New poster, first post, posted a bit on the old pizza today bulletin boards.
Sold my sucessful pizza store two yrs ogo, and now after doing all the things I thought I wanted to do, find out what I really wanted to do was make pizza. So now am dying to get back into the business. And after using blogett decks for twenty yrs I don"t want to do them anymore, and was thinking of putting some big money out and getting a real work horse, Had in mind one of the following. (This is where I need some good advice.)
The one I really like is The Picard. I know, I know they all cost tons but I’m looking at a pretty fair sized operation and need production capacity, and need to keep the hearth bake of the deck.
I’d like some input from the Dough Dr. big Dave, chef Jeff, George Mills. and any other who would like to offer some advice. Maybe you are using or have knowledge of one of these? please by all means jump in. Let me know the good and bad points of these ovens.
Thanks to all you boarders. P.S. Where"s the spell checker on this board?[/b]
I looked at Picard ovens and liked them too. However, they are still a deck oven (granite conveyor) and I feel they do not handle vegetable toppings like an impingement oven. You get the best of both if you use a newer model impingement conveyor (I like XLT) and Hearthbake disks from LLoyd Pans.
To answer your question The Rotoflex is basically a deck oven with revolving decks. It takes an experienced operator to bake using deck type ovens Rotoflex included. The oven operator must know when and where he put each pizza in the oven must know just how long it takes to bake the various pizzas the shop may offer. Inattention can result in over baked and even burnt pizzas. There is also the possibility of the oven tenders miscalculating how long a product has been in the oven and extracting it too soon and it is under baked.
Being that there are ovens that know when a pizza is baked to perfection and expels it from the oven with no specific action on the part of the baker, that is what I recommend.
As to the other three ovens you mentioned.they all can be programmed to eject the pizza when it has reached the level of baking you specify.
As to the Picard oven, Dewar makes a poignant observation, see above.The unit is quit expensive, and as it is not widely in use there may be parts and service Considerations. I would want to see a great many of these units in operation an hear from many operators before I would recommend it.
The Middleby and XLT ovens both bake an excellent pizza. Both have excellent service and parts are readily available. Note that Middleby parts are more expensive. The Middleby ovens are quite a bit more expensive Than the XLT. Middlebys top ovens require regular lubrication on a monthly bases so you need a grease gun. Middlebys blowers are fan belt driven. Belts break and can stretch and not function properly. The XLT ovens require no lubrication and fans are direct drive no belts. Middleby ovens are a bear to clean, much disassembly is required. As to the wow feature I consider it a gimic.
Two and a half to 3 hours to clean is common. XLT ovens can be cleaned in a matter of minutes.
Obviously from the above you can see that I recommend the XLT ovens.
Please note that I sell pizza ovens, XLT, Bakers Pride, Lincoln and some others. Despite that I believe my observations are accurate.
Here is my opinion and experience in regards to ovens -
In store #1 I have used Blodgett, Bakers Pride, Middleby Marshall, XLT and now Rotoflex. I had the Blodgetts & Bakers Pride in my store for about 4 years before switching over to Middleby Marshall and then onto XLTs. After having the conveyors for about 7 years I just recently pulled them out and replaced with a Rotoflex. I am super happy with the Rotoflex, it can handle a crazy Friday night, bakes perfect, is much easier to run than a standard deck oven and in my opinion - the quality is blows away any conveyor that I have ever had. And I spent years tweaking finger configurations, times, temps, screens, pans and all that good stuff.
With that being said, the labor is pretty much double with the Rotoflex vs the conveyor - but is still much less than the standard deck oven. But I have had customer after customer comment on how much better they like our pizza now. Only 1 out of about 30 that I have surveyed have responded that they liked the pizza the way it was.
In store number 2 (which opened 6 years after store #1) we have used Bakers Pride decks from the start. The quality from store #1 with conveyors just couldn’t hold up to the quality coming from the decks in store #2. We had comment after comment from customers who patronized both stores asking when we were going to get deck ovens at store #1, because they preferred it so much better.
But this is just my experience and opinion. We all have different kinds of pizza and customers - what works for me may not work for you.
In store #1 I have used Blodgett, Bakers Pride, Middleby Marshall, XLT and now Rotoflex. I had the Blodgetts & Bakers Pride in my store for about 4 years before switching over to Middleby Marshall and then onto XLTs. After having the conveyors for about 7 years I just recently pulled them out and replaced with a Rotoflex. I am super happy with the Rotoflex, it can handle a crazy Friday night, bakes perfect, is much easier to run than a standard deck oven and in my opinion - the quality is blows away any conveyor that I have ever had. And I spent years tweaking finger configurations, times, temps, screens, pans and all that good stuff
Hi are you still using screens or are you going from peel to stone and if you are still using screens how long are you leaving them on the screen for
I have what you call there a deck oven. Baking pizzas on the stone gives them a better crisp (to my opinion). Problem, you have to rotate pizzas for correct cooking and have to clean often the stone due to the flour left in the oven.
From your post, it looks like you want the bake of a deck oven and the speed and convenience of an air impingement oven. We have just recently had the opportunity to do a side by side comparison of some of the new, high effciency air impingement ovens. Included in this evaluation were the Missleby Marshall WOW, XLT, PESI PRO, and the Avantec. I have previously evaluated the Lincoln FastBake, so I feel confident including it in this post. When combined with the Lloyd’s Pans Hearth Bake Disks, and properly profiled for your product line, you can put these ovens in a bag and shake them out, and be happy with the bake from any of them. Yes, there certainly are differences between them that might influence your selection like George has mentioned, but wen it comes to quality of bake, they are all shoulder to shoulder. Just make sure you have your entire product line in place when your oven is delivered so they can profile it specifically to your product line. The amazing thing about these ovens is their flexability once you have them set up properly, They will do thin crust, thick crust, desserty pizzas and calzones all at the same time and temperature, regardless of the number of toppings, in most cases you can also do breadsticks at the same temperature, but you might need a split conveyor as the baking time will probably be a little shorter. These ain’t the air impingement ovens of the past.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor