Cooking Coal-Fired Pizza
Interest in coal-fired pizza in the U.S. is growing quickly! Both pizza lovers and pizzeria operators are clamoring to recapture the original North American pizza experience, but working with a coal-fired oven isn't for the uninspired. A coal-fired oven requires an exceptional amount of commitment and skill. If you are currently baking and serving pizza out of a coal-fired oven our hat is off to you, and we believe that you will be able to see how our ovens can make your cooking life better.
Many people love the pizza that comes out of coal-fired ovens. Is it the fuel source, or is it the level of commitment that it takes to be successful in front of a coal-fire that makes the difference? We will leave questions like this up to the market but we do know that after you master managing a coal-fire, making and baking a great pizza can seem pretty simple.
Challenges of Coal
A coal fire is much more challenging to start and is more difficult to manage than a wood fire or gas burner. Simply getting anthracite coal burning requires an ignition source in excess of 900 F that is usually provided by a bed for burning charcoal or wood. Dry wood by comparison, burns more quickly and starts burning at around 450 F. Coal has roughly twice the heat/energy potential of wood (13,000 BTUs per pound for coal versus roughly 6,500 BTUs per pound for wood) so accessing and managing its potential energy when and where you need it can be challenging.
Unlike a wood fire, a coal fire will not let you stir its fire or move it around without consequence. Balancing the open flame of a coal fire with the intensity of the coal bed becomes the daily challenge. If you load too much fuel, the intensity of the fire will melt metal along with your pizza. If you load too little fuel, you will find yourself starting all over to recapture the intense heat you lost by letting the coal fire burn too long without attention.
Wood Stone has developed a coal-fired oven that helps answer these challenges and allows you to produce traditional coal-fired pizza as simply as possible. The oven is designed to create an environment that is consistent and reliable for using this traditional fuel source to produce the finest coal-fired pizza.
Materials - Wood Stone's custom ceramic domes and floors are built to withstand the exceptional heat and byproducts of burning coal which break down other coal-fired ovens.
Heat Management - This oven is designed to help users manage heat and floor temperature even during the heaviest cooking rushes. Wood Stone is the only company that has engineered a system that introduces air into the coal bed to assist with combustion along with a thermostatically controlled under-floor infrared heater to assist in achieving consistent floor temperatures for the highest production.
Wood Stone Temperatures are measured 1 inch below the cooking the surface of the floor. This location gives the cook relevant saturated floor temperature versus a surface or air temperature that does not consistently indicate the cooking conditions of the oven.
Ease of Operation - Manually adjustable radiant flame located opposite the coal fire makes the oven more responsive and the oven chamber brighter.
Service and Support - Unlike hand built coal-fired ovens, Wood Stone products come with 24/hour unparalleled customer service and support. With over 9,000 ovens in 70+ countries around the world Wood Stone is the oven leader.
Test Kitchen - Visit the Wood Stone test kitchen to learn first hand about cooking with coal. More than 400 people each year join us in our kitchen - find out why they have found the trip to be so valuable.
What you need to get started:
Safety glasses, fire starter, anthracite (the only Wood Stone approved type of coal), heavy hard-wood (optional), lump wood charcoal, 25 lb scale, large metal bowl, paper grocery bags, wood/coal cart, double compartment ash dolly, ash chute tool, ash shovel, in-line floor brush, natural fiber brush, utility peel, large pizza peels.
Pre-fill 10 lbs of Anthracite into paper grocery bags. This helps keep things clean and permits the cook to judge/evaluate the amount of potential BTUs they are adding. 10lbs of anthracite = 130,000 potential BTUs
Daily Oven Operation:
Call a Wood Stone chef to schedule your test drive by calling (800) 988-8074 or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wood Stone Corporation
1801 W. Bakerview Rd.
Bellingham, WA 98226
Business (800) 988-8074
Fax (360) 650-1166
Reading Anthracite Company - Coal
200 Mahantongo Street
Pottsville, PA 17901
Business (800) 654-7792
Business (570) 622-5150
Fax (570) 622-2612
Lazzari Fuel - Mesquite Lump Charcoal
P.O. Box 34051
San Francisco 94134
Business (800) 242-7265
Fax (415) 468-2298