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Pizza Tray in WFO.

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  • Pizza Tray in WFO.

    Hi,
    I had my first cook in my recently completed WFO a few days ago. A real success, so I'm delighted.
    My only question concerns the speed at which the pizza base burns, and the amount of ash that sticks to the bottom.
    I am thinking about putting a pizza tray in to get hot and then cooking on that to keep it of the ash and floor. I did sweep the floor, but perhaps not enough.
    Does anyone else cokk on anything other than directly on the oven floor?
    Thanks
    Nick

  • #2
    Re: Pizza Tray in WFO.

    Two things, make up a blow pipe to blow ash off floor after sweeping and if that is not enough, damp mop the floor with a clean damp towel at the end df a stick.

    Burning the bottom of first pie is common, I usually do a cheesy bread pizza first and second that are just a little garlic, sea salt olive oil and sharp white cheddar, they cook up in about. 45 seconds and aid in cooling the floor, do not overdo the cheese.

    Cooking directly on the floor is the best way to cook.
    Chip

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    • #3
      Re: Pizza Tray in WFO.

      With respect to the ash, I use a brass brush to sweep away the majority of the ash. After that I start baking. If you really want all the ash removed, then take a wet towel and drape it over a tool like a hoe. Use the hoe to push the towel around hearth. This will remove the vast majority of the ash. It will also cool down the hearth, which can minimize chances that the bottom of your pizza will burn. Another recommendation is to use a piece of brass piping to blow the ash off of the hearth. In my humble opinion, don't worry about the ash. I leave a thin coat on the hearth every time I bake. It has not killed me or any of my guests so far.

      With respect to the base burning, the pan is not your solution. I would suggest moving your fire to the side of the oven about 15 to 30 minutes before you want to bake. This will give the hearth some time to cool down. One of the secrets to baking in a 900 degree environment is to use the same part of the hearth to bake each pizza. When you place the first pizza, a black circle will form on the hearth floor. Use that circle as a reference point. When you turn the pizza, make sure that you put it right back on the same black circle. Do not be tempted to move the pizza to any other real estate in the oven. Stay within the confines of the black circle. When you put your 2nd pizza in, put it in the same position that you put the first pizza. The pizza dough draws a significant amount of heat out of the hearth. By keeping the dough in the same black circle area, you will find that the bottom of your pizza will not burn as much. Another trick is to use a test pizza. For the first pizza of the day, put a dough round with just some sauce on it in the oven. As it bakes, look at the bottom. If the bottom is burning too quickly, then you know that you have to cool the hearth down a little more before starting to bake the pizzas that you want to eat. You can leave the pizza dough with the sauce on it in the oven until it is burnt to a crisp. This will take some heat out of the hearth. If you need to take more heat out, then use the wet clothe trick or put another pizza round with some sauce on it in the oven.

      To avoid having the hearth cool down too much, I always have a fire on the left or right side of the dome. The fire needs to be crawling up the side of the oven and onto the roof of the oven. You want to be able to look at the roof of the oven and see a cloud of flame. With that level of fire, the top of the pizza will be done well before the bottom starts to burn. As an aside, do not be tempted to put the fire in the back of the oven. While it is pretty to look at the fire in the back of the oven, you will lose more energy from the fire in that position. The flame will wrap up the side of the oven, over the roof, and straight up your chimney. The chimney part is your enemy. All that energy from the flame will go straight up the chimney flu. If you have the fire on the side, all that energy is simply being transferred to the other side of the oven and not out the chimney.

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      • #4
        Re: Pizza Tray in WFO.

        Originally posted by tusr18a View Post
        With respect to the ash, I use a brass brush to sweep away the majority of the ash. After that I start baking. If you really want all the ash removed, then take a wet towel and drape it over a tool like a hoe. Use the hoe to push the towel around hearth. This will remove the vast majority of the ash. It will also cool down the hearth, which can minimize chances that the bottom of your pizza will burn. Another recommendation is to use a piece of brass piping to blow the ash off of the hearth. In my humble opinion, don't worry about the ash. I leave a thin coat on the hearth every time I bake. It has not killed me or any of my guests so far.
        Using a brass brush and then not worrying about the left over ash may well kill you. I think there has been more than one case of severe intestinal problems with brass brush bristles.being ingested. The blow pipe is safer provided you blow and don't suck.
        Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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        • #5
          Re: Pizza Tray in WFO.

          I haven't tried the blow pipe. It seems simple enough to, try and I will in time. I've still got my eyes out trying to find locally a "yard broom" with bamboo bristles that Laurentius recommended. But, lightly slapping the metal peel against the floor brick a few times works great. I first saw that on Karangi Dude's build. A few taps and the ash is air born, caught up in the draw of the flu, and (for a few seconds) looks like smoke coming out of the chimney. When clearing the dome, I don't usually see smoke, so it looks awesome for a moment or two. It may also help in cooling the floor brick, but I am not a pizza buff .
          Last edited by Gulf; 07-04-2013, 05:02 PM.
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          • #6
            Re: Pizza Tray in WFO.

            Originally posted by Gulf View Post
            I haven't tried the blow pipe. It seems simple enough to, try and I will in time. I've still got my eyes out trying to find locally a "yard broom" with bamboo bristles that Laurentius recommended. But, lightly slapping the metal peel against the floor brick a few times works great. I first saw that on Karangi Dude's build. A few taps and the ash is air born, caught up in the draw of the flu, and (for a few seconds) looks like smoke coming out of the chimney. When clearing the dome, I don't usually see smoke, so it looks awesome for a moment or two. It may also help in cooling the floor brick, but I am not a pizza buff .
            G,

            I know that they are not a common site in your locale, but a metal ski pole with the end chopped off makes a great blow pipe. You also get to see the ash hit the flue with a tornado like effect.
            Chip

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            • #7
              Re: Pizza Tray in WFO.

              Originally posted by mrchipster View Post
              G,

              I know that they are not a common site in your locale, but a metal ski pole with the end chopped off makes a great blow pipe. You also get to see the ash hit the flue with a tornado like effect.
              Thank's Chip,
              You're right about ski poles. To my knowledge, down here, they are non existent. The only skiing we do is on water . I do have access to different sized tubing though, copper and aluminum. What is the ID of a "ski pole"? I would love to try it.
              I don't care what folks say behind my back........They are either braggin' or.......lyin'


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              • #8
                Re: Pizza Tray in WFO.

                Nick,
                Agree with above comments and tried the techniques.

                I personally cook mine on standard aluminium pizza trays, with a little olive oil applied at start of the evening. After about a minute the dough base starts to cook and releases from the tray, at ethos point I grab the tray and slide the pizza onto the floor to finish.

                If the floor is too hot and the bases are burning I use the peel to return it to the tray.

                This technique works if I need to prep bases or others want to make or be involved like my kids.

                It cooks fine top and bottom and I can have 3 pizzas in the oven at once, obviously at different stages.
                Cheers
                Damon

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                • #9
                  Re: Pizza Tray in WFO.

                  Originally posted by Gulf View Post
                  Thank's Chip,
                  You're right about ski poles. To my knowledge, down here, they are non existent. The only skiing we do is on water . I do have access to different sized tubing though, copper and aluminum. What is the ID of a "ski pole"? I would love to try it.
                  Gudday
                  Try the hollow handle of a golf club ( no pun intended )
                  Regards dave
                  Measure twice
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                  • #10
                    Re: Pizza Tray in WFO.

                    I always use trays, the guests make their own pizza and the trays give them a size to work too, pop them in the oven, if the toppings are piled up as some tend to do I slide the pizza off the tray to cook through on the hearth.

                    I always say "less is more" for toppings, but some guests just keep piling the toppings up.....lol
                    The English language was invented by people who couldnt spell.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Pizza Tray in WFO.

                      Excuse me, but I must be having a mental break down or just maybe a WTF moment. Many of us came to this site to be able to have, anytime we want a real hearth cooked pizza, pizza stone be damned. All the money, back breaking labor, pestering experience builders, with our petty and redundant questions. And now, "I dont want a little ash on my pizza, the floor is too hot and it burned, my pizza." I just don't get it, please enlighten me. Karangi Dude was right, I think I might follow his lead!

                      Confused in Japan.
                      Last edited by Laurentius; 07-05-2013, 12:45 PM. Reason: Spelling

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                      • #12
                        Re: Pizza Tray in WFO.

                        Faith,

                        Where's ELMER, when you need him? Bug's a trickster.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Pizza Tray in WFO.

                          A little ash is good for the soul. Something would be missing without it. Bit like a stamp that says 'Genuine WFO Pizza'
                          Cheers ......... Steve

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                          • #14
                            Re: Pizza Tray in WFO.

                            Originally posted by Greenman View Post
                            A little ash is good for the soul. Something would be missing without it. Bit like a stamp that says 'Genuine WFO Pizza'
                            There are a couple of disadvantages to using trays for pizzas. First is that it slows the cooking because you have to heat the tray as well as the pizza. This also cools your floor off faster. It also slows the handling down because you need to remove the pizza from the tray and probably put it back in the oven to crisp the base. A metal tray tends to trap moisture between it and the dough base. I'm told the ones with holes are a little better in this regard. The traditional way is to cook directly on the oven floor.
                            Last edited by david s; 07-05-2013, 04:24 AM.
                            Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Pizza Tray in WFO.

                              Originally posted by cobblerdave View Post
                              Gudday
                              Try the hollow handle of a golf club ( no pun intended )
                              Regards dave
                              Also a good choice but make sure it is metal and not graphite, the nice thing about both the golf club and ski pole is that they taper at the end thus aiding in the concentration of the air at the hot end. My pole is .5" ID at the top and .25 ID at the business end. I cut my pole down to 44 inches in length and it seems to be just about right for my 42 inch oven, you do not need the blow pipe to reach all the way to the back of the oven.

                              The hook allows me to hang the pole on my tool rack I use these on several of my tools. There is a small bolt that goes through the pipe but it does not seem to slow the air down much.
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                              Last edited by mrchipster; 07-05-2013, 05:28 AM.
                              Chip

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