Cleaning a pizza oven can be as simple as cranking the heat all the way up and vacuuming up all the soot that bakes off of the sides. Repair, service and maintenance is essential. Unfortunately, this method does not always provide the best results for you, your pizza oven or your pizza.
If you don’t want your pizzas and calzones to taste like yesterday’s news and your oven to become an oversized, expensive paperweight, you should utilize the following tips –
What you’ll need for cleaning:
• Non-toxic industrial stainless steel cleaner and polish
• Pizza oven brush/scraper
• Hand brush and dust pan
Cleaning a Pizza Deck Oven
Pizza deck ovens should be cleaned daily. This task is simple enough: remove any residue or debris from beneath the oven doors with a small broom or brush.
But they should also be given a thorough cleaning every week, especially the stone decks. That way your pizzas won’t pick up any unwanted flavors and the performance of your oven will not suffer.
1) First, allow your oven to cool down. Never attempt to use any cleaning solutions on a hot oven surface. This prevents you from getting burned.
2) Put on your apron and gloves. This could get messy.
3) To clean the exterior of your oven, take a rag and dab some stainless steel cleaner on it. This cleaner will help remove any heat tint or discoloration. To really give your oven a great shine, put some stainless steel polish or—if you want to use an organic solution—olive oil on a rag and give those dull spots on your oven a little rub. Remember to rub with the grain of the metal so as not to ruin the shine of your stainless steel.
4) Attack the baked on ash, soot and other debris on your deck stones with your scraper and use the wire brush on the other side of the scraper to lift any stubborn remnants. When you are finished with that, collect the debris with your hand brush and dust pan.
5) It is important to not use water or any other liquid to clean the surface of your stone. If your stone deck absorbs any liquid it can crack when exposed to high heat.
Cleaning a Conveyor Oven
Conveyor ovens are fantastic because of their efficiency. Cleaning them can be a bit of a chore, though. Like pizza deck ovens, you want to ensure that your conveyor oven is clean to protect the quality of your pizzas. Conveyor ovens have a lot of parts which means there are more places for crumbs, melted cheese and other bits of pizza debris to get lost in.
1) Unplug your oven. This job is difficult enough without the threat of being shocked.
2) Take the conveyor belt out. You will want to consult your oven’s operating manual to learn how to properly do this. When the belt is removed, spray a non-toxic oven cleaner on the belt and let sit for twenty minutes.
3) While the oven cleaner does its thing, open the doors to your conveyor pizza oven and remove the fingers of your oven. These are the large, rectangular pieces of metal that sit above and below the conveyor belt. Usually you will only have to focus on cleaning the bottom fingers as they usually become the dirtiest thanks to dripping cheese, crumbs and pizza ingredients. You should clean the top fingers once or twice a year.
4) When all fingers are removed, spray them with oven cleaner and allow them to sit for twenty minutes.
5) While the conveyor belt and fingers sit, go ahead and vacuum the remaining debris out of the inside of the oven.
6) Once the inside is clean, you can give the outside of the oven a nice polish using stainless steel polish or olive oil. Also, don’t forget to wipe down the windows and doors of your oven as they also attract plenty of pizza mess.
7) Take your wire brush and scrub the conveyor belt and fingers once their twenty minutes are up. When they reach the desired cleanliness, thoroughly hose and dry them off, then re-install inside the fingers into their proper place within the oven.
8) Now that the oven is all put back together, be sure to clean the control box grate with a wire brush. Don’t worry about using a liquid cleaner; you don’t want to short out the pizza oven’s electrical components.
Cleaning Countertop Pizza Ovens
Countertop versions of deck and conveyer pizza ovens are also available. If you have one, clean it the same way you would their larger brethren, but on a much smaller scale. Many countertop ovens—like this Nemco 20” Countertop Pizza Oven—feature removable crumb trays that makes the cleaning process all the more easier.
Proper care and maintenance can lengthen the lifespan of your pizza ovens. Although it may sound like a horrible chore, taking the time to do weekly and daily cleanings will keep you from having to shell out cash for a new oven on a yearly basis. It also makes your pizzas taste great, even after multiple uses.
If you have neglected your pizza oven and it no longer performs up to par, check out TPH Mechanical and be sure to take these lessons to heart.