The choice of the professional oven for a pizzeria, bakery or pastry shop is essential to create a highly productive and efficient working environment, thus managing to increase the earnings of the business.
There are numerous types of professional cooking tools, due to the great variety of production contexts in which they must be inserted. The variables to be considered are in fact related to the type of product to be made, therefore to the type of cooking required, and to the production scale of the individual reality, that is, if we are talking about an artisanal or an industrial activity.
In this article we will go into the theme of professional tunnel ovens, a type of cooking tool that is very widespread not only in the more structured contexts, such as some types of food industries, but also in many catering activities as well as in bakeries, pastry shops and pizzerias.
We will begin by describing the operation of the tunnel oven, so called because of its structure. It cooks the dishes that pass through it on the conveyor belt. We will see what are the differences between an electric tunnel oven and a gas one and we will also mention the different cooking methods that can be achieved in tunnel ovens.
We will then continue by listing the great advantages of this type of professional oven, which can be summarized in a great simplification of the cooking process.
Finally, we will conclude by mentioning the Italforni professional tunnel oven models, cooking tools with high thermal and production efficiency, capable of improving the operating methods of daily work. We will therefore mention the topic of different production needs based on the size of the business, talking about the differences between compact tunnel ovens and larger ones, custom designed for the food industries.
- How the tunnel oven works
- The advantages of the professional tunnel oven
- The range of Italforni tunnels for all production needs
Let’s start by briefly explaining how the tunnel oven works, to understand what functional features make it as convenient as we are about to see.
As mentioned in the introduction, the structure of the tunnel oven is characterized by the presence of the conveyor belt, on which the foods are cooked. These are in fact positioned on the belt at the beginning of the tunnel, to be automatically introduced into the cooking chamber.
The product on the conveyor belt crosses the entire structure of the tunnel oven, which constitutes the cooking chamber of this type of oven, and comes out cooked to perfection on the other side, without having to do anything else. The only adjustment to be set regarding the conveyor belt is that relating to its speed, which therefore modifies the cooking time of the food, a factor to be considered based on the type of product to be cooked and the cooking temperature.
The quality of the conveyor belt is also important for cooking by conduction of food, i.e. the heat transmitted by direct contact. The tape can be made using a steel mesh or small strips of refractory stone. The first solution is certainly cheaper and suitable for products that do not require large heat thrusts, while the second allows to obtain ovens with greater thermal efficiency, thanks to the properties of the refractory material.
Turning to the power supply, let’s immediately say that the tunnel oven can be electric or gas. In the first case, two series of electric resistances are positioned inside the cooking chamber, above and in the middle of the conveyor belt and it is usually possible to independently adjust the heat thrust from the bottom and from the top, balancing the cooking by radiation depending on the type of dish we have to make.
Let’s see in the next paragraph how the structure and characteristics of the professional tunnel oven can improve the production efficiency of many types of businesses, from small bakeries, pastry shops and pizzerias to the more structured food industries.
The great practicality of the professional tunnel oven is given by a series of important factors, which contribute to making this cooking tool the protagonist of many activities that work in the food sector.
We can list the most important advantages of the professional tunnel oven in four points, namely:
- Manual labor reduced to a minimum
- Easy and always perfect cooking
- Versatility in cooking
Let’s explore the benefits listed below.
1. Manual labor reduced to a minimum
The first great advantage of tunnel ovens lies in their great ease of use. The operation of this type of tools, which we explained in the previous paragraph, significantly reduces the effort and attention required to complete the cooking process.
In traditional professional ovens there is in fact the need to manually bake and take out each product, using different types of paddles that take up space and can be uncomfortable in confined spaces. Furthermore, cooking in traditional ovens requires an extra step for some dishes, such as pizza, that is, the rotation of 180 ° halfway through cooking to obtain a uniform result.
In the professional tunnel oven all this does not happen, and therefore we have a great advantage in terms of time saved by the operators, since the cooking of the product is extremely simplified and they can devote more attention to other production activities.
It is no coincidence that we have used the term operators, instead of bakers, pizza chefs or pastry chefs, precisely to emphasize the fact that the extreme simplicity of use allows the tunnel oven to be used even by unskilled personnel.
2. Easy and always perfect cooking
The practical operation of the tunnel oven makes it almost impossible to miss a cooking once we have standardized the process based on the type of product we intend to make and how the production activity is organized.
The second great advantage of tunnel ovens is in fact in the removal of cooking differences between the various products (and in avoiding any waste), which instead occurs very often using traditional ovens for pizzerias, patisseries or bakeries.
Once we have found the setting to obtain the perfect cooking of our recipes, balancing the temperature with time (the speed of the belt) and the heat boost from above with that from below, we will have reached the perfect solution to easily obtain always excellent cooking.
The structure of the tunnel oven in fact eliminates the problem of temperature differences in the different areas of a traditional cooking chamber.
3. Versatility in cooking
The third advantage of the tunnel oven lies in its great versatility, that is, the ease with which we can adapt it to different types of cooking. For each of our recipes we can in fact find the perfect cooking setting after a few tests, as we mentioned in the previous point.
This feature makes the professional tunnel oven able to adapt quickly to cooking even very different recipes, making it one of the most efficient equipment for those who have to manage different cooking with a single tool.
Having seen the great advantages in terms of ease of use and production efficiency that characterize professional tunnel ovens, let’s now explore the different possible configurations for this type of instrument.
The different needs of the various types of activities have led to the development of specific tunnel ovens for each production need, which depends on the quality of the product we make and the quantity we have to churn out every day.
To simplify, we can distinguish professional tunnel ovens based on size, obtaining two categories, which are:
- Standard tunnel ovens
- Industrial tunnel ovens
Let’s see what changes between the smaller and larger tunnel ovens.
The standard tunnel ovens
The tunnel ovens ideal for craft activities such as pizzerias, bakeries or pastry shops are characterized by a limited use of space compared to ovens with a traditional cooking chamber.
In addition to the large production capacity, favored by the ease of use, choosing a compact professional tunnel oven can allow you to reach a high standard in product quality.
There are several possibilities to find the ideal tunnel oven depending on the specific context. The characteristics of the tunnel oven must in fact enhance the quality of the product to be cooked, the fundamental variable to consider when choosing the professional oven.
Italforni has developed three models of compact tunnel kiln, thus managing to meet the needs of all types of activities, which are:
- Classic Tunnel, characterized by a copper-plated steel conveyor belt and therefore suitable for fast cooking products and low leavened products
- Electric Stone Tunnel, equipped with a refractory stone conveyor belt and therefore more suitable for products that require a more gradual and constant heat boost (such as pizza, focaccia, sandwiches, sponge cake and Arab or carasau bread)
- Stone Gas Tunnel, also equipped with the refractory stone belt, but powered by gas, therefore with less cooking by radiation and greater by conduction, thanks to the refractory material.
The three models of Italforni compact professional tunnels can satisfy many types of artisan businesses, thanks to their characteristics of high production efficiency and ease of use.
Industrial tunnel ovens
Let’s now move on to the larger tunnel ovens, which are ideal for many types of companies in the food sector. The main feature of these ovens is clearly that of a huge production capacity and the optimization of consumption costs, as they are divided among many products cooked every day.
Over the years, the constant search for improvement has led Italforni to create different models of industrial tunnel ovens, characterized by high performance and specific characteristics developed for certain types of activities.
There are four Italforni industrial tunnel ovens, namely:
- Desert, the electric industrial tunnel oven equipped with a refractory stone conveyor belt, capable of reaching 600 ° C and perfect for making even large bread products, thanks to the 225 mm high cooking chamber
- Biscuit, the ideal tunnel for pastry shops and bakeries, with the copper-plated steel conveyor belt
- Industrial Stone, the ideal industrial tunnel for pizzerias or bakeries, characterized by the refractory stone belt and the 105 mm high cooking chamber
- Automatic line for pizzerias, developed for the mass production of pizzas and focaccias, with a copper-plated steel conveyor belt and high production efficiency.
All our industrial tunnels have the adjustable speed of the conveyor belt and are powered by high quality armored steel resistors. Furthermore, all models provide the possibility to independently adjust the heat thrust between the ceiling and the floor and can be inserted in any context of automated production, even by designing customized solutions.
For more information or advice on choosing the best oven based on the needs of your specific case, do not hesitate to contact us and we will be able to find together the ideal solution for every professional context.