A deck oven is a type of oven that is frequently used for commercial baking. The purpose of a deck oven is to create an environment inside of the cooking chamber that contains a consistent level of heat that can be manipulated as needed. There are several types of heating methods that are used to achieve the correct level of heat within the unit. The size and heat of a deck oven allows the efficient baking of a large amount of products in a short period of time.
When a deck oven is used to bake in a commercial environment, it often provides a superior quality of food. This can be attributed to the complex heating mechanisms inside the ovens. How long it takes to initially heat the oven and how much heat is lost when the doors are opened are measured meticulously. This provides bakers the ability to cook their goods on a curve, where the temperature is modified depending on what is happening in the surrounding area.
The design of deck ovens can help improve the energy efficiency of the bakery as a whole. The ovens retain heat better than conventional ovens, so they require less power to run over the course of a day. Certain designs can power many ovens at once, allowing for a single heat source located outside of the kitchen area.
There are three primary heating systems that a deck oven can use. The first is known as a cyclothermic oven. A cyclothermic oven uses combustion to heat air. The air is passed around the walls of the cooking chamber. A convection fan moves the air inside of the oven providing an even heat in every area of the chamber.
Steam tube ovens are another type, and they convert water into steam. The heated steam moves through tubes that surround the cooking chamber. The tubes heat the area, and then the steam condenses back into water when it cools and is reheated. This type of deck oven creates a cooking atmosphere that is drier than other types and giving baked goods a more robust crust.
The final type of deck oven is called a thermal oil oven. Thermal oil ovens begin with a heating unit that usually is located away from the cooking chambers. Oil is heated and pumped to the ovens where it circulates around the cooking chamber walls. The oil can hold heat for a longer time than air or steam, so a thermal oil oven will use far less energy than the other types of ovens. They are, however, complex and large systems that require constant, experienced maintenance to operate.