A company that specialises in industrial heating and resistance materials has turned its expertise to cooking perfect pizza in under a minute without compromising quality.
A typical home oven will cook a pizza in around ten minutes at 200°C. At a traditional pizzeria, a wood-fired oven can bake a Neapolitan pizza in as little as 90 seconds, at around 430°C. However, a wood-fired oven is typically heated once during the firing stage and temperature is difficult to control.
To demonstrate the efficiency of its heating technologies, Kanthal – part of the Sandvik Group – has taken the art of pizza making to the next level. By implementing its expertise, the company created an electric pizza oven that can cook perfect pizza in just 37 seconds without compromising quality.
Kanthal’s pizza cooker uses electromagnetic radiation to heat up the oven’s contents. The compact element-design, so-called porcupine elements, makes it possible to introduce a large amount of power into a small space. Kanthal’s oven uses eight porcupine elements, which are made from iron-chromium-aluminium Kanthal AF alloy, each running at a temperature of 900°C.
The oven is also said to contain several reflectors to aid the even distribution of heat and ensure a uniform bake.
Kanthal AF is typically used in electric heating elements in industrial furnaces and home appliances, such as in open mica elements for toasters, suspended coil elements in fan heaters and in coils on moulded ceramic fibre for cooking plates with ceramic hobs. In these settings, the alloy operates in temperatures up to 1300°C.
While Kanthal’s oven delivers an unbeatable cooking time, taste was an equally important factor. In partnership with Oskar Montano, co-owner of pizza restaurant 800° in Stockholm, Kanthal R&D engineer Björn Holmstedt, achieved culinary success.
“I always enjoy a challenge and, knowing that heat plays such a crucial part in pizza making, I saw this experiment as a perfect match for Kanthal,” Holmstedt says.
“Because our heating technology can produce heat up to 1850°C, hitting a high temperature wasn’t an issue. However, pizza making is a precise craft that requires care to get the perfect crust, so we needed to take full advantage of our technology to provide a high temperature that we could easily control.”
Beyond perfect pizza, Sandvik says the project demonstrates the company’s commitment to finding new ways of carrying out age-old processes.
“Pizza ovens are not part of our portfolio,” explains Holmstedt. “Yet, it was important for us to showcase everything that advanced heating technology can achieve. For instance, we track 34 installations of furnaces, which we’ve helped transform from gas to electric, and have calculated CO2 savings of over 160,000,000kg so far – a figure that rises almost every second.
“Kanthal may not continue to create record-braking pizza, but we hope that the legacy of the project teaches others about what can be achieved when combining innovative technology with a mindset that says anything is possible.”