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Author Topic: What are the defining characteristics of a legitimate deck oven?  (Read 535 times)

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Offline Essen1

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Re: What are the defining characteristics of a legitimate deck oven?
« Reply #20 on: Yesterday at 02:23:00 PM »

Btw, when baking in different deck ovens my pizzas did not turn out the same as at market.

Norma

This statement reminds me of some valuable advice I got from Luc, the owner/manager of Marcello's Pizzeria here in SF:

"Always tailor your dough to your oven, never the other way around!"

Norma's statement basically just confirms Luc's advice by showing that her dough does indeed bake up in a different manner in different ovens. With that said, it would make more sense, imo, to develop a dough that works flawlessly in someone's home oven than try to tinker, modify or hack a home oven or unless one's ready to buy a small countertop pizza oven.


Peter,

In addition to your informative post I think that the heating elements in a home oven are way too weak to recover the heat quickly enough, which is lost by opening the door, loading the pie and/or rotating it. The heating elements in my WPO 500 are almost 4 times as thick and are lined up straight across the floor and ceiling instead of those thin, curved rods you see in every home oven. I think that makes a huge difference.
Mike

Offline norcoscia

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Re: What are the defining characteristics of a legitimate deck oven?
« Reply #21 on: Yesterday at 02:38:24 PM »
Hi Mike - I agree with this 100% ""Always tailor your dough to your oven, never the other way around!"

Unless you are thinking about buying a new oven - in which case it should read " do you homework, buy the best oven you can afford that will meet your requirements"

I do know a bit about electricity - and I don't agree with your statement about the thickness of the heating elements. Thickness does not determine their heat output - it just does not work that way.

But your still making better looking pizza than me  :)
Norm

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: What are the defining characteristics of a legitimate deck oven?
« Reply #22 on: Yesterday at 03:15:39 PM »
Peter,

In addition to your informative post I think that the heating elements in a home oven are way too weak to recover the heat quickly enough, which is lost by opening the door, loading the pie and/or rotating it. The heating elements in my WPO 500 are almost 4 times as thick and are lined up straight across the floor and ceiling instead of those thin, curved rods you see in every home oven. I think that makes a huge difference.
Mike,

My oven has a window in it and for normal doughs I rarely opened the door or rotated the pizzas, although I might open the door to lift a pizza up toward the top of the oven (with or without the broiler on) to get more top heat and crust color if needed. However, if I used two spaced apart stones or their equivalent, the top stone or structure would shield the pizza so that I could not get a good clear view of it through the window. So, I would have to open the door to get that view. But the point you make is correct. A home oven with typical coils cannot retain heat like a commercial deck oven. A high percent of the oven heat is lost when opening the door of a standard unmodified home oven.

I used the term unmodified in my last sentence intentionally because I recalled being invited many years ago to the Boston basement apartment of Scott Riebling (scott r on the forum) where he made pizza for us, including Scott's wife Kim, using an oven that he rigged along the lines that Jeff Varasano used in his own home. That modification, and particularly the high bake temperatures, did a marvelous job with the pizzas. I discussed that visit at Reply 8 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=2732.msg23575#msg23575, and offered my advice to Scott if he were ever to start his own pizzeria, at Reply 14 at https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=2732.msg23611#msg23611. Scott's comments on the pizzas appear in posts between the two cited above. As pretty much everyone knows, Scott did eventually start his own pizzeria (http://www.stokedpizzaco.com/). I don't think he followed my advice on the ovens to use :-D.

Peter

Offline Essen1

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Re: What are the defining characteristics of a legitimate deck oven?
« Reply #23 on: Yesterday at 04:27:07 PM »

I do know a bit about electricity - and I don't agree with your statement about the thickness of the heating elements. Thickness does not determine their heat output - it just does not work that way.


Norm,

Another thing learned.  ;D

It was just common sense telling me that but I guess there's more going on than just the size or thickness of those rods. Thanks for poiting that out!
Mike

Offline Essen1

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Re: What are the defining characteristics of a legitimate deck oven?
« Reply #24 on: Yesterday at 04:29:55 PM »
Peter,

I did the "hack" oven thing a few years back and would not advise it to anyone due to safety hazards. It did work and made good pizzas but the risk factor is too high, imo.

Just buy the adequate tool or, like I said before, create a great dough for a home oven.
Mike

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Offline norcoscia

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Re: What are the defining characteristics of a legitimate deck oven?
« Reply #25 on: Yesterday at 04:49:13 PM »
Norm,

Another thing learned.  ;D

It was just common sense telling me that but I guess there's more going on than just the size or thickness of those rods. Thanks for poiting that out!

Yes, that was why I started this post - I know some ovens work better than others, I can imagine some of the reasons but I really don't have any measurements or real data to back up what I'm surmising. I see great pizza coming out of your new oven and I'm sure it works better than a standard home oven - but I don't know why.

Last month I had a 220v circuit run to my garage and to my deck (along with a few extra drops I needed, all which required a permit and a licensed electrician in my town) - next I see you turning out picture perfect pizza with a 110v oven. So of course now I'm wondering -- do I really need to drop 3 times that amount to make my vision of a great 18 inch NY pie  :-\

Since, at my core, I'm a cheapskate, I feel like I need to understand the things that make ovens work well for NY style - deck ovens seemed like a good place to start understanding more - unfortunately (for me) it is not working so far - no real data seems to be available :-(
Norm

Offline Essen1

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Re: What are the defining characteristics of a legitimate deck oven?
« Reply #26 on: Yesterday at 05:34:39 PM »
Quote
Yes, that was why I started this post - I know some ovens work better than others, I can imagine some of the reasons but I really don't have any measurements or real data to back up what I'm surmising. I see great pizza coming out of your new oven and I'm sure it works better than a standard home oven - but I don't know why.

It does work much better than my home oven. My money is on the compact design, the ventilation and heat supply. I must admit, I thought I made great pizzas before, and I have I'm sure about that, but this oven was a game changer for me. Not to mention the day testing dough's with Tony Gemignani at his place. I realized then and there that I would have a hard time achieving those bakes without the right tool. So I did some research and settled on the WPO500, also mainly due to the 110V. 220V was out of the question.

However, TG advised me that 220V is most likely always better in terms of recovery and steady temperature. Since you have a 220V supply I'd consider this one:

https://www.webstaurantstore.com/waring-wpo750-double-deck-countertop-pizza-oven-with-two-independent-chambers-240v/929WPO750.html

It's exactly only $200 more than what I paid for mine. Free shipping included  ;D
Mike

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: What are the defining characteristics of a legitimate deck oven?
« Reply #27 on: Yesterday at 05:48:19 PM »
Peter,

I did the "hack" oven thing a few years back and would not advise it to anyone due to safety hazards. It did work and made good pizzas but the risk factor is too high, imo.
Mike,

I agree with you. I would never suggest that one fiddle around with a home oven like Jeff and Scott did. I cited my story about what Scott did to his oven to demonstrate the deficiency of a home oven in terms of competing with a commercial deck oven.

Peter

Offline Essen1

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Re: What are the defining characteristics of a legitimate deck oven?
« Reply #28 on: Yesterday at 05:54:57 PM »
Mike,

I agree with you. I would never suggest that one fiddle around with a home oven like Jeff and Scott did. I cited my story about what Scott did to his oven to demonstrate the deficiency of a home oven in terms of competing with a commercial deck oven.

Peter

Peter,

No,no,no!  ;D

I didn't mean to imply you were in favor of hacking or modding a home oven!

I know you wouldn't advise it. I was just speaking in general and from my experience. It was naive of me to try that when I didn't know what temps my home oven back then would be able to handle, what its insulation was, etc.

Could have burned the house down as far as I know. Scary thought, in hindsight.
Mike

Offline norcoscia

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Re: What are the defining characteristics of a legitimate deck oven?
« Reply #29 on: Yesterday at 06:14:13 PM »
Agree, 200 dollars more is a good deal for twice the capacity but does not really help me - at least not w/o seeing an electrical schematic. I doubt it is wired to take advantage of the extra current if only one oven is on but I can't be 100% sure. In any case, I really like the compact size of the oven but that is also my main concern.

I want to get back to cooking on the floor w/o any paper or screens - and I want to make 18 inch pies. I also like wine - those three things don't go together in an 18 inch oven (at least not for me).

I also would prefer independent temp controls for the top and bottom of the oven - I have never had that (and I assume) it would help me dial in the right balance w/o me having to adjust my recipe for the oven. That might not be true (or a big deal) but if I had it -- I could always choose no to use it (set them the same) but without that feature I'll never know or I think I'll need to do the kabuki with the ON/OFF switches. Not a show stopper but not my preference.

On the up side (as you have demonstrated) it can work great (in the right hands) and it is a butt load cheaper than anything with a slightly bigger deck.

I really really appreciate the help and information you have provided but I still want to think about what I want and how much I'm willing to / can afford to pay for it - besides my grill and the wiring was not cheap (like me) so I need to wait a bit  :'(
Norm

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Online waltertore

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Re: What are the defining characteristics of a legitimate deck oven?
« Reply #30 on: Yesterday at 07:38:46 PM »
conversely one has to know how to work dough and an oven when using a commercial one.  Lots of people say to me " If I had your oven my pizzas would be like yours".  I get a kick out of that.  How one raises the dough, opens it, and the balance of all ingredients including the dough, makes for a good pizza.  I have had Ellie Olson working with us for 6 months.  You can definitely see the difference from her pies to mine using the same oven, dough, ingredients.   

top me
middle Norma's pie from the Vegas Expo competiton
bottom ellie's pie
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Offline norcoscia

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Re: What are the defining characteristics of a legitimate deck oven?
« Reply #31 on: Yesterday at 07:44:06 PM »
Thanks Walter, you have contributed so much good info here, I'm not sure if the forum would even exist w/o you....
Norm

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Re: What are the defining characteristics of a legitimate deck oven?
« Reply #32 on: Yesterday at 08:00:45 PM »
Thanks Walter, you have contributed so much good info here, I'm not sure if the forum would even exist w/o you....

thanks but I think withour Peter, Craig, Norma, the forum wouldn't exist.  I am a small contributor whose main contribution is - create a pizza that tastes great to you and ignore the norms if your tastes go against them.   I am off to make pizza for the night shift :)
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Offline norcoscia

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Re: What are the defining characteristics of a legitimate deck oven?
« Reply #33 on: Yesterday at 08:01:24 PM »
No you are NO 1
Norm

Offline norcoscia

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Re: What are the defining characteristics of a legitimate deck oven?
« Reply #34 on: Yesterday at 08:02:37 PM »
O - sorry , meant to type#1
Norm

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Online HarryHaller73

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Re: What are the defining characteristics of a legitimate deck oven?
« Reply #35 on: Yesterday at 11:18:30 PM »
A deck oven uses both conduction heat, and infrared heat when the oven is fully heated.  Conduction is via the hot stone below, IR heat is from the low ceiling and heavy duty insulated walls.  A typical deck oven has no overhead heat source, the ceiling and walls gets hot during the preheat and remain hot for a long period.  That's what cooks the pie above.

On the contrary, while a home oven can have conduction via adding a stone, most of the top heat is from the air, a more superficial heat.  When the heating elements pause in a home oven, internal temperature fluctuates wildly.   While older home ovens were constructed better, most modern ovens simply don't have the construction or insulation to maintain temp.   

Finally, IR heat will actually penetrate dough, cheese, and sauce for a more thorough bake. A pie baked in a deck will also stay hotter longer after it's removed.  Some home breadmakers have simulated this baking environment with a preheated dutch oven and cover.



Offline norcoscia

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Thanks, HarryHaller73  :)
Norm

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