Author Topic: What's the BEST range oven for making pizza??  (Read 2025 times)

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Offline tdub154420

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What's the BEST range oven for making pizza??
« on: November 18, 2013, 11:33:42 AM »
So it's time to replace my home's range oven! It's exciting but stressful. It's exciting because my last conventional oven made it really tough to make pizza, I had to be creative in my cooking methods. It's been almost 10 years since I've shopped for ovens and I understand there are a lot of technological changes that may make for better pizza making, and even if there aren't any fancy tech upgrades I understand electric oven quality has simply just improved. I've looked around but I can't seem to find a consensus though on a home model that is great for pizza making. I need electric but that's my only requirement. 

What's the best out there nowadays?
« Last Edit: November 18, 2013, 11:57:07 AM by tdub154420 »
- Trevor


Offline communist

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Re: What's the BEST range oven for making pizza??
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2013, 12:49:04 PM »
There is none.  I have a cheap electric oven which should go to 550 degrees, plus 35 degrees higher with thermostat adjustment, and I can just get it to 530 to 540.  A $40 piece of steel plate has turned it into a nice pizza oven.  Just make sure your oven has decent interior dimensions.  The market for home pizza bakers must be so small that there are no mass produced, reasonably priced home ovens to help.  Mark

Offline scott123

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Re: What's the BEST range oven for making pizza??
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2013, 03:59:17 PM »
Trevor, you would think that, in a forum dedicated to pizzamaking, where the vast majority of members are home bakers, you'd see a great deal of attention directed towards purchasing home ovens. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. I just did a search and found a couple threads asking for help purchasing a gas oven, but, came up with nothing recent related to electric. I think the fact that ovens tend to last quite a while, that there's so many models and that these models keep changing, prevents any real knowledge base of great ovens for pizza being generated.

Quote
It's been almost 10 years since I've shopped for ovens and I understand there are a lot of technological changes that may make for better pizza making, and even if there aren't any fancy tech upgrades I understand electric oven quality has simply just improved.

Your understanding is incorrect.  Home ovens are a prime example of the classic idiom 'they don't make things like they use to.'  In the last ten years, we've seen a shift towards seemingly advanced technological gimmicks (that can end up being a hassle) with a drop in build quality, longevity, power and peak temp.  It's a lot of smoke and mirrors, with complexity ever increasing and quality decreasing (for reasonably priced models). 

For instance, the huge 'advance' of the last decade(s) has been the keypad. Not only are keypads usually the first thing to break on an oven, they're a hassle to use.  Great NY style pizza requires the that broiler be turned off and on a few times.  Do you now how many keystrokes it takes to achieve this?  When you're doing a party, and have a thousand things to worry about, the last thing you want to have to do is stand at your oven punching buttons.

Keypads also go a very long way in preventing customers from knowing an oven's peak temp.  Because there's no dial telling you how high the oven is supposed to go, you're at the mercy of salespeople and literature- both are which tend to be ridiculously lacking when it comes to peak temp specs. I can't tell you how many hours I've spend scouring oven manuals looking for an oven's peak temp without any success. I wouldn't necessarily call it a conspiracy to defraud, it's just ineptitude based on a public that doesn't seem to care how hot their ovens get and doesn't demand this information from oven manufacturers.

And lack of peak temp specs is just the tip of the iceberg of hard to find information.  Good luck finding internal dimensions or oven wattage. Total wattage is frequently listed, but it's almost always oven + burners, not oven wattage on it's own- and forget ever finding broiler wattage- which, unless you're standing in front of the oven looking at the coils, you'll need to know if you have any aspirations towards Neapolitan.

They still make traditional, dialed, non keypad ovens, but, for non commercial ovens, these tend to be the cheapest, and, when the prices drop that far, things like build quality and power become an even greater concern.

Long story short, this isn't going to be easy. Let's start off with a few questions:

Freestanding or wall mounted?
Ballpark budget?
Neapolitan aspirations?

Offline tdub154420

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Re: What's the BEST range oven for making pizza??
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2013, 08:43:13 PM »
To answer the most important question, Neapolitan is my favorite style to make, BUT I have curiously had no success with the broiler method in the past. Instead what I have done with a fair amount of success is I have placed all my bricks on the bottom rack and then had the second rack moved to the tip top of the oven. I would then cook my Neapolitan for almost 5 minutes on the bottom- it'd get a good oven spring and the bottom would get nice and crispy. Then I'd move it to the top rack but I wouldn't put on the broiler. Instead I'd let the convection heat from the very top of the oven brown the cheese. It worked better than all my experiments with the broiler, it may have been my oven but it'd either burn the crust and cheese or it hardly do anything at all. 

Anyways, in my research I have found they have these dual range ovens. I went to best buy and Home Depot today and talked with a rep about them. They seem solid for pizza making since one of the dual ovens has a low ceiling so it's essentially achieve the convection method I  accustomed to but without a move.  These ovens are all on the high priced side for me though as they are over a grand each.  Preferably I'd like to get something below a grand, but the dual oven thing just looks so cool!
- Trevor

Offline scott123

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Re: What's the BEST range oven for making pizza??
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2013, 11:10:50 PM »
Trevor, I hate to say it, but it sounds like you're falling prey to the smoke & mirrors I was talking about before.

Elements are expensive.  Two ovens = 4 elements.  Unless you spend top dollar (with something like a Wolf), the specs you see on each oven in a dual setup will never match those you see in a single oven of the same price. Two ovens is certainly nice, but... unless you're looking at specs rather than bells & whistles, there's absolutely no guarantees that the dual oven you looked at will be up to the task. If you're not careful, you can easily shell out a grand or more and potentially have a piece of equipment that's worse off for baking pizza than you had before.

Your top priority should be determining peak temp- and this isn't just peak temp for the bake function, but peak temp for the convection and broiler functions as well. I've seen quite a few ovens that have 550 peak for the bake, but either the broiler and convection cut out at 500.  A broiler that cuts out at 500 is the kiss of death for pizza. Even convection that cuts out at 500 is cutting it close.

The next important spec is the internal dimension.  A 30" range should have an oven shelf that can fit a decent size stone, but you need to know, for certain, what you're dealing with. If you're buying a new oven, you want the freedom to be able to bake the pizzas as large as you want to bake. If the oven shelf is 16" or less in depth, I wouldn't recommend it.

The last thing you should be researching is wattage, as that will dictate both pre-heat time and recovery.  If you plan on baking quite a few times in an evening- the stone will be a big part of that equation, but the wattage plays a role as well.  I've seen some very high end ovens that looked like a million bucks on the outside but had toaster oven elements on the inside.  The minimum wattage you should be looking for- in the oven elements, not oven + range, is 5 kW.  Any less than that and you're asking for trouble.

Re; Neapolitan. I should have been clearer in my question.  Are you aspiring towards sub 90 second bakes?  If you are, then that makes your search a lot more difficult.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 01:12:39 AM by scott123 »

Offline Surffisher2A

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Re: What's the BEST range oven for making pizza??
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2013, 09:34:54 AM »
I am in the same boat here, looking at a new electric freestanding range. Of course the #1 priority is an oven capable of pizza. I went to Lowes and Home Depot this past weekend and opened every one of the ovens and checked out the broil elements and NONE of them passed for me. The electrolux and LG ovens seemed to have the best broil elements, but the electrolux oven cavity seemed small and it was expensive. I did notice that most of the more expensive (above $700) did seem to go to 550 degrees, but couldn't find specifics on what temp the broiler turns on and off.

One thing I did notice was that a lot of the GE Ovens had two separate elements on the top. Not sure if that's a quick heat or something like that, or a separate bake and broil element but I am doing some research on it now and I only noticed it in GE ovens.

One thing I did find online was that viking has a nice electric range that has a 10 pass broil element, but they don't list the wattage on it and not sure how big the oven capacity (shelves) is on it. Plus I am sure its probably out of my price range.

I do have aspirations of getting as close to a neapolitian pie as possible, I know its probably out of my price range (about $1500 bucks).

Offline sub

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Re: What's the BEST range oven for making pizza??
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2013, 05:21:53 PM »
Hi,

You should look for an oven with the pyrolysis function, they are better insulated and can reach 500C

I've seen wonderfull Neapolitan pies came out them, if you are willing to bypass the security.

Offline barryvabeach

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Re: What's the BEST range oven for making pizza??
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2013, 10:42:23 PM »
Surffisher2a - for the 2 elements on broil, check the dial and see if it has a mini and max broil settings ( assuming there is a dial, not a keypad)  My last oven had a mini broil setting and a max broil, the temp was the same, but the width of the element that heated up was larger with the max, the mini was designed to broil a few steaks.  When I was looking for replacement elements,  I also noticed a few with a similar configuration.

Offline mp233069

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Re: What's the BEST range oven for making pizza??
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2013, 11:12:49 PM »
A hot oven.

Offline Surffisher2A

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Re: What's the BEST range oven for making pizza??
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2013, 07:23:06 AM »
Hi,

You should look for an oven with the pyrolysis function, they are better insulated and can reach 500C

I've seen wonderfull Neapolitan pies came out them, if you are willing to bypass the security.


I am not willing to defeat the safety on the oven. The risk isn't worth the reward in my opinion.

Surffisher2a - for the 2 elements on broil, check the dial and see if it has a mini and max broil settings ( assuming there is a dial, not a keypad)  My last oven had a mini broil setting and a max broil, the temp was the same, but the width of the element that heated up was larger with the max, the mini was designed to broil a few steaks.  When I was looking for replacement elements,  I also noticed a few with a similar configuration.


I was thinking of something like this but I can't figure out why they would want to incur the cost of a second element when all they have to do is adjust the power going to the mail element like almost all other manufacturers do. You can reduce the wattage output of the element by reducing the voltage or current flowing through it and still keep the same temp.

I have been looking more at that electrolux range (EI30EF35JS) and the more I look at it, the more i like it. The only thing I didn't like was it wasn't as steady at holding temp as some of the other ovens out there and seemed to run a little cooler than the setting. I see its on sale right now for $999 at bestbuy. Its normally $1250 and $1595 MSRP.  I have been looking at frigidair stoves to see if I can find a comprable stove and not pay for the electrolux name since frigidair makes the electrolux ranges. Usually you can find a similar stove without some of the bells and whistles but still keep the main components.

Here is a link to the specs of that oven.
http://manuals.electroluxusa.com/prodinfo_pdf/Springfield/EI30EF35J_0213_EN.pdf

« Last Edit: December 04, 2013, 07:32:28 AM by Surffisher2A »


Offline sub

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Re: What's the BEST range oven for making pizza??
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2013, 08:42:43 AM »
I am not willing to defeat the safety on the oven. The risk isn't worth the reward in my opinion.

I understand,

Your best bet then is to buy an oven with a powerfull top heating element (in Europe it's around 2800 Watts) and bake the pie very close to it.

Offline scott123

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Re: What's the BEST range oven for making pizza??
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2013, 04:01:39 PM »
Here is a link to the specs of that oven.
http://manuals.electroluxusa.com/prodinfo_pdf/Springfield/EI30EF35J_0213_EN.pdf


Surffisher, I don't think a 4 kW broiler is enough for Neapolitan in an oven of this dimension.  My broiler is 3.4 kW and I'm nowhere near the required level of intensity.

Marlon's Thermador oven:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16227.msg167250.html#msg167250

is the leading contender for the forum's most powerful/most NP capable broiler.  I don't know the watts, but, based on the number of passes, I'm almost certain that it's north of 5K.

It would be great if I were wrong, but I don't think you're going to find a sub $1,500 oven with a 5 kW+ broiler.

For NY, I like the wattage on the Electrolux.  I also really like the shelf dimension (19" deep).  Assuming it can hit 550 on the broil and convection settings, then that could be a pretty kick butt oven for NY style. At the same time, though, you really shouldn't have to pay $1K for a NY style capable oven.

FWIW, I applaud your initiative in this endeavor.  For a forum dedicated towards making pizza, finding a NP capable home oven shouldn't be such uncharted territory, but, it is. Even if a 4 kW broiler doesn't quite get you NP (malted flour might help), your work in this area will go a long way in helping the next person shopping for ovens.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2013, 04:19:15 PM by scott123 »

Offline Surffisher2A

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Re: What's the BEST range oven for making pizza??
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2013, 04:37:15 PM »
Surffisher, I don't think a 4 kW broiler is enough for Neapolitan in an oven of this dimension.  My broiler is 3.4 kW and I'm nowhere near the required level of intensity.

Marlon's Thermador oven:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16227.msg167250.html#msg167250

is the leading contender for the forum's most powerful/most NP capable broiler.  I don't know the watts, but, based on the number of passes, I'm almost certain that it's north of 5K.

It would be great if I were wrong, but I don't think you're going to find a sub $1,500 oven with a 5 kW+ broiler.

For NY, I like the wattage on the Electrolux.  I also really like the shelf dimension (19" deep).  Assuming it can hit 550 on the broil and convection settings, then that could be a pretty kick butt oven for NY style. At the same time, though, you really shouldn't have to pay $1K for a NY style capable oven.

FWIW, I applaud your initiative in this endeavor.  For a forum dedicated towards making pizza, finding a NP capable home oven shouldn't be such uncharted territory, but, it is. Even if a 4 kW broiler doesn't quite get you NP (malted flour might help), your work in this area will go a long way in helping the next person shopping for ovens.


Yeah, I didn't think it would be, but the 8 pass and 4000W was the highest I found on any range. Viking has a 10 pass but doesn't have the wattage listed in any of their specs, I emailed them asking the question and I haven't gotten any response from them. The only ovens I found with higher wattage are built in the wall ovens (like the thermador you mentioned).

A lot of the newer higher end ovens are boasting about their infrared broilers being so great but they have zero data or specs to backup the claims.

Offline barryvabeach

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Re: What's the BEST range oven for making pizza??
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2013, 09:26:57 PM »
Quote
I was thinking of something like this but I can't figure out why they would want to incur the cost of a second element when all they have to do is adjust the power going to the mail element like almost all other manufacturers do. You can reduce the wattage output of the element by reducing the voltage or current flowing through it and still keep the same temp.


If they reduced the power, then the entire element would get only moderately hot. The design is that the center portion gets just as hot as the entire element would be if it were on broil, but the outer edges of the element don't get hot at all.  I am not sure there is much demand for the feature, and you have to wonder how much electricity you are really saving, since I normally don't leave it on broil very long, but it is a feature I saw in a number of replacement elements.

BTW,  Scott did a poll some time ago to get owners to post the wattage of the various ovens, and the results were not very impressive. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,20146.msg197987.html#msg197987 I had a Viking dual fuel, and my broil element was only 3000 watts. 

Offline Surffisher2A

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Re: What's the BEST range oven for making pizza??
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2013, 07:15:20 AM »
If they reduced the power, then the entire element would get only moderately hot. The design is that the center portion gets just as hot as the entire element would be if it were on broil, but the outer edges of the element don't get hot at all. 

I am not 100% sure I agree with that theory at home oven temp ranges. If they reduced either the voltage or current going to the element it would just take longer to get up to max temp. Yes, I agree with you that the overall max temp would be reduced, but those elements are capable of temps way higher then your normal oven temps (think self clean and beyond) you would really have to cut the voltage or current a LOT for the max temp to come into play for a home oven.

Remember my comment was in relation to question if its for a Mini or Max broil setting. I am sure they could find a healthy balance to do that with just one element.

Maybe they are using it to help even out temps in the oven. Or provide a faster heat up time. The reason I am a little bit intrigued by the two elements on the top is to see if we can get both of them to turn on max setting while cooking a pizza we might be onto something. However I have my doubts because I can't find specs for the second element and they have it on their "budget" ranges as well.

Offline GarazinoPizza

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Re: What's the BEST range oven for making pizza??
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2013, 09:16:23 PM »
I bought a Wolf oven with bake stone mode, which heats to 550. I also lined the bottom with 1"  bricks. I start heating one hour before. I get beautiful pizza's, still would love an WFO. Also, it still take 5-6 mins to cook. Less if a thinner crust.

Offline Neapolitan

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Re: What's the BEST range oven for making pizza??
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2014, 01:59:48 AM »
I have been interested about this topic and following a lot of threads closely related to this.
If you are interested in Electric Oven, then you can check some decent counter-top deck ovens. Giotto, Blodgett or Inoksan looks good to me as they all heat upto 850 degree F.
If you want Gas Oven which resembles WFO type of baking then you can go for Blackstone, 2Stone or Kalamazoo Artisan Fire Oven
Hope this helps somewhat and wish you all a very happy new year.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 10:37:12 AM by Neapolitan »


 

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