Thoughts on steel Deck Oven

I wanted to know if anybody has experience on cooking pan pizza in Blodgett or similar deck ovens
with steel instead of stone lining.
I have been told it has a faster recovery time which would make absolute sense.
I have seen some for sale and am thinking about it.
Any other pros or cons

we had Garland Air Decks(metal) at one point…they did the job, but we have since tried Roto-flex (stone) and before that had Blodgett stone decks for 20+yrs. Switched to Edge conveyors last year and could not be happier

Stone decks are
overwhelming preferred
by deck oven operators

George Mills

Some of the steel deck ovens were not made as “pizza” ovens, they were made more to bake things like bread, pastry, etc. The steel deck doesn’t store the latent heat and the burners are smaller producing fewer BTUs so deck recovery time becomes a real issue when you begin to get busy.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

I don’t care for steel decks as they lose their heat too quickly and when your busy that’s not a good thing. The first pizza is just fine, the next on the same spot is not cooked as well. Iv’e used large 5 steel shelf rotators, Roto ovens and steel deck ovens. Stones are better and OEM stones are better than aftermarket, so if you have a Bakers Pride 600 etc…, or Blodgett 1048, 1060 etc…OEM stones are superior in their heat retention. Pans will pull the heat too just like on deck dough, to a lesser extent over a screen. Stones are better for pans and on deck dough in my experience.

It seems like you’ve used several deck ovens and are now happily switched to Edge conveyor ovens.

I’m in the process of opening a NY Style pizza shop in a downtown bar district. We will have about 60-70 seats, do carry out and would eventually like to do delivery (if capacity allows).

I really like the way my pies are turning out at home on my baking steel. So I was planning on doing a double deck bakers pride y602. Then I got concerned about capacity, consistency and staff training after reading up on here. I came across a Rotoflex at Ian’s pizza in Madison Wisconsin not too long ago and I thought that would be a great solution. It seemed to be the best of both worlds

Now I’m considering an edge conveyor after seeing it recommended by George Mills and many other posters. It seems to make the most sense from a business standpoint with its consistency and ease of use.

Thing is, I really love the way the my pizzas are coming out on my baking steel. They’re crisp on the bottom, light and airy with a hint of a char. I would like to get as close to that as possible, but while still maintaining consistency and being able to keep up with rushes. And doing a NY deck style, I would be the only one in my area. Everyone else around here is a chain or chicago thin.

You said you switched to Edge conveyors from stone decks and rotoflex and couldn’t be happier. Could you elaborate on your experience and the pros and cons of using an Edge conveyor over a rotoflex? What style of pizza do you do? Will a NY Style come out close to deck with the use of the Lloyd Hexapans?

Any insight is much appreciated!

Adam, I do not know much about baking steel other than the fact it is a homeowner oven. There is a HUGE difference between a backyard oven versus another that is forced to perform 100+pie hours consistently for years. We cook in pans which are the obvious choice with Edge(conveyor) but before we tested Edge ovens we were not happy with the cook on conveyor ovens and honestly never considered them for 30yrs. What I can tell you is that if you are looking for a char characteristic you will not get it with any of the ovens mentioned. You are looking for a high temp/low cook time that cannot be achieved…I do not think steel is the answer. My advice would be to pursue wood burning or some of the electric options with stone, but that is not my specialty. Good luck!

If you are looking to get some char from an air impingement oven there are specialized disks made to bake the pizzas on which will allow you to get some char. We did it all the time when we held our AIB Pizza Class.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Tom, would like some more info…are you going to be doing anything on this at the Expo?

My time at Pizza Expo will be very short this year. I will be there only for my April 1st. 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. presentation and then I will be leaving directly for the airport.
If you wish to have more information on how we got the char in our air impingement ovens please feel free to contact me directly at
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor