Pizza chain credits innovative rotating oven with transforming kitchen

Marana Forni pizza oven, Firezza

Pizza delivery chain Firezza has credited the specification of a rotating pizza oven with transforming the kitchen production process across its estate.  

The company uses more than one type of pizza oven across its 22-strong takeaway and delivery portfolio, but the purchase of the Marana Forni Genius rotating oven has delivered the most significant benefits so far.

The appliance, which is supplied into the UK market through White’s Foodservice Equipment, has been introduced to new Firezza takeaway sites in Exeter, Staines, Hampstead, Dulwich and Milton Keynes, as well as its sole restaurant location in Soho, London, where it is  capable of producing more than 250 pizzas an hour.

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The time and temperature of the oven is pre-programmed, allowing chefs to place the uncooked pizza in the chamber and then remove it a few minutes later, after one full cycle.

Company founder Edin Basic insists it has revolutionised the way Firezza cooks pizzas as the temperature does not need to be as closely regulated by a chef as it typically would with a traditional wood-fired oven, nor does it need to be manned by multiple staff.

“It is much easier for chefs because they are basically just taking the pizza in and out and getting a consistently good product every time,” he explains. “That’s crucial for pizza production because pizza is a very sensitive product. If you leave a pizza in too long the moisture comes out of it and you get a very dry product; if it is not in long enough then you get a soggy product.”

Not all of the skill is stripped from the equation, however. Chefs need to physically remove the pizza as it rotates past the mouth of the oven and they can obviously wait until the last possible moment to do that, should the pizza need an extra 10 to 20 seconds of heat to achieve the desired finish.

“Sometimes if you put too many pizzas in the oven it sucks the temperature out and the temperature goes down, but the oven has a panel which always monitors this kind of thing so if it happens there is a burner on the bottom and a burner on the side to provide a boost. It is an amazing oven. It is one of those where you wonder why everybody doesn’t have one!”

Firezza uses gas, but the oven can also be wood-fired or a combination of both, which gives the chain added assurance should there be a problem with the gas supply. The oven will even switch off when it is not in cooking mode in order to save energy while still preserving the temperature.

“They are very, very resilient ovens,” says Basic. “The only thing that can really go wrong is the gas supply, which is something that we cannot control, or the control panel. That is why we have spare control panels, so we don’t have to wait for delivery from Italy. We can just swap them over.”

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