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Beech Ovens Intranet

Creative Cooking

Get creative and use your Beech Ovens Stone Hearth Oven, Tandoor, Char Grill, Rotisserie, Churrasco, Duck Oven and Electric Bread Oven to cook a versatile menu which will delight your guests.

If you have an existing oven or are considering the purchase of a stone hearth oven, keep in mind that they aren't only for pizza. These ovens are surprisingly versatile and full of potential. Dating back thousands of years, these ovens have been used to roast and bake all kinds of foods, just like the ovens in your home stoves. With just a little imagination any cook can create a whole menu prepared in a stone hearth oven.

Cooking in a Stone Hearth oven is in essence very similar to cooking in your own oven, however there are some very important differences. The nature of the oven's masonry creates an intense, dry heat that cooks much more quickly than any standard oven and with the addition of wood or wood-chips; a rich and delicious smokey wood flavour permeates anything being cooked in the oven.

Unlike some specific types ovens the Beech Oven offers so much versatility to your menu creation. The great cooking characteristics of these ovens have attracted many chefs who use them in their kitchens without ever cooking a single pizza. They have discovered the incomparable flavour and texture imparted to their dishes by these ovens. It can replace your Salamander, cook top, grill, griddle, oven, pizza oven, bread oven, smoker and plate warmer. Now that your interest has been sparked, let's explore the wide variety of cooking that can be experienced in a Beech Oven.

Sautéing By keeping some black iron pans in the oven you can reheat blanched vegetables & wilt spinach in a little oil or butter as fresh side dish.

Smoking Before the oven is lit a small amount of smoldering woodchips can be placed in the oven and the food placed in for a cold smoke. For hot smoking, add some woodchips to the oven whilst hot. They will soon start to smoke and impart a wonderful smoky flavour that only the Beech Oven can give.

Dehydrating Your oven to be productive even when the gas or the wood fire has been extinguished. Why not try some semi-dried tomatoes, aubergine/eggplant or drying capsicums overnight for homemade paprika seasoning.

Oven Roasting
By using a large roasting pan you can achieve the ultimate in comfort food, a delicious roast with crispy potatoes and roast vegetables that will delight your customers.

Braising
What a way to look after the food cost, using lesser cuts of meat, slowly cooked in braising liquor and served directly from the oven. Providing yet another dimension of flavours & textures to the diners.

Baking In the hours before service use the oven at a moderate temperature to bake fresh breads. The aroma will fill the kitchen and restaurant with the delicious sent. All of these methods provide a real flexibility to your Stone Hearth oven. For further information about cooking pizzas visit Pizza Cooking or contact us for a free cooking video.



       



Menu Ideas

You might be mistaken for thinking that you can only produce pizza from a stone hearth oven, oh how wrong that could be. Unlike some type specific ovens the Beech Oven offers so much versatility to your menu creation. Anyone who has used a stone hearth oven knows that it can be a multi skilled cooking appliance.

It can replace your Salamander, cook top, grill, griddle, oven, pizza oven, bread oven, smoker and plate warmer.

Appetizers - All kinds of breads, such as rolls, focaccia and breadsticks can be achieved with an adjustment to the temperature. Baked Oyster with Rocket Pesto; Calamari & Herb Salad; Whole Roasted Portobello Mushrooms & Persian Fetta, or Tomato, Olive & Sage Tart.

Seafood - You can make seafood dishes such as Moules Marinière, Grilled Prawn Bruschetta and Rocket Pesto, Prawns with Citrus Infusion and even Oven Roasted Bouillabaisse for something really different.

Meats & Poultry - Beech ovens offer the only purpose built in oven char-grill-with 2 (25mj) gas burners underneath- located in the oven cavity giving double the cooking power to grill food in minutes. choice cuts of meat such as New York Sirloin, Lamb Fillets or Pork Cutlets are lusciously grilled to perfection.

The oven is also capable of producing a traditional Cassoulet simmered in a ceramic pot, a roasted Duck taking on a mouthwatering golden hue or a sautéing pan with Pumpkin and Sage Gnocchi to name but a few examples.

Pasta - Many popular pasta dishes such as Lasagne can be baked in the oven while other favourites such as ravioli, cannelloni, and tortellini can be portioned into individual servings, placed into ceramic oven proof dishes and finished in oven.

Vegetables - By keeping some black iron pans in the oven you can reheat blanched vegetables & wilt spinach in a little oil or butter as fresh side dish. Alternatively you can roast or sauté any variety of vegetables.

Desserts - Fruit pies, Apple and Raspberry Crumble, Poached Pear in red wine, dessert pizzas, baked fruit gratins and bread pudding are all winners served hot from the Stone Hearth oven.

Operational Advice

Beech Stone Hearth ovens use the great heat stored in their unique refractory domed roof and brick floor to cook pizza and other foods very quickly. It is the thermal mass which sets Beech Ovens apart from other commercial pizza ovens or conveyor/roller (Impinger) grill/ovens.

   
During heating of the oven, a large amount of heat can be stored in the concrete walls and roof of the oven; this is referred to as the "thermal mass".
This heat then radiates back into the oven floor, giving greater heat efficiency during operation of the oven and eliminating the requirement for an underfloor burner.

Greater thermal mass = A more heat efficient oven!

Once chefs become familiar with these ovens, they find them incredibly versatile and are able to cook a wide variety of foods at different times of the day.
Equipment

How can you get more out of your Stone Hearth oven? Surprisingly, it doesn't take a whole lot of additional equipment.

Black iron pans are potentially the most useful for cooking vegetables, meat and fish. Ovenproof baking dishes of various sizes work best for cooking and serving hot appetizers. These can also double as attractive serving plates for specialty items such as ethnic dishes of the particular region the oven is sited in. Obviously the service of such hot dishes direct to the customer has to be tempered with caution because they will be very hot.

Heavy duty brass brushes are used to keep the floor of the oven clear of debris, stainless steel shovels and rakes are needed if you are burning wood within the cooking chamber, allowing the moving and disposal of the coals and ash.
Labour

The biggest drawback for general cooking in a Stone Hearth oven is that it requires skilled labour. Cooking meat and fish requires more sensitivity and skill than does pizza. Still, easy-to-cook items, such as vegetables, appetisers, baked pastas and desserts are all within the scope of accomplished Stone Hearth oven pizza cooks and it probably won't take much to train them to cook the more specialised items.
Expand Your Menu & Your Profit

How would broadening your Stone Hearth oven's repertoire affect your operation? That depends upon the percentage of pizza on your total menu. If pizza accounts for only 10% to 25% of sales and you are only using the oven for pizza, then you are definitely under utilising your oven's potential. Adding some items to the Stone Hearth oven in your operation would definitely make much more efficient use of that piece of equipment and could increase the return on your investment, with added choice comes more customer satisfaction and you are also using your labor to its maximum potential. However, if 50% to 75% of your sales come from pizza, then you might even consider adding a second oven.

If, however, your operation is at it's full capacity, then perhaps just adding one or two signature items, such as baked appetizer, pasta or even a dessert will be just about all you can squeeze in. More often than not, many of these ovens are under utilized and experimenting with adding different dishes will certainly make your bottom line more attractive. For example, let's say that the outlet prepares only 50 or so pizzas per evening. If you are open from 5 until 10 in the evening, that averages out to 10 pizzas per hour, in this time they could be using the oven for extra entrees, vegetables, baked pastas, roasted meats or desserts which could take the pressure off some other part of the operation and add extra profit all out of the same piece of equipment, while still turning out 50 or so pizzas per night.. Here is where diversifying items at the Stone Hearth station will come in handy.

Menu design is also a critical factor these days and if the menu is designed to take advantage of your equipment and your labor force is not being pushed to their limit then the overall effect will be to increase profits through efficiency & lower staff turnover. It's plain to see how easy it is to increase the productivity out of a Stone Hearth oven. Try it. You won't be disappointed.

Creative Cooking Gallery
Bacon cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenBaked chicken and onion cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenBaked pears cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenSauted chicken cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenSauted chicken cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenSauted chicken cooked in a Beech stone hearth oven
Bread and butter pudding cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenContinental breakfast cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenContinental breakfast cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenContinental breakfast cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenContinental breakfast cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenFried eggs cooked in a Beech stone hearth oven
Fried eggs cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenGarlic bread cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenGarlic bread cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenGrilled salmon cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenHoney soy chicken cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenHoney soy chicken cooked in a Beech stone hearth oven
Marinated cuisine cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenMarinated cuisine cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenMarinated fish cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenPasta bake cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenPesto & tomato based pizzas cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenPesto & tomato based pizzas cooked in a Beech stone hearth oven
Calzone cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenRisotto cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenRoast lamb cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenRoast lamb cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenRoast potato and eggplant cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenRoasted tomatoes cooked in a Beech stone hearth oven
Sausages cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenShish kebabs cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenSmoked salmon and vegetables cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenSpare ribs cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenSteak cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenSteak cooked in a Beech stone hearth oven
Stir fry cooked in a Beech stone hearth ovenCooking in a Beech stone hearth ovenCooking in a Beech stone hearth ovenCooking in a Beech stone hearth ovenWood fired pizzas cooked in a Beech stone hearth oven