Oven HELP?

I have always used decks. I am going to be opening up a new store and would like to possibly use conveyors. Is there any one that is better as far as getting a pizza that I would expect from a deck. Should I buy used or new and how much can I expect to pay. Traditionally I would by only used on deck ovens. Any info is greatly appreciated.


XLT is the way to go. Buying used is fine but you have to know the right setup. The oven might be used to make products other than Pizza and you might have problems. The finger configuration needs to be set for your use. This is not a big deal but if you dont know how to set it up for your product it might drive you to drink. I would also reccomend a split belt.

Hi Jimmy:

I would recommend that you buy one of the newest model ovens, they are vastly less expensive to operate than the used units on the market.

The Lincoln, Edge and XLT are in my opinion excellent ovens. Middleby also makes a good oven but it is ,in my opinion, over priced. The Lincoln ovens are somewhat more costly then the Edge and XLT. The XLT has a five year warranty. Unless there has been a recent change I believe the Edge has a 2 year warranty.

If you would like more detailed information on ovens or a price quote contact me.

George Mills pizzaovens@aol.com

Also, if you are presently baking right on the deck, you might want to check out the Hearth Bake Disks from Lloyd Pans <www.lloydpans.com>. Combined with any of the newer, high efficiency air impingement ovens, these baking disks will give you a finished pizza that is essentially identical to a hearth/deck baked pizza, if that is what you are looking for.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Hi Jimmy:

All the ovens I mentioned in my posting are of the type Tom is referring to.

To better understand your needs could you tell me what size in inches is your best selling pizza? Then what is the total number of pizzas you hope to sell during the busiest hour of your busiest day?

That way i can assess what ovens can do your Job and provide additional information.

George Mills

Thanks for the info guys. The only size I will be selling is a 16. Hard to break it down by hours but somewhere between 100-200 a day.


I would also consider a double stack of Edge 60’s. Can be bought in the low 20’s and bake great. They are also one of the quietest conveyor options available.

Hi Jim:

Please consider that the bulk of pizza sales occur between 6 and 9 PM.

It is of little relevance how many pizzas are sold during a day. If a shop is properly equipped to handle their busiest hour there is no question they will have ample production for the rest of the day.

We design and equip many pizza shops seldom do we equip a shop to do less than 150 pizzas in an hour, most are equipped to Bake 200 to 300 per hour.

You cannot sell product if you are not equipped to bake it. You would be doing your self a disservice if you under size your ovens.

Most all pizza operators are surprised to find out how much additional product they sell when they expand their production capacity.

The chairman of Papa John’s stated in a recent video that when I switched them to high production conveyor ovens that enabled them to from $1000.00 Per evening to $1000.00 per hour. Just using 4 hours as an evening that added $3000.00 in sales.
That company’s growth spurred by the ability to make greater profits became phenomenal.

I would suggest you install nothing smaller than a double stack air impingement conveyor oven that has a 32 in wide conveyor belt and a 40 in long bake chamber. You would also be wise to get the type that can have a third oven stacked on if your sales eventually warrant it.

If possible You should buy that type double oven with a 32 in belt and a 55 in bake chamber and one that has the capability to add an additional deck if sales grow.

Any pizza shop that falls behind on busy evenings should consider increasing their production capacity. Most would be surprised at how much additional business they are missing.

George Mills

To build on what George has said, you would be surprised at how fast you can lose your lunch trade, when people come in on a time line and can’t get served in what they feel is a reasonable amount of time because you can’t bake the pizzas fast enough. The same thing holds true at the dinner hour when they aren’t on the time line, but they’re hungry and want to be fed, like NOW. If you can’t quickly serve those pizzas, some will sit and wait at your tables, while others, possibly without tables to sit at, will maybe wait a few minutes, but they will soon leave. The longer those people need to sit at your tables and wait, the fewer table turns you’re going to achieve that day, and that costs you big money, not to even mention the loss of business from those who walk away due to the long wait. Then, to compound all of that, you begin to get a reputation as the place where they have great pizza, but you have to wait forever to get served. Oven capacity is a big part of the survival story today.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

I do not know anyone who sells 150 pizzas at any hour, let alone 300. I did 1.3 million in sales last year from 1 store (all take out, about 50 percent pizza) and would never come close to that. How many pizzas could a 32 in wide 40 inch chamber do in 1 hour? Also how long from start to finish?


My guess is 70 16" pizzas per hour in a 32" wide x 40" long conveyor oven…George, am I close?..

After I posted I found this nifty calculator on the XLT website…

Its not so much the need to make 100 pizzas in an hour, instead, its the need to make 30 or 40 pizzas in half an hour. Its not uncommon to need capacity to make 15 or 20 pizzas in a 15-minute period of time, which translates to close to 100 pizzas per hour, but then after the 15 minute rush, things settle back down to 5 or 10 pizzas every 15 to 20 minutes, until the slam is over. Your oven has to have the capacity to keep up during your busiest period.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

150 is quite do-able. We do close to this every now don’t forget that side orders have to fit in the oven as well. Maybe a little space for the pie that the customer wants to be ‘well done’. I’m sure there’s a few guys here who do over 150 pie hours maybe even 300 per hour… something I can only dream about at the moment…

and really hard to clean (compared to the others)… how many times have i mentioned that one…

150 is quite do-able. We do close to this every now don’t forget that side orders have to fit in the oven as well. Maybe a little space for the pie that the customer wants to be ‘well done’. I’m sure there’s a few guys here who do over 150 pie hours maybe even 300 per hour… something I can only dream about at the moment…

I have done 300 pie hours…More of a nightmare than something to dream about!!!

First, I’m sure the big operators easily average 150+/hr - especially for those large school orders. I know that few of the TT operators can bang 'em out.

Like everyone has said, its not that you’ll do 150/hr, but you might get a 20min slam for 60 pies.

Like George mentioned, I’m not particularly ‘counting’ pies/hr, but rather sales/hr. We peaked this summer at a tad over $1k/hr and handled a sustained $800+/hr with one cook & 2 ovens (2 or 3 on cut). I’m absolutely positive that we have one of the best cooks on the planet. For us to exceed this year’s level, we need a 2nd cook (not a faster oven).

Dear Friends:

I am always gratified by the way so many of you support my position on various subjects that are under discussion. I also appreciate those who offer differing views. That is the object of a forum such as this. Everyone’s opinion is welcome and valued.

George Mills

The thing about ovens is that they should be sized to be able to keep up with your busiest hour of the day. Last year I corresponded with a fellow in Asia who was trying to size his ovens. Seems every day he sells nearly 2000 individual size thin crust pizzas. Did I mention that he is only open for lunch, from 11 a.m. to 2:00.m. He was putting out nearly 700 small pizzas per hour.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

while I am greatful for a 150 pie NIGHT . . . . I am another voice to equipping for the peak hour or half-hour. When I moved from a toy oven (Blodgett 981) to a used professional pizza oven (BP 602), my production quadrupled. That’s right times 4. The Blodgett could not keep up on Friday nights . . . . baking times would creep up to 16 or 18 minutes . . . . frequent adjusting and moving of pies to brown evenly . . . baking chamber was melting itself due to contiunous burner firing.

When I did that, a world of opportunities opened for me. I am now able to manage Friday night with JUST ONE of my two decks, I am now able to accept an 80 pie catering gig next week that there is NO WAY I could have done with previous equipment.

My point is that you can use that ‘excess capacity’ that you don’t use in the slower times as a marketing resource to go shake the trees and find catering gigs, or run insane promotions that kick up your pizza volume for spurts of time. If you are running too close to what your average capacity need is you might possibly be 1. be planning today (assuring, maybe) for the time your ovens are obsolete because of business growth; and 2. reducing flexibility/ability to seek greater cashflow that comes from throwing more pies through that oven.

How much labour time is saved by a conveyor versus deck oven?..Recently I had a client tell me that his labour savings alone paid for his lease on the new oven…And the more consistent product and increased production was “gravy”…

I agree with Roysters client.

Generally there can be a reduction of help when decks are replaced with quality conveyor ovens and most always sales go up.

The founder of Papa John’s stated in a recent video that when I convinced them to start using conveyor ovens their sales went from $1000.00 in an evening to $1000.00 per hour during evening hours. That of course happened many years ago