The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Buying a Deck Oven for Small Scale Production

kselip's picture

Buying a Deck Oven for Small Scale Production

Hello, I have lurked this site often until today. I'm trying to start a small scale bread business out of my house. I have worked in several bakeries but have been baking out of my home oven for some time (sadly gas). I'm thinking of upgrading to a small commercial deck oven. A real bread oven is out of my budget but a used pizza oven seems like it could work well.

First question: Is the only difference between a pizza oven and a bread oven steam? someone mentioned that pizza ovens might have thinner hearths meaning less retained heat but that seems like not the worst thing.

Second question: in this post ( breadman 1972 mentions using a water filled stainless steal tube above the burners of the oven and then piping it into the built in steam ports. Could i just drill steam injection ports into the back of the oven? seems like a "port" might just be another word for hole.

Third question: Would something like an espresso wand or an electric kettle create enough steam thereby subverting the need to mess around with the burners? I suppose I could also go the pressure cooker on a propane stove rout.

Fourth question: Used kitchen equipment stores seem to be overflowing with Bakers Pride ovens. Are they fine ovens or should they be avoided?


Thanks so much for reading.




RoundhayBaker's picture

It would be a big help to know. Any advice could vary wildly depending upon your location. 

Btw, have you done a search on TFL? The are dozens of posts already discussing in detail most of the issues you raise. A lot of them might even be specific to the models you're looking at.

gerhard's picture

One thing is to check with your insurance company they may not allow a commercial pizza oven into your house.  The other consideration is the weight of the oven and the amount of heat it puts into the room.  There is a reason why commercial spaces tend to have really high ceilings. 


Joyofgluten's picture

Hello Keslip

I've done a fair bit of baking in pizzaovens and have built steam gizmos that work wonderfully. I have a few photos and info posted here.  fageoven  and here IMEoven 

In searching for an oven, the bake chamber height is very important, i think 17cm is optimal, i've also had very good experience though with a 26cm height (not good for buns& pastry though) True pizza ovens often feature chamber hieghts in the range of 12cm to 15cm, these are a little too low for 500gram + breads. they are wonderful though for focaccia, flat breads and such.

an exhaust port is also important, some cheaper models don't have them. It's best to have one that you can open and close with a knob, it is possible though to manually block the port to hold the steam in.

most pizza ovens that i've seen  have 2.5cm thick refractory stone, which is also pretty standard in bread baking deck ovens.

You will need 3 phase power for almost all of these ovens, the KW draw for a single deck is usually quite small though.

hope this helps and good luck with your search.

cheers    daniel

kselip's picture

Sorry, it did not even occur to me to mention where I am: Olympia Washington USA. I did do some looking around on TFL and found the thread above as well as an excellent thread called "steam steam steam". I'm not very good at internet research and felt overwhelmed. It occurs to me now to search for keywords that are in my post.

Daniel, thanks so much for your response and linking me to your projects, that is just the kind of thing I am looking for! Most of the ovens I have been looking at have been gas powered and would go in the garage. This would also help with the heat problem mentioned above as I can, presumably, just open the garage doors

If I do get an electric oven this site talks about inverters and converters from 1 phase to 3 phase for power tools. I wonder if they would work for an oven? I'm sure the oven companies would know. I've also seen a couple of mentions of this oven on the sight It looks like it would be right up my ally for a small scale baking operation but new it would be too expensive. 

What is oven builders chalking? Could one use refractory mortar or concrete instead? Also what happens when you over steam bread?