120,000 BTU vs 80,000 BTU

Good Morning Everyone,

   This site is great!!   I have a quick question, Im looking at opening a small take out pizza place. Will I really need a 120,000 BTU oven, or will a 80,000 do me just fine?  Local expert has told me that I need a 120,000, because otherwise it will take too long to recover after loading up the oven at peak times?

P.S. Anyone know anything about Franklin Chef Ovens? Found a 80,000 BTU in great shape, 11 years old…new thermo-coupler and stones,… looks to be in great shape or should I just go new on such a critical part of the operation?

 Thanks in advance. Weegie

I am working in a smallish market and hating the fact that my business is growing, and my underpowered oven is falling behind on weekend rushes. The power you will need in your oven depends on the business load you anticipate and the efficiency of the oven.

I would suggest from my limited experience that you will always be pleased if you buy an oven 1) designed for pizzas and 2) powerful & large enough to accommodate future growth. 80K is probably a low end of muscle for one deck . . . the 120 will be a more consistent deck. I actually have 80K powering two deck (ouch!).

Conveyors I will leave to the more learned and experienced here. I’ve not used one yet. Though the same logic should apply. Get an efficient oven with enough power to handle your load. Find out how many pizzas per hour your oven is rated to produce . . . or how many pies per hour you need to be able to bake for your peak hours. Start there, and then look at the options for the ovens.

Thanks Nick for your input…may I be so bold as to ask what type and model oven you have? did you buy new?

After hours of tasting pizzas (Man I Love The R&D in this business) I think the taste of a pizza coming from a deck oven just tastes better, the crust just seems to take on a much richer fuller flavor…remember Im just a newbie, so I maybe I have it all wrong, I just know what tastes good to me. I can see the advantages of a conv.oven in a large operation, but I plan to just ride my way to retirement on a slow ride. Just a very low cost operation, providing a high quality product at a fair price. The Weegie

there’s nor right or wrong, deck or conveyor
in blind taste test, that I was in, some picked the deck better and some the conveyor

…to me, bottom line, you can bake a great pizza in any oven, or even a camp fire, just have to match up your pizza with your oven, experiment, and verify from there…just my 2 cents,

I operate using a Blodgett 981 that came with the business when I bought it. It is designed to be a baking and roasting oven. Blodgett makes a pizza oven, the 961P, which has 60K BTU per deck. There are several people here who have said the Baker’s Pride Y601 and Y801 are workhorse type decks that are powerful enough to move some pies. I would just need to get two or three of them to handle the surge on Friday nights.


For a smaller market, you sound like you have it going on! I bet I could learn alot from your business model…thanks for all the input, its much appreciated.

Otis, I agree…I think you all you experts on here could make anything work. I’m just a newbie, and have come here to learn, and also appreciate your input. I hope to attend a pizza trade show soon, so I can start some net working out of my market. I currently own a carpet cleaning business, and the old saying in that business is “you could do a good job cleaning carpet with a tooth brush, if you knew what your doing and get great results…it’s just that a truck mounted steam cleaner makes things much more efficient”


figure out the maximum number of pizza per hour you want to do in the location and get the appropriate oven for that volume…consider the aspects of your popular averages of pizza per hour and be reasonable.

I have a Q-Matic 36W, 120,000 BTU and I can bake around 22 14" pizzas per hour…
I have a 9 + minute bake, some impingement conveyors go much faster…

of course, decks have there own pizza per hour formula, recovery time being a major factor.

good luck,


Otis, what temp is your Q set at?