5 Features to Look for When Purchasing a Commercial Pizza Oven

Whether you're planning to open a full New York style pizzeria or just want to expand your current menu with a few new dishes, you need a reliable commercial pizza oven that can produce enough pies per hour to meet demand. Yet there are many more features and abilities to consider beyond just the cost and speed of a pizza oven. Look for these five features to get the very best results every time you fire up the oven.

Gas Heating

Want to produce crispy crusts and well-melted tops without spending a fortune on fuel? Look for a gas powered model since natural gas or propane creates a dryer heat that is perfect for baking a relatively moist dish like pizza. Gas ovens offer the most even cooking experience as well, preventing under cooked centers or overly browned crusts. Of course, you'll need to be able to get gas hooked up at your restaurant before investing in this kind of equipment.

Cooking Decks

Many people opening their first pizzerias are seduced by the high output of a conveyor pizza oven. These models include a high heat conveyor belt that can cook a pizza in just a few minutes and requires little to no attention during the process. However, these ovens simply can't produce the same quality of baking results because the pizza is constantly moving instead of roasting evenly in a small space. Unless you're absolutely sure you need the high output of a conveyor oven, look for a model that uses cooking decks instead. These units cost about the same as a conveyor oven, produce almost as many pizzas per hour, and cook the pies much more evenly and with a crisper crust.

Viewing Windows

Trying to create an amazing atmosphere to justify a higher menu price than your competitors charge? Nothing sets the mood in a pizzeria, or any restaurant for that matter, like a view into the oven as it does its magic. Regardless of the cooking style or fuel type you choose, you can find practically any type of pizza oven equipped with a high heat glass pane to let diners peek in as their dinner cooks. Look for the term display oven or centerpiece oven when shopping. You'll spend a little more on models with windows, but you won't waste fuel as you would with a very open design brick oven that also allows for viewing.

Brick Interiors

Wood-fired ovens are often out of the budget for both new pizza restaurants and expanding establishments, but you can still get similar baking results by looking for a gas fired model lined with genuine brick. A brick lined model is usually a little cheaper than a complete custom built oven made entirely from brick while still offering the dry interior you need for a well-cooked pizza. You must use firebrick for this kind of lining because standard building bricks aren't capable of handling the heat. Many oven manufacturers offer optional installation kits for lining the interiors so you don't necessarily have to make a decision about this feature during the initial purchase.

Low Ceiling

Finally, make sure the height of the cooking chamber in the oven is as short as possible whether you choose a deck, conveyor, or convection oven. Multiple racks allow you to cook more pizzas at once, but they also often raise the height of the chamber. Short chambers keep heat radiating as intensely as possible from both the top and bottom to cook both the crust and top evenly. If you must have extra racks for larger capacity, look for designs that separate racks into multiple short chambers instead of a single large cooking chamber.

To learn more about your options, contact restaurant equipment supplies companies.