Deck vs Convection Ovens
Finding the right oven for your restaurant can boil down to details, especially for specialty shops. Pizzerias and Italian joints typically bake the same few items: pizzas, breads, and Italian pastries. So when it comes time to purchase an oven, many come across a select few that could fit the bill. While convection ovens may seem like the all-around good choice (and typically they are), deck ovens are designed to support a business focused on baking pizza-shop items. So what’s the big difference?
One of the biggest differences distinguishing a deck oven from their convection counterpart is the method of heat transfer. In deck ovens, conduction heat and radiant heat are used to bake products. Conduction heating is a process in which heat travels directly from a hot stone or deck to the loaf of bread or sheet pan being baked. Radiant heat utilizes infrared heat waves to penetrate the product and heat it thoroughly.
At the same time, deck ovens are great at retaining steam due to their sheer mass. While many see this as a fault of deck ovens as they take up so much prime real estate within the kitchen, the positive side is that recovery is quicker and the internal temperature can hold quite well even during peak usage. For pizzerias that constantly crank out a high volume of the same product, the value of quick recovery and temperature holding is not lost on the chef!
An additional note to consider is whether or not your deck oven is gas or electric. The largest difference lies in the cost, and whether or not electric or gas will be cheaper will likely depend on your region and the facility type. Another difference to consider in gas and electric is that with electric units, you have the ability to set different decks at different temperatures, giving you the ability to cook different items at different settings. With gas, you typically must have the same temperature throughout (which poses no problem to pizzerias who typically bake items at the same temperature or high volumes of the same product). Also, gas ovens typically require a hood vent while their electric counterparts do not.
At the end of the day, no matter whether or not you pick gas vs electric, it pays to invest in a deck oven if you primarily bake breads or pizzas. The sheer quantities of similar products will benefit most from the properties of a deck oven, so your investment will be sure to pay off in the long run!
E Friedman Associates