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Pizza comes in many types and flavors and can be cooked in various ways, and in the commercial setting, there are at least three types of ovens that you can use to produce this long-standing staple: wood-fired ovens, coal fired ovens, and gas fired ovens.
When it comes to visual impact, all these ovens have something to offer with designs inspired by the traditional stone hearth or brick ovens that feature a beautiful large dome and an arched opening where the pizzas come and go and the flames can be seen transforming the simple assembly of dough, cheese, and tomato sauce into a mouth-watering pizza. Whichever type of oven you choose, you will have the ability to offer an authentic experience to your customers.
Wood-fired pizzas and coal pizza ovens operate very similarly, but there are key differences in the way they cook the pizza and the taste of the finished product. Wood-fired ovens use chopped hardwood to create fire and can cook pizzas in as fast as 90 seconds. Coal-fired pizza ovens typically use anthracite coal to generate heat. The flame produced by coal does not get as high as that of wood-fired pizza ovens, so they take longer, around six minutes, to get pizza ready to serve and eat.
If the cooking speed is not much of a concern, your choice may come down to the taste. To the most discerning pizza connoisseur, wood-fired pizza and coal-fired pizza have distinct differences. Generally, coal-fired pizza ovens are recommended for operators going for that Neapolitan style pizza, which is characterized by the thin center, puffy rims, smokey flavor, softer texture, and of course the trademark charred spots. Coal-fired ovens are best suited for serving New York-style pizza, which is crisper, chewier on the inside, and has a smokey crust.
Wood-fired and coal-fired pizza ovens require a level of skill in order to get ideal results. This is because they need consistent monitoring to prevent the pizza from being overcooked. Your staff will have to tend to the fire and should have enough expertise to know to be able to tell when the pizza is ready. In the case of wood-fired ovens, pizza is placed at the center and then moved towards the opening to complete the bake.
Compared to wood, gas pizza ovens also produce pizza that has the characteristics of a wood-fired pizza and they can do so without the complexities and manual labor involved in the cooking method employed by its wood-fired countertop. The moist environment is unique to the wood-fired ovens though. There are ovens that combine the functionalities of both wood and gas ovens to get better control of the temperature and capture that distinct flavor that only comes from wood burning.
Where wood-fired and even coal-fired ovens shine is the floor heat because they create a bed of flame the warms the entire cooking surface. The produced fires can be spread across the floor. Gas-fired ovens often have a fixed burner as its main source, and it tends to heat up quicker at the center and the dome before it hits the floor. This requires you to heat up the oven longer before starting the cooking session.
CKitchen has a great selection of wood, coal, and gas-fired ovens from some of the most trusted brands and pizza-making experts in the industry. Choose from a variety of sizes and designs to suit your operation and your front-of-house. We offer the lowest prices guaranteed and free shipping so you can build a beautiful, comfortable, and fully functional kitchen that meets your daily needs. If you need any assistance during your shopping, give us a call so one of our trained foodservice equipment consultants can help you.