In the Kitchen
Tools of the Trade
Swedish heating company uses technology to bake Neapolitan pizza in 37.55 seconds
By Canadian Pizza
By Canadian Pizza
Stockholm – Using electric heating, engineers at Swedish industrial heating technology company Kanthal have managed to reduce the time it takes to bake a traditional Neapolitan pizza from 90 to 37.55 seconds.
Neapolitan pizza is usually baked in about 90 seconds in around 840 F, the company said in a news release. As an experiment, the company decided to try to reduce that time drastically while still maintaining quality. To be able to do that, Björn Holmstedt, a senior R&D expert at Kanthal, was faced with the challenge of building an oven that would not only deliver high temperature without burning the pizza, but also be so precise that the whole pizza baked perfectly.
“I always enjoy taking on a tough challenge, and since I know that heat plays such a crucial part in pizza making, I saw this experiment as a perfect match for us. As Kanthal’s technology can produce heat up to 3360 F, high temperature is not a problem. However, pizza making is a precision craft. Therefore, we also needed to leverage our technology to provide a high and precise temperature that we could easily control,” Holmstedt said.
During the experiment, the company baked a Neapolitan pizza in just 37.55 seconds with an oven consisting of eight porcupine elements in the iron-chromium-aluminum alloy Kanthal AF, heated to a temperature of 1650 F.
The pizza was made together with chef Oskar Montano, co-owner of the Stockholm-based artisanal pizza restaurant 800°. From his years living in Italy, Montano knows how the perfect pizza should look and taste.
“I am surprised. I never thought this would be possible. As a chef I’m passionate about creating the perfect pizza and I’m always looking to improve what I do,” Montano said. “No detail is too small. Björn from Kanthal shared this ambition, and we have worked closely together dedicated to succeed.”
Kanthal, part of Sandvik group, specializes in industrial heating, providing a wide variety of industries with sustainable heating products and services.
“This experiment stands as proof that together with our customers, we can come up with innovative solutions to solve most challenges. We have had some of our partnerships for over 20 years and we work closely with our customers as we develop our products and services. The pizza oven demonstrates how Kanthal’s technology and innovative thinking can contribute to any industry,” said Dilip Chandrasekaran, head of R&D.
For those interested in the technology, here are more details:
- The oven is built on the infrared heating principle, meaning that it uses electromagnetic radiation to heat up the object it hits.
- In addition to the electromagnetic radiation, there are reflectors that help to spread the heat.
- The oven has eight porcupine elements in the iron-chromium-aluminum alloy Kanthal AF, four in the upper part and four in the lower part of the oven. The element temperature is 1650 F.
- The Kanthal AF wire can be used at temperatures up to 2400 F.
- Kanthal AF alloy was chosen for its exceptional shape stability at high temperatures together with very good oxidizing qualities.
- The porcupine design of the spiral element provides good temperature uniformity as the radiant heat together with the larger surface of the coil contributes to a better performance of the elements.