About two weeks ago I stumbled onto this forum from the Slice site. I was intrigued by the reverse engineering that many of you are doing. If you had all the resources in the world you would buy all the right equipment, $25,000.00 ovens etc. etc. (and of course the dough, the toppings and the process is another story.) But the reverse engineering you are talking about is getting the same high quality authenticity with the means available to a common person who doesn't want to or can't afford all the fancy equipment.
I got the authentic pizza bug many years ago when my dad would bring home Neapolitan or New York style pizza from an Italian pizzeria in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (I believe the Italians occupied Ethiopia for a while) That pizza with its simple tomato sauce / mozzarella / Basel toppings along with a perfectly charred crust became my bench mark, ”The Holy Grail” of pizza if you will.
I have a small metal working shop and 5-6 years ago I decided to make a makeshift wood fired oven / grill using steel and bricks to see if I could recapture that elusive pizza. Since I am not a baker I decided to get my pizza from the local Italian Pizzeria raw and bake it myself in my own high temp oven. They would put it on a screen for me and I would rush it home and bake it. It was the best pizza I had had in a long time (much better than when they baked it themselves.) Along the way, I was ordering so many raw pizzas that I decided to try to figure out how to make the pizza myself. (still trying) My oven was temperamental and sometimes took a long time to heat up. The Baking was erratic, from raw to burnt to a crisp. I couldn't afford one of those fancy wood fired ovens, so that is where my journey to design an affordable oven that would reproduce authentic results began.
To make a long story short, I have never prototyped something so many times, in so many ways, in my life. Until about eight weeks ago, all I had to show for all my hard work was piles of scrap material. In my case it has been 99.9 % sweat.
I am now happy to tell you that I have finally achieved my goal of creating an inexpensive, small, outdoor coal / gas fired open flame oven that produces fantastic result on par with the expensive brick ovens.
I am not in production yet so if you are willing to bend your spam rules a little. I will be happy to give this forum a sneak peak of my preproduction oven
below are some pics of pizzas done in the oven