Switching to conveyor oven?

Hey Hey,

First post here, thanks for the input ahead of time! We have a SMALL pizzeria that cranks out pies. We started out with 1 bakers pride P44, and are now up to 3 P44S. We’ve been at this for 7 years and have never tried anything else.

We LOVE the way that they cook, but are having a lot of trouble keeping up. The ovens are what are slowing us down. I know there will be a difference cooking the pies, but has anyone had success switching from a brick lined oven to a conveyor for speed’s sake?

We usually cook at 550-600 degrees, and want to keep it consistent. Our pies are usually a bit more well done than most, and we use a wetter dough than most.

THANKS a ton in advance…any input would be greatly appreciated!

  • G

@Tom_Lehmann can help you get the same bake out of a conveyor as a brick oven. You just have to get the ovens set right for your product.

I highly reccomend Edge Ovens.

Thanks a ton for the input! Tom, any advice you’d have would be amazing as well. I’ll get looking into the edge ovens. Any idea which one has the smallest footprint??

Thanks!

G

It looks like you might be looking for their smallest oven? Maybe the #1830?
Remember that production volume goes down and you will also lose some versatility with any oven much smaller than the #3240 (which is probably the most common size).
As you are wanting to achieve a hearth baked crust characteristic I recommend using the Lloyd’s Hearth Bake Disks which is unique in that it is designed specifically to help in achieving the desired hearth baked crust characteristic in an air impingement oven. The use the disks the following have to be done:
The dough formula cannot contain any sugar, milk or eggs.
The oven temperature should be set at 500 to 525F/260 to 274C.
The bake time should be set at 5.5-minutes (further adjustment may be needed).
Make sure your oven supplier knows what you are going to be trying to achieve and which pans/disks you intend to use so the oven can be properly profiled before shipment.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Thanks for the response, Tom! A few questions.

We have been operating for 7+ years with our current dough recipe, so I am a bit apprehensive about changing it. While there is no milk or eggs, there is a bit of sugar. We use fresh yeast, and I always thought the yeast “ate” the sugar, but also may have added a bit of color. Is the need to not add sugar so that the pie won’t come out too dark with the Hearth Baked Discs? And will the yeast still have something to feed on without the sugar? Our dough is usually made and used within 24 hours.

I’ll look into the different oven options that Edge offers. What is the versatility that will be lost with their smallest oven? I need something with a small footprint, but I might be able to make some adjustments if it is worth it.

Thanks a ton for all of this info!

To the sugar question, if your flour is not already malted by the flour miller you will need to add some sugar to the dough formula. I will assume that you are cold fermenting the dough balls for ??-hours (less than 24-hours it appears). If you are just adding 1% or so you shouldn’t have any problem with the sugar being present but if it’s 2% or more you might need to adjust the level or you’ll possibly get too much crust color. The biggest thing that I’ve found which is lost with any smaller size oven is that they will have fewer top and bottom finger panels which limits the number of finger configurations you can have to work with. Sometimes this is important and other times it isn’t. Marcus at Edge has a test kitchen where he can test your dough formula with the disks of your choosing to see how it performs with different finger profiles.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

I use Tom’s/Lloyd’s Hearth Bake Disks. Love them.

Have you always used those disks or did you switch to them from something else?

I bought a pizzeria that used screens. I remodeled it and before we reopened I ran several tests to compare the pizzas made on screens to the pizzas made on Hearth Bake Disks. The pizzas made on HBD were noticeably superior.

Did you use the same dough recipe, cook time, cook temperature & finger placements or did you adjust accordingly?. I want to make the switch but I’m skeptical on how much of a “noticeable” by the customer difference it would make to justify the cost of the disks.

My dough recipe remained the same.

My temperature was adjusted up by about 50 degrees. My cook time was tweaked, but not by a significant percentage.

I did not make any finger changes. I have fingers all the way across the bottom. I have one finger slightly past the entry of the oven and another finger slightly before the exit.

I didn’t do it for my customers. I did it for me.