Tips on choosing the best pizza oven

The food industry has never been so diverse and people are busier than ever. Consequently, fast food — as long as it is tasty and filling — is becoming more popular, with pizza remaining a perennial favorite.

If you are looking to start your own pizza business, you need to find the best commercial kitchen supply equipment company to provide what you need. Here are some basic tips on finding the right commercial pizza oven:

Catering equipment

If your operation offers catering, you need to ensure that your equipment provider offers a wide variety of commercial pizza ovens and other appliances for your business. Commercial ovens, refrigerators, stoves, etc. are designed exclusively for usage in pizzerias, bakeries, restaurants and hotels. These commercial appliances are robust, efficient and reliable in terms of performance.

You need to ensure that the catering equipment company provides high-quality appliances. Companies can be found through a local phone book, advertisements, word of mouth or the Internet. Then a little informal vetting is advisable. You need a company able to provide appliances that can last more than 10 or 15 years.

Pizza oven types

Finding the right pizza oven type depends on your specific offerings and needs. Below are the main types of pizza ovens available.

Pizza Deck Ovens: Deck ovens feature stone shelves where the pizzas are stacked for cooking. The stones are heated before the pizzas are placed inside. Most pizzeria owners prefer this type of oven because it provides an authentic pizza taste without the complexity of wood-burning ovens.

Conveyor Ovens: Conveyor ovens are one of the slower methods for making a pizza. The pizza is pulled through the cooking chamber on a chain conveyor belt. Though this cooking method is slower, you can also cook more than pizza in a conveyor oven.

Pizza Convection Ovens: With rising utility costs, all restaurants are looking for ways to save money. A pizza convection oven decreases both cooking time and energy use while producing pizzas that are comparable to traditional methods.

Brick/Wood-Burning Ovens: These ovens are made of brick or clay. Gourmet chefs who want an authentic pizza taste by using old-fashioned techniques usually favor this type of oven. With this technique, you start by putting the pizzas over an open flame, normally fueled by wood or coal. The temperature can reach up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit and the baking time is quick.

Use the Internet for affordability and variety
The Internet provides a wealth of information about affordability and variety. You are likely to find a good choice within a few minutes. Search for pizza oven companies in your area and read as many reviews as possible before you draw up a shortlist. It is also advised to approach some similar businesses to find out if they are happy with their provider. A track record of satisfied customers would be a decision maker.

Visit the companies in person
Finally, as soon as you feel that you have gathered a good choice, it pays to visit the company in person. You need to gauge the kind of people you and your staff could be working with. Firsthand encounters will also give you more of an inkling for the provider's reliability and quality.

By Evan Silverman, for Culinary Depot, an online store for industrial kitchen equipment in New York.

Photo provided by benjieordonez.

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