Author Topic: Advice On Indoor Oven for Neapolitan-style Pizza  (Read 1427 times)

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Offline italdream

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Advice On Indoor Oven for Neapolitan-style Pizza
« on: November 15, 2013, 04:36:46 PM »
With the cold months descending upon the U.S. North East, I was contemplating the idea of retiring the Blackstone until spring time.

I still have two pizza bella ovens, I tried the cleaning cycle hack but disliked this solution. This was years ago. Is there anything better these days, for indoor use, that reaches 800F+?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Offline red kiosk

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Re: Advice On Indoor Oven for Neapolitan-style Pizza
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2013, 07:31:25 PM »
That's great that you still have those Bella ovens. I agree that the oven hack is not the greatest solution. I have a Viking gas range with the infrared gas broiler and a 1/2"steel plate, but still will be using the Blackstone oven outside as long as I can. Hey, you can always find me grilling on my HastyBake charcoal grill in the worst Chicago snow storm. Wifey has definitely put the kabosch on the one hour + 550F indoor oven warm-ups after living with the Blackstone (and I kinda' agree). Our kitchen is small, and nobody likes a BLAST FURNACE going in the middle of entertaining in your kitchen. I'm going to try to insulate the Blackstone a bit for winter use and hopefully next spring, get a 2Stone Pro. I like cooking pizzas this way and want something built with more quality and that will last longer. Hope this helps and take care!

Jim
« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 07:34:14 PM by red kiosk »
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Offline barryvabeach

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Re: Advice On Indoor Oven for Neapolitan-style Pizza
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2013, 09:03:49 PM »
There are some foreign made countertop ovens that run 240 volts that have some good specs.  Here is a recent post  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,27380.msg277526.html#msg277526

Here is an earlier post by Scott suggesting what to look for in terms of watts per square inch
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,23910.msg242870.html#msg242870

In my experience, having not used the expensive Italian ovens, you absolutely need 240 volts to get something worthwhile, and you need two thermostats , one for the top element, one for the bottom.  Even then, you still won't be able to take out a pie and load another like you can with the BS.

Online scott123

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Re: Advice On Indoor Oven for Neapolitan-style Pizza
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2013, 10:04:28 PM »
The P134H is the only contender, imo, and, the last time I checked, they weren't shipping to the U.S.  Even if you could managed to get a P134H shipped, I don't think it could match a blackstone.

You'd be the first person to do this, but I think it's time for someone to come along and convert the BS to NG, put a pipe on it and vent it outside the home. It would probably take a friendly fire inspector, but I think it could be done. It shouldn't require expensive vent pipe either- although, again, it would mostly fall on what the inspector demands.

Offline red kiosk

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Re: Advice On Indoor Oven for Neapolitan-style Pizza
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2013, 10:17:10 PM »
Doesn't conversion to NG from propane result in overall lower temps? At leastI thought that was the case, but please correct me if I am wrong. Take care!

Jim
The pathologically precise are annoying, but right!

Online scott123

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Re: Advice On Indoor Oven for Neapolitan-style Pizza
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2013, 10:46:15 PM »
Well, it would need to be a burner conversion as well, which, although most likely not easy, has been discussed, and, thanks to Dave's (Tampa's) work dissembling the front, is much more feasible.

I only bring up NG due to the likelihood of a fire inspector's issues with propane. Propane would be ideal, though, if you could find an indoor setup that could pass code.

Offline barryvabeach

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Re: Advice On Indoor Oven for Neapolitan-style Pizza
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2013, 08:40:13 AM »
Scott,  I think the inspector would probably freak out it he saw a BS running full speed inside a house, the roar is pretty intimidating.  Actually, the 60,000 btu of open gas flame doesn't need any special venting, my stove puts out more than that, but the bigger problem is that the inspector would probably want the entire thing encased in something so that the outer case was cool enough not to start a fire if anything feel on it, or touched it, and that would be an undertaking.

Offline Fire-n-smoke

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Re: Advice On Indoor Oven for Neapolitan-style Pizza
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2013, 11:55:09 AM »
I ran propane into my house with ordinary black pipe that is used for NG.  I put a gas fireplace in our bedroom and ran the pip through the side of the house; the 100 gallon tank sits outside and, "knock on wood"; has not been a problem at all.
tom

Offline italdream

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Re: Advice On Indoor Oven for Neapolitan-style Pizza
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2013, 08:43:35 PM »
Scott,  I think the inspector would probably freak out it he saw a BS running full speed inside a house, the roar is pretty intimidating.  Actually, the 60,000 btu of open gas flame doesn't need any special venting, my stove puts out more than that, but the bigger problem is that the inspector would probably want the entire thing encased in something so that the outer case was cool enough not to start a fire if anything feel on it, or touched it, and that would be an undertaking.

You guys are amazing. What a great idea! Inspector or not, I am going to run the idea by my wife suggesting that everybody on the forum thinks that it is a very feasible solution... :D I am sure that she will be persuaded and allow the mod.

In the veeery unlikely event that she finds the idea to be just a byproduct of my insane pizza obsession, I am going to have to find a better way.

Is there anybody on the forum, who would have a idiot proof guide to put two switches, one for the top and for the bottom element of the pizza bella. It was the only problem that I had with the pizza bella, not having control on the elements. I know that someone has done it in the past.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2013, 08:45:13 PM by italdream »

Offline bbqchuck

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Re: Advice On Indoor Oven for Neapolitan-style Pizza
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2013, 08:59:03 PM »
What Fire Inspector?  I've never had one in my house any time in my life.  Drag that Blackstone inside and fire it up.  NOW!  :-D


Offline barryvabeach

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Re: Advice On Indoor Oven for Neapolitan-style Pizza
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2013, 09:19:44 AM »
Here is a link to a mod, though I wouldn't say it was easy.  I only looked at the first page, he may go into more detail in one of the later pages http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,19732.0.html

Offline misterschu

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Re: Advice On Indoor Oven for Neapolitan-style Pizza
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2013, 11:38:10 AM »
I was going to link to the post Barry posted above.  Shouldn't be too hard to convert your Pizza bella Ovens, and since you already have two you won't have to worry about sourcing the extra heating element for the top of the oven.

The conversion itself took me 4 hours.  I'm pretty happy with my results so far, but didn't have a great trial run because my dough was over-risen.  Going to make more dough this week and try again later this week.

Offline italdream

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Re: Advice On Indoor Oven for Neapolitan-style Pizza
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2013, 06:28:22 PM »
I was going to link to the post Barry posted above.  Shouldn't be too hard to convert your Pizza bella Ovens, and since you already have two you won't have to worry about sourcing the extra heating element for the top of the oven.

The conversion itself took me 4 hours.  I'm pretty happy with my results so far, but didn't have a great trial run because my dough was over-risen.  Going to make more dough this week and try again later this week.

Thanks misterschu. Can I PM you to get more instructions about process and components? I am really interested. The pizza bella with the separate switches would make fantastic little ovens for those winter night quick bakes. I take it from your email that I will need to dismantle a component from one of them and adapt it into the other. Are you based in the U.S.?

Offline misterschu

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Re: Advice On Indoor Oven for Neapolitan-style Pizza
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2013, 10:16:52 AM »
Affirmative on the PMs and US.  I've posted another link about a simple mod to the oven that requires almost no work.  I'm also posting some info here before the PMs so other users may see.

These clamshell style ovens use a simple bi-metal thermostat for temperature control.  This works by having two different metals connected to each other.  As the metals heat up they expand at different rates and cause the bi-metal to bend.  When you turn the knob it closes the circuit and turns on the heating elements. When the bi-metal bends enough (heats up) the circuit opens and the elements turn off.  Turning the knob further tightens the connection between the contacts, meaning more bend (higher heat) is needed to break the circuit.  The heating elements themselves, in this circuit, have only a binary state, on or off.  When they're on they're heating up to their max output until the heat travels to thermostat and bends the bi-metal. 

The simplest mod, posted at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=5980.0 simply bends the mechanical governor/limiter out of the way so you can tighten the contacts connection even more, just by turning the knob further than you could before, meaning the elements don't turn off until even higher heat.

The mods posted at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,19732.0.html are a bit more complicated.  Here the ovens have been dismantled and reassembled in order to install a secondary heating element in the top of the clamshell.  The limiter mod is also used here... in my case, I actually moved the thermostat so it's not in the oven case and also delimited it.

I ordered my new wave stone bake pizza oven from Walmart, then I ordered a Welbilt Pizza Plus oven from eBay (all of these clamshell style ovens are basically identical... some differences with element shapes and wattages.  There are some other clamshell ovens on the market, make sure you're buying one where you can actually see the element.)  I disassembled both ovens to remove the heating elements.  There are two element shapes these ovens had.  The walmart used a V or pacman shape, the welbilt used an O or circle shape.  Because I knew my oven was going to get hot (900F) i removed all the wiring so i could limit how much wire would actually be near the hottest part of the oven.  To do this I needed to order some crimp cap nylon connectors so I could reconnect the wires once I'd removed them from the oven.  (they come with crimp cap connections, but are threaded through the oven and cant be removed while fully connected)  I also detached the thermostat to remove it.  These steps were done on both ovens. The ovens were fully, 100% disassembled, though I'm not sure that much was necessary.

I then rebuilt into the new wave oven (it looked nicer, black/gray finish).  I attached both O-shape elements to the top of the oven (some drilling may be required to put the element connections through the inner metal dome).  I used the anchors from the original top element to screw the element in to the inner dome, then used stainless steel wire to tie the second element to the anchored element in a number of places.  I then rewired/reconnected these two elements in the exact same fashion that was used originally for the top and bottom elements (make sure to label your wires before you disconnect them for easy re-wiring).  Only the element connecting wires are inside the oven, they thread out to the thermostat through the hole where the knob used to come out of.

I did very similar steps for the bottom half, but had to drill a hole to thread the element connecting wires through.  I also only used one element on the bottom.  This wiring took some thought and trial and error to wire correctly.  (to test that I'd wired correctly I used the GFCI outlet in my kitchen so I wouldn't trip a whole breaker)

Now to operate my oven I have two power cords, one for the top elements and one for the bottom element.  I also have a thermostat for each half, meaning I can turn my bottom element off and still have the top elements on.




 

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