Maintenance Considerations for Deck Ovens

Christopher B. Warren, director of operations for Joe Warren & Sons, a Norwood, Mass.-based service agent, shares a few ideas that can help extend the service life of a deck oven.

FE&S: What is the cleaning protocol for deck ovens?

CW: The best advice to keeping a deck oven operating efficiently is proper and regular cleaning and maintenance. Deck ovens should be cleaned both daily and weekly.

FE&S: How is cleaning this equipment best accomplished?

CW: After the oven is cool, all debris should be removed with a scraper, wire brush and brush pan. If an oven has stones, these should be carefully removed and cleaned individually. It is important not to use water or any other liquid on stones, because the heat can cause these to crack and may leave behind an unwanted scent or taste, affecting the finished product. Operators should follow the manufacturers’ cleaning instructions and clean around the oven door crevices to allow for proper opening and closing. The exterior of the oven can be cleaned using a stainless steel cleaner and towel. Clean with the grain of the metal so as not to discolor or affect the shine of the oven. Air intakes also should be cleaned regularly.

FE&S: What is the average service life of a deck oven?

CW: Some ovens will last as long as 20 to 30 years, but on average, this equipment has a 10- to 15-year life cycle. Proper cleaning and maintenance will prolong the life of a deck oven, but like all equipment, it will begin to show signs of wear and tear over time.

FE&S: Are there signs that a deck oven needs replacing?

CW: The oven’s service history should be checked to determine if there are repeat issues that require a service agent. If the deck oven begins to show signs of cracking or splitting in the stones, walls or floor, it may be time to consider replacement.

FE&S: When should an operator call a service agent?

CW: If product is not cooking evenly, takes too long to cook or cooks too fast, a service agent is needed.

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