Bakery ovens: how to recognize the differences and choose the right one

Bread is the most consumed food in our country, which many of us just can’t give up. Always present in our tables, it is the result of a centuries-old tradition that has been handed down from generation to generation, but today many things have changed in its preparation. For example, if in the past it was mainly cooked in a wood oven, nowadays there are different types of ovens for bakeries, each with different characteristics, so the choice is very wide.

The essential tools for every bakery are, precisely, the machinery and equipment used, first of all the oven. The latter significantly affects the quality of the products and, for this reason, those who manage this type of business will have to carefully evaluate which type of oven is best to use in their premises.

Recognizing and understanding the specifications of each model will allow you to make an informed choice on the type of oven to buy and, of course, should not be left to chance, given the importance of this tool within your business.

First of all, it should be emphasized that any self-respecting oven must enhance the flavors and ensure uniform cooking on all trays. The different types best respond to different needs, so it is essential to understand first of all what your needs are and what you are looking for in an oven, in particular also based on the type of activity that takes place and the product you intend to serve its customers. This will form the very basis of all the work done.

Below we review the peculiarities of the various commercial bread ovens, describing their specific characteristics, so that every professional in the sector can consider the different possibilities and choose the best oven for their work.

Let’s start with the basics.

Heat transmission: how does it happen?

What distinguishes one oven from another mainly concerns the way heat is transmitted inside it. In this regard, we distinguish several types:

  • By conduction: when the heat passes from a hot body to a cold one (for example a hand that is placed on a hot radiator)
  • By convention: when heat migrates from liquid and gaseous particles to the cold body (for example when we are inside a sauna)
  • By radiation: when the heat is transmitted through electromagnetic waves (for example the radiator that gives off heat to the surrounding environment).

Type of cooking: gas or electric ovens for bakeries?

Before even focusing on the range of existing ovens, it is necessary to pause for a moment on the type of cooking to be achieved. This too is a fundamental choice but entirely personal as it depends on the needs.

Nevertheless, in the case of commercial bread ovens there are specific factors to take into consideration. In fact, electric ovens are recommended over diesel ovens since in the former the heat spreads more evenly and guarantees better cooking quality.

Furthermore, there is the possibility to select the type of heat diffusion, whether upwards, downwards or on both sides, thus obtaining advantages not only in baking bread but also for other foods.

Through this type of oven it is possible to alternate the resistance which, in the specific case of bread, allows you to first select a baking on both sides and then change in the final phase, so as not to overcook the surface.

Furthermore, electric ovens for bakeries provide for a lower consumption of energy and heat dispersion, another element that should not be underestimated.

The most efficient are those with thermal insulation, as they are able to prevent heat dispersion. Generally they also have a ventilation system that facilitates the diffusion of heat evenly and preserves the flavor of the food, which is why it will also be possible to cook two different products at the same time, exponentially optimizing production times and costs. In this case, electric ovens are certainly the most used and also the most performing.

The two main types of commercial bread ovens

The most common ovens for bakeries are essentially two: deck ovens and rotary ovens.

The deck ovens are characterized by a variable number of overlapping horizontal chambers and are the most used in professional bakeries. This type of oven allows a fairly rapid cooking and its fundamental characteristic is represented by the intense color that it gives to the baked bread, especially in the upper part, and which is also transmitted in taste and fragrance. The flavor is in fact much more pleasant than that given by rotary ovens.

The only sore point of this type of oven is the fact that, unlike the other, it has a less homogeneous cooking. Specifically, the food is cooked more in the center rather than on the sides.

The rotary ovens, on the other hand, are characterized by vertical cooking chambers. Trolleys with trays on which the bread will be placed are placed on them. The flavor that the rotary ovens give to the products is certainly less intense than that given by the deck ovens, although it allows a more homogeneous cooking.

The substantial difference between the two types therefore concerns the fragrance and cooking and the choice of the oven must be made precisely taking into consideration these two factors as well as the result to be achieved.

How to choose the right oven?

The choice is mainly determined by your specific needs, the type of business (small or large), how much you intend to invest and other factors. Nevertheless, every professional in the sector must be able to know the differences and the characteristics of the different types of commercial bread ovens in order to be able to make an informed choice.

The advice is to focus first of all on what you intend to focus on in your work. What type of product do you want to offer? Do you intend to focus your strength on cooking, fragrance, quality or quantity? These are the essential questions to ask yourself and then evaluate the different options.

In short, the oven really makes the difference and will determine the success and quality of your product, as well as of all your work.