So you’ve decided that a deck oven is the right type of oven for your commercial kitchen…but which one is a perfect fit for you? There are many styles to consider when choosing your oven. As with most commercial equipment, an oven is a major expense, but taking into consideration all of the options and what your needs are will help you to pick the right one that will pay for itself over time.
What Makes a Deck Oven Right For You?
Deck ovens use conduction heat to bake products. Conduction heating is a process in which heat travels directly from a hot stone or deck, to the food being baked. Deck ovens also utilize radiant heat, which is a process that helps infrared heat waves penetrate into the food, heating it throughout.
You will want to keep in mind that a deck oven can take up a considerably larger amount of space compared to a convection oven, so keep that in mind if you have limited space in your kitchen. However, due to their relatively simple design and few moving parts, they last a long time and operate without a lot of hassle. Both single deck and multi-deck styles are available.
What to Consider When Buying a Deck Oven
Here are some quick questions to ask yourself before you buy a deck oven:
How much will your budget allow you to spend?
Buying an oven is often the biggest and most important investment that you will make in your business. Cooking your food in the best way possible is a reflection of your cooking skill. All of the hard work and preparation you put into your product culminates in the baking process. A good, high quality bakery oven will provide you with consistency and reliability for years to come.
Be sure to shop around because the cost of a new deck oven can be intimidating. You first need to consider the long-term sustainability over the short-term impact. Are you into the investment for the long haul? What will your return be in 5 or 10 years? You should also take into account how energy savings can help you justify the money spent both now and in the future. You should always calculate the numbers to compare your cost and financing options to your expected energy savings... you may find that you can actually save more in energy costs than the lease payment itself, allowing you to return money to your bottom line.
Will you power your oven with gas or electric?
A critical element to consider when purchasing a deck oven is whether it is run by gas or electricity because these two types can be very different. The first notable difference is utility costs, which can vary depending on your region and facility type.
Some other differentiations could be temperature differences. With a gas deck oven, you may be limited to one set temperature for the entire oven, even if it has multiple decks. This limitation can be very important if you have a variety of products to bake at different temperatures.
With an electric deck oven, you can manually set different temperatures for each deck; which allows for more control, and the ability to bake a variety of different baked goods at once. In addition, when using a gas deck oven, local building codes typically require a hood or a vent to be used in conjunction with the oven. However, electric deck ovens are typically exempt from this regulation
How much space do you have in your kitchen?
There are many sizes you can choose from for your oven size and that will depend on what size is the most appropriate for your commercial kitchen. Most ovens are between 27 and 30 inches wide, so think about the size that would work best for your kitchen design. The inside cavity space of the oven will be as important as the exterior measurements to make sure it will accommodate your most commonly used pans and baking sheets.
Is the outside appearance of your deck oven important to you? Will it be visible by your customers?
Some restaurants have an open concept so that customers can see the kitchen and all that is going on in there. If this is the case, the outside appearance of your deck oven can be very important and can even add to the ambiance of your kitchen. Deck ovens are now offered with stone, brick and tile facades, arched openings and visible open-flames. Deck ovens can become the centerpiece of restaurants providing a great attraction for customers.
Whatever type of oven you choose for your kitchen, remember to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and always operate it as recommended. Clean any spills or food residue as quickly as possible, and use an oven thermometer occasionally to make sure the oven is heating accurately. Inspect the oven gasket regularly to check for signs of wear and tear to help ensure that heat is staying inside your oven where it belongs. With the proper care and use, your oven can serve you well for years to come.