The most asked question on here!?

Hello everyone!

I’m setting up a mobile Neapolitan style pizza company. Ordered my ovens (Roccbox) and in the process of buying everything else.

I’m stuck on a dough mixer though. I know this question has been asked about 1000 times but I got to page 8 and didn’t find what I was looking for.

I’m going to buy a spiral mixer, but not sure on what capacity and spec to go for. I will only be making around 60 pizzas per day for small events – weddings, markets etc – so not sure on what size mixer to get.

This is where I am really stuck, though… I plan on opening a pizzeria in the future, maybe after the summer season or when a suitable venue becomes available. It is going to have around 30-40 covers. I plan on using a lot of the equipment I purchase now when we eventually open the pizzeria.

Should I invest in a bigger mixer now or get a smaller, cheaper one, for the time being?

Also, mixer recommendations would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

If it were me I’d be looking long and hard at a spiral mixer, 208V/3-phase (might be a problem now? but shouldn’t be a problem in a pizzeria.) As for size, I’d suggest looking at a 70-quart capacity as this will easily mix doughs based on 50-pounds of flour weight with the ability to mix doughs as small as those based on 15-pounds of flour weight. A good commercial heavy duty, 2-speed mixer will set you back about $6,000.00. If the voltage is going to be a problem for you now I’d suggest looking at something in the 50-quart capacity 220V/1-phase. A mixer like this will easily mix doughs based on up to 25-pounds of flour weight a spiral mixer of this type can be had for well under $2,000.00.
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Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

I am going to disagree with Tom on the size thing. You are not talking about high volume in either scenario and I find batches based on 50lbs of flour unwieldy and, in fact, many employees will not be able to handle the 80lb wad of dough that results.

With a 25lb mix you end up with a roughly 40lb batch which most employees can get out of the machine etc etc. For the size doughballs most of us use that will be two batches a day for volume you are talking about initially. Our batch is based on 25lbs. Even when we are busy and need several batches a day, I think the ease of handling outweighs the “inconvenience” of mixing up multiple batches. Mix time is a bit longer but that is not the biggest time suck in making dough, cut&roll and cleanup are the same. All in all I would avoid the 80lb batch.

We started out with a used 20 qt. mixer that I seem to remember plugged into a standard wall outlet. The smaller size allowed one person to easily lift the dough up to the work surface. As business grew we eventually killed the motor making so many batches in it and it was clear a larger mixer would be more efficient. That was the time we knew we were ready for a 60 qt. and at that point we had multiple people making dough so they could tag team a larger batch out of the bowl onto the table top.

Also keep in mind that moving a large mixer is a pain. We need a lift-gate truck, dollies and several “beefy” guys to help get one of those 80 qt. monsters into place. When that 20 qt. died, two of us flipped it up into a pickup truck and drove it to the scrap yard.

My vote is smaller, cheaper & used. It won’t depreciate much if at all so you might be able to recoup your investment in a year or two and apply it toward the larger mixer you’re going to want when that future pizzeria comes together.

I would suggest going with a spiral that at least can handle two 50 lb bags of flour. If you do any business at all, you will do at least that every day – or at least 2 batches on some days. We use a capacity that holds three 50 lbs bags. You don’t need to be able to take all the dough out in one big ball. Just cut it out in large chunks.

This is ideal and does not consider cost, which you have not stated. It also does not take into account your dough balls and how many you expect to get out of a 50 lb bag of flour. Generally speaking however, I would suggest getting a spiral that can handle 50 lb bags of flour at the minimum.

We’re considering a bigger mixer for one location. How do you get those batches with 3 50lb bags up on to the table to cut, weigh, and ball?

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Not in one big ball, lol. We use a knife to cut large chunks of dough. If/when the dough starts to stick to the bowl, have a plastic dough scraper on hand. Just don’t tear the dough out. The process is the same whether you are mixing one bag or three since you can’t just lift the bowl out of a spiral and dump it all on the table.