Any references for Pizzerias using ZESTO gas deck ovens?

Hello everyone… I’m new here and this is my first post. Tons of great info in here but after several searches for info on Zesto deck ovens (specifically a 215-SS), I’ve had no luck.

We’re opening a small pizzeria tavern and will be preparing handmade pizza in a somewhat of a Neapolitan style… w/ a simple dough and sauce from scratch and fresh cheeses and herbs & spices. We’re not in any position to purchase (nor experienced with) a wood burning brick oven nor do we anticipate a very high thru-rate that would require us to use a double stacked oven set or a conveyor (i.e., we’ll be serving the majority of our 9" and 15" pies in-house and hope to sustain a fair small local delivery service), so basically, we want to make great pies without the necessity of a WFBO but also without the need for a double stack Y602 set… so we are looking at alternatives to buying even a single industry standard Y600 in used condition.

I stumbled across Zesto Ovens. According to the spec sheet and after seeing a smaller one on display at a local Restaurant Equipment warehouse, the 215-SS, with its comparable baking compartment size, 5 burners, 1 year parts/labor warranty and relatively low new pricing seems like a great alternative to buying even a single used BP Y600 or Blodgett 961. The therm goes up to 650F but the specs listed only state 600F but the BTUH is 102,000, a fair amount for keeping up with volume baking.

Does anyone know of a pizzeria using one of these Zesto 215-SS ovens that I could call for a reference? I will be calling Zesto directly to get more info and possibly ask them for references but I figured I’d ask around online while I’m snowed in for the next 2-3 days :slight_smile:

I’m still convinced the Y600 is a wonderful oven, even in 10+ year old used working order. I’ve used one at previous pizzerias and loved them, but for my new business, I’m just researching different and alternative ovens.

Anyone have any other suggestions?


Hi Rich:
Stick to the Y600.

George Mills

My gut tells me to stick to the Y600 but it’s worth it to look into options. I’ve read dozens and dozens of your replies on here and I value your opinion. Thank you :slight_smile: I’m still interested in some feedback on the ZESTO ovens but I do know my way around a Y600 so I’m not too stuck on the idea of switching just for the sake of switching… possibly for the parts/labor warranty, haha…

Hi Rich:

Just as you are experiencing, I can find no one to critique the Zesto ovens.

One thing is obvious a Y-600 weighs 1387 lb th same size Zesto weighs 788 lb.

Also the Y-600 is 120,000 BTU The Zesto is 102,000 BTU.

George Mills

Yep I notices those specs. The 102k BTUH on the Zesto 215SS versus the 120k BTUH Y600 seems to be fairly comparable (when compared to a Blodgett 961P @ 50k BTUH) but then the Marsal SD660 ovens are also 120k BTUH and weigh 1400 lbs but then we get back to the economical points… but yeah the weight difference (between the Y600 and the Zesto 215SS) is quite different. It isnt purely an economical choice but it surely doesnt hurt to weigh the options, benefits and shortfalls. I have a local used warehouse that can extend a clean 60qt Hobart mixer (with new bowl and hook) and single Y600 for around $7000 together… probably gonna stick with that deal as long as the Mixer is 3-phase and Y600 isnt one of the oooold ones :slight_smile:

Marsal SD448 is much smaller (if that is the concern) with the same BTUs per square inch, and a much thicker deck which may yield better crust in high volume situations due to the fact that it’ll take a lot longer to cool the stone done when it is 50% thicker, than a Y-600. I have no experience with the Marsal though so just a thought.

Personally, I have not had any luck , pumping the thermostat up to 650 on a deck oven. The bottom burns before the top is anywhere near done even with the dampers all the way open. So if you are planning on running 600 or 650 this is something to consider.

Thanks for the reply and input PJ. I think, short of a WFBO, I’m gonna stick to the Y600 most likely. We’ll see :slight_smile:

rich have you tried turning the thermostat all the way up on a y-600 and if so how are the results?

i have a cheap bakers pride clone and it just does not work. there is not enough top heat. i am wondering if a better oven would give better results.

i am also after basically a sort of in between of a neapolitan pizza and a more ny style pizza baked at 550 F or so.

pjcampbell » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:55 pm
rich have you tried turning the thermostat all the way up on a y-600 and if so how are the results?

i have a cheap bakers pride clone and it just does not work. there is not enough top heat. i am wondering if a better oven would give better results.

The problem is that the gadget on deck ovens called a thermostat is a wish-o-stat. You just wish the oven was the temperature you dialed up. The temperature you select usually has little relationship to the temperatures in your oven. There is no direct modulation of deck temperatures or oven temperature in the air above the deck.

George Mills

After a lot more research and even calling around to different pizzerias and speaking with the kitchen managers and owners to see how they liked their ovens, I think we are going to go with a Marsal MB-42 or MB-60 over the BPY600 or any other oven. Plenty of BTU for recovery, capable of maintaining at or over 600F, 2" hearth fire brick surface and 1-1/2" brick lined arched ceiling and 1-1/2" brick lined back, 0" clearancing (i.e., wonderful insulation), side-to-side burner positioning, interior light, stackable for possible expansion needs, … I think we found a winner!

Our tavern, without having the panache of a wood fired brick oven, should still be able to put out highly acclaimed pizza using the MB series ovens. As much as I want to bake with a wood fired brick oven, our facility would require thousands and thousands of dollars in structural modification just to get one brought in… OR that much more to build one from scratch inside the kitchen by a reputable builder. We’re a “behind-closed-doors” kitchen so there will be very limited visibility into the kitchen to see the oven so we dont benefit from any of the decorative faces or anything either. I would love to hear more reviews out there for the MB series but I think all its gonna do is make us want to buy it more :slight_smile:

IMHO, It’s worth it to spend a bit more money on a good deck oven than to worry about a couple thousand dollar saving on getting a fair one… I’ve raised my budget on oven/mixer obviously LOL

Since your kitchen is out of site,… Can you get to try out the ovens somewhere? I would do a side by side on the MB vs SD series. The top bricks may or may not do much for you.

That would be wonderful. I could make a coupe small batches of dough and bake a few pizzas in each to see how they turn out… perhaps 2 with more or less hydration and swap back and forth between the dough/ovens… I have no idea where I could do something like that though…

I would assume since were trying to come as close to a wood fired brick oven pizza as possible, the brick lined ceiling could only help… Not positive though. Just what I’ve read from MB users that say they are baking better…

do you live near anyone who sells them… restaurant depot does and usually have test kitchens… marsal is in long island and also have a test kitchen.

Actually, I am in Baltimore, MD, about 225 miles from Marsal Sons in NJ and I am a member at Restaurant Depot but I didnt know either had test kitchens LOL. I’ll look into it… Thanks!