In addition to pizza, brick ovens roast and bake a wide range of foods, including meats, poultry, fish, stews, vegetable dishes, pastries and breads. There is, however, a certain skill level involved in using these ovens, and the learning curve can be somewhat high. Here are some purchasing considerations for brick ovens.
Some jurisdictions have more restrictions for these units due to environmental requirements. In these cases, operators may still be able to utilize brick ovens but will need additional filtration or air-cleansing systems to remove the smoke. Also, kitchen floors may need to be reinforced in order to accommodate brick ovens, which can weigh as much as 5,000 to 10,000 pounds.
Because brick pizza ovens are all about the show and flavor, placement is important so customers can see the flames. The units should be in full view of guests and angled or tilted so the flames and embers are visible.
The oven size should be appropriate for the operation since an oven that is too small can cause a bottleneck with production and an oversized oven wastes space, money and fuel.
Brick oven ventilation requirements differ from gas ovens. Brick ovens require a hood that’s separate and exclusive from those used with griddles and fryers on the cooking line. Not only does the duct and fan system need to be separate from all gas equipment due to the combustible products, but spark arrester filters are also required.
Wood or other necessary fuel will need to be constantly purchased as well as stored. For this reason, it’s a good idea to make sure wood can be easily sourced and designate space to safely store it prior to purchasing. Some localities have requirements for storing wood on-site, as this is a combustible. Also, certain types of wood burn better than others, so that needs to be considered. Disposing of the ashes is a critical factor. A steel or metal ash bin that is sealable is needed to store ashes from these ovens to prevent risk of fire.