Old pizza oven

Hi All !

I have been running a small pizza place for the last months and I’m still having some problems. I’m using an old deck oven at 500F and the bottom of the pie gets too dark before the pizza is ready.

I have already remove salt and sugar from te formula but doesn’t get better, it just burns differently.

A friend told me he had the same problems years ago with an old oven an he had to cool it with water several times a day. Do you think the cause could be a old deck ?? What could I do ??

Thanks again for your help !!

do you use screens?

If you use stones on your deck don’t put water on them they will crack.

Are you sure the oven is at 500?

We cook ours at 600 on screens and never have a problem with the bottom burning (unless of course we take it off the screen)

Guys, this is almost 2007. STOP FIGHTING IT! GO WITH THE FLOW! I KNOW YOU REALLY WANT A CHANGE ANYWAY! Stop being “old school” and just give in and buy a conveyor oven. They’re not as big and bulky. They’re definitely not as nasty looking. They’ll decrease you’re electricity bills in the summer 'cause they’re not even close to being as hot. You won’t have to worry about burning your arm everytime you reach in there to get a pie (especially in the back). Oh yeah, don’t forget about the consistent bake… every time. OLD SCHOOL - SCHMOLD SCHOOL!

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mmmm… after 12 years I still could eat our pizza everyday of the year.
To me it is like apple pie, sure get with the times and buy it frozen but gosh find an older lady to make you one and it is heaven.

Our pizzas don’t taste the same when they come out of a conveyer.


It is a stone deck oven and yes, I have been forced to use a screen. Do you know if there is a treatment for the stone, like sand paper or something ?
I have been thinking the problem is related to old stones.

no no no don’t sand the stones. In my book the older the better. The “seasoned’” stone is what gives it the edge over the conveyer in taste.

On a side note… do you clean (scrap) the stone with a scraper?

Back to your issuue… Tell me how you prepare the dough before you cook it

Do you roll it cold, or let it warm? Do you roll it cold and then let it warm?
Do you roll it cold and bake it cold? Does your cheese brown? Are the edges burnt?

Does it happen everytime?

I scrap and brush the oven a couple of times a day. I also clean it with a wet rag.

I make the dough 1 day before, I usually don’t let it warm since I haven’t seen any difference. I roll it cold and I bake it cold. The cheese gets a brown color so the edges. Half of the time the pies rest directly on the stone ant then I place it over a screen. By the time tue bottom gets dark the edges are still white and the cheese has not melted completly.

Since I don’t get high gluten flour I use regular flour (11% protein) and then add it 1.5% gluten. The dough is hand tossed.

Am I doing anything wrong ?

Thanks again !!

I played around yesterday to see if I could get our bottoms to burn. It didn’t really matter if the dough was cold or not. The baking was a little diffrent but not really what you describe your problem to be.

But I will say we keep it on the screen the entire baking. Sometimes if the bottom needs it we will take it off the screen but not for any longer than 20 seconds or it will burn.

Have you tried cooking it from the begining on the screen and never taking it off?

Absolutely without a doubt your problem is…Your thermostat is gone! i.e. DEAD, BROKE, KAPUT…

You may have your oven set at 500 but it’s probably screaming at like 650 or something…

I had this problem once before…

A cheap and easy way to tell is to buy a oven thermometor (5 bucks), throw it in there and see what your real temp is.

It’s only like 100 bucks to get a new thermostat installed…

Hope this helps…

There’s also a possibility that you’re venting it wrong. Check the temp of the stone with a thermometer and then check the air temp in the oven. Are they close? If not, you’re sucking out hot air too quickly from the venting. Venting and dampers on these things can be a bit of an art form.

How do you check the air temp? Put something non-combustable and doesn’t conduct heat quickly (a brick would work… it will heat up, but doesn’t transfer heat nearly as fast as metal will.) and put the thermometer on top of it for a couple of mins).

Yep, yep, yep:

  1. Decks have advantages. You can’t properly cook different crust styles in a conveyor, and most places don’t have them adjusted properly at all.

  2. The ONLY thing that usually goes wrong in a deck is the thermostat

  3. You do want to play with venting to get the crust vs. cheese baking right.

I agree, if our stone decked oven goes above 300 degrees celsius the bottom of our pies burn. At 275 to 290 it is perfect. Check your thermostat. If you cook on screens you will not bet the proper bite or crunch, the stone is crucial.

With regards to a conveyor oven, don’t buy one, they do not produce good crust, no matter what you do!

Guys, thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge !

I have now a couple things to do. I will check the stone temp and the air temp and I will try to figure how the vent system works. I may have to buy a new thermostat.

I will let you know, thanks again !!

Hi guys !

You were all right, the thermostat is not working. I could check the temp with a infrared thermometer ant it was over 600F. Something I noticed is temp is not even on the stone surface with a difference of 15 to 20 degrees.

Wath is the name for the sheet of metal that is on one side of the oven ?? I removed it and could see it has some insulation inside. There is only one in the right side and the stone next to it is hoter. Am I missing one ??

Thanks again, have a great weekend !!