If you are just starting out or are an existing pizza restauranteur looking to make a change, the pizza oven that you use could be the difference between your business being a success or a failure. Because there are so many pizza ovens with different features on the market, it helps to be mindful of what type of oven would be suited to your needs. Below are 5 things to consider when looking for a pizza oven for your restaurant.
1. Quantity of pizza
Before going ahead with purchasing a pizza oven, you need to think about how much pizza you expect to produce or are currently producing. There are generally four types of ovens and all are capable of producing different quantities of pizza at one time. A convection oven is usually the slowest on the market and has anywhere between 2 to 5 racks per oven with 1 to 2 pizzas being able to cook per rack. Brick ovens have limited cooking space and tend to cook slower but the cooking space can usually accommodate over 10 pizzas at once. A deck oven has multiple racks that can hold at least 6 pizzas at one time. Lastly, a conveyor oven, usually used in busier pizza restaurants has a built-in conveyor belt that pulls the pizza through at pre-set temperatures and speeds. Choose the oven that will be best based on the amount of traffic your restaurant usually receives and how many orders are usually being made at once.
2. Fuel to be used
Brick ovens use wood, gas, or charcoal to cook pizza, but convection, deck, and conveyor ovens are all available with gas or electric options. It would be beneficial for you to determine what hookups you have in your restaurant and stick with this option as changing them would be costly and would most likely disrupt your operations for a few days. There are a few differences between gas and electric ovens. Gas will cook your pizza quicker and more evenly so it is better suited to a restaurant that has a lot of traffic. Electric pizza ovens may be cheaper to operate and are mobile if your restaurant consists of catering jobs in addition to the restaurant.
3. Type of pizza
What type of pizza you will be cooking will largely determine what pizza oven you need to purchase. Brick ovens are often used by restaurants who want to give an authentic pizzeria experience. Pizza made in a brick oven has hints of wood and smokiness that cannot be replicated by any other type of oven. Convection ovens circulate heat evenly throughout and often results in the pizza being well-done on top but less so on the bottom. With a deck oven, the pizza is baked on stone shelves over a heat source and allows the bottom and crusts to have a crispy bottom but chewy texture. Pizzas baked in a conveyor oven are cooked evenly and will allow them to be consistent which is why a lot of franchises use them.
It is understandable that you want the best pizza oven on the market but your budget will largely influence the type of oven you end up purchasing. Convection ovens are usually less costly and it does not cost as much to clean and maintain them. Deck and conveyor ovens are considered middle of the road. The moving parts in a conveyor oven makes them more prone to breaking, meaning you will have to pay to have it fixed more. A deck oven is easy to maintain and have a long life span, making them more expensive then the convection oven. The brick oven is usually the most expensive to have installed. Because it is constructed on site and lots of materials are involved, the brick oven is a costlier option. Keep in mind that all types of ovens have different price ranges depending on the features that they offer.