Is this the world’s fastest pizza?
Our engineers managed to reduce the time it takes to bake a traditional Neapolitan pizza from 90 to 37 seconds, by constructing an oven with an element temperature of 900°C/1652°F. In close collaboration with pizza chef Oskar Montano, we may actually have created the world’s fastest pizza.
Kanthal is characterized by innovation and curiosity. We always try to create new and better heating processes together with our customers, which made us think about… pizza. Yes, bear with us. Our innovative electrical heating technology produces high temperatures, as well as consistent and precise heating. And pizza is both a dish that depends on getting heat exactly right, and which “the best way of doing things” is steeped in tradition and pride. We asked ourselves: can we challenge that, and use our technology to build the world's fastest pizza oven?
Björn Holmstedt – who is one of our most creative R&D engineers and a great pizza enthusiast – decided to find out. If he succeeded, it would be a great way to showcase the power of working together to create true innovation (and actually, pizza is pretty close to home: Sweden’s first pizza restaurant was located close to our Hallstahammar factory).
But how fast is the world’s fastest pizza oven? We did some research, and found that a Neapolitan pizza – considered by many to be the perfect pizza style – is usually baked in around 90 seconds, in around 450°C/800°F. With some types of ovens, this can be pushed down to a minute. We even found someone who had, using Kanthal Coil and lots of wood, managed to bake a pizza in 45 seconds. 45 seconds is pretty fast, so could we really beat that?
“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,” says Björn Holmstedt, Senior R&D Professional at Kanthal.
“As our technology can produce heat up to 1850°C/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.”
To make sure that we didn’t just make a fast pizza, but a fast and truly great one, we contacted one of Sweden’s foremost pizza experts: Oskar Montano, co-owner of celebrated Stockholm pizza restaurant 800 grader (that’s Swedish for degrees). He thought we were crazy – and wanted to join in.
Björn built the oven in our process lab. He used eight porcupine elements in the iron-chromium-aluminium Kanthal® AF alloy, four in the upper part and four in the lower part of the oven, some reflectors, glass plates and cables. The oven is based on the infrared heating principle, using electromagnetic radiation to heat up the object it hits: the pizza in this case.
“I didn’t care so much about what it looked like,” he says. “Basically, we put together a metal box and focused on developing a heating solution which could be efficient enough.”
After intense experimentation and adjustments, he finally had the perfect solution. His last version of the oven produced a great-tasting pizza in no more than 37.55 seconds!
“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,” says Oskar Montano. “No detail is too small. And together with the guys from Kanthal I found a partner that was as stubborn as I am.”
Want to know more about the project or talk to our R&D department to see what we can come up with together?
Please contact Dilip Chandrasekaran, R&D Manager, Kanthal. firstname.lastname@example.org