Originally, pizza dough was cooked outdoors on hot flat stones. Not entirely practical or indeed desirable in this HACCP age we live in, but you don’t have to brave the British weather to produce excellent pizzas. There are options to suit you, from counter-top to conveyor models. Here are just a small selection:

== Smart cookie with versatile charms ==

If you want a super-hot oven that heats up to 450?C, for Neapolitan-style pizzas, The Whirlpool Smart-Cook Pizza Oven has a patented double cylinder system that transforms it from a conventional convection oven to a pizza-hot oven. Electronic temperature control and two fan motors - one on the top and one on the bottom - are said to ensure uniform fast cooking of the pizza from the edges to the middle. What makes it all the more suited to cafes and food-to-go bakery retailers is its small counter-top size; it’s a free-standing model which, despite its compactness, can cook a large 34cm pizza in less than 90 seconds.


== Nippy number offers automatic control ==

Also pretty nippy is the SelfCooking Center, which now offers a group of features that make the Rational oven suitable for baking pizzas - at up to 100 pizzas in eight minutes. The ’Pizza’ control setting means the oven will create a suitable cooking climate for pizza and the unit’s LevelControl technology means it will automatically adapt the programme for fresh or frozen pizza. So all staff have to do is load it up, push the button and get on with other work.

The specially-designed non-stick pizza dishes hold pizzas up to 28cm (11") in diameter. There’s also a new grill and pizza tray; pizzas can be popped on to the flat side of the tray, which is also non-stick and designed specifically for pizza cooking, and then put into the oven. The reverse of the tray is ridged for grilled products.


== Hot air streams for even cooking ==

For a single stack conveyor oven, Equip-line’s Bofi is suitable for pizzas but equally useful in general bake-off operations, making it a decent all-rounder for smaller catering outlets.

The XLT 3240-TS uses vertical streams of hot air from four pairs of tapered ducts to cook items passing along the single conveyor belt. The ducts are adjustable and can be configured to suit the operator, to ensure even cooking. The conveyor, which is 199cm wide, can be set up to move either right-to-left or left-to-right, and cook times can be adjusted digitally. It runs on natural or propane gas and no installation is required.


== Counter-top model that can earn its keep ==

For a smaller model, the smallest EKA unit from Katermart, the KF412 electric convection oven, can sit comfortably on a bar counter, for baking pizzas and other morning goods. The compact unit has a 25kg capacity and a temperature range between 50?C and 300?C and is supplied with two trays, grills and grippers. The slightly larger, but still compact, EKA KF620 also earns its keep on the counter where it can warm up pizzas, croissants and frozen food in minutes.


== Clear view to pizza display ==

For displaying your wares, also from Apuro (see previous website reference) are the new 1,000-watt Ital Vetrinetta counter-top pizza displays. These stainless steel and glass heated cupboards have three round gridded shelves to maintain pizza temperature up to 90?C evenly throughout the cupboards, and are available in two sizes.