Author Topic: Observations on cooking speeds!!!  (Read 1626 times)

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Offline walterstewart

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Observations on cooking speeds!!!
« on: September 20, 2013, 07:02:58 PM »
Greetings from Seattle!!

Two fascinating (at least to me) experiences to share. First, went in to a well-known Neapolitan pizza place at 3 pm. They assured us they could cook us pizzas (it was open). Took 2 1/2 minutes plus *lots* of doming. I
suspected their oven was way low. Sure enough, the crust was dried out, the pie barely baked. At check out
they asked me how it was, and I told them, and told them I thought their oven was too low (which they confirmed). They promptly cut the bill in half (which I was not expecting) and I left feeling I learned something.

Second experience even more amazing. Came across street vendors, a man and his gorgeous wife, who have been operating a portable FB oven for at least a year. We started talking shop. He cooks at 750 F for about 2 minutes because at anything above this the crust burns before the pizza is cooked!! He was baffled by this, and I shared that I strongly suspected the FB oven floor was too conductive. It looks like regular firebrick, but of course I'm just guessing. The oven ceiling looked way high as well, so his pies cooked
slowly, according to what he told me.

This experience confirmed, at least in my mind, that floor conductivity is indeed very important, and that using easily available materials, less is better than more.

Would be fascinated to learn others thoughts on this!!

Walter


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Observations on cooking speeds!!!
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2013, 07:13:19 PM »
The floor conductivity issue has been pretty heavily discussed recently, and your conclusion is right in line with the CW. For example:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,27555.0.html
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,22618.0.html

What was the restaurant in the first experience?
Pizza is not bread.

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Observations on cooking speeds!!!
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2013, 09:55:32 PM »
A high dome and an overly conductive floor is like the kiss of death of Neapolitan Pizza.  You can't really throw the balance of heat off any more then that, which is why I personally question the fact that they constantly advice people to use medium duty bricks on the forno bravo forum. 
-Jeff

Online stonecutter

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Re: Observations on cooking speeds!!!
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2013, 07:41:01 AM »
Because most of the people building ovens off the FB plans don't care about only 60-90 second pizzas.
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Offline f.montoya

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Re: Observations on cooking speeds!!!
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2013, 09:30:30 AM »
A high dome and an overly conductive floor is like the kiss of death of Neapolitan Pizza.  You can't really throw the balance of heat off any more then that, which is why I personally question the fact that they constantly advice people to use medium duty bricks on the forno bravo forum.

I think one of the most important factors is the overall temp of the oven. There are ways around a dome that's too high and a floor that's too conductive. If you monitor the bottom and utilize a bit of timely and strategic doming, not only can you produce a perfect NP pie, but you can impress your guests(or customers) with some nifty "working" of your oven. The following video is a pie I had for lunch at an NP place (not AVPN!) across town here in Ako, Japan. The oven is an older "Acunto". You can tell that the floor was too hot. The pie was baked quite well in the final 20 seconds, or so, of 70 total, OFF the floor. I wouldn't fault the oven for not being able to finish off directly on the floor. I would praise the pizzaiolo for knowing the oven.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGxL7S7YVxY




To me, it's all about getting 950f +, evenly distributed in your oven walls and the upper dome at 1000f. High or low dome, conductive or super-conductive floor...it's a matter of paying attention to how the pie is baking and knowing your oven well enough to adjust on the fly. Even if the oven is WAY too hot, you can finish off baking near the door. There are all kinds of things that can compensate for high domes and high conductivity of floor bricks. Every part of the oven chamber can be utilized to accomplish a great pizza. It's just a matter of learning the nuances of your oven.

Speaking of ovens, I'll be building a second oven soon...a portable oven on wheels. I'll be utilizing an FB plan but with some of my own modifications. This one will be for "pizza only", whereas my first oven was built with "all-day baking" and "roasting" as part of the plans. The new oven can be taken to Japanese festivals and places of high traffic. I can't justify making pizza everyday for just my family so if I sell some, I'll have my excuse to keep enjoying my hobby!!  :-D
« Last Edit: September 21, 2013, 09:35:18 AM by f.montoya »

Offline walterstewart

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Re: Observations on cooking speeds!!!
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2013, 06:01:42 PM »
Craig,

The restaurant that undercooked the pizza was Tutta Bella, which I guess is a chain.
According to them, the oven works fine on Friday and Saturday night, when
they have it up to temperature. For my money, that is the only time they
should be cooking pizza!!!

Walter

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Observations on cooking speeds!!!
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2013, 06:52:16 PM »
According to them, the oven works fine on Friday and Saturday night, when
they have it up to temperature.

Translation - "We're too cheap to burn enough wood."

I actually had a pretty good meal at the Tutta Bella in Seattle Center a few years ago. I didn't recommend them to you because I suspected that my experience was not necessarily the norm.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline thezaman

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Re: Observations on cooking speeds!!!
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2013, 09:16:06 AM »
 this is a very timely post for me.i am a mobile oven operator and have been struggling with how to make the most acceptable Neapolitan style pizza that i can. i have had complaints about my pizza being soggy, ingredients sliding off, dough under done, and burnt. one event we sold 1800 pies and had 4 complaints, which is not a lot but i worry that others just do not like it and vow not to order it anymore.
  when i have large events i have to rely on others to help with the make or bake process and if they do not apply toppings and stretch the pizzas properly then the bake will be off. on the baking side if you do not monitor the oven and the overall make up of the pizza you are baking it may not be right. this 45 second bake is great if everything is done right,but if you are off on hydration, toppings, fermentation time you are not going to get a good product.
  if you try to bake bread in a oven that is to hot it is going to be raw,pizza is no different. when one of my employees take pride in their 37 second pie i bring them down to earth real quick. we are baking a product we are trying to sell and we want happy repeat customers.
 what i have been doing is keeping my floor under 800 degrees in the 775 range and shooting for a 120 to 130 bake. when the lines form i bring my floor up over 850 and the high cooking volume keeps the bake even. this gives my crust a little more structure and holds toppings better.
 
 

Offline f.montoya

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Re: Observations on cooking speeds!!!
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2013, 11:56:23 AM »
this is a very timely post for me.i am a mobile oven operator and have been struggling with how to make the most acceptable Neapolitan style pizza that i can. i have had complaints about my pizza being soggy, ingredients sliding off, dough under done, and burnt. one event we sold 1800 pies and had 4 complaints, which is not a lot but i worry that others just do not like it and vow not to order it anymore.
  when i have large events i have to rely on others to help with the make or bake process and if they do not apply toppings and stretch the pizzas properly then the bake will be off. on the baking side if you do not monitor the oven and the overall make up of the pizza you are baking it may not be right. this 45 second bake is great if everything is done right,but if you are off on hydration, toppings, fermentation time you are not going to get a good product.
  if you try to bake bread in a oven that is to hot it is going to be raw,pizza is no different. when one of my employees take pride in their 37 second pie i bring them down to earth real quick. we are baking a product we are trying to sell and we want happy repeat customers.
 what i have been doing is keeping my floor under 800 degrees in the 775 range and shooting for a 120 to 130 bake. when the lines form i bring my floor up over 850 and the high cooking volume keeps the bake even. this gives my crust a little more structure and holds toppings better.

Anthony Mangieri comes to mind.

There are literally dozens of combinations that can wreak havoc on a one's attempts with regard to a good Neapolitan Pizza. If, and when, I monetize my hobby, I will trust NOBODY. Ala Anthony Mangieri, I would do everything. Then,  and only then, could I own complaints, as well as praise. I personally would stay clear of events requiring 1800 pies to be baked. Good luck in your endeavor, though.

Offline thezaman

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Re: Observations on cooking speeds!!!
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2013, 12:59:53 PM »
 i just do not think that speed is what is important other than that 2:00 minute barrier. my visit to da michele in naples was a plus 1:00 pie and it was delicious!!!!     
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« Last Edit: September 23, 2013, 01:02:31 PM by thezaman »


Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Observations on cooking speeds!!!
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2013, 02:34:19 PM »
I wonder why he didn't go ahead and plate all 3 pizzas, not just the last one, as he took them out of the oven?
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Offline f.montoya

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Re: Observations on cooking speeds!!!
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2013, 11:38:44 AM »
I wonder why he didn't go ahead and plate all 3 pizzas, not just the last one, as he took them out of the oven?

More than likely, the first two were headed for "take-out" boxes.

Offline thezaman

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Re: Observations on cooking speeds!!!
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2013, 12:59:08 PM »
 all three pf those pies were for my table.cooking three in a minute fifteen keeps you hopping until the last one is out.