Pizza oven

Hello John I am about to open another pizzaria and I am having some difficulty on the type of oven I am going to put in the business. I am currently using the Q-matic 55, and I am wondering if you believe impigment air is better technology than q-matics infared. If you believe it is better which company do you feel makes the most superior impingment air oven. Also what is the basis for Dominos switching from Middleby Marshall to BOFI?

  1. REGARDING WHICH IS BEST, AIR IMPINGEMENT VS. INFRARED: I don’t regard either as automatically being the best mode of heat transfer. Each can produce a speedy bake. Each can do a good job with pizza. Each has its pros and cons. For example, infrared is quieter. However, impingement produces a slightly drier top to the pizza (which may be a pro or con depending on your style of pizza and how you want it to turn out). If possible, the best thing to do is bake your pizza in BOTH types of ovens; then compare results. You already know how the Q-matic does. All you need do now is schedule a date with Middleby, Lincoln, or whomever, take your pizza ingredients there, and bake your product in their oven. Then compare the final product to what you’re currently getting.

  2. REGARDING WHICH IMPINGEMENT OVEN BRAND IS BEST: I have no information or personal experience base that indicates to me that one brand of impingement oven is conclusively superior to the other.

  3. REGARDING WHY DOMINO’S IS SWITCHING FROM MIDDLEBY TO BOFI: I have no “inside info” on this. However, it’s safe to say, when a major pizza chain switches from one oven to another, one or both of two reasons are involved: (a) improved functionality (such as, perhaps, improved baking speed, improved pizza quality, improved reliability) and/or (b) lower price.

my prev post in another thread spoke about the CTX brand (now mfg by MM)

I, too, had a Q-Matic & spoke to the designer several times many yrs ago…I bought one of his 1st ovens at a trade show…

The Q’s are good ovens, but again, you need to tweak 'em, just like the CTX

I got my CTX several yrs after I sold the Q & would/am looking for another CTX, as I believe the reliability is there & the programability is there…

As far as “drier” toppings, I just diced my fresh veggies and covered 'em under some mozz…

Logic would say: Check what those who have the experience, the staff to do evaluation and extensive testing, and have the financial wherewith all to buy the very best, are using.

I may be wrong but I know of no major chain using CTX, Q Matic, Rotoflex, etc. The top chains are using the BOFI- XLT and Middleby Marshall ovens. There are several second tier chains using Lincoln ovens.
You ask why Domino’s and I would note Little Caesar’s and many others are switching to BOFI- XLT ovens.

Performance, After extensive testing those companies determined that XLT ovens met or exceeded the performance of the ovens they were using. Warranty, 2 years rather than one. Cleaning, fifteen minutes as opposed to two hours. Electrical requirements, 120 volt- rather than 220 volt, cuts electrical cost in half, Parts 1/3 the cost, Electrical fuses, all out where operator can replaces for 50 cents rather than an expensive service call. Smaller gas lines required. No lubrication required, No fan belts to break. Many other advanced features And substantially lower cost to buy.

I replaced my Lincoln Impinger ovens with Q-matics because I couldn’t get the right bake I was looking for from the impingement. I’m really sold on the Q-matic as it does indeed cook like a deck oven. If you do end up replacing your ovens I would be interested in buying your Q-matic 55 from you.

Keep in mind that ovens of different technology will bake differently. Infrared ovens bake differently from air impingement. If you want both of your stores to be comparable, keep the same ovens in both stores. I recently heard of a case where consumers would call in to a central call number and ask for a pizza but it had to come from a specific store (customer’s request). When questioned, we discovered that the customer’s requesting this particular store felt that those pizzas were better baked than those from either of the other two stores. Yes, they had a different oven at the requested store. Due to the lack of air flow in the IR ovens they generally don’t handle heavily loaded pizzas as well as the air impingement ovens do (especially when most of the toppings are vegetables). It all boils down to what you are looking for in your finished pizza. Different types of ovens do give the finished pizza different characteristics, and some types of ovens are better suited to some types of pizzas than others. It all depends upon what you are looking for, but I’m not so sure that I’d recommend going with a “mixed bag” when it comes to my ovens.
That’s just my humble opinion.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

WOW! all the big guns are here. Tom Lehman, George Mills, John Corell!

Gentlemen, I myself have been carrying a question for a while. … highlight=

I know you guys will suggest the finger configueration. Is there any guide/manual for finger configueration? I like to have some idea what kind
of config. I need to achieve the bake I want. Please Help.

most MM ovens are set up for either high heat upon entry or high heat upon exit, which is what I prefer…

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To the best of my knowledge, there isn’t any specific recommendation as to finger profile except to say that pizzas are typically baked from the bottom. This means you will typically see more open fingers on the bottom than on the top. When we are establishing a finger configuration for a specific pizza I like to begin with full open on the bottom and full closed on the top, then begin opening, either fully or partially, some of the top finfers. The trick is in determining if we need to place the opened fingers towards the front or back part of the oven cavity. Sometimes we even use closed, infrared finger panels to apply a more gentle heat to the top of the pizza. Every pizza is different and then when you add different sizes and different toppings to the mix you come up with something of a balancing act in trying to get everything properly baked within a fixed baking time. This is why you will see split conveyors on some of the ovens. It allows you to have two different baking times (conveyor speeds) within the same oven cavity. The oven techs never cease to amaze me with how well they can work out a finger configuration to bake a variety of pizzas in the same oven without changing the bake temp or bake time. The fact that there are so many ovens out there with customized finger configurations is the main reason why so many people have problems when they buy a used oven off E-Bay. The oven might have done a great job with baking someones pizza, but your pizza is different and because of this, the finger configuration might not be the most ideally suited to baking YOUR pizza, and never mind the fact that the oven could have come out of a seafood restaurant and the finger configuration was specifically designed to bake fish, lobster and crab cakes to perfection, but NOT pizza. They’re great ovens when they’re properly set up.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Well guys I will make the observation that if you would purchase new ovens rather then old used, the factory will send a trained technician to adjust your ovens for your product.

Another point The used ovens on the market are mostly 20 year old technology.You will be lucky if you burn 80 % of the gas pumped into the oven. A large percentage of the heat goes out the exhaust pipe along with a lot of unburned gas. The new ovens burn 98% of the gas and therefore do not have exhaust pipes spewing expensive heat out the ventilation system.

New ovens use 120 volt electrical service to run blowers and conveyors rather than 220- 240 volt. That cuts the electric usage in half.The new ovens are up to 30% less costly to operate.

You are going to pay over a few seasons,in operating expense, the cost of new ovens even though you purchased used. Maintenance costs can be a killer. Factory parts for the old ovens are 3 times more than parts for ovens like the XLT.