Posted by: Al Contarino | April 15, 2013

Made in USA is Still Going Strong at KettlePizza

I haven’t posted in a long while to our blog and there are so many things to talk about.  First, the Made in USA effort is successful and going strong.  Over the past year we have increased our production parts from 90% to 96% American Made.  Everything from our raw steel and wood to our nuts and bolts are now Made in USA – something we are very, very proud of.

As we have grown we have made numerous “running changes” to our products.  These improvements would have been impossible to make if we were sourcing our products from China.  When you buy from China you usually need to buy in large volumes.  Then you are stuck with that amount of product in your warehouse and it is very difficult to make changes because you would have to scrap the product sitting in inventory.  We work differently using lean manufacturing techniques.  Our goal is to never have more than a couple weeks worth of inventory in our warehouse.  This makes it very easy to make running changes to our product line.

Export count: 40+ countries shipped to!  Another thing we are very proud of!  We have shipped our products from New Zealand to Thailand to Chile.  As our company grows, we are looking to increase our worldwide presence though distribution partners and dealers.

New products: We have added a number of new products to the line.  The most popular of which is the KettlePizza Prograte and Tombstone combination kit.  This product allows quick and easy re-stoking of your grill and allows higher dome temperatures via an elevated rear firebox.  It is very popular with the hardcore pizza foodies!  Everything including the steel, labor and cordierite stone are all American Made.  More updates soon!

KettlePizza with Prograte Tombstone Combo

KettlePizza with Prograte Tombstone Combo

We have had some pressure from the serious pizza foodies to develop a new pizza stone/grate combination.  This combo can be used on the top and bottom KettlePizza standoffs.  The stone is larger, thicker and “tombstone” shaped allowing more pizza cooking surface on the bottom as well as a refractory ceiling on the top.  The grates are 304 grade stainless steel and provide access points on the sides and rear for restoking.  The stones are made of cordierite for extreme temperatures.  Delivery is expected to be September 2012.  As always this product is proudly Made in USA.  More details to come!

Kettle Pizza, KettlePizza

KettlePizza Pro Stone Sneak Peak – Available September 2012

Posted by: Al Contarino | July 24, 2012

Our Quest for Made in USA Products – Still Going Strong!

We just dropped another Made in China vendor.  Our wooden pizza peels are now proudly made in Wisconsin USA!  We may not be able to meet the labor rates for Chinese workers but we can make that up with efficiency and automation.  Our peels are now made on a CNC router where a computer driven router cuts out each pizza peel exactly the same.  Our cost is a little bit more than the Chinese peels but that is fine with us if it creates a few more American jobs.  That is just doing our part for America.

Cutting Pizza Peels on a CNC Router

Cutting Pizza Peels on a CNC Router

Posted by: Al Contarino | November 28, 2011

Moving Into Our New Manufacturing Center

As we have grown, we have had growing pains.  The biggest pain is that we had manufacturing and various operations running in different locations.  We have just completed our lease and we are in the process of building a cutting edge manufacturing and distribution center.  Looking forward to a great 2012!

Many people have dreams of having a real brick or stone pizza oven in their back yard.  I can’t blame them!  Some people even want to build their own, thinking it would be a fun project.  I get calls from these people often who start these projects and then can’t find the time to finish.  They find the KettlePizza is a way to get started with an inexpensive pizza oven.  This post is to give people a comparison of the KettlePizza and a traditional pizza oven.

Cost:
A 22.5″ KettlePizza with a Weber Kettle Grill will cost you between $180.00 and $500 depending on the setup that you choose.  A traditional pizza oven will most likely costs at least $1000 and that is if you do the work yourself.  If you have it installed expect $2500-5000.

Mobility:  You can move a KettlePizza & Weber combo wherever you want as it is on wheels.  With a weight between 50 and 100 pounds you can transport it easily as well.  A traditional pizza oven will be set in place and is not movable.

Startup Time:  The KettlePizza takes about 20 minutes to get the charcoal/hardwood to temperature.  Add another 20 minutes if you are using a stone.  Most traditional pizza ovens take at least 1 1/2 hours to get to temperature.

Flexibility:  Removing the KettlePizza insert takes about 30 seconds and you are left with a kettle grill.  Better yet, keep it on and cook other food types using the double stack method (see video below).  Traditional pizza ovens are great for cooking other foods as well once you get used to them.

In summary, a traditional pizza oven is awesome as long as you have the money, space, and time  to use it.  For those who don’t, the KettlePizza may be a nice alternative for you.  And don’t forget, we make the KettlePizza entirely in the USA.  People interested in purchasing can go to Amazon.com to see our offering.

 

Note:   For more information on traditional pizza ovens we recommend FornoBravo.com as a very informative website.

Posted by: Al Contarino | August 3, 2011

KettlePizza Announces Worldwide Shipping Through Amazon.com

This week KettlePizza, a division of AFC-Lancer1, announced that they will expand their shipments worldwide through Amazon.com.  So far the company has shipped to 15 countries including Australia, Thailand, UK, New Zealand and Greece.  Even through shipping is somewhat costly, people are willing to pay the amount so they can receive a high quality, Made in USA product.  “In the near future we hope to have a network of qualified international distributors so that we can lower shipping costs through volume ordering.  I look forward to getting our products into more peoples’ hands around the world!” said Al Contarino, the KettlePizza inventor.

Companies interested in becoming distributors of KettlePizza can contact George Peters at george@afclancer1.com.

Posted by: Al Contarino | July 25, 2011

KettlePizza + 4th of July = Tasty Pizza and a Happy Family!

I wanted to pass along an email I recently received by one of my customers:

“Dear Al, I just wanted to tell you how happy we are with the KettlePizza product that we recently purchased.  This thing is great!  We used it on 4th of July weekend at a family reunion on Cape Cod, MA.  It took us a couple times to get the heat just right – it would helped if we read the instructions first :-) .  After that we had a steady stream of great tasting pizzas.  The family loved them and we all had lots of fun.  They were also happily suprised to hear that the product is Made in USA – great suprise for Independence Day!  Thanks again and we wish you luck with the business!”  Marissa T.  Boston, MA

Click this link for pictures from the event 

KettlePizza

KettllePizza on the 4th of July

Posted by: Al Contarino | June 24, 2011

New Product Announcement – KettlePizza Spinners

The days of using curtain rods, sticks, peels or spatulas to turn your pizza during the cooking process are over!  KettlePizza Spinners allow you to easily spin pizzas as they are cooking inside the KettlePizza oven.  Also great for popping the cheese bubbles as a pizza cooks.  Two stainless steel spinners are included in each set.  Stainless steel construction for durability and soft vinyl handles facilitate easy handling.  Made in USA.  Model number KPS-10, retail price $19.95.  Currently available on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0057XRORW

KettlePizza Spinners

KettlePizza Spinners - Allow Easy Spinning of Pizza During Cooking

KettlePizza Spinners 2

KettlePizza Spinners and the KettlePizza 26.75

Posted by: Al Contarino | June 12, 2011

Laser Machining the KettlePizza

In this video we visit the manufacturing operation where the KettlePizza stainless steel is cut.  Scott (the owner of the machine shop) has recently purchased a 4000 Watt Mitsubishi laser machining center.  This thing is really the latest and greatest for laser cutting stainless steel.  The cuts are fast and leave no sharp edges.  It’s also pretty cool to watch.  Scott’s business is located in New Hampshire – keeping our product “Made in USA”!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KEuLd3Ncqs

Posted by: Al Contarino | June 1, 2011

KettlePizza Double Layer Baking System

This weekend I got the chance to do some cooking with the KettlePizza and the Weber Performer.  I used the special two grate direct grilling technique that you can only do with a KettlePizza insert.  Using this technique I was able to cook the meats on the lower level while cooking the corn and potatoes on the upper level inside the dome.  Basically you double the cooking area from 363 sq inches to 726 square inches.  Keeping the dome on throughout the cooking process gives you super moist food.  The food came out great and the family was happy!  Here are some pictures:

Chicken in the Skillet, Veggies in the Foil. The Skillet is Ready To Go into the KettlePizza

Double Grate on the KettlePizza

Double Grate on the KettlePizza

Chicken and Sweet Potatoes in the Skillet

Chicken and Sweet Potatoes in the Skillet

 

Cooked Perfectly in the KettlePizza

Cooked Perfectly in the KettlePizza

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