January 22, 2018

Which Oven Size is Best for Me?

By Mugnaini Staff

Choosing the size of your future pizza oven is a good first step in determining which oven model will work best for you. Based on over 30 years of client feedback, we've learned there are two main factors that define your pizza oven experience: the size of the cooking surface and the weight of the oven. 

We always suggest you buy the largest pizza oven that will fit into your space. Larger ovens are actually easier to use too!

Andrea Mugnaini

Naturally, you need to think about how you wish to use your new oven. The different size ovens essentially cook the same, they just vary in capacity. 

When it comes to pizza, they only take 2 minutes to bake so fitting 2-3 pizzas at a time is very effective. For other menu items you will want enough space to fit multiple pans inside.

This Oven Comparison Chart lists all dimensions and capacities for quick referencing.

Factors to consider when choosing a pizza oven size.

Consider how you will most often use your oven. If you frequently cook for two, then a smaller oven may fill your needs. If you plan on entertaining with your oven, then a larger oven will be more appropriate as you will use the extra space.

Use your cookware as a guide. Like your planned usage, if you cook with large roasting pans, a small oven will not serve you well. You want your cookware to fit completely inside the oven and to be able to fit multiple pans regardless of size.

Small ovens are harder to use. A well designed oven will have an arch that is sized appropriately for the cooking surface. This means the mouth of the oven varies by size. A larger arch opening offers better visibility, more room for using oven tools and it offers better turnaround room for roasting pans and pizza.

Is a commercial weight pizza oven the right choice?

A real pizza oven cooks with the retained heat in the oven walls and floor, and a live fire. Commercial ovens simply have thicker walls and floor, which will retain more heat, but that does not mean heavier is better. Unlike other kitchen appliances, using a commercial grade pizza oven does not offer a quality advantage. It may actually hinder your experience.

Any pizza oven weighing over 1000 pounds is in the commercial weight category. Our Medio 100 weighs 545 lbs. and yet it's the same size as our Prima 100 which weighs 1050 lbs. The difference is thicker walls and floors on the Prima ovens, which are the exact same ovens we sell to restaurants and pizzerias.

You are not ready to cook until you have saturated the oven with heat. This is why heavier ovens take longer to heat up. Our competitors advertise unbelievably fast start up times for ovens weighing 1000 pounds or more. This is a true disservice to homeowners who usually start with a cold oven every time they cook. 

Lighter ovens transition between cooking temperatures faster. Commercial ovens are made heavier to hold heat longer at a specific temperature. That works well for cooking pizzas all day but when you are cooking at home, you want to be able to go from cooking pizzas to roasting meats and vegetables in short order.

Thermal mass is the term used to describe the heat holding aspect of an oven. Higher oven component weight means higher thermal mass. The quality of your cooking does not change with thermal mass. Balanced thermal mass, the ratio between the thickness of the dome and the floor, is what makes one oven cook better than another.

Every Mugnaini oven model has its advantage.

Piccolo 60 A portable option for those who don't have the possibility to install a traditional pizza oven. Designed to be lightweight, this model still uses the same materials in the floor and dome as all our ovens. 

Piccolo 80 This model is another space saver. It's compact size makes it a good addition to any kitchen. While we do recommend going larger if you have the room, many Piccolo 80 owners have repurchased the same size.

Medio 100/110 These are our most popular models and have proven to be the best choice for most homeowners. The ideal thermal mass for home use allowing you to fire the oven in under 1 hour and transition between pizza temperature and roasting or baking in a matter of minutes, not hours. 

Prima 100/120 Large scale entertaining, high volume cooking, and frequent usage, are all activities that will benefit from higher thermal mass. The Prima ovens are also the choice of celebrity chef and those who want to cook like them.

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