Hoping For Some Pointers...

hello everyone - what a great website and equally great forum!

here is my sitch - after 10+ years of owning and operating a popular cafe and coffee roastery located in northern california, i’m ready for a drastic menu concept change that will include scrapping my old menu almost entirely in favor of personal specialty pizzas featuring, for the most part, local organic products. i will also be adding a rotisserie in order to offer local free-range chickens and game hens for take-out as well as for use on my pizzas. coupled with my house roasted organic coffees, my hope is that the changes will fit nicely with the sustainable farming movement that has taken much of northen california by storm.

while i have over 25+ years of food and beverage experience, i have little to no experience with pizza. consequently, i’m hoping that some of you might offer your opinions regarding the following:

  1. i’m looking at a rather old blodgett 981 stone deck oven (2 compartments, each surface 42" x 32"). all of the thermostat(s) have been replaced and so have the stones 8 months ago. a) does anyone see a problem with such a purchase? b) what sort of output can i expect from such an oven assuming 12", thin-crust pizzas?

  2. i’m also looking at a 20 qt hobart mixer. during summer months (peak business) i’m estimating that i will sell 200 pizzas a day during the week and 300-400 a day during weekends; this will be over a 10 hour day (noon-10pm). during winter months these numbers will be cut in half. a) will a 20 qt mixer be enough? b) will the blodgett 981 be enough?

  3. i have decided to offer only one size of pizza, a 10"-12" personal pizza as oppossed to large pizzas a family of 4 can split. ideally, i would like my pizza size to be enough for one person - or for a couple who wants to share and order additional items (soup, salad, etc.) to round out the meal. last week i ate at such a pizza operation (it was absolutely packed) and it appeared to work out beautifully. a) your thoughts?

  4. i would like my pizzas to have an “artisan” (man, i hate that over-used cliche) look to them; a sort of wood-fire look with the uneven, bubly crusts. can this be accomplished with the blodgett i am looking at?

  5. is there anyone here using any organic or “all-natural” par baked pizza dough? does such an animal exist and, if so, can anyone recommend it?

  6. does there exist a source for organic sauces and toppings; a source that is well known to pizza operators? i recently looked at a couple of my food distributors product lists and they don’t offer much (if any) when it comes to this sort of product.

thank you very much for your time and i very much look forward to hearing from you,


The oven is pretty small. I’m assuming that both decks are available by opening a single door? I’m not familiar with that model number, but it sounds like the one I had way back when. If you try to fill the oven up, you’ll never be able to get good speed out of it due to having to open the door so often. Additionally, with a stone deck oven, you’re going to need to move the pizzas around. Check the BTU rating on the oven. I don’t even pretend to remember what you need for a pizza deck oven, but I know a lot of ovens are referred to as “bake ovens” instead of “pizza ovens” and it’s due to a lower BTU. This impacts how quickly the oven can heat up and how quickly it can recover from the door being opened.

All in all, for the volume you’re wanting to do, I don’t think this is the oven for you. Most of the serious Blodgett ovens are 6’ wide. A lower BTU oven will get you burned crusts without enough cooking on the top (the stones retain the heat, but the air isn’t heated enough).

Now, on to the mixer. I’m thinking you’re looking at about 15 pounds of finished dough from one batch. How much will your dough balls weigh? Divide 15 pounds by the weight of the dough balls (16 ounces per pound) and that will tell you how many batches of dough you’re looking at. Let’s say you’re using 8 ounces of dough, you’ll get 30 pizzas out of 1 batch of dough. Figure 10 minutes of mixing time, and you’re looking at 180 pizzas an hour from the mixer. Making dough for a couple of hours is a pain. If you have any level of success, you’ll quickly be looking at a 60 quart.

I agree on the mixer…20qt will be pushed to get 15# dough…our 60qt maxes at about 40# ingredients (25# flour), which yields 28x23oz shells (more or less… :wink:

That’s enough for about 45 minutes once we’re open!

But, that would yield 56x12 oz shells, which for a thin 12" should be fine…we use 12 oz for our “traditional” 10".

I would suggest you look for a recipe that uses (and I know you won’t like this part…) powdered milk, or even regular whole milk I guess, and corn meal. I think that will give you a texture and look you want. POwdered is so much easier to deal with, though.

Deck ovens can be treachorous for the novice. You’ll be well-advised to find an experienced oven jock to get you going, and that person will probably be quite helpful in setting up and operating your pizza works too.
But, you won’t get the result you’re looking for from a conveyor (I wish we could do that!!!) Depending on how much business you’re really looking to do, one deck is likely to be inadequate. 2 would be much better, 3 possibly ideal. The one you mention sounds like a ‘bake oven’ rather than a pizza oven–not suitable.

my thoughts. take 'em for the price!

Do you have room to add the pizza oven and mixer without scrapping the existing menu? I think I would try the pizzas out with a smaller investment, and then add on and upgrade if things go well.

is it any wonder why this is such a great forum - two immediate, extremely helpful replies! thank you very much snowman and eupher!


the oven i’m looking at has two decks with two doors as opposed to a single door as pictured below - the third (bottom) door exposes the burners - total btu of 50k. given the two doors, do you think this oven might be a decent choice for my needs?

i’m also looking at the other pictured pizza oven which is quite a bit larger and has 3 decks - the make is adamatic which was a subsidiary of hobart until not too long ago. the only problem, imo, is that it is an electric oven and i would rather go with gas. however, the cost of propane in my neck of the woods is almost the same price as electricity so cost-wise it would be a wash.

as far as your mixer observations and yield calculations are concerned, i think the 20 qt mixer i mentioned should be fine to start with, especially since it’s included with bodgett i’m looking at. but i’m sure, as you point out, i will probably want to move up down the road!


yes, my intention is to make thin shell, personal (single-person) pizzas - approximately 10"-12"… per your estimation, i think i should be o.k. with 56 shells per batch. also, thanks for your tip on texture - frankly, i don’t really have a problem using powdered milk if it achieves the desired effect - i’m not an organic purist! further, i appreciate your comments about decks vs conveyors given that i had originally planned on purchasing a conveyor oven. however, as your comments confirm, every “pizza person” i have chatted with has said that there is a definite difference between conveyor pies and stone/deck pies and that it would be extremely difficult for me to achieve what i’m looking for (artisan type pies) with a conveyor.

the blodgett model i’m looking at - two door, two deck stone oven

the blodgett specs:

the adamatic (hobart) oven i’m also looking at:

Eupher was talking about the yield from a 60 qt mixer, not a 20 qt.

Now on to the oven. You said it’s 50,000 BTUs, but the specs say a double-oven is 100k BTUs. It makes a BIG difference. I THINK the 72" Blodgetts are like 80-85k for bake ovens and something like 120k for the pizza ovens. So, if the entire power from the oven you’re looking at is 50k, it’s too little for the stress of pizzas (stress being the heat loss from opening and closing of doors). With a bake oven, you’re usually cooking things for 30+ minutes and in batches, not single pizzas that may cook 8-10 mins and put in at different times. I sure wish someone current with deck ovens would chime in because my memories are about 10 years old, so they’re QUITE possibly way off.

You can tell me that the mixer comes with the oven or vice-versa, but that’s not the case. The mixer is probably 1-2k by itself.

Now I’ll tell a little story. Some of the folks here (some meaning a couple) have a Rotoflex oven. I was interested, so I took a look around. I went to a pizza joint that uses one. Oddly, when I arrived, pizza is almost a side business as they just didn’t have the foot traffic to make it as a pizza joint. They started catering. They would put full pans (as in the equivalent of 3 1/3 pans :slight_smile: ) in the oven and they fit just right. I THINK he said he could get 3 on one shelf. You do have to put them in “just right” though, as they fit but without much room to spare. The rotoflex has up to 4 (might as well just say 4 since that’s the most logical config IMHO) rotating decks. The decks can be stone or steel. Just imagine a big round lazy-susan. The decks revolve 4 times per minute, constantly moving. You can have 1-4 doors. The doors have windows on them so you can see what’s going on, and they revolve fast enough to keep the food moving around without you having to do a bunch of moving the pies like a conventional deck oven, but slow enough as to be able to get the pizza out without the finesse of Zorro. Now that you’re foaming at the mouth for one of these neat ovens, they’re not small, I think 6’ square. Oh, and finding a used one is HARD. New ones are just under 30k. I’m guessing I just deflated that high energy feeling about how you would just skip the deck and go straight to the Rotoflex :(. They’re really nice ovens, no doubt about it, but 30k is a lot to spend on something that doesn’t have a convertible top and do the 1/4 mile in under 10 seconds :).


unfortunately i don’t have room for a pizza oven / mixer and my current hotline (griddle, broiler, deep fryer, etc.) - it will have to be one or the other. btw i have thought about smaller pizza ovens and doing just what you suggest - adding pizza to my existing menu and then upgrading should things go well. however, i have decided that i would much rather commit to entire menu concept change.

while this may sound brave (or, foolish), it really isn’t as risky as it might sound given that my restaurant is in a unique location. for starters, locals are bored to death with the rarely-changing menus in town and would absolutely embrace new choices, especially if done well. secondly, the mass of tourists that descend on our town during the summer and fall are usually just happy that they were able to get into a place to eat as all of the eateries are usually packed!

frankly, the reason i want to make a change does not have much to do with increasing business - it has more to do with streamlining my operation and creating a more comfortbale workplace for my kitchen staff. not only is my current menu is very labor intensive, but working around greasy grills, charbroilers, deep fryers, salamanders, piles of greasy pots and pans waiting to be washed, etc. has gotten old after 10+ years! especially during crunch time when the kitchen is cranking!

i realize that pizzas don’t make themselves in pristine environments, but i also realize that it simply can’t compare to the greasy choas of a full-service / full-menu kitchen!


the 981 that i have been looking at (pictured above) is not a double oven - it’s a two-compatment, two-door single oven rated at 50k in the specs. the double oven model which is rated at 100k in the specs is two 981 ovens stacked on top of each other.

but i’m glad you mentioned “bake ovens” because looking at the “pan capacities” in the specs, it definitely appears that this model oven is designed for bakers as no mention is made of pizza pans, only baking pans! and, fwiw, the sale price for the oven and 20qt mixer (2005 anvil) is less than 1k - any wonder it caught my attention?

and, finally, do you happen to know anything about the electric pizza oven (adamatic / hobart) that i pictured?

again, thanks very much for your input guys - it is extremely helpful.

I cant comment on the oven as I have never used one but I do have 2 stacked BP Y-600 and I love them wouldnt change to anything else even on fridays when both are full and we have pizzas waiting!

As for the mixer you cann do about 20 lbs of dough. I would suggest a 10" pizza and if you want it to be a thin crust 8oz would work great. I was just at a brew pub in Vancouver and that is all they served. I know when i bring pizza home from my shop i usually bring home a 10" for me and the wife. With a 20 lb dough batch you will need to do about 6 batches of dough for the weekday and 10 to 12 on weekends. That is what we do in our shop right now of course we have 4 sizes so it is a bit different but it will still take about 2-3 hours I have someone that comes in the morning and all they do is dough so it works good for me.

Hope that helps out a bit

Welcome Guest,

I read your questions and the posts that have followed, but I have some other advice to you–just a few quick thougts that might help you out.

A 20 quart mixer can really only put out about 7 tp 10 pounds of finished dough, and that depends upon how wet the dough is. The higher the hydration factor, the lower the amount finished dough the mixer will be able to produce. If you are looking at a Hobart, they have all the various finished dough weights according to moisture levels in the formula. For example: 7 pounds of finished dough with a moisture level of 65% and 10 pounds of dough with a moisture level of 50%. Wetter doughs make the mixer work harder, so smaller batches are recommended. You can go to the Hobart site and look at the mixer you are interested in. Email or call them and they will tell you exactly how much dough can be produced at a time–wet or dry from the particular mixer size you are looking for.

Next, regarding the oven you are looking at. 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.

So you may want to research getting a table-top oven from them. I think the configuration is named after me, or is called their hearth style configuration. The results were super thin crusted, artisan style pies that cooked in 4 minutes.

If you still want to to use a deck, please think about using a larger oven, and keeping it to 2 decks or you’ll have plenty of workman’s comp problems from your poor staff working out of that bottom oven. The oven you are looking at is more of a baking oven which means it won’t be designed for the intense bottom heat you get from deck ovens that are specifically designed for pizza.

Another factor you haven’t brought up is production and fermentation abilities. If you plan on making an artisan dough, it will need refrigeration–adequate refrigeration. You may want to consider a fresh dough straight rise based dough like a Neapolitan style pizza.

I’m sure you may have more questions, so please feel free to e-mail me any time–and the rest of you out there too. I’ve been lurking since I just started working with PMQ, but now, I’m coming out of the woodwork to be of any help I can,

Evelyne Slomon
Culinary and Technical Editor, PMQ

I was just reading through your post and I’d like to add my own comments. A 20 quart size mixer will be too small for what you want to do. Instead, opt for at least a 60 quart size mixer as this will allow you to mix upwards of 60 pounds of dough at a time (40 pounds of flour) as opposed to only about 12 pounds of dough (8 pounds of flour) in a 20 quart mixer. You will wear the poor thing out trying to keep up with your dough needs. The ovens sound like a pretty good bet to me for starters, just make sure they are working as promised, and you might also want to check on the price (you didn’t mention what they were selling for). Lastly, with regard to the sauce, with an organic concept, why even bother with a sauce? Just go ahead and put on some olive or other savory oil on the dough (made from General Mills or other organic flour) and then slice on your organically grown tomato slices and add some organic herbs (sweet basil is awsome) as whole leaves, follow up with cheese (you are on your own here) and other organic veggies and maybe some organic/free range chicken. We recently did this at a new store in San Francisco, CA. It wasn’t organic, but it was all great pizza none the less. You should be able to make an organic pizza just as good. And I bet you can find most of the ingredients at a local farmer’s market or a certified “organic” produce dealer.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

About the oven… We have a double stack of 1061’s (the ones snowman mention… they’re 6’ wide), which is the size up from what you’re looking at. We don’t do ANYWHERE near the volume that you’re talking about. Tonight was a good night for us, and we did 90 pizzas.

During the peak of the rush (48 pizzas in one hour), we had to stop making pizzas for about 5 minutes becuase the ovens (both) were completely crammed. There was a pizza in every nook and cranny in there, and when you’re that busy they cook pretty slowly. To be honest, I really don’t think the two 981’s would be nearly enough for the kind of volume you’re talking.

Plus, the 1060’s are 120,000 BTUs EACH. The oven you’re looking at is 50,000 each. Not only will that tend to burn the bottoms, but once you get into a rush the ovens will never be able to recover. You definitely need a pizza oven, not baking oven.

thanks very, very much for all of the help folks - it’s now clear that the blodgett 981 i was considering will definitely not meet my needs. as a matter of fact, i have since discovered that the 981 is listed on blodgett’s website under “baking & roasting” decks, not pizza decks.

i also spoke with the seller (armed with your great input) and he admitted that is was indeed a “baking” oven but could also be used as a pizza oven under the right circumstances; hence he advertised it as a pizza oven - he went on to tell me that one of the tricks of the baking trade he learned along the way was placing a layer of 1 1/2 inch bricks on top of a deck oven’s factory stones. according to him, this inexpensive addition works wonders as far as combating heat loss and retaining oven heat - so much so that he said that he is able to continue baking for over 2 hours once he shuts off his oven. he recommended that i try this regardless of the stone deck oven i end up purchasing… have any of you tried this?

snowman: i came across a guy in my neck of the woods who refurbishes and sells pizza ovens - one of his current deals is a refurbished 4 deck rotoflex for $12,500 which includes installation, hood, 1 year warranty and 1 year free service. too high for me considering the rock bottom prices i have been coming across for preowned pizza ovens!

pizzaguy: i found your post especially helpful as it pertained so much to the type of operation i have in mind (i.e., the vancouver brew pub you mentioned that serves 10" pizzas exclusively). btw, are you saying that you use a 20 qt mixer or simply that you make multiple batches as would be my case should i purchase a 20 “quarter”? when i decided to go with pizza i had always planned for my chef (who i recently hired) to come in early and prepare all of the pizza toppings and sauces as well as stock the prep stations so that my cooks could just come in and start making orders. adding dough mixing to my chef’s morning duties would work out very well. btw, my chef is absolutely stoked by the idea of coming in early and doing all of the prep in exchange for taking off early!

evelyne: very, very interesting information regarding conveyor ovens; thanks very much. i think i have pretty much decided on an oven but if it does not work out i will take a closer look at conveyors.

tom: thanks very much for your advice - i especially liked your thoughts regarding “no-sauce” pizza as an option! and, of course, you are absolutely right; i could easily come up with at least a couple of wonderful organic pizzas by simply using olive oil and local organic produce and cheeses! the local organic farmers are going to love me! speaking of organic, prince charles actually came to our small town (5 blocks long!) a couple of months ago to enjoy our farmer’s market and visit the local organic farms (apparently he is very much into the movement). you wouldn’t believe the mass of humanity that also poured into town just for a glimpse of royalty - it was absolutely staggering; many drove hours just to see him! as far as the oven (blodgett 981) i was considering is concerned, it was priced at $850 and included a 2005 20 qt mixer - an additional $150 got it delivered and installed! any wonder i was so interested!

guest: yeah, the 981 i was looking at, despite the dual compartments, couldn’t touch your setup. i have found that the 1061’s and bp y-600’s (pizzaguy) are very, very similar and are top of the line deck ovens pumping out 120k btus per deck - a rather far cry from the 50k btus the 981 dual deck is capable of. btw, the reason i have forecasted so many pizzas per day is because my plan is to sell only 10" “personal” pizzas - if i were to sell larger pizzas, enough for 4 say, the number would be quite less. i also plan on doing quite a bit of “pizza-by-the-slice” business as well. 48 pizzas in one hour? wow! if i should be so lucky!

batch yields: i know that batch yield depends on several variables, but opinions posted in this thread seem to vary considerdably based on the 20 qt mixer i mentioned…

snowman - “I’m thinking you’re looking at about 15 pounds of finished dough from one batch.”

eupher - "20 qt will be pushed to get 15# dough…our 60 qt maxes at about 40# ingredients (25# flour), which yields 28x23oz shells (more or less). NOTE: 28x32oz = 56 pounds of finished dough. if 56 pounds of finished dough can be produced in a 60 qt mixer, shouldn’t one be able to get 18.5 pounds from a 20 qt mixer assuming the same recipe?

pizzaguy - “As for the mixer you cann do about 20 lbs of dough.”

evelyne - “A 20 quart mixer can really only put out about 7 tp 10 pounds of finished dough, and that depends upon how wet the dough is.”

tom - “Instead, opt for at least a 60 quart size mixer as this will allow you to mix upwards of 60 pounds of dough at a time (40 pounds of flour) as opposed to only about 12 pounds of dough (8 pounds of flour) in a 20 quart mixer.” NOTE: again, assuming the same recipe, why would one be able to get 60 pounds of finsihed dough out of a 60 qt mixer and only 12 pounds out of a 20 qt mixer? if i get 60 lbs from a 60 qt mixer, shouldn’t i be able to get 20 lbs out of a 20 qt mixer?

i’m now seriously considering this oven and would appreciate any thoughts - i had originally wanted a gas deck because of what i had heard regarding gas ovens heating more evenly/accurately than electric ovens. economically, it’s a wash where i am because the cost of propane is so high in my area.

hobart adamatic aad303: adamatic targets industrial bakers as oppossed to restaurants and apparently has a very good reputation as high-end, work-horse equipment. the pizza oven i’m looking at was manufactured in 1988 and is very clean and refurbished - the downside is that they are no longer manufactured nor are any parts available. but after speaking with adamatic’s head of operations, no parts parts are proprietary (unique) and can easily be replaced through other vendors. once a subsidiary of hobart, adamatic was sold not too long ago.

some specs:

  • 220v, 2286kw, 3phase

  • 3 decks with stone hearths, individually controlled

  • thermostat: 300-750

  • size comparison - unit

  • 72" w x 36" d - adamatic

  • 78" w x 45" d - blodgett 1060

  • 78" w x 43" d - bp y-600

  • size comparison - interior deck

  • 55" w x 24" d - adamatic

  • 60" w x 36" d - blodgett 1060

  • 60" w x 36" d - bp y-600

  • interior deck area - total

  • 110 sq ft per deck, 330 sq ft (3-deck unit) - adamatic

  • 180 sq ft per deck, 360 sq ft stacked deck (2 decks) - blodgett 1060

  • 180 sq ft per deck, 360 sq ft stacked deck (2 decks) - bp y-600

*** cooking area-wise, the adamatic i’m looking at has close to the same square footage in its 3 decks (330 sq ft) as the bp y-600 and the blodgett 1060 double stacked units (360 sq ft).

Does the location have 3 phase electricity? If not, the converter is costly to have installed. Might want to check into it.


fortunately phase converters have come a long way in the last 10 or so years and are relatively inexpensive and rather easy to install (to code). fortunately for me i will be able to purchase a readily available “standard” converter as the only thing it will have to power/drive is heating elements. phase converters can get much more complicated (and expensive) when they have to power/drive multiple components such as a motor plus heating elements (rotisserie)…

btw russ, would you mind sending me your email address - i would like to ask you a few questions about how you manage your 20 qt mixer given your operation (i noticed that you listed a 20 qt mixer in the “describe your operation” thread). it would be very much appreciated…


The main consideration in the mixer isn’t necessarily the size of the bowl (20 qt, 60 qt) but the size of the MOTOR. Our 60qt is only rated for 25# flour, giving the 58# yield you mention. A bigger motor could handle a double batch, in the same 60qt bowl. (2.5 hp vs 1.5, I think) That’s one BIG consideration pertaining to the 20 qt…it just won’t hold up. Someone mentioned breaking shafts…yep, and that’s minimally a grand (it was $1500 for the 60 qt…)

Yep, that 20qt is a good price, but do you want to grow INTO something or have to replace it later? You can make 12.5# batches just fine in a 60 qt…even get a smaller bowl with an adaptor (I think…it’s been a while since I looked into that).

And, not to be a complainer…but re-read my specs about dough yield…it’s 28 x 23 oz shells, which is 40.25#. That may put the 20qt into a little more perspective.

And, remember, you can make your shells in the morning, keep 'em cold, and have extras rolled and ready the next day. That’s certainly not my favorite way (one place I’ve worked does dough 1 batch at a time all day, rolling for each order to order–a little bit overkill!!), but it works. The “recommended” way Tom suggests has a couple of issues that reality makes difficult–storage space and dependable people to do the switching, restacking, etc. We do have an issue with space, rolling and putting into racks twice a day, but any idiot can do that, as long as labels are put on each rack (bun pan covers over the rack), it’s easy to keep things rotated properly. We generally don’t use things more than 24 hours after panning.

Hope this helps. This is a great place to get info…but, sometimes you just gotta try things out for yourself…you may find one way is perfect, that others poo-poohed.


IF you can get a Lincoln in the size you want, for an affordable price, that’s great. It just might be easier said than done. And, yes, the configuration gives a very good result, but IMO it doesn’t match up to a deck, if that’s what you’re after.

BTW, we use conveyors. Our volume makes decks all but impossible. 48/hour? we often do 100-125 in just over an hour, with 2 decks. Even the best deck oven jockey will be hard pressed to match that. Not bragging, or complaining or anything…but the product has to come out AND be in good shape to be of any use. A conveyor is basically foolproof, almost. A deck requires someone who knows and cares what they’re doing, and lots of time playing with a “new” oven to figure out the patterns.


hey steve, thanks for the great post and especially for shedding a little more light on mixer capabilities (yields/performance) - still not crystal clear on the subject but it’s defintely a lot less murky!

and, btw, thanks for being such a good sport regarding my sudden case of dyslexia (28 x 23oz vs 28 x 32oz!) :oops:

frankly, i have quite a bit of homework to do when it comes to the entire dough handling process (not to mention developing a great recipe!) - mixing, stacking, switching, storing, etc. is something i definitely need to get a handle on. the good news is that i have what i believe to be plenty of cool storage space…

btw, the mixer i’m looking at is just 1/2 hp, 120 volt… not exactly a beast!

Yeah, that was my point in mentioning our 48 pizzas per hour because it’s actually a very small amount compared to some of you high-volume guys. I just wanted to point out that even that small amount strained our 1060’s.

Is this accurate? From what I’ve read mixer capacities are based on AR (absorption ratios - water weight divided by flour weight). The higher the AR (60%+ for example), the more dough a mixer can handle and, conversely, the lower the AR (50%), the less dough it can handle. This would seem to make sense given that a wetter dough, even though heavier, would offer less resistance than a thicker, less hydrated dough.

But the capacity charts for mixers I have come across, which have been practically identical from brand to brand, fail to make this clear given they tend to muddy the water by also including terms “thin”, “medium” and “thick” next to the different AR specs. For example a chart will state: thin 40% AR, medium 50% AR and thick 60% AR. A quick glance at this info might lead one to believe that the chart is suggesting that a “thin” dough batter has an AR of 40% (thus lower batch yield), a “medium” dough batter an AR of 50%, etc… But what the chart is actually suggesting is a 40% AR is typically used for thin crust, a 50% AR for a medium crust, etc.

In short, it would appear that mixers can produce larger batches when doughs with higher hydration levels are used; batches almost twice as large when compared to doughs with low hydration levels…

From a food service equipment review…

Take care if you’re looking at spec’ing for pizza dough. Manufacturers can tell you about absorption ratios, the weight of water divided by the weight of flour, and the percentage that equation produces. From that percentage you can determine how much flour and water are needed for the thickness of your crust based on the capacity of the bowl. And what it all means is the more flour and less water you’ve got in your bowl, the greater stress your mixer’s motor will be under, which could have implications for your choice of horsepower.

i have 30 qt mixer from when I first started and I can honestly tell you go bigger because as your biz increases you will need more dough . I wish I would of spent the extra to get the mixer from when I first started. Im not a busy place but I definitely am making 2 to 3 batches a day and it sucks! And it takes up alot of time especiallt when you run out.
Also I have a Blodgett 1000, which holds 4 18" on each deck and after a good 15 pies recovery and baking time is alot slower. But I do love the way the pizza comes out.