Pizza is a great delicacy of Italian cuisine that becomes a perfect combination of various ingredients coming together. It has a huge market and lovers, whether in a brick-and-mortar pizza restaurant, a fast food restaurant, a pizzeria, or any food service operation with pizza on its menu. To serve this delicacy, your kitchen needs proper and the best pizzeria supplies, and the key point to achieving a perfect pizza is the restaurant pizza ovens.
What is a Pizza Oven?
Restaurant pizza ovens are commercial kitchen equipment designed to cook pizza perfectly. They may use different heat sources such as gas, electricity, propane, or wood. Restaurant pizza ovens come in a variety of sizes for different business volumes.
The basic difference between a restaurant pizza oven and a home pizza oven is the size. Restaurant pizza ovens are much larger to hold the high amounts of pizza in high-volume businesses. The stone surface of the commercial pizza ovens is the other difference. That cooking stone is what creates the perfect crispy pizza crust.
Types of Pizza Ovens
A pizza oven is a primary piece of equipment to make a pizza, whether in a pizzeria, a food truck, or a specialty Italian restaurant. You can find further information about all the types of ovens in our blog post “A Complete Guide for Commercial Kitchen Ovens“. There are five main types of restaurant pizza ovens. The main points that will help you decide which is best for you are the heating method, operating style, capacity, and cost.
1. Brick Pizza Oven
Brick pizza ovens are the traditional ones that cook with a wood fire, providing the authentic smokey flavor. A pizza cooks both from the top and bottom. In a brick pizza oven, the dough cooks by the heat transmission from the bottom, and the toppings cook by the heat from the air, so the top and bottom of the pizza cook simultaneously, providing a perfectly cooked pizza.
Some say that the pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven is much more different and more delicious than the ones cooked in other ovens. The reason for that may be this cooking method and the high temperatures of a brick pizza oven.
Most brick pizza ovens can hold 10 to 12 pizzas at a time and cook one pizza in five minutes. It takes time to heat a brick oven but once heated, it keeps the high temperatures for up to 8 hours. You can skip the heat recovery times by keeping the fire going. The bricks are mostly made of ironstone crem residue or tough clay, which makes them resistant to combustion without burning themselves and highly durable. Because of the huge space they occupy, their laborious maintenance, and the capacity of approximately 80 pizzas per hour, they are ideal for pizzerias or medium-sized restaurants.
Drawbacks of Brick Pizza Ovens
- They require maintenance and clearance after each use to keep working properly.
- They aren’t suitable for indoor use. They require open space and can occupy a huge space depending on the model since operating with a wood fire.
- They can be expensive to maintain or repair when broken.
2. Conveyor Pizza Oven
A conveyor pizza oven is a conveyor deck oven that operates by moving the products on the conveyor belt through the heated chamber at a set speed. The slow-moving of the belt and the set time ensure the pizza is cooked thoroughly and evenly without burns. To boost the output of conveyor pizza ovens, you can stack them on top of each other in some models. A continuously working restaurant pizza oven can make up to 100 pizzas an hour (the largest ones), making it ideal for high-volume pizzerias and restaurants. There are two types of conveyor pizza ovens that you can choose depending on your business volume and gas or electric hookup style.
Impinger Conveyor Ovens
Impinger conveyor ovens operate with a gas or electric burner and fans. The burner heats the air using gas or electricity, and the fans blow the heated air throughout the oven, removing the cold air from the food and making it cook rapidly. An impingement oven reduces the cooking time by %20 and provides evenly cooked and nice textured pizzas.
The heating elements are placed above and below the belts in radiant conveyor ovens. It works like conventional ovens by heating the oven’s interior, producing radiant heat, and there is no hot air circulation. You can get consistent results every time using a radiant conveyor oven.
Impinger and radiant conveyor ovens work perfectly for different businesses, so you should decide carefully. Impinger ovens are ideal for high-volume operations producing a huge amount of the same kind of food since they significantly shorten cooking times. Contrarily, radiant conveyor ovens are suitable for lower-volume operations that require consistency. It also produces consistent results and ensures even cooking without burns.
Drawbacks of Conveyor Pizza Ovens
- You have less control over the food than other restaurant pizza oven types. This means you have to limit your menu to several food types that cook consistently at the same temperatures.
- They have more moving parts, which could be harder to clean and maintain than conventional ovens.
- They take up more floor space and have slower cooking times than a convection oven.
3. Pizza Deck Oven
One of the most preferred restaurant pizza ovens is the deck oven. The hot stone deck it has is what cooks the crust perfectly without burning the toppings. The pizza stone can be made of stone or ceramic and comes in various thicknesses. Also, its radiant heat prevents unmelted cheese and burnt crust, which infrared heat waves can cause.
A deck pizza oven can hold 4 to 6 pizzas at a time and has an output of 50 pizzas an hour. A deck oven may have one to six decks to increase output volume and efficiency. Deck pizza ovens are highly durable, can last even decades, and require little maintenance. The best thing about deck ovens is the control over the sections, letting you cook different items or pizzas with different toppings at various temperatures.
The pizza deck oven is mostly preferred for its ease of use, and the stone makes the pie evenly cooked and crispy. It is ideal for high-volume operations because of its huge size, output capacity, and wide temperature range. You can find more specific information about deck ovens in our related article.
4. Convection Pizza Oven
Convection pizza ovens work by circulating hot air, cooking each side of the pizza simultaneously. They can be called smaller versions of brick ovens. They are more economical and easy to purchase and maintain. These commercial ovens also can reach high temperatures easily, and by using a pizza stone, you can achieve the result of a brick oven. These compact restaurant pizza ovens are ideal for smaller establishments and operations that aren’t pizza-focused.
A convection pizza oven can produce an average of 40 pizzas per chamber in an hour. Most models have 2 to 5 racks per chamber. A convection oven cooks a pizza in about five minutes, depending on the temperature of the oven and the number of pizzas inside.
Drawbacks of Convection Pizza Oven
- The food can burn if you don’t adjust the cooking time properly.
- It can hold multiple dishes at one time, but it may cause some problems. Putting too much food inside can make the oven malfunction and over or underbake the dishes or take more time to cook.
- There are more parts to take care of when cleaning and maintaining.
5. Countertop Pizza Oven
Choosing the countertop version of the restaurant pizza oven, whether deck, conveyor, or convection, is a great idea that will save you space and money. The number of pizzas a countertop oven produces changes depending on the oven type, but they all have less output than their full-sized models.
Countertop pizza ovens are perfect for low-volume operations or kitchens with limited space since most are powered by electricity, and you can place them anywhere with an electrical outlet. Additionally, you can use them to heat the pizzas before serving or as an additional unit too!
Restaurant Pizza Oven Fuel Types
Restaurant pizza ovens come in three types in terms of power: wood, gas, and electric. Here are the main features of each type.
1. Gas Pizza Ovens
Gas pizza ovens cook using propane or natural gas. They have the highest heat output, ending in short cooking times, and warm up quickly with a short preheating time. You will need a connection to a gas line or a portable propane tank.
2. Wood-Fired Pizza Ovens
Wood-fired pizza ovens cook using wood or charcoal to fire. They have a little longer preheat times than other types, but once they are heated, they reach higher temperatures than their gas counterparts. You need to monitor the heat to ensure it remains constant throughout cooking.
3. Electric Pizza Oven
Electric ovens can not reach high temperatures like gas-fired and wood-fired ovens. But since they do not require costly fuels and are easier to clean and operate without needing a propane tank or wood pellets, they are preferable and efficient.
To Sum Up
Making the perfect crispy and cheesy pizza requires mastery and has some key points. After getting the dough done and topping it with various ingredients, the vital point is the cooking process. There are different restaurant pizza ovens with specific features and sizes, so knowing which will meet your establishment’s needs will make you produce the perfect pizza and make your operation thrive.