Some of the most commonly asked questions we receive here at Grimaldi’s from our amazing guests are ‘What makes your pizza so special?’, ‘What is Stoking Hour?’, and ‘What do you mean I can’t order a pizza between 4-5pm?’ Well, in order to answer these questions, we have to begin with the rich history that brings us back to our roots as pizza lovers.
The Grimaldi’s story begins with a 100-year-old tradition that has been passed down through many generations to ensure the survival of the best classic pizza around. We built Grimaldi’s entire concept around producing the perfect classic pizza by using coal-fired brick ovens.
We have continued to celebrate our 100 years of pizza making tradition by building each restaurant around a coal-brick oven which is the living heart of each of our restaurants. These special ovens create a light crisp on the outside with a soft on the inside by maintaining an internal temperature of approximately one thousand degrees Fahrenheit (that’s as hot as molten lava!).
But why coal? – The high temperatures a coal-burning oven reaches are not possible when using gas, convection or wood-burning ovens. This isn’t the charcoal you would use at your backyard BBQ, this is the same coal you’d find powering industrial powerplants, this is serious stuff.
Our famous coal-brick ovens allow us to maintain the highest quality of pizzas and calzones across every one of our restaurants. However, while we would love to make pizza all day long, in order to keep the temperature hot enough our ovens need to be stoked twice a day: Once in the morning, and again in the afternoon. Stoking is essential to making our award-winning pizza.
We start by knocking down the old coal and ash from the insides of the oven. We then rebuild the fire with new coals and let it warm back up to a toasty 1,000 degrees. The entire process takes about 30-45 minutes starting at 4pm. Stoking the oven is no easy feat but we follow this age-old tradition because it offers a unique flavor and crisp to our hand-tossed dough that other restaurants just can’t achieve.
During the time that we can’t make our tasty pizzas or calzones we offer our special Stoking Social Hour menu to make up for the wait. Everyday from 3:30pm-6pm enjoy $15 off bottles of wine*, $2 off draft beer, and $3 off glasses of wine, signature cocktails, antipasto and our refreshing bruschetta.
When you wonder why a Grimaldi’s pizza has the most unique consistency you’ve ever experienced, you can thank the coal. That combination of soft insides with a lightly crispy exterior and toppings that are lightly singed provides an experience no other pizza company can compare to.
*Excludes house wine