Middleby WOW

Has anyone actually used the MM WOW oven? Whilst I read up on these ovens when they were launched I wondered now people have had chance to use these what the actual feedback is?

Having reminded myself of the ‘story’ behind these ovens having just spotted the ad in the last online PMQ magazine I wondered if the actual energy saving is as good as it says and what the actual pizza quality is with such a short cook time.

Perhaps George would be able to comment as well? When I opened my 2nd store last year I had an XLT which I’m really pleased about - its much less energy hungry than my MM540 but then again its 2 years newer and things have moved on.

So any comments?

Hi Wizzle:

I thank you for soliciting my opinion:

First to baking speed: Tom the dough doctor and I agree that baking a pizza fast degrades the taste.

Most of the chains I work with want a 6 minute bake as a minimum: I have found that many operators can produce a very good pizza with a 5 minute bake but I think 6 is best. Some dial up the temperature and cut the bake time when very busy but I would not.

As to MM claiming energy savings. They show a chart that shows energy consumption about the same for most modern conveyor ovens when operating at full load. They then show (their energy saving?) unit using vastly less energy when not baking pizzas but show competitors units continuing to burn energy at this same rate as under load as a comparison. This is false any oven will burn less gas when idling they do not continue to burn gas at the same rate as when under full load.

There possibly is some gas savings when the MM oven detects no pizzas to be baked. But most operators use a double oven an most would be smart enough to shut one down when not busy. It still costs about the twice the electrical service to operate the MM ovens as compared to XLT and other ovens using 110 volt.

Considering the vast difference in cost of the MM oven over the XLT and other ovens duplicating that design I doubt that most operators would pay the difference.

Also to be considered that the added complicated electronic controls of the WOW oven portend more service problems.

Also to be considered is regular maintenance; The MM ovens have lubrication points that require the regular use of a grease gun or bearings can burn out. The mm ovens have fan belts that can break or stretch out of proper tension. The modern group of XlT ovens and their clones do not have those problems.

Experience also indicates that it takes several hours to break down a MM oven for cleaning. That contingency usually results in MM ovens not being cleaned as often as they should be. A clean oven bakes a better tasting pizza than one that needs cleaning.

Just my observations others may differ.

George Mills