They’re so many considerations you should make before getting a pizza oven addition to your kitchen. After a year of working at the pizzeria, I have used (almost) all pizza ovens. Believe me, when I say it, these are the top 10 best pizza ovens.
Things to Consider before buying one
As small-scale pizzeria owners, we’re tasked with many things. We’re the accountants, we’re the chefs and we’re the marketers. Heck, I even find myself putting on the plumber’s hat when the piping starts to leak. You know that the pizza oven is the most important equipment in a pizzeria, right? Unfortunately, it’s hard pinpointing the “ideal” pizza oven as we’re required to consider various things.
This is no small investment.
We must give it the attention it deserves. Today I’ll share the things I consider when buying one. Perhaps those who make pizza at home will benefit from this guide too. We’ll look at the types of ovens available first.
1. Is the oven exclusively for preparing pizza?
Do you intend to use it for other things?Remember, there’s no big difference between pizza ovens and conventional ovens. You want to get the biggest bang for your buck, right? Consider getting a multipurpose outdoor pizza oven instead. Even though they do not heat up as fast as we’d love them too, they are great in slow cooking.
2. Gas or electricity?
You’ll inevitably find yourself making this choice. Honestly speaking, it boils down to preference. Gas ovens are expensive to acquire but they’re cheaper to run in the long run. Electric ovens are relatively cheaper to acquire on the other hand but you’ll pay for this with huge monthly bills.
Take every advice you get on ovens with a pinch of salt.
What’s your favourite pizza recipe? Will you be making a thick crust pizza, or you prefer a pizza dough without yeast instead? With gas pizza ovens, you’ll have better control over the flame. This means that you can adjust the flame almost instantly. You’ll need this when making a crisp Homemade Pizza Crust. However, most gas ovens have don’t have fans – that’s the catch. There will be uneven heat distribution to the dough and you will have to rotate them by hand to achieve that extra thick crust.
How often do you need to move your pizza making equipment? All good ovens are bulky. Consider getting a portable oven if you often find yourself moving pizza equipment regularly. They make up for their inefficient heat retention by heating up really quickly when we need them to.
Let’s be honest – cash flow is tight everywhere. This is even more pronounced in smaller pizzerias where there’s no clear distinction between the pizzeria’s monetary account and that of the owner. As Pizzeria owners, we find ourselves digging deeper into our pockets when it’s time for renovations and repairs. When acquiring a pizza oven, look at the price tag. People, in general, are misled into thinking that the best pizza ovens often attract the high prizes. I believe that this is a marketing gimmick designed to ensure that you actually pay more for an oven with features you don’t need. Do your own due diligence and you will see the wisdom in this.
Obviously, it’s fun having a pizza oven that has all the latest bells and whistles – as long as you don’t pay through the nose for it. Don’t just look at the price tag when settling on an oven. Look at long-term costs such as routine maintenance and accessories too.
5. How much space do you have?
You can never have enough room in your kitchen. I won’t lie. This is where you will consider getting a countertop oven instead. There are even aluminium double-decks that give you double output while occupying the same space. Find out how much space you have in your kitchen before settling on any equipment. You want to be sure that there’s enough room for it.
6.What’s your expected production capacity?
Perhaps this will be your biggest consideration. You obviously don’t want an oven that won’t meet your production standards. Consider the business model that you’re running your business under too. For instance, if you offer deliveries, you need to ensure that you meet the market’s demands. This is by far the riskiest pizza shop business model. These days, customers are never patient and you can never delay their orders lest you end up closing shop.
They say that carry-out pizza shops make up about half of all pizza shops in the USA. I must say that they the highest pizza production requirements too. Even though you won’t spend as much on staff and furniture, you will be spending most of your time in the kitchen. Should you be complaining? Of course not, get an oven that meets your production requirements and you will be smiling all the way to the bank. Spare me those crafted “inspirational” stories on what motivated you into starting a pizzeria.
We’re all here for the bucks, aren’t we?
7. Does the manufacturer offer support?
In the unfortunate event that the pizza oven misfunctions, who will bail you out? As I said, there is no pizza business without a good oven. This is the heart of your business. It’s heartbreaking that we have various suppliers selling outdated models. Take your time researching for the best outdoor pizza oven and your efforts will surely pay off. You have the internet at your disposal. Use it tactfully and you will see what other customers are saying about a given manufacturer.
8. Consider getting a pizza oven that’s compatible with various accessories
Look at the bigger picture. I’m sure that you’re using various accessories with your existing oven. Look at that pizza stone for example. Give room for growth too. You should spend your money on an oven that will give you a huge return on investment. Look at it this way – aren’t you looking for a reliable oven that will be compatible with various accessories and attachments?
9. Cleaning and maintenance
If you crank up the heat on the pizza oven before vacuuming out all the physical debris and soot, chances are – you’re doing it wrong. All standard decks should be cleaned on a daily basis. They should then be given a thorough cleaning once in a week. I love to do this on Mondays as it’s generally pizza slow day. Keep one thing in mind at all times – Do not use water to clean up the pizza stone surface. You don’t want those stubborn cracks.