revolving bakery type oven opinions

So have been lurking on this sight for proubly 3 years and have finaly joined as I have plans on opening a shop in the next 12 months. So I spent over 5 years running a chain resteraunt with a 5 tray revolving bakery oven and loved the thing we did 27k a week out of that store and it never skipped a beat I then spent about 6 months helping out a privat owner with deck ovens not they were bad just missed my revolving oven so much… my question is for anybody who has worked out of both or just with knowlage of the two I know used 5 tray is at least 10k alot more then a coupple decks I can handle that but what I am wondering is how much more gas is that sucker gonna use up in the long run if I go that way? And is me being spoiled gonna kill me in the long run. I am open to sugestions as well not a fan of conveyors myself when I see them I just think dominos/papa johns I know they can make a great pie. Thanks in advance.

My one pet peeve against anything but conveyors follows. I know, and fully understand and appreciate, the different cooking characteristics and all that. That’s not my point. I want to stress an issue that so many don’t seem to think about.

With a deck oven (done properly) or any kind of revolving oven (whether like the baker’s ovens or the older infrared ones), the person running the ovens has to be sharp; has to be able to follow every item in the oven, know what is where at any time, and keep a watch on all of them. If that person gets distracted, whether naturally as a flaky type or by needs elsewhere in the kitchen, the recipe for disaster has been put into play. The oven person is extremely important.

Conveyor ovens, at least you can put tickets in an order (using paper tickets) and they should come out in that order.

Again, that’s not discussing baking quality or characteristics. Although, I’m surprised you did well with a bakers rotisserie-style oven, they usually have a totally different bake than pizza. I tried one some years back, when my best buddy owned a bakery. The pizzas, both fresh made and par-baked, just didn’t turn out well. Either seriously underbaked, burned, or crust fine and cheese not done right…it simply didn’t work at various temperatures. I’m glad someone figured out how to do it!

Thanks for the reply eupher61 a quality oven person is extreamly important on anything but a conveyor I kind of like that aspect over the years I had alot of oven people who had pride in there work and enjoyed there jobs. Also great info on your atempts to use a bakery oven our pizzas came out great now I don’t know if there was some special oven tuneing involved on the company’s part or not but almost all 200 stores. At the time used baker style ovens there were a few new stores getting conveyors and there were mixed reviews from customers to say the least… but we were the number 1 chain in newengland however this is going to prompt some more investigation on my part to find out if I need a special brand or maybe if there buying conveyors to replace the rotary oven I can buy one of there’s used luckly I left on good terms so I should be able to get some info

The type of oven we’re talking about here is called a “reel” oven, some of the major manufacturers are: Fish Oven Company; Reed Oven Company; Middleby-Marshall Oven Company and Cobblestone Ovens, Inc.
With the correct type of deck material they can be used for baking pizzas, but a common feature of all of them is that they lack sufficient bottom heat (pizzas are baked from the bottom up), and the baking times are quite long as compared to a pizza deck or conveyor oven. Depending upon the type of pizza, you could see baking times of 25-minutes or more (just ask anyone in Chicago). Since you are heating that entire box, and baking for such a long time, your energy cost per pizza is going to be quite high as compared to a new generation air impingement oven, which is quite economical to operate. As I see it, the biggest issue with baking pizzas in a reel type oven is the long baking time. In many parts of the country, customers are just not going to wait that long for a pizza, and if you are doing whole pizzas for any kind of fast service, such as a lunch trade, this could pose a significant problem.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Thanks tom the bake time on the oven was only 8 minutes ny style crust will do a bit more research on the type we were using however the more I consider this the more I know I wont be doing 27k a week and wont need to be spending the extra cash to run that type of oven. Found a link to an article on the company I worked for in it is a picture of the oven we ran … -makeovers

I have 24 years experience using these types of ovens in my restaurant ( I sold my store back in November). We had a six shelf Bradley, then we went to a six shelf Reed. I’m not sure where Tom got the 25 minute bake time figure from. Our pizzas ( very thick crust- but not Chicago stuffed) cooked in 8-10 minutes…tops. (540 F)

As far as bottom bake…we did have a problem with the Reed until we added 1/4" steel plate to each shelf. Ofcourse a Chicago style pizza will take longer…in any oven!

Having a “reel” oven does mean that you will have to have an experienced and attentive oven person. The newer “reel” ovens are much more economical than the older ones, which is why we switched to the Reed. Our gas bill went from $1200/mo to $700-$800/mo.

I would research the air impingement ovens though. That is what I would like if I ever get back into the business. One reason is that the hot air flowing over the pizza helps to evaporate the liquids that can accumulate on top.

Do your homework, it will pay off!

Thanks yes I was defintly confused on the 25 minute thing… It appears we used 2 diffrent reel ovens I mostly worked one made by fish we had 5 shelves that were very heavy steel and two what we called kicker shelves that hung under 2 of the main shelves. The kicker shelves didn’t hold heat well and only used them to bake bread sticks or when we filled the ovens main shelves it held 25 pies 35 with the kickers but you had to finish those pies on one of the main shelves… I haved trained tons of oven people on the oven in the past not a problem also another upside durning slow periods we would stop the oven leaving one shelf level with the door and it would be more like a deck oven that held five pizzas just had to rember the shelf underneath that one had been over the burner and need a few roataions to cool down or you would burn the bottoms of the pies on that shelf. And the reed ovens sound tempting if there gas costs are lower…maybe I need to consider a air impegment oven I am looking at doing a open kitchen with a more gourmet type pizza on the one hand I don’t see a conveyor oven and gourmet going together on a appearance. Level on the other hand alot of gourmet pizzas can be wet and evaporation could be wonderfull

If you are looking at an upscale, or gourmet pizza, why not consider something like a Woodstone? Or possibly one of the brick faced deck ovens like that made by Marsal? I did an article on ovens that addresses why you might select one type over another a short time ago. A quick look through the archives should produce it for you to look at.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Hi UT:

Many years ago, when the pizza industry was in its very early expansion mode, several budding chains equipped their shops with those revolving type ovens.

The problems indigenous to that type of oven became apparent and they switched to conveyor ovens as they became available.

Apparently that type of oven is not popular in carry out - delivery type operations. They are as far as I know quite popular for dine in operations that feature the thicker Chicago and other very deep dish styles pizzas.

George Mills

Thanks George! We have decided our best bet is to wait until the pizza expo to make our final decisions need to realy get a look at all our options and listen to the sales folks I worked one for years and loved it I have worked wood fired and deck as well and wood fired isn’t the direction we are looking to go into that leaves the other 3 and I have never worked the impingment ovens so I have bit more to learn… luckly we have the time to wait and make the right decision

Hi UT:

Stop by our booth # 1760 at the show.

George Mills