Kitchen Essentials

Pizza Ovens: Which One Is The Best?

There are many options when it comes to choosing the best pizza oven for your business. Conveyor, Deck, Convection, or Wood-fired – which pizza oven is best suited for your establishment?

All four options have their share of advantages, but the true winner is dependent on your unique menu and operations.

Conveyor Ovens

Conveyor ovens are commonly used in quick service restaurants and your favourite large pizza chains. These ovens make the cooking process a breeze – set the temperature and cooking time, and you’re ready to cook. The cooking process begins by placing pizzas on one end of a moving conveyor belt. Once the pizza reaches the other end of the belt, cooking is complete. Generally, conveyor ovens produce a crust with more chew than other oven options.

Pros

Conveyor ovens are favoured for their ease of use, requiring less attention during the cooking process. As a result, less experienced staff are able to cook pizzas effortlessly. Furthermore, your staff will be able to multi-task and complete other duties while the pizzas cook. This will save labour as fewer staff members will be required to work a busy shift. Also, less spend is required on training. Conveyor ovens are ideal for shops with high volume, cranking out hundreds of pizzas a day. The finished product is consistent every time. Conveyor ovens are perfect for standardizing your menu.

Cons

Conveyor ovens utilize many moving parts, requiring more detailed cleaning and heavier maintenance than other oven options. As a result, more time will be spent on cleaning. Dependent on the size of your facility, conveyor ovens may take up lots of space and interfere with your establishment’s workflow. Pizzas are cooked with forced air, not direct heat. As a result, toppings have a tendency of drying out. However, this can be avoided through the food preparation process.

Deck Ovens

Deck ovens are utilized more commonly amongst casual dine-in establishments, independent, and smaller chain pizza shops. The pies sits on a stone within the oven. This allows even heating of the dough and toppings at the same time. These ovens are preferred for producing gourmet pizzas without the costs and space required to install a traditional wood-fired oven.

Pros

Unlike conveyors, deck ovens offer more versatility and control over temperature. This allows your establishment to execute a more diversified menu, not just pizzas. Deck ovens yield a crispier crust than conveyors, blistering the dough without burning it. Deck ovens are much easier to clean and maintain as long as a daily cleaning schedule is enforced. This is one of the advantages of having fewer moving parts.

Cons

Because deck ovens require more involvement, a higher level of skill possessed by cooks is required. As a result, comprehensive employee training is necessary. It is important to ensure that your staff members are equipped with the knowledge to produce perfect pizzas in a deck oven. Because the cooking process requires more staff attention, multi-tasking is more difficult, increasing your cost of labour.

Convection Ovens

Convection ovens circulate hot air through a fan and exhaust system. This allows you to cook more quickly than a regular oven. Convections are a great option for kitchens with less space, and are looking to save money on energy costs.

Pros

Convections are a great low cost option for establishments that offer a wide variety of menu options. Convections are great for establishments with lower production volumes. Furthermore, convection ovens use less power as they operate at a lower temperature.

Cons

Heat is circulated through air, melting cheese and crisping toppings before the dough is fully cooked. As a result, convections will yield a darker top and a chewier crust on your pizzas. Furthermore, convection ovens do not have the capacity to cook a high volume of pizzas at one time. If your main menu revolves around pizza, deck or conveyor ovens will be a more suitable option for your establishment.

Wood-Fired Ovens

Wood-fired ovens are the centerpiece of any traditional pizzeria, generally installed in a dedicated space in your kitchen. Typically built from brick or concrete, these ovens are known for producing authentic results.

Pros

Wood-fired ovens maintain consistent heat at a much higher temperature than other ovens. Pizzas cook quickly and yield a bubbly, blistering crust without burning. The result is authenticity in presentation and taste.

Cons

Wood-fired ovens take up a lot of space and require expert pizza cooks to operate. Also, costs vary a lot more due to material and design options for installing and highlighting your new centerpiece.

The Right Pizza Oven For You

The best pizza oven for your establishment solely depends on your unique operations. What style of pizza do you create? How many pizzas are you expecting to produce each day? What space does your facility have?

Babak Food Equipment offers a wide variety of pizza ovens suited for your pizza shop. Browse our extensive selection, or give us a call for consultation. We are your one-stop shop for all of your pizza shop needs.