Pizza Warming Machine?

I make Sicilian pizza and garlic rolls for my church’s cafe. I have trouble timing the pizzas. Sometimes they are ready too early, and sometimes they’re too late. If I had a way to keep pizzas in good condition for 30 minutes to an hour, I could make them ahead of time and keep them ready to serve.

Does such a machine exist? I would need one that would hold about 4 pizzas.

Something like this maybe? http://www.allenprograms.com/catalog.asp?prodid=481298

Ay, chihuahua. A thousand dollars! I’ll never sell that idea to the church. We have a pretzel machine that looks very similar. I wonder if I could rig it for pizza.

Do they actually work?

How about something like a Hatco warming box, or one made by Wisco or Nemco? These will typically hold from 2 to 5 pizzas with a variable thermostat for temperature control. You can Google Hatco or go to Restaurant Equippers at www.equippers.com. Yes, they do work at holding a pizza fresh and warm, but not for much over an hour at best. After that, the pizza is still warm, but its appearance beging to leave a lot of room for improvement.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

I’m going to check the pretzel cabinet and see if it’s basically the same machine. We also have a seven-foot-tall warming cabinet for banquets. If it works the same way, it should be okay.

Is your oven at the point of use (church)? If it is, you should be able to use the warming cabinet to temporarily hold the pizzas until you have them all baked, then just reset the baking time on your oven for a quick reheat of the pizzas as you begin to serve them. This will both refreshen the pizzas and recrisp them at the same time making for a much better presentation and eating experience.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

The oven is in the church kitchen. The problem is that it’s hard to guess how fast to put pizzas out, because demand varies. If I could stay two pizzas ahead, life would be easier.

Garlic rolls are another problem, although they don’t seem as time-sensitive as pizza. Maybe I should stop putting sauce on them as they exit the oven and wait until they go out to the steam table.

Reply:

Hi Benedetto"]

Are you a franchisee of Benedetto’s in Mexico?

If so, you are affiliated with a fine group. I sold these folks a substantial number of pizza ovens many years ago. Unfortunately the manufacture was new and did not fulfill their warranties to that groups satisfaction and despite my best efforts I lost the account.

I hope if so, you and they are doing very well. They deserve great success they are very fine people…

As to maintaining the outstanding quality of your pizza for any extended period.

Many years ago, when the airlines were actually interested in providing their passengers with a truly excellent in flight meal, we tested every possible method of maintaining the quality of pizza for a considerable time. Unfortunately we could not find a way to do it.

I hope some day some company develops away to hold pizza for more than minimal time at its initial fine quality. So far, as far as I know it has not happened.

Fortunately even pizza not at its best is quite good. That is assuming the pizza was great to start with.

If anyone has a way to do it let us know.

George Mills

No affiliation. I just volunteer at church, hence “Benedetto,” which means “blessed.”

God bless you Benedetto

GEORGE mILLS

Benedetto;
A small holding cabinet will certainly help you to manage your pizzas to some extent by allowing you to stay at least two pizzas ahead. I’m thinking like this: Two pizzas in the cabinet, one goes out of the cabinet and gets a partial pass throughthe oven to thoroughly heat and refreshen it (about 3-minutes) as this one is in the oven, you’re prepping another pizza to be baked to replace the one you took out of the cabinet.
As for the garlic rolls, same thing, but you can build a larger inventory in the cabinet because they hold better, and are much easier to reheat and refreshen. Do not apply the sauce to the garlic rolls until just before you serve them.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Thanks for all the help, and thanks for the kind words, George. I’m going to try to put shelves in the pretzel machine. Meanwhile, I should be able to get some use out of the big warming cabinet.