The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pizza oven

chuppy's picture
chuppy

Pizza oven

Good evening,

I was recently talking to an older Italian man whose family were proprieters of a pizza resturaunt for two decades. I told him that I love to bake bread and often. He asked if I would be interested in buying his old pizza oven for $3,000.00. It is a two tiered gas oven that would fit enough loves for an army(about 20 loaves at a time). The stone bottom of course would be exceptionaly nice for breads, but I'm not so sure about the steam factor when preparing for hearth baking. Does anyone think of this as a worthy investment or perhaps a little excentric? With an oven that big I would never leave home!

Thanks, Chuppy

JERSK's picture
JERSK

     That's a good oven for bread. Youll have to create steam by spraying in it . Too big probably for a small household sprayer, but you can get a garden canister type at a hardware or gardening store. Be careful of spraying onto the stones directly as they can crack. $3000.00 bucks isn't bad depending on condition. Get a restaurant supply catalog and see what they go for new. Most restaurant equipment suppliers that sell used equipment might have some comparable ones. See what they charge. Used equipment usually goes for about 1/2 price of new. They usually refurbish them and would have a warranty. However, if you're going to have it in your home they probably won't sell to you. In that case, buying off of an independent seller may be your best and only bet. It's definitely frivolous unless you plan on selling bread or having big pizza parties every week. You'll also have to get a bigger than normal gas service (maybe 3/4" pipe?) run into your house. Your local gas service might have something to say about that. It's illegal for dealers to sell commercial equipment to homes, but probably not for independents, though I don't know about supplying the utility. Also, your home insurance might drop coverage.

JERSK's picture
JERSK

I had another thought on the-pizza oven. For $3000.00 you could probably get a nice wood=fired masonry oven built. Then you'd really have a good bread oven and get around all the legal restrictions plus add value to your home. It depends where you live I guess and accessability to good dry wood. You don't need hardwood, but it has to be dry. Even slabwood from sawmills works great. They've got it all over any type of conventional oven and are fueled by a renewable resource. There are even kits available in that price range and lower. If you have some handy skills or have friends that may barter services you can get it built for the cost of materials. Way less than $3000.00.

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

I'd suggest against this oven for anyone but a pizza maker.

The bays in a pizza oven are not as tall as the bays in a bread oven, and the heat is much less even.   As a result, you'll tend to burn the tops of tall loaves, and you'll have to move the bread around to get it to bake evenly.

If it's a bread oven that they used to make pizza (which is also not a good match), you'd be OK... but that's still a lot of oven for home use.  They take hours to heat up.  A friend had a bakery with such an oven.  It took 8 hours to heat up from dead cold.  He never shut it off.  He'd reduce the heat overnight.  When he got into the bakery in the morning, he'd turn up the heat a bit and do some pastries.  When they were baked off, he'd turn the oven up farther and do rolls and breads.  Barely workable for a bakery.... not very effective for home use.

The stream issue is also very real.  Commercial ovens with steam capacity have steam generators.  They put live steam in the oven.  While it takes 1 calorie of heat to heat 1 gram of water 1 degree celsius.... it takes 540 calories to convert 1 gram of water at the boiling point into steam.  Putting even boiling water into your oven will cool it dramatically.  Putting live steam into the oven keeps the cooling effect to a minimum - it takes about half a calorie to heat a gram of steam by 1 degree.

I'd look at ovens on eBay.  I usually see a number of good ovens there.  And I'd also look at the possibility of building a wood fired masonry or mud oven.

Good luck,

Mike

 

demegrad's picture
demegrad

Its pretty cool that your simply looking for people's opinions on this one, instead of facts that would get argued about indefinitely.  Anyway, I would say pass.  Though it would very cool to have such a thing, that alone might be able to sway you, if you are like me, I tend to at least try to shed some economic light on these things.  Another book or two about bread aren't the hardest to justify because if I wanted good bread I'd have to drive an hour round trip to nearest good bakery and spend five bucks a loaf when I got there.  Or I could buy a book to help my understanding and bake the bread right in my home for less than buck.  Now I don't really justify buying a book that way, but it nice to know that it might even out somewhere.  3000 bucks for an oven, thats a lot to try to justify.  I guess you need to think about what you plan to do with it.  can you eat 20 loafs before the grow mold?  I guess you could hand them out and be the most popular person in the neighborhood.

demegrad

http://www.demegrad.blogspot.com

staff of life's picture
staff of life

Okay, so a pizza oven isn't practical or really even possible for your situation. It's fun to dream though. :)

I was thinking about what you might do with the 20 loaves you could make at one time, and a thought came to me: it would be fun to have a community bake night.  Bakers could come each bringing two loaves, one to take home, one to go to a local soup kitchen.  It would fill a need for good food for the hungry, and also for comradery with other bakers.  Now that would be worth a $3000 oven.

SOL

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I agree with the others above. This isn't a very practical way to come by a larger capacity oven. My brother had a similar oven and as has been mentioned above the warm up takes all day with a high flow gas service. It would be the most expensive bread you could bake.

Eric