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Author Topic: NY in a Stainless Steel Oven  (Read 877 times)

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Offline PizzaManic

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NY in a Stainless Steel Oven
« on: December 24, 2020, 01:26:51 PM »
Hello Everyone
Trust all are good

A little while back, I posted about building my own Stainless Steel Oven similar to the Ooni Pro Design. Well.... It's finally completed and I just got it from my fabricator. As you can imagine, I was super excited to fire it up. I preheated it for around an hour loaded with plenty of wood and had a nice inferno blaze going. After the blaze died down and the coals began to dissipate, I moved the fire to the back left, cleaned the floor and added 2 more logs to keep a nice flame going.

I used Tom Lehmans NY formula and cold fermented it for 3 days. I ran into a few problems with not having enough bread flour so I mixed in some AP Flour.

I stretched the dough which was no trouble at all - it opened up beautifully. Topped it and baked directly on the Firebrick floor - floor got up to around 550F. Pizza wasn't bad but not my best effort - I suspect the flour was a problem and it did over ferment a bit. My last attempt with Tom's formula in my brick oven resulted in a perfectly charred crust which was tender and a slight chew. This time, the crust ended up being too leathery and not all that tender.

Never the less, that's the least of my problems - the biggest issue I had was getting the Fire Brick upto temperature. It took lots of wood to get the stones to around 650f and then when the flame dies down, so does the stones - they drop rapidly to below 500f. The oven has enough insulation, top has 100mm Ceramic Fiber and bottom as well as back has 75mm. The top of the outside dome gets up to 170F and the underneath of the oven is cold to the touch so I don't think I'm losing heat there.

I then placed my 1/4" baking steel ontop of the stone and blazed the oven to high temps - the steel reached around 700f but the Firebrick surrounding the steel only reached 580f. I then baked a pie on the steel and it baked really beautifully. The bottom ended up with a perfect crisp, slight char. I measured the Steel temp after and it lost around 100F - took another 10 minutes to get back up to temperature.

This oven cost a small fortune and I'm so disappointed that it's just not retaining enough heat on the Baking Surface aka Firebrick. The air temp in the oven seems optimum and when there's a nice flame going, you can barely get you hand to the oven opening without it becoming uncomfortable.

Any suggestion how to improve the heat retention of the baking surface - be it the stone or the steel? Perhaps a thicker steel will keep the heat better for multiple pizza bakes in succession without having to wait for recovery of the temperature?

By the way, the stone thickness is 1".

Take Care
Mo
Regards Mo

Online Pizza_Not_War

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Re: NY in a Stainless Steel Oven
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2020, 04:40:31 PM »
Pictures?

Offline amolapizza

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Re: NY in a Stainless Steel Oven
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2020, 01:07:55 PM »
Maybe you have to preheat for longer?

Or possibly add some more ceramic fibre underneath the stones?
Jack

Effeuno P134H (500C), Biscotto Fornace Saputo, Sunmix Sun6, Caputo Pizzeria, Caputo Saccorosso, Mutti Pelati.

Offline PizzaManic

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Re: NY in a Stainless Steel Oven
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2020, 03:18:46 PM »
Here are some pictures of my bake and oven as well as a video of the oven in action .

amolapizza, I preheated for about 1.5 hours before baking. I could add more Ceramic Fiber underneath the stones however the underneath outside of the oven doesn't get hot at all.

I've been reading a little about Baking Steels and maybe that might be the answer to my problem. I've read a baking steel of 1/2" thick will allow for successive baking without recovery. My oven doesn't heat the floor past 600f and I believe a baking steel at around 600f will bake a pie in less than 3 minutes which is the ideal baking time for my goal pizza.

What I found very odd was I have a PID Controller with a K Type Thermocouple and I placed it inside the oven close to the door to measure air temperature - the PID registered only 400f however I'm certain the oven was much hotter than that - I couldn't handle placing my hand at the entrance of the oven for more than 2 seconds before I had to pull back for fear of getting seared. Could the air temperature be so much lower than the temperature of the steel or firebrick?
Regards Mo

Offline billg

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Re: NY in a Stainless Steel Oven
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2020, 07:13:29 PM »
Are those Whitacre Greer firebricks?  Judging by the fire I didn't see the fire "Roll" across the dome which is typical in wood or gas ovens in this category.  If you build a large fire, does it roll across the top?  Placing the wood on either the left or right side will help with that.  If you build a large fire and don't get that "Roll" then the design of the oven may have been miscalculated.  Can you build a large fire and take a video?

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Offline PizzaManic

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Re: NY in a Stainless Steel Oven
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2020, 04:13:44 AM »
Billg, I didn't notice the flame rolling across the dome however it hits the top of the dome almost like a volcanic eruption when the fire is large. I will light it again and take note as well as some videos.

I'm not sure of my firebrick - haven't heard of white acre. Can you elaborate?
Regards Mo

Offline amolapizza

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Re: NY in a Stainless Steel Oven
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2020, 09:14:43 AM »
It's probably hard to measure the temperatures accurately.  In pizza ovens we talk about three different modes of heat.  Conduction (through contact with the stones), Convection (through the hot air) and Radiation (through the heat radiating from the fire and all surfaces).

Enzo Coccia explained in a video I saw that a pizza is baked through all the above modes of heat, the bottom mostly through conduction, the cornicione mostly through radiation and the toppings mostly through convection.

Trying to point an IR gun at a metal surface is likely to give an inaccurate reading as it reflects a lot of heat and the IR gun isn't really made for measuring that, it will be most accurate when used on the stone.  Some IR guns allows to change something called the emissivity factor​, which allows it to be more accurate when measuring certain materials.

The mouth of the oven is very large compared to it's size, so I think it's very likely that you lose a lot of heat just from hot air exiting and cooler air being pulled into it.

If a steel gives you the result you want, then that seems to be the best solution, and 3 minutes makes for a very tasty pizza, they don't all have to be Neapolitan! :D

I like the browning on the bottom of your pizza, though the cornicione looks a bit anemic.  Maybe some more flames would balance the heat out better.
Jack

Effeuno P134H (500C), Biscotto Fornace Saputo, Sunmix Sun6, Caputo Pizzeria, Caputo Saccorosso, Mutti Pelati.

Offline PizzaManic

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Re: NY in a Stainless Steel Oven
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2020, 09:29:12 AM »
Amolapizza,
Thanks for putting some perspective on this and citing the explanation by Enzo. The bottom seems to be baking well and the toppings, for this Pizza in particular which is just a plain cheese pie, baked really well - within the first minute, the cheese was on it's way to a rapid bubble.

The cornicone is definitely not what I was looking for. A little while back, I baked this same formula in a Brick Wood Fired Oven and the results can be seen here https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=65930.0 - this is what I'm aiming for with the Stainless Steel Oven. I know it could be many factors that has lead to this issue from my formula down to the heat in the oven - another go at it soon will give me a better idea where the problem lies.

For now, I'm hopeful I'll learn how to use this oven which is different compared to a brick oven.

Another thought has just come to mind - I'm considering closing off my Flue to see if it performs any better - ideally I should have made a vent just outside the mouth of the oven - I wonder if my fabricator can make some adjustments - I know he won't be too happy though  :-\

Thanks
Mo
Regards Mo

Offline PizzaManic

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Re: NY in a Stainless Steel Oven
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2020, 09:40:57 AM »
Are those Whitacre Greer firebricks?  Judging by the fire I didn't see the fire "Roll" across the dome which is typical in wood or gas ovens in this category.  If you build a large fire, does it roll across the top?  Placing the wood on either the left or right side will help with that.  If you build a large fire and don't get that "Roll" then the design of the oven may have been miscalculated.  Can you build a large fire and take a video?

billg, I'm not sure if the firebrick is Whiteacre Greer but I've attached the datasheet that my supplier forwarded to me.
Regards Mo

Offline amolapizza

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Re: NY in a Stainless Steel Oven
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2020, 09:48:31 AM »
You're welcome!

Yes I agree, that pizza from the WFO has a lot nicer cornicione.  Going on what Enzo said, maybe it's just a question of getting a bigger flame going.

I don't have all that much experience with many different ovens, but I've become convinced that they are all different and that one has to learn how to get the best out of them.  What works well in one, might not in another and one might have to change approach a bit.
Jack

Effeuno P134H (500C), Biscotto Fornace Saputo, Sunmix Sun6, Caputo Pizzeria, Caputo Saccorosso, Mutti Pelati.

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Offline Taahir

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Re: NY in a Stainless Steel Oven
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2021, 07:50:50 AM »
billg, I'm not sure if the firebrick is Whiteacre Greer but I've attached the datasheet that my supplier forwarded to me.

From what I have experienced, the firebricks we have in South Africa (or at least in Cape Town), are relatively high thermal conductivity. In my SS oven, I need the bricks to be max 400 in order to cook Neapolitan pizza without needing to dome it too much, hence did the gas conversion. I use the wood to get the bricks hot, take half the coals out and keep a tiny fire on the side, and then put the gas on to keep the top heat high when the pizza goes in, whilst keeping the bricks around 380-400.

Regards

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