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OT - Who has a brick oven, Any recommendations?

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Comments

  • HoovHoov Posts: 237
    @fishlessman Is there a risk of the bands loosening enough in a 1000+ cook to drop the dome?
    - Proud owner of a Large BGE
    - Norman, OK
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,936
    Hoov said:
    @fishlessman Is there a risk of the bands loosening enough in a 1000+ cook to drop the dome?
    yes, it all gets tricky at high temps
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 5,304
    @rtt121 - I don't know how far you are in terms of your research, but make sure you shop around for materials. When I built my tandoor several years ago, split firebricks (1.25" thick) were $6.50 each  at the local fireplace store, $2 each online. Full firebricks (2.5" thick) were $1.17 each at the brickyard. You will want the full firebricks.  

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • CGW1CGW1 Posts: 325
    As a Forno bravo and ceramic grill dealer, I have several clients that own both. One can't sub for the other.

    I for one personally don't understand why folks would want to subject their ceramic cooker to such high heat. I understand the searing temps but anything higher I just don't get.

    Anyway, wfo are nice, but you need to plan ahead for when you want use it. Heat up time can take awhile depending on the size of the oven.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Franco

    Ceramic Grillworks
    www.ceramicgrillworks.com
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,936
    CGW1 said:
    As a Forno bravo and ceramic grill dealer, I have several clients that own both. One can't sub for the other. I for one personally don't understand why folks would want to subject their ceramic cooker to such high heat. I understand the searing temps but anything higher I just don't get. Anyway, wfo are nice, but you need to plan ahead for when you want use it. Heat up time can take awhile depending on the size of the oven. Just my 2 cents.
    ive seen posts from the bge homeoffice that said they used to bring eggs up to about 1200 and then hit them with water
    :D
  • rtt121 said:
    I think I can build the 42" pompeii for cheaper than the 28" primavera
    True, if speaking only of materials. But from reading dozens of build threads, the build is an immensely time consuming process. And there is also a risk, however small, that your home-constructed oven will have problems (major cracking, structural problems, etc.). I'm not discouraging you, just kind of thinking aloud as I daydream of having my own WFO.
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 11,119
    I can see having dedicated cookers... But it'd take a lot of pizzas to pay for the wfo.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • I take it you're talking about for PIZZA only?  
    If so, you should check out the 2stone ovens.  I was going to build a WFO but after meeting Willard and hearing his argument, I couldn't deny the ease of operation of a 2stone.  I am a total pyromaniac too.  With the two stone, you can basically get up to temp in 30 minutes or less and then shut her down.  I am about to buy my 25th bag of caputo 00 flour in three years.  My 2stone has gotten a LOT of use.  I love it.



    image
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    "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are."
     Brillat-Savarin
  • rtt121 said:
    Agreed.  Watching the pro's and there WFO's.  They are always keeping the pizza moving.
    I've worked on a lot of WFO's.  Lots of that movement or oven management is to keep the floor temp the same.  When you put a pizza on the floor, it removes heat.  If you aren't making a lot of pizzas you can simply keep it in one place and maybe dome it at the end if it needs it.  When you're pumping lots of pizzas in and out of a WFO you need to shuffle them around accordingly to maximize capacity. 
    "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are."
     Brillat-Savarin
  • btw, www.pizzamaking.com is a GREAT resource.  It's EXCELLENT.  Check out the dough calculators under dough tools on the first page.

    All of my pizzas are naturally leavened.  I maintain two sour dough starters from Italy, an Ischia and a cameldoli.  Right now I only have the ischia going.  Usually I'm making dough in the 65-68% hydration range, 20% preferment at 100% hydration, 3% salt and then i'm doing a bulk ferment for 24-36 hours and balling.  I bake them on the 2 stone at 850 on the bottom stone and 950 on the upper stone, sometimes hotter.  Takes about two minutes.  YUM!
    "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are."
     Brillat-Savarin
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 5,304
    edited November 2013
    I'm not trying to be incendiary here (not trying to be punny either), but cooking with gas is like kissing your sister. 

    There is a certain romance involved with cooking in a wfo (i'm no expert), and I'm the type of person who buys in to that sort of thing. Yes, something like a wfo takes a good amount of research and sweat equity (besides $$) to build, but for some folks there is value in that. It will be more labor intensive (building and cooking), but some folks cherish that. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • stantrbstantrb Posts: 120
    edited November 2013
    I have a brick oven and a large egg. They are emphatically NOT the same thing. Wood ovens are for everything, and not just pizza. They excel at producing absolutely scorching temperatures with little effort, and then retaining and delivering that heat for hours with no added fuel.

    Mine is a little 24"-interior from Forno Bravo. Worth every penny, and paired with the Egg it's wonderful. You'll never (never) make 40 pizzas in 2 hours on one Egg. My little oven doesn't even break a sweat.

    Plus, a byproduct of wood ovens is high-quality lump charcoal...
    Rocking the Large, a Mini, and a wood-fired oven for good measure.
  • caliking said:
    I'm not trying to be incendiary here (not trying to be punny either), but cooking with gas is like kissing your sister. 

    There is a certain romance involved with cooking in a wfo (i'm no expert), and I'm the type of person who buys in to that sort of thing. Yes, something like a wfo takes a good amount of research and sweat equity (besides $$) to build, but for some folks there is value in that. It will be more labor intensive (building and cooking), but some folks cherish that. 
    I get what you're saying, and I'm not really one to cut corners, proof is my three day naturally leavened dough.  It's known fact that at these temps, the wood imparts ZERO flavor to the pizza.  It's simply a fuel source.  
    Between the egg, my fire pit and my BIG rig on a trailer, I have enough romance, lol.  All that said, I'll probably have one in my yard somewhere at some point.  I love fire :)
    "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are."
     Brillat-Savarin
  • Here is an objective review from a guy on pizzamaking who has / had a WFO and a 2stone.  

    "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are."
     Brillat-Savarin
  • stantrbstantrb Posts: 120
    "It's known fact that at these temps, the wood imparts ZERO flavor to the pizza. It's simply a fuel source."

    This isn't exactly true. While I'll concede that a hot wfo doesn't impart SMOKE flavor to a pizza, it does impart an enormous amount of flavor and texture via the intense DRY heat. You'll never get a propane fire or an electric oven to match the dry heat of 1000+F wfo. Burning propane produces water, plain and simple. That water flashes to steam and steam bakes a different kind of crust. Steam also makes the tomato and cheese caramelize differently. It's not a bad pizza, but it is different than a wfo pizza.

    And I've got to tell you guys, that romance thing ain't bunk. Sitting outside on a fall evening with the egg smoking and the wfo burning down with family and good bourbon? Best thing in life.
    Rocking the Large, a Mini, and a wood-fired oven for good measure.
  • CGW1CGW1 Posts: 325
    image

    Heres a pie I did in my Forno Bravo
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    Franco

    Ceramic Grillworks
    www.ceramicgrillworks.com
  • ringkingpinringkingpin Posts: 235
    edited November 2013
    stantrb said:
    "It's known fact that at these temps, the wood imparts ZERO flavor to the pizza. It's simply a fuel source." This isn't exactly true. While I'll concede that a hot wfo doesn't impart SMOKE flavor to a pizza, it does impart an enormous amount of flavor and texture via the intense DRY heat. You'll never get a propane fire or an electric oven to match the dry heat of 1000+F wfo. Burning propane produces water, plain and simple. That water flashes to steam and steam bakes a different kind of crust. Steam also makes the tomato and cheese caramelize differently. It's not a bad pizza, but it is different than a wfo pizza. And I've got to tell you guys, that romance thing ain't bunk. Sitting outside on a fall evening with the egg smoking and the wfo burning down with family and good bourbon? Best thing in life.
    Please tell me HOW there is ANY moisture which will affect a cook coming from a natural gas 60,000 BTU hurricaine burner?  THERE ISN'T, I guarantee it.  I can easily get temps going well, well over 1,000 degrees.  To suggest that there is steam is absurd.  If my hurricaine burner is 99.9 percent efficient and I'm getting .1 % steam, I promise you that it's not affecting the bake.  I've cooked 100's of pizzas on WFO's and thousands on my 2Stone and there is no difference at all in taste due to taste.  

    I was at a party where there was a WFO and my 2stone going and we were having fun doing blind tastings, swapping dough, etc.  Nobody could tell a difference.  The temps are the same, the cooking times are the same, the taste is the same. 

    Steam, lol... sorry had to laugh at that one.

    I agree that WFO are great. All I wanted to point out that there are other options aside from WFO to get in the neo style game and it doesn't take two hours but ten minutes to get up to heat.

    tell me which pies were done on a wfo and which weren't lol

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    "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are."
     Brillat-Savarin
  • CGW1 said:
    image Heres a pie I did in my Forno Bravo
    is that semolina or corn meal I see on the pizza?
    "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are."
     Brillat-Savarin
  • NDGNDG Posts: 857

    Good Looking za!  I can feel my Neapolitan pizza obsession is starting up again - going to dust off my bag of tipo 00 flour and try again. 

     
    My attempt last year was frustrating to say the least.  I tried many times, but never got the "chewy, fold-able without cracking, sour, airy" crust I was looking for.  In fact, I was way off.  I am somewhat new to making dough, so I assume my expectation was too high.  I am sure it takes years.  www.pizzamaking.com . . . is some intense stuff.   Two quick questions.  

    Do I NEED to get a digital scale?

    Do I NEED to look into live yeast and/or sourdough starters?



    Columbus, Ohio
  • Hey NDG,

    No, you do not need a starter, I would argue that it's a lot easier to make cook pizzas with yeast, not with a starter.

    Yes, I would highly advise buying a good scale, digital or analog.  I like the the digitals because you can tare them out, they're accurate and they're now very affordable.  I just sent my buddy a nice one for 20 bucks from Amazon.

    Are you doing these on your BGE?
    "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are."
     Brillat-Savarin
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 11,119
    I use a scale.. There's a big difference in 1000 grams of flour and measuring with a cup. Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast is a great book. Really helped my dough.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • Here is an objective review from a guy on pizzamaking who has / had a WFO and a 2stone.  

    That is a fairly compelling review of the 2stone. Very interesting.

    I have actually been able to crank out some pretty solid Neapolitan pizza from my BGE, with my best yet being produced this past weekend. It takes a lot of work, but I can crank out 4-5 really good pizzas before my cooking surface (firebricks on top of pizza stone, on top of PS) overheats. My cooks usually take about 2 minutes, so not quite the WFO speed I'm looking for. But excellent spring and char. Very soft crust. Nevertheless, I'm going to be putting in a WFO at some point (or perhaps a 2stone).
  • CGW1CGW1 Posts: 325
    @ringkingpin, that's corn meal...i use that as a release agent on my peel.
    Franco

    Ceramic Grillworks
    www.ceramicgrillworks.com
  • CGW1CGW1 Posts: 325
    Firing for another cook.  Notice I keep the cover half on...that's how insulated these ovens are, the outside will get barely warm.

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    Franco

    Ceramic Grillworks
    www.ceramicgrillworks.com
  • rtt121rtt121 Posts: 425
    edited November 2013
    caliking said:
    I'm not trying to be incendiary here (not trying to be punny either), but cooking with gas is like kissing your sister. 

    There is a certain romance involved with cooking in a wfo (i'm no expert), and I'm the type of person who buys in to that sort of thing. Yes, something like a wfo takes a good amount of research and sweat equity (besides $$) to build, but for some folks there is value in that. It will be more labor intensive (building and cooking), but some folks cherish that. 
    Exactly my thoughts.

    If I was not going to go the wood route I would simply buy a used electric oven and stick in the garage and remove the safety, cook on the clean setting. 

    In regards to needing starter and needing scale.  If you want to make neopolitan and want a little of the sour factor. YES you need a starter. @ringkingpin is right you don't need it for pizza but for neoplitan you do. 

    The twostone looks nice, but I am not interested in that setup.

    I am not 100 percent on building yet. The fornobravo preconstructed, @CGW1 's operation is all I really need.  I do enjoy having something to work on though.  Plus it looks like shipping the preconstructs are cost prohibitive in NJ.

    Nice pizza's!
  • rtt121rtt121 Posts: 425
    Please tell me HOW there is ANY moisture which will affect a cook coming from a natural gas 60,000 BTU hurricaine burner? 
    C3H8(g) + 5 O2(g) → 3 CO2(g) + 4 H2O(g)
  • CGW1 said:
    @ringkingpin, that's corn meal...i use that as a release agent on my peel.
    Interesting... what temps are you cooking at?  If I try cornmeal at my temps, it immediately turns to sugar and BURNS something fierce.

    A couple years back, I went to Spacca Napoli as a guest.  My friend who invited me is good friends with the owner.  John, the owner had a friend in from Naples, Franco Pepe who is something like a third generation piazziaolo.  Franco doesn't speak any English but between my French and his Italian, we were actually able to talk for quite some time and I really enjoyed myself, watching a master.
    It's pretty common knowledge that at VPN temps, normal corn meal burns, quickly.  I'd be curious to see an underskirt shot of that pizza and to know what temps it's cooked at.
    That said, when I was watching Franco, I noticed his bench flour was a different color and he told me it was extra fine semolina.  He said that he uses it because dough can sit on the semolina and unlike flour, the semolina doesn't absorb the moisture from the dough.  He said he gets most of the semolina off the pizza before putting it in the oven but because it is so fine, it doesn't burn on the bottom but again, he gets most off before putting it in the oven.  So, I have wanted to experiment with super fine semolina but haven't had the chance yet. 
    Right now I simply use the 00 flour as a bench flour and use a variety of peels.  If you look in my pics, you find my go to peel or at least see some of it.  It's an aluminum piece that has slots that are longitudinal to the lauch direction.  The idea is that the bench flour falls through these holes before hitting the stone.  It works VERY well and unlike organic materials such as wood, it too, doesn't absorb moisture.

    If you think you're good at working dough, check out this video I took of Pepe shaping some pizzas.  The first one is straight forward, the second one he shows off a little.  Absolutely amazing.  Also, you can see the two wood boxes he pulls the dough out from.  That dough he hand mixed for the person who invited me who is a VIP.  All the others in the plastic boxes were mixed in their diving arm mixer, a very, very nice machine.  

    "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are."
     Brillat-Savarin
  • rtt121 said:
    If I was not going to go the wood route I would simply buy a used electric oven and stick in the garage and remove the safety, cook on the clean setting.  

    In regards to needing starter and needing scale.  If you want to make neopolitan and want a little of the sour factor. YES you need a starter. @ringkingpin is right you don't need it for pizza but for neoplitan you do. 

    The twostone looks nice, but I am not interested in that setup.

    I am not 100 percent on building yet. The fornobravo preconstructed, @CGW1 's operation is all I really need.  I do enjoy having something to work on though.  Plus it looks like shipping the preconstructs are cost prohibitive in NJ.

    Nice pizza's!
    Haha, I used to bypass the limit of my electric by tossing a frozen rag on the sensor.  I did that a couple times and then stopped.  Even though the heat was good, you still don't get the type of convection needed for VPN style pizza.

    As far as starter vs yeast, actually the vast majority of VPN certified pizza places use yeast, not starter.  It is a lot easier and more predictable to use plain old fresh yeast than a starter and you can still build in some sourness during your fermentation times.  Here are the "rules" for VPN pizza.  Mind you, I am not interested at all by being pigeon holed or constrained by these "rules." I also tend to cook mine a little longer than a traditional VPN pizza.


    Certify your pizzeria or restaurant and join the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana.


    BASIC REQUIREMENTS:


    1. Wood-burning oven. The real Neapolitan pizza must be cooked in a wood-fired dome oven operating at a temperature of about 900 F. Gas, coal, electrical ,or wood/gas combined ovens, while capable to produce a delicious pizza, do not conform to the Neapolitan tradition and are not allowed.

    2. Proper Ingredients: Only fresh, all-natural, non-processed ingredients (preferably imported from Naples or Campania region) are acceptable:

    a. wheat flour type "00": highly refined flour which has been milled to standard "00" (doppio zero). A small amount of wheat flour type "0" (Manitoba) is allowed to be added providing the percentage ranges from 5 to 20%. This variation is dependent on the external temperature and is used to enforce the '00' flour and not replace it.
    b. Fresh tomatoes: the following variations of fresh tomatoes can be used: "S.Marzano dell'Agro Sarnese-nocerino D.O.P"., "Pomodorini di Corbara (Corbarino)", "Pomodorino del piennolo del Vesuvio" D.O.P." Canned Peeled tomatoes: the recommended tomato is the "Pomodoro pelato S.Marzano dell'Agro Sarnese-Nocerino D.O.P.". If peeled tomatoes are used they should be strained, broken up and homogenised by hand. The use of fresh or industrially prepared "Roma" tomatoes ("pomodoro lungo tipo Roma") is allowed.
    c. Mozzarella: Certified mozzarella di bufala campana D.O.P, mozzarella S.T.G. (see attached appendices for suppliers and technical details). Fior di latte: "Fior di latte dell'appennino meridionale D.O.P" or other certified 'fiordilatte'.
    d. Extra Vergin Olive oil (EVO).
    e. Basil: Fresh Basil must be used.
    f. Cheese: Grated Hard cheese must be used Fresh Garlic
    g. Origano: "Origanum vulgare" from the "Labiatae" family.
    h. Sea salt
    i. Yeast: Compressed yeast, biologically produced, solid, soft and beige in colour ,with quite an insipid taste and a low degree of acidity must be used. Yeast must be purchased in packages ranging from 25-500 grams. (Saccharomices cerevisiae) (See Italian Decreto Ministeriale. 21/03/1973 e 18/06/1996). The use of Natural yeast (Sour Dough) is also permitted.
    j. All types of fat must be excluded from the dough.


    3. Proper technique for the preparation of the dough. Hand-worked or low speed mixer (fork or spiral). No planetary or vertical mixers are allowed.

    4. Proper technique for the preparation of the pizza. Opening the dough only by hand and slapping on the working surface, transfer of the pizza on a peel by hand and adjusting the shape, cooking on an oven with a temperature of not less than 900° F for a time not exceeding the 90 seconds.

    5. Proper Equipment. A proper work surface (usually a marble slab), a wood or aluminum pizza peel to introduce the pizza into the oven and a long handle metal round peel to turn and remove the pizza from the oven.

    6. Final Product. Pizza Napoletana must be not larger than 11 inches with a raised edge crust of about 1 inch and a thin center. The pizza should be soft and elastic, and easily foldable.

    7. Documentation. A set of documents, pictures and video need to be provided to the Association for the first preliminary evaluation (see below).

    8. Others. In case of multiple restaurants, each individual store is bound to uphold the standards of the Association and pay a correspondent membership fee. The membership does not automatically be extended to any new units opened subsequently the joining of the Association, nor the membership is transferable from one location to another. Rather, each individual location is evaluated and billed separately. An yearly renewal fee will be due at the beginning of each calendar year. In the event of non-compliance of these rules by one or more of the associated restaurants, the VPN Association maintains the right to suspend or rescind the membership on an individual or collective basis.


    "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are."
     Brillat-Savarin
  • BTW, anyone looking to build a WFO or do a kit, I would strongly reccommend checking out the line of Four Grand Mere ovens.  I've worked on a number of Four Grand Mere's and forno bravos and have always preffered the FGM.  It has a lower dome height which makes it faster to get to temp, used up to 30% less wood and the fire management is easier.  Here is an interesting link:

    "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are."
     Brillat-Savarin
  • NDGNDG Posts: 857
    I am using BGE for my pizzas, and I am buying a digital scale now.  I dont want to hijack this thread, so I will post later after few more tries.  Thanks for the advice. 
    Columbus, Ohio
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