 02:50:53 PM »
Bert,

Offline mkevenson

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Re: Essential Equipment
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2013, 03:51:33 PM »
What I use for 1 or 2 pies.
2 mixing bowls
1 fine wire strainer, I use it to sift my flour
2 glass, 2 cup measuring containers. The ones you can easily pour from. I use these for water.
3 shot glasses 1 or 2 oz, I use these to hold my salt, IDY and oil both for storrage and weighing.
2 digital scales, on larger for weighing the entire mixture, in grams and one smaller sown to 0.01 g or better 0.001g for 1 pie's worth of yeast.
a spatula or other hand mixing tool
see thru containers or plastic bags for fermenting
an instant read therm
an IR therm
a large peel to launch and a small one to turn in the oven
a suitable plate to put the pie on when it comes out of the oven. I like mine, it has dimples in the bottom to allow steam to escape.
A good oven
guess that's it, although I may have forgotten something.
 
NOW! do you want to know all the other stuff I have accumulated that I thought I needed at the time? :o
 
Mark
"Gettin' better all the time" Beatles

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Essential Equipment
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2013, 06:21:38 PM »
Nice, Bert.

Offline stonecutter

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Re: Essential Equipment
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2013, 07:25:40 PM »
........but what else would really help me get started?  Thanks!

Patience, persistence, and an open mind.
http://oldworldstoneandgarden.com/


When we build, let us think that we build for ever.
John Ruskin


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Essential Equipment
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2013, 07:53:25 PM »
I wrote this post over six years ago:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5326.msg45110.html#msg45110

Rereading that post today, there's not much that I would change. I would perhaps suggest a second digital scale for weighing small amounts of ingredients, especially lightweight ingredients, but for those who only want to make basic pizzas, I'm not sure that the second scale is really necessary. I use my regular scale to weigh flour and water, and sometimes oil, but for most of the rest of the ingredients, I use measuring spoons. I usually use my second scale to conduct experiments where accuracy is a requirement.

I think an IR thermometer is useful but a novice pizza maker can wait a while to see it needed.

There are more and perhaps better mixers out there today than existed in 2007, so it is worth researching them. However, there is a wide range of opinions on which mixers are the best. A lot depends on how much dough is to be made, and what the family budget will permit.

Finally, once a beginning pizza maker has acquired the basic pizza making skills and knowledge, he or she should become familiar with and learn how to use the forum's dough calculating tools at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dough_tools.html .

Peter
« Last Edit: December 04, 2013, 08:06:42 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Fire-n-smoke

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Re: Essential Equipment
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2013, 08:09:46 AM »
I myself keep alot of expletives on hand for when a pie launch goes bad!!!
tom

Offline One Eyed Jack

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Re: Essential Equipment
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2013, 10:02:45 AM »
Here is a great little scale,that works Fantastic,for little cash outlay.
http://www.oldwillknottscales.com/my-weigh-kd7000-silver.html

or this ,if you would like bakers percentage.

http://www.oldwillknottscales.com/my-weigh-kd8000.html

Offline pizza is love

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Re: Essential Equipment
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2013, 05:33:27 PM »