Author Topic: Best oven choices for NY style pizza?  (Read 3900 times)

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Offline Dr. Barry

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Best oven choices for NY style pizza?
« on: January 20, 2014, 12:46:29 AM »
Hi,

I don't know where to start but I am happy to have found this Forum. My dream is a NY style pizzeria with great NY style pizza for delivery, take out and eat in. Growing up in NYC I remember Blodgett style ovens mostly. Nowadays it seems that Brick/wood/coal is more the fashion.

I want to know what makes the best NY pizza. Also I would appreciate it if anyone could point out simply what ovens are best for what pizza. And what are the particular differences between NY pizza and NY/Neapolitan pizza and Neapolitan pizza. And given that delivery is very important which pizza style of the 3 mentioned will "survive" the delivery process best.

I appreciate all help and advice.

Thanks,

Dr. Barry ;)


Offline waltertore

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Re: Best oven choices for NY style pizza?
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2014, 08:19:21 AM »
Hi,

I don't know where to start but I am happy to have found this Forum. My dream is a NY style pizzeria with great NY style pizza for delivery, take out and eat in. Growing up in NYC I remember Blodgett style ovens mostly. Nowadays it seems that Brick/wood/coal is more the fashion.

I want to know what makes the best NY pizza. Also I would appreciate it if anyone could point out simply what ovens are best for what pizza. And what are the particular differences between NY pizza and NY/Neapolitan pizza and Neapolitan pizza. And given that delivery is very important which pizza style of the 3 mentioned will "survive" the delivery process best.

I appreciate all help and advice.

Thanks,

Dr. Barry ;)

Barry:  I grew up in the Newark NJ area and have been obsessed with pizza all my life.  I now run a unique bakery/pizzeria in Ohio and we make authentic NY style pizza, breads, and such.  I own a stack of blodgett 1000 deck ovens.  IMO they are the best out there for NY style deck pizza.  The stones contain asbestos and this makes for incredible heat retention/even heating.  There is no need to rotate the pies.  These are still out there as well as all parts to keep them running.  They are very simple ovens.  Anyone with a shade tree  mechanic skill level can service them but they rarely require any.  You can cook, per oven,  4- 18" pies at a time, 6-16" at a time.  I am sure others will chime in with other info. If not I will try and answer your other questions. Walter
« Last Edit: January 20, 2014, 08:31:19 AM by waltertore »

Offline Dr. Barry

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Re: Best oven choices for NY style pizza?
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2014, 06:53:46 PM »
Thanks for the reply Walter!

What else do you bake besides NYC pizza? How well is the oven suited for NYC pretzel making? or even bagels?

Tell me about your place. Delivery, eat in, carry out, all of the above?

Is a pizza place as profitable as I believe it could be? I am in the Chicago burbs where thin pizza sucks, has a cracker like crust and is cut into squares. Shockingly absurd and bad.

How easy is it to get that perfect NYC pie consistently once you get your recipe down using the Blodgett? From what I understand that is one of the big advantages of that oven. Consistency of the heat compared to wood or coal.

All info is appreciated, even pointing me towards other threads or resources. I really want to know if I can make real money doing this. I believe I can have a niche that is not really being filled here.

Thanks!

Barry

Offline waltertore

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Re: Best oven choices for NY style pizza?
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2014, 08:04:53 PM »
Barry:  You are welcome and I will try to answer your questions to the best of my ability.

What else do you bake besides NYC pizza? How well is the oven suited for NYC pretzel making? or even bagels?

we bake pizza, artisan breads, bagels, pretzels.  The bagels/pretzels are done old school on bagel boards after boiling.  The oven door is not the entire width of the oven so there is a blind spot so to speak that makes putting the bagel boards in a bit of a hassle.  The blodgett 1048 for instance has a door that is the width of the oven deck.  That would make bagel/pretzels easier with the bagel boards. The 1048 is a newer oven than the  1000 and comes with new stones- not near as good.  See pictures of breads/bagels in the ovens.  I put a tray in with the artisan breads and pour water in it to make steam for a crunchy crust.


Tell me about your place. Delivery, eat in, carry out, all of the above?

I am a high school special education teacher and have created a unique program in which we are a licensed commercial bakery.  I teach students skills needed to be successful in the workplace.  We do not deliver, have no direct phone, do not advertise, are in a locked facility(customers have to buzz an intercom and be let in the school), only open during school hours/school calendar, make 1 size pie (18") with only cheese and pepperoni as topping choices, and orders need to be placed at least a day in advance.  Each week we make thousands of baked goods, bagels, pizzas, for 2 school districts and Dension University cafeterias, have contracts with local restaurants, civic organizations, and the general public. 



Is a pizza place as profitable as I believe it could be? I am in the Chicago burbs where thin pizza sucks, has a cracker like crust and is cut into squares. Shockingly absurd and bad.


I am not your normal pizza/bakery type person.  I am old school and believe in strict quality control which means I am involved in every product. We will not send inferior products out the door and have canceled orders where the dough was not right, etc.  Here in Central Ohio the pizza in not any good IMO.  I come from the NYC area Italian culture so my idea of good is different than here.  There are shops here that are continually packed that would be out of business in a week back home.  One thing I have learned is the food we grew up on will always be the special one that reminds us of home.  So each region of the country will have a different opinion of what is  really good/bad.  It has been a challenge to get the locals to try our stuff but once they do they come back.  We are working at capacity and on the pizza end many of our regular customers are people from NY, NJ, CT, and people that have experienced NY style pizza in the NY area.  We have a woman who travels 90 miles round trip from Columbus every week to buy our pies.  Also a 3rd generation NYC pizzeria owner who now lives in Columbus is a regular and big supporter of our program.  I make the pizza I love.  No compromise.  Take it or leave it.  People are coming and most ask why I am not opening a regular pizzeria somewhere in the area.  I feel a calling to do the work I do and at some point I may open my own place and employ just my wife and a special needs student or two.  For me the operation has to be small.  The more removed I become from the product the more it drifts from what I want it to be.  I have no dreams of getting rich but have big dreams of making a consistantly good product. 



How easy is it to get that perfect NYC pie consistently once you get your recipe down using the Blodgett? From what I understand that is one of the big advantages of that oven. Consistency of the heat compared to wood or coal.


Working with dough is a forever changing thing.  The temperature of the workspace, humidity, temp of the water coming out of the tap, refrigerator temps, all change drastically throughout the year in this part of the country.  Figuring out dough management is the hardest part of making a consistantly good pie and in reality you will have your "wow that is great dough" days and your "man that dough is ok but not a wow day".  That is the nature of dealing working in a commercial setting.  Most customers don't notice it but I do and if it is off enough to not satify me we will not sell it.  The ovens are solid and predictable.  Having the dough in prime condition throughout a work day takes time and learning to have a nice steady pace takes time.  Frantic rushing creates crap.  Steady groove, and this means people will often have to wait for their pies, means a much higher percentage that your pies will be right where you want them.  One has to figure their daily demand.  I put a cap on our dough balls each day and if I open my own place will make about 40-60 pies a day and I will make them.  Most shops today are into volume.  The 1000's are not the best oven for high volume in the deck world.  The newer ovens have a wider deck surface that can handle 6-18" pies.  To keep up with that kind of production one will need at least 2 people to makepies/run the ovens. Coal and WFO ovens run hotter than gas deck ovens.  The 1000's go to 650 degrees but the pies will not cook evenly top/bottom. You will end up with burned bottoms and undercooked tops.  500-560 is the normal range for evenly cooked pies.



All info is appreciated, even pointing me towards other threads or resources. I really want to know if I can make real money doing this. I believe I can have a niche that is not really being filled here.


I don't know what your idea of making money is.  I will always use top ingredients and not put out a large number of pies.  My shop will be small with seating for 25 max.  Most guys that make big money have many people working in the kitchen, a large eating area, do delivery, and turn out hundreds of pies a day.  That sounds like a living  hell to me.  I will have a pension when I retire from teaching and that will allow me to run a small shop my way.  I will only be open 3-4 days a week and no more than 7 hours a day.  I say make the pie you love. No compromise.  Don't look for a nitche just do your thing.  If your heart is really in it and it is a great product people will come. I am probably the wrong guy to ask about making money :)

here is a video I made recently of our year in revue.

« Last Edit: January 20, 2014, 09:01:33 PM by waltertore »

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Best oven choices for NY style pizza?
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2014, 10:05:04 PM »

Is a pizza place as profitable as I believe it could be? I am in the Chicago burbs where thin pizza sucks, has a cracker like crust and is cut into squares. Shockingly absurd and bad.






You need to slow down and have a look around here Doctor.   ::)
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline dmckean44

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Re: Best oven choices for NY style pizza?
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2014, 10:24:35 PM »
You need to slow down and have a look around here Doctor.   ::)

I was just gonna leave that one alone. 

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Best oven choices for NY style pizza?
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2014, 10:34:40 PM »
I was just gonna leave that one alone.
Are we in for any more of your bad and absurd critiques that you plan on just leaving alone? Or are you thinking you will be selective in the help you want and that will be all you need?  :)

Bob
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Offline Dr. Barry

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Re: Best oven choices for NY style pizza?
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2014, 10:51:02 PM »
You need to slow down and have a look around here Doctor.   ::)

Hey Bob,

I didn't make the reply above.

I am certainly open to anything you wish to share. What do you feel that I should be looking at? I am partial to NY Pizza. I will never understand why anyone would cut a thin crust pizza into little squares. No crust on all the interior pieces. Hard to hold. I have my preferences and that is for a NY style slice. But I am truly open to learn anything that you would care to share. I came here looking for wisdom and I do appreciate any that comes my way!

Barry

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Best oven choices for NY style pizza?
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2014, 11:02:37 PM »
Hey Bob,

I didn't make the reply above.



Barry
I guess I need to slow down too. Sorry.  8)

Bob
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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Best oven choices for NY style pizza?
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2014, 11:14:27 PM »
Hey Bob,

I didn't make the reply above.

I am certainly open to anything you wish to share. What do you feel that I should be looking at? I am partial to NY Pizza. I will never understand why anyone would cut a thin crust pizza into little squares. No crust on all the interior pieces. Hard to hold. I have my preferences and that is for a NY style slice. But I am truly open to learn anything that you would care to share. I came here looking for wisdom and I do appreciate any that comes my way!

Barry
I just thought it rude to knock a style of pizza that others here have put a lot of time, effort and expense into making it something that is a real tasty pizza.
Maybe you haven't had the real deal...dunno. But I guess that if you are fussy about not having a slice you can hold then I suppose you will also miss out on the experience of NP pizza....please don't say something to alarm those guys off friend; you will come running back to me compared to their wrath!  J/K, they are a nice lot over there.  ;D

Anyway...here's a couple reasons for you to understand why some people cut pizzas into little squares.   :chef:
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,22946.0.html

Bob
« Last Edit: January 20, 2014, 11:33:47 PM by Chicago Bob »
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Offline Dr. Barry

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Re: Best oven choices for NY style pizza?
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2014, 11:33:29 AM »
I just thought it rude to knock a style of pizza that others here have put a lot of time, effort and expense into making it something that is a real tasty pizza.
Maybe you haven't had the real deal...dunno. But I guess that if you are fussy about not having a slice you can hold then I suppose you will also miss out on the experience of NP pizza....please don't say something to alarm those guys off friend; you will come running back to me compared to their wrath!  J/K, they are a nice lot over there.  ;D

Anyway...here's a couple reasons for you to understand why some people cut pizzas into little squares.   :chef:
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,22946.0.html

Bob

Hey CB,

Thanks for directing me to that thread. I just read all of it and I too am hungry now. Your pies look great and I can see that you have taken your craft very seriously and to a very fine level.

When I first came to Chicago and was introduced to the Chicago thin crust, square cut I was not prepared for it, never heard of such a thing. My early attempts at local pizza love were with the "cracker" crust which I just didn't like. I asked a few people why it was cut into squares and the most common response was either "that's the way it's supposed to be" or "so little kids could eat it". I'm not kidding.

From then on I was relegated to just trying to scarf up any of the pieces around the perimeter with a crust and leaving the interior pieces to others. I am just a creature of habit. I like a crust on all my pieces both to hold while eating and to eat at the end as a special treat. Those center pieces never worked for me.

I then went on an odyssey to explore the deep dish world. To me this is not the same species of food as the thin crust I love. Meat ravioli, lasagna and spaghetti and meatballs are all combos of pasta, meat, cheese and sauce but are all very different animals. I don't put deep dish and thin crust in the same category in a similar vein. I like deep dish, but when I want "pizza", it's thin crust for me.

After reading that thread I still don't exactly "get" why the squares and I mean that respectfully. Besides tradition (I discount the "kids" explanation as being ridiculous) I want to understand the advantage of this cut style. I like picking up a slice with a minimum of mess, fold and eat. I like the crust at the end. I also use it to "mop" up any spilled sauce and toppings at the end. I do not want to use a fork and knife. So seriously tell me why this is done. I'm open. Maybe you will help me open my eyes to it.

Another thing that probably shaped my view on Chicago thin crust pizza is the high variation we have here in style. In NY I was accustomed to 2 styles. Slices and Sicilian. It seemed that virtually regardless of where you went if you ordered a "slice" you got what you expected. Here even though all the places more or less offer a thin crust there is so much difference from place to place. Slices vs. squares. Cracker crust vs. thin. vs. soggy bread. Yet all call themselves the same thing and all would like to lay claim to being "authentic" Chicago style pizza.

Variety is the spice of life. The thing that I enjoy most on the better pies I've had are the crispies that you have perfected. Bob, direct me to what you feel is the epitome of the Chicago thin crust style. I will go. I will eat. I am sure I will enjoy it.

I appreciate all the help and advice. I admit I may have come off a tad disrespectful of a great pizza style. No harm intended. I'm here to make friends...and eat pizza!

Barry

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Best oven choices for NY style pizza?
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2014, 12:20:35 PM »
I am just a creature of habit. I like a crust on all my pieces both to hold while eating and to eat at the end as a special treat. Those center pieces never worked for me.


Barry,
You have answered your own question!  :)   Let me explain...

Just recently here over in the NY section I got my answer to why I would always hear member Scott123(our resident oven guru) always say/recommend to others that when it comes to NY slice pizza "bigger is best". 16" is small(yet very acceptable) and 18-20in. pies are the daddy.
Why....?....tradition. The feel of that big baby in your hand, the slight flop even when you are holding it with the proper "fold"...a nice big, wide band of crust/bone. I like to take a bit of the forward part and immediately take a nip of crust rim along with it....and you just can't get the same eating experience if working with a smaller 12-14in. slice. Tradition...what you are used to.  ;)
Chicago thin crust....those greasy lil squares. Barry, did you know that the history/tradition on those pizza is that they were long ago also called "bar pizzas"? And "tavern cut" is even the name for that type of square slicing of the pizza....although you will often hear it being called "party cut".

So, picture some old timers sitting at the bar enjoying a beer along with their individual size(10in.) pizza after a hard days work. This is not a big street slice that you can actually eat and enjoy on the go while walking down the streets of NY. Chicago greasy squares also stay warmer longer and in my old neighbor hood it was common to see a guy/gal sitting with a piece of foil laying on top of the little pizza...helping to keep it warm while "snacking" on it over the course of a few beers and some lively conversation. Tradition...what you are used to.  ;)
Hope this helps.

Bob
« Last Edit: January 21, 2014, 04:00:35 PM by Chicago Bob »
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Offline dmckean44

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Re: Best oven choices for NY style pizza?
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2014, 12:56:28 PM »
After reading that thread I still don't exactly "get" why the squares and I mean that respectfully. Besides tradition (I discount the "kids" explanation as being ridiculous) I want to understand the advantage of this cut style.

It's not as ridiculous as you might think. The square cut is also known as the "tavern cut", "party cut" and "family cut". Family pizza night is a long tradition in the mid-west. The square cut makes it more like a fried chicken dinner where every family member has their favorite pieces and order in which they'll eat them. Pizza eaters that don't eat crust (often kids) love the center pieces most. It's also like Bob says, the pizza gets enjoyed over the course of several hours with lots of great conversation. You eat until you're full and hang out and often times you decide you have room for a couple more squares or even to decide as a group to order another pizza.

As for the style itself, compared to NY pizza it's very topping forward. The crust is a conduit for the fresh cheese, house made sausage and the individual restaurant's secret sauce. NY style pizza is more about balance and how all the textures and flavors come together in your mouth.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Best oven choices for NY style pizza?
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2014, 01:07:39 PM »
It's not as ridiculous as you might think. The square cut is also known as the "tavern cut", "party cut" and "family cut". Family pizza night is a long tradition in the mid-west. The square cut makes it more like a fried chicken dinner where every family member has their favorite pieces and order in which they'll eat them. Pizza eaters that don't eat crust (often kids) love the center pieces most. It's also like Bob says, the pizza gets enjoyed over the course of several hours with lots of great conversation. You eat until you're full and hang out and often times you decide you have room for a couple more squares or even to decide as a group to order another pizza.

As for the style itself, compared to NY pizza it's very topping forward. The crust is a conduit for the fresh cheese, house made sausage and the individual restaurant's secret sauce. NY style pizza is more about balance and how all the textures and flavors come together in your mouth.
Very good point dmc...you can often see me here saying it is thought of as simply the vehicle to deliver the goodness that is on top. It is very often just a "same day dough".

Bob
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Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Best oven choices for NY style pizza?
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2014, 01:25:54 PM »
Having baked one NY style pizza in Walter's oven, and having had slices from a few of Walter's pizzas, I can vouch that his ovens are very desirable for NY style. I think the NY style pizzas I make at home are very good, but the same pizza baked in Walter's oven was fantastic. (The oven didn't work so great for Giordano's style, but that may have been because I've only tried it once, in addition to some other factors.)
Ryan
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Disclaimer: Don't necessarily believe anything I say here. My brain ain't quite right anymore (unless it is). If I come off as rude or argumentative, that's probably not my intention. Rather, that's just me being honest, to myself and everyone else; partly because I don't have enough time left to BS either you or myself. If you are offended by anything I say, it's probably because you think lying to people (to be "polite") is a good idea. I don't.

Offline waltertore

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Re: Best oven choices for NY style pizza?
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2014, 02:24:37 PM »
Having baked one NY style pizza in Walter's oven, and having had slices from a few of Walter's pizzas, I can vouch that his ovens are very desirable for NY style. I think the NY style pizzas I make at home are very good, but the same pizza baked in Walter's oven was fantastic. (The oven didn't work so great for Giordano's style, but that may have been because I've only tried it once, in addition to some other factors.)

Ryan:  If you had time to play with the temp you would get a good result with your Giordano's.   When I do my quasi deep dish skillet pie I bake it most of the time at 425 and finish it on the top oven at 565.   Walter

Offline Dr. Barry

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Re: Best oven choices for NY style pizza?
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2014, 02:31:20 PM »
Barry,
You have answered your own question!  :)   Let me explain...

Just recently here over in the NY section I got my answer to why I would always hear member Scott123(our resident oven guru) always say/recommend to others that when it comes to NY slice pizza "bigger is best". 16" is small(yet very acceptable) and 18-20in. pies are the daddy.
Why....?....tradition. The feel of that big baby in your hand, the slight flop even when you are holding it with the proper "fold"...a nice big, wide band of crust/bone. I like to take a bit of the forward part and immediately take a nip of crust rim along with it....and you just can't get the same eating experience if working with a smaller 12-14in. slice. Tradition...what you are used to.  ;)
Chicago thin crust....those greasy lil squares. Barry, did you know that the history/tradition on those pizza is that they were long ago also called "bar pizzas"? And "bar cut" is even the name for that type of square slicing of the pizza....although you will often hear it being called "party cut".

So, picture some old timers sitting at the bar enjoying a beer along with their individual size(10in.) pizza after a hard days work. This is not a big street slice that you can actually eat and enjoy on the go while walking down the streets of NY. Chicago greasy squares also stay warmer longer and in my old neighbor hood it was common to see a guy/gal sitting with a piece of foil laying on top of the little pizza...helping to keep it warm while "snacking" on it over the course of a few beers and some lively conversation. Tradition...what you are used to.  ;)
Hope this helps.

Bob

Got it!

Now where in Chicago do you suggest I get myself the awesome thin crust that you love?

Barry


Offline Dr. Barry

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Re: Best oven choices for NY style pizza?
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2014, 02:37:55 PM »
Barry:  You are welcome and I will try to answer your questions to the best of my ability.

What else do you bake besides NYC pizza? How well is the oven suited for NYC pretzel making? or even bagels?

we bake pizza, artisan breads, bagels, pretzels.  The bagels/pretzels are done old school on bagel boards after boiling.  The oven door is not the entire width of the oven so there is a blind spot so to speak that makes putting the bagel boards in a bit of a hassle.  The blodgett 1048 for instance has a door that is the width of the oven deck.  That would make bagel/pretzels easier with the bagel boards. The 1048 is a newer oven than the  1000 and comes with new stones- not near as good.  See pictures of breads/bagels in the ovens.  I put a tray in with the artisan breads and pour water in it to make steam for a crunchy crust.


Tell me about your place. Delivery, eat in, carry out, all of the above?

I am a high school special education teacher and have created a unique program in which we are a licensed commercial bakery.  I teach students skills needed to be successful in the workplace.  We do not deliver, have no direct phone, do not advertise, are in a locked facility(customers have to buzz an intercom and be let in the school), only open during school hours/school calendar, make 1 size pie (18") with only cheese and pepperoni as topping choices, and orders need to be placed at least a day in advance.  Each week we make thousands of baked goods, bagels, pizzas, for 2 school districts and Dension University cafeterias, have contracts with local restaurants, civic organizations, and the general public. 



Is a pizza place as profitable as I believe it could be? I am in the Chicago burbs where thin pizza sucks, has a cracker like crust and is cut into squares. Shockingly absurd and bad.


I am not your normal pizza/bakery type person.  I am old school and believe in strict quality control which means I am involved in every product. We will not send inferior products out the door and have canceled orders where the dough was not right, etc.  Here in Central Ohio the pizza in not any good IMO.  I come from the NYC area Italian culture so my idea of good is different than here.  There are shops here that are continually packed that would be out of business in a week back home.  One thing I have learned is the food we grew up on will always be the special one that reminds us of home.  So each region of the country will have a different opinion of what is  really good/bad.  It has been a challenge to get the locals to try our stuff but once they do they come back.  We are working at capacity and on the pizza end many of our regular customers are people from NY, NJ, CT, and people that have experienced NY style pizza in the NY area.  We have a woman who travels 90 miles round trip from Columbus every week to buy our pies.  Also a 3rd generation NYC pizzeria owner who now lives in Columbus is a regular and big supporter of our program.  I make the pizza I love.  No compromise.  Take it or leave it.  People are coming and most ask why I am not opening a regular pizzeria somewhere in the area.  I feel a calling to do the work I do and at some point I may open my own place and employ just my wife and a special needs student or two.  For me the operation has to be small.  The more removed I become from the product the more it drifts from what I want it to be.  I have no dreams of getting rich but have big dreams of making a consistantly good product. 



How easy is it to get that perfect NYC pie consistently once you get your recipe down using the Blodgett? From what I understand that is one of the big advantages of that oven. Consistency of the heat compared to wood or coal.


Working with dough is a forever changing thing.  The temperature of the workspace, humidity, temp of the water coming out of the tap, refrigerator temps, all change drastically throughout the year in this part of the country.  Figuring out dough management is the hardest part of making a consistantly good pie and in reality you will have your "wow that is great dough" days and your "man that dough is ok but not a wow day".  That is the nature of dealing working in a commercial setting.  Most customers don't notice it but I do and if it is off enough to not satify me we will not sell it.  The ovens are solid and predictable.  Having the dough in prime condition throughout a work day takes time and learning to have a nice steady pace takes time.  Frantic rushing creates crap.  Steady groove, and this means people will often have to wait for their pies, means a much higher percentage that your pies will be right where you want them.  One has to figure their daily demand.  I put a cap on our dough balls each day and if I open my own place will make about 40-60 pies a day and I will make them.  Most shops today are into volume.  The 1000's are not the best oven for high volume in the deck world.  The newer ovens have a wider deck surface that can handle 6-18" pies.  To keep up with that kind of production one will need at least 2 people to makepies/run the ovens. Coal and WFO ovens run hotter than gas deck ovens.  The 1000's go to 650 degrees but the pies will not cook evenly top/bottom. You will end up with burned bottoms and undercooked tops.  500-560 is the normal range for evenly cooked pies.



All info is appreciated, even pointing me towards other threads or resources. I really want to know if I can make real money doing this. I believe I can have a niche that is not really being filled here.


I don't know what your idea of making money is.  I will always use top ingredients and not put out a large number of pies.  My shop will be small with seating for 25 max.  Most guys that make big money have many people working in the kitchen, a large eating area, do delivery, and turn out hundreds of pies a day.  That sounds like a living  hell to me.  I will have a pension when I retire from teaching and that will allow me to run a small shop my way.  I will only be open 3-4 days a week and no more than 7 hours a day.  I say make the pie you love. No compromise.  Don't look for a nitche just do your thing.  If your heart is really in it and it is a great product people will come. I am probably the wrong guy to ask about making money :)

here is a video I made recently of our year in revue.



Walter!!!

Those pics made me feel as if I was starving!

What are the major Blodgett oven options out there and the major differences? I would like to be able to do pretzels from time to time and the option for bagels occasionally as well. Is the Blodgett ideal for pretzels and/or bagels or is it just a make shift arrangement. In other words should I really be thinking of a pizza oven for my pizza and a different oven for pretzels/bagels?

And I really appreciated your story.

Thanks,

Barry

Offline dmckean44

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Re: Best oven choices for NY style pizza?
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2014, 02:40:43 PM »
Barry,

Walter has an entire thread on these ovens over in the shop talk forum, it's very informative.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,28567.0.html

Offline Dr. Barry

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Re: Best oven choices for NY style pizza?
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2014, 02:57:07 PM »
Barry,

Walter has an entire thread on these ovens over in the shop talk forum, it's very informative.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,28567.0.html

Thanks D,

I just read that thread. Very informative. Sounds like the Blodgett 1000 is King. They are stackable it appears. Only in pairs or higher?

This is the type of info that I love to read. The Forum is vast and alot to try and navigate through. Please anyone point me in any direction like you just did if you feel that I should read something that is already out there.

Thanks again, still hungry!

Barry

Offline waltertore

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Re: Best oven choices for NY style pizza?
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2014, 04:45:47 PM »
Walter!!!

Those pics made me feel as if I was starving!

What are the major Blodgett oven options out there and the major differences? I would like to be able to do pretzels from time to time and the option for bagels occasionally as well. Is the Blodgett ideal for pretzels and/or bagels or is it just a make shift arrangement. In other words should I really be thinking of a pizza oven for my pizza and a different oven for pretzels/bagels?

And I really appreciated your story.

Thanks,

Barry


Barry:  First you should figure out what size place you want to run.  A stack of 1000's is great for my speed/needs.   The temp for the NY style is 500-570.  Bagels/pretzels like closer to 400 degrees.  Deck ovens can put out a lot of pizzas if you have the crew to man them.  Most high volume NJ/NY places have one crew making the pies, and another crew manning the oven/cutting/boxing.  My ovens can put out 8-18" pies in less than 1/2hour- figure 3 minutes to make a pie, 6 minutes to bake it.   Figure that  with 2/3 people making the pies and 1-2 people maning the ovens and you got it.  Now figure just me making the pies and maning the ovens and we are down to about 7-10 pies an hour.  It takes me about 3-4 minutes to make a pie and get it in the oven.  By the time the third one is in and the first is ready to come out if they are just cheese pies and everything is grooving.  Taking the first out takes me away from making another pie.  Then I have to grate the parmigiano cheese and cut fresh basil on it, slice it, and send it out in box or on a pan for eat in. At this point I am lucky to get 1 more partially made and the second is done and the third is real close. Plus something will often need my attention away from the oven- get more sauce/cheese/topping, etc, and there you got more time gone bye. All that confusion I just spewed basically says I can do 3 pies at a time on my own, then the oven is cleared and I go again.

 So I really don't need a second oven for pizza  if doing everything myself with a low volume operation.  This allows the bottom oven (a bit of a bend on my back for continuous pizzas) at the lower temp of 400 for bagels/pretzels or 450 for artisan breads/baguettes.  I have one student that makes pies with me and when we get busy I move between making and oven guy while she stays strickly on making pies. 

I don't crunch numbers very good  so my figuring above may be off.  But you will get the gist of it.  The newer blodgett 1048 and Bakers Pride Y series ovens are wider and can handle 6- 18" pies but the new stones will require the oven tender to be constantly rotating the pies on the deck to achieve even cooking and avoid burning the crust.  That also means more oven heat loss due to the door being open so much and slower recovery times because the new stones don't hold heat/recover like the old stones.   So many places run their ovens wide open at 650 if they want to keep their bakes under 10 minutes. Then you have to deal with your first runs of pies charring more than you might like and then you find your groove but in a lull they heat back up and there you go again.  I have seen lots of pizzerias that are high volume have erratic results with thier crust charring levels due to this.   With the 1000's I can run them at 550 and have very little heat loss on the stones when they are going full tilt pie after pie.  Conveyor ovens are the norm now for high volume pizzerias outside the NYC/CT area.  You can run massive numbers through them and I hear the good ones can make a good NY pizza.  I haven't witnessed that but to me the art is gone and I have no interest in such an oven.  Walter

PS:  When I make my bagels/pretzels in the 1000's it is for individual customer special orders only-always a native NY/NJ person.   Commercial accounts make up almost all our bagel sales and we make about 300 bagels a day that are sold in the schools/university cafeterias.  There is no way I could do that in the blodgetts and make pizzas.  So we cook the bagels, after boiling, in a stack of convection ovens.  Each oven will cook 120 bagels in 15 minutes.  We use full size sheet pans that are drilled out like you see on the french bread pans you can now buy.   That is the only way we can get the bagels done and allow enough time for them to cool, be sliced, bagged, within our workday.   The old bagel shops I grew up around used the process in the video below.  Those ferris wheel like ovens are the way to do bagels if you go high volume and want to do them on stones.   bagels, pretzels, breads are a lot more work than pizzas if done by hand and you have to make a lot to make any money. 

this a video I suggest anyone serious about bagel making watch many times.  There was a bagel shop around the corner from where I grew up and I spent many afternoons watching them make bagels and they used the exact same set up.  It was cool.  No one ever said leave and they usually gave me a couple of bagels for free which I loved!

« Last Edit: January 21, 2014, 07:47:58 PM by waltertore »

Offline Dr. Barry

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Re: Best oven choices for NY style pizza?
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2014, 08:42:37 PM »
Walter,

That Bagel video was amazing. It took me back home after watching it for the first 5 seconds.

Thank you. There is a pizza joint near my house that has that ferris wheel type oven that they use for pizza. It is a monster. It's massive. The guy at the shop told me that it has been in the same spot for over 50 years and that they built the store around the oven.

Now, is there a youtube video for making NY pretzels?

Barry

Offline waltertore

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Re: Best oven choices for NY style pizza?
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2014, 08:48:35 PM »
Walter,

That Bagel video was amazing. It took me back home after watching it for the first 5 seconds.

Thank you. There is a pizza joint near my house that has that ferris wheel type oven that they use for pizza. It is a monster. It's massive. The guy at the shop told me that it has been in the same spot for over 50 years and that they built the store around the oven.

Now, is there a youtube video for making NY pretzels?

Barry

Barry:  Those ovens are not so good for pizza like you are wanting. The pretzels are easy.  We use the same dough as the bagels- malt syrup for sweetner, roll em out put them together, let them rise overnight in the fridge, boil, salt, bake, done.  Yes that video is killer.  You will need the big kettle and water cooled slide if you are going to do big numbers the old school way.  They have machines that make bagels but to me that takes the art out of it like conveyor ovens do to pizza.  Where are you from?  I am from the Newark NJ area.  Walter

Offline Dr. Barry

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Re: Best oven choices for NY style pizza?
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2014, 08:58:46 PM »
Barry:  Those ovens are not so good for pizza like you are wanting. The pretzels are easy.  We use the same dough as the bagels- malt syrup for sweetner, roll em out put them together, let them rise overnight in the fridge, boil, salt, bake, done.  Yes that video is killer.  You will need the big kettle and water cooled slide if you are going to do big numbers the old school way.  They have machines that make bagels but to me that takes the art out of it like conveyor ovens do to pizza.  Where are you from?  I am from the Newark NJ area.  Walter

The place close to me with the ferris wheel makes about the worst pizza ever, no argument there.

I grew up in Queens. That's my pizza/bagel/pretzel heritage. I like a good egg cream too. I also love a Sabretts hot dog (boiled of course) on a steamed bun with mustard and sauerkraut. Can't find much of that stuff around me here in Chicago.

I was back in NYC recently and it was food heaven. All of the above. Lots of it.

Barry

Offline waltertore

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Re: Best oven choices for NY style pizza?
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2014, 09:17:04 PM »
The place close to me with the ferris wheel makes about the worst pizza ever, no argument there.

I grew up in Queens. That's my pizza/bagel/pretzel heritage. I like a good egg cream too. I also love a Sabretts hot dog (boiled of course) on a steamed bun with mustard and sauerkraut. Can't find much of that stuff around me here in Chicago.

I was back in NYC recently and it was food heaven. All of the above. Lots of it.

Barry

yeah an egg cream!  I love sabretts with that crunch and garlic flavor.  I eat about 10 when I go back home.  I often think of doing a Jimmy Buff Italian Hot Dog (a real NJ thing like taylor ham) but working with boiling oil is too messy for me.  I made about 30 Jimmy Buffs out here in OH last  year-used pizza dough for the rolls and  the staff at our school bought them up as fast as I could make them but it made such a mess.  They still keep asking when am I going to do them again. I think if someone did those on a food truck they would make a killing!  Walter