Portable Pizza Oven http://portablepizzaoven.net the project for ubiquitous woodfired pizza Wed, 19 Oct 2016 23:15:05 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.7.1 en hourly 1 RoccBox - Nailing Portability http://portablepizzaoven.net/2016/10/roccbox-nailing-portability/ http://portablepizzaoven.net/2016/10/roccbox-nailing-portability/#comments Wed, 19 Oct 2016 23:15:05 +0000 admin http://portablepizzaoven.net/?p=312

Weighing in at a highly transportable 20kg check out this radical and awesome new design for a modern wood fired pizza.
I’m so impressed with the way RoccBox has designed this no compromise product.
I’ve been thinking about how to nail lightness and portability, but these guys have blown me away with the innovation.
The wood burning module is genius and having a gas back option is a great idea.
At 399 quid, it seems very well priced. Sadly they don’t yet deliver to AU, but I’ve ordered one in the UK and hope to pick this up in person when I’m there in March.

More soon!

Version 2 - Portable Pizza Oven http://portablepizzaoven.net/2013/10/version-2-portable-pizza-oven/ http://portablepizzaoven.net/2013/10/version-2-portable-pizza-oven/#comments Sun, 06 Oct 2013 03:53:16 +0000 admin http://portablepizzaoven.net/?p=297 pizza-oven-2

I moved house about 2 years ago and sadly version one of the oven didn’t turn out to be quite as portable as I’d hoped.

But that’s another story.

The remains of the wooden frame sat outside in the elements for a couple of years until finally the resurrection of the oven reached the top of the priority list.

I simply couldn’t go another summer without me oven. So here it is.

You can see the new timber of the frame and this time I opted for a fire-brick door and did a thick ceramic blanket layer between the heat-face and the vermiculite-concrete outer render.

The result?

I’m stoked. The oven has way more thermal mass being 20 or 30% bigger than the last one so takes about an hour and 30 minutes to get up to temp. But it cooks brilliantly!

2 More Clues to perfect Home Made Pizza http://portablepizzaoven.net/2011/09/2-more-clues-to-perfect-home-made-pizza/ http://portablepizzaoven.net/2011/09/2-more-clues-to-perfect-home-made-pizza/#comments Tue, 20 Sep 2011 23:36:35 +0000 admin http://portablepizzaoven.net/?p=293 Yes, I can now say with absolute confidence that:

1. Resting dough overnight improves it. It’s easier to handle and stretch, it cooks better (more even, less burns). That’s why it seems that just about any Pizzaola with his salt preps dough the night before.

2. Semolina flour added at about 7% of the flour weight adds a delightful chewiness to the dough.

Dough well people.

New York Times: rest the dough http://portablepizzaoven.net/2010/05/new-york-times-rest-the-dough/ http://portablepizzaoven.net/2010/05/new-york-times-rest-the-dough/#comments Thu, 20 May 2010 08:08:37 +0000 admin http://portablepizzaoven.net/?p=280 screen-shot-2010-05-20-at-60736-pmSuper article from New York Times via @gredge .
Also be sure to check out the additional photos.
Mind racing, so many possibilities opened up by this fantastic piece of intelligence.
As I’ve said before, the perfect home made pizza requires a perfect-storm-esque alignment of variables…of Titanic proportions. Sorry, carried away by the metaphor. I must say that I tend to use my dough straight away - which in reality means it works for about an hour. Could this be a new clue, jealously guarded by generations of Pizzaola? I’ll be certain to test this over the weekend and report back. @gredge can you do the same?

Another experiment? Look out for Robin da Hood at http://robindahood.com.au

Portable Wood-Fired Pizza …Goodness in Seattle http://portablepizzaoven.net/2010/03/portable-goodness/ http://portablepizzaoven.net/2010/03/portable-goodness/#comments Sun, 28 Mar 2010 10:01:30 +0000 admin http://portablepizzaoven.net/?p=274

Nice piece this, featuring the Veraci portable pizza trailer I’ve discussed before. Owner Marshall Jett explains what’s going on inside the oven - confirming my 3 types of heat theory.

And the pizzas? Looking totally awesome guys - I wonder what they cost?

Sydney’s 10 best missed me out… but they do look good http://portablepizzaoven.net/2010/03/sydneys-10-best-missed-me-out-but-they-do-look-good/ http://portablepizzaoven.net/2010/03/sydneys-10-best-missed-me-out-but-they-do-look-good/#comments Fri, 26 Mar 2010 02:13:18 +0000 admin http://portablepizzaoven.net/?p=270 screen-shot-2010-03-26-at-10726-pm

So the Sydney morning Herald have spoken… I like.

Might invite the journo around for a homer, sometime soon.
Pizza’s from the portable oven may not be QUITE as good, but let me tell you… it’s damn close!

Pizza dough driving the latest motors http://portablepizzaoven.net/2010/01/pizza-dough-driving-the-latest-motors/ http://portablepizzaoven.net/2010/01/pizza-dough-driving-the-latest-motors/#comments Sun, 17 Jan 2010 07:23:01 +0000 admin http://portablepizzaoven.net/?p=267 Sorry, another not quite so relevant post, but hey, being a techie media guy in my day job I couldn’t resist this clever use of the much loved pizza to drive interest in, why yes of course how obvious? Nano-motor technology. Note the pizza toss technique. Most impressive. At the moment, I still use a rolling pin, at least to get the damn thing started anyway.

Push-Biked Portland Pizza http://portablepizzaoven.net/2009/10/push-biked-portland-pizza/ http://portablepizzaoven.net/2009/10/push-biked-portland-pizza/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 00:43:35 +0000 admin http://portablepizzaoven.net/?p=263 Not strictly your portable wood-fired oven this one, but it’s a winner in so many other ways!

Love your work guys. Check out the article on this amazing contraption here.


Better Homes and Gardens - New Ep with Woodfired Pizza oven http://portablepizzaoven.net/2009/09/better-homes-and-gardens-new-ep-with-woodfired-pizza-oven/ http://portablepizzaoven.net/2009/09/better-homes-and-gardens-new-ep-with-woodfired-pizza-oven/#comments Sun, 13 Sep 2009 05:09:31 +0000 admin http://portablepizzaoven.net/?p=246 picture-11

I noticed that there’s a new episode of Better Homes and Gardens (Ep 32) which features Jason doing the business again - this time with an even easier approach. Looks like a kitset - retailing at AU$900. The whole approach looked pretty no-fuss and quick, but then with other materials: Hebel and adhesive etc etc I bet you’re talking $1,200+ Will keep and eye open on whether more details appear. The original show was definitely inspiration for my oven

Trying a butterfly lamb roast in the oven tonight.

7 rules for the perfect home-made pizza http://portablepizzaoven.net/2009/09/7-rules-for-the-perfect-home-made-pizza/ http://portablepizzaoven.net/2009/09/7-rules-for-the-perfect-home-made-pizza/#comments Wed, 09 Sep 2009 23:37:24 +0000 admin http://portablepizzaoven.net/?p=205 red-goodeness

(Revised post on 21/12/11, 06/10/13, 11/10/13)

Just like the perfect storm, perfect home-made pizza requires just the right set of variables to align. I haven’t got there yet - but one day I will… maybe the answer’s simple: a trip to Italy is needed.

Anyway, I’ve been playing with a list and plan to keep refining this over the next few years until such time as it’s perfect!

1. Go Woodfired!
Surprise surprise. I tried for 10 years with a conventional oven only to learn that a clay or brick oven at twice that temperature is the only way to go. Do this one thing and you will get a 500% improvement in your pizza.

2. Fresh is the best - especially the tomato. sauce…
Kinda speaks for itself - dough, sauce, cheese, toppings - buy fresh, prepare just before use. Make your dough and sauce from scratch - it’s easy and the pay-off is huge. Both sauce and rolled out bases will freeze (my sauce recipe is great for pasta too), but they are never as good as fresh. I know I said the sauce freezes well before, its fine, but just, well not perfect - and that’s what we’re after here.

- Sauce perfection. When tomatoes are in season and cheap then try this. Grab a few Kilos of tomatoes (as many as you can afford as you’ll be using this sauce for lots of other things and it will freeze well)… Blanche the tomatoes and plunge into cold water in the sink. Remove the skins. Then using your finger tips puncture the seed chambers and squeeze out the seeds - you only want the flesh.

Chuck a good few glugs of olive oil into a big saucepan and add a whole clove of chopped garlic. Sizzle the garlic for a few seconds (don’t brown it or burn it) then chuck in the tomatoes along with a couple of whole sprigs of Basil. Season well and simmer for about an hour. What you’re aiming for is a heavily reduced sauce - keep going to your own taste. When you’re happy, run a wand through the sauce just to break up some of the stringy bits… as these can cause a bit of mouth burn if you run into one mid-ravenous scoff later on! Let it cool and you’re good to go.

I find that fresh tomatoes generally give a lighter, fresher sauce which we like. Also consider adding a bunch of cherry tomatoes if they’re on special or cheap - they add a deeper flavour.

- Sauce near perfection… repeat as above but using good italian tinned tomatoes instead - I find around 3 cans gives enough sauce for 6-8 pizzas. This sauce is richer and can be a bit sweeter.

Some people do add a little sugar to the sauce. In Italy I gather that this is frowned on! If you don’t believe me (and want a good laugh) read the comments here.

3. Topping sympathy
Simple one this, don’t overdo it. If you’re making thin crust pizza (the only option imho) you don’t need handsfull of mozzarella and buckets of toppings - go easy.

4. Heat - Touch, Feel & Breathe
My hypothesis is that there are 3 kinds of heat happening in a pizza oven. Now these probably won’t stand up to any scrutiny by a Physics teacher but here’s my commonsense thinking…

Firstly conductive heat - the dough in contact with the oven - and you ought to cook directly on the oven floor for the right crispiness.
Secondly ambient heat - the air temperature;
Thirdly the radiant heat - created by the wood fire itself (embers and flames).

In an open Pizza Oven (ie with no door) you need a well soaked (fully heated up) oven - each will be different - for mine it’s about an hour, hour and a half; you need it hot hot hot, and you need to keep a fire going - with flames. You need to get these 3 heat types working well together for perfect pizza and I’ve found this tricky. Trial and error is the only way.

If the oven floor is too hot you’ll burn the base and undercook the top (probably most common scenario this one). If this is the case you can cook using a metal heat deflector (a pizza tray will do the trick) for all or part of the 2-3 minutes in the oven. Also if the topping is a bit underdone, pick up the pie on your paddle and hold it up in the top part of the oven for 10 or 15 seconds - this is the hottest part and will toast the top if you need it.

5. Dough - Wet, Rest  & Semolina
I like my dough slighty wet to the touch. You can flour it up to stop it sticking. My unproven theory on this apart from the fact that it’s easier to roll is that it creates more steam, more quickly when it hits the floor of the searing oven. I’ve read that about 62% water should be added - for 500 grams thats 310ml water - and it seems about right. This creates that lovely crispy outside and soft inside.

For the dough, I use Italian Tip 00 flour that is usually labelled for pizza. Note - the 00 relates to the fineness of the flour - not how strong it is (ie how much protein or gluten it contains). Go here for a more in depth explanation. So you need 11-12% flour i.e. flour clearly indicated for bread or pizza. If you’re feeling especially keen then try and find this flour - a brand called Caputo. My family is convinced this makes the very best bases we’ve tasted (and they’re the best critics of pizza I know).

Ok, so dough is just tepid water, yeast, flour and salt. Mix it, get it on the bench and knead it well, then…Rest the dough for as long as you can, ideally overnight - it makes it more plastic and stretchy without tearing (yes you can get impressive throwing action when you rest the dough) and it seems less likely to burn. The only way that a Pizzaiola can do this to dough is because it has rested overnight. If you must use your dough quickly it will still work - just use warm water to get the yeast going quickly. I just use standard dried bread yeast from the supermarket.

The last dough inspiration (thanks to Dave from Perth) is to add about 7% Semolia - it REALLY works too - if you like that lovely crunchy AND chewy consistency when cooked. I also use semolina to ‘flour-up’ the pizza paddle as the pie heads into the oven. If yo don’t believe me, then make a batch of dough with and without it. It really is quite different!

Oh, and 500g of flour will give you 4 nice thin crust pizzas.

6. Post Oven Trimmings
Can add a lot - a sprinkle of freshly ripped basil or rocket, prosciutto, a twist of pepper. If you can resist diving straight in, which is tough - let me tell you, a lot of value can be added at this point.

7. Scoff Immediately
Not one that troubles my household this one.
From table to hand to mouth within two minutes - the only way. It’s why for me delivery pizza - even gourmet thin crust, never lives up to expectations (apart from costing three times what it does at home).

That’s it for now - any feedback greatly appreciated, tell me what you think makes a perfect pizza - I want this list to get better!