My review of a Marsal Oven

I’ve been open since February 1. We have a double stack 961 Blodgett w/stones. Shortly before opening, a dealer got me a deal on the Marsal SD series Oven - they shipped it to me and let me keep it for 60 days. If I didn’t like it, I could send it back. Let me qualify two things:

  1. I had a bad experience with Marsal and the broker. Although I will describe this experience later. I try not to let this influence my review.
  2. This is my first time owning and operating a pizza restaurant.

We cook two types of pizzas - thin and chicago. Our thin is a low hydration dough that cooks at 550 for 6 minutes. Our Chicago is cooked in a pan with Crisco at 475 for 30 minutes +/-. We sell 2:1 thin to Chicago. Our volume of is about 100 pies per day average. When we uncrated the Marsal, it seemed to be of very high quality. The doors were quite heavy and the assist mechanism is top quality. What obviously stood out were the stones. First, they are 2" thick. Next they are narrow (18" I think) and run from the front to the back of the oven. They are clearly labeled to be smooth side down which is good because that was quite counter-intuitive. I immediately had a concern that variations in the stone heights could be troublesome of the edge of a pizza was near where the stones met. However, no problems so far.

My oven was installed by my general contractor and his plumber. He has been involved in the buildout of dozens of pizza places and has installed much higher-end ovens than these (this becomes important later, because Marsal accused me of improper plumbing).

We cooked thin crust pizzas in the Marsal for a short period and then it became apparent our thins would outsell our Chicagos requiring us to make the Marsal oven the “Chicago oven”. It has been used that way since the first week. It functions fine and cooks our pizzas in about 30 minutes. Rarely has it failed to keep its temperature with one notable (and understandable) exception. During a particularly busy Saturday, we had the oven completely crammed with Chicago style pies. In fact, we loaded them 3 high. We spent so much time in and out of the oven that it simply couldn’t maintain temperature and fell to 400 or lower for a period of time. Otherwise, it has kept up.

Now the bad (or at least not so good):

1st: It is NOT discernibly better than my older 961’s. The alleged elimination of hotspots is vastly over-exagerated in my application. The rear of the oven is substantially hotter than the front (and remember, our cooktimes are 30 minutes so we open the door far less than most). The side vents do circulate heat but also create hot drafts that blow directly on the pies causing overcooking on top. The separate stones create a great area for bench flour (or semolina, in our case) to collect and fall into. Luckily, this is not an issue with us because we no longer cook directly on the hearth - we use pans in this oven. I noticed NO DISCERNIBLE REDUCTION IN COOK TIME on either the chicago or the thin.
2nd: This is minor, but the oven lacks an on/off switch. You have to turn the thermostat dial all the way to off. This means I have to be very careful to return the thermostat to the right temperature each day. Although this is a minor nuisance, at this level of oven, you’d think a shut off would be pretty standard.
3rd: While the oven itself is built very solidly, the acoutraments are not. The legs on which it sits are pretty rickety for the weight of the oven. But it stays up… The vent stack is a pretty flimsy afterthought. As we store pans on top the oven, this might become an issue in the future.

In sum, regarding the oven, it is not worth a premium in my shop. It functions fine but does not appear to outperform my other deck oven in any respect.

As for Marsal, I had very poor customer service experience with them. At the end of my trial, I explained that the oven worked fine but that it was too expensive and not large enough for my shop. I was told that it would be too expensive for me to ship it back. I explained that we had contemplated return shipment from the beginning and that I had sourced freight already. They refused to deliver me a return bill for weeks. Eventually, they sent the rep back to visit with me. He began to ask me very defensive questions about why I didn’t think the oven performed well. When I explained that it worked fine, but it was not big enough nor discernibly better, he began to fill out a “checklist” Marsal had given him which indicated that I opened the door too often, that the oven was improperly installed, etc. It was quite laughable really. In the end, I decided to purchase it and get rid of it rather than fight with them any longer. As a an extra-bonus, they tacked on an additional $250 to the agreed upon price (we had verbally agreed upon the price). When I refused to pay it, they simply used my credit card number to charge the $250.00 without my permission. My dispute is pending with the CC company now. Caveat emptor.

Now I’m in the market for a used double-stack (y-600 preferrably or another Blodgett). I can’t start delivery without the extra real estate. And I have a barely used Marsal for sale if you’re interested…

We use marsal as well. The claim of no hot spots is just that, a claim. We have two MB-60. Some areas on the deck are a full 100 degrees hotter than other areas. I spoke with Marsal about this. Their response was, that simply cannot happen. They are good ovens, but the no hot spot claim is simply bogus

I can’t say anything about your specific application, but my own personal eaperience with Marsal ovens has been quite good. Yes, there are times when we need to move pies around in the oven, this happens when we’re constantly opening the oven door to put in or remove pizzas, then we encounter a situation where the front of the oven doesn’t give as much top bake as the back/rear section does, but under the circumstances, I would consider this as normal for any deck oven. Any problems that I’ve encountered with the Marsal ovens have been traced back to either the installation of a gas pressure regulator on the gas line (the Marsal ovens already have one incorporated into the oven, and they do not operate well if a second one is installed). This has been more common than you might think as the accepted notion is that all ovens must have a regulated gas line, so I’ll just install one for this oven too. The installation directions specifically state that the addition of an external regulator is not required. Oops!
The other problem crops up with the type and diameter of gas pipe used. Again, the installation directions are very specific as to the type and diameter of gas pipe to use. If you get this wrong, the oven will not function to its full potential. We have one that we use quite a bit, and aside from the opening and closing of the door problem/issue, we really don’t have any problems or issues withthe oven. As for capacity, it’s a deck oven, and baking times will be comparable to most other gas fired deck ovens.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

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Dear Patric or anyone else concerned,
My name is Rich and I’m the owner of Marsal. You purchased a demo oven that was in our test kitchen for about three years. It is a SD448 single four pie oven. It has been tried by hundreds of people who wanted to see how our ovens work. It is actually one of the two ovens that were featured on the History Channel Show “Food Tech”. You bought that oven through a dealer not us. We have still not received dollar one. The aggreement we all had is that you could try this oven for 60 days and if you didn’t like it, you could return it. All you would have to do is pay the freight both ways. If you wanted it you would pay a very low price and the freight to you from us would be free. Any credit card issue is with you and the dealer.
I invite you to go to our web-site and check out some of the very large franchises that use these same ovens. Also, go to our Testimonial page to hear what some of the best operators think of our equipment. When the ovens are installed properly there are no hot spots. The deck temperatures are practically even across the entire deck.
As far as the “on/off” switch is concerned, there is a red valve located just above the thermostat, that when you turn that off, it will leave the pilot on but shut off the burner.
Also the legs are made of 10 guage steel and welded to the frame. The oven comes with adjustable legs. Your legs probably need to be adjusted. The vent stack is made of 18 guage stainless steel. Believe me none of our features was an afterthought.

Bad news, Rich: You ARE YOUR DEALERS. The excuse that, “Any problems are with the dealer, not us.”, doesn’t work. Because it is YOUR responsibility to ‘vet’ your dealers. We certainly can’t do that. I should also add that your (theoretical) claims about the oven are not worth much, compared to someone’s actual experience with them

Where are you? how much do you want for it?..To me the problem sounds like it’s who you bought it from. " It’s not big enough and theres nothing wrong with it." I just bought the prep table supreme and it is the best table I have ever worked with.

The claim: Their may be hot spots in the Marsal (havent used one yet) but seriously have you used a bakers pride? My pizza looks like a black and white cookie if you don’t hold it’s hand the whole seven minutes.

I think if I were to respond to all my customer complaints in this fashion, I would have gone out of business a long time ago.


I double checked the connections today. There is no regulator. The oven is fed with a piece of 3/4" flex. Again, it performs adequately. It just does not perform any better than my other deck oven. I hope I made that clear in my review. I do not notice any fewer hotspots in this oven. I guarantee that the rear of the oven is always 70+ degress warmer than the front.

As for cooktimes, I was simply refuting the claims made directly on Marsal’s website:

On page 1 it states:

“Faster Cooking Times”

on the page for SD ovens it states:

“SD ovens will give you faster cooked, crispier, and tastier pizza”
“Pizza pies are crispier, tastier, and cooked much faster.”

The brochure for these ovens repeat these claims. In fact, the rep indicated to me that pizzas would cook 20-30% faster than other ovens. As you did, Tom, I simply confirmed that this deck oven does not cook pizzas any faster than any other deck oven. I think it is a fair criticism to refute this claim based on my experience and, by the way it sounds, your experience as well…

Pakula’s Pizzza,

I’m in Kansas City. PM me if you are interested and I’ll let you know a price. You are correct that there is nothing wrong with it (except the pilot extinguishes when the red knob is turned (see below).


The oven I received was new as far as I know. The stones had the original stickers on them and the oven absolutely no visible signs of having ever been lit. The coupler was shiny and totally untarnished. I can’t imagine this oven had ever been used, let alone for 3 years. Certainly the stones were totally new.

As for returning it, someone is lying to me. I was told I could return the oven after 60 days. When I asked where to ship it, I was told that I could not return it because it was too expensive. Then I was told (in a letter from you 3 weeks after I asked to return it )that I could return it but it had to be in the same condition that I had received it (which was new). Obviously, I could not restore the oven to new condition nor could I do anything beyond a basic customer cleaning. The stones were seasoned and marked from use and could never be returned to their original condition by me. Then I was told that my dealer had to come out and go through a checklist from you (which he showed me) basically explaining why I didn’t want the oven. The dealer told me that Marsal did not want me to ship the oven back and would go over it with a fine tooth comb to make sure it was returned in perfect shape. If it was not, I would be charged for everything. Rather than write down why I didn’t want the oven, he wrote down that I was not using the oven properly (opened the doors to often) and that it was not installed properly (patently untrue).

Anyway, I stand by my conclusion - this oven is not worth a premium over another deck oven. My cook today made a valid point - while the thin stones in the Blodgetts lose temperature more often, the thin stone allows them to recover more quickly. The larger stones in the Marsal may fail less often, but when they do, it takes longer for the oven to recover.

Not a bad oven, just not worth paying a premium for.

Patrick Cuezze

Hi: So what you are saying is do not buy a Marsal Oven looking at a SD660 ? I have a 1060 Blodgett so go back to this Oven or what do you Think about Peer Less Ovens ? Thank you