Conveyer oven verses Slide in ovens.

Seems like the best pizza i have had was made in a slide the pizza inn oven. Can you get the volume of sales needed using the slide type oven. You guys prob have a name for that style of oven.

There’s a million opinions on this. While I regularly concede that a better pizza can be cooked in a deck oven, I will not believe that 100 pizza an hour will be better cooked in deck ovens rather than conveyor ovens. If I was making one pizza for the pizza pizzazz competition, I would use a deck oven. If I had to cook for my average Friday night dinner rush, not a chance in he!! I would want to do it in a deck oven

Hi MR. T. Dude

I think what you are referring to is a deck oven. I think most experts in this field believe that an excellent pizza can be made in any type of oven.

It appears that the quality of the ingredients and the formulation of the product is what determines the quality if the pizza more so than the oven used.

What the starting operator needs to consider is the production capacity of the oven, the skill levels required to produce top quality pizzas from a particular unit. Also the initial cost and operating costs need to be considered.

George Mills

I have deck ovens. I love my deck ovens. I think they produce a magnificent pizza.

But paul said it perfectly… The produce A magnificent pizza. When the rush hits it gets significantly more difficult to maintain quality. You fall behind on spinning pizzas, you aren’t moving them as you should. When 7 are all ready at the same time you get a cluster at the cut table - and you’re bound to burn at least one of them. Any semblance of consistency is out the window.

Staffing is another issue when you have a busy deck oven store. It takes an employee a good 6 months before they can handle the ovens on a Friday or Saturday night. And during those rushes I normally have three people on the ovens - 1 spinning and pulling, 1 cutting, 1 boxing.

And our mad rushes can’t come near the volume that a conveyor can do. I’m maxed out at about 40 per hour. I can’t do huge orders for schools or businesses. You have no idea how frustrating it is when the ticket printer is going crazy and all of my lines are lit up but my make staff is just standing around because we can’t fit anything else in the ovens.

I used to be a die-hard supporter of deck ovens - didn’t believe there was any other way to make a pizza. I probably even have posts on this site stating that belief. I have changed my mind as we’ve gotten busier and busier through the past few years.

You’ll wanna talk to Steveo about that - he can do all of that in just a few seconds (with his eyes closed)!

I love ‘slide in’ (I’ve heard it all now!) /deck pizza wouldn’t dream of having on ei n my shops for the reasons Paul and Piper have quoted. Hit a 100 pie hour - its tough on a conveyor - I have no idea how you’d cope with a deck?

uhhh… just to let you know… he’s talking about DECK ovens at those busy times… When I said that in the other thread, the place I worked at were NOT deck ovens… and I said I could cut pizzas with my eyes closed, I don’t know why you’re so fascinated with making fun of me… I didn’t say I could do everything with my eyes closed.

we have 4 deck ovens and we have no problems with high volume. on weekdays we have 2 movies(up to 400 ppl) a dining room(seats 120ish) plus to go, and we do large orders. on weekends i have 5 movies, plus dining room and to go. i run between one and 2 oven ppl. one filtering/loading, one loading, cutting, boxing. and to make it difficult we toss our pizza’s to order. when i hear ppl complain about not being able to do high volume and have consistant pizza with a deck oven i just laugh. our sister store does triple our numbers but they have a total of 8 full size blodgetts, and one smaller one just for bread and cheese sticks.

to me conveyer ovens just dont put out as good of a pizza.


Now they do. I have baked on both and you could not tell the difference if you have a good impingement conveyor and something like Hearthbake disks. In addition, the impingement oven does a better job of removing moisture from vegetable-laden pizzas.

Double stack of MM360’s.

~ 140 pies per hour.

2 people making, 1 person boxing/cutting.

No contest when it comes to the number people needed for decent throughput.

Most people don’t have 4 deck ovens…

Wow guys great info and looks like quite a debate.

agreed but we do really well doing things the way most ppl don’t. we don’t advertise except when we have a concert, and a small blurb in the newspaper with the other theatre’s saying what movies we are playing. we don’t deliver, and we don’t use any value added product. what it comes down to is 2 deck ovens double your compacity. ie your volume. but usually only need 1 more person to help keep up. if you can double your volume paying for another oven and a extra body isn’t that hard.


That must be nice to have that kind of business where you don’t need to advertise, or deliver, and have the space for 4 deck ovens. I’m glad you can handle it…

You gotta remember that while your laughing, kitchen size and layout plays a HUGE factor in volume. I’d have to completely redesign the whole place (IF NOT RELOCATE) to fit another double stack in and more staff members without it getting overcrowded.

Maybe with 4 you get the constant radiant heat filling your kitchen where there is LESS down time, but with 2 there IS downtime and it does affect the quality of the bake.

Justa couple of statements from real experts.

I know that others here have said that you cannot get the same results from a conveyor, but you can. Let me explain. About 10 years ago I worked very closely with Lincoln ovens in their test kitchen and we developed a special finger configuration that duplicates the deck hearth bake. Not only that, but at one of the AIB pizza technology seminars, pizzas baked to these specs in a Lincoln even fooled the owner of a well-known and well respected wood-fired/gas oven, who was there demonstrating his oven. He thought that the pies coming out were coming from his oven, when they were all baked in the Lincoln.
Evelyne Slomon
Culinary and Technical Editor, PMQ

Tom LehmannJoined: 13 Jun 2006Posts: 308 Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 8:44 pm Post subject: Re: Switching to conveyor ovens

A lot will depend upon the air impingement oven we’re talking about, as well as the type and formulation of pizza we’re making, but for the most part, you can make any pizza in an air impingement oven that you can in a deck oven. Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor.

In reading over the threads here I just had to comment that just a couple years ago, you couldn’t hardly find anyone, outside of the major chains, who thought that an air impingement oven could ever bake a decent pizza. With the continued improvements, and our better understanding of these ovens, they have found acceptance in our pizzerias. I totally agree, that, for me, given only one oven to work with it would be either a deck or stone hearth, but I would need to accept it’s limited production capacity at the same time too, but limited production capacity, or improperly baked pizzas just don’t cut it when we get slammed, so for the most part, air impingement is the way to go for many of us. Also, keep in mind that Mike Amheiser baked his award winning, pizza (See October 2008 PMQ Magazine front cover and article on page 32) in an air impingement oven! I was there, and I saw it done. Not to take anything away from Mike, but you might say that was one proud step for Mike, and one huge leap for air impingement baking.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor :smiley:

Take a look at the Rotoflex brick ovens.

I pulled my triple stack of XLT conveyor ovens back in November and replaced them with a single Rotoflex brick oven. I still have every bit of capacity on a busy Friday night that I did with the conveyors, 100 pies per hour is no problem at all. We have a cutter, oven tender and a person loading and dressing subs, finishing breadstix and so forth. Basically one more person to run the oven on Friday & Saturday night.

We did our first few years with decks then switched to conveyors for about another 8-9 years and now back to deck ovens, our customers noticed the difference right away and have had 99% positive feedback on the quality of our pizza since the switch.


I’ll second that, I’ve worked with a Rotoflex and it does work quite well. It also has a small footprint and looks cool, always pluses. The only issue we ever had with ours was you had to be careful using a metal peel, since it was possible to snag it in the seams between the stones and have it dragged into the oven and bent. Other than that, it worked great.

Hi The pizza and Dox 47:

I have no clients using Rotoflex so I have no one to ask,

How do you know when the pizzas are baked just the way you want them?

George Mills

We always started our pizzas on screens, then transferred them to the upper rack to crisp the bottoms after they’d been partially baked. Checking the bottoms was just like in a deck oven, except that it took a little more timing and dexterity since the oven was spinning while you did it. It sounds weird, but you get used to it pretty quickly. The model that my store owned had translucent glass sides, so cooks and the customers could both see the pizzas cooking, it was pretty cool looking and kids loved to stare at it. My shop had an open kitchen, so it was right out front for everyone to see, and it was definitely eye catching to people walking by.

Pies go in one side and come out the other, makes it really easy not to be running into each other during a rush.

That is the same exact oven that I have. It is definitely an attention getter, the customers are amazed at it. It is such a rare oven in our area the newspaper even did an article on it.

We switched over to wooden peels after we mangled the first metal one. The wooden ones snap in half when they get caught no damage to the oven. The customers get a good kick out it when they see it happen.