Question about pizza ovens

First off, a little background about myself. I opened my pizza shop, Uncle Nick’s Pizza, Aug 29, 2011 at the age of 23. All my previous experience was in chain pizza operations (worked from 16-19 at Domino’s as an Instore, and from 19-23 as a General Manager and then Area Supervisor for Papa John’s Pizza). It was at that point in my life I decided to venture out and try to open up my own shop. I spent several months trying to make my own dough and sauce recipe, until I finally found something that I liked (and others who I had taste it did as well). I took all the money I had saved up, quit my job with Papa John’s, and started on opening up my shop.

Now, my biggest issue was finances. Being that ovens such as Baker’s Pride do not require a hood or ansul system here, and that they are available in smaller sizes and cheaper than conveyor ovens to operate, I went with that. I purchased a very small (36" wide x 28" deep per deck) double stacked Bakers Pride oven. It took some getting used to, but after not too long I was doing all right with it (I actually ended up baking pizzas on the screen instead of a peel directly on the stone, and that seemed to go over quite well in this area).

Now my problem is that I am growing, and this oven can only handle 2 - 3 cycles (so 6-9 14" pies) back to back before the stones cool down and do not bake the bottom of the pizza, and even the top. I then have to wait 30 - 45 minutes to do 1 more set or a full hour to hour 30 to do another 2-3 cycles. (The oven is set at 500 degrees and takes about 1.5 - 2 hours in the mornin to heat up. I have tried higher and customer satisfaction dropped as the product tasted burnt even after adjusting settings to accomodate.

So I have two primary questions. First off is this type of problem common with the ovens, or could something be wrong where my thermostat is not telling it to heat up quickly enough. And two, now that I have more finances, and since I have been cooking on a screen (but still get a nice crispy bottom) would going to a conveyor oven cause a large difference (I know a difference is inevitable) as I see a lot of them advertising now that they provide a deck back, and people tell me even th older ones can be adjusted to provide a similiar bake.

Any assistance would be appreciated.

We switched to a conveyor for the same reasons approaching three years ago. Had the same concerns.
We cooked in stacking 1-1\2" deep pan’s in the Bakers Pride deck ovens, then same pans in a Doyon Piz-6, then same in our current XLT 3270 twin stack (purchased used). Took some tweaking of the time/temp/finger config but I really believe that our conveyors produce a better product. Crispy crust, golden brown on top, very slight charring on edge of toppings ( kinda looks not unlike a wood fired oven cooked pizza on the top).
Opening our second location and went with new XLT 3255. As your probably aware, tried to buy a set of REFURBISHED MM360’s from That story is still unfolding.

Yeah I saw that post, I hope everything gets resolved. Can’t believe I almost got involved in that. Awesome well it sounds like the conveyor may be the best option for me. Thanks for the input!

Sorry one question, the ones you had are the an older model? Because I cannot afford a new one,

Hi Uncle:

First where are you that a hood is not required on a Baker’s Pride oven?

We equip shops nationally and find the code everywhere we go calls for any device that raises the temperature of a food product over 220 degrees is required to be under a hood.

Aside from that your results, although extreme, are typical of deck style ovens. The problems are greater for units with less than 120000 BTU input.

On an oven such as the Bakers Pride Y 600 the preferred method of use is to rotate the spots currently baking pizza so as some portions of the oven are recovering heat as other portions are baking product.

As I have said before that thermostat on deck ovens is a wishostat. You just wish you could be baking consistently at the temperature you select.

As deck ovens do not have direct reading thermometers to indicate current temperature You are best to have a grill thermometer to show the deck temperature and an oven thermometer suspended inside above the deck to indicate top temperature.

George Mills


I live down in Port Charlotte, Fl (SWFL). When I originally went up to the county building they said that a hood WAS required, so we found a building that was a little higher on the rent but had a hood in it already. During the inspection, the fire marshal explained that since it is a closed oven, we did not need a hood system, but rather just a vent stack and a hole in the wall to vent out the heat. Not sure if that answers your question.

Hi Uncle:

Very unusual:

It is usually the building department that has jurisdiction over hoods The fire Marshal has in put as to if a hood meets NFPA standards and decides if fire protection is required.

The principal function of the food service hood is to remove cooking vapors. If it is a gas fired cooking unit the removal of unburned gas and other products of combustion also is important. heat removal is important but is not the main consideration

George Mills

Carbon Monoxide . . . smoke . . . smoke . . . grease vapors . . . if not vented, you will definitely get build-up all around your kitchen and quick. The other gases may or may not build up (CO2 and CO) quickly, but if a tight building, could lead to issues.

Did I mention smoke issues when opening and closing those ovens? Not arguing with you or your fire marshall . . . do check baqck in with your building department so you don’t get shut down with a closure notice later because you needed one to meet the building code (different from Fire Code).

Thanks for the information. As stated we do currently use the oven hood because, in my opinion, since we have it might as well use it, and the information did seem odd to me when first stated (because of gas in building, pressure build up etc). But it is definitely something to check back in to for clarification in the future.

It’s tru…many counties in our fine state don’t require a hood for a ‘closed’ oven…I even had 2 Peerless counter top quartz ray brick ovens w/o any venting…

Even county regs vary on ansel systems in conveyor…some require, while mine doesn’t…