Wood Only Census-What, Where, Why

Started by Mo, August 13, 2009, 09:41:40 AM

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After a lot of discussion recently of commercial wood-fired ovens, I thought it would be interesting/informative for operators to share oven choices. So, what do you have, where and why? I am focused on wood-only but feel free to share your commercial experience if you feel it is pertinent.


Anyone care to share?

I'll go first:

I have used 5' Mt Adams Woodstone wood-only oven for pizza only. It did not get hot enough, quickly enough and seemed to soften the pizzas. I now have plans for a Mugnaini 140x160cm, pre-assembled. The first operation was in Minnesota, the second is in Iowa.


I love my Emiliomitti 505 that I bought on Ebay for $2500, new, overstock. Wood only, Made in Italy, steel encased. Forkliftable. They still have some.  I use a laser pointer thermometer and like to cook at about 600 F, We have gotten it up to 1200 F.  It weighs 3,000 lbs, is 5 ft. in diameter inside.  It never smokes, the brick on the outside opening has no smoke marks at all.  This is new, and we will open our pizzaria and BBQ restaurant in about a month. I built my own brick oven in my back yard about 10 years ago, and thought about building my own, but commercial, fire marshall, insurance etc convinced me to buy a commercial product instead.  This is a great oven, and did not cost $10K.  The white plastic you see covers stanless steel.  Once I get the tile installed around it I will post a picture. 

Okay, so this is in Silver City, New Mexico, it is called Billy's in honor of Billy the kid, whose mother, Catherine Antrim is buried right behind the restaurant in Memory Lane Cemetary. 


I am about 90 days out from our planned restaurant opening. I chose a wood-fired oven with a thermostatically controlled dual stage gas burner for a back-up heat source.

Why the gas combo option?
Because I am not going to be able to be in front of that oven 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. I do not have someone on my team that I can trust to keep the oven fed for proper heat. I plan to try and get near 100% wood fuel as I can, but having that back-up system could save the day, or even my reputation as a restaurant!
Plus the oven I am choosing has the regulatory ratings I need to be able to use it commercially.

I looked at what woodstone offered, And I was not impressed. I have also read  many reviews saying they work poorly with wood only, and nearly as bad using a combo wood/gas. They make a great wood-fired grill though.

I could see a woodstone even being used if you were not trying to do a neapolitan-style pie,

A skinny cook is not to be trusted!