Long gone were the days you could only get pizza at pizzerias. Nowadays pizzas are a common item on restaurant menus and it’s best for restaurateurs to keep up. They can start by choosing the right pizza oven. The main questions to ask include what kind of pizza you want to serve, how much of it you are looking to make, your budget and from the construction perspective, how much space your kitchen has.
The four most common types of ovens are brick ovens, deck ovens, commercial convection ovens and conveyor ovens. Old school brick ovens are generally produce the best pizza. This is because cooking with brick ovens ensure the dough is cooked thoroughly, to the perfect level of crisp. Electric ones like deck ovens, commercial convection and conveyer ovens offer a different advantage: they don’t require the installation of kitchen hoods that are usually costly. Moreover, since these types of ovens emit heat from top and bottom, the kitchen staff won’t have to manually rotate the pizza halfway through the cooking process.
In choosing the right pizza oven, consider how much pizza you expect to cook and serve to patrons. With one cooking platform, fire-fuelled brick ovens have a low output rate. Some types can hold up to a dozen of pizzas, properly cooking each one in four to five minutes. Similarly, deck ovens can hold up to six pizzas at once, though they take slightly longer than brick ovens to perform the task. However, pizzas cooked in deck ovens need constant supervision and moving around. Conveyor ovens cook and move pizzas along their conveyor belts, taking about five minutes each time. Commercial convection ovens can only fit one or two medium-sized pizzas per rack (they usually have two to five racks).
Space availability is also an important factor to consider when shopping for a pizza oven. Brick ovens are the most complicated to build. Since they are generally large, they are space-inefficient and would require a lot of time and materials to build. Conveyor ovens are wide and therefore also need a lot of room. If space is a concern, deck ovens or commercial convection ovens are the two most ideal options, especially for restaurants where pizza isn’t a key dish in the menu.
The price of commercial convection ovens falls between $1,000 and $10,000, while deck and conveyor ovens are priced between $5,000 and $30,000. Although deck ovens can be costly, they pay for themselves considering they can last for decades and are low maintenance. These price estimations vary with size and brand.
With these considerations in mind, consult a professional to find out the best fit for your restaurant, be it a pizzeria or a bar looking to serve delicious pizzas.
By Natasha Gan