Pizza Making Forum

Pizza Making => Newbie Topics => Topic started by: Nick - Pizza Man on October 19, 2012, 12:12:01 AM

Title: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb
Post by: Nick - Pizza Man on October 19, 2012, 12:12:01 AM
Hi,

I have seen statements like that in many topics here, but I haven't been able to find any topic that explains why.

I run a pizza shop that is part of a chain, so naturally my oven is a conveyor, a Middleby Marshall.

Why are conveyors not so great? What makes a good pizza oven? What should you look for in an oven?

I am not new to the food industry, but clearly world class pizza is a couple of levels above where I'm at.
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb
Post by: The Dough Doctor on October 19, 2012, 09:55:08 AM
Nick;
You have to define what constitutes a great pizza oven first. For some it is an oven that operates at a very high temperature, and gives up a pizza every 2 to 3-minutes, but it requires a lot of valuable floor space, needs to be manually operated (in/out/rotating), requires free space in front of the oven for the oven operator to work (again a valuable commodity), is relatively expensive when sized for the volume needed, will not be allowed in some locations, may be expensive to operate, lacks portability, gee... the list just goes on and on. Now, lets look at an air impingement oven (conveyor oven). It has a relatively low purchase cost, economical to operate, has high volume capacity, requires a minimum of floor space, minimum to no operator expertise needed, can bake just about any type of pizza along with a plethora of side dishes, can bake both thin and thick crust pizzas side by side, the airflow helps to provide a consistently dry pizza, again the list goes on and on. It just so happens that from a commercial point of view there are a lot of advantages to the air impingement ovens that other oven types just don't have. Deck ovens as well as wood fired ovens are great for small stores (independents) and even small chains, but when you start looking at 25 or more stores, not to even mention thousands of stores for some of the larger chains, you want things to be as simple as possible and as economical as possible from both a purchase price v/s pizzas per hour, as well as space allocation in the store (space is a very costly commodity). So, what is a great pizza oven? It's the one that works best in your specific application. Air impingement ovens can also be set up to replicate most types of pizzas too. The word versatile comes to mind.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb
Post by: scott123 on October 19, 2012, 09:58:47 AM
Nick, there are a few different facets to this discussion.

Conveyors are associated with chain pizza, and, for pizza obsessives, chain pizza is inferior to the independents. Chain pizza can be highly profitable, it can have many loyal fans, but, side by side, placing the best independent deck oven slice next to the best chain conveyor slice, there's no competition. A conveyor has certain attributes that prevent it from making the same pizza as a deck.  You don't get the same oven spring, the microblistered undercrust, the artisan quality. There's a soulfulness and an energetic quality to the best deck oven pizza that you don't find in conveyors.

I strongly recommended a deck oven to Bagsy because I was aware of how incredibly profitable a 4-5 minute deck oven pie can be in his particular area. While I firmly believe that this particular pizza has a universal appeal, and can be immensely profitable just about anywhere, I'm not all that familiar with the market in Australia, and, had you asked the same questions as Bagsy, I might not have offered the same advice.

Bake time is critical to world class pizza.  As you extend the clock, oven spring suffers and the end result is inferior.  The only way to truly understand this is to experience a 4 minute deck oven NY style pizza.  60-90 Neapolitan is also spectacular, but 4 minute NY tends to be a bit more accessible, and, for certain markets, more profitable as well.
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb
Post by: scott123 on October 19, 2012, 10:09:52 AM
Tom, if quantity and ease of use are the goals, sure, nothing beats a conveyor.  If quality is the goal, though, a deck always trumps a conveyor.  I've never seen a conveyor oven pizza win any kind of 'best in county/state/region' award/recognition.  If it could make truly world class pizza, someone should be able to coax it from it and achieve acclaim. So far, nobody has achieved this in any major pizza market.

Conveyors produce mediocre pizza.  They can pump out a record breaking number of pies and require almost no skills to use, but that doesn't change the fact that the end result is mediocre.  Just because mediocre pizza can be profitable doesn't mean that we have to aspire to it.  McDonalds is highly profitable as well, but if someone were opening a restaurant, I'd be telling them to aim higher.  Conveyors make McPizza.
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb
Post by: Jet_deck on October 19, 2012, 10:54:37 AM
Conveyors make McPizza.

Perhaps the best one-liner of the year. :-D
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb
Post by: dellavecchia on October 19, 2012, 11:23:58 AM
My brother in law runs many restaurants, and one of his places that serves pizza uses a conveyor oven. It was imported from Germany and has stone tiles. I can't remember the name, but a lot of effort went into finding a conveyor oven that produced the pizza he was after. And that his operators could produce quality pizza consistently. I believe the bake time is 5-6 minutes. The pizza is thin crust and absolutely delicious. His dough is really well done - overnight rise using fresh yeast. Tender, yet slightly chewy.

John
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb
Post by: scott123 on October 19, 2012, 11:31:23 AM
John, is the pizza baked on stone tiles? If you could find out the name of the oven, I'd appreciate it. Also, do you have a name for your brother in law's pizzeria?

Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb
Post by: Pete-zza on October 19, 2012, 11:38:35 AM
scott123,

One name that comes to mind from my past reading over at the PMQ Think Tank is a French company by the name of Picard. They make a stone conveyor oven: http://www.picardovens.com/commercial-ovens/products/Pizza/lp-200-stone-conveyor-oven.aspx. See, also, the PMQ TT thread at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=70220#p70220.

Peter
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb
Post by: dellavecchia on October 19, 2012, 11:40:01 AM
John, is the pizza baked on stone tiles? If you could find out the name of the oven, I'd appreciate it. Also, do you have a name for your brother in law's pizzeria?



Yes, the pizza is baked on the tiles. I will email him about the oven name. Here is the restaurant pizza menu, which is a tavern:

http://www.coppertoptavern.com/ordereze/Content/5/PageDetails.aspx

John
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb
Post by: Pete-zza on October 19, 2012, 11:50:28 AM
Here is another stone conveyor oven, from Italforni: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNsT-aFm1xQ.

Peter
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb
Post by: The Dough Doctor on October 19, 2012, 01:28:45 PM
Scott 123;
You have not been to any of the PMQ Pizza Shows. A few years back Dave Smith took first place with a pizza baked in an air impingement oven. I'm not going to get into any type of contest here but I will add that "world class pizza", whatever that might mean, may not be the pizza that everyone wants or needs. I personally like a pizza baked in a wood fired oven at high temperatures, but then again, that is not everyones cup of tea. So, once again, the oven that works best for YOU is YOUR best oven. We should remember that quality, like beauty is really nothing more than a perception.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb
Post by: Chicago Bob on October 19, 2012, 01:53:33 PM
Scott 123;
You have not been to any of the PMQ Pizza Shows. A few years back Dave Smith took first place with a pizza baked in an air impingement oven. I'm not going to get into any type of contest here but I will add that "world class pizza", whatever that might mean, may not be the pizza that everyone wants or needs. I personally like a pizza baked in a wood fired oven at high temperatures, but then again, that is not everyones cup of tea. So, once again, the oven that works best for YOU is YOUR best oven. We should remember that quality, like beauty is really nothing more than a perception.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
Scott said...."So far, nobody has achieved this in any major pizza market."

I had my first Papa John's last night and you are right Tom...their pizza's are not cooked properly/underdone.
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb
Post by: scott123 on October 21, 2012, 09:05:24 PM
Scott 123;
You have not been to any of the PMQ Pizza Shows. A few years back Dave Smith took first place with a pizza baked in an air impingement oven. I'm not going to get into any type of contest here but I will add that "world class pizza", whatever that might mean, may not be the pizza that everyone wants or needs. I personally like a pizza baked in a wood fired oven at high temperatures, but then again, that is not everyones cup of tea. So, once again, the oven that works best for YOU is YOUR best oven. We should remember that quality, like beauty is really nothing more than a perception.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Tom, when it comes to pizza, quality is highly measurable.  It's not some subjective, pie in the sky, "I love all my grandchildren equally" kind of scenario.  There are three metrics involved:

Revenue

Where ever one may happen to be on the globe, great pizza makes money.  Lots and lots of money.  Mediocre chain pizza can be profitable as well, so one can't judge pizza solely by sales, but sales is an important metric.

Acclaim

When was the last time Dominos won an award? An award that it didn't give to itself?  Great pizzerias don't always stay great, but, in order to achieve fame, they had to, at some point in time, be doing something right. Like I said before- pick any major U.S. market- NY, LA, Pittsburgh, Tampa, Chicago, Seattle, Boston and find me an award winning pizzeria using conveyors.  Any newspaper poll, editor's best of list, online survey, anything lending the least amount of respect to these purveyors of mediocrity.

Brand Loyalty

This is more than "I am a Dominos guy" or "Our family only eats Papa Johns"-  more than just being drunk in the middle of the night, being happy with any slice that comes your way, but regretting it in the morning.  This is about customers that would take a bullet for you. You won't find this depth of passion with chains. Out the three metrics, this is the hardest to measure, but it's still quantifiable with a just a few interviews of customers.  You talk to a customer of any legendary NY area pizzeria that's still producing an award winning product and they will profess their love to the heavens.  You stop anyone outside of L&B and ask them their thoughts, they will talk your head off.They're not just there because they're hungry. They're there because, for many, it's a religious experience.  The photo below (credit: Norma) perfectly sums up the kind of fervor that independents inspire.  Do you really think you'd see these plates saying these things in a place selling McPizza with a conveyor? Do you really think a conveyor produced pie would inspire someone to write "I Love You" on a plate? Not in this universe.
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb
Post by: Chicago Bob on October 21, 2012, 09:25:06 PM
Had a PJ's the other night...their conveyor oven sure cooks some crappy pizza man. All the independents around my area don't have a clue as to what they are doing. They get away with it because the consumers also don't have a clue. Is it too late to stop the madness cycle....unfortunately, I am thinking it is.
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb
Post by: Aimless Ryan on October 22, 2012, 08:50:17 AM
The photo below (credit: Norma) perfectly sums up the kind of fervor that independents inspire.  Do you really think you'd see these plates saying these things in a place selling McPizza with a conveyor? Do you really think a conveyor produced pie would inspire someone to write "I Love You" on a plate? Not in this universe.

Check out the plate to the right of the one with the Van Halen logo, just a little south (and slightly west) of center. Awesome!

That's passion for pizza right there.
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb
Post by: TXCraig1 on October 22, 2012, 09:21:41 AM
Check out the plate to the right of the one with the Van Halen logo, just a little south (and slightly west) of center. Awesome!

That's passion for pizza right there.

You would get a real kick out of reading all the plates up on the ceiling of Best Pizza - and there are a lot more than you can see in the picture. Passion for all sorts of things... If you're ever in Brooklyn, you should check it out. Great pizza too obviously.
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb
Post by: Nick - Pizza Man on October 31, 2012, 08:37:07 AM
Thanks for the replies. Certainly some food for thought there.

I see the advantages of my conveyor every day - we cook all sorts of things in it, and my not-particularly-skilled staff can use it without a hassle. Can't see how a wood fired oven can handle the same volume, although to be fair I have never used one.

I live in Melbourne Australia and I have been searching high and low for a decent pizza place (besides my own .. can I say that?). Unfortuantely we don't have any genuine New York or Chicago style pizzas here, which is a real shame. I would love to try a deep dish pizza.

What I have learned, from trying a different pizza store each night, is that oven choice means diddly squat if you can't make a decent dough.

(and that it's not a good idea to tell a pizza shop owner that their pizzas are average)
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb
Post by: weemis on October 31, 2012, 03:13:22 PM
(and that it's not a good idea to tell a pizza shop owner that their pizzas are average)

I still ain't learned that yet...  >:D
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb
Post by: David Deas on January 27, 2013, 11:10:31 AM
Can't see how a wood fired oven can handle the same volume, although to be fair I have never used one.

Wood fired ovens can handle volume just fine.  At peak hours you can be cooking several pies at once, each in less than 50 seconds a piece. The problem with the wood fired ovens is that you had better have an operator who knows exactly what the heck he is doing.
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb
Post by: Assman22 on January 31, 2014, 11:53:38 PM
Conveyors produce mediocre pizza.  They can pump out a record breaking number of pies and require almost no skills to use, but that doesn't change the fact that the end result is mediocre.  Just because mediocre pizza can be profitable doesn't mean that we have to aspire to it.  McDonalds is highly profitable as well, but if someone were opening a restaurant, I'd be telling them to aim higher.  Conveyors make McPizza.

Gotta be honest, I strongly disagree.  When using a conveyor oven, you must have the right dough to make it great.  I'm an independent that uses a conveyor, very rare.   Most indy's use wood-fired or deck ovens. 

Scott, have you ever used a conveyor oven?  Have you ever played around with the dough when baking with a conveyor oven? 

I've used all 3 oven types in my 10 year pizza career:  wood-fired, deck oven, and conveyor.  The first two cook at high temps and you need more moisture to stand up to the heat.  In a conveyor, you need to reduce the moisture level to get the crispy outside and chewy inside at 475 degrees. 

Something I've learned is there is a way to stack the toppings in deck ovens/wood-fired ovens as opposed to conveyors.  In the former, you put most toppings on top of the cheese.  In the latter, you put about 30% of toppings below the cheese so they don't dry out with the air impingement format. 

Comparing ovens is like apples and oranges, but I will put my conveyor pizzas up against any of your deck oven pizzas.  After a ton of R&D, I have the rights pans, the right dough recipe, and the right temperature on my conveyor to out-do your deck oven pie you're so proud of in less time and less money but still using top-notch ingredients(not papa john's "better ingredients").  Again, it's all about how you adjust your dough to your oven type.  Not which oven makes the best. 
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb
Post by: waltertore on February 01, 2014, 10:25:54 AM
This argument will go nowhere because we all have our own definition of what is a great pizza and usually it comes from our upbringing.  For me the art of a deck gas oven is the art of making a great pizza.  I was raised on them in the NJ/NYC area.   WFO pizza is great but I will take what I consider a great deck pie over a WFO great pie anyday.  I now live in central Ohio and the conveyor oven is king.  IMO the pizza out here stinks.  Again this is based on my upbringing.   Last weekend we had a front page article on our pizzas.  The cover picture had one of my students tossing pie.  Tossing is another part of what I consider a great pie and it has to be cooked direct on a stone. 

Our orders exploded this week and about 90% of the orders came from people raised in the NYC/NJ area or have experienced a great pie there.  They all said they were desperate for a deck pie done right and when I asked them about pies around here they all mentioned conveyor ovens and how bad the pies were.  Yet these conveyor oven places sell tons of pizzas to the natives.

 For me a conveyor takes the art out of it.  You can train a person in less than a day to make pizzas from begining to end using a dough sheeter/press/screen/pan.   The way we make pizzas takes years.  Volume/space  has pretty much driven all pizza oven design in the USA and the conveyor oven has far surpassed all oven designs that I know of for putting out large volume, minimum space, and unskilled workers needed to run them.   Money is the goal oftentimes over a great artisan product.   I respect people that love their conveyor oven pies and I don't doubt they can make a great pie with the right ingedients/dough.  But being raised in the pizza world of the NYC metro area I doubt I will ever have them into any place I run.  Maybe that is wrong and could be akin to talking nice to your plants and treating cows with love.  My mother, who is from Abruzi Italy, still talks that way.  She said they had happy cows but it took much more time and effort than the way we raise them here......  Is the milk better from one of her happy cows that lived in beautiful pastures with streams and shade trees than the pen kept drug injected, grain feed cows we raise here?  I guess that depends on the individual eating the products.   The main thing is to make the pizza of your dreams and to find the pizza that you can't live without.  No matter how it is made is not the point.  Your smile is :)  Walter
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb
Post by: pythonic on February 03, 2014, 09:02:00 AM
Assman makes some very strong points regarding dialing in the dough to your specific oven.  Would love to see pics of some of his pies.  Top and crumb view.

Nate
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb
Post by: Assman22 on February 15, 2014, 09:14:53 PM
Nate,

I will gladly do that when I get my new place opened up.  Love this forum btw, exactly what I was looking for and I really enjoy your posts/pics.

Conveyor ovens are different, yes.  With any oven, you must adapt your operations to how the oven operates.  Most importantly, you must change your dough recipe accordingly and also layer your toppings in a different order on a conveyor as opposed to deck/WFO.  To bake breads/rolls/breadsticks properly in a conveyor, it's best to use a deep dish pan and cover with either a serving circular for pizzas or foil.  You're going to have to do 1.5 runs on pizzas with 4+ toppings, etc etc etc.  Please feel free to ask any questions about the conveyor oven, I'd love to help anyone.  Anything to rid this country of as many crappy pizza places as possible as soon as possible!  There are so many that fit this bill in San Francisco, good Lord!

Just seems like people write off the oven type because chains use them.  Chains make chain pizza because they only care about money.  You CAN make kickass pizzas in a conveyor oven, you just have to know how to do it.  Takes a lot of R&D time, trial & error. 

When my new place opens, I'll gladly give anyone on here a tour of my kitchen and you'll see how I roll.  I keep it simple but my pies are second to none.  I promise you, I'll make your head spin.  I love pizza like no other, it's my art.  I believe you can be great at anything by combining true passion and ambition.  "Do What You Love" and "Respect the Craft" are the mottos I follow. 

Thanks for everything you do Nate, big fan/follower of yours!
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for ne
Post by: jsaras on February 15, 2014, 10:31:53 PM
Generally speaking, what's the trick to getting a good pizza from a conveyor oven?
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for ne
Post by: Assman22 on February 15, 2014, 11:03:27 PM
Generally speaking, what's the trick to getting a good pizza from a conveyor oven?

Great question jsaras. 

First, you must have a good oven.  I personally like Middleby Marshall ovens, as far as conveyor ovens go.  I've used the PS-200, PS-570 (the Cadillac of conveyor ovens), and PS-360(which is the model used mostly by the big chains like Papa John's, etc.).  Lincoln and XLT are good ovens but buyer beware, they break down and need more attention more so than Middleby Marshall ovens. 

Next, you must use less moisture in your dough recipe.  I use 5% less moisture (reduced 2.5% oil and 2.5% water) at a 7:30 minute run at 465 degrees, than what I was using in a 650 degree deck oven.  Makes a crispy crust on the outside and chewy inside.

The order of toppings or "the toppings tower" as I call it, must be adjusted.  Due to how the air impingement ovens heat the products, you must place certain toppings under the cheese so they don't dry out.  Most notably, spinach, chicken, sausage, ground beef, and ham. 

I'll gladly show you some other tricks I do if you visit my pizzeria in person.  Will show how I do pepperoni-laden pies the customers can't get enough of!  There's so many additional ways to make your conveyor oven work for you and produce kickass pizza in an "idiot proof" system(whereas you can have newer employees run the oven and still work efficiently for you).  The sky is the limit my man!
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for ne
Post by: jsaras on February 16, 2014, 09:58:53 AM
The general idea of reducing the hydration makes sense.  How would you adjust the following formulation:

High Gluten Flour - 100%
Water - 60%
Salt - 2%
Sugar - 3%
Oil - 3%
IDY - variable
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb
Post by: JConk007 on February 16, 2014, 10:03:53 AM
IF I was in this to make alot of money  ;D I would consider the XLT bad boy showm below
I think they can make a good pizza as well with the proper dough . Many, NOT ALL , who buy  franchise joints have no clue how to make pizza Hence the francise set up with whatever comes with... The ones that do like assman do quite well and can crank out a great product with I assume High margin and little error. 
They had this at expo last year and it is 1 mean mahine bad ass oven  !! PRODUCTION and HUGE pizza can come out they are kinda fun. Grew up on Pizza hut pan so Used to work for me til I found the fire!  >:D
However ... I sampled many a conveyor pizza at expo from the conveyors and was even there when the owners of a NY Joint in Vegas brought in their dough and tried to cox a NY style out of their deck oven dough I spent about an hour and 5 small slices there.
No Go ! tried every pan and disc and ... but just could not do it
All ovens are good depending on everything that has been Mentioned already
But would prefer if you all bought  an Acunto from Me  ;)
had to plug them sorry
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for ne
Post by: Assman22 on February 16, 2014, 10:53:33 AM
The general idea of reducing the hydration makes sense.  How would you adjust the following formulation:

High Gluten Flour - 100%
Water - 60%
Salt - 2%
Sugar - 3%
Oil - 3%
IDY - variable

Depends, what type of crust you're going for?  This isn't your current dough formula is it?  Regardless, I'd at least start by reducing your water percent by 10-15%. 

Also, where are you making pizzas?  Dough formulas will need to be skewed depending on your altitude.  Lots of folks try to use a recipe online and hope it turns out exactly like it does in pictures.  Too many variables involved throughout the country and world to rely strictly on just the recipe.  Water quality varies greatly, flour types/brands, oil types/brands, yeast types/brands, etc. 

Hope this helps and please let me know if you have any other questions.
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for ne
Post by: jsaras on February 16, 2014, 11:29:26 AM
I just chose a variation of Big Dave Ostrander's "Old Faithful".  As there has been several million pounds of thay dough made I figured that a lot of it went through conveyor ovens.

The location is Los Angeles.
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for ne
Post by: jsaras on February 18, 2014, 04:29:06 PM
Today, I decided to try a low hydration dough:

Pendleton Power Flour -100%
Water - 52%
IDY - 0.25%
Salt - 1.73%
Oil - 1.07%
Sugar - 2%

The dough fermented for four hours at a room temperature of 70 degrees.  I think that the closest analog I can get to a conveyor oven at home is baking on a screen.

The pizza took a bit to stretch, but I got it there.  I baked at 490 degrees for 8 minutes.   The result was a nearly perfect clone of a very crappy pizza place nearby that uses a conveyor oven!  Pale, and a bit of a gum line that wasn't that gummy.   The crumb was ultra dense.

The reason I tried this is that I'm hoping to do an "intervention" at that local pizza place by asking them to bake one of my dough balls.  This formulation isn't going to do it.

Perhaps using a hearth bake disc would get it closer to a good result?
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb
Post by: Tampa on February 19, 2014, 08:24:01 AM
IF I was in this to make alot of money  ;D I would consider the XLT bad boy showm below
I think they can make a good pizza as well with the proper dough . Many, NOT ALL , who buy  franchise joints have no clue how to make pizza Hence the francise set up with whatever comes with... The ones that do like assman do quite well and can crank out a great product with I assume High margin and little error. 
They had this at expo last year and it is 1 mean mahine bad ass oven  !! PRODUCTION and HUGE pizza can come out they are kinda fun. Grew up on Pizza hut pan so Used to work for me til I found the fire!  >:D
However ... I sampled many a conveyor pizza at expo from the conveyors and was even there when the owners of a NY Joint in Vegas brought in their dough and tried to cox a NY style out of their deck oven dough I spent about an hour and 5 small slices there.
No Go ! tried every pan and disc and ... but just could not do it
All ovens are good depending on everything that has been Mentioned already
But would prefer if you all bought  an Acunto from Me  ;)
had to plug them sorry
Thanks for the honest assessment.  I didn't know about this oven before.
Dave
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb
Post by: scash2014 on February 19, 2014, 05:59:57 PM
I worked at a Pizza Hut for a while. We had a 3 deck conveyor oven. I'm not positive, but Middleby Marshall seems awfully familiar.

I used to bring in my own food to cook on occasion. Even my own pizza. It ruined pretty much everything I attempted to cook in it. Dried it out. It ran at around 430 degrees. We used to get complaints about the more loaded pizzas, like meat lover's a super supreme being doughy in the middle.


It was impossible to cook a high quality pie with that oven the way it was calibrated.
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for ne
Post by: Assman22 on February 22, 2014, 02:16:56 PM
Today, I decided to try a low hydration dough:

Pendleton Power Flour -100%
Water - 52%
IDY - 0.25%
Salt - 1.73%
Oil - 1.07%
Sugar - 2%

The dough fermented for four hours at a room temperature of 70 degrees.  I think that the closest analog I can get to a conveyor oven at home is baking on a screen.

The pizza took a bit to stretch, but I got it there.  I baked at 490 degrees for 8 minutes.   The result was a nearly perfect clone of a very crappy pizza place nearby that uses a conveyor oven!  Pale, and a bit of a gum line that wasn't that gummy.   The crumb was ultra dense.

The reason I tried this is that I'm hoping to do an "intervention" at that local pizza place by asking them to bake one of my dough balls.  This formulation isn't going to do it.

Perhaps using a hearth bake disc would get it closer to a good result?

Jonas,

Try reducing water another 5%, increase salt to 2.3%, and use ADY for a dough to be used in a conveyor oven. You won't get the same bake as a conveyor oven or even a similar bake in a home oven.  The conveyor oven is much more intense with it's radiant heat distribution than a convection/conventional oven. 

Screens are used for soft doughs and making an American style crust like chains make:  i.e. Papa John's.  I use a perforated pan for thin crust and the standard 2 inch deep dish pans for deep dish.  I only use screens for calzones/strombolis/garlic knots/cheesy bread/etc.  Not for pizzas.  I like it crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside. 

As far as the color being pale, there are several options you could try in order to get what you want.  Egg Shade (food coloring) works well.  I like adding semolina or corn flour myself, roughly 20% of the flour. 

If you want to have a crispier crust using your dough, try panning the pizza crust, doc the dough, and put it in for a short run in your conveyor oven.  Add toppings and then give it a full run.  Another thing you can do is once the pizza does a full run, take it out of the pan and put it back in the conveyor for a short naked run.

Again, dough formulas all depend on where you are and what you're wanting to do.  A big factor in dough formula is the type of water you use.  Water in Chicago, New York, Tampa, LA, Denver, etc are all different.  This is why you'll often hear about pizza places in LA trying to mimic NY style or Chicago style by importing the water from one of the cities.  San Francisco for example, has softer and very clean water coming from Yosemite as opposed to Chicago.  I had to take my dough formulas and use trial and error in order to get the dough I had in Chicago for San Francisco. 

Lastly, to scash2014:  Pizza Hut sucks, their dough sucks, everything they use sucks.  Can't used Pizza Hut experience as a barometer to depict a conveyor oven, just like any other chain that uses them. 

You just need to right dough formula and have to put certain toppings under the cheese so they don't dry out.  Also, when baking "more loaded" or 3+ topping-pizzas in a conveyor, it's wise to start with a short run, then a long run.  More specifically, take a standard Supreme pizza for example.  Doc the dough, add the sauce, sausage, mushrooms, and green peppers and do a short run(half run) in the conveyor.  Then, add the cheese, pepperoni, onions, and black olives and do a full run. 
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for ne
Post by: jsaras on February 22, 2014, 05:01:09 PM
Thanks Assman22 for your detailed response.  Everything you've said makes sense, but the hydration, 48% total, for a high gluten flour seems exceptionally low.  Even at 53% total I thought it was drier than a cat's ass.   Is the crust cracker-like?
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for ne
Post by: pythonic on February 22, 2014, 09:24:46 PM
Thanks Assman22 for your detailed response.  Everything you've said makes sense, but the hydration, 48% total, for a high gluten flour seems exceptionally low.  Even at 53% total I thought it was drier than a cat's ass.   Is the crust cracker-like?

I was gonna say wow that is low myself.
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for ne
Post by: Assman22 on February 23, 2014, 11:03:07 AM
Thanks Assman22 for your detailed response.  Everything you've said makes sense, but the hydration, 48% total, for a high gluten flour seems exceptionally low.  Even at 53% total I thought it was drier than a cat's ass.   Is the crust cracker-like?

My apologies Jonas, I left out "increase Oil to 3.03%" in the first line when I was editing, sorry buddy.  Let us know how it turns out.
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for ne
Post by: jsaras on February 25, 2014, 03:43:53 PM
 Assman22, if I may ask you one final question - what flour have you used at this hydration?
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for newb
Post by: Lyquiddye on May 26, 2016, 11:51:05 PM
I hate dexk oven pizza. Conveyor independent is rhe only way to go.  Deck oven pizza is generally burnt and taste like crap.
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for ne
Post by: jsaras on May 27, 2016, 10:36:29 AM
I hate dexk oven pizza. Conveyor independent is rhe only way to go.  Deck oven pizza is generally burnt and taste like crap.

Said no one ever.
Title: Re: "Good pizzas are 90% oven" "conveyor ovens are not great" Oven primer for ne
Post by: nick57 on May 27, 2016, 02:20:19 PM
Said no one ever.
   I second that one for sure. :D