Hey all! First post here @ PMQ. I’m interested in some info on some pizza oven recommendations.
Besides the Pizza Master oven, which it seems to be difficult to find out much info on them apart from the association w/ Jeff Varasano (actually contacted the company twice and never received a response), what are some other ovens out there that can reach temps over 750?
I want to make pizza most similar to the coal fired giants- Pepe’s, Modern, Patsy’s, and Totonno’s w/out using a custom made coal fired oven or a wood burning oven.
I just returned from a trip to New York and found some interesting aspects of Sam’s in Brooklyn, New Park in Queens, and the extremely delicious Denino’s on Staten Island (by far, my fav of the three). They all had char/crust characteristics of higher temp ovens than your standard 550-650 degree ovens. All seem to use “brick ovens”, but in New Park’s case, it was encased in stainless, making it look like a standard deck oven from the outside.
I know there are some pizzerias using Marsal “brick” ovens. They seem to get to 650 and after eating at one place that uses one, I was left unimpressed (but not totally uninterested…)
I was kind of shocked to see a report on Modern’s spin-off “Apizza” in Seattle Safeco Stadium using a gas-fired Wood Stone. Interesting they would use that oven to reproduce their signature high temp/New Haven style. The report on the pie, however (and photos) was dreadful. The char looked pretty nice though, really. Are not all Wood Stone models created equally?
Are there some gas fired (dome) brick ovens that are worth a damn?
I know this was a long post, but I appreciate any feedback anyone has to contribute. Cheers all and thanks!
I was going to say Wood Stone until I got too the end of your post. I will say, to answer your question, no not all are the same. You have different options for coal or wood burning in addition to gas. I am sure that will give you different outcomes. They have a great website with a lot of info.
In addition to the Woodstone take a look at the Marsal MB60 they are bricklined along the top and sides too.
James…where are you located? Just curious as Pizza Master looks like a very well built oven but being a Swedish company and not really having a large network for sales or service in the US I would be a little cautious about them. I was impressed that they offer a high temp version that hits almost 1000 F degrees. Also you say you want to mimic the pizza shops you listed…but I think none of them use electric decks and by using gas with a mix of coal or woods…gives that very unique char and flavor that people seek in that type of pizza. I know a lot of municipalities will not even allow true coal or wood burners anymore. I think the Wood Stone will end up being the best choice both in terms of availability and service.
Some companies can give you dedicated fuel ovens (coal), (wood), (gas), or combination fuel ovens, which are my personal recommendation of any of the above with added gas. Just make sure the oven you want to get is allowed/legal in your city/state. PM me for more specific recommendations.
Tom Lehmann/the Dough Doctor
Thanks to everyone for chiming in!
Seems like Wood Stone is the most recommended for reaching high temps. People are very polarized w/ their love for them. Maybe they get a bad name to some because they’re so popular (and therefore more $ than many others?). I know it’s also not common to see people use them and have them set at 550 or something similar that many feel defeats the point of having an oven w/ more potential.
That said, can the gas-only models exceed 8oo degrees? How well to they maintain or hold their heat over hours of service?
Lastly, surely there’s a deck oven out there that exceeds 750. I know it’s not uncommon to hotwire ovens to get an extra 50-100 degrees out of them. Apart from safety issues, how effective and/or realistic is this?
No further questions, your honors- thanks!
The problem with going for those high temps is that they may not be UL Certified. Stone ovens retain heat very well. I like a gas back-up on a stone oven because I can use the gas to bring the oven up to temperature, or to hold it at 300 to 350F overnight, or over a Holiday when the store is closed, and then be back at full baking temperature inside of 2-hours. One trick that I’ve seen with these ovens that can reduce your insurance cost is to actually put the oven outside of the building with a shed type roof over it, you then have a hole in the wall that becomes the front of the oven. This way the oven doesn’t erode interior space, and it may reduce your insurance premium cost. Be sure to allow for plenty of free/clear space infront of the oven for the oven tender to work in. I like to suggest 2.5 times the peel length as free space.
Tom Lehmann/the Dough Doctor
Thanks for the info Tom! Much appreciated advice. I will look into them for sure.
James you mention not being impressed by the Marsals…but I would say I have seen some really good looking pies come out of the MB60’s. The thing to remember is that it is not just the oven…it is what is going into the oven, who is working the oven, how fresh, how hot, etc…etc. There are so many factors in pizza that it takes a real skill too make a really great pizza…the same way you cannot put a line cook in a kitchen and expect a chef to emerge with great entrees off the line. Why do you think the mass produced guys cannot make a great pie? It takes too many pieces to get it to work altogether. The biggest thing I have learned about pizza is that it takes a lot of trial and error to make things work and even then the next day brings new changes. Good luck!