Pizza Making Forum

General Topics => Pizza Ovens => Pizza Making Equipment => Home Ovens => Topic started by: Zaroh on May 14, 2021, 04:29:02 AM

Title: Just got the Waring WPO500
Post by: Zaroh on May 14, 2021, 04:29:02 AM
After several years of going back and forth on indoor ovens and outdoor ovens I finally landed on the Waring WPO500. It's something I have wanted to purchase ever since Essen1 made his thread on it, but between the space it occupies and the price I was unable to justify buying it back then. However, circumstances change, and finally I am in a position where I was comfortable making the purchase.

The following paragraph won't really add any value or insights into the WPO500, just more my decision making what lead to me going for the WPO500 over other ovens so skip it if you just want information about the WPO500. I was about 1 day away from pulling the trigger on a Koda 16 initially, but due to the crazy demand for it and its parts as well as the uneven heating concern (L burner) I held off. I only mention it because I've watched Uuni go from the original small metal oven to something like the Koda 16, so my hope is in the future they will go even further. I noted a lot of users have done mods that I would hope one day make it into the product out of the box (e.g rotating stone). Again, not insightful into the WPO500 specifically, but since we're talking ovens it was pretty much between Koda 16 and WPO500 for me. I came back to pizzamaking to find out BlackStone was gone, Pizza Party was gone (I live in Canada). Breville Pizzaiolo, Roccbox, and other similar options were a bit small for my liking. Enter WPO500!

Big thanks to Joj, Essen1, ccgus, and several others for the valuable information on it. There is not a lot of information on the WPO500 and understandably so, given it's a commercial oven. Part of my goal with this post is to expand on that information. Some stuff may be a repetition of what's already been said in other threads, but it may help someone else considering the oven make a more informed decision. At the very least I will try to include questions I originally had that I didn't have the answer to, and if anyone has any questions I will try to be as responsive as possible.

Long introduction and I apologize.. I need to learn to make my writing more concise. I have a tendency to ramble... you've been warned  >:D Anyways I haven't had the oven for more than a couple days, but my experience from buying up until now:

Purchasing/Shipping:

Purchased from a restaurant supplier in Canada (Hubert). There were other suppliers and honestly the prices for the oven were all over the place. I was originally going to go with Webstaurant Store, but I converted the $1080 USD to CAD, calculated added shipping, and it already exceeded what I would be paying from Canadian suppliers not even accounting for customs which I figured I would get dinged on since  Webstaurant ships with FedEx. However, in recent weeks the Canadian dollar has gotten stronger (like a 6-year high) so if you are considering buying definitely do your research first to find the best deal. I did search eBay and Kijiji (Canadian Craigslist) in advance but didn't find anything. None of this is an issue for our American friends, but just some added context for fellow Canadians. Also I mentioned customs, I am pretty sure part of the price tag factored in customs, but it still came out to being slightly cheaper than Webstaurant.

I ordered it April 24th, and it arrived May 12th. The shipping itself was quite fast, approximately a week total which is not bad given it was shipping from the US. I suspect most of the delay was due to the ongoing COVID situation. A truck with a liftgate dropped it off. The oven came on a pallet on top of a pallet. Shipping weight was listed as 185lbs, which seems accurate based on how it felt when I was moving it. This is something I would like to touch on. Webstaurant lists the shipping weight as 68lbs (https://www.webstaurantstore.com/documents/specsheets/929wpo500specs.pdf) which is way off. In another thread someone mentioned their shipping weight was 135lbs which is pretty accurate. I don't know why mine was 185lbs, my only guess is that the extra pallet added some weight. One worry I had was how I would move it as I live in a remote area alone. I keep fairly fit and have a good amount of strength, but even so I would still recommend a hand truck as the box is big and a bit awkward to handle. I measured ~31'' long, 31''wide, <27'' tall. I wish I'd written down exact measurements, but the main point is I realized I would have to flip the box on its side so it could make it through the doorway. Alternatively, I suppose you could unbox everything and just move the oven itself.

Unboxing/Setup:

Here is a photo of the box it came shipped in (See first photo)

When you open the box the stone, brush, feet, and manual are all there on top of the oven along with decent styrofoam packing (See second photo)

Take all that out and then there is the oven in a plastic bag (See third photo)


I don't know if it was like this for everyone but once I took everything out except the oven, I was able to simply slide the box up and discard it instead of having to lift the oven out of it. There was a bottom piece of cardboard that the oven still sits atop of (See fourth photo)

Next up was to put on the legs. I was lucky as I have a small table less than 18'' in width where I put the oven's bottom (centered) on the table, and all 4 leg holes are not covered and I could twist them in. If you have someone helping you it may just be simpler to have someone lift one side will you twist them in, then do the other side. On that topic, the oven itself is not very heavy. If you are comfortable lifting 100+lbs you can probably set this up alone. I don't have a way to weigh it, but I don't think it is over 80 or 90lbs. Still felt like it was above Webstaurant's listed 65lbs. The oven does have 2 handles on each side, as well as 2 handles on the rear side (See fifth photo)

I am assuming these are for moving, but lifting it solo I just felt more comfortable picking it up from the bottom. I have a metal stand (sort of similar to Essen1's, minus wheels) that I bought on Amazon. Originally I was contemplating putting it on my countertop, but my cabinets are so low that while it may fit, I didn't feel comfortable doing it since the manual recommends having 6 inches of clearance and I'd have less than an inch on a countertop (something I'll elaborate on later) My stand is 30 inches by 23 inches. Again, huge thanks to Joj for taking to the time to measure out the distance between legs. Here is a link to that post: https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=69211.msg668036#msg668036 It's a bit hard to see from the fifth photo, but the oven sits atop my 30x23 stand with a little bit of room to spare (See sixth photo)

Next up I installed the ceramic deck. Instructions said to install it "with the slots on front of deck facing front of oven". Admittedly I am dumb, and it took me a few seconds to see what they were talking about. The whole bottom of the deck has grooves/slots, but there are two particular slots or notches on the bottom that allow you to reach under the stone with your fingers if you ever needed to remove it from the oven. I tried to be as careful as possible with the stone. I don't think it is super delicate, but the instructions did say handle carefully and don't bang it against anything as to avoid hairline cracks or chips.

Conditioning/Actual Oven Use:

The instructions then say to condition the deck or "pre-dry the ceramic deck". They say if you do not do this the deck could crack or warp. You do this by setting the oven to 400F and keeping the door open for an hour, then closing the door and increasing to 500F for another hour and a half. One thing to mention here is I did not realize the ON/OFF buttons for the power, light, and top/bottom elements all have some plastic or silicone over them. I thought these were meant to be removed and nearly snapped off one of the button panels. The plug itself comes with plastic over it so I figured it was the same idea for the buttons, but nope. Thankfully, I stopped myself, went back to my computer and found a comment by Essen1 saying he noted the same thing where there is a silicone cover or something (he thought maybe to protect against flour which is a good bet?) I mention it because with the cover it felt/feels kind of awkward to press the buttons. I have fat fingered it more than once already where I'll switch off both buttons instead of just one. Regardless, seems like they are meant to stay on.

Once heating up the oven for conditioning the deck it does smell and emit an odor in the house, but nothing really bad and they state it's harmless. My oven is by a window so I cracked that open which helped, and the instructions do say do it in a well ventilated area. I did note a small amount of smoke in the initial 400F @ 1 hour coming from the oven. No fire alarms set off or anything though. Only other thing of note here is when it came time to dial it to 500F my built in temperature gauge seemingly stayed at 450F. I will elaborate on this further down, but I have noticed there is a 50F "lag" or discrepancy between what I set the temperature to and what the oven thermometer reads. I got around this by setting the temperature to 550F and ultimately 600F for good measure which got it easily over 500F.

Now we get to the fun stuff and where I wandered off the beaten path a little bit. Instructions say to turn off the oven after conditioning and remove any smoke residue. Instead of doing this, I cranked the oven to 650F and then finally maximum (840F) to see how it would fare. I'll be honest I wasn't expecting much, but it did get to a respectable 800F after leaving it for around an hour (see seventh photo)

Again, this sort of goes back to my 50F degree "lag" theory, where I set it to 840 but it consistently stayed 40F (almost 50F) degrees under that. With my IR thermometer the stone reads whatever I have the dial set to. At 500 it's 500, at 650 it's 650, at 840 it's 840 (See eighth photo) You can also see those slots on the front I was talking about if you look closely. It aligns with the slots in the metal to take out the deck.

Honestly, I don't know how stone temperatures correlate to oven temperatures. If the stone temperature is 840F (833F technically) does that mean the oven did indeed get to 840F and the built-in thermometer reading is just off? Either way, I have not sweat it too much. I may try and make Nearlypolitan for fun at some point, but most of the time I'd like to focus on pizzas where my cook temp will be between 550F and 700F. After waiting a while longer and realizing the thermometer wasn't cracking 800F, I turned it off and let it cool. Wiped the stone clean per the instructions, albeit I didn't really see any residue to begin with. Instructions also mention to not season it with any kind of oil.

Lastly, last night I wanted to time how long it takes to get up to temperature. I let it cool to <100F, turned it back on, and set it to 840F again immediately. I didn't check on the temperature as much as I'd like, but here are some data points for anyone curious:

Reached ~450F @ 30 minutes in
Reached ~600F @ 50 minutes in
Reached ~690F @ 1 hour in
Reached ~770F @ 1 hour 20 minutes in
Reached ~785F @ 1 hour 30 minutes in

Also keep in mind these are the built-in thermometer readings. Once again, if I took a stone temperature with my IR thermometer it read above that by a small margin.

Some misc. notes:

- Instructions do stipulate 6'' of space between walls, cabinets, etc. As you may see from photos, my stand is maybe 2 or 3'' from the wall and the rear is maybe 3 or 4'' from cabinets. Not ideal, but it was the best place for me and I was very careful about it. This was part of the reason I cranked the oven up to maximum. I wanted to see if that wall got hot at all when the oven is at its hottest. It did not, and I made sure to check it every 5-10 minutes to make sure I wasn't burning the house down. The sides of the oven and top did get somewhat hot, but nowhere near as hot as the glass window on the door. I live alone so this is less of a concern for me, but I would warn other people/kids to not touch the window as it is scalding hot.

- I like the ceramic deck that comes with the oven. I do have some questions about it that I'll list below if anyone has any thoughts/inputs, but it seems to hold temperature quite well all things considered.

- One concern I had before buying the oven was the amount of power the oven draws. The spec sheets say it's OK for a 15 amp circuit, and while I am not very well educated in these subjects I was concerned at 1800W it would be drawing too much power with anything else plugged in. I haven't tested anything yet, but I have made sure so far that nothing else is plugged into that same circuit as to not trip a breaker. Maybe someone else will come in here and tell me I don't know what I am talking about and you can plug other stuff into the same circuit, but I don't really want to risk it. Before I got the oven I did do some breaker tests since my panel was very vague with labels, making sure I had a "dedicated" circuit for the oven. (Technically not dedicated in its true definition, but ensuring nothing else would be drawing power from it)

- The oven is bigger than it looks. No really, it is bigger than it looks. Looking at the photos does not do it justice. I knew the measurements upon purchasing it, and even I was surprised with how large it is once I saw it in person. I could see this + the price tag being a deterrent for some folks. Admittedly it's also a bit of an eye sore in my kitchen at least. Not an issue for me, but still something to mention. I think it's the fact that I have black countertops and black appliances, but then a large stainless steel stand with a stainless steel oven sitting atop it just looks a bit jarring and out of place.

- For people wondering where the pizza is... it's coming. I may or may not make a separate thread in the Newbie or NY Style forum for that. Relatively speaking, I'm still a newb when it comes to making pizza, and you could argue a newb buying this oven is jumping the gun to the extreme, but pizzamaking has always been a fun activity for me so I figure I will get my money's worth regardless of my skill level making pizza. Plus I've always wanted to make 18'' pies and cook at higher temperatures, both of which my home oven cannot do. My home oven maxes out at 500, draws more power than the WPO500, and struggles fitting a 16'' pie inside it.

Some questions or things I am still wondering about (mostly around safety):

- ccgus said here https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=47863.msg480666#msg480666 that he noted some ceramic wool was exposed by the vents on the left side. As far as I can tell I don't see anything sticking out of the vents, but I am not sure how obvious it would be. For example I haven't taken a flashlight and gone looking under the vents to see if anything is in there semi-exposed. I suppose the big question is.. is this something to be concerned about? I am way out of my depth here and don't know a whole lot about ceramic wool. A google search says some folks apply stuff to ceramic wool to rigidize it and make it safer, something a lot of blacksmiths do with their forges as they commonly use ceramic wool. I wonder if the manufacturer for the WPO500 did this? Alternatively, is there a way to test the air around the oven to determine if there are things like tiny ceramic particles in it? I did note there was a very small amount of dust on the top of the oven, but no idea if it's just regular dust, ceramic dust, or something else. I am probably overthinking this way too much, but as you can probably tell by this thread I overthink everything already and try not to play around when it comes to safety.

- The ceramic glaze on the deck and potential lead in it. This is really a non-issue for me since I doubt it would be approved for commercial use/sale in the US if there was an issue, but I have been thinking of buying a swab kit anyways for peace of mind. I guess I could buy a new 18x18 as some WPO500 owners have, but as mentioned I actually like the deck minus this concern. I'll also do some more reading to this as perhaps the answer is already somewhere online.

- The 50F degree discrepancy is still a mystery to me. If anyone has any ideas on how I could test this I can give it a shot.

That's all I got for now. If you made it through the whole post congratulations. I realize for 99% of people this won't be helpful and it's rambling nonsense, but maybe that 1% that overthink things like I do and ingest any information they get their hands on will find this somewhat helpful.
Title: Re: Just got the Waring WPO500
Post by: ccgus on May 14, 2021, 12:45:38 PM
Congrats on your purchase! It's a good oven.

The oven does have 2 handles on each side, as well as 2 handles on the rear side (See fifth photo)

I am assuming these are for moving, but lifting it solo I just felt more comfortable picking it up from the bottom.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think these are handles. I think they are spacers to keep you from putting the oven too close to anything else, so nothing catches on fire. That was always my assumption anyway.
Title: Re: Just got the Waring WPO500
Post by: Zaroh on May 14, 2021, 02:41:59 PM
Congrats on your purchase! It's a good oven.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think these are handles. I think they are spacers to keep you from putting the oven too close to anything else, so nothing catches on fire. That was always my assumption anyway.

Thanks! Now that you mention it that is a much more reasonable assumption than mine. When I lifted it by those spacers it definitely didn't feel as secure as just lifting it from the bottom.

Since I have you here, do you recall what that ceramic wool exposure looked like along the vents? In other words would it be fairly obvious to the naked eye at a glance, or were you looking fairly closely and/or from a different angle such as looking under the vents with a flashlight. If you don't recall no worries, just figured I would ask though. I am probably making too big a deal out of it, and similar to the lead question the reasonable assumption would be it's either coated/rigidized or treated in such a way it's safe for commercial use in the US.
Title: Re: Just got the Waring WPO500
Post by: ccgus on May 14, 2021, 04:31:11 PM
Since I have you here, do you recall what that ceramic wool exposure looked like along the vents? In other words would it be fairly obvious to the naked eye at a glance, or were you looking fairly closely and/or from a different angle such as looking under the vents with a flashlight.

I had opened it up and that's when I saw the ceramic insulation just kind of sitting right there next to the vent (on the left side). Every previous time I had encountered ceramic insulation it was super tucked away and not exposed in any way.

I was probably being overcautious when I taped over the vent (and then proceeded to rig a 220 volt element in from the back. I'm not exactly consistent in my caution).
Title: Re: Just got the Waring WPO500
Post by: Zaroh on May 14, 2021, 06:50:43 PM
Awesome, thanks a bunch for the replies. I'll probably leave it as is for now but maybe test the air quality or something once I use it a little bit more. Going to be doing the first pizzas in the oven tonight, we will see how it goes!
Title: Re: Just got the Waring WPO500
Post by: AndyBern on May 15, 2021, 01:35:12 PM
Thanks for the detailed info. I'm expecting my WPO500 to arrive any time ... hopefully today. I bought a cart for mine so i can roll it out of the way when I'm not using it. (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0798NMS1G (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0798NMS1G))
Title: Re: Just got the Waring WPO500
Post by: Zaroh on May 15, 2021, 10:25:57 PM
Thanks for the detailed info. I'm expecting my WPO500 to arrive any time ... hopefully today. I bought a cart for mine so i can roll it out of the way when I'm not using it. (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0798NMS1G (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0798NMS1G))

Good stuff! Looking forward to seeing some of the pizzas you make with it. I did my first test today. Was a bit of a fail, but I was expecting that as I have been having some dough issues lately as well as getting used to new temperatures, new stone etc. I'll probably post another thread on that in one of the other sections, but I'll post a couple photos below of pizza. Crust way too light and undercooked, definitely should have kept it in longer. Not used to seeing cheese have that bubbling look that fast and misread when I should take it out.
Title: Re: Just got the Waring WPO500
Post by: pwc123 on September 16, 2021, 08:23:09 AM
Hey, Zaroh. How's it been going with the oven? Have you been having any issues with even heating, particularly from the top element?
Title: Re: Just got the Waring WPO500
Post by: kori on September 21, 2021, 11:12:42 AM
I'm curious as well how you are liking the new oven. I've just been researching them, considering quit seriously about purchasing one.