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Old 05-07-2008, 05:09 AM
mmmhumous's Avatar
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Question 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 at 05:11 AM.
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Old 05-07-2008, 09:02 AM
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Default 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
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Last edited by james; 05-07-2008 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 05-07-2008, 10:35 AM
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Default 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.
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Old 05-07-2008, 01:44 PM
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Default 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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Old 05-11-2008, 09:54 AM
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Default 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!)
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Old 05-11-2008, 10:10 PM
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Default 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.
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Old 05-11-2008, 10:27 PM
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Default 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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Old 05-12-2008, 04:26 AM
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Thumbs up 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
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Old 05-12-2008, 10:34 AM
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Default 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.
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Old 05-12-2008, 12:13 PM
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Default Re: How many "Real" pizza ovens do we have?

Quote:
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.
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