No two pizza places are exactly alike so it’s important to operate with a pizza oven that fits in with your business model. Each type of pizza oven offers a different style of cooking and with each style there are various cooking times to consider. Below is a brief summary of three popular types of pizza ovens: deck ovens, countertop ovens and conveyor ovens.
Pizza Deck Ovens
Gas pizza ovens bake using conventional radiant heat provided by burners located on the bottom of the oven cavity. The heated deck crisply cooks the bottom of the pizza while the radiant heat in the shallow cavity cooks the rest. The 7” height of the cavity helps equalize cooking time between toppings and crust.
Electric pizza ovens have an added heating element at the top of the oven cavity which acts as a broiler to bake the top of the pizza. Like gas pizza ovens, the deck is generally made of stone, brick or ceramic tiles to simulate brick ovens.
Pros and Cons
Deck ovens are for establishments wanting to produce high quality, traditional pizzas. Equipped with wide cavities for baking of multiple pizzas, deck ovens have full length, front mounted doors hinged at the bottom for easy loading and unloading of product. The low 7” height of deck oven cavities match the low profile of the pizza to perfectly cook the toppings while the deck cooks the crust. The average deck oven can bake six 12” pizzas at once.
- High quality
- Crispy crust
- Traditional taste
- Requires expertise
- Labor intensive
- Cooks slowly
Countertop Pizza Ovens
These ovens are made for smaller operations, cook one or two pizzas depending on the model. The cooking principals are the same as deck ovens with low cavity heights to promote even cooking of product. Doors are hinged at the bottom for easy loading and unloading.
Generally, countertop pizza ovens bake 12” pizzas, though some models cook 14” or 16” pizzas.
- Small footprint
- Limited capacity
Conveyor Pizza Ovens
Conveyor pizza ovens operate exactly as the name suggests. These ovens move pizza along a conveyor belt from one side to the other. The pizza chef adjusts the cooking time and speed for consistently cooked pizzas. Conveyor pizza ovens are ideal for large-scale pizza delivery operations with time constraints. These pizza ovens are available in both electric and gas options and can be used to bake subs, cookies and other menu items.
- Large output of product
- Consistent quality of product
- Low to no recovery time between batches
- No pre-heat time
- Large unit – needs floor space
- Cooking temps limited for high heat