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  • Wood fired restaurant ovens. True or not?

    I live in NY about 30 miles north of Manhattan. I grew up in NYC and am very familiar with WFO and typical gas pizza ovens. One thing i realized is almost all WFO pizza restaurants that i've been to are not true WFO. These WFO pizzeria/restaurants fuel their ovens with wood that is mainly for show and and their main source of fire is from gas. I understand that it's a business and they have to crank out pies but, in my opinion, its not real WFO because the taste is not true like using all wood.

  • #2
    Re: Wood fired restaurant ovens. True or not?

    The wood lends no flavor to pizza. Ash has no flavor, and there is no smoke in an oven at operating temps. Pizza don't care what provides the heat.

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    • #3
      Re: Wood fired restaurant ovens. True or not?

      So those restaurants are saying wood fired? I've seen examples like you mentioned,except they call them 'Brick oven'. Either way, it's not honest.
      Old World Stone & Garden

      Current WFO build - Dry Stone Base & Gothic Vault

      When we build, let us think that we build for ever.
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      • #4
        Re: Wood fired restaurant ovens. True or not?

        The ones I have seen are gas assist. There is a wood fire in the oven, but most of the BTU's are generated by gas.

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        • #5
          Re: Wood fired restaurant ovens. True or not?

          TScarborough, You don't think there is a flavor difference between using gas or wood? I've tasted pizza and other food in a true WFO and wood fired with gas assist and i can taste a difference between them. The same way i taste a gas barbeque vs. barbeque using all charcoal or all wood.

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          • #6
            Re: Wood fired restaurant ovens. True or not?

            Stonecutter, Yes these pizzerias call them wood fired brick oven or wood burning brick oven and some say authentic wood fire brick oven.

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            • #7
              Re: Wood fired restaurant ovens. True or not?

              Gas VS charcoal in a BBQ is not nearly the same thing as a WFO. You are tasting the difference in time spent cooking, not the fuel. There is nothing in a WFO that adds any flavor to the pizza, other than the speed with which it cooks.

              Sorry, but that is the way it is.

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              • #8
                Re: Wood fired restaurant ovens. True or not?

                Originally posted by Tscarborough View Post
                There is nothing in a WFO that adds any flavor to the pizza, other than the speed with which it cooks.

                Sorry, but that is the way it is.
                Interesting, I always avoided using pine because of all the soot that flies around the oven. I just assumed that it would be bad if it landed on the pizza.
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                • #9
                  Re: Wood fired restaurant ovens. True or not?

                  Pine is fine to use to heat up the oven, but for the rolling flame while cooking, it is not optimal, although if you are cooking at 900+ degrees it will not matter in the least.

                  I use mesquite sometimes when I have to and it gives a very distinct flavor when grilling or BBQing, but adds nothing to the taste of pizza even when burning on the side fire.

                  You could possibly MAKE smoke and add flavor to the pizza, but it would be hard to do at temps above 5-600 degrees.
                  Last edited by Tscarborough; 12-25-2014, 08:17 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Wood fired restaurant ovens. True or not?

                    Sure you could do it that way, just load the coal pile with some wood...you'll get smoke for a little while. Then you have a nuclear level fire in there.

                    I've been fortunate to have access to all kinds of wood. In New England, I used mainly maple but I also had black cherry, apple and oak. Down here in SC, I've got oak and pecan. Pecan makes some of the best coal piles I've seen. None of the wood imparted any flavor at all. And as a point if reference, any resinous wood is going to burn hot and fast, but also pop embers onto your food.
                    Old World Stone & Garden

                    Current WFO build - Dry Stone Base & Gothic Vault

                    When we build, let us think that we build for ever.
                    John Ruskin

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                    • #11
                      Re: Wood fired restaurant ovens. True or not?

                      TScarborough, If i understand correctly; if I use gas to fuel the fire in my brick oven and eliminate the use of wood the results would be the same when making pizza at 900F?

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                      • #12
                        Re: Wood fired restaurant ovens. True or not?

                        Originally posted by AJR View Post
                        TScarborough, If i understand correctly; if I use gas to fuel the fire in my brick oven and eliminate the use of wood the results would be the same when making pizza at 900F?
                        If you could get gas to heat an oven to 900F. I don't think a gas-fired oven will get as hot as a WFO. Just not enough BTU. Propane would get you a bit hotter, but still not as hot as a WFO.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Wood fired restaurant ovens. True or not?

                          Originally posted by deejayoh View Post
                          If you could get gas to heat an oven to 900F. I don't think a gas-fired oven will get as hot as a WFO. Just not enough BTU. Propane would get you a bit hotter, but still not as hot as a WFO.
                          My gas fired kiln, which is based on a WFO design easily gets to 900F. I fired it recently to over 1900 F and had to hold it back so the wares inside were not heated too quickly. It used around 8kg of gas.

                          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f43/...tml#post123189

                          Our local WFO restaurant which has a WFO and does very good pizzas has an oven with a gas burner, but they had trouble with their burner (the flame failure device I'd guess) and now only use wood exclusively. You are right Dennis there is way more BTU available in wood, but the atmosphere (fuel to air ratio in the chamber) is much harder to control with wood.
                          Last edited by david s; 12-26-2014, 10:41 AM. Reason: Added link
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                          • #14
                            Re: Wood fired restaurant ovens. True or not?

                            You can heat a brick oven to 900+ degrees with gas alone, and the pizza will taste exactly the same.

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                            • #15
                              I converted my WFO to gas and love it. I used wood for over a year before I converted to gas and cannot tell any difference in taste. I can get my oven to 825 degrees in about an hour. The big difference is, I have more control. And use my oven twice as much because it's easy to use and no cleanup.
                              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/memb...ld-mexico.html

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