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If you’re building a new industrial bakery facility or launching a new product line, you’re probably going to need a new oven. The oven is usually the most expensive, not to mention the most important, piece of equipment on a bakery production line, so it’s business-critical that you choose the right one.

This article provides an overview of the main types of industrial bakery ovens and the applications for which they work best.

Features to look for in an industrial baking oven

No matter what your application, here are some key features to look for in an industrial baking oven.

Sufficient capacity for the present and the future

Ovens are available in many sizes and able to handle a wide range of capacities. Since the oven will likely represent your most significant investment, choose one that will support your needs now and also allow your business to grow into the future. Ovens that use modular construction can be easily expanded for greater throughput.

A user-friendly HMI

A user-friendly HMI is one of the key features that makes bakery equipment flexible, allowing operators to easily change recipes on demand. Icon-based HMIs are easier than language-based ones.

Precise process control

Whether they work in a home kitchen or an industrial one, every baker knows the importance of precise control over the baking process. Newer machines with the latest heating and monitoring technologies will provide more precise process control.

Energy-efficiency

An energy-efficient oven will reduce your total cost of ownership by saving you money on fuel and utilities over the long-term.

Tool-less cleaning and changeover

Especially if you want to run multiple products on the same line, tool-less cleaning and changeover is a must. This feature also simplifies regular maintenance and service.

Short set-up and heat recovery times

Similar to tool-less cleaning and changeover, these factors help determine the oven’s flexibility. If you’re only running one product, then short set-up and heat recovery times aren’t as important. But, if you need to run multiple products on the same line, they’re a must.

Even baking across the width of the belt

Because of the way some ovens transfer heat, the products on the outside of the belt receive less heat than the products on the inside of the belt. To avoid a high level of waste, or inconsistent product quality, make sure your oven bakes evenly across the entire width of the belt.

Types of industrial baking ovens

When we talk about types of industrial baking ovens, what we’re really talking about is the different ways the product is heated. This impacts just about every aspect of a product, from the time it takes to cook to the texture and appearance.

Direct- and indirect-fired ovens

Direct- and indirect-fired ovens are traditional baking units that use radiant heat to create a hot baking chamber, which heats food from the outside-in. They can be powered using gas (the most common), oil, or electricity.

The way direct- and indirect-fired ovens transfer heat is similar, with the main difference being whether or not the food products come into contact with the products of combustion:

  • In a direct-fired oven, the burner heats the baking chamber directly. The food products do come into contact with combustion products.
  • In an indirect-fired oven, the burner heats a heat exchanger, which transfers the heat into the baking chamber. The food products do not come into contact with combustion products.

Exterior of direct-fired oven

Direct-fired ovens are ideal for products that require high temperatures and short baking times.

Example applications for direct gas-fired ovens

  • Pizzas
  • Flatbreads
  • Pita bread
  • Bread
  • Rolls
  • Bagels
  • Biscuits
  • Cookies
  • Crackers

Learn more about direct gas-fired ovens.

Cyclothermic indirect gas-fired oven

Indirect-fired ovens are better for products that require lower temperatures and longer baking times.

Example applications for indirect gas-fired ovens

  • Bread
  • Rolls
  • Cakes
  • Confectionary

Learn more about indirect gas-fired ovens.

Impingement ovens

Impingement ovens are indirect-fired baking solutions, which means that no combustion products share the baking chamber with the food products.

Like traditional ovens, impingement ovens surround products with radiant heat, but they also use pressurized jets of hot air to penetrate the product. This design significantly shortens the cooking time by heating product from the inside as well as from the outside.

Impingement ovens are best for products that need to be cooked quickly but are also relatively sturdy — fragile doughs and batters don’t stand up well to the jets of hot air.

Indirect Fired Impingement Ovens

Indirect-fired impingement oven

Example applications for impingement ovens

  • Pizzas
  • Calzones
  • Flatbreads
  • Empanadas
  • Bread
  • Breadsticks
  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Pastries
  • Muffins
  • Pies
  • Macaroons
  • Granola

Learn more about impingement ovens.

Thermal oil ovens

Thermal oil ovens provide the gentle heat transfer necessary to create artisan-style products at an industrial scale. These ovens are hugely popular in Europe and are gaining traction in the United States because of their ability to handle high moisture doughs and produce artisan-style crusts. Thermal oil ovens also have a high thermal capacity, providing precise temperature control.

Multi-deck thermal oil tunnel oven

Multi-deck thermal oil tunnel oven

Example applications for thermal oil ovens

  • Freestanding products
  • Artisan- and rustic-style products
  • Bread
  • Rolls
  • Pies
  • Pita bread
  • Bagels
  • Pretzels
  • Pastries

Learn more about thermal oil ovens.

Have questions about ovens? We can answer them! Contact our team for more information.

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708-388-7766

Location

Naegele Bakery Systems
5661 W 120th Street
Alsip, IL 60803

Email

info@naegele-inc.com

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