Author Topic: Costco Woodfire Oven - Give your Opinion please !!!!!  (Read 5930 times)

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Offline TomN

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Costco Woodfire Oven - Give your Opinion please !!!!!
« on: April 06, 2013, 12:18:01 AM »
Hello everyone,

i would like to hear your opinions about this Wood Fire Oven that is offered through Costco.com.  Please let me know your thoughts on this, especially the pricing. Thank you.

TomN

http://www.costco.com/Alfa-Forno-5-Minuti-Italian-Wood-Fired-Oven-%2526-Cart.product.11764859.html?catalogId=10701&keyword=670421&langId=-1&storeId=10301


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Costco Woodfire Oven - Give your Opinion please !!!!!
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2013, 12:25:58 AM »
This has been discussed. Try a search on "alfa".

Offline TomN

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Re: Costco Woodfire Oven - Give your Opinion please !!!!!
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2013, 12:28:30 AM »
Bill/SFNM,

This is issue April 2013 of the Costco connection, page E-4, which just came out, and it has been discussed???????????????? Really?????? Is $2,499.99 Shipping & Handling included,  a good price?????

Can you please post the link??? Thanks

TomN
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 12:34:32 AM by TomN »

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Costco Woodfire Oven - Give your Opinion please !!!!!
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2013, 12:42:49 AM »
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,19857.0.html


Price may be less of an issue than its suitability for pizza. Perhaps it means nothing, but the Costco ad makes no mention of using it for pizza although the photo does show pizzas inside the oven and it does come with a pizza peel.

Offline TomN

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Re: Costco Woodfire Oven - Give your Opinion please !!!!!
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2013, 01:23:36 AM »
I appreciate the link. Thank you Bill.

It is interesting that the Costco Connection lists the price at 2,999.99 Delivered and now Costco.com lists it at 2,499.99, Delivered. A very  nice price adjustment.  However, with costco.com you can return the product even after you have used it, to see if you like it. Nobody does that but Costco. LOVE THEM!!!!!!!

TomN
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 01:25:48 AM by TomN »

Offline TomN

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Re: Costco Woodfire Oven - Give your Opinion please !!!!!
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2013, 01:34:11 AM »
I have read through the tread posted by Bill, which ends up discussing other wood fire ovens and gets off the subject of the wood fire oven offered by Costco.com.  Can anyone directly comment on the wood fire oven listed on Costco.com? (Click on the link listed below)

http://www.costco.com/Alfa-Forno-5-Minuti-Italian-Wood-Fired-Oven-%2526-Cart.product.11764859.html?catalogId=10701&keyword=670421&langId=-1&storeId=10301



Would this be an oven that you would consider purchasing at $2,499.99? Keep in mind that as a Costco Executive member, you get 2 percent back and you have the option of returning the oven if you do not like how it preforms. You are NOT going to get that offer with anyone else that i know of. Thank you.

TomN
PS
I value your comments because I am considering purchasing this for my home.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 01:44:10 AM by TomN »

Offline TomN

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Re: Costco Woodfire Oven - Give your Opinion please !!!!!
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2013, 01:55:27 AM »
When you click on the link, be sure to click on the "PRODUCT VIDEO", which is right next to the picture. This gives you more info about how it works.


http://www.costco.com/Alfa-Forno-5-Minuti-Italian-Wood-Fired-Oven-%2526-Cart.product.11764859.html?catalogId=10701&keyword=670421&langId=-1&storeId=10301

TomN

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Costco Woodfire Oven - Give your Opinion please !!!!!
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2013, 08:56:59 AM »
Tom N, I haven't used this oven for pizza or anything else, but can I give you my opinion? 

As a novice WFO user I would not recommend this oven for pizza.  Yes you can make pizza in it but I believe it will be a bit more of a challenge b/c the lack of mass in the dome.   Yes the dome is insulated but b/c of it's lack of mass, controlling the top temperature will be dependant on having an active constant fire.  I would assume that the top temperature may fluctuate a lot and not give you a steady even bake that you would want.  You will just have to baby sit the fire and the pizza more so than you would if the oven had a proper dome with some mass in it. 

Can you bake pizza in this thing?  Most likely yes.  With some determination, we could bake pizza in just about any oven if there is a decent fire source.   But if you are planning pizza parties where you are baking pizza for 10+ folks, this isn't the oven.  If you are just baking pizza for 1-2 ppl, then yes it could work.

Detroit or pan pizzas, no problem as they bake like other baked goods.  NY and NP pizza, you want balanced top and bottom heat.  The higher the balanced heat, the shorter the bake times.  B/c you will have a harder time balancing the heat in this oven due to lack of dome mass, NY and NP will pose more of a challenge to do.  NY pizza, have a medium to moderate constant arching flame with a floor temp of 550-650F.   NP pizza, have a large constant rolling fire in there.   You may also have to cook off the floor and more on the peel itself, I don't know.

The benefit of this oven?  Light weight, mobility, very quick heat up time.  The down side? lack of dome mass, it will take up more wood during the active baking process which is negated by the short heat up time.   So yes this oven could work for pizza for certain individuals looking to only make a few pizzas at a time and one who won't mind tending the fire and pizza a bit more often than a tradtional WFO. 

Worth it at $2500?  Ummm NO.   It won't be easy to resale if you decided you want to step up into a real wfo.   If money is an issue, I would stick with an LBE with a lazy susan attachment, or step up to the MPO or even find a used 2 stone.   If you really want a wfo, build a low dome wfo for less or if you have no skill like me, save up and get a proper wfo. 

If you want to make NP pizza, get a real NP oven.

Just my 3 cents.
Chau
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 09:05:06 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Costco Woodfire Oven - Give your Opinion please !!!!!
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2013, 09:32:38 AM »
Would this be an oven that you would consider purchasing at $2,499.99? Keep in mind that as a Costco Executive member, you get 2 percent back and you have the option of returning the oven if you do not like how it preforms. You are NOT going to get that offer with anyone else that i know of. Thank you.

TomN
PS
I value your comments because I am considering purchasing this for my home.

Tom,

I think it depends a lot on what you need and want out of a WFO. If you need something small, light, and easy to move around and are not planning on making Neapolitan or NY/NP pizza, this might be something to consider.

If you are going to leave it in one spot, there may be better options. One thing in the description that concerns me is the 23.6” x 19.7” cooking surface. That is so small, it almost sounds like a mistake in the description. It may be difficult to bake a pie at anything over normal oven temps on a floor that small. You might not be able to get a big enough fire to maintain temps much over 550F and leave enough room for baking, and even if you can, your pies will likely be right up on the fire which doesn’t work either. I know the thermometer in the video shows almost 400C (750F), but that is probably not representative of the center of the oven where the cold air is rushing in from outside.

For about the same price delivered, you could get a FB Primavera60 with a 24”x31” cooking surface. That’s 60% larger. For a little more, the Primavera70 offers more than 2X as much cooking surface. http://www.fornobravo.com/PDF/primavera_datasheet.pdf

My sense is this oven is for folks who simply want to bake outside the same way they bake inside. I think the description is probably accurate when it says “Anything you can cook in your indoor oven can be prepared to its succulent perfection in your wood fired oven, all year long.”  What the description doesn’t say is probably also equally accurate - you are not going to cook anything in it that you can’t in your home oven – like pizza at high temperature.

I don’t think it is a particularly good option for people who want a wood fired pizza oven unless the 180# weight and ease of moving is the sole deciding factor.

I would think about it a little longer if I was making the decision.

Craig
Pizza is not bread.

Offline TomN

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Re: Costco Woodfire Oven - Give your Opinion please !!!!!
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2013, 01:43:02 PM »
Thanks Craig and Jackie,

i am going to hold off on buying this and do more research. Obviously, the reason for buying this would be specifically for pizza, but this oven does not seem to be the way to go.  After visiting the new Pizzeria that i posted on the forum, I was ready to try a NP pizza at home.

Thank you again,
TomN


Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Costco Woodfire Oven - Give your Opinion please !!!!!
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2013, 06:54:08 PM »
Rossanna-rossana-danna, "Nevermind".
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 07:03:00 PM by Tscarborough »

Offline Pepperoni

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Re: Costco Woodfire Oven - Give your Opinion please !!!!!
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2013, 07:56:01 PM »
Got this oven for myself for Xmas. I've fired it up 10 times so far. Upside ,lightweight,heats fast, beautiful Italian design. Downside does not hold the heat as well as something with more mass so you have to feed the fire and watch closely. I saw a new model alfa forno has on Costco that is absolutely beautiful. Glad they didn't have that when I got mine because I would be compelled to have it and its 5k! Somebody made the comment about is the alfa forno 5 minuti worth 2500...it seems to me none of these wfo's are worth that much money to make a pizza. You have to want to make pizza it has nothing to do with being affordable. Look forward to learning as much as I can on this pizza quest I'm on. Also no problem with the size of the cooking surface. Alfa forno makes a bigger version if that is a problem. Actually doing my research this alfa forno company seems to be one of the leaders of home and commercial ovens.

Offline Pepperoni

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Re: Costco Woodfire Oven - Give your Opinion please !!!!!
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2013, 09:05:44 AM »
heres a couple pics one of a so so pie and the other of 921 temp...so far i've been to busy keeping fire going etc to be taking pics but i'll get some posted soon...kk

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Costco Woodfire Oven - Give your Opinion please !!!!!
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2013, 09:34:03 AM »
Non-contact thermometers like that don't measure temperature at a point. The optical coverage is cone-shaped. The farther you are away from the surface being measured, the larger the diameter of the measurement area. The temperature indicated is an average across the measurement area. The shape of the cone is not the same for every unit, however at 1.5" distance, it's probably measuring a 2" circle, and your measurement may include the edge of the fire. Also, right next to the fire, the surface is being heated by the radiant heat of the fire much more than if the fire was baking-distance away.

Shooting close to the fire like that probably is not representative to the temperature in the oven.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Pepperoni

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Re: Costco Woodfire Oven - Give your Opinion please !!!!!
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2013, 11:04:41 AM »
Hi thanks I was juggling a bunch of things if I remember correctly the pic was from the deck area to the right of the fire and I clicked it with iPhone as i turned the device. I have been using it to measure the deck area where the pizza goes.
700ish degrees seems to be about right? Any more seems to burn/cook bottom too fast. This is the part I'm having most trouble with getting the upper part of oven hot without the deck getting too hot. I was a Boy Scout but its been quite awhile!  With this oven the initial fire seems to be important not too big not too small.
Once I have coals and a little flame banked to the side feeding small logs( been using almond wood) it's fairly easy to regulate temp...

Offline TomN

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Re: Costco Woodfire Oven - Give your Opinion please !!!!!
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2013, 11:40:06 AM »
Pepperoni,

That is one beautiful looking pie. GOOD WORK!!!!

TomN

Offline Serpentelli

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Re: Costco Woodfire Oven - Give your Opinion please !!!!!
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2013, 01:36:36 PM »
Tom,

One thing in the description that concerns me is the 23.6” x 19.7” cooking surface.

http://www.fornobravo.com/PDF/primavera_datasheet.pdf



IMO you will rue the day you bought a "small" WFO! And that's what this is. Even if it performs admirably you will be forever wishing it was "just a bit bigger" esp. for things other than pizza.

Cannot comment on the product other than its size. My oven is 47" floor area (minus coal pile). But I am able to build just a tiny fire if I am doing steaks, etc.

Best of luck!

John K

PS Having returned things to Costco --- I hear ya! But don't forget --- there is a limit to their generosity! I found that out when I tried to return a camera "one day too late". I was politely referred to an online black hole. I still have that non-functioning camera today!

John K
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Offline Pepperoni

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Re: Costco Woodfire Oven - Give your Opinion please !!!!!
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2013, 01:54:07 PM »
note even though the deck space may be small compared to some, the opening is nice and wide. i've noticed a lot of big ovens have tiny openings. which must be a pain in itself. out here in southern la la land wood is really expensive as well...i wouldnt want to be feeding a big beast. when i get old and rich(i'm already old!) i'm going to build an outdoor kitchen that will have it all...until then i'll just "limp" along with this one. so far as wood i've noticed its what is local. we have oak,red oak and a lot of almond wood out here. i see in italy they use olive wood that makes sense. there is a specialty wood place near me that sells nothing but cooking woods but it seems expensive, almond in nice size was $125 for 1/4 cord. at my current burn rate i figure mabe a years worth? hey appreciate the insights here. i think the alfa forno distributer is starting to sell a bunch he has run out several times supplying costco. i called him several times before xmas as there was little info out there reviewing the ovens. he was super helpful. i look forward to other peoples advice that get this oven...kk

Offline TomN

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Re: Costco Woodfire Oven - Give your Opinion please !!!!!
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2013, 12:35:12 AM »
IMO you will rue the day you bought a "small" WFO! And that's what this is. Even if it performs admirably you will be forever wishing it was "just a bit bigger" esp. for things other than pizza.

Cannot comment on the product other than its size. My oven is 47" floor area (minus coal pile). But I am able to build just a tiny fire if I am doing steaks, etc.

Best of luck!

John K

PS Having returned things to Costco --- I hear ya! But don't forget --- there is a limit to their generosity! I found that out when I tried to return a camera "one day too late". I was politely referred to an online black hole. I still have that non-functioning camera today!

John K

John K,

i have found Costco be be great on returns. However, when it comes to electronics, (Cameras, computers, stereos, etc..) they have a 90 day return policy. Keep in mind that it is the best in the industry. You can return electronics with no questions asked, within that time period. No other store will do that for you.

Back to the oven. i know that one day i will purchase or build a WFO, but for right now, i have too much on my plate. Thanks for the comments.

TomN

Offline Serpentelli

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Re: Costco Woodfire Oven - Give your Opinion please !!!!!
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2013, 01:36:26 PM »
TomN,

I hope you didn't take my prior comments too negatively. Just trying to give you my perspective. In doing so, I forgot to mention the corollary to my prior statement:

Any WFO is better than no WFO at all! I hope you enjoy it and share your successes with us!

John K
I'm not wearing hockey pads!


 

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