The right oven for the job

Hi there, I am new to the TT and am incredibly happy to have come across a place that is a wealth of knowledge. This site is awesome!

I, along with my partners, am starting a Pizza trailer in Austin. Here in Austin, mobile food vendors seem to be on every corner and our ideas and location require the trailer concept.
We currently purchased a beautiful vintage travel trailer that is gutted and needs to be outfitted.

Well, the type of pizza we are looking to make is based on stone cooked pizza. We have considered the convenience, small footprint, less radiant heat aspect of a conveyor oven. The problem is that the product we are looking to sale requires that stone cooking capability.

So, my question is: which ovens would you recommend for the application. It is a gigantic trailer (45ft long x 8 ft wide). :shock: We have obviously considered the deck ovens with stone decks but am interested in the nitty gritty details and differences. Due to my lack of knowledge in this arena I was hoping that some of you pizza equipment wizards would be able to supply information that might help us make a decision.

Issues of concern:
using LP gas instead of natural
radiant heat
footprint size
adding stone to a deck oven
buying a specific stone oven


appreciate that the product you have in mind could also be made in a conveyor oven…it’s all about the dough recipe, really-and not the type of oven one uses. Good luck to you !

I know that it’s all about the dough. Are you saying that you can get the same result with fresh made dough in a conveyor oven as you can by cooking it on a stone deck? If that’s true then what’s the 411?

In a trailer application, it will be awfully hard to beat an air impingement oven. With any of the new generation air impingement ovens, in combination with the Hearth Bake Disks from Lloys pans <> you can get an authentic hearth baked characteristic with a 5+ minute baking time, and it will be a perfectly baked pizza everytime, regardless of the type or number of toppings. Setting them up for bottled gas in not a problem at all. Just make sure you get an oven that requires only 110V service, this way your generator will be able to provide all of your electrical power without any problem. My good friend Paul Nyland (Pizza Paul) has been down this road, as well as a good friend of us long time Think Tankers, now deceased, Otis Gunn. A little research through the TT postings from about three years ago should turn up some of their threads and discussion.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Great info Tom, greatly appreciated! I’m going to do a little digging based on what you said and go from there.

Do you think putting a deck oven in a trailer is just a bad idea considering the options? Are there any good arguments for making a deck oven work?

I really can’t come up with a good reason, in addition to all the heat, they also consume more gas than one of the new air impingement ovens, and that is an important consideration for a trailer with a limited supply of expensive gas. With all of the trailer operations that I’ve seen over the years, speed of delivery was the name of the game.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Tom, you have mentioned the “newer versions” of the air impingement ovens. How far back have these new advancements been included? We are looking at used equipment because of our budget up front. If we went with an older oven will it not perform as well as what you are talking about?

These “new generation” ovens will date back about 18-months or so. They are worth the extra money in energy efficiency alone, especially in a trailer setting. If capacity is what you want, look at the Avantec ovens, but any of the new ones such as Lincoln’s FastBake, Middleby-Marshall’s WoW, PESI Pro-Comp series, XLT, and Edge would be a great asset. For the most part, you should be able to snag a new one for around $12,000.00 or a little more, but you will get the difference back in energy savings, which is pretty substancial. I’d be contacting these companies to get their perspective as to oven size and operating cost on propane. We did a very crude test, actually, we were supposed to have an electric oven for use at the Orlando Pizza Show and we got one set up for propane. The largest bottle they would allow into the show hall was 5-pounds. Guess what? We ran the oven, pretty well at full tilt for nearly 2.5-hours on a single 5-pound bottle of propane gas. If you would have asked me before we actually ran the oven, I would have guestimated an operating time of about 30-minutes, at best. Boy, was I ever surprised! I’m betting that any of the above mentioned ovens are on par with this type of efficiency.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Concerning the Hearth Bake Disks, there are several types of Quik-Disks depending on the oven and type of pizzas you are baking. For instance, if you are looking to replace those nasty screens without major changes to time and temp, then the QD40 Quik-Disks are your best choice. They have a 40% airflow whereas the Hex Quik-Disks have a 50% airflow. The Hearth Bake Disk is somewhat different and warrants some testing with time and temp. to achieve excellent results.

All feature the PSTK finish: pre-seasoned and ready for production, durable for long usable life and easy cleaning.
Here is a page on our website with more info:

Good luck!

But, if getting a true, New York style hearth baked characteristic is the prime objective, then the Hearth Bake Disks (Cloud Pattern) withthe non-stick finish is the only way to go, especially when combined with one of the new generation air impingement ovens.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

This price range is definitely above our oven budget. If the budget can’t stomach something like this what would you recommend? I think one of the reasons we were looking at deck ovens was because of the used market and cost to get into one. Definitely learning as we go here but budgets can be hard to argue with.

Tom, this is awesome information. Thanks for all the input.

I don’t know about the other ovens that Tom mentioned, but the new WOW ovens that Papa Johns uses have a neat feature: when no pies are in they oven, they cool off to a standby temperature and the conveyer stops.

When a pie is placed on the conveyer, you break a beam on an optical sensor which tells the oven to heat up to cooking temp (2-3 minutes) and then the belt starts once the correct temp is reached. The oven automatically goes back to standby after the last pie has passed thru. If I am in a hurry, I use my hand to trip the optical sensor before I start making the pie, that way the oven is usually ready by the time the pie gets there.

What is so good about that is that is uses much less gas when idle, and most important I think in a trailer set up, is that the waste heat output is much less when idle. Our store is noticeably cooler using the new ovens. (Quieter too now that I think of it!)

The oven also has a data cable that may be able to hook to a POS system so the oven could be told to warm up as soon as an order is rung up. We don’t have the data cables hooked up, so I don’t know what they are actually capable of.

:shock: That sounds awesome!

Technology will never cease to amaze me!

coming back to this thread the next day I can see that Tom has already shared a wealth of information on the subject. Please let me know if I can help with equipment or any other info…( )

Just found this:

for domestic and standard export ovens … 70_iom.pdf

Remove the cable (P/N 59198) from the Kit. Attach the 90
degree plug to the rear of the touchscreen display and route
the serial connector out the grommetted bottom hole and
along the gas pipe. Connect the serial connector with the
cable supplied by the customer.

Does anyone know what can actually be done with the POS cable?

The Middleby PS770 is exclusive to Papa Johns so I would imagine it allows these ovens to integrate with the Papa Johns Profit Systems POS(if they still use that antiquated POS).

How funny, an oven designed to cook 30% faster, but the pizza sits there on a belt that isn’t moving for three minutes before it starts cooking. What will the chains come up with next! How about a “you got 30 minutes” marketing campaign while the stores average 45 minutes to an hour to deliver. Genius!

This is just a WAG but I could see the serial connection using the printer signal to activate the oven when the order is sent to the kitchen printer.

Hi Guys:

As usual Tom has done a marvelous job of informing every reader as to the great strides that have been achieved by the oven manufacturers he lists.

George Mills

I don’t know about the other ovens that Tom mentioned, but the new WOW ovens that Papa Johns uses have a neat feature: when no pies are in they oven, they cool off to a standby temperature and the conveyer stops.

When a pie is placed on the conveyer, you break a beam on an optical sensor which tells the oven to heat up to cooking temp (2-3 minutes) and then the belt starts once the correct temp is reached. The oven automatically goes back to standby after the last pie has passed thru.

Hi Guys:

Just a note about the WOW feature on the MM ovens. That’s not an entirely new concept.

About 20 years ago a basement inventor came to us with basically the same system that could be retrofitted to conveyor ovens. There was a pair of electric eyes at the entrance and exit to the oven that sensed when there was no pizza in the oven and cut back the temperature. It did not stop the belt, I don’t see the need of that. There was a simple button at the phone desk that was pushed as soon as it was obvious that an order was coming in and the oven would reheat. We showed it around but never sold any.

George Mills

George Mills

Hi George;
Can you send me your e-mail contact info?
Please send to
Tom Lehmann/TDD