Author Topic: Opening in stl and need the right oven  (Read 5857 times)

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Offline thegoodpie

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Opening in stl and need the right oven
« on: March 12, 2008, 10:55:38 PM »
I want to use only wood and need to run consistantly above 800 degrees...any input would be GREATLY appreciated, i'm hoping to find a durable, hot oven that can put out 90 sec neopolitan pizzas....



Offline scott r

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Re: Opening in stl and need the right oven
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2008, 12:54:49 AM »
A fellow forum member Marco deals in top shelf custom built true neapolitan ovens.  You can get in touch with him http://forno-napoletano.it/

The oven pictured at this site is in pittsburgh at Il Pizzaiolo.  It is a site built oven, but I am not sure if that is still an option. I know they will ship you a portable model with the same internal dimensions and ability to turn out 45 second pies one after another at peak dinner hours.  Email Marco and he will fill you in with many more details. That oven has produced the best Neapolitan pizza I have found anywhere in the US.  It is also a site to behold in person.  VERY impressive to see in a pizzeria to say the least!

There are a few other artesian oven producers in Naples, and after pricing them out they all cost about the same.  Personally I would give marco the business since he has helped us tremendously here at pizzamaking.com by disclosing the methods of the master pizzaiolo of his home town and probably the world.

Offline thegoodpie

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Re: Opening in stl and need the right oven
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2008, 01:17:01 AM »
i'de love to use the small buisness, but unfortunatly i'm afraid their ovens may be out of my budget, It seems like i can get a modular oven from one on the big comps and put it together as i like that can run at 1000, is this right? if so any words of advice on running a forno bravo, earthstone, woodstone ext... at these temps for a long time.
I'm a perfect world i could have someone skilled build the oven on site...any oven builders in the mid west?...but it seems a modular custom build is the way to go for the price...under lets say 8-10k

advice?

at 900 for a long time...

Offline scott r

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Re: Opening in stl and need the right oven
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2008, 03:10:46 AM »
You will be very surprised at the cost of these ovens, but shipping to seattle could certainly add up.  Still I think they will be cheaper then most of the woodstones I see. 

If you do some searching check for posts by Settebello.  If I remember correctly he had to buy a neapolitan oven to replace his original (normal high domed italian oven) just a year or so into starting his first pizzeria.   

I think trying to do neapolitan pizzas professionally with a prefab/high domed oven is just a bad idea, but you certainly can make some amazing high temperature 2-4 minute NY elite Chris Bianco style pizzas.  From what I have seen Neapoitan ovens are the only ones that have the even bake you need to do 1 minute pizzas at a fast pace and in larger quantities.  If this was for your home a Earthstone/Woodstone/Forno Bravo would be fine. You could pile tons of wood in there and lift the pies to the roof or play games with the fire management to keep the bottom from cooking too fast.  In a restaurant I think that the savings in fuel costs alone would be enough to make me want to go for a real Neapolitan oven, not to mention the stress you put on your staff by having them struggle to keep the fire blazing so hot all the time.  With a Neapolitan oven you can get 1 minute bakes and the highest oven spring with minimal effort and fuel consumption.  If you really want to work the oven you can even get down to 40 second pizzas during a dinner rush!

« Last Edit: March 13, 2008, 03:45:49 AM by scott r »

Offline David

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Re: Opening in stl and need the right oven
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2008, 11:51:59 PM »
With the Dollar / Euro exchange rate at todays level,I'm guessing it will make it even less attractive?

You will be very surprised at the cost of these ovens,
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Offline scott r

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Re: Opening in stl and need the right oven
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2008, 12:14:39 AM »
That's right.  It has been going nuts lately.  Well, I still think that a shipped neapolitan oven will be cheaper than your average woodstone.

Offline Grog

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Re: Opening in stl and need the right oven
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2008, 02:56:21 PM »
Is there some taboo against mentioning the prices for these ovens?  It seems like everyone is dancing around it.  I'm curious about the Neapolitan stoves, but I heard from a fellow forum member that a restaurant-sized model can US$50,000, plus the cost of bringing over the assembly team from Naples to put it together.  I haven't heard anything about pricing on the pre-assembled ovens.  I saw Brad's imported pre-assembled oven at Settebello in Vegas, and it produced excellent high-temperature pizzas.  I could have some fun with one of those.  I wonder how much a slightly smaller pre-assembled Neapolitan oven would cost. 

According to Earthstone's price list, a modular 52" oven is $5,350, and a 64" oven is $7,800.  Pre-assembled ovens are almost double the price.  Which means if I want a pizza oven, I'll have to build one myself.

Someday I may have to open a pizzeria to justify buying one of these beasts.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2008, 03:12:32 PM by Grog »

Offline scott r

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Re: Opening in stl and need the right oven
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2008, 04:02:41 PM »
Grog, the forum member that quoted you $50,000 plus paying for workers for a site built oven is crazy.  It will definitely be less than half that price, and a portable pre built model close to half of the site built.  I don't want to get into exact amounts because Marco is very easy to contact, and I fell that it is his place since it is his company.  Just contact him, or any other oven producer.  I contacted 5 italian companies last year producing low domed ovens and they all returned my email within a week. They were all about the same price. Acunto was the cheapest by about thousand or so.  I have heard, however, that some of the other builders (including marco) produce an oven that may last longer, and in a commercial setting that is important. 

« Last Edit: March 14, 2008, 04:11:54 PM by scott r »

Offline thegoodpie

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Re: Opening in stl and need the right oven
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2008, 07:30:06 PM »
cheers, thx for all the help,
I've email marco and am eagerly awaiting his pricing, he got my zip code...i feel like a kid on christmas eve, about to sign LOI and soon to be ordering a oven, just hope its somewhere well below 50k

Offline scott r

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Re: Opening in stl and need the right oven
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2008, 11:51:26 AM »
It will be,  Good luck!


Offline pcampbell

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Re: Opening in stl and need the right oven
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2008, 08:20:29 AM »
Do you think that Forno Bravo and Earthstone ovens are not insulated properly? 

I was bidding on an Earthstone 53" oven on ebay last night only because it was going for so little, someone else grabbed it for $390 (!) with the copper flu cover and steel base which retails for $2000 alone.    I did not have a chance to find out from the manufacturer enough about the oven so I decided to pass and I feel sorry for whoever is going to have to move that thing.

Does anyone know how big (diameter) a "typical" if there is such thing, wood burning oven is?  Or does anyone know how big Chris Bianco's is?  Luzzo's?  Anthony UPN's?

It seems like if there were only ever one person going to be manning the oven then there is no reason to go beyond a particular size.  Earthstone says 3-4 12" pies for the 43" and 6-7 for the 53".  How does Forno Bravo compare to Earthstone?

What other modular ovens are there?  I think I remember Anthony ala UPN had to put new doors in his restaurant to get his pre-built oven through the front.  I have a hard time believing there is nobody in the US that builds a decent oven.  What sort of oven does Bianco have?

Finally, I wonder how on earth American Flatbread can get away with having a home built oven! I would think insurance would not cover them...
Patrick

Offline scott r

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Re: Opening in stl and need the right oven
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2008, 12:12:47 PM »
Do you think that Forno Bravo and Earthstone ovens are not insulated properly? 

With many of the modular destigns you can insulate as much or as little as you like.  Forum member BillSF/NM went nuts with his oven insulation and his earthstone, and is able to achieve a 45 second bake.  Maybe he can chime in with an opinion on if he thinks he could get 60 second bakes throughout the day in a commercial pizzeria.  Obviously it can be done at home, but I fear that it would be cost prohibitive to run a high domed oven like that all day.  It seems like what you gain with a real neapolitan oven is the ability to easily achieve a 60 second bake without loosing all your money to wood costs.  I think you also gain an ease of achieving a perfectly even top to bottom bake which will make a huge difference in the consistency of your product.  I think making a bunch of evenly baked pizzas in a dinner rush would be worlds apart in an oven desigened for three minute pizzas (forno bravo/earthstone), than it would be in a neapolitan oven that is designed to operate at 60 second temperatures.  I personally have been to just about every pizzeria on the east coast and many throughout the rest of the country that are claiming to make a neapolitan pizza.  I can definitely tell you that the only ones really putting out 60 second pizzas are the ones that have a neapolitan oven.  I am assuming that this is not just by chance.

I think the important question here is how important is that 60 second bake.  Do you really want to make neapolitan pizza, or are you happy with a ny/neapolitan hybrid.  To me it is starting to appear like the latter since you have mentioned four pizzerias that are not making neapolitan pizza.  Of the places you mention, only UPN is really getting close to a 60 second bake, or producing a pizza that is similar to what I found in Naples Italy. Luzzo's would be the next closest, but they are having to do some things to work around their ovens limitations that produce a non traditional pizza.  I think it may be worth it to you to visit a pizzeria here in the US that is really doing a proper neapolitan pizza to decide how important a 60 second bake really is.  The best I have found by far, and the closest to what is actually served in Naples is Il Pizzaiolo in Pittsburgh.  Let me know where you are located and maybe I can recommend a place that is closer to you.

Does anyone know how big (diameter) a "typical" if there is such thing, wood burning oven is?  Or does anyone know how big Chris Bianco's is?  Luzzo's?  Anthony UPN's?

I keep hearing over and over that the best oven is the biggest one you can fit and afford (within reason). You do have to realize, though, that anything above a 120 cm oven (and anything that isn't low domed) is going to be more and more difficult to get a 60 second pizza out of.  I think the important thing is that it's not too small.   There are ovens made by some of the manufacturers that you mention that are more designed for home use, and would be too small for a commercial operation. Still, if you are really thinking of pushing a domestic modular oven to the upper end of it's design limits in terms of baking speed, smaller would probably be better.  I am not sure you should be looking at Chris Bianco's oven as a guide if you are trying to achieve neapolitan pizza.  His pies are more like 150 second pizzas.  Also Luzzo's is usually clocking in around 105 seconds, and I know they would go faster if their oven could do it.  I think the standard range for neapolitan ovens of 105-120 cm is a good range and is proven by time.  Again, if you are willing to go for a NY/Neapolitan hybrid pizza you could go larger.

You have picked a nice cross section of ovens to compare.  These three places you listed definitely have very different sized ovens.  I have never asked Anthony, Chris, or Michael the exact dimensions of their ovens, but I have talked to all three of them at length about their pizza and methods.  Through visual comparisons I can say that Anthony's looks to be about a 105 cm oven, but it may be a 120 cm oven. Chris Bianco's oven is definitely bigger than that, probably around 150cm and Luzzo's is absolutely huge since it is a coal fired bread oven. You could park a car in there!

It seems like if there were only ever one person going to be manning the oven then there is no reason to go beyond a particular size.  Earthstone says 3-4 12" pies for the 43" and 6-7 for the 53".  How does Forno Bravo compare to Earthstone?

I will let others comment on earthston/forno bravo, but I do think they offer similar products that are competitive with each other.  I do know that you can bake up to 4 pizzas at the time in a 105 cm oven. The 120 would allow to easily cook 5 pizza at the time but even 6.  I think you are right that with only one oven tender it is not important to go much bigger than these.

What other modular ovens are there?  I think I remember Anthony ala UPN had to put new doors in his restaurant to get his pre-built oven through the front.  I have a hard time believing there is nobody in the US that builds a decent oven.  What sort of oven does Bianco have?

I really hope that you are not inferring from my posts that I am saying that nobody in the US is building a decent oven.  What I am trying to get across is that you have specifically asked for advice on a 60 second pizza.  After years of traveling around the country and Italy in search of the best pizza (with a stopwatch in hand) I can definitely say that I have never had a pizza produced in under 90 seconds that did not come out of a neapolitan oven.  I really just want you to be informed so that you don't mistakingly buy an oven designed for a different style of pizza, only to have to tear it down in a year like Brad at Settebello had to do.  I think that prefabs and hand made american ovens are amazing for a home, or for pizzerias that are going to use them within their design limitations.

« Last Edit: April 01, 2008, 12:32:47 PM by scott r »

Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: Opening in stl and need the right oven
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2008, 12:16:26 PM »
Pcampbell,  well,  it looks like scott beat me to some of your questions,  but here is my post anyways unmodified as if scott hadnt posted yet.  If you are looking for a really neopolitanish pie,  I would as advised above stay away from the earthstones,  or anything large and high domed.  I have seen a place run one around these parts,  called 900 degrees,  I reviewed it in the resteraunt section on the forum  it was the right ingredients matched with the wrong oven.   You are right about size,  how many 2 minute pies could one person actually pay attention to,  much less,  load turn and unload,  while managing the fire.  I could only imagine that having six or so pies in the oven means that you are making 5 minute pizzas.  Bianco, if I remember right had his oven handbuilt.  I built mine in my house from the ground up.  It is 42" in diameter and 16 inches tall in the middle,  a little higher than most real Neapolitan ovens,  but I tell you what it works great.  It will kick out sub 60 second pizza that is very well balanced when I want it to.  The reason I mention this is that my town approved the building permit inspected it twice and my homeowners insurance is well aware of its presence in the house.   Not an issue,  at least in my town,  they treated it as a fireplace and I had to comply with those building codes.  For a resteraunt,  health codes are another thing to consider.  From what i understand most of the oven manufacturers are skipping the UL listing certification process which it what has caused some problems for some restaraunt owners.  I would contact the city you are planning to work with and document everything very well before making a move.  Finally,  as discussed earlier in this post,  contact Marco,  I have worked out pricing with him and for one of the best ovens you can find,  they are within reach.  If I were to open a place,  I would either buy one from him or build one or two of them myself.  good luck,  and don't just be a woodburning pizza place,  make sure you can be the best.    -marc

Offline pcampbell

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Re: Opening in stl and need the right oven
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2008, 12:27:54 PM »
Scott thanks.  So much to digest.  I have to read this post a few more times and go do lots of research but I should just throw in that I wasn't suggesting that you were stating nobody in the US makes a decent oven.  I think it came out wrong, my fault, because I hijacked a thread and went in 10 different directions!!!  Of the four I mentioned I haven't been to UPN, but off hand I think that the 3-4ish timeframe is more what I had in mind.  I had also forgotten all about dome height as a consideration and something that has a major affect on the cooking process.

Forgot to mention, I am right by Ridgewood.  I haven't been to A Mano since they opened up.  A trip to UPN is not a big deal and one I need to make, as well as to a few other places in the city.

Thanks scott and marc.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2008, 12:39:51 PM by pcampbell »
Patrick

Offline scott r

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Re: Opening in stl and need the right oven
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2008, 12:39:30 PM »
No problem PC.   I personally crave 4 minute pizzas and one minute pizzas equally.  There's nothing wrong with going for a slower bake and a cheaper oven. 
« Last Edit: April 01, 2008, 06:26:25 PM by scott r »

Offline pftaylor

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Opening in stl and need the right oven
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2008, 12:47:15 PM »
Hi pcampbell,
Sounds like you are ready to buy right now. If you want some advice from someone who just went through the buy vs. build process, why don't you pm me and we'll discuss the topic at whatever level of detail you would like.

I've hand built an oven which surpasses many of the domestic and Italian commericial ovens on the market. I decided to invent and build one because I couldn't buy one which met all of my pizza-specific parameters.

BTW, Bianco uses a stock Renato oven. It has been heavily modified outside the chamber though.
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Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Opening in stl and need the right oven
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2008, 01:08:17 PM »
If I may add, ideally before committing to buy any oven for "commercial use" you should talk to people that use these ovens in a commercial setting.

I have demonstrated here in the past (through pictures) that I could bake pizza in not perfect ovens, but I was doing all the work and could only do one at the time. I have also baked in a american prefab once, in home setting, and again one pizza at the time, for few pizza, it could be done, but again it was me making the difference. And I am sure that many of you can do that in their home. When you have to serve 100's pizza in a service, in a certain way, then you need the oven to help.

With all respect to many passionate homebakers out there, it is the people that bake 100's pizza per service that can tell you what difference an oven makes, even better the people that have used in a commercial setting different ovens.

Other then Brad of settebello (previuosly with an Italian Prefab, now with a neapolitan styled oven) also Ron of Il Pizzaiolo (previously with an American Built Bread Oven and now with a Forno Napoletano) and even Anthony of UPN (previously with an american built brick oven, now with a neapolitan styled) can tell you the importance of the right oven. Also importantly, people at Donna Margherita in London, Salvo, Cafasso, Gino Sorbillo and other in Naples, can tell you how important is to really go to the best builders of neapolitan ovens the first time around instead of getting cheaper imitation or just imitations, as they had later to replace their ovens at some point in the past with one made by the only two families that know hot to make them. We (Forno Napoletano)will be replacing 3 ovens in Naples in the next few months that have been built by imitators offering cheaper prices and that have then caused so much problems to the owner that now need to replace them.

In any case good luck

Marco

Offline pftaylor

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Opening in stl and need the right oven
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2008, 05:34:57 PM »
pcampbell,

pizzanapoletana is correct with his recommendation to consult with a pro as evidenced by my recent post directed to the originator of this thread a couple of weeks ago:

Hi thegoodpie,
Sometimes the timing of information is priceless so I'll throw my two cents in as I have read your previous posts with great interest. I always admire those who come to the table and throw the gauntlet down on quality pizza.

I know first hand a few things about Neapolitan pizza and my recommendation(s) would depend on how authentic you're gunning for. Having said that, here is my high-level response.

If the answer is 100% Neapolitan than you need to open your checkbook in the direction of pizzanapoletana and ask him to guide you every step of the way. He is the proven approach. I would even suggest to hire him as a paid consultant. Bad Neapolitan pizza is all to easy to make so proceed carefully.

If you are not going for 100% authentic then you need to determine where you will cut corners. I would not suggest cutting corners on the mixer or oven. Therefore, I would recommend a fork mixer, preferably a Pietro Berto and one of pizzanapoletana's ovens. If budget is a concern (as it always is) there are cheaper alternatives but you would be wise to consult with an expert like pizzanapoletana who can craft an End-To-End solution which exactly meets your needs.
...

My advice is to speak with as many people as you can and form your own opinion. Experts, non-experts, consultants, home pizza makers. Talk to them all. This forum is all about helping pizza makers succeed whether they are commercial or residential. There are valuable insights to be learned from gleaming all the knowledge you can Ė even from us passionate, home pizza makers. I should say in that context, Iím a big believer that there is no one way of doing these things.

Now, Iím not saying anything you probably donít know. Selecting the right tool for your specific needs really requires a proper balance of inquiry and advocacy. You donít know what you donít know at this point Ė and neither does a professional consultant yet for that matter.

The primary goal should be to help enable you to make a comfortable and confident decision in your best interests. I donít think you can really fight through some of the tough stuff about ovens in a handful of posts. I mean, to really get out your opinions and beliefs about what you want to do and how you want to do it requires going through them one by one. Pushing against each otherís thinking, wrestling through any issues, and actually coming to a conclusion. Multiple sources can sometimes help as two heads are better than one.

The end in mind should be to provide you with all the information you need to make a good, well-informed decision in your best interests. Thatís it in a nutshell.

I donít know about you but when Iím in the buying mode (and itching to make a decision) I never want to feel that somebody did something to me. That they manipulated me, or coerced me, forced me into a position that wasnít in my best interest. I want to make good decisions in my best interest.

In fact, in the psychology of persuasion, thereís a concept called reactance. Ever heard of it? Or sometimes itís called polarity response. And Iím very deeply imbued with reactance. Itís when people feel that theyíre being manipulated or led to your conclusion rather than willingly to theirs. Theyíll move often aggressively in the opposite direction. So people like myself, if I feel like youíre trying to do it to me, Iím not going to buy your stuff even though I want it.

Take care,
pftaylor
« Last Edit: April 01, 2008, 06:48:02 PM by pftaylor »
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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Opening in stl and need the right oven
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2008, 11:28:53 PM »
Forum member BillSF/NM went nuts with his oven insulation and his earthstone, and is able to achieve a 45 second bake.  Maybe he can chime in with an opinion on if he thinks he could get 60 second bakes throughout the day in a commercial pizzeria. 

No question that my oven could maintain high temps throughout the day. But it is a small oven and, with a live fire, it is beyond my skill level to cook more than one pie at a time. I have no idea how well the oven would stand up to the rigors of a commercial environment (I know I couldn't).

I know nothing about the commercial pizzeria biz, but agree with others here that if I were opening a Neapolitan-style pizzeria, I would go with marco's advice and oven (if your local codes permit it). The only advice I can add is that cooking with a live fire in these kinds of temps is something that takes a long time to master to get consistent, quality results. I would not underestimate the importance of including the cost of hiring an experienced pizza maker or the cost to train someone for this critical position. This will make or break you. My 2 cents.

Bill/SFNM

   

Offline 2stone

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Re: Opening in stl and need the right oven
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2008, 07:47:54 AM »
I was in Seattle a couple of months ago.

Here is your competition.

Nice location (downtown)
Friendly staff (happy to explain their craft)
Intimate setting (oven / prep area center stage)
Doing good business (wait sometimes)

sorry never got a chance to taste the pie,
and I wasn't driving or paying attention to where
I was.

willard

 
 
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