Author Topic: Pizzamaster oven for NY style Pizza  (Read 904 times)

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Offline Gianni5

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Pizzamaster oven for NY style Pizza
« on: September 17, 2014, 12:05:34 AM »
Hello all,
I'm not sure if any members here have experience with pizzamaster ovens but I'm hoping to get some opinions/feedback on whether this oven would be a good fit for NY style pies.  I've been using blodgett's forever but the new ones just aren't for me. Slow bake times and unbalanced as far as top and bottom heat. The last oven I purchased was a marsal mb and I am happy with it but lower oven opening is only 8" and it can be really difficult getting heavy "combo" pizzas in and out. Also this oven will be for a new location and because of space issues in the kitchen it would great to be able to get a triple stacked oven wich pizzamaster has. Right now the marsal and the pizzamaster are the only ovens I'm really considering.
Scott123 I'm hoping you'll have something to say if you can.
Also I'll attach some pics of the new space and post as we progress
Ps the facade of the building is being torn down and rebuilt so it won't have that horrible out dated look

Offline kdefay

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Re: Pizzamaster oven for NY style Pizza
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2014, 01:04:18 AM »
I am looking forward to the feedback on this thread.  From what I have figured out so far, Pizzamaster is the only pizza deck oven that I can find with a distributor here in Thailand. 
The USA, Myanmar, and Liberia are the three remaining countries in the world who do not use the metric system.  That's some fine company to keep!!

Buy a scale, think in grams, and welcome to the 21st century!!

Online Chicago Bob

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Re: Pizzamaster oven for NY style Pizza
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2014, 01:15:02 AM »
You could make/alter that entryway impressive instead of throwing 5k plus down the drano....

Also, you been going through expensive equipment...Scott can hook you up but you need feedback from pmq type research pertaining to your direct application. Sounds like you have good customer traffic.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2014, 01:22:30 AM by Chicago Bob »
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Offline Gianni5

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Re: Pizzamaster oven for NY style Pizza
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2014, 01:39:39 AM »
You could make/alter that entryway impressive instead of throwing 5k plus down the drano....

Also, you been going through expensive equipment...Scott can hook you up but you need feedback from pmq type research pertaining to your direct application. Sounds like you have good customer traffic.

The entryway is actually being paid for by the landlord. I'll check out pmq too thanks


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Re: Pizzamaster oven for NY style Pizza
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2014, 07:30:57 PM »
I know of only two people that own pizzamasters, but, fortunately, being celebrities, we know quite a lot about them.  Jeff Varasano (who basically put pizzamaster on the American map) and Jeff Krupman, aka Pizzahacker.

The last time I spoke to Pizzahacker, he had just opened his place and was still dialing in the oven.  In the article,

he said

The current electric deck oven is a PizzaMaster from Sweden, but Krupman says it's "still on probation." He's considering a switch to a Cuppone oven, but plans to stay electric. "The ceiling/top heat is controlled separately from the floor/bottom heat in the oven," notes Krupman, and "additionally, there is an adjustment for the front part of the ceiling/top (the part closest to the opening) to compensate for the constant cooling of the front of the oven from opening...We can have the oven do whatever we need. It just makes baking a lot easier and more predictable than a wood oven.

and in the comments, he said this to me:

@scott123 I only have 1 of 2 decks connected. It's a long story, suffice to say I was not expecting to be this busy so soon. Trust me, these electric ovens can reproduce exactly what I want if not over-taxed (same prob w/wood). Give us another month (maybe 2) to get it dialed in. I'm gonna convert you!

The common thread here between the two Jeffs is the lightning fast, bordering on Neapolitan bake.  You won't see this with a Marsal.  I've never priced a full sized pizzamaster, but based on countertops running almost double the price of their American counterparts, I don't think the full sized deck ovens are going to be cheap.  Based on the two Jeffs, I think it's pretty safe to assume that pizzamaster is the oven you go for when you want almost NP bakes- and are willing to pay a premium for almost NP bakes.

John, are you looking for almost NP bakes?  I know you've been flirting with the idea of selling Neapolitan for quite some time, and I think that's a worthy goal, but if your present clientele is purchasing 'heavy combo pizzas,' I don't know if that's the right market for neo ny.  We've talked about this before.  Neo NY- especially that 2-3 minute bake time, is really niche. Pizzahacker can pull it off in San Fran, and Varasano in  Atlanta, but, in the suburbs... I think NY or full fledged NP is the safer bet- and I don't think the pizzamaster can do full fledged NP.  Close- the closest of any other deck oven on the market, but I think, at the end of the day, it can only skirt with NP times, and not fall firmly within the NP spectrum.

Here in NY, when successful pizzerias move into larger spaces and forecast greater sales, they typically double down on the double Marsals.  It's a lot of real estate, but, it's also a lot of sales. I've seen places smaller than yours with 2 x 2s. If you really want to save that space, and you expect the volume that's going to be required from a triple, AND you're comfortable paying a premium, I'm fairly confident that the pizzamaster will give you any possible NY bake time, with volume that's comparable to a triple marsal MB (if one existed). Electric ovens, at least domestic electric ovens, can be weaker than their gas counterparts, and leave you in a bind during your busy times, but, the wattage on the pizzmasters is very high, so I don't think you'll have any concerns on that front.

Speaking of wattage, have you checked the price of gas vs. the price of electric in your area?  The massive popularity of gas ovens is due to gas typically being less expensive. Not only might you be paying top dollar for the pizzamaster at the onset, but you might continue to pay more for it in fuel costs as time goes by.

Once very nice thing about electric, as Jeff pointed out, is that you never have to worry about balance again.  They're not completely idiot proof.  At high temps, the top element can heat the floor, so it takes some finesse to dial them in, but the days of worrying about maintaining balance as you increase the temp/decrease the bake time will be officially over- although it sounds like you ended those concerns with the Marsal.

These are the top two ovens, imo, so you really can't go wrong with either.  If you do go with the pizzamaster, make sure you look at the 'newer' model that Varasano speaks highly about here:

As much as I trust Jeff, newer isn't always automatically better, so, if you are able to obtain the specs, post them here and I'll compare them against the old specs. For a while, Pizzamaster was offering a high temp version.  If they're still doing two versions, definitely get the hotter one.

Edit: One other thing to consider.  A triple pizzamaster is going to draw a LOT of electricity.  In a commerical setting, you might be okay, but I would definitely look at the present output of your box and compare that with the requirements of the pizzamaster. Not that two banks of double Marsals are going to be easy to install either.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2014, 07:44:55 PM by scott123 »

Offline Gianni5

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Re: Pizzamaster oven for NY style Pizza
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2014, 11:08:11 PM »
Thanks for your response Scott,
Right now I'm looking for an oven solely for NY style pizza. In our other locations where we run mostly blodgett's our average bake time is around 7-10 minutes. 7 during slower times and up to ten during the rush. I really want to shoot for the 5 or 6 minute range this time around. I've only recently (thanks mostly to this website) seen how much bake time effects the overall product.
   I know the marsal is more than capable of a 5-6 minute bake but as I said the shorter door height of the bottom deck I don't love, and the fact I can triple stack the pizzamaster have me thinking about which would work better for me. I also love the idea of adjustable top and bottom heat.
    As far as cost: I was quoted $19k for the double deck 6 footers (6 16 inch pies) with the "high heat" package. Very comparable to the marsal. I was also told they are more expensive to run but not to the point where it's cost prohibitive.
    My father had some bad experiences with electric ovens years back so he's a little worried about the whole idea. He said they were notorious for having dead spots during peak times.


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Re: Pizzamaster oven for NY style Pizza
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2014, 12:24:51 AM »
John, your dad's a smart guy.  Historically speaking, electric ovens, as I said, have been known to struggle when the volume starts increasing.  One thing to keep in mind is that the Pizzamaster is in the 4 watts per square inch territory compared to Baker's Pride (and most other domestic electrics) at 3 watts per square inch.  The greater the number of watts, the better the stone is going to recover during busy times.

This being said, I've never stood in front of a pizzamaster and tested how well it stood up to a high volume scenario. I've spoken to a few MB owners and they say that the MB holds up very well under pressure- although one MB owner said that his oven could hit balanced 4 minute bakes when it was new, but can only do longer bakes now (5, I think) a year later. I can crunch the numbers, and, based on the premise that the Baker's Pride electric is most likely a bit problematic when pushed, theorize that another 1 watt per square inch could resolve that issue, but that's just theory.

I'm sure that both Jeffs have pushed their pizzamasters to their limits.  Pizzahacker comes from a pretty humble background, so I think, as long as you're not opening shop in his area, if you asked him about the pizzamaster and high volume, he'd probably give you his opinion.  Varasano seems like a nice guy.  He probably wouldn't give me the time of day  :-D but it wouldn't hurt for you to drop him a line.  These are both classic examples, imo, of next generation pizzamakers- guys that are extremely intelligent, creative, and typically very open.

Does Pizzamaster have any kind of domestic test kitchen?  Even if plane fare is expensive, it might be worth it just to kick the tires a bit. Obviously you're not flying to Sweden (I don't know, might be fun :) ), but I would hope that they have some kind of domestic setup where you can bake some pies. For $20K+ I'd personally want to kick the tires a bit.

Also, what about raising the Marsal a bit so the bottom chamber is not quite so low?

Offline Gianni5

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Re: Pizzamaster oven for NY style Pizza
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2014, 01:00:34 PM »
I'm going to see if the pizzamaster distributor can help find either a test kitchen or some way to test the oven.
I think I was a bit unclear as far as the height of the marsal. I'm actually speaking about the height of the cooking chamber. It's only 8".  The top oven on a stacked marsal mb is 9.25", Pizzamaster are 9.6",and blodgett's 10".  The lower chamber height is not a deal breaker it's just a little hard on my employees.


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Re: Pizzamaster oven for NY style Pizza
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2014, 01:58:27 PM »
Ah, I thought both the size of the chamber and the position of the bottom chamber were causing the issue.  I understand now.

Offline totally_baked

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Re: Pizzamaster oven for NY style Pizza
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2014, 03:50:51 PM »
Just bought a used PizzaMaster 932 with "high power" option in advance of opening my shop.  It's a great oven, super even bake, lots of great features (ie. frontal overhead heat adjustment!), very well designed and built, awesome sales and tech support, but probably over-kill for NY-style pies if you compare prices with domestic brands.  Though maybe the price is a bit more reasonable if you don't go for the "high power" option.  I don't have the specs in front of me but that brings the top temp down from 930 to something like 700, I think. 

That said, I got mine for a song for a nearly new oven so I had to take it even if I'm not going to be maxing out the top temp on a regular basis.  I'll be doing a range of pizza styles so it works great for me.  Gotta run but feel free to contact me directly if you have specific questions:  Your build-out looks great btw.  Love the gutted interior!

Offline VarunS

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Re: Pizzamaster oven for NY style Pizza
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2014, 03:57:49 PM »
Interesting discussion!

I currently own a countertop pizza master that has been modded with an extra stone in each deck. This makes it capable of baking 4 pies vs 2. Its a 28" x 14" stone.

Here are the downsides:
1. Pizza needs to be rotated as back is much hotter than the front. Couple of times at least. This is reduced when extra stone isn't present but the countertop series does not have any adjustment to keep the area near the door hotter. Maybe in the newer models they may.
2. Heat recovery is not the best and due to constantly rotating the pizza there is a drop in temperature.
3. There is a turbo heat recovery option to speed things up. This raises electricity cost significantly.
4. Insulation is not amazing.

Completely agree that if you are looking to do Neopolitan type pizzas the high temperature version could be a good option. 500C is the max temperature though I have heard its best to run it at 480C. For New York style pizzas there are plenty of deck ovens available like Zanolli, Moretti Forni, Cuppone, Ital Forni, Cirnav & Castelli forni. Never used the US brands so can't comment on those. Some of these are cheaper than Pizza Master. Fortunately I got to try it as their distributor in India had a test kitchen for demo purposes.

Recently I visited the Castelli forni factory in Rome and used their ovens at a school as well. These ovens are heavy duty! Really really solid. You can rotate trays on the oven door without any problem. Also I touched the sides of the oven running at 300C and it was just warm. Really good insulation & power. Pizza master counter tops feel like a toy compared to this. I'm sure their modular ovens are much sturdier but doubt as good as these. A Castelli oven with internal dimensions of 36 x 28" costs approx 5500 Euros, single deck.

Having said all this been using the pizza master for couple years now and besides a door hinge getting loose couple times, machine has been working great. Also they look sleek  ;D.

Most important is to have a authorized dealer/ service representative of a machine you are purchasing in your city. I prefer that peace of mind that if something does go wrong spares and help is at hand.

Good luck with everything

Offline dhs

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Re: Pizzamaster oven for NY style Pizza
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2014, 04:43:55 PM »
We use electric Moretti Forni ovens. I had considered Pizzamaster as well. It was a toss up but went with Moretti after finding some used ovens (that we later lost in flooding but that is another whole story). Our ovens run at about 700 F and from my experience this is a sweet spot for the Morettis. We do 3 to 3.5 minute bakes. For the temps you are looking to do, the Moretti is more than capable, as would be the higher temp Pizzamaster.  It could also be said that the temps you are looking to cook at, a gas deck oven is more than capable as well but not vice versa.

Moretti ovens do have a low opening height because they have a 'lip' there to help retain heat when the door is open. I am sure this could be removed and probably not too much of an ill effect at lower 600F and less temps.

I can't say what percentage of our electric bill is from the ovens, but our bill is less than I had estimated. They are pretty efficient if you warm them up slowly, very efficient at holding temp during down time, and at least the Morretti, has very manageable recovery period (we barely use the bottom elements for how we work the pizzas).

Service is an issue Ithought about and decided I was comfortable more with Moretti (maybe Pizzamaster has a bigger footprint in the States now?). We have worked without a hiccup since opening a year ago and I expect that to continue. However, if there is an issue, we may very well have to ship parts from Canada or Italy as well as fly in a technician if the job requires that level of support. Thankfully, they are pretty simple and robustly built. We also have two decks and could adjust to do all our pizzas on one deck.

If you do not have heavy 3 phase power already in place, start with price quotes for that. It can cost as much as the ovens.

Offline PaulieFL

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Re: Pizzamaster oven for NY style Pizza
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2014, 11:45:16 PM »
Being in the equipment business for 20 years I have not run across one of the pizza masters but by the looks of it and a little research I'm pretty sure it's a remake or copy of the Gemini Sveba Dahlen oven also made in Sweden. These ovens are mainly used for Artisan Bread making where some models are available with "steam injection" The rare model for pizza is the P600. Them most common model is the DC-12 but there is a model that is plentiful in the US which is the DC-12- DD. Yes you guessed right on the DD (Dunkin Doughnuts) Most older DD stores have this oven and if your lucky to know a manager of one you just might be able to use it to do a test pie. These ovens can be had CHEAP. Heck over the last 20 years i probably scrapped a couple dozen as in my personal opinion, Unless your not doing Artisan style, Their nothing special and in my case almost impossible to resell thus rendering them scrap metal.
Buy something that you know that works like a first generation BP Y-600 or Marsal
Hope this helped someone.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2014, 11:47:22 PM by PaulieFL »