Deck oven vs. wood-burning

Hi, I plan to open a pizzeria soon if all goes well and am debating whether to go with a deck or wood-burning oven. If we do wood-burning, it will not be for Neapolitan style pizzas. Will probably still run it at around 550 or so degrees. It just seems that the wood-burning oven would be less expensive to operate. I am concerned about the relatively smaller cooking area of most wood-burning ovens; they’re not exactly stackable :slight_smile: , especially since at that temp., we will probably have a 6-7 minute cook time.
Any advice/suggestions from someone with real world experience would be greatly appreciated since I’m sure manufacturer claims of heat-up times, heat retention, etc. are likely a bit overblown (gasp).

I wrote an article on oven selection some time ago. Please check out the archives for the article that points out the good, bad and ugly about each of the various oven types, and why one might choose one over the other.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Blue first may I ask what city or area you plan this? Then, I would say that unless you are going for a high-temp Neo type pizza or using the oven for show…then a gas deck or conveyor will be the way too go. I have never seen a stacked wood oven. They usually have smaller cooking areas as they are extreme temps and fast bakes. You need highly trained employees to tend them and between city health codes and the upkeep of the ovens… I have yet to hear about them being more cost effective than gas. This all goes out the window if you are in a remote jungle area with free hardwood and no gas! :wink:

Thanks for the replies.

Not quite the jungle, but we are in the middle of nowhere in central Illinois. :slight_smile:

And one more thing in addition to Mike’s reply, not all codes look favorably upon wood burning/fired ovens. Like they say in realestate, it’s all location, location, location. A wood fired oven can also have a significant effect upon what you pay for insurance too. I ran into that one a couple years ago where the oven was going to be installed in a wood framed building. We got around the issue by installing the oven on a cement pad outside of the building, and cutting a hole in the wall to access the oven, then bricking in around the front of the oven. Actually, the oven appeared to be built right into the wall. Worked like a charm, it also provided us with the extra space needed by the oven tender without eroding any additional interior space. These things are all mentioned in the referenced article.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Thanks Tom, I’ll be sure to check out that article.