Pizza Oven Buying Guide
For any company or restaurant looking to start a pizzeria or thinking of adding pizza to the menu, then clearly the pizza oven is the most important piece of equipment. Finding the right one for your business is not always as easy as it sounds. There are a few important factors that need to be taken into consideration before making this decision.
Types of Commercial Pizza Ovens
The main types of ovens used to cook pizza are stone deck ovens, conveyor ovens and commercial convection ovens. Although stone deck ovens are believed to give the best results, you also have to take into consideration how much you want to produce, the space that you have available for the oven, what kind of pizza you want to make and how much money you are willing to spend.
How much Pizza do you need to produce?
The best way to judge this is by how much pizza you think your business will sell, for example, if you are opening a pizzeria you will obviously expect a large output, however, if you are a pub looking to serve pizza as part of a menu, then the production will be significantly lower.
Low to Medium Production
Commercial Deck Ovens have a relatively lower pizza production output compared with conveyor ovens, as they tend to be countertop units. They generally have 2-5 racks and can fit one or two 16” pizzas on each rack. It usually takes a deck oven 3-6 minutes to fully cook. The time it takes to cook a pizza in these ovens can vary based on the temperature of the oven and how many pizzas are in it at one time. Whilst with these ovens some heat will be lost due to opening the door to remove pizzas the stone base retains the heat well. However, most convection ovens are designed to counter this effect by use of a hi-speed fan to cut down on heat recovery. The fan though can change the product texture and make the crust dry. True connoisseurs of pizza will always say that the best pizza comes out of a stone based pizza oven. Partly because these heat to a higher temperature and partly because there is no hi-speed fan to dry out the product, although some people would find the results acceptable. This oven option is perfect for restaurants, including pizzerias, where a deck oven is usually the oven of choice for cooking pizzas.
Deck Ovens for this size of production tend to be floor mounted and supplied with a deck capacity of four to eight 12” pizzas per deck going up to four or five decks. When in a pizzeria you will often see the deck oven on full view. This is seen as part of the "theatre of cooking" with long handled shovels for loading and unloading the pizza from the deck to give the customer that authentic feel.
If you are planning to produce a high volume of pizzas, then you will want to consider a conveyor oven. A conveyor oven features a continuous cooking platform that constantly churns out pizzas as fast as they can be made! This is often why a conveyor is an oven of choice for the fast food take away outlets/chains. Once placed on the conveyor belt, the oven does the work pulling the pizza through at a set temperature for a set time and speed. The more developed options can also offer 4 to 5 stack options for a very high level of production. The average cooking time can take between 4-5 minutes. The oven also doesn’t lose any time on heat recovery as the pizzas pass through constant heating elements. What may need to be considered though is using ancillary pizza pans, although some manufacturers will be happy for the raw pizza to go straight on to the conveyor.
How Much Space Do You Have Available?
Compared with the other ovens, convection ovens take up a relatively small amount of space and you may already have an oven like this in your operation. The one or two deck ovens will take up a small area and usually fit on a workbench, operate fine without extraction and will give you arguably a better pizza. It is best to look at the descriptions for each individual product, but these tend to be perfect for restaurants that have limited space.
If you have a little more space available then a deck oven is ideal for a pizzeria that would still like to conserve space for other pieces of equipment. As with a convection oven, it is best to check the measurements in each product’s specification, even though these can take up the same space as a conveyor oven this is vertically rather than horizontally due to the nature of the stacking mechanism.
A conveyor oven needs a lot of space to operate in. This space is needed for the extended conveyor belts at the entrance and exit of the oven. Conveyor ovens are normally wide enough to fit 2 large pizzas side by side. This means that a lot of floor space will be needed to fit the oven into your restaurant kitchen as well as power. The measurements of these ovens will be in the specifications, but it is best to check that you will also have enough maneuverable room surrounding the oven. If your restaurant/pizzeria has a large amount of space these could be worth purchasing.
How much are you willing to spend?
When buying an oven for commercial use the most common deciding factor is the price.
The commercial convection ovens supplied by Brakes Catering Equipment range from £400- £8,000 making them widely affordable as far as pizza ovens goes. They are also fairly simple and inexpensive to maintain.
The deck ovens we supply range from £800 to £1,500. These ovens are cost effective as they have a long life span and are low maintenance. They can also potentially hold their resale value.
The conveyor ovens we supply can cost anywhere from £4,000 to £18,000 depending on the brand. These can be expensive to maintain, as there is potential for more things to break and the need for daily cleaning.
If you would like further information on our range of pizza ovens, or a quotation, then please contact our specialist Capital Sales team on 0845 931 9494 Option 1.