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How many "Real" pizza ovens do we have? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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How many "Real" pizza ovens do we have?

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  • How many "Real" pizza ovens do we have?

    One of main reason's that I started building my oven was a comment that Heston Blumenthal made on the pizza episode of "In search of perfection": "in order to make the perfect pizza you need an authentic wood fired oven"

    In the programme Heston mentions the proposed EU guidelines for the defining properties of a neopolitan pizza. Along with pizza dimensions and cooking times a cooking temperature of 485C (905F) is specified.

    So my question is this: How many of the ovens on this forum can reach this magic temperature of 485C?

    I've currently using a standard oven thermometer, so I can only boast 300C+ (572F +) at the moment.
    Last edited by mmmhumous; 05-07-2008, 05:11 AM.
    sigpic "Why can't you just have a BBQ like normal people?"

  • #2
    Re: How many "Real" pizza ovens do we have?

    I have lots of opinions on this one. :-)

    I did the first English translation of the EU Pizza Napoletana guidelines about four years ago when we were living in San Gimignano. It's here:

    Vera Pizza Napoletana Specification | Verace Pizza Napoletana

    The Pompeii Oven and the FB pre-made ovens can all reach VPN cooking temperatures -- though you really don't want to bake that hot at home. 900F will give you a 60 pizza and it can be challenging managing your oven and pizzas at that levels -- without burning things. Still, holding your oven in the 750-800F+ range is readily doable, and it will give you a great 90 second - two minute pizza.

    You should download the FB wood-fired pizza eBook. It has a ton of information on this topic.

    Wood-Fired Pizza e-Book (pdf) :: Instruction Manuals, CD ROMs & eBooks :: Forno Bravo Store

    James
    Last edited by james; 05-07-2008, 02:10 PM.
    Pizza Ovens
    Outdoor Fireplaces

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    • #3
      Re: How many "Real" pizza ovens do we have?

      I cook pizza in my oven all the time.
      So it's a real pizza oven.
      But it's also a real bread oven, a real smoker, etc. etc. etc.
      My thread:
      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...ress-2476.html
      My costs:
      http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?k...Xr0fvgxuh4s7Hw
      My pics:
      http://picasaweb.google.com/dawatsonator

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      • #4
        Re: How many "Real" pizza ovens do we have?

        Nice Dave, Nice.....I will second your comments. As for the temps, I'm at the mercy of my IR thermometer.....if it says 1000 degrees, I assume it is within a few degrees of that and let it cool down a bit; if it says 600, I throw another log or two on and wait a few minutes. As for cooking at 900, thats what I shoot for...that temp really seems to work for me, BUT, as James mentions - don't take your eyes off the pizza and turn it at least twice (all in 1 -1 1/2 minutes).
        Now about those guidelines - (personally, I am all about authenticity) I have stuck to the VPN a couple of times, great pizza, BUT personal taste is more important so I make what my family and I like. I think this is true for 99% of the pizza makers out there...including the millions(?) in Italy. Unless you are opening a restaurant and plan to use "authentic VPN pizza" as part of your marketing scheme I don't see how it makes any difference. Pizza, like nearly everthing in life is subjective...we like what we like and we dislike everything else. To me, EVERY pizza from my or your WFO is authentic....its pizza - made in a similar manor to those of past centuries.

        RT

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        • #5
          Re: How many "Real" pizza ovens do we have?

          I've never seen a lot of leftover pizza from the WFO.....

          I spent the winter cooking without a thermometer, no sweat! (well maybe a little!)
          Sharing life's positives and loving the slow food lane

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          • #6
            Re: How many "Real" pizza ovens do we have?

            I threw the first pizza in the oven tonight at 900 degrees. It was no better than the ones cooked at 775. It just cooks faster - IMHO of course.
            GJBingham
            -----------------------------------
            Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

            -

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            • #7
              Re: How many "Real" pizza ovens do we have?

              Cooks a little faster and gives mine better char...as opposed to just golden brown crust. also seems to cook the top better.....really gets bubbly at 900 (part of the cooking faster, I guess)

              RT

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              • #8
                Re: How many "Real" pizza ovens do we have?

                I lit my fire at 2:00pm for a planned 6:30 -7:00pm pizza feast last night to demonstrate to a friend who was supposed to come for dinner but arrived for lunch!!!
                Consequently, it was burning quite well for almost 5 hours and my infra-red themometer showed the hearth to be 430˚C with the dome at 485˚C. A totally white oven interior.
                I cooked the first pizza in less than 60 seconds with a rather dark, almost burnt bottom even though I was continually turning it after 20 seconds. It was quite tasty and certainly needed no more cooking without producing a hard burnt carbon crust.

                Neill
                Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

                The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know


                Neills Pompeiii #1
                http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/n...-1-a-2005.html
                Neills kitchen underway
                http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f35/...rway-4591.html

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                • #9
                  Re: How many "Real" pizza ovens do we have?

                  RT - I agree completely with your comments about cooking the top or carmelizing the pizza better at higher temps.

                  Any great way to keep the fire burning well once you push it over to the side? Mine always roars for about 10 minutes. Regardless of my efforts to keep adding wood, somehow the fire always settles into a much tamer version of the one roaring just minutes before.
                  GJBingham
                  -----------------------------------
                  Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

                  -

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: How many "Real" pizza ovens do we have?

                    Originally posted by gjbingham View Post
                    Regardless of my efforts to keep adding wood, somehow the fire always settles into a much tamer version of the one roaring just minutes before.
                    I'm with ya on this one George.
                    My thread:
                    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/d...ress-2476.html
                    My costs:
                    http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?k...Xr0fvgxuh4s7Hw
                    My pics:
                    http://picasaweb.google.com/dawatsonator

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: How many "Real" pizza ovens do we have?

                      I've actually found the smaller logs (around 2") to be better during the bake, after I have pushed the fire to the side. I will use the big stuff during the heat up (scary fire). After you push the fire to the side and let it die down a bit you don't get that instant ignition of the large logs when you throw one in; the smaller logs will catch faster - of course you will need more, they burn up quicker. This was not an issue for me until I started doing more pizzas for more people and needed to keep a moderate fire going for awhile.
                      The first few times at multiple pizzas I went through fire cycling - die down, throw a big log on, wait and it catches (raging fire again), then it dies down again and I went through the whole process over and over. Now I throw in a couple of 2" logs, do a few pizzas, throw on another 2" before it dies down much and keep going that way.....much more consistant fires.

                      RT

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                      • #12
                        Re: How many "Real" pizza ovens do we have?

                        Thanks RT. I've noticed the difference in the way the small stuff burns compared to the large. I split all my oak and all my cherry down to 2X3 inches or so. Not good for heating, but good for a quick hot fire. I'm sure that having citrus helps too. Can you send a truck this way?

                        That's not the whole problem, even with the fire banked to the side, logs burning, tons of embers/coals, I end up dicking around with a couple of pieces of wood trying to get them in just the right position to burn hot and fast to keep the oven really hot. I sure wish I'd paid attention to the pizzaiolos in Italy when I was there.
                        GJBingham
                        -----------------------------------
                        Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

                        -

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: How many "Real" pizza ovens do we have?

                          My first pizzas are prone to burning on the bottom. It's a bit like the first pancake- never the best one. Subsequent pizzas are perfect and the oven seems to slow in line with the guest's appetites.
                          Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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                          • #14
                            Re: How many "Real" pizza ovens do we have?

                            I use a "D" shaped piece of steel flat bar. The curved part goes against the oven wall on one side. I remove the coals for more cooking space as my oven is small and half fill the steel D with coals, then throw on some finger sized sticks on the coals. Also place a few sticks in the entrance to pre heat. This way you can keep the temp up high and have an oven light. I also love leaving a rosemary branch in the entrance for aroma.
                            Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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                            • #15
                              Re: How many "Real" pizza ovens do we have?

                              Originally posted by david s View Post
                              My first pizzas are prone to burning on the bottom. It's a bit like the first pancake- never the best one.
                              I agree with that. Never put your daughter's perfect pizza in first. :-) Make a simple focaccia (salt, olive oil and rosemary), to break in the cooking floor for the night, and have it as an appetizer. The first pizza tells you a lot about your oven -- and you might burn the bottom.

                              James
                              Pizza Ovens
                              Outdoor Fireplaces

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