Is pizza one of your favorite foods? Do you find yourself eating it often? A pizza oven could be just what you need to add to your home arsenal of cooking equipment. It doesn’t matter if you’re an at-home chef or professional business; you need the best pizza oven.
Today, the technology used for pizza ovens is quite advanced, but it operates using some basic principles. With the right pizza maker, you can cook almost any type of pizza that you want.
Maybe you fancy an original Neapolitan, which is the original Italian pizza. How about a California Style pizza? For all of you meat lovers out there, the Chicago Stuffed could be an excellent choice.
Why Get One?
Since the 18th century, people have been gobbling up their favorite flavor of pizza. The people of Naples started adding tomato to their flat bread, and it quickly grew into the modern pizza that we all know and love. The pizza has undergone countless changes over a long period of time.
The baking techniques, toppings and styles have changed over time, but our love for pizza has remained constant. Today, a number of different products are used to replace the old-world ways of crafting pizza.
What most people don’t realize is that the pizza oven plays a paramount role in the flavor of the finished product. In fact, the type of oven used can make or break your pizza.
How to Choose the Best Pizza Oven
Let’s face it – there are hundreds of different pizza makers out there. How are you supposed to know what is the best? That is why we’re here.
For starters, we read countless pizza oven reviews to get the critical information needed to choose the best products for you. Pizza ovens come in a wide range of residential and commercial styles, so if you’re going to choose the best, there are some questions you’ll need to ask.
Commercial or Residential
The two main types of ovens are commercial and residential. There is no rule that says you should purchase one or the other.
It should be obvious that commercial ovens are tailored for businesses and large restaurants, but there is nothing wrong with using a commercial oven in your home. In fact, if you have the space and money, you might actually prefer a commercial pizza maker.
A Deeper Look into the Choices
There are a few major types of pizza ovens, and each product operates a bit differently. A conveyor oven can churn out pizzas faster than most other types. It’s almost always used in commercial pizza chains, such as Domino’s and Pizza Hut.
It can cook a large pizza in as little as six minutes. A hand-crafted pizza is loaded into one side of the oven, and a conveyor belt moves the pizza through the oven as it cooks. Conveyor ovens are very fast, but they’re not practical for use in a typical home.
The Wood Burning Oven
Here is a classic pizza oven. It’s favored and used by most gourmet cooks. Pizzerias love it because it produces a very authentic flavor that is difficult to miss.
A wood burning pizza oven is stocked with coal or wood, and it can get up to about 1,000 degrees. The oven has a refractory dome on the top, which magnifies heat inside of it, so a consistent amount of heat is present in every surface.
This type of oven can produce the most authentic flavor, but it can take as long as an hour to reach the perfect temperature. Wood ovens are almost always used in large restaurants that make many pizzas every day.
The Deck Oven
Many commercial restaurants use a deck oven. It can produce traditional, high-quality pizzas. It has a wide opening, so a number of pizzas can be cooked at a time. A deck oven sits on top of a deck of heated stones.
The overhead heating elements cook pizza toppings. About six regular-sized pizzas can fit in this type of oven at once. One of the issues with this style is the speed – it’s very slow. However, it provides authentic flavor without the hassle associated with a wood oven.
The Convection Oven
You’ll have no trouble finding convection pizza ovens in both restaurants and homes. Convection ovens are cheap, efficient and powered with electricity.
There are some gas models, but most are powered by electricity. Convection cooking consists of passing hot air over the pizza. The hot air cooks the pizza all the way through. The typical owner of a convection oven is a home chef or restaurant owner.
When compared with many other types of ovens, convection models are cheaper and more efficient. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to get a crispy crust with this model.
The Revolving Tray Oven
This type of oven spins a pizza slowly. It applies heat evenly on all sides of the pizza. Most of these ovens have a loading door that is located in the back of the oven, and the finished product is unloaded in the front.
There are some single-serve revolving tray ovens that are used to cook a single pizza, through the process of rotating the pizza around a central heating element. This style of oven can cook a pizza quickly, but it cannot provide the authentic flavor that other ovens can provide.
The Cart Oven
A cart pizza oven is normally found inside of a mobile pizzeria. It’s run straight out of a food truck. Most cart ovens are small, portable and powered by gas or electricity. You can usually find these ovens in outdoor festivals or street fairs. Because of the size, a cart oven cannot make multiple pizzas at a time but can cook quickly.
Commercial VS Residential
For caterers, home chefs and food lovers, a commercial oven could easily be worth the money. The reality is that not everyone has the money to spend on a commercial product. There are some important pros and cons for each type of oven.
- Installs quickly and easily
- Stylish colors and finishes
- Low operating costs
- Usually can’t hold more than two pizzas
- Cannot produce as much heat
- Far more likely to break or malfunction
- Doesn’t produce authentic pizza flavor
- Very durable
- Less likely to break
- Hold multiple pizzas at once
- High-output burners
- Not as stylish as residential models
- Can be difficult to clean
- Can be difficult to service when used in a home
- Installation in home could void warranty and insurance
Before making a purchase, you should consider the pros and cons. For home chefs searching for a commercial solution, there are some smaller, quality commercial ovens available. Fortunately, we’ve already found the best products for you – just keep reading.