Choosing the Right Pizza Equipment
The pizza parlor has become an American staple, and the eponymous pie it's known for is a treat most people enjoy. With enough determination and a little know-how, you can turn your pie-in-the-sky dream of operating a pizzeria into a reality. So much of a pizza joint's success comes down to having the right pizza equipment. Read on to learn about the supplies and equipment you need to get your pizza concept off the ground.
For help figuring out the particulars of starting a pizzeria, you can also visit our pizza shop startup guide.
Picking the Right Pizza Oven
The most essential piece of pizza shop equipment is the pizza oven. Even if you're only selling pizza by the slice as a snack, choosing the right oven is critical because different types produce different results. Picking the right one comes down to understanding which kind of pizza you want to bake.
- Casual, dine-in eateries that want to offer the most authentic, crispy-crusted pies should invest in a deck oven. These behemoths take advantage of large stone slabs or metal decks and gas or wood flames to cook what most consider the classic pizza pie.
- For quicker turnaround, an impinger oven or a conveyor oven will do the trick. These are more often found in quick-service and fast-casual locations that need to churn out pies rapidly with limited labor involvement.
- For finishing parbaked, frozen, or fresh pies in very low volumes, there are countertop pizza ovens available that run on either gas or electricity. Those pieces are ideal for pubs, concession stands, and convenience stores that want to offer pizzas as a supporting menu item, not as the main attraction.
For a more in-depth discussion on the topic of ovens, see our pizza oven guide.
Refrigeration and Prep Equipment for Fresh Pizza
Probably the second-most important tool for making pizza is the equipment that helps you assemble it, the pizza prep table. Built for organizing and keeping chilled dense pizza components like cheese, sauce, meats, and vegetables, prep tables store products in standard fractional-sized pans, keeping them easily accessible. These tables include work surfaces, most often with an integrated cutting board for prepping ingredients and assembling pies with speed and efficiency.
The foundation of any satisfying pizza is the crust. And sure, buying pre-formed or par-baked crusts is an option, but the best pizza is made with freshly-kneaded dough. Making it from scratch requires a reliable dough mixer, which is more powerful than its all-purpose kin. They're designed to handle dense dough like that used to make pizza crusts, with models available that can handle hundreds of pounds per batch. Dough rounders, sheeters, and dividers make it a little easier to handle and shape dough into crusts for your pies.
Pizza Cookware and Accessories to Consider
The difference between a mediocre pizza and an out-of-this-world pizza is in the details, and one detail that's impossible to overlook is the texture of the crust. Pizza pans, pizza baking stones, and pizza screens all achieve different results. Pizza stones are meant to emulate the advantages of cooking on a hearth in ovens that don’t have stone decks, absorbing moisture and providing a crispy finish. Screens are designed to let heat and hot air penetrate the crust directly to achieve similar results. Solid pizza pans will provide a softer crust and are the easiest to clean and maintain.
Dine-in restaurants need their own special suite of supplies. This includes a cheese shaker at every table, and pizza plates are a novelty piece of dinnerware that can add a fun touch to your service. Invest in some warming shelves to keep pies hot as patrons serve themselves or until your staff is ready to deliver them to a table or a house.
In addition to those core pieces of pizzeria equipment, consider stocking up on these little essentials that can help streamline your pizza service:
- Essential pizza cooking accessories like pan grippers and pizza bubble poppers.
- Pizza peels for safely inserting and removing pizzas from the oven.
- Pizza cutters and knives for slicing your pies.
- Pizza display cases make great merchandising solutions for driving impulse sales.
- Delivery bags, if delivery is a service you'll offer.
- Pizza dough dockers perforate dough to keep bubbles from forming in the crust.
- For proofing dough, consider proofing pans for individual dough balls and pizza dough boxes for proofing and holding larger batches in the fridge.
- Pizza pan and screen racks will keep pans and screens organized, sanitary, and help them dry after they're washed.