According to statistics compiled by Canadian Pizza magazine, more than 8,000 restaurants serve pizza in this country, ringing up annual sales of about $4-billion -- representing nearly 10 per cent of the total food-services industry.
For decades, pizza has been a staple in households and restaurants around the world. Quick, easy and delicious, this circle of love is a favourite meal for hundreds of thousands.
If you’re a restaurant or takeout venue owner, adding pizza to your menu can be highly profitable. With an excellent quality commercial pizza oven in your kitchen, you can make delicious creations in a matter of minutes.
According to PMQ's 2019 Pizza Power Report, consumers insist on the freshest, healthiest ingredients when it comes to pizza. They also expect easy ordering and fast delivery, so it's crucial to have the right technology to facilitate this. The quicker, the better! Even a 20-minute wait is too much for impatient, hungry mouths.
While traditional pizza toppings like pepperoni and supreme are favoured, consumers are increasingly interested in and happy to pay for gourmet toppings and a premium pizza-eating experience.
If you want to open a pizza store or add pizza to your menu, you’ll definitely need a commercial pizza oven. This buyer's guide covers the ins and outs of choosing the best pizza oven and discusses the benefits of conveyor versus deck and woodfired pizza ovens, and more, plus what to look for when you buy one for your venue.
While this guide is thorough and comprehensive, once you're familiar with your options, it’s still helpful to get advice from a professional. This could be a commercial kitchen consultant or someone who has supported other businesses to choose the most suitable pizza oven model for their venues. With your background understanding of commercial pizza ovens and their intricate knowledge, you’ll be able to find the best model of commercial pizza oven.
Don't hesitate to reach out to our knowledgeable team if you have any questions about how to buy a commercial pizza oven.
Here's what our commercial pizza oven guide covers:
- Commercial pizza oven terminology
- Main things to consider when buying a commercial pizza oven
- Used commercial pizza oven versus new commercial pizza oven
- Types of commercial pizza ovens
- Some of the best commercial pizza ovens
- Questions to ask before you buy a commercial pizza oven
- Commercial pizza oven FAQs
1. Commercial pizza oven terminology
The accessories used with pizza makers vary but include some of the following:
Automatic vegetable cutter and cheese grater: As the name suggests, this food processing machine automates both the veggie chopping and cheese grating processes with a machine that slices, grates, cubes, and shreds any ingredients with the same consistently.
Dough mixer: A piece of equipment either table or floor mounted (dependent on size). This mixer helps combine all the ingredients necessary to make pizza dough as well as kneading the dough to develop the appropriate consistency and ensure that the base of all your pizza pies are uniform. Unless you feel like kneading dough for hours, you’ll need a dough mixer.
Dough roller: a traditional manual style dough roller is a rolling pin. An automatic dough roller, also referred to as a dough sheeter, is a machine that you pass the dough through to help you create standard-size bases without the time or effort you need to do this manually. Automatic dough rollers are typically only used in high-volume operations.
Exhaust canopy/exhaust hood ventilation: You’ll need the correct size and powered ventilation system inside your kitchen to accommodate the size, type of equipment, heat, and BTU's that your equipment produces. This is especially important with a pizza oven as they tend to be quite large and work at very high heats. The majority of restaurants with a commercial pizza oven use a dedicated exhaust hood just for this piece of equipment.
The appropriate exhaust canopy or hood ventilation system will remove any smoke, steam, particulate matter or heat from your commercial pizza oven. Look at local, regional, or municipal guidelines and consider the size and style of your pizza maker, to work out what kind of canopy or hood ventilation you will need.
Pizza trays: A pizza tray is an aluminum, stainless steel, or cast-iron pan that your raw pizza goes on or into for cooking your pizza. Pizza trays are usually used when your oven doesn’t have a stone base or cooking surface.
Deep pizza pans: Deep pizza pans are traditionally used for deep dish or pan pizza. These types of thicker pizzas require their own pans to hold all the ingredients in and create the effect of a more pie shaped pizza rather than thin crust.
Pan grippers: Forget fiddling around with gloves or tea towels. Pan grippers are a useful kitchen utensil that look like, and work the same as, a pair of plyers. These let you pull pizza trays out of the oven without burning your hands.
Pizza stones: Traditionalists cook pizza on a round, flat stone. Pizza stones are used with ovens that don’t have a stone deck and generally preserve heat better than a metal pan.
Pizza paddles/pizza peel: this is a long-handled utensil that looks like a giant, flat spatula. They are used to insert and remove pizza from all pizza ovens.
Pizza cutters: There are two traditional types of pizza cutters. The first type is a pizza roller. This is a short-handled utensil with a very thin, round blade on the end, that rolls across the dough to cut the pizza. The second type is a mezzaluna or rocking knife. This knife has a handle on each end and a crescent-shaped blade. The user holds both handles and rocks it back and forth to make a clean, even cut in the pizza for consistent slice sizes.
Pizza boxes: If your restaurant offers take out and home delivery, you'll need many boxes. Make sure the size matches the pizzas you’re creating. Cardboard boxes are commonly used because they allow steam to escape, ensuring the pizza doesn’t get soggy, maitaining the integrity of the finished product. The bonus is that these are also recyclable, so they’re good for the environment. You can also have your company logo and other information printed on top, for promotion of your venue.
Pizza prep counter: Pizza prep counters are stainless steel, plastic cutting board material or marble-topped and often have refrigeration built-in with compartments where you can store and separate sauces, pizza ingredients, and other toppings, making pizza prep fast and easy.
Saucing rings: These are stainless steel, aluminum, or plastic rings that apply sauce or cheese to the pizzas. This tool gives your pizzas a uniform look and is used around the edge as you add your toppings to ensure that the undressed crust edge is the same size on all your pizzas.
The worldwide pizza market is projected to hit $233.26 billion by 2023
2. Main things to consider when buying a commercial pizza oven
Now you know some of the terminology, let’s look at the factors to keep in mind when you are looking to buy, rent, or lease-to-buy the best commercial pizza oven for your venue.
Type of commercial pizza oven
While customers like the idea of woodfired pizza made in a woodfired pizza oven - and many believe it’s superior - the truth is that a well-functioning pizza maker cooking pizza made from quality ingredients is the real key to a great tasting pizza.
You don’t have to use a woodfired pizza oven or stone pizza oven to deliver an authentic gourmet experience. In fact, you may find it easier and more cost-effective to serve up great tasting pizza with a good quality conveyor pizza oven, but the decision is ultimately up to you.
Your restaurant’s menu and the volume of pizzas you plan to produce will help you determine the type of pizza maker you should buy. The type of pizza you plan on serving will determine whether you go with a woodfired pizza oven, deck pizza oven, stone pizza oven, or conveyor pizza oven.
Size, weight, and placement
When shopping for a commercial pizza oven be sure that it isn't too big for your kitchen as it will be either impossible to install or make workflow difficult for your staff.
Take measurements before you order your pizza maker and check with your supplier to ensure the model will fit. Don't forget to factor in extraction and space around the machinery for your staff.
When considering the size of your commercial pizza oven, think about the orders you expect. If you’re working a food truck at a festival you can expect a rush of orders and very impatient people. The same goes at a quick service or fast-food restaurants, so you'll need the cooking capacity to accommodate the customers you plan to serve at peak times.
If your pizza oven is too small, you won't be able to keep up with orders. On the other hand, if your restaurant has a diverse menu and you buy a commercial pizza oven that’s too large, then you’ve wasted money and space.
For high-volume venues, look for either the commercial conveyor pizza or commercial deck/stone pizza oven that allows you to double- and triple-stack your ovens to increase output volume. You could also consider having two separate ovens and only using one during slower times, but this will take up more space in your kitchen.
When you're shopping for a commercial pizza oven, look at the oven's capacity or output, e.g., the model you are looking at may be able to cook up to 170 12-inch pizzas per hour.
Do some calculations to determine the volume of pizza you expect to serve each shift. If you’re a new venue you might consider renting a pizza maker. This will let you upsize or downsize easily once you know your maximum production requirements. You could also consider buying a used commercial pizza oven while you’re working out your exact needs.
If you're using a countertop model, you need to consider the weight of the commercial pizza oven to ensure your countertops are strong enough to support it.
Placement is another consideration. Some vendors have corner models that specifically designed to be placed in a corner and helpful for a tight space. You might want to place your pizza oven closer to where customers sit, so they can see you in action. If this is the case, remember that you’ll have to take safety into account, as well as aesthetics.
Settings, features, and functionality
A woodfired pizza oven requires more manual operation than its counterparts. Light your fire at the beginning of the day, or your shift, and aim to add enough wood to keep the temperature hot and consistent. If you're opening and closing a door as you cook, it may be difficult to maintain the temperature you want throughout service. This is part of the reason why conveyor pizza ovens significantly outsell woodfired pizza ovens.
With commercial deck, conveyor and stone pizza ovens, you can set the temperature and it will be consistent throughout the day. You also have better control over cook time.
A feature of conveyor and impinger pizza ovens is the conveyor belt. The speed of the conveyor belt, combined with the oven temperature setting, will determine how quickly your pizzas are cooked and how much volume you can produce.
With conveyor and impinger pizza ovens, the fans are one of the essential parts of the unit. A steady fan speed will give you control over the consistency of your product. With more airflow under the dish, you'll get a crispier result. Using a fan also ensures your pizza is cooked by hot air, not direct contact with heating elements, which can result in a burnt crust.
Gas commercial pizza makers must have the gas pressure set correctly, or you won't get the cooking consistency across each pizza. The best pizza maker vendors always recommend you have your oven installed by someone qualified to work with these types of machines. For example, if your conveyor or deck pizza oven takes too long to heat up to the right temperature, it may be due to a lack of gas pressure. A lack of pressure can also result in baking inconsistency plus hot and cold spots. Bad installation will also lead to ovens that don’t ignite or burners don’t light consistently.
Unfortunately, even someone with a standard gas installation qualification may not get it right. If you’re concerned your commercial pizza oven is faulty, it’s usually because it hasn’t been installed correctly. When looking for an installer, ensure they have commercial pizza oven experience.
In terms of features, consider things like mouth size, placement of controls, height, and how easy it is to open and close the doors of your pizza maker. The easier your oven is to use, the faster you’ll be able to prepare pizzas and the happier your cooking staff will be.
Cleaning and service
Like any appliance, the best working commercial pizza ovens are the ones that are kept clean. This will help to ensure that your pizza oven lasts years or even decades.
Your commercial conveyor oven should be easy to dismantle so it can be sprayed down. Some models allow removal of the conveyor so it can be washed with a pressure washer.
With stone pizza ovens and woodfired pizza ovens, you'll need to sweep out ash and wipe down surfaces. These ovens don't get too grimy because of the high temperatures inside, but you still have to regularly clean your flue to minimize fire risk.
There are service companies in Canada that specialize in cleaning conveyor, deck, and woodfired pizza ovens. They’ll look at all facets of the machine to ensure they're functioning at their best, including cooling fans, conveyors, stone decks, flues, exhaust, and other important parts. It makes sense to book a session regularly so you can make sure the ovens are functioning at their best.
The usability and practicality of your commercial pizza oven will come into play as well. Before you make a purchase, ask your supplier about cleaning and servicing recommendations for your pizza maker. Also consider how easy is it for someone with minimal training to dismantle and clean the oven. Another consideration is accessibility for servicing the machine.
The way your commercial pizza oven looks may be a consideration if you have an open kitchen format, a food truck, or your pizza maker will be a crucial feature on the takeout side of your venue.
Woodfired pizza ovens tend to be the best-looking commercial pizza oven. They're almost exclusively used in an open kitchen format, and their aesthetics are very customizable. This type of commercial pizza oven is great to increase brand exposure. Guests can see the pizzas being made and cooked, making this an integral part of the restaurant attraction itself.
Modern stone pizza ovens, conveyor pizza ovens, and deck ovens can be powder coated in a bold colour that matches your brand or venue and can be tiled or rendered to look fantastic. There are lots of attractive models on the market with customizable features.
Aesthetics are important, but when buying a commercial pizza oven, you should be mindful of its functionality as well as how it looks. If you have an attractive pizza maker but the wait for food is more than half an hour, you may find people start looking for quicker alternatives. All of this is dependent on the type of restaurant you’re running, e.g., a sit-down Italian restaurant wouldn’t be expected to deliver a pizza to the table as quickly as a takeout.
Country of origin
Conveyor pizza ovens and deck ovens are primarily manufactured in North America, although some are made in Europe and other places overseas. Traditional woodfired pizza ovens and stone pizza ovens tend to come from Europe (specifically Italy, the largest manufacturer), but you can also find quality woodfired pizza ovens and stone pizza ovens made in Canada or North American.
More recently, manufacturers in other areas of the world have begun producing many types of commercial pizza ovens. If you're looking at going with models that aren't North American or European, it would be best to speak to your local equipment restaurant dealer and do your research so you can be sure that these items have good reviews and parts and service are available for quick access.
Insurance, warranty, repairs, and cost of parts
Your commercial pizza oven should be covered under your overall business insurance for incidents like theft or accidental damage. Make sure your pizza maker is itemized on your policy so you can make a claim based on its true value.
A warranty on a new machine is essential. If you buy new you will most likely have a 12-month warranty on your commercial pizza maker on parts but not on labour. Make sure you’re clear on the warranty before you buy; if there isn’t one, consider this a red flag.
When you buy, talk to your dealer about the servicing and repair schedule they recommend. At high volume, your commercial pizza maker is likely to need attention as much as three or four times per year. When you buy, speak to your dealer about service and continuous maintenance. Be sure to base it on the volume you intend to see coming through your venue and factor in the possibility of increasing or decreasing the amount of service necessary based on actual output.
Ideally, there will be a service and repair specialist nearby you can call on in an emergency. If not, this could influence your decision about the commercial pizza oven you buy. After all, how much income would you lose if your pizza maker is out of action for a few hours, a day, or more?
And remember, when you buy a commercial pizza oven, the cost and availability of parts will factor into your ongoing expenses. A premium machine may have parts that are more expensive to replace, repair, or even source.
Usability and cleaning
Ensuring that your staff understand how to effectively and properly use the machine you purchase is key to keeping it working well and in top-notch condition on a long-term basis with fewer service challenges. Before you buy your pizza maker, take a look at how to clean it. The commercial pizza oven you choose should be easy for a staff member to clean regularly with some simple training when they start to use the machine.
Look at the accessories like rakes and brushes. If they're awkward to clean, it will be frustrating, and the job may not get done properly or as regularly as necessary. Cleaning your pizza oven frequently and thoroughly will reduce the potential need for costly commercial pizza oven repairs.
Pizza oven energy efficiency
Different models of pizza makers offer flexibility for energy efficiency. This can contribute to your long-term profits by driving down your electricity bill.
If your venue has extreme peaks balanced with quieter nights, you may wish to investigate a dual-chamber commercial pizza oven option so you don’t have to run a large machine during a slower shift.
In Canada, consider looking at and buying a commercial pizza oven with an ENERGY STAR® rating as these qualify for energy-saving rebates from provincial governments, reducing the purchase price and overall cost of ownership.
3. Used versus new commercial pizza oven
A used commercial pizza oven is an option for your new venue's kitchen. It can make sense to save money.
Browse SilverChef’s Certified Used range of equipment, which is often less than 18 months old and comes with a warranty. Our Certified Used range can also be rented through our Rent-Try-Buy® finance product, allowing you to see how the equipment fits with your business before deciding whether to purchase it.
According to Restaurant Canada’s Foodservice Facts Report. From 2016 to 2018, restaurant sales increased by 7.2%, and in 2017, 5% of all food orders were pizza.
4. Types of commercial pizza ovens
Now you know some of the terminology, let’s look at the factors to keep in mind when you are looking to buy, rent or lease-to-buy the best commercial pizza oven for your venue.
There are several different options for commercial pizza makers. Be sure to keep in mind the various terms below, for different types of pizza makers.
Woodfired stone pizza ovens
A woodfired pizza oven is exactly as the name explains. Typically made from brick or clay stones, and sometimes referred to as a pizza clay oven, these use wood or natural charcoal as their main fuel sources rather than gas or electricity. However, newer styles may have the option of being a gas and wood hybrid. These ovens tend to be much larger than other types of commercial pizza ovens, and they also require specific ventilation, depending on your jurisdiction.
Woodfired pizza ovens typically reach and cook at much higher temperatures and, therefore, require a level of expertise that’s different from traditional gas or electric pizza makers.
Pizza clay ovens are dome-shaped and made of stone or brick on the outside. You can use wood or coals, and it must be fired up and burned at the beginning of the shift. The fire or charcoal needs to be maintained throughout the day to keep it at the temperature you want.
Cooking is done in three ways:
- Reflected heat that happens from the coals or wood hitting the dome and stone on the bottom,
- Convection effect, because the fuel source is in one area of the oven it swirls hot air, or
- Conductive heat, where you put pizza directly on the stone itself.
Woodfired pizza ovens produce a different product from gas or electric ovens. They char and flavour the pizza uniquely because you’re cooking with wood. The wood type itself can be changed up using various kinds of hardwood to create different flavours.
Woodfired pizza ovens are more authentic: The AVPN (True Neapolitan Pizza Association or Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana) publishes rules about what constitutes an authentic Neapolitan pizza. Woodfired pizza ovens are a requirement for authentic Italian pizza made to these regulations.
The difference between woodfired and other pizza ovens is the cooking time. The heat is much higher radiant or reflective convection or conductive, so pizzas take between 90 and 120 to cook in a woodfired pizza oven. The result is dough cooked to a perfect texture – crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
The best wood for a pizza oven will generally be hardwood. It will burn cleaner and longer than softwoods and using hardwood will generate more heat. Talk to your vendor for recommendations.
To operate a woodfired pizza oven, you’ll need enough wood for an entire shift (around 30 to 40 pounds of wood per hour), no matter how many pizzas you plan to serve. This depends on the type of wood, the type of oven, the shape of the oven, and its size.
You must ignite the fire before you start cooking, so it has time to get hot.
Once your clay pizza oven is hot, you can cook pizzas in under two minutes. The resulting product has a more traditional look and can also have a crispier crust and smoky flavour.
Woodfired pizza ovens must be installed by a professional who will build the base, render it, cure it, paint or tile it, and install the flue. You can order kits, but they are complicated and time consuming to put together if you don't have experience.
Inside your kitchen, you’ll need the right flue/chimney to direct the resulting smoke away from your cooking space. You’ll also need to take responsibility for keeping this clean and safe, and it has to work in conjunction with the proper ventilation system according to your local region or municipality rules.
A woodfired pizza oven is usually esthetically pleasing and works well in an open kitchen concept because they can be used as a focal point for a restaurant. They can be tiled or presented how you like, and customers will enjoy watching your pizza chef at work.
One important thing to note is that the clay pizza oven can't produce the same volume of pizzas as its larger counterparts, and it’s quite bulky when you consider the space it takes up compared to the output of food.
Deck stone pizza ovens
Most pizzas are made in deck ovens, and these are likely the ovens you’ll find in most independent restaurants or pizza shops, most common outside of quick-serve restaurants (QSRs). These ovens have the option of being stackable so you can have multiple decks working at the same time, and each one can be set to a different temperature. You can purchase a single deck oven with legs, but they're also sold as double or multiple deck ovens, and many have the option of adding decks later on with stacking kits.
Deck pizza ovens also use a stone deck cooking surface like a woodfired pizza oven, ensuring even heat distribution and produce a product with an artisanal feel because it's also cooked on stone, but these are powered with gas or electricity.
The greatest benefit of a deck pizza maker is that it maintains an even cooking temperature throughout the whole oven (no hot spots). The end product is much more consistent than the woodfired pizza ovens but productivity may be lower than a conveyor oven (see below).
Commercial conveyor pizza ovens/impinger conveyor pizza ovens
A commercial conveyor pizza oven uses a stainless-steel belt to pull product through the cooking area. The difference between a standard commercial conveyor pizza oven and a commercial impinger conveyor pizza oven is that a standard conveyor oven has a heat source only at the top whereas an impinger conveyor pizza oven has a heat source on both top and bottom of the conveyor belt.
Uncooked pizza goes in, and hot delicious pizza comes out of a conveyor commercial pizza oven in less than five minutes. While traditionally used in a fast-food restaurant, a conveyor pizza can also create delicious gourmet pizza.
This model of commercial pizza maker is ideal as it delivers a consistently cooked product without the need for a skilled operator. It can be heated up and ready to go within minutes and will allow for maximum production volume.
Newer models of commercial conveyor pizza ovens have all the bells and whistles. This includes precise temperature control, insulation to prevent burns, easy-open doors, and features like dual chambers allowing you to cook a large quantity or a few pizzas at a time. There are also eco-friendly benefits that help you minimize energy use. Some gas and electric conveyor pizza ovens mimic the airflow of a woodfired pizza oven to help produce a more authentic gastronomic experience.
While many people assume they’re for takeout and delivery only, a commercial conveyor pizza oven can be used in a high-volume pizza venue, restaurant, or food trucks. Smaller models will produce more than 20 pizzas per hour at an approximate cook time under five minutes. Larger ovens will produce up to 175 pizzas per hour.
Standard commercial ovens (gas/electric) or combi ovens
Commercial ovens or combi ovens traditionally aren’t used as commercial pizza makers, but they can certainly get the job done. They are more common in establishments where pizza isn't the focal point of the menu.
Standard commercial ovens and combi ovens don’t cook pizzas as quickly or evenly as specific pizza ovens we've spoken about above (woodfired pizza ovens, stone pizza ovens, conveyors, etc.). If your venue is serious about serving delicious, well-cooked pizza and sparing customers from a long wait, look for a dedicated pizza oven to add to your kitchen. There are plenty of compact models available.
An important point: never confuse a conveyor toaster with a pizza oven! These are for toasting bread only, even if they’re a conveyor model. If you want the best results, buy a specific pizza oven.
5. Some of the best commercial pizza ovens
There are lots of options for commercial pizza ovens on the market today. The model you decide on will depend on your venue’s needs and the impression you want to give your customers, as well as items previously mentioned in section 2 above.
Also, keep in mind that many brands have different models that can be suitable across categories.
Here are some brands to consider when buying a commercial pizza oven.
There are multiple brands under the Garland banner that produce pizza ovens. They specialize in deck, conveyor, impinger, and convection ovens. This company has several models to choose from:
GDP series gas pizza ovens are traditional stone hearth style deck ovens. Their 48" and 60" Pyrorock hearths are fully accessible through heavy-duty, full-width doors making the whole cooking deck usable. The oven door, when open, lies flush with the oven hearth for easy loading and unloading and the cool-touch door handles provide comfortable and safe operation.
Lincoln impinger pizza ovens come in digital and ventless countertop style and are available in gas or electric configurations. The low-profile conveyor pizza oven is stackable to three high for increased baking capacity and flexibility. They offer continuous cook models with air impingement technology that allow for rapid heating, cooking, baking, and food crisping. The front door makes them easy to clean.
Convotherm is one of the top-selling combi ovens on the market, combining traditional baking with the principles of a combi oven. A variety of easyTouch products give a full range of features, including a high-resolution touch screen with customization options. The easyDial manual operation pizza ovens allow for all settings and extra functions to be selected and adjusted on one operating level that’s visible at all times.
Merrychef eikon® is a high-speed oven that comes in various styles and sizes, including a countertop for small spaces with front-of-house design, to larger models that cook, toast, grill, and reheat foods.
Middleby Group prides itself on being in the pizza oven industry for over 125 years. Here are some of their brands and products:
Bakers Pride is the modern-day commercial high-production pizza oven invention. This line includes deck, countertop deck, and convection ovens.
Beech offers stone hearth, wood-fired, gas-fired, electric stone hearth pizza ovens, and more.
Blodgett boasts a line of various size pizza makers and stacking combination deck ovens.
Doyon offers deck ovens, including ventless and convection three decks, as well as a full range of other product categories for most pizza restaurants or commercial bakeries.
Marsal high-end classic stainless steel, original brick-lined, and old-world visible flame style deck ovens can be used as showpieces in an open-concept kitchen. All their pizza ovens are created to maximize power and spread heat evenly throughout the baking chamber.
Middleby Marshal offers impinger, infrared, and fast bake electric and gas conveyor ovens.
NuVu specializes in countertop convection ovens perfect for small profile spaces, including convenience stores.
Star has gas and electric impingement and quartz heater countertop conveyor ovens.
TurboChef is in the high-speed category and is as well known for ventless technology. Their commercial pizza ovens range from rapid cook and high-speed conveyor to rapid cook impingement ovens.
Alto Sham’s new vector oven line allows you to cook up to 10 different pizzas at once, all at different temperatures for different lengths of time without any flavour transfer. The full range of products from this company includes combi, multi-cook, and cook and hold ovens. They also have food merchandisers and heated display cases.
Hobart Canada offers Baxter wide and narrow even-bake deck pizza ovens. These have decks that operate independently, allowing different heat settings so you can bake two different types of products, like thick and thin-crust pizzas, together.
Food Service Solutions
Food Service Solutions is a Canadian importer and national distributor of commercial foodservice equipment with a unique sales pitch: their kitchen solutions come from their team of chefs.
Woodstone’s line says it all in their name. These are wood-burning, wood/gas combinations and gas-fired stone hearth ovens in some surprisingly unique and beautiful footprints worthy of front-of-the-house exposure. As well as looking good, the company prides itself on high-performance for their commercial pizza ovens.
Amana Xpress countertop high-speed ovens come in smaller footprints, as you’d expect, but appear to have lots of power and flexibility. For example, their XpressChef 4i toasts, grills, bakes, and steams. You can cook large batches and multiple items on demand, from pizza to paninis and more. No training is needed to operate, and with no ventilation required, you can set it up virtually anywhere.
- The Nemco small footprint countertop pizza oven is equipped with a genuine baking stone for pizzas. The company says its removable stone decks and heavy-duty metal sheath elements distribute heat evenly for consistent cooking and browning of foods.
BakeMax’s electric artisan stone deck oven is designed for high-volume baking, including pizza. The exterior is stainless steel with a high grade inside steel chamber. Separate steel decks allow you to add or remove decks based on your needs.
Celcook's countertop, ventless, high speed, impingement pizza oven uses catalytic converter technology. The company says their oven has cooking speeds up to 50 per cent faster than traditional ovens allowing you to “get great-tasting pizzas in as little as half the time” as the traditional commercial pizza makers.
Crown Verity Canada
Crown Verity Canada specializes in tabletop and a line of outdoor mobile pizza ovens. The latter are excellent choices for the caterer or restaurant chef looking for mobility with power and capacity. The larger size models can feed crowds at golf clubs and banquet halls and come in propane or natural gas options.
Omcan deck and convection ovens come in countertop, conveyor, and other options. The Pyralis electric oven is designed to offer high-level performance and efficiency with low operating costs. They also have pizza oven accessories including hoods, stands, and wheels for pizza oven stands.
MVP Group’s Sierra company sells conveyor and deck pizza ovens and a specialty rotary stone commercial pizza oven – Volare. This model has a sleek, unique look with all-stainless-steel construction and boasts electric-powered rotating ceramic decks. The company says this unique model is designed to keep up with high demand for “multiple applications including pizzerias, restaurants, airports, hotels, bistros, markets, and schools.”
Vollrath Canada’s countertop electric conveyor ovens are designed for medium-volume operations that regularly produce fresh or par-baked pizza or flatbreads. These are great for venues with a pizza and flatbread offering on the menu.
Serve Canada’s Waring commercial countertop pizza ovens come in medium and heavy-duty dual and single decks and chambers, some with their own deck controls to operate at different temperatures simultaneously.
Moretti Forni, the top-selling Italian manufactured pizza oven in the word, describes itself as the leader in the production of static ovens for pizzeria, pastry, and small bakery. Its products are available in over 120 countries. The wide range accommodates the varied and ever-changing needs of the market, with “Each product line studied, designed, and built to offer users practical solutions with high technological content.”
Top of the range Moretti Forni pizza ovens can sell for over $100,000. Still, there are plenty of different options for Canadian pizza venues, plus attractive electric pizza ovens that resemble traditional woodfired pizza ovens. The company is always aiming for lower fuel consumption and improved cooking times. It relies on electronic technology for eco-smart baking, with adaptive power technology and constant power regulation to match what’s inside the oven. Other options include dual-temperature technology and energy-saving functions.
6. Questions to ask before you buy a commercial pizza oven
When it comes to purchasing the best pizza oven, you'll find there are dozens of brands and models. It may seem overwhelming, but if you focus on your needs, it will be easier to make a decision.
As part of your research, speak to other venue owners and reputable dealers/suppliers.
To help you decide between a woodfired pizza oven, deck or conveyor pizza oven and other models, here are some things you can ask your dealer:
- What machine will suit the needs of my venue, given my menu?
- Is the oven suitable for the type of pizza I want to serve? e.g., rustic wood-fired, traditional Neapolitan pizzas, deep dish, or quick-serve.
- Will the pizza oven be able to accommodate the volume I need to produce during my busiest times?
- Am I better off with a conveyer, deck, stone, or woodfired pizza oven?
- How easy is this model for my team to use?
- How much training is required? If training is needed, do you provide pizza maker training for my team?
- How easy is it to control temperature and cook time?
- Are automated functions available on the machine?
- Will this type of woodfired pizza oven fit through the doors of my establishment and, if it does, will I be able to get it into its allocated spot?
- Is there room for a flue and can we accommodate the appropriate ventilation system to work around the oven?
- Which model will produce the most pizzas and still fit into the space I have?
- How many pizzas will this model produce per hour?
- What trays should I use with this pizza maker?
- Is warranty included?
- How easy is it to get parts for repair?
- What happens if I need an emergency repair?
- Can I exchange for a smaller or larger model if I need to?
- Would you recommend this model to others?
- What are the benefits of this commercial pizza maker for this price point?
- How easy is this machine when it comes to operating and cleaning?
- How much are hourly maintenance call fees? What about on weekends?
7. Commercial Pizza Oven FAQ
What is a pizza clay oven?
This woodfired pizza oven is made from bricks and clay that form a dome shape and includes a flue for exhaust. This is why it is sometimes called a pizza clay oven. Wood is used to generate heat and then pizzas are inserted and removed, with cooking times as quick as 60-120 seconds. Most pizza clay ovens come in kits. It’s recommended that you get a professional to build and install your pizza clay oven for you so it holds together properly.
What is a pizza stone?
A pizza stone is a utensil or accessory similar to a pizza pan but made from stone. It can be used in any oven to mimic having the woodfired pizza oven or stone deck oven style pizza. A stone retains consistent heat more than a steel or aluminium tray. A preheated stone also gives that quick burst of heat to the base of the pizza, providing it with that puffed up effect. CAUTION: Don't immerse your pizza stone in water to clean it, or it may split. Wipe it down or brush it off regularly throughout your shift.
How hot should my pizza oven be?
The temperature you cook your pizza at will depend on your oven and the way you like your pizza. Also, bear in mind that everyone has a different idea of perfection when it comes to pizza. For a woodfired pizza oven, you will need to have the temperature at a minimum of 350 degrees Celsius (650-700 degrees Fahrenheit) to achieve that perfectly cooked crust and hot, gooey centre. As with any menu item in a restaurant, time and temperature work hand-in-hand to give the outcome you’re looking for and ensure consistency in your product.
Should I choose a commercial gas pizza oven or an electric pizza oven?
The pizza oven you choose may depend on what power source is available at your venue. Your choice may also depend on your preference and what type of product you want to produce. If you have a food truck, will it be easier to connect to electricity or gas? The answer will help you make your decision.
Comparing the costs of using your oven might help you choose between a commercial gas pizza oven or electric pizza oven. You may find an electric pizza oven is a more cost-effective choice, but you will have to do your own research to calculate what the usage and cost will be to calculate the total cost of ownership.
As noted, above, in Section 2, in Canada consider looking at and buying a commercial pizza oven with an ENERGY STAR® rating as these qualify for energy-saving rebates from provincial governments, reducing the purchase price and overall cost of ownership.
When it comes to cooking quality, as long as your oven can quickly reach the temperature you want, it shouldn't matter too much if you use electricity or gas. Having said this, you’ll find everyone has a different opinion when it comes to which model cooks up the superior product and which type of pizza oven is easiest to work with, so do your own research as well.
Thanks for reading this Commercial Pizza Oven Buyers Guide
Hopefully, this guide has helped you understand what to look for to narrow down your decision about the best commercial pizza oven for your venue.
If you'd like the advice and guidance of a professional, don't hesitate to reach out to the team at SilverChef. We have dedicated restaurant and cafe industry experts available to support you.
Prefer to dive straight in and start looking at Certified Used? Shop the range available at SilverChef. If you want to find out more about finance options rental payments on a commercial pizza oven, use our Rent-Try-Buy calculator.
This Buyer’s Guide was prepared using the expertise provided by Industry’s Best Consulting Canada, an independent consultant firm with over 25 years’ experience. Their team of professionals provide consulting services for every facet of the Foodservice and Hospitality Industry with a particular specialty in the choice and application of commercial restaurant equipment.