Best Commercial Pizza Oven: 2021 Buyer’s Guide

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In Australia, data shows that pizza-related revenue is around $3.7 billion, with profits of $269.7 million.

For decades, pizza has been a staple in households and restaurants around the world. Quick, easy and delicious, this ‘circle of love’ is a favourite meal for hundreds of thousands.

If you’re a restaurant or take away venue owner, adding pizza to your menu can be highly profitable. With an excellent quality commercial pizza oven in your kitchen, you can make delicious creations in a matter of minutes.

According to PMQ’s 2019 Pizza Power Report, consumers are increasingly insisting on the freshest, healthiest ingredients when it comes to pizza. They also expect easy ordering and fast delivery, so it's important to have the right technology in place to facilitate this. The faster, the better! Even a 20 minute wait is too much for impatient, hungry mouths.

In Australia, data shows that pizza-related revenue is around $3.7 billion, with profits of $269.7 million. While ‘traditional’ pizza toppings like pepperoni and supreme are favoured, consumers are increasingly interested in and happy to pay for gourmet toppings and a premium pizza eating experience.

The pizza market in Australia is strong and has the potential to grow. If you want to open a pizza store or add pizza to your menu, you will definitely need a commercial pizza maker. This buyer's guide covers the ins and outs of choosing the best pizza oven and discusses the benefits of conveyor vs deck and woodfire pizza ovens, plus what to look out for when you buy one for your venue.

While this guide is thorough and comprehensive, once you’re familiar with your options, it is still helpful to get advice from a professional. This could be a commercial kitchen consultant or someone who has supported other businesses to choose the model of pizza oven that’s most suitable. With your background understanding of commercial pizza ovens and their intricate knowledge, you’ll be able to find the best model of commercial pizza maker.

Don't hesitate to reach out to our knowledgeable team, if you have any questions about how to buy a commercial pizza oven.

 

Here’s what our commercial pizza oven guide covers

  1. Commercial pizza oven buyer’s guide
  2. Commercial pizza maker terminology
  3. What are the main things to consider when buying a commercial pizza maker?
    1. Type of commercial pizza oven
    2. Size, weight & placement
    3. Settings, features and functionality
    4. Commercial pizza oven cleanability and usability
    5. Aesthetics
    6. Country of origin
    7. Insurance and warranty
    8. Pizza maker energy efficiency
    9. Second hand or used commercial pizza oven vs new commercial pizza oven
  4. Some of the best commercial pizza ovens
  5. Commercial pizza maker brands
  6. Ten questions to ask before you buy a commercial pizza oven
  7. Commercial pizza maker FAQs

 

Pizza Oven

 

Commercial pizza maker terminology

Dough mixer: Unless you feel like kneading dough for hours, you will need a dough mixer to take over.

Dough roller: An automatic dough roller will help you create standard-size bases without the labour intensity.

Exhaust canopy: As with many cookers, you will need somewhere for the resulting steam to go. Most pizza ovens for sale come with an exhaust canopy included.

Pizza trays: For cooking your pizza on in a conveyor pizza oven. These can be steel or aluminium.

Deep pizza pans: Thicker pizzas require their own pans so you will need some of these handy if you have a deep pan option at your venue.

Pan grippers: Forget fiddling around with gloves or tea towels. Pan grippers let you pull pizza trays out of the oven without burning your hands.

Pizza stones: Traditionalists cook pizza on a round, flat stone, which is said to preserve heat better than a metal pan.

Pizza paddles: A long handled, giant ‘egg flipper’ that is used to insert and remove pizza from a woodfire pizza oven.

Pizza cutters: You’ll need a special utensil so you can cut the pizza you prepare into wedges. Most chefs use a roller or a ‘rocking knife’ which is rounded in shape and often has two handles for easy use.

Pizza boxes: Offering take away and home delivery? You’ll need a lot of square boxes. Make sure the size matches the pizzas you are creating.

Prep counter: Your prep counter separates your ingredients and makes it easier to prepare pizzas in a jiffy.

Saucing rings: Give your pizzas a uniform look by placing the saucing ring around the edge as you add your toppings

Vegetable cutter: Automate the veggie chopping process with a machine that slices, grates, cubes and shreds.

 

According to Menulog, Italian and / or pizza top the list of takeaway foods, with 29 per cent of Australians choosing it more than any other food.

 

What are the main things to consider when buying a commercial pizza maker?

Now you know some of the terminology, take a look at the factors to keep in mind when you are looking to buy, rent or lease-to-buy the best commercial pizza oven for your venue.


Type of commercial pizza oven

There are several different options for commercial pizza ovens.

Take a look at some of the important terms you will hear when you’re shopping for a woodfire pizza oven, deck oven or conveyor oven, starting with the different types you can buy.

 

Woodfire pizza oven / pizza clay oven

As the name suggests, a woodfire pizza oven (also known as a pizza clay oven) is fired by wood rather than gas or electricity. This type of pizza oven isn’t suitable for ‘any old shop’. It takes a lot of training to operate correctly and must be used by a skilled pizza chef who can tell where in the oven the pizza needs to go to prevent it from burning.

A hardwood is generally the best wood for a pizza oven. It will burn ‘cleaner’ and for longer than softwoods, plus using a hardwood will generate more heat. Talk to your vendor for recommendations.

To operate a woodfire pizza oven you will need enough wood for an entire shift (around 12-15kg of wood per hour), no matter how many pizzas you plan to serve.

The fire must be ignited before you start cooking so it has time to get hot.
Once your woodfire pizza / clay pizza oven is hot, you can cook pizzas in under two minutes. The resulting product has a more ‘traditional’ look and can also have a crispier crust and smoky flavour.

Woodfire pizza ovens must be installed by a professional who will build the base, render it, cure it, paint or tile it and install the flue. You can order kits but they are complicated and time consuming to put together if you don’t have experience.

Inside your kitchen, you will need the right flue/chimney to direct the resulting smoke away from your cooking space. You will need to take responsibility for keeping this clean and safe.

A woodfired pizza oven can be a stylish addition to your venue. They can be tiled or presented how you like and customers will enjoy watching your pizza chef at work.

This type of pizza oven can’t produce the same volume of pizzas as its larger counterparts and it is quite bulky when you consider the space it takes up compared to the output of food.


Deck pizza ovens / stone pizza ovens

Deck pizza ovens have an artisan feel and a stone deck inside to ensure even heat distribution. They need to be operated by someone with experience and know-how.

Similar to a woodfire pizza oven but powered with gas or electricity, your deck oven/stone pizza oven maintains an even temperature to cook it evenly. The end product is delicious but productivity may be lower than a conveyor oven and cook times will get longer as the night goes on, due to heat escaping each time the door is opened.


Commercial conveyor pizza ovens

Uncooked pizza goes in and hot, delicious pizza comes out of a conveyor commercial pizza oven in less than five minutes. While these are traditionally used in a fast-food restaurant, that’s not to say that a conveyor pizza oven can’t create delicious gourmet pizza.

This model of commercial pizza maker is ideal as it delivers a consistently cooked product without the need for a skilled operator. It can be heated up and ready to go within minutes and will allow for maximum production volume.

Newer models of commercial conveyor pizza ovens have all the bells and whistles. This includes precise temperature control, insulation to prevent burns, easy open doors and features such as dual chambers, which allow you to cook a lot or a few pizzas at a time. There are also eco friendly benefits that help you minimise energy use. Some gas and electric conveyor pizza ovens mimic the airflow of a woodfire pizza oven to help produce a more authentic gastronomic experience.

While many assume they are for takeaway only, a commercial conveyor pizza oven can be used in a high volume pizza venue, restaurant or food van. Smaller models will produce in excess of 20 pizzas at a cook time of under five minutes, larger ovens will produce up to 175 per hour.


Commercial electric or combi ovens

Standard electric or combi ovens aren’t strictly for use as commercial pizza ovens but they can get the job done if you are producing very low volume or only making pizza sporadically.

A standard electric or combi oven can cook pizza well enough but not necessarily quickly enough. If your venue is serious about serving delicious, well-cooked pizza and sparing customers from a long wait, look for a dedicated pizza oven to add to your kitchen. There are plenty of compact models available.

And never confuse a toaster oven with a pizza oven! These are for bread only, even if they are a conveyor model. If you want the best results, buy a specific pizza maker.

While customers like the idea of woodfired pizza and many believe it is superior, the truth is that a well-functioning machine that is cooking pizza made from quality ingredients is the real key to a great tasting pizza.

You don’t have to find a wood fired oven for sale or stone pizza oven for sale to deliver an authentic gourmet experience. In fact, you may find it easier and more cost effective to serve up great tasting pizza with a good quality commercial conveyor pizza oven. However, the decision is up to you.

Here are some more things to keep in mind when searching for a pizza oven for sale:


Size, weight & placement

If you buy a commercial pizza oven that is too big for your kitchen it will be either impossible to install or it will make workflow difficult for your chefs/cooks.

Take measurements before you order your commercial pizza maker and check with your supplier that the model you are looking at will fit. Don’t forget to factor in extraction and space around the machinery for your staff.

When considering the size of your commercial pizza oven, think about the orders you are expecting to receive. If you are working a food truck at a festival, you can expect a rush of orders and very impatient people. The same goes at a fast food restaurant so you will need the cooking capacity to accommodate the customers you expect at peak times.

If your pizza oven is too small, you won’t be able to keep up with orders. On the other hand, if you’re a restaurant with a diverse menu, install a commercial pizza oven that is too large and you have wasted money and space.

For high volume venues, look for a commercial conveyor pizza oven that allows you to double and triple stack your pizzas. You could also consider having two ovens and only using one during slower times but this will take up space in your kitchen.

 

Double pizza oven


When you’re shopping for a commercial pizza oven, you can take note of capacity e.g. the model you are looking at may be able to cook up to 170 12-inch pizzas per hour.

Do some calculations to determine the volume of pizza you expect to serve each shift. One tip if you’re a new venue is to rent a pizza maker. This will let you upsize or downsize easily once you know what your maximum production requirements are. You could also consider buying a second hand pizza oven while you are working out what your exact needs are.

Consider the weight of the pizza oven if you're using a countertop model - you'll need to make sure your countertops are strong enough to support it.

And placing is another factor. Some vendors have corner models which are helpful for a tight space. You might want to place your pizza maker closer to where customers sit so they can see you in action. If this is the case you will have to take safety into account as well as aesthetics.


Settings, features and functionality

Oven settings

A woodfire pizza oven requires more manual operation than its counterparts. To use it, you will need to light your fire and aim to keep the temperature consistent at around 450 degrees. With a woodfire pizza oven it can be difficult to control the temperature. If you’re opening and closing a door as you cook it may be difficult to maintain the temperature you want throughout service. This is part of the reason why conveyor pizza ovens outsell woodfire pizza ovens by around 50 to one.

With deck ovens and conveyor ovens, you can set the temperature and it will be consistent (more or less). You also have better control over cook time and fan speed.

And speaking of fans, these are the elements of the conveyor ovens which can be regarded as the most essential. A steady fan speed will give you control over how crispy the base of your pizza is. With more air flow under the dish, you’ll get a crispier result.

Using a fan also ensures your pizza is cooked by hot air, not direct contact with heating elements (which can result in a burnt crust).

Something to be aware of with commercial gas pizza ovens and commercial electric pizza ovens is that there are lots of moving parts. You must have your gas pressure set correctly or you won’t get the consistency across each pizza. The best pizza oven vendors always recommend you have your oven installed by someone who is qualified to work with these types of machines. Even someone with a standard gas installation qualification may not get it right. Often, if you’re concerned your commercial pizza oven is faulty, it is because it hasn’t been installed correctly.

For example, if your conveyor or deck pizza oven takes too long to heat up to the right temperature, it may be due to a lack of gas pressure. A lack of pressure can also result in inconsistency of bake plus hot and cold spots. Bad installation will also lead to ovens which don’t ignite or burners that drop out.

In terms of features, consider things like mouth size, the placement of controls, height and how easy it is to open and close the doors of your pizza maker. The easier your oven is to use, the faster you will be able to prepare pizzas and the happier your chefs will be.


Commercial pizza oven cleanability and usability

Like any appliance, the best commercial pizza ovens are the ones that are kept clean.

Your conveyor oven should be easy to dismantle and spray down. These models can usually be washed with a pressure washer.

With stone pizza ovens and woodfire pizza ovens, you’ll need to sweep out ash and wipe down surfaces. These ovens don’t get too grimy because of the high temperatures inside but you still have to clean your flue on a regular basis to minimise the risk of fire.

Specialist companies exist in Australia which can clean conveyor, deck and woodfire pizza ovens. It makes sense to book a session regularly so you can make sure the cooling fans at the rear of the machine (if they’re there) are functioning at their best.

When it is kept clean, your pizza oven should be able to last years or even decades.

The usability and practicality of your pizza maker will come into play as well. Before you make a purchase, take a look and ask yourself:

  • How easy is it for someone with little training to operate the pizza oven and keep it running at the optimal temperature?
  • Is the pizza oven blocking a thoroughfare in my kitchen?
  • Can it be installed easily?
  • What are the recommendations for cleaning and servicing?


Aesthetics

Pizza shop

If your kitchen is open to the rest of your venue, if you have a food truck or if it is a key feature in your takeaway store, the way your commercial pizza oven looks may be a consideration.

Modern conveyor ovens can be powder coated in a bold colour that matches your brand or venue and pizza ovens can be tiled or rendered to look fantastic. There are lots of attractive models on the market.

However, what’s important is the finished product and the time it takes to create it. If you have a very attractive pizza oven but the wait for food is more than half an hour, you’ll find people stop lining up very quickly.


Country of origin

Generally speaking, a commercial conveyor pizza oven will be made in the USA. Traditional stone pizza ovens and woodfired models tend to come from Italy or Europe but you can also find quality Australian made products. There are some ‘fringe brands’ from other parts of the world but speak to a few different people before you choose a lesser-known model.


Insurance and warranty

Never purchase a brand new commercial pizza oven without making sure the parts are covered by warranty and that you have insurance in the case of theft or damage.

Different models have different warranties so what you get will depend on the make and model. However, there should be a 12-month minimum warranty on parts and labour when you buy a brand new pizza maker.

Take a look at the fine print of the warranty closely. Some won’t cover faulty installation. It’s also likely you won’t be correctly covered if your commercial pizza oven isn’t connected to power correctly or if it has obviously not been cleaned and serviced properly.

Mostly, commercial pizza oven warranties cover faulty manufacturer parts so be aware that a warranty isn’t a fail-safe for when things go wrong.


Pizza maker energy efficiency

Different models of commercial pizza makers offer flexibility for energy efficient use. This can contribute to your long term profits by driving down your electricity bill.

If your venue has extreme peaks balanced with quieter nights, you may wish to investigate a dual chamber option so you don’t have to run a large machine during a slower shift.


Second hand or used commercial pizza oven vs new commercial pizza oven

Second hand pizza oven

As mentioned, a used commercial pizza oven can be a good place to start if you aren’t sure about the volume you will need to produce at your peak times. You don’t have to spend a huge amount while you are figuring out what model will work for you.

Buying a second hand pizza oven can save you money; but be aware of false economy. Buying from a second-hand marketplace may leave you with a pizza oven that doesn't last, and it could be difficult to find help or replacement parts if it breaks down. SilverChef's Certified Used range offers an alternative way to purchase second hand commercial kitchen equipment, including pizza ovens. Pre-loved equipment is fully refurbished with new parts where needed, run-tested, tagged and it comes spotlessly clean and with a warranty.


Another option is to consider SilverChef's Rent-Try-Buy finance for new or Certified Used equipment, allowing you to spread the cost over time.

 

 

Some of the best commercial pizza ovens

There are a lot of options for commercial pizza ovens on the market today, with some brands being more widely recognised than others as the best pizza ovens.

The model you decide on will depend on your venue’s needs and the impression you want to give your customers. These are the top brands to keep an eye out for, plus the main benefits of using them.

Keep in mind that many brands have different models which can be suitable across categories. You may do some research and realise that the brands you are trying to choose between actually come from the same factory.

 

Commercial pizza maker brands

Moretti Forni pizza oven pros and cons

Moretti Forni describes itself as the 'leader in the production of static ovens for pizzeria, pastry and small bakery.' Stemming from Italian roots, its products are available in over 120 countries. The wide range accommodates the varied and ever-changing needs of the market, with 'Each product line studied, designed and built to offer users practical solutions with high technological content.'

Top of the range Moretti Forni pizza ovens can sell for over $100,000 but there are plenty of different options for Australian pizza venues, plus attractive electric pizza makers that resemble traditional wood fired pizza ovens. The company is always aiming for lower fuel consumption and improved cooking times. It relies on electronic technology for 'eco smart baking', which has 'adaptive power technology' and constant power regulation to match what is inside the oven. Other options include dual-temp technology and energy saving functions.

Reviews describe Moretti Forni pizza ovens as 'simple to use', 'good at retaining heat' and able to cook a lot of pizzas in one go. If there is a drawback it is the premium price point, however as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

 

Goldstein Eswood pizza oven pros and cons

Longstanding Australian brand Goldstein Eswood promises on its website that it will carry spare parts for a minimum of ten years after you buy your machine. All Goldstein Eswood equipment carries a full twelve month warranty that is supported by the regional office and accredited service agents around the country.

When you buy from this brand, you’re getting a product that is made in Australia. The functional-looking range includes high performance pizza deck ovens great for pubs, clubs, motels, fast food outlets, hotels, pizza stores, snack-bars and people with limited space or cooking options.

 

Prismafood pizza oven pros and cons

Founded in 2006, Prismafood has become one of the leading European players in the professional equipment sector for pizzerias and restaurants.

The company offers its customers an assortment of exceptional quality machines and 'avant-garde functional solutions'. It has a huge range of commercial gas pizza ovens and commercial electric pizza ovens with options including variable internal operating temperatures, viewing windows, digital controls and dual chambers.

 

Middleby Marshall commercial pizza oven pros and cons

USA company Middleby Marshall has been producing restaurant equipment since 1888.

Their website reminds buyers that, 'Traditional Middleby Marshall conveyor ovens bake both faster and at a lower temperature than other ovens. Patented vertical columns of hot air move heat aerodynamically instead of using high temperatures. The streams of hot air remove the boundary layers of cool heavy air which tend to insulate the product.'

Middleby Marshall is recommended for providing value for money. Its range includes deck ovens, brick or wood-fired ovens, double-door convection ovens, rapid cook ovens and commercial conveyor pizza ovens.

 

XLT commercial pizza oven pros and cons

In business for over 60 years, US brand XLT has spent that time 'calculating ways to develop the most advanced, air impingement conveyor oven on the market.'

XLT has a huge range of freestanding conveyor and countertop pizza ovens, which come in gas and commercial electric pizza oven models. Their products have a focus on quality results and speed. This brand also claims to have the industry’s longest warranty.

It is difficult to point out a ‘con’ with XLT as they have an extensive range.
Valoriani Pizza Ovens Pros and Cons

This is a woodfire pizza oven brand that comes from Italy and is regarded by some vendors as one of the better woodfire pizza oven brands. They offer residential as well as commercial models.

 

Top questions to ask before you buy a commercial pizza oven

When it comes to purchasing the best pizza oven, you’ll find there are dozens of brands and models to choose from. It may seem overwhelming but if you focus on your needs it will be easier to make a decision.


As part of your research, speak to other venue owners and reputable dealers/suppliers.

To help you decide between a woodfire pizza oven, deck or conveyor pizza oven and the different models, here are some things you can ask your dealer:

  1. Is the oven suitable for the type of pizza I want to serve? e.g. Rustic, deep pan, crispy base
  2. Will the pizza maker be able to accommodate my busiest times?
  3. Am I better off with a conveyancer or deck/woodfired oven?
  4. How easy is this model for my team to use?
  5. How much training is required?
  6. How easy is it to control temperature and cook time?
  7. Can I set automated functions?
  8. What are the issues with installing a woodfired oven in my venue (e.g. is there room for a flue and to work around the oven)
  9. Which model will produce the most pizzas and still fit into the space I have?
  10. How many pizzas will the model produce per hour?
  11. Which trays should I use with this pizza?
  12. What is the warranty on this model?
  13. How easy is it to get parts for repair?
  14. What happens if I need an emergency repair?
  15. Can I exchange for a smaller or larger model if I need to?
  16. Do you believe this machine is worth the price?
  17. Would you recommend this model to others?

 

Commercial Pizza Maker FAQ


What is a pizza clay oven?

This woodfire pizza oven is made from bricks and clay that form a dome shape and includes a flue for exhaust. This is why it is sometimes called a pizza clay oven.

Wood is used to generate heat and then pizzas are inserted and removed, with cooking times as quick as 60-120 seconds.

Most pizza clay ovens come in kits. It is recommended that you get a professional to build and install your oven for you so it holds together the way you need it to.


What is a pizza stone?

A pizza stone is a key feature in the preparation of the kind of pizza that people come back for.

A stone retains consistent heat more than a steel or aluminium tray. A preheated stone also gives that quick burst of heat to the base of the pizza, giving it that ‘puffed up’ effect.

Don’t immerse your pizza stone in water to clean it or it may split. Wipe it down or brush it off regularly throughout your shift.


How hot should my pizza oven be?

The temperature you cook your pizza at will depend on your oven and also the way you like your pizza. What’s more, everyone has a different idea of ‘perfect’. However, for a woodfire pizza oven, you will need to have the temperature at a minimum of 350 degrees celsius to achieve that perfectly cooked crust and hot, gooey centre.


Should I choose a commercial gas pizza oven or electric pizza oven?

Your choice in regards to gas pizza oven vs commercial electric pizza oven depends a lot on your preference. If you have a food truck, will it be easier to connect to electricity or gas? The answer will help you make a decision.

At your venue, the same question applies. The pizza oven you choose may depend on what’s available.

Comparing the costs of using your oven might help you choose between a commercial gas pizza oven or commercial electric pizza oven. You may find an electric pizza maker is a more cost-effective choice but you will have to do your own research.

When it comes to cook quality, so long as your oven can quickly reach the temperature you want, it shouldn’t matter too much if you use electricity or gas. With that being said, you will find everyone has a different opinion when it comes to which model cooks up the superior product and which type of pizza oven is easiest to work with.

Thanks for reading this Commercial Pizza Oven Buyers Guide

This guide has hopefully helped you understand what to look for, so you can narrow down your decision about what really is the best commercial pizza oven for your venue.

If you’d like the advice and guidance of a professional, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at SilverChef – we have dedicated restaurant and cafe industry experts available to support you.

Prefer to dive straight in and start looking at the commercial pizza ovens available from our Certified Used team? Shop the range.

Want to know about finance options and what your rental payments on a commercial pizza oven could be? Use our Rent-Try-Buy calculator to run the numbers.

With special thanks to Aussie Pizza Supplies for sharing their expertise on the subject of commercial pizza ovens.

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