I have been “wrastling” with a decision as to try a conveyor oven in a new delco, vs. using what we currently use (BP Y602) at our dine-in/delco, for baking NY style pies. Knowing I will be split between 2 locations I would prefer not to always need a “seasoned” pizza man/men working the deck if I don’t have to.
After feedback from think tankers, reaading every post ever entered as it relates to ovens, I went and asked the manager at a local “Big 3” chain if I could “slip” my pie in their oven…guess what, to my surprise, they said OK.
Yesterday I baked my first 15oz, 14" thin crust NY style pie on their pan and it came out fair. One problem was I think it went thru too long, their oven (Middleby Marshall) was set for 8.5 minutes at 470 degrees. My pie came out a little “well done” on top. Not bad on the bottom…fairly crispy and not burned at all.
I than had a Hearth Baked Disc overnighted from Lloyd and they let me try another pie today. This time I made it 1/2 house to see how the veggies and meats cooked out. I also started it about a foot inside their conveyor to reduce the bake tome.
the veggies “shriveled” up to shoe strings and were a little burned on the tips
the top/cheese was still a little “well done”
some of the water and oil which had probably cooked out of the veggies/meats and cheese seemed to go right into the bottom of the crust, as it was pretty wet on the bottom/center of the pie.
I really would like to get a Lincoln 1132 for this location but need to get “similar” results.
I think I needed less heat on top and more on bottom…
QUESTIONS: If the finger configuration was adjusted to allow for less heat on top and more on the bottom will this help cure the above problems? Also, how would Zones or Boli’s bake? Any other feedback?
Impingers can be set up in so many different ways that it is very likely the ovens setup was not the right one for your pie. You will really never get a conveyor to cook as good as a deck but they can do very well and are what I chose to use.
As has already been stated, the air impingement ovens can be set-up with countless finger configurations, and when you buy your new oven, the manufacturer will set up YOUR oven to bake YOUR pizzas. This is a very difficult message to get across. All air impingement ovens are different as are the dough formulas and toppings on the pizzas going into it. We have made some absolutely stunning New York style pizzas in the Lincoln ovens lately using the Lloyd’s new Hearth Bake Disk. For a 12-inch we found that 9 ounces of dough worked well, for a 14 inch we used 12,25 ounces and for a 16 inch we used 16 ounces of dough. You will probably find your baking temperature at sonething closer to 500F with a bake time of about 5.5 minutes. By the way, do not use any sugar in your dough formula if you want to have a crispy crust. The Hearth Bake Disks are designed to give the pizza a well baked, nicely colored bottom with some dark spotting (just like you get on the “real” thing. The solid, non-perforated edge helps to prevent getting a “pizza bone” (hare edge) characteristic. We will probably be demonstrating this again at the Orlando Pizza Show.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
A “pizza bone” is the hard edge of a usually overbaked pizza. The most common way that they are formed is when you have a lot of toppings on the pizza and must extend the baking time. The abundance of toppings protects the rest of the pizza, but the edge, without benefit of the protective toppings gets over baked, dried out and really hard, hences its name of pizza bone.
Hare edge, that’s a new one to me. Sounds like a fast running edge.
Now, there is also a “knife edge”, this is formed either when the dough skin in formed with a rolling pin and it is allowed to roll off of the edge of the dough, compressing, and degassing the dough so it doesn’t rise, and is lower than the rest of the finished crust. It can also be formed using a mechanical sheeter/dough roller. In this case the dough is being sheeted too thin and is essentially degassed. None of the crust rises in this case and the edges look to be thin (they don’t rise). This can also be referred to as a “poker chip” crust since the pizza looks like it is made using a large poker chip. Occasionally, we will see a very old dough that is well beyond its useful life being used. When this happens, the edges of the crust may fail to rise after forming, especially when a sheeter has been used to form the crust, again, a beautiful knife edge is formed.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
Hello slice,I was in your same shoes at one time w/ making desision to switch to the ‘Pizza Hut’ ovens.I was like no way!So my friend in NY who owns a few pizza joints there tells me to come on up to see him and come hungry.So me and a few friends went there and we sat and ordered a couple of pies when it came out and we started eating it we were in shock.I had to go in the kitchen and be sure he didn’t have a deck back there still.Low and behold I went home and called my oven guy and ordered a coulple Lincoln Impingers thats been treating me very well for a few years now.Just know before you open w/ new ovens your going to have to do quite a few test pies to get your fingers in oven just where you want them as well as the time and speed.You can get a good head start right here in the Think Tank as far as many folks including myself can give you some numbers to start out with.The best part of it is there will be NO more oven tenders or hot spots.Which will also save you a lot of $$.
Good Luck Bro,
Niccademo [keep your dough off da cieling]
Its great to get a report from an operator who substantiates what I have stated many times on this forum. As good a pizza can be baked in a air impingement oven as in a deck oven. Not always a better bake, that does often happen, But always as good or better.
I just joined because I am a deck-head from NY and can’t stand the amount of work and training involved with deck ovens. Many of you seem in love with the conveyors and I am truly interested in a quality bake without the bs of oven tenders or timers. I first started 10 years ago with bakers pride double deck and 5 years ago switched to a Roto-flex which has facilitated not eliminated oven tending. So which of you can give a ‘paison’ some great advice as to which conveyor is superior? I did some research already and am leaning toward the XLT ovens. Any suggestions?
When it comes to air impingement conveyor ovens, In my own personal opinion, the new FastBake oven by Lincoln is at the head of the pack. We will be having one available for our students to work with at our October Practical Pizza Production seminar here at AIB International. The key to getting any air impingement oven to baking correctly is in both the finger configuration and the selection of the baking tray/pan. The FastBake oven, when paired with one of the new Hearth Bake Disks from Lloyd Pans <www.lloydpans.com> gives an excellent hearth baked crust characteristic, and it’s totally a “no brainer”.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
Y-Yo , you’re scaring me with the talk of Rotoflex “facilitating” oven tending. I’m opening 2nd location in about 4 months with Rotoflex, I have double stack Lincolns at 1st store. i know this oven is more work but I’m going for better bake and I’ll charge a little more to pay for someone to babysit pies. Had you worked with Rotoflex before you bought it? If not, how bad was the learning process? By the way, I started with 2 blodgetts then switched to conveyors. It was a great move, bake not as good but conveyors eliminate so many problems. When we’re busy I have drivers cut pies. that’s how easy they are…Ramsey
I have worked with a rotoflex for 5 years and still think it is better than a deck oven with hand tossed pies and great with pan pizza if you use anodized aluminum pans. The old school thick steel pans wont do. I chose a 3 door and 4 deck rotoflex, one door for pies entering, one door for slices to enter and exit, and one door for pies exiting. For the most part the pies cook consistently until it gets busy. Why? All three doors opening at different times create inconsistency in the shelves. Usually, the top shelf has more top heat, the two middle shelves cook about the same, the bottom shelf cooks the bottom of pies dark. I have discovered many techniques that make oven tending a rotoflex fairly easy for someone seasoned but you will always be faced with teaching someone the ropes. I am not sure how one door Rotoflex’s cook under demand. The inconsistencies is the reason I have embarked on a quest to find my next oven. Good luck.
So have you baked in an XLT oven and compared it to the Fastbake? What about the maintenance? Some people have said that Lincoln is using marketing hype to get their ovens more market share. I don’t know what to believe but the fact that you say the fastbake is superior is making me think about the Lincoln. I do respect your knowledge and appreciate all the information you share! Thanks.
[ By the way, I started with 2 blodgetts then switched to conveyors. It was a great move, bake not as good but conveyors eliminate so many problems.
What make and model conveyor ovens were they that you could not get as good a bake as decks. I have never had that experience and have placed thousands of conveyors.
Also I spoke recently with a Rotoflex user who indicated virtually all the problems of deck ovens are indigenous to the Rotoflex. If the oven tender is not watching every second the pizza go around a few extra times and are over done. When busy the oven tenders take pizzas off to soon and they are under baked. A fresh pizza placed exactly where a finished one has been removed results in an under done bottom matched to a done correct top.
I’ve read a lot of the “press” about the Lincoln FAST BAKE, and Tom speaks very highly of it…but it cost a Big Number $$$$. I’m a small operator seekin a second location (delco) with a limitged budget.
Is there that big a difference in the “BAKE” between the Lincoln Fast Bake and the Lincoln 1132 or 1160? (I’d like to get one on e-bay)…I’m not concerned about speed, just consistency from my deck oven.
Also, we do a lot of slices, zones, bolis, and garlic knots (which take a while to bake) how will the conveyor work when baking many different products? It would seem you would have to open and close the door a lot.
Thanks for the info. I’ll have one door to put in, one to take-out and a false door/viewing window for a window facing the street. I was going to get a mini-deck for slices and i’ll have a mini-conveyor for all the grill-side stuff. So that should lighten the load on oven tender a bit. Hopefully I’m making lots of pies/money so I can tolerate the added aggravation.