Upgrade to conveyer oven from deck. Pan pizza.

We currently have 2 blodgett 1000 deck oven. We sell 1" thick new england style pan pizza.
I am looking for faster production times as we cannot keep up with orders.
We have serious inconsistency issues if we are not at ovens.
The problem is that I want to still retain the look and characteristics of a deck oven…
I do not see in places that have changed over to conveyer ovens with similar pizza style.
I see the cheese really darkened, uncooked dough with multiple toppings, “not as fluffy” for lack of words and etc.
I went to the pizza expo in Vegas last month but didnt really get the insight I wanted and some opinions were biased.
Maybe I didnt talk to the correct people
I will take all advice or feedback.

Air impingement ovens are definitively up to the task you have described. We bake great deep-dish pizzas all the time in air impingement ovens, in fact a number of years ago Dave Smith won the deep-dish competition at the PMQ, Orlando Pizza Show with his deep-dish entry which was baked in an air impingement oven. The trick (if you want to call it that) is to make sure your oven is properly profiled with the top and bottom finger configuration for YOUR pizza and toppings. This can be done by the oven manufacturer at the time of installation. For your part, you will need to have dark colored anodized finish pans if you don’t already have them. Depending upon the weight of your pizzas and how you are managing the dough you can expect to have a bake time in the neighborhood of 7-minutes. The manufacturer will be able to provide you with production volume figures based on the size of the oven and the size of the pizzas.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

We have hundreds of clients producing excellent deep pizzas doing exactly what Tom describes
George Mills

I got hesitant when i talked to a sales rep and first thing he told me is I would have to modify my cheese to not get those results…
Sounds like what i have been seeing is ovens that haven’t been setup properly in other stores.
Can you customize a specific brand of conveyer more that others?
I have been leaning more towards Edge or maybe Middleby WOW(more expensive and louder).

I recommend the edge Ovens
George mills

One of the problems we see all too often when it comes to air impingement ovens is where someone goes out and buys a used oven, hooks it up and starts tossing pizzas at it. It just doesn’t work that way, what we see as an air impingement oven for pizzas someone else sees as an oven for baking fish, and yet another sees as an oven for baking bagels, or even pretzels. It is all in how the fingers are configured in the oven. Did you know that you can turn an air impingement oven into something closer to a convection oven, or even a radiant heat oven without airflow? Again, it’s all in what fingers the oven is set up with and how they are configured (positioned) in the oven. The main reason why so many people have problems with air impingement oven is because the oven is not properly set up to bake THEIR pizzas, sure, it baked someone else’s pizzas just fine, but THEIR pizza is not YOURS. As for the cheese issue, true, some cheese’s will brown faster than others but that fact can be accommodated with proper finger profiling. If you buy a used oven make sure you understand how the fingers work, and what the finger profile of the oven that you are about to buy is, don’t be afraid to go back to the oven manufacturer with the finger profile and ask them if the finger profile is at least one that they use in pizza applications, if it isn’t you can change out the fingers for different ones or change the profile, whatever is needed, be aware though that each of those fingers cost around $100.00 each.
A funny story: I helped open a pizzeria in San Antonio, TX a few years ago, for the type of pizzas being made we had to use a very unique (call it DIFFERENT) finger profile, for reasons of poor management the a new operator was brought in, he then proceeded to ATTEMPT to make a conventional pizza in that oven, needless to say he failed in every attempt. Store eventually closed and liquidated the equipment, Adam Peyton, AJ’s New York Pizza (Manhattan, KS) ends up buying the still new ovens complete with the hood system. I told him to buy the ovens sight unseen because I knew that that double stack of air impingement ovens had the exact same profile that he used for baking his pizzas…I developed that profile specifically for the type of pizzas that were made at AJ’s and at the San Antonio restaurant…If anybody else had bought those ovens they would have been very disappointed if they did not do their pre-purchase home work. Moral of the story, just because it looks like a “pizza” oven doesn’t mean it is one, and even if it was designed to bake pizzas, that doesn’t mean that it will bake YOUR pizzas to their optimum, but if you buy the oven new, there is no reason why it cannot be properly set up to bake YOUR pizzas to their optimum.
On a side note, air impingement ovens provide excellent management of moisture released from the vegetable toppings making for a drier pizza presentation which might be important if you do any DELCO business.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

I always see people saying to talk to the manufacturer as they will help you set up your fingers, but I have never been able to get them to help. One of my first ovens was a MM200 ( I think) and the middleby guys really didnt even want to bother with it. So about 6 years ago I buy a brand new XLT and call them to get the fingers set up. They literally just told me theres 100s of ways to set up the oven and I have to just experiment on my own. I called them about 5 or 6 times over the years hoping to reach someone who was willing to help and got the EXACT SAME reply every time.

I’ve had very good results with some of the oven manufactures and less than poor (about what you got) results from others.
While I can’t mention their name here, one of the manufacturers that I met with at Pizza Expo this past March is capitalizing on their competition’s short comings on customer relations and they are making quite a name for themselves, and they have a great product too, that always helps.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

I should, I suppose, mention that I recently bought an EDGE oven and the guys have there have absolutely been helpful. They came and worked with my product in person and made sure it was set up perfectly. Then they left me an extra finger just in case I wanted to tweak it just a tad more.

good move on your part.

I am looking to purchase new ovens only. Our ovens are our main tool of the business.
I like to do things correct from the beginning and that is why I am researching it, as much as possible.
Mark from Edge at the Pizza Expo did seem very honest and willing but was swamped with people and questions

Last year I had a question that Mark didn’t have time to answer on the spot so he ask if I was willing to come back at the end of the day so he could give me a proper answer. I have been very happy with the service from this company.

made the switch to Edge over a year ago and could not be happier. Call Nick at Alpha Restaurant Equip in Mass at 1800-479-6608. I think he has a test kitchen truck and might be able to hit your area if Mark is too far away.

in the last 30yrs we cooked on Blodgett decks, Garland Air Decks and Roto-flex…very happy we made the switch to Edge

As Perry Mason might say, “I rest my case”.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

We came up with a way to do Chicago deep dish and also a caramelized pan crust in my MM PS360. Always laugh when people say “there’s no such thing as good quality pizza out of a conveyor.” It takes time to make the adjustments via R&D but once you find the right way to get what you want, the conveyor saves you a lot of headache and makes you a lot more money in a shorter amount of time. I’ll never go back to a deck oven unless I out one in my back yard for fun.

Is there any guidelines to configuring them yourself? I have a MM 250 and MM 360 and they work for the current product lineup but would like to try a detroit style pizza and cant get it quite right. Also I bought them used, they have been in the store for years so there is no calling MM at this point.

I have had mostly terrible experiences when I have needed to call MM. They just do not care at all about the older product they have out there and have discontinued parts production for some key parts that keep an otherwise good old machine running… which does nothing for making me want to look at them for replacement when the time comes!

I tested the Edge ovens yesterday. I was impressed and ovens performed great. After some testing we were set at 485F and 7:30 minutes.
Only problems I found which I am looking for solutions:

  1. the crust was getting lots of tiny tiny pin sized pockets/bubbles all over(lack of words), in deck oven pizza I get smooth surface or very very few to none of these.
  2. the crust on pizza and calzones didn’t retain the crispiness as long as our deck oven pizza did in boxing test
    (we let them sit for 1 min before boxing)
  1. You may have to dock your dough a bit more. Shouldn’t get blisters.
  2. You’ll either need to lessen the water in your dough when going from deck to conveyor and/or par-bake your skins for 2 mins. I do both as I hate limp crusts. Mine stay crispy for a long time. Hope this helps, good luck!

Sorry I wasn’t talking about bubbles/blisters. We had them docked them for a while.
Rather tiny tiny pin sized formation of pockets(lack of word) on crust.
Crust wasn’t smooth like usual but rather full of roughness formed by these