Must Have Equipment and Prep Tools for Your Pizza Shop
Purchasing the proper equipment is essential when running any type of restaurant. Be it a steakhouse or a coffee shop, you will need specific equipment to help you make the food you want to sell in the best possible way. When it comes to running a pizza shop, the same holds true, but with a twist. To make your signature pizzas, each and every item you use will have a direct effect on the production of your pizzas. From the type of pizza oven, to the types of pans and screens, to the type of prep tools, to the type of ingredients, each piece of equipment for pizza making will have a profound impact on the pizzas your shop becomes famous for.
The Pizza Oven
The first item on your pizzeria equipment list is the pizza oven. There are four types of commercial pizza ovens to choose from, depending on your budget, the type of pizza you want to make, other items on your menu, and available space..
To make the most authentic Italian pizza, a brick pizza oven is option number one. A brick oven uses a traditional wood-fired method to reach an optimum temperature of between 700 and 1,000°F, and this simple technology – the same one that has been used for centuries - involves no complicated technology, yet will help you achieve results that cannot be duplicated with any other type of pizza oven. However, a brick oven is often not a practical option due to its large size and hefty price tag.
A pizza deck oven is the second-best option for those wanting their pizzas to have an authentic Italian taste but lack the space and/or budget for a brick oven. A pizza deck oven has shelves, or decks, made of stone which are heated by electricity or gas to reach temperatures between 400 to 600°F. The use of stone makes the pizza have a more authentic taste than you can find with other types of pizza ovens. You can also bake other items in this type of oven, such as baguettes, rolls, breads and more.
A conveyor pizza oven consists of a gas or electric burner which heats the oven to the precise temperature required for the pizzas to be cooked. A conveyor belt is used to take the prepared pizzas in at one end and slowly move them through the oven, pushing them out the other side when fully cooked. In pizza shops where it is necessary to make hundreds of pizzas a day, conveyor ovens can be extremely convenient as they cook each pizza perfectly, without undercooking or overcooking them.
Pizza convection ovens are a practical choice for many types of eateries. They have a lower pizza output compared to the other options but produce evenly cooked pizza quickly and consistently every time. They are a good choice for eateries where pizza may not be the only option on the menu, as the convection oven can be used to cook other items as well.
Finally, a countertop pizza oven is an excellent choice for food trucks, concession stands and other places with limited space. Designed with one or two decks, they can often be stacked if the need for baking more pizzas arises. Plus, other menu items can easily be cooked in countertop pizza ovens.
Utensils and Other Kitchen Tools for Pizza Prep
When prepping pizza, it is essential to have high quality kitchen tools for crafting your unique pizza pies. The equipment for pizza making varies greatly and will have a direct impact on your pizza production.
Essential for picking up pizzas from the work surface and putting them into the oven, pizza peels come in many different shapes, sizes, lengths and materials to suit different types of pizzas, pizza ovens and work areas. The pizza peel blade needs to be the proper size to hold the pizza, while the handle length must be suitable for your work area and oven size. It should also be sturdy enough to hold your pizzas. The same is true for the types of materials you chose for the blade and handle. It can either have an aluminum blade and handle, a wooden blade and handle or a combination of an aluminum blade with a wooden handle. Different materials will perform differently, so you will need to determine your needs before making any purchases.
Pizza pans vary greatly in material, thickness and style. From heavy and standard weight aluminum pans, that have excellent heat transfer, to coupe and wide rim pans in which you can build and then serve your pizzas right on the table, each type can help you create a different type of pizza and pizza crust. For Chicago style deep dish pizza, only a deep dish pizza pan will do. These pans have high sides enabling you to easily build your thick, doughy pizza right in the pan for mouth-watering results.
Pizza Screens and Disks
An alternative to pizza pans, pizza screens and disks have a perforated design that enables hot air to flow to the bottom of the pie so that it cooks more quickly to create a crispy crust. Generally used for creating thin pizza crusts, pizza screens and disks come in many sizes and are an inexpensive way to bake crispier pies.
Pizza baking stones are also a good option for your pizza place. They provide even heat distribution and do their best to simulate the exceptional cooking abilities and taste of a brick oven at a fraction of the cost.
More Pizza Prep Tools
To create your own distinct signature pies, you’ll need some of the following tools. A food mill will help you make fresh tomato sauce, the basis of any fine pizza, and an excellent alternative to using canned sauces. Having an electric cheese grater can also be a useful and money-saving alternative to purchasing grated cheese. This will also help keep the cheese fresh for longer.
When it comes to making fresh dough, dough retarding pans and boxes are a must. These pans and boxes enable proofing of the dough while keeping dough fresh and stored until use. A dough sheeter will help you quickly and easily roll out dough for your pies, saving you time. And, if you have a smaller operation, a sturdy and durable rolling pin is vital to help you roll out the dough. Once you have rolled out the dough, a dough docker will perforate the dough to minimize bubbles while baking – essential for any serious pizza maker. While the pizza is baking in the oven, a pizza bubble popper can be really useful to eliminate any air bubbles that may form during the baking process.
After your pizza is baked, it’s important to have reliable pizza cutters to cut up the pizza into neat slices without tearing and shredding it. Finally, keeping your pizza oven clean is important for on-going use, so owning a pizza oven brush will help keep your oven clean from burnt on residue and debris.
Pizza Dining Room
If you have a dining area in your pizzeria, you will need pizzeria equipment of a different sort and that is for dining service. You will need to provide flatware, plates, napkin dispensers, cheese shakers, salt and pepper shakers, as well as glassware to the patrons who dine at your establishment. It also goes without saying that you will want to make sure that the dining area is presentable, so you will want comfortable and affordable table and chair sets that create the proper atmosphere for a quick, yet enjoyable meal.
If you offer pizza delivery options, then you should be well stocked with delivery boxes, as well as insulated pizza delivery bags that promise to keep the pizza piping hot. You may even want to invest in uniforms for your delivery staff, or at the very least chef baseball caps in the color of your choice, to help maintain uniformity among your drivers.
Last but certainly not least, make sure that you always choose high quality ingredients for your pizza as well as any other foods that you make in your food establishment. Using the best quality ingredients available will ensure that you not only produce the finest pizzas, it will also guarantee that your patrons keep coming back for more.
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