HELP! Want crispier crust from our new conveyor ovens

HELP! We replaced our deck ovens with conveyor ovens yesterday and spent hours experimenting and are mostly pleased with the results except for one important factor: the crust is not as crispy as we’re used to seeing. It doesn’t cut as easily and droops too much when you pick it up. We’ve tried different times, temperatures, finger arrangements and dough recipes with or without sugar (as recommended by Tom Lehmann) and more or less water. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Lloyd’s Hearth Baked Disks work great. High temp 550, cook time 5.45 minutes works great for us. But you have to watch your plain cheese or one topping pizzas, the cheese may get a little to dark for some.

What make and model did you buy?

George Mills

We installed XLT 3240’s. We currently have them at 520, cook time at 5:45. But still doing some adjusting. Thanks Tony for the temp and time.

Just emailed the guy at edge about switching from deck to edge ovens. I’m worried about the same problem (lack of crisp). Keep me posted if you solve this problem because I love the idea of conveyor ovens but it needs to be a transparent switch (been in business for 50 years)

I to have a XLT 3240 Great oven no problems in 8 years.

My thin crusts come out like a cracker in the Edge

I do feel part of the crisp is cause we are a pan pizza so when we make a thin crust the bottom is oiled from the pan and we then plop it onto a screen so it gets the fried effect? could be all in my head but our thin crust will stay horizontal if your holding it by the crust if that makes sense

Here is some Edge oven porn as i a call it LOL

What is your process then? Are you par-baking it in an oiled pan and then doing a 2nd run on a screen?

we proof our dough right away in the pans then chill after proofed so when we get a thin crust we pull the dough from the pan, plop on a screen trim with a cutter wheel and make the pie

the bottom is already oiled from the pan if that makes sense

We par-bake ours…it was a pain when we first started but now we are all use to it. We put the crust in half way thru…thru the door and then top it when it comes out. We make a bunch a head of time before lunch and supper time.

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From what the guys over at edge told me is that the time equals cook and temp equals color or something to that matter. I use an Edge60 my 16" dough ball weighs 22-oz I cook for 8:10 at 460° get a nice crisp bottom and cooked all the way through. Very rarely do I get a request for a well done or crispy pizza and if I do it’s usually a new customer.

You’re absolutely correct, the oiled bottom does give you a fried effect which is always crispier than crusts made without an oiled bottom. We see this all the time with cold pressed crusts (look at the bottom for a “bullseye” circular ring pattern indicating the crust was made using a cold press) where the dough is pressed onto a well oiled pan. The dough is baked on the pan so it ends up being more fried than baked and crispier then other types of crusts.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Scientifically shouldn’t an impingement oven that evaporates the moisture from dough and toppings retain more crisp compared to deck that retains it?

I have done a few test runs with Edge and Lincoln conveyers and have the same issue.
Initially it has the crisp but after a few minutes it starts to get soggy much much faster.
I have done side by side comparison and deck oven pan pizza(no oil) retains a crisp much longer.
Offered samples to 10 people and all pointed to deck oven(not knowing what is what)
I am open to input as well.

PS Are their any radient conveyer oven brands left in market

Most air impingement ovens are set up to bake too fast for the crispiest crust, in fact, many of the companies still promote the ability to bake FAST as the reason to use their oven. Most pizzas in a deck oven will require about 6 to 7-minutes to fully bake while I’m still seeing air impingement ovens being set up to bake in under 5-minutes which is ok if you want volume but if you want crispy the oven has to be slowed down. Air impingement ovens do a GREAT job of managing any water released from the vegetable toppings during baking which really promotes crispiness especially in a DELCO operation, deck ovens are rather poor at managing any moisture on the top of the pizza so the tendency is to end up with a wet or soggy pizza in a DELCO operation, this can be addressed by reducing the amount of toppings used on the pizza. One other pitfall with air impingement ovens is if the dough contains more sugar than what is required to support fermentation or any eggs or milk the crust will brown too rapidly due to the intensity of the airflow, this leads one to thinking that the pizza is done while in reality it is not sufficiently baked for optimum crispiness. I see this quite often when the complaint is that the pizza is initially crispy after coming out of the oven but soon looses the crisp.
As for a radiant heating oven, yes, Middleby-Marshall, to the best of my knowledge, still makes their Hearth Bake Oven with a solid woven wire conveyor and electric radiant heat panels both above and below the conveyor. Radiant heat ovens work well with very thin crust pizzas but due to the shallow heat penetration of the IR (only about 0.25-inch) they don’t work as well with the thicker crust pizzas. The advantages of an IR oven are:
Excellent temperature zoning
Quiet operation
No gas
Efficient baking as the IR only heats the pizza, not the air surrounding it.
These are still popular ovens on cruise ships for the above reasons.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

so Tom what % of Sugar should we be using to get and retain crisp i am doing a 24-48 hr system


If your dough is being properly managed you should be able to get away without any added sugar in the dough formula, and under the worst conditions 1% at most.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor