'wood-ovens' on Serious Eats

Donatella Arpaia's Blinged-Out Pizza Oven

[Photographs: Adam Kuban] This has got to be the shiniest pizza oven in NYC — maybe the world. Slice got a sneak peek at the oven and some of the pizza to come out of it last night at Donatella's, Donatella Arpaia's soon-to-open pizzeria on 19th and Eighth in Chelsea. We'll bring you pizza pics later today, but here are a few shots of the fire-breathing beauty for those of you obsessed with such things. Earlier ... Donatella's PIzza Oven: The Build-Out » Donatella's: The Oven Is Being Cured » Video: Neapolitans Talk Pizza (While Ed Levine Antagonizes Them!) »... More

My Pizza Oven: Sue Wong - Busy, WFO-Obsessed Moms, Represent!

Last week I got an email from today's My Pizza Oven subject, Sue Wong of Phoenix: "I just had my first wood-fired oven installed in my backyard a month ago and have been reading everything I can on pizza, and your blog is my favorite." Well, if Ms. Wong was gunning for a MPO spot, she knew just the right buttons to push. Flattery gets you everywhere, right? Anyway, without further ado, let's put Sue in the hot seat. More

Video: How to Make Pizza in a Makeshift Wood-Fired Brick Oven

Michael O'Malley built this wood-fired brick pizza oven recently on the side of the road in Los Angeles for a workshop through Machine Project. He then walked his students through the pizza-making steps, from shaping dough balls to maneuvering that peel. Since the oven was so scorching hot, the pizza was done in two and a half minutes. Watch the video, after the jump.... More

My Pizza Oven: Mark Graban, Fort Worth, Texas

I'm happy to highlight Mark Graban's pizza oven here on the site today. Mark was actually the first Slice reader to ever contact me and send me links and info about a backyard pizza oven. This must have been back in early 2007 or so. Since then, I've checked in on his blog* periodically to see what he's up to. Without further ado, let's fire up this Q&A! --The Mgmt. [Photographs: Mark Graban] When did you put it in? Our inspiration for the oven was the world-famous (rightfully so) Pizzeria Bianco. My wife and I used to live in Phoenix,... More

My Pizza Oven: Mark Wilkie, Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn

When I put out a call for people to be featured in the My Pizza Oven series, I never thought I'd get a response from someone who lived a mile away from me in Brooklyn. I mean, it's New York City--not that many people have their own yards here, and of those who do, how many are crazy* enough to put in a backyard pizza oven? Nice to see an oven grow here. --The Mgmt. Mark Wilkie's oven--just finished over the weekend. [Photographs: Mark Wilkie] You put a pizza oven in the garden of your Brooklyn home. First question, then:... More

My Pizza Oven: Nick and Robin Gladdis, Paso Robles, California

Last week I blogged up Steve O.'s backyard pizza oven in Wisconsin, asking at the end of that post for photos and stories from any other home-based pizza-makers. Not more than nine hours later, Nick Gladdis's email came in: Adam,I'll bite. Here are some shots of an oven my wife, Robin, and I built, completely, over the course of eight months in 2008. And for the weenies who say they can't, I'm 65 years old. Best thing we ever did, and it complements our olive farm (10 acres with six planted in just less than 1,900 trees). All this... More

My Pizza Oven: Steve O. in Wisconsin

Wisconsin home pizza-maker Steve O. emailed me these pix of his backyard wood-burning pizza oven. So I asked him some questions. Here's a Q&A with him. --The Mgmt. When did you put it in, who put it in; did you hire someone? I put it in a few years ago with the help of a good friend of mine, Corey. We did everything except for the masonary part of the oven. How often do you use it? Probably eight times a month in the warmer weather, but during the colder months, probably only twice a month. I have been known... More

An Evening with Paulie Gee, Pizza Madman

Clockwise from top left: Proofing pans hold dough balls; Paulie Gee, pizza madman; the most popular pie of the night, the Margherita with Sopressata Picante and Parmigiano-Reggiano; Paulie places a pie in the oven; the Bianco with Chopped Fresh Garlic, Pecorino Romano, and Fresh Basil comes steaming from the oven. Regular readers will recognize the name Paulie Gee from his many comments here on Slice and from his extensive collection of pizza photos on Flickr. Paulie is the consummate pizza lover--he eats it, lives it, breathes it, and, this past Saturday, he made it. For me! And for his... More

Alan Scott, Wood-Fired-Oven Builder, 72

The New York Times ran an obit yesterday for Alan Scott, who died on January 26 in Tasmania, Australia. Scott was the driving force behind California-based Ovencrafters, a small company that revolutionized the way backyard brick-oven bakers—and not a small amount of commercial ones—baked their breads and pizza. The Times says: Several thousand amateur bread bakers and thin-crust pizza makers now have backyard brick ovens, many with cathedral-like arches, that were built either by Mr. Scott, with Mr. Scott or according to specifications he laid out with his protégé Daniel Wing in their 1999 book, The Bread Builders. More than... More

Paulie Gee Profiled in 'Pizza Oven Lifestyles' Piece

Photographs courtesy of Paulie Gee If you're a regular reader of Slice, Paulie Gee needs no introduction. For the rest of you heathens who drop by only occasionally, I'll spell it out. Paulie Gee is all over the comments here on Slice, responding with great tips on eating pizza in the NYC area and with sage advice on making pizza at home. GoodEater.org He knows what he's talking about. The guy seems to be at every pizzeria at once, and when he's at home, he's making what looks to be a killer line-up of pies in his backyard wood-burning... More

My Pizza Oven: Dan Curry, Kansas City

Last week on Slice, I showed you some photos of a home-built backyard pizza oven in Kansas City with a promise that I'd try to chat with the builder. Here's the result, a quick interview with its builder-owner. Name: Dan Curry Age: 31 Location: Kansas City Occupation: Lawyer I've been told you used eight different kinds of brick and took seven months to build this oven. True? Just two kinds of bricks, fire bricks, and a few regular bricks. I did use five different kinds of concrete.... More

Kansas City Backyard Pizza Oven

A good friend of mine, Andy G., who lives in Kansas City and who I've known since college days, emailed me last Friday: "I'm going to my friend Dan's place for pizza tomorrow. He built his own backyard oven." So earlier this week, Andy emails me a link to some photos of Dan's oven, along with this info: It was amazing. Some of the best pizza I have ever had. He used a good dough recipe and made a great sauce from scratch. But the oven:He used EIGHT different types of brick.It took him over SEVEN months to build.I... More

Mario Batali's Lakeside Pizza Oven

From last week's New York Times Travel section—Mario Batali and family kickin' it Michigan style. Naturally, the pizza-oven bits caught my eye. (That's Batali's imported wood-burner at right.) Watching Mario Batali shovel a pizza topped with chopped tomatoes, wet chunks of fresh mozzarella and grilled artichokes into his crackling outdoor pizza oven, it is easy to imagine you are in a hill town outside Bologna, perhaps even in Borgo Capanne, where Mr. Batali apprenticed for three years at a trattoria. The surrounding spruce trees and the wind off the lake only add to the air of authenticity, as does the... More

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