Author Topic: Best Pizza Ovens  (Read 3780 times)

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Offline americanpizzagrill

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Best Pizza Ovens
« on: February 26, 2014, 06:37:55 PM »
I acquired a 20 year old pizza establishment recently and would like to replace the pizza oven we have. The pizza oven we have is a huge conveyor oven. I don't like it because it breaks down often, it seems like it wastes a lot of energy (the kitchen gets really hot), and needs to be replaced anyways.
We are located on a US territory and serve primarily tourists. I'm not sure what kind of pizza we sell, but it's definitely NOT a NY thin-crust pizza - I think we sell "regular pizzas" (I know i'm clueless, that's why i'm here to learn more about pizzas). We would like to maintain the same consistency in terms of the aesthetics and taste of the pizza.
We serve anywhere from 50-75 pizzas a day.
I think we need a deck - it seems like most pizza establishments use decks.
Also, in terms of reliability and energy costs (which are both very important due to our location), decks seem to have the advantage over a conveyor.
I'd like to know more.
From that inquiry, I need to find out the best brands. Our budget is $5,000-$10,000.
We really want to get the best bang for the buck.
Thank you all!  ;D

First Inquiry: Conveyor or Deck?
Second Inquiry: What are the most well-known brands?


Offline Chaze215

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Re: Best Pizza Ovens
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2014, 07:24:10 PM »
With all due respect, why did you buy an establishment when you admit to being "clueless"?
Chaz

Offline PizzaGarage

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Re: Best Pizza Ovens
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2014, 09:59:08 PM »
I prefer decks for sure.

In your price range you can find excellent reconditioned deck ovens.  The two brands you would be look at are blodgett and bakers pride.

Each use "stone" decks of their own unique material, temps up to 650.

For future capacity, look at the blodgett 1060 or bakers pride y620.  At your volume ( really depending on the lenght  of rush hour) look at a double stack 1060 or y602. 120,000 btu each deck.  On slow days just run one deck.  Easy to find at right around $10,000.  I am a blodgett fan myself, both are excellent ovens and will service your pizza place well.


Offline americanpizzagrill

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Re: Best Pizza Ovens
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2014, 11:01:49 PM »
With all due respect, why did you buy an establishment when you admit to being "clueless"?

Hi, I can clarify this for you.
I am clueless when it comes down to the many different styles of pizza making. I am asking advice from presumably experienced pizza makers, so, I anticipated they would ask me what kind of pizza that I am trying to serve, which I do not have an answer for.
To further clarify, I purchased this establishment because it's been around for a long time and was sold in its entirety - meaning, I purchased all the machinery and employees. I am good at business, and admittedly, not so good with pizza making because this is new to me. I hope this answers your question.
I'd really appreciate some of your help!

Offline americanpizzagrill

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Re: Best Pizza Ovens
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2014, 11:07:14 PM »
I prefer decks for sure.

In your price range you can find excellent reconditioned deck ovens.  The two brands you would be look at are blodgett and bakers pride.

Each use "stone" decks of their own unique material, temps up to 650.

For future capacity, look at the blodgett 1060 or bakers pride y620.  At your volume ( really depending on the lenght  of rush hour) look at a double stack 1060 or y602. 120,000 btu each deck.  On slow days just run one deck.  Easy to find at right around $10,000.  I am a blodgett fan myself, both are excellent ovens and will service your pizza place well.

Thank you so much.
I think it would be safer if I purchase a new oven, and judging from your response, I will have to increase my investment to purchase it. I want to purchase a new oven because I do not trust refurbished goods. Also, our restaurant is on a tiny island very far away from the mainland, meaning I do not want to risk buying a used oven only to have problems down the line. I also think if I buy a new oven, I can get service directly from the manufacturer, although the distance probably will render that reason useless...

Can you also give me some advice on the operation of these ovens? I know our conveyor oven is easy to use because we just simply pop in the pizza on one end and it comes out the other. I have NO idea how deck ovens work in operation... (i.e. do we keep opening and closing the door as we put in and take out pizzas?)

Lastly, I am going to be in Los Angeles next week to see if I can check out some restaurant equipment suppliers in person (I always find it easier and more helpful to speak to people in person). By any chance, does anyone know big suppliers that I can go to in person in that area?

Any other advice or concerns I should have are helpful. Thank you so much!

Offline waltertore

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Re: Best Pizza Ovens
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2014, 05:59:49 AM »
If none of your employees are skilled with a deck oven you are going to be in very deep waters.  Deck ovens can't be mastered overnight.  I suggest you hire someone to teach you and your staff and or hire someone highly skilled in deck ovens.  Otherwise you are going to make big mess.  I know you said used scared you.  But if you find a reputable dealer in your area a used one will cost a fraction of the price.  That will allow you to hire a pro consultant and or hire one on as an employee.  We run blodgett 1000 deck ovens.  These were manufactured in the 70's.  There are no electronics.  They are such workhorse that all parts are still available and many top pizzerias still use them.  If you can change the oil on a car you can do most of the repairs that will come up and once they are running right rarely do they fail.  Simple fixes that are cheap and easy are the ones that come up and rarely at that.  Plus the 1000's with the original stones far outperform any of the stones in the current ovens.  You can run 4-18" pies at a time, 6-16" at a time.  A single oven with a skilled crew would easily meet your needs unless all your orders come in during a small window.  I am sure you could find a good consultant that can guide you through the purchase and training.  Walter

here are our ovens.  These things are built to work full tilt 12 hours a day 7 days a week without breaking a sweat :)
« Last Edit: February 27, 2014, 07:49:07 AM by waltertore »

Offline americanpizzagrill

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Re: Best Pizza Ovens
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2014, 02:21:00 PM »
If none of your employees are skilled with a deck oven you are going to be in very deep waters.  Deck ovens can't be mastered overnight.  I suggest you hire someone to teach you and your staff and or hire someone highly skilled in deck ovens.  Otherwise you are going to make big mess.  I know you said used scared you.  But if you find a reputable dealer in your area a used one will cost a fraction of the price.  That will allow you to hire a pro consultant and or hire one on as an employee.  We run blodgett 1000 deck ovens.  These were manufactured in the 70's.  There are no electronics.  They are such workhorse that all parts are still available and many top pizzerias still use them.  If you can change the oil on a car you can do most of the repairs that will come up and once they are running right rarely do they fail.  Simple fixes that are cheap and easy are the ones that come up and rarely at that.  Plus the 1000's with the original stones far outperform any of the stones in the current ovens.  You can run 4-18" pies at a time, 6-16" at a time.  A single oven with a skilled crew would easily meet your needs unless all your orders come in during a small window.  I am sure you could find a good consultant that can guide you through the purchase and training.  Walter

here are our ovens.  These things are built to work full tilt 12 hours a day 7 days a week without breaking a sweat :)

Our restaurant is on a tiny U.S. territory. I don't think we can find someone who has experience using these ovens. However, i've seen all sorts of small and big pizzerias in NYC that use these ovens. Are they really that hard to operate?

Offline waltertore

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Re: Best Pizza Ovens
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2014, 02:32:34 PM »
Our restaurant is on a tiny U.S. territory. I don't think we can find someone who has experience using these ovens. However, i've seen all sorts of small and big pizzerias in NYC that use these ovens. Are they really that hard to operate?

I dont mean to sound depressing but to successfully operate a deck oven with a high quality pizza product you are looking at a lot more knowledge than you will find here or anywhere on the net.  There are just too many things to learn that need to be learned in the flesh.   Most people here are home pizza makers.  Moving this to a commerical setting with no prior backround or someone to guide you will most likely not be successful or much fun.  The oven is just an oven.  The dough just flour, water, yeast.  But to get it all working right takes a lot of experience.   This is why most places have gone to conveyor ovens, purchase frozen dough, premade sauce, pre shredded cheeses, etc.   There is no way around the learning curve.  I am sure people here will offer lots of help but the best advice I can give I already gave.   I wish you much success :)  Walter
« Last Edit: February 27, 2014, 03:25:19 PM by waltertore »

Offline WarEagle09

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Re: Best Pizza Ovens
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2014, 05:13:04 PM »
Our restaurant is on a tiny U.S. territory. I don't think we can find someone who has experience using these ovens. However, i've seen all sorts of small and big pizzerias in NYC that use these ovens. Are they really that hard to operate?

One point of emphasis here:

1. Deck ovens require launching pizzas with a peel. With your conveyer, the screens/disks are much easier to use.

2. Deck ovens require you to manually remove the pizza to avoid under or over cooking. You don't have to worry as much about this with conveyors.

3. Deck ovens are going to cook the bottom of the pizza via conduction, whereas your conveyor cooks via convection/radiation. This is going to radically change the final cooked pizza, and maybe not for the better depending your recipe.

scott123

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Re: Best Pizza Ovens
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2014, 06:01:47 PM »
Plus the 1000's with the original stones far outperform any of the stones in the current ovens.

I'm not so sure about that, Walter  ;D While I think stock stone 1000s  will outperform almost all current ovens, I think the Marsal MBs with Fibrament stones will give them a run for their money.  The Marsals are specifically engineered to avoid having to turn the pies.  The Marsals are also engineered for fast balanced bakes- faster than the 1000's.  Between not needing to turn the pizza and the possibility for a 4 or a 5 minute bake where the bottom finishes the same time as the top, the Marsals could have the edge in performance.  The big selling point of the 1000s, though, is price. A single MB60 will set you back $8K+, whereas, if you find the right used 1000, like you did, you can get it for a steal.

I dont mean to sound depressing but to successfully operate a deck oven with a high quality pizza product you are looking at a lot more knowledge than you will find here or anywhere on the net.

Really, Walter?  What am I, chopped liver?  ;D  I've taught people how to make a 'high quality pizza' in a deck oven via a webcam.  It's faster in the flesh, but it can be done with a webcam, or, if push came to shove, even on the phone (with a camera taking still shots).  If it's an MB, it's even easier to teach, but, armed with an infrared thermometer, a willingness to learn, a few dozen test pies and about a week or so, it's possible to achieve, even with other brands of decks.

The one thing I can't do, though, (or won't do ;) ) is teach the OP how to make American style pizza in a deck oven, as my knowledge of American pizza is minimal.  Peter could do it, though.  He'd probably act all humble and bring up his lack of experience working with deck ovens, but I think, with his moderator duties, he's read enough posts about deck ovens to be able to operate one if he had to. Bear in mind, as you turn down the heat on a deck for longer baked styles, they even out considerably- much less turning, less hot spots, far less fuss.  Peter's Papa John clone in a 450-500 deck oven, I wouldn't call it a no brainer, but it's not the same as NY.


Jay, 'regular pizza,' i.e., thicker NY style pizza (usually with heavier toppings) is American style pizza. Conveyor ovens were pretty much invented to do high volume American chain pizza.  As WarEagle pointed out, they're easier to operate. From what I understand, they're more energy efficient than decks as well.  I, personally, think NY in a deck is far better pizza, but if your market demands American pies, then give them what they want.

Rather than inventing the wheel and buying a new oven that's not ideal for your particular style, I would see if you can work with your conveyor.  The technology of a conveyor isn't that complicated.  Sure, there's a lot more moving parts than a deck, but it isn't rocket science.  You can learn both how to fix your conveyor, as well as how to prevent future failures. It's a steeper learning curve than learning how to use a deck, but, in the long run, with the style of pizza you make, I think it will end up serving you better.

Or, take the money you're planning on investing on a deck and invest in a more reliable conveyor.


Offline JBailey

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Re: Best Pizza Ovens
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2014, 06:14:27 PM »
So when did you ever own or operate a deck oven? Or does telling someone what to do over webcam count as professional experience?

scott123

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Re: Best Pizza Ovens
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2014, 06:58:28 PM »
JBailey, I have only worked a deck oven on a handful of occasions, but that wasn't how I learned how to teach the skill. Unlike a wood fired oven that takes months of hands on experience to master, you don't have to stand in front of a deck oven for months to become proficient.  Launching a pizza off a peel is oven agnostic. If you launch a pizza a few hundred times in any environment- home or commercial, it becomes second nature.  Same with turning a pizza (although far less repetition is required).  There's nothing else manual involved in operating a deck, nothing else that requires you to be in front of the physical oven to master it.  Everything else is theory- understanding the thermodynamics of a particular burner/deflector configuration, the materials science of the hearth composition, figuring out the hot spots with an IR thermometer, zeroing in on the thermostat setting that provides the best balance, the desired bake time, etc. etc. My theory, as you well know, is sound.

Offline americanpizzagrill

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Re: Best Pizza Ovens
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2014, 07:28:21 PM »

Rather than inventing the wheel and buying a new oven that's not ideal for your particular style, I would see if you can work with your conveyor.  The technology of a conveyor isn't that complicated.  Sure, there's a lot more moving parts than a deck, but it isn't rocket science.  You can learn both how to fix your conveyor, as well as how to prevent future failures. It's a steeper learning curve than learning how to use a deck, but, in the long run, with the style of pizza you make, I think it will end up serving you better.

Or, take the money you're planning on investing on a deck and invest in a more reliable conveyor.

Thank you.
I really wanted to get a deck oven in hopes of making better tasting pizza, but I guess the safe thing to do is to get a conveyor. I'm just tired of our conveyor breaking down... When we need parts it can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks to get it to our island.
Can you please refer me to the best known brands of conveyors?
My budget is $5,000-$10,000 - but I guess that is flexible...

Offline waltertore

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Re: Best Pizza Ovens
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2014, 08:27:40 PM »
Thank you.
I really wanted to get a deck oven in hopes of making better tasting pizza, but I guess the safe thing to do is to get a conveyor. I'm just tired of our conveyor breaking down... When we need parts it can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks to get it to our island.
Can you please refer me to the best known brands of conveyors?
My budget is $5,000-$10,000 - but I guess that is flexible...

fly scott out :)

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Best Pizza Ovens
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2014, 09:20:49 PM »
So when did you ever own or operate a deck oven? Or does telling someone what to do over webcam count as professional experience?
What have you done to qualify your post man?

Bob
« Last Edit: March 08, 2014, 07:39:28 AM by Tampa »
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Offline PizzaGarage

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Re: Best Pizza Ovens
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2014, 11:45:08 PM »
Thank you so much.
I think it would be safer if I purchase a new oven, and judging from your response, I will have to increase my investment to purchase it. I want to purchase a new oven because I do not trust refurbished goods. Also, our restaurant is on a tiny island very far away from the mainland, meaning I do not want to risk buying a used oven only to have problems down the line. I also think if I buy a new oven, I can get service directly from the manufacturer, although the distance probably will render that reason useless...

Can you also give me some advice on the operation of these ovens? I know our conveyor oven is easy to use because we just simply pop in the pizza on one end and it comes out the other. I have NO idea how deck ovens work in operation... (i.e. do we keep opening and closing the door as we put in and take out pizzas?)

Lastly, I am going to be in Los Angeles next week to see if I can check out some restaurant equipment suppliers in person (I always find it easier and more helpful to speak to people in person). By any chance, does anyone know big suppliers that I can go to in person in that area?

Any other advice or concerns I should have are helpful. Thank you so much!

The operation of the deck oven is simple, it's just like your home oven but with a stone in it.  If you can cook a pizza on a stone in your home oven,you can cook a pizza in a deck oven.  The principles are the same. 

What is more difficult is baking multiple pizzas at the same time, you will need to lean how your pizzas are cooking without always opening the door, sort of an internal clock.  Doors are opened quickly and pizzas observed, many times by opening only a few inches then quickly shutting it again. You have to keep track as the minutes go by, when you think one is just about ready, open the door and take it out quickly while also observing all the other pizzas.  It's not hard, but takes some time to get the timing down.

Occasionally a pizza will need to be turned depending on how well tuned the oven is.  The better it is setup, the less turning needs to occur. 

You might want to consider sourcing your oven locally to avoid heavy shipping charges, if you are not worried about that, a new double will cost between $16,000 and $18,000, then add shipping.

If you want conveyors, there are many, these are very easy to cook in and require virtually no watching.  Insert and when it comes out it the other side it's done!

For conveyors, you might want to take a look at the Edge ovens.  They are well built, won't cost you and arm and leg and come with a strong warranty.  Check for service in your area.  The Edge 40 and 60, not the VS series are two that I would look at.  Give them a call and check it out.

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Best Pizza Ovens
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2014, 10:06:12 AM »
I operated a deck oven with no training at all when I was 19 years old, and we made a lot more than 75 pizzas per shift.  It ain't rocket science.

And 30 years later the same joint is still open and churning out pizzas in the same oven with still untrained college kids.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Best Pizza Ovens
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2014, 12:57:38 PM »
I operated a deck oven with no training at all when I was 19 years old, and we made a lot more than 75 pizzas per shift.  It ain't rocket science.

And 30 years later the same joint is still open and churning out pizzas in the same oven with still untrained college kids.
^^^  I started out in a joint that did over a hundred a night(weekends).....13yrs. old and had to stand on a milk crate. Loved working that oven.  :chef:  Hardest part was trying to keep from being too aggressive during a "rush" (flesh burns)....it was very exciting and most rewarding.

Bob
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Offline Assman22

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Re: Best Pizza Ovens
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2014, 02:50:43 PM »
Thank you.
I really wanted to get a deck oven in hopes of making better tasting pizza, but I guess the safe thing to do is to get a conveyor. I'm just tired of our conveyor breaking down... When we need parts it can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks to get it to our island.
Can you please refer me to the best known brands of conveyors?
My budget is $5,000-$10,000 - but I guess that is flexible...

I've used a Middleby Marshall conveyor oven for years.  I prefer the PS-570 model, but you can find the PS-360 very easily and it will do what you need it to do.  Middleby Marshall's are made to last.  If maintained properly, they can go 20-30 years.  Same with Hobart mixers/slicers.  Lincoln's and XLT's break down often so buyer beware.  You'll only need one conveyor to start and can always add another stack down the road, unless you find a deal for a double you can't pass up.  If the PS-360 ever does break down the parts are extremely easy and affordable, again just like Hobart parts.  Should be able to find one for $6-8k used/refurbished.

Please let me know if you have any other questions

Offline waltertore

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Re: Best Pizza Ovens
« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2014, 07:11:23 PM »
I operated a deck oven with no training at all when I was 19 years old, and we made a lot more than 75 pizzas per shift.  It ain't rocket science.

And 30 years later the same joint is still open and churning out pizzas in the same oven with still untrained college kids.

I must be pretty stupid because I find turning out a class pie day in and day out requires a lot of skill and I am continually learning/making mistakes after over 50 years of being around dough :) Walter
« Last Edit: March 08, 2014, 07:52:37 PM by waltertore »


 

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