Author Topic: Has anyone heard of "koala ovens"  (Read 2359 times)

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Offline Camaro10

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Has anyone heard of "koala ovens"
« on: June 06, 2013, 09:30:47 PM »
Found a decent local deal on Craigslist and was wondering if anybody can weigh in on this company.


Offline synaesthesia

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Re: Has anyone heard of "koala ovens"
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2013, 10:39:43 PM »
http://www.koalaoven.com/SiteMgt/ww_Standard.asp?SitePageId=202

Metal WFO, not particularly different from others. You'd have to look up the fine print though for any thing that might be amiss for the pizzaforumite's expectations, e.g. the Fornetto ovens have a safety warning that the oven is not supposed to exceed 350 deg C. (662 deg F) buried in their manual. Otherwise a perfectly good domestic backyard device for cooking food, though maybe not in the way you might want it to.

See:
http://www.koalaoven.com/Uploads/Brochures/KoalaOvenSeriesPamphlet.pdf
« Last Edit: June 06, 2013, 10:42:42 PM by synaesthesia »

Offline scott123

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Re: Has anyone heard of "koala ovens"
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2013, 01:55:31 AM »
It's a really nice looking oven, I also like the slightly larger than 18" deck which can accommodate an 18" pizza. The  heat deflection is both impressive and ingenious. The two pizzas at a time thing is kind of a pipe dream, but, when using just the top shelf, the dome height isn't horrible. Overall, this is a nice oven for NY style pizza.

Then I checked the price  :o They're insane if they think I'm going to spend $3000 on an oven that can't do Neapolitan.

Offline Camaro10

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Re: Has anyone heard of "koala ovens"
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2013, 07:09:24 AM »
What do you think of the fire being under the dome and not actually inside of it? The owner has it for sale for way cheaper than the retail.

Offline synaesthesia

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Re: Has anyone heard of "koala ovens"
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2013, 07:56:55 AM »
The technology can be seen in the illustration that Fornetto (Garth) uses:
http://www.fornetto.com/tech-info/fornetto.html

The naked flame never enters the cooking chamber and so in this sense it is quite 'idiot' proof. I considered getting this one which is similar and to me prettier than the Koala oven. I may still get one because you can smoke meat in it and it is convenient for other types of WFO cooking. It retails for about 900 AUD, the cheapest in the Koala range is about 1200 AUD.  It cooks a nice pizza, but if you are after  VPN pizza I don't know if this will do it. The thermometer on the contraption tops out at 400 deg C (about 750 deg F) , about 80-85 degrees less than VPN heat (485 deg C is about 900 deg F). Will it reach higher heat? Fairly certain you can if you spike the firebox but with the deflection built in, it's hard to say how much of that will reach the cooking chamber unless one tries it. Then again , you'd  be operating it in temps the manufacturer does not recommend.

Here is the Garth:
http://www.gartheurope.com/garden-oven.html

...same technology within. The Thermometer on the Garth model goes higher though in their manual it also says safe operation limit is 350 deg C, as it does in the Fornetto. All these ovens seem to recommend 300-350 deg C as pizza cooking temp (i.e 570 - 660 deg F). If that is what how you want to cook your pizzas it's great, and it is clear where the target market of these ovens are, they sit in that grade above the domestic kitchen oven but below a proper WFO. They are quick, clean and a real conversation piece in your back yard though.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2013, 08:07:36 AM by synaesthesia »

Offline scott123

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Re: Has anyone heard of "koala ovens"
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2013, 09:44:37 AM »
What do you think of the fire being under the dome and not actually inside of it? The owner has it for sale for way cheaper than the retail.

Camaro10, the Koala has baffles that run up the sides that take the heat coming up and bring it over the pizza and bake the top of it.  This matches up with how gas deck ovens deflect heat.

You're already hitting the bake times you want in your home oven (and most likely shortening them with cordierite).  If you want to match those results outdoors, you should be able to do that on a $200 grill.  It's hard to put a price on aesthetics, but, looking at this from a strictly utilitarian perspective, I'd say this oven is only worth around $500 (for the regular 18" deck 'Koala' size, not the cub size)- and that's to a person that's perfectly happy never hitting Neapolitan bake times. If you think there's any chance you might want to make Neapolitan pizza, then you should save your money for an oven that can achieve it. This is not that oven.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2013, 09:48:18 AM by scott123 »

Offline scott123

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Re: Has anyone heard of "koala ovens"
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2013, 09:47:13 AM »
...same technology within.

The Koala has baffles that bring heat up the sides of the baking chamber and over the pizza whereas the Garth's cooking chamber is entirely enclosed. This makes a tremendous difference in top/bottom heat balance.

Offline Camaro10

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Re: Has anyone heard of "koala ovens"
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2013, 10:04:07 AM »
Thanks guys.. I think I'll pass then. It was listed for 800 an the buyer was firm. I also checked out the specs and the max temp didn't exceed what was truly needed for a neo pie.

Offline synaesthesia

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Re: Has anyone heard of "koala ovens"
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2013, 10:19:32 AM »
The Koala has baffles that bring heat up the sides of the baking chamber and over the pizza whereas the Garth's cooking chamber is entirely enclosed. This makes a tremendous difference in top/bottom heat balance.

The Fornetto and the Garth are from the same company, and the Fornetto has adjustable sliders for smoking, the older Garth model doesn't not have adjustability but there are vents into the chamber in the smoking section of the Garth. That changes the heat capacity into chamber, but these ovens were not meant to go that hot, the insulation is not good enough.


 

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