Humidified Pizza Warmer?

How much of a help is a humidified pizza warmer? Pizza with a normal warmer has an extremely short shelf life, less than 1 hour, maybe 2 hours before it looks like the pizza at 7-11.

Anyone have experience with humidified warmers and how long does the pizza hold up and how is the quality?

I am trying to be compliant with my local health dept with my pizza by the slice place and just think that regular warmers will kill the quality of the pizza.


All I know is that when the staff forget to put water in the warmer the pizza goes down hill twice as fast. I don’t like to see a pie in the warmer for more than a half hour but I have eaten slices that have been there for 2 hours and as long as the water level is kept up it is not the worst pie I have had.

I have discovered the plate you put your slices on also contributes to the quality of the pizza. I have just started useing Pizza Pleezers and am very impressed with the difference between them and a metal tray.

I have a Hatco warmer, but don’t plug it in!

I undercook the pies 30-40 secs, slice & place on the disk, and then the disk on a tin pan/plate

We top, if needed, & refire for 2 minutes…

Toss after 4 hrs (state law…)

Even in the warmer, it’ll continue to “cook”…

Some cheeses/crusts hold up well, some don’t…

CiCi’s buffet rule - 30 minutes & out…

We use a warmer but do not add water. You have to use “distilled” water as regular will mess it up. Because of the cost and hassle of buying the water we just use the heat but only keep the pizzas for a max of one hour.

Unless we sense something big, we only keep multiple pies out at lunch. The rest of the time we only keep one pie out.

By keeping the pies fresh, we feel we gain more business by having a quality product than we are losing in thrown pies.

The Health Depart is inconsistent. There are places everywhere that just sit there pies out on the counter or in boxes without issue. The inspectors come in our place and measure the heat of the pies in our heated cabinet. We have another concept where we have personal pizzas as a side item. The inspector there said all the locations of the chain could not keep the pies in a dry, unheated display case – period.

We’re a pizza by the slice place in Baltimore, MD. It’s pretty much the same as a place in NY or Philadelphia. We keep pizza on the counter at room temp and the extra pizza on shelves.

We have a brand new, just trained health inspector who is just simply nuts. We actually tried heating pizza today. Lots of people stopped buying our pizza. It is destroying the base of our business.

I am thinking we are going to have to refrigerate the pizza and serve it refrigerated by reheating in the deck oven for 2-3 minutes.

I had heard about humidified pizza warmers and was wondering if the quality of a veggie or supreme pizza would hold up at the 3 and 4 hour mark.

I am seriously thinking about getting a lawyer. They are destroying our business.

I think i am going to start another thread.

How does regular water “mess it up”? BTW, how much of an improvement are humidified warmers as opposed to regular warmers when it comes to dried out pizza?

How does pizza look and taste in a humidifed warmer at hour3 and hour 4? I was thinking about investing up to 10K in a large 2 level humidified warmer if it did a great job, but it does not sound like the quality deteriorates after 2 hours.

Thanks again for the help.

We have to maintain temps below 40 or above 140 at all times on pizza. There is no 2 hour or 4 hour rule at all around here. We owned and operated a slice shop for 10 years until last week and still have Delco that we have owned for 10 years where we do slices for walk-in customers at lunch.

We use Hatco humidified warmers all that time. They keep the product hot and not dried out. Our standard was no more than 40 minutes. When we were slow we would limit the choices to about 3-4 pies. When busy, up to 12 kinds would work for us. We were doing completed product; i.e. no adding toppings and re-warming. Just fresh slices from the warmer.

I have never seen pizza held for four hours without getting nasty. How do you do that?

So how much of an improvement is a humidified vs non-humidified? I need to make a decision quickly to get us into compliance. I believe the time limit for a regular warmer is about 40 minutes to an hour.

  1. How much is the pizza quality improved over a regular warmer?
  2. How much longer can the pizza be held vs a regular warmer?
  3. How does the appearance improve within the display case vs a regular warmer?

Either that or i may consider buying a refrigerated deli case. Any thoughts on refrigerating the pizza vs heating it?

Thanks so much!

“1. How much is the pizza quality improved over a regular warmer?”

The quality is noticably better if the humidity is adjusted right. If youo get any fogging of the glass at all, you need to turn down the humidity. Assuming that you are considering modern digitally controlled units, keeping the temp around 150-155 with the humidity correctly set will give you good quality, hot pizza.

UNLESS: your pizza style is a thin crispy crust. If that is the case, you need to find another solution.

  1. How much longer can the pizza be held vs a regular warmer?

Not much longer. This pie is just better.

  1. How does the appearance improve within the display case vs a regular warmer?

If appearance is suffering, it is time to replace the product regardless of the type of warmer.

The humidified warmers are better than dry heat, but the humidity does nothing to enhance the quality (crispiness) of the crust. When using a temperature/humidity controlled cabinet to hold the pizzas in, I like to finish them of at the time of sale by putting them through the oven just long enough to crisp the bottom crust. Have you read my article on pizza by the slice? You can find it by going back through the archives.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Am I confused here?

Why in the world would you want to hold your pizza for 2 HOURS? All of the slice places I know constantly have pizzas coming out of the oven, slightly undercooked, and are finished in the oven when a customer orders. This is how every slice place in Brooklyn and Manhattan does it, and i’ve NEVER heard of a pizza being held as long as 2 hours.

You haven’t gone to Sabrarro’s yet.
We see a lot of stores selling slices right out of the cabinet.
You can imagine my amazement when I was at the Sabrarro’s store in St Louis, Missouri (TWA Mall) I think it now has a new name, and they removed a slice for me from the cabinet, put it on a plate and handed it to me without the benefit of any more oven time, yum, yum, soft, moist, limp, warm pizza. The next time I ordered their pasta.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

From a previous posting:

Many great postings above: I have a suggestion.

Get a top grade Air Impingement Pizza oven that can bake most pizzas in five minutes, Some ovens can easily bake 100 15 in pizzas per hour so should be able to produce several hundred slices. Prepare some pizzas and slice to size, refrigerate not baked, Bake cut slices based on at best a 20 minute supply in you heated display case. Calzones and strombolies would be best baked in a deck oven that you could stack on the conveyor they take longer to bake than pizza.

I do not know of anyone doing it but I think it would do your job.

George mills