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  • Sweet Treat: Dessert Pizza Ideas

    Cheese, tomato sauce, select seasonings and perhaps a bit of pepperoni – the perfect pizza? Maybe. But pizza isn’t just a tasty main course – there are plenty of ways to whip up sweet pies that are sure to please. Read on to discover five unique ideas for dessert pizzas.

    • Fruit pizza: You may have tried fruit pizza, but thanks to the variety of fruits available at most markets, it’s easy to work a new twist into this classic idea. Start with a sugar cookie crust, slather it with cream cheese frosting and then add your favorite fruity toppings.
    • Cinnamon roll pizza: This scrumptious concoction, inspired by a beloved dessert, is a guaranteed hit. Start with your favorite pizza dough recipe, and then mix up a cinnamon sugar spread. Work this across the top of the dough, and then drizzle with cream cheese glaze.
    • Peanut butter cup pizza: Please chocolate fanatics and peanut butter addicts alike by covering a pizza crust with melted chocolate and sprinkling chopped peanut butter cups across its surface. Chopped peanuts and peanut butter topping make for impeccable finishing touches.
    • Caramel apple pizza: Need a seasonal dessert for your autumn menu? Caramel apple pizza should serve you well. Mix up a cookie crust, concoct a spread – perhaps including peanut butter and cream cheese – and then cover the creation with sliced apples. Top it off with drizzled caramel and pecans.
    • S’mores pizza: Inspired by the fireside essential, this dessert typically features a cookie crust covered with chocolate chips, marshmallows and crumbled graham crackers. If you’d like to up the sweetness factor even more, finish the pizza with a chocolate or marshmallow topping.

    These mouthwatering desserts are sure to entice your guests while lending a unique touch to your menu. And remember – if you’re in need of parts, equipment or accessories for your pizzeria, Northern Pizza Equipment can provide you with the necessary gear. Browse our products or contact us to learn more.

  • Keep It Clean: 5 Kitchen Hygiene Tips

    Opening your own pizzeria? You’ll need a plan to keep your quarters as clean as can be. Unsafe food prep and unclean premises could lead to hefty fees or even permanent closure. Read on to learn how to exercise good kitchen hygiene.

    1. Enforce personal hygiene rules. Many personal hygiene rules are simple concepts, such as frequent hand-washing for at least 20 seconds per wash. Nonetheless, they should be rigidly enforced in the kitchen. When creating restaurant policies, make sure to remind your staff to report symptoms of potentially spreadable illness immediately.
    2. Sanitize your food contact surfaces. Make certain you’re using safe, effective cleaning supplies to rid your property of pathogens, and take special care to train your employees how to clean appropriately. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions when using these cleaners.
    3. Keep your equipment clean. Your kitchen equipment is just as crucial as your employees’ hands and your food contact surfaces. If it touches food, it absolutely needs to be sanitized thoroughly and routinely.
    4. Avoid cross contamination. Allowing the juices or residue of certain foods – raw meats, especially – to touch other foods means that if one product is contaminated, the rest are, too. Train your employees to wash their hands, wear new gloves and carefully clean food contact surfaces after handling raw meats, poultry and seafood.
    5. Store food properly. Always store raw meats on the bottom shelf. As previously mentioned, they must be kept separate from other foods. Additionally, research the food you’re storing before stowing it in your refrigerator – you’ll want to be aware of safe storage temperatures for different types of food.

    By taking these pointers into consideration, you’ll be well on your way to serving your signature pies in the safest way possible. But remember – this isn’t a comprehensive plan. Ensure total cleanliness before you start dishing out slices to the public. Whether you’re an industry newbie or a veteran pizzaiolo, Northern Pizza Equipment has the gear you need for success. Browse our product selection or contact us to learn more.

  • The Great Debate: The Pineapple-On-Pizza Argument

    Human history has seen many great debates, covering topics from the nature of the universe to whether or not extraterrestrial beings exist. But one question continues to make waves, particularly in the pizza industry: does pineapple belong on pizza?

    But before we explore both sides of the issue, it’s worth discussing where the idea to put pineapple on pizza came from. While the origins of Hawaiian pizza can’t be proven, Canadian chef, Sam Panopoulos, claims to have discovered the topping combination of ham and pineapple while experimenting at Satellite Restaurant in the early 1960s. At the time, pizza was just gaining traction in Canada, so experimentation with toppings was uncommon. But Panopoulos’s use of pineapple clearly went over well, developing international fame over time and eventually leading to the great debate of today.

    The Debaters

    Anti-Pineapple On Pizza

    There are many high-profile figures who seem to share a strong distaste for the idea of pineapple on pizza. Among these figures is Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, president of Iceland, who humorously explained to a curious student that he was “fundamentally opposed” to the concept. This comment triggered ferocious arguments across social media.

    Celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay, also had a few choice words directed at those who think pineapple belongs on pizza, explaining that, “you don’t put [expletive] pineapple on pizza.” As a definitive pop culture figure in the food industry, this opinion certainly carries weight.

    Pro-Pineapple On Pizza

    While it faces much opposition, pineapple certainly has its fair share of notable proponents who view it as a perfectly plausible pizza topping. One of these figures is Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who sent out a Tweet siding with “TeamPineapple,” and stating that he, “stands behind this delicious Southwestern Ontario creation.”

    A poll by Public Policy Polling found that a significant portion of Americans are in agreement with Trudeau. The poll, which allowed voters to choose whether they approve, disapprove or aren’t sure about pineapple on pizza, closed with a result of 47% in favor of the fruit’s use as a topping. On the other hand, 32% wholly disapproved. But the tables could someday turn, as a whopping 20% voted that they were uncertain about the topping.

    Which Do You Choose?

    There are plenty of reasons to love pineapple on pizza – its juiciness and delicious flavor are often noted. But there are just as many reasons to join the opposite team. Whether the stringy texture or the contrast of sweet and savory turns you off, you’re certainly not alone in believing that pineapple isn’t a valid pizza topping. Whatever your opinion, make sure that your pizzeria is outfitted with the equipment you need to make each and every pizza as delicious as can be, whether it’s covered in pineapple or not. Browse Northern Pizza Equipment, Inc.’s catalog, or get in touch with us today to learn about the top-tier pizza gear that we provide.

  • Early Days Of Pizza Making

    In this day and age, pizza is a globally famed food served with a plethora of toppings in too many forms to count. But as with any dish, pizza underwent many significant changes before becoming what it is today. So, exactly when and where did pizza begin?

    The Days Of Yore

    Early forms of pizza have apparently been eaten for centuries, so it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where the idea originated. Most sources seem to agree that the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and other Middle Eastern civilizations all enjoyed variants of the dish, confirming its inspirations to be over a thousand years old. But rather than being covered with the tasty tomato sauce and cheese of modern times, these primitive pizzas were usually topped with oils, spices and dates. This dish, which likely served as the inspiration for the modern pizza pie, is now known as focaccia.

    Getting Saucy

    Eventually, in the early to mid 16th century, the tomato was introduced to Europe from its original home in the Americas. Working-class citizens of Naples began adding the fruit to their spice- and cheese-covered dough for an affordable, yet filling, meal, and this recipe brought the world one step closer to the pizzas of today.

    By the end of the 19th century, pizza had become quite the phenomenon in Italy, and what is often considered pizza’s true international breakthrough occurred in 1889. As the story goes, Italian chef Raffaele Esposito whipped up a pizza for Queen Margherita of Savoy, with Italian flag-inspired colors provided by the tomatoes, mozzarella and basil used in its preparation. Though pizza had garnered a reputation as a meal for the poor, the queen allegedly adored the meal, helping elevate its reputation around the world as Pizza Margherita.

    Pizza In The Americas

    Pizza made its way to the United States by way of Italian immigrants around the same time that Queen Margherita was presented with her pie. The first officially licensed pizzeria in the United States, Lombardi’s, saw its birth in 1905 in New York City, where it still operates. Other notable establishments also sprang up in the next few decades, including Totonno’s on Coney Island, Mario’s in the Bronx and Pepe’s in New Haven.

    By the late 1940s, in the wake of World War II, pizza was climbing the tiers of popularity as a food dish in the United States. Pizza was increasingly seen in the hands of celebrities and mentioned in songs. This popularity led to even more experimentation and expansion, eventually leading us to the booming, multibillion-dollar pizza industry of today.

    Write Your Own Story

    Interested in inserting your name into the annals of pizza history? Northern Pizza Equipment, Inc. has all of the pizzeria gear that you need to make it happen. Contact us today to learn more, or browse our catalog to discover all that we have to offer.

  • Most Expensive Pizzas

    Pizza can feed many mouths without breaking the bank, so it’s no surprise that families around the world see it as an affordable, go-to meal option. But that’s not to say there aren’t high-end options out there. Read on to learn about some of the priciest pies ever created.

    Breaking Records

    Gordon Ramsay has become a household name thanks to his appearances on a variety of culinary TV shows. A certain pizza sold at Ramsay’s Maze Restaurant, located in London, has also garnered quite a reputation. Declared by Guinness World Records to be the most expensive pizza commercially available, this luxe pie’s starting price is £100 (about $125). This already considerable cost can increase, too, based on the amount of Italian white truffle shavings used as a garnish. It’s worth noting that these white truffles are valued at roughly $2,500 per kilogram.

    Top Of The Food Chain

    Though the establishment closed in 2012, NYC’s Nino’s Bellissima Pizza piqued the interest of the wealthy with “The One Percenter” – an aptly named offering. Boasting a price tag of $1,000, this sumptuous pie came covered in six different types of caviar and topped off with Maine lobster.

    The Name Is Bond

    A truly one-of-a-kind creation, the James Bond-inspired Pizza Royale 007 was created by noted restaurateur and pizza-portrait maker, Domenico Crolla. Crolla flew to Rome to whip up the pizza, the toppings of which included edible gold shavings, lobster, venison, salmon and caviar soaked in champagne. The pie then went to auction to raise funds for the Fred Hollows Foundation, where it sold for the extraordinary amount of £2,150, which is approximately $2,800 in US dollars.

    The King

    A $12,000 price tag helps the Louis XIII claim the deluxe pizza crown. Customers who select this specialty pizza, conceived by Italian master pizza chef, Renato Viola, are paying for more than just the ingredients. If you choose to order the Louis XIII, a pizza maker, a sommelier and an additional chef will travel from Italy to your home with the necessary ingredients to create the pie in your very own kitchen. Among the delicious ingredients topping this pie are various caviars, lobster, buffalo mozzarella and pink salt hand-collected from the Australian Murray River.

    Make Your Masterpiece

    Think you’re up to the challenge of concocting your own lavishly original, high-end pizza? With Northern Pizza Equipment Inc.’s vast stock of pizzeria equipment, you’ll have plenty of time to practice. Check out our catalog, or contact us to learn more.

  • Atmosphere: Attracting Customers To Your Pizzeria

    If recent trends are anything to go by, the pizza industry isn’t going anywhere. In fact, according to PMQ Pizza Magazine, pizza is a $44 billion market in the United States alone. But with increased desire for pizza comes an increase in competition, and this means that independent pizza restaurants must strive even harder to stand out from the crowd. This leads to one question: What can you do to attract more customers to your pizzeria?

    Create A Concept For Your Restaurant

    Visually unappealing restaurants seldom stand out. Consider establishing a core theme for your pizzeria. Take your history, inspirations and menu into account and try tying these things together into one coherent story. This will entice customers while making your restaurant seem more personable. Once you’ve finished developing this concept, carefully integrate it into the décor of your establishment.

    Specific details to take into account include:

    • Colors – If your pizzeria uses a logo, try to use colors that coincide with this branding. This offers consistency and makes your restaurant that much more recognizable. Also bear in mind that warm colors, like red and orange, are typically associated with hunger-inducing properties.
    • Sound – Be sure the level of sound within your pizzeria matches its general feel. If your restaurant is intimate, keep things toned down. If it’s a casual joint, feel free to turn the music up a bit and encourage more lively conversation.
    • Lighting – Much like sound, lighting should be tailored specifically to the experience you’re trying to offer. Brightly colored restaurants operating during the daytime should have bright lighting. If you’re popular in the late evenings, however, consider dimming things a bit for more ambience.

    There are many other factors to take into consideration, ranging from menu design to dish choices, but one idea stands above all: be consistent. A uniform theme can make your restaurant much more identifiable.

    Care For Your Customers

    Another way to upgrade your pizzeria’s atmosphere is by offering customer service that’s second to none. This goes well beyond daily deals and a speedy wait staff. First, ensure that each employee has a comprehensive, in-depth knowledge of the ins and outs of your restaurant. While most might know the general menu items, they may be unsure of the intricacies. Remedy this to ensure that when a customer has a question, it’s answered fully and promptly. Plus, be sure to encourage staff to converse with guests and remember their names. If word gets out that you truly care for each customer, it’s only a matter of time before the orders come pouring in.

    Stand Out From The Crowd

    You’ve got the atmosphere down. Now, make sure that you’re armed with equipment that can measure up to your customers’ standards. Take a glance at Northern Pizza Equipment Inc.’s catalog to learn about all that we have to offer your establishment.

  • Iconic Movie Scenes That Make You Crave Pizza

    Image of a film projectorPizza has been one of America’s favorite foods ever since 1945, when WWII GIs stationed in Italy returned home raving about a new dish they discovered overseas. So, it is little wonder that pizza has earned a starring role in some of America’s favorite movies too. Here are some classic movie scenes that will make you want to fire up the pizza oven!

    Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

    When teenage stoner Jeff Spicoli, played by Sean Penn, orders a pizza in the middle of history class, his teacher, Mr. Hand, is not amused. Mr. Hand invites the other students to have a slice before Spicoli can grab one. Pizza 101: always order enough for everyone—lesson learned!

    Do The Right Thing (1989)

    The setting for this classic movie is a Sal’s Famous Pizzeria in Brooklyn, owned by Italian-American Sal Frangione (Danny Aiello). Tensions rise when a regular customer Buggin’ Out (Giancarlo Esposito) notices that Sal only hangs pictures of Italian celebrities on his restaurant walls, even though the pizza place is located in a majority black neighborhood.

    Spaceballs (1987)

    In this Mel Brooks-directed spoof on Sci-fi cinema, pizza literally takes a starring role in the character Pizza the Hutt. Voiced by legendary comedian Dom DeLuise, this space gangster is dripping with extra sauce and extra cheese! By the looks of him, you might say that he could use some "dough management equipment" and a few extra minutes in the pizza oven to get himself into better shape.

    Mystic Pizza (1988)

    This cult classic coming-of-age film also takes place in a pizza place located in Mystic, Connecticut. The story follows two Portuguese-American sisters as they navigate life, love, and family. Mystic Pizza was one of Julia Roberts’ early starring roles and marks the film debut of Matt Damon.

    Whether you prefer deep dish, thin crust, fully loaded, or margharita-style, nobody can resist a hot slice right out of the pizza oven. So, gather the family around, pop in a favorite DVD, and dial up your favorite pizza restaurant. Tonight is a great night to enjoy two American favorites that go great together—movies and pizza!

  • Crafting the Perfect Pie: A Few Pizza Pitfalls to Avoid

    Image Of Pepperoni And Sausage Pizza Made With Commercial Kitchen EquipmentWith so many possible toppings, cheeses, sauces, and crust styles, pizza is a versatile customer favorite. In addition to choosing the right commercial pizza oven for the job, restaurant managers should also ensure that the pizza preparation and cooking methods used in their kitchens achieve the best possible results. Here are some common pizza-making pitfalls to avoid before the pie even enters the oven.

    It All Starts With The Crust

    From deep-dish to crispy-thin, a perfect crust is the foundation of good pizza. Dough management is critical, especially when it comes to getting the right thickness. The dough must be thin enough to cook thoroughly and evenly and thick enough to handle the weight of all the cheese and toppings. The last thing diners want is a pizza falling apart or full of holes.

    Your commercial pizza oven also needs to be heated to the proper temperature before the pie goes inside. Dough cooked at too low a temperature will come out soft and soggy, and even the best toppings and specialty sauces won't save a mushy crust.

    Toppings, Toppings, Toppings

    Some customers are content with classic pepperoni or plain cheese pizzas, but getting creative with toppings is a great way for your restaurant to show creative flair. Whether a pie's getting one topping or twenty, avoid the temptation to overload. Moderation is essential for evenly cooked, sturdy slices. Meats, cheeses, veggies, and other toppings should be used in reasonable amounts and spread evenly across the pizza's surface.

    Another mistake made with toppings is forgetting to precook them as needed. While many ingredients will cook up just fine during baking in a commercial pizza oven, meats and heartier vegetables should be cooked ahead of time to ensure safety and tenderness.

    Not So Fast!

    A pizza isn't like a cold sandwich or salad—it takes a while to prepare. One of the most common mistakes in the industry is not giving the pie enough time to cook or set properly. Even once a pizza appears "done" in the oven, a few more minutes of cooking are usually needed to prevent mushy spots in the crust and undercooked toppings.

    If you have dine-in customers, it may be a good idea to give the pizza a few minutes to cool and set. Many restaurants opt to use industrial warmers to make sure that delivery and pick-up orders stay hot as long as possible.

    The right techniques, quality ingredients, and a commercial pizza oven go a long way toward creating the perfect pie.

  • The Top Five Restaurant Conventions for 2017

    Business owners who use restaurant equipment and dough management equipment must stay apprised of new technology that can improve operations. Restaurateurs can get up-to-date information at the top conventions coming up in 2017.

    The International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York

    Also known as the NY Restaurant Show, this large-scale event is scheduled for March 5-7, 2017 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, NY. Drawing more than 16,000 professionals each year, it promises an extensive display of products and services, all highlighting the latest trends and the most cutting-edge technology. Vendors offer information, training, business strategies, and ideas for new operational solutions for restaurant equipment.

    Midwest Foodservice Expo

    Focused on innovation in the food service industry, this event will be held at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee, WI on March 13-15, 2017. This event is a trade show, educational conference, and networking opportunity all in one. From finding out where to buy commercial kitchen supplies to learning about restaurant marketing best practices, attendees can gain a wealth of information.

    The International Pizza Expo

    Pizza Expo logo Pizza Expo logo

    The team from Northern Pizza Equipment never misses this prestigious gathering for all things pizza-related. Taking place on March 27-30, 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, guests can hear from celebrity restaurateur keynote speakers, compete in international pizza making competitions, and attend seminars on pizzeria management best practices.

    National Restaurant Association Show 2017

    Happening on May 20-23, 2017 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL, this event commands a presence by anyone who is serious about the restaurant industry. Free education sessions and culinary demonstrations will ensure that everyone who attends has a full grasp of the latest culinary trends. Guests will also gain access to industry thought-leaders and exclusive networking events.

    Bar 17

    Held in tandem with the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago, the Bar 17 event offers professionals a platform to learn about everything in connection with the beverage industry. From tastings to educational seminars, this event is a great option for business owners with both a bar and restaurant.

    63rd Summer Fancy Food Show

    The Javits Convention Center is also the venue for this seasonal show, held on June 25-27, 2017. Restaurateurs involved with specialty food and beverage service won't want to miss this event. Vendors will be offering an extensive array of new food and beverage products.

    For business owners, attending an industry-specific convention can grant access to the newest innovations in restaurant equipment, technology, and marketing.

  • How to Dress up Your Restaurant for the Holidays Without Going Overboard

    Photo Of A Simple Holiday Table Setup - Northern Pizza Equipment Inc.With the holidays just around the corner, many restaurants are entering their busiest season. Capitalizing on the mood of the season is a good way to draw customers into your restaurant. Decorations can even make working more enjoyable for the employees, not to mention that the decorating process serves as a great bonding activity. Here are some tips to spice up your restaurant's atmosphere without going overboard.

    1) Play to your strengths

    A food display of holiday-themed dishes, such as egg nog drinks or seasonal cookies, is great at a cafe or family restaurant. However, they may look out of place on a high-end menu. Try to anticipate your customer's expectations and make appropriate tweaks.

    2) Less is more

    No need to spend money on specialty restaurant equipment! Themed napkins or a small holiday centerpiece is more than enough for most dining tables. Folding in always seasonal music is also a subtle way to make a big difference without spending too much.

    3) Work with what you have already

    Getting new holiday decorations is a good excuse to look at your existing decor and to get rid of items that do not reflect your desired aesthetic. When it comes time to take down your holiday decorations, you'll be left with a slimmed-down, modern look.

    4) Go natural

    This is harder to do with a food display, as it may get stale, but if you can pull it off, go for it! Otherwise, a fresh pine tree or holiday wreath spreads a low-key, natural smell and feeling.

    5) Jazz up the restaurant equipment

    Give your chefs, waiters, and hosts some room to enjoy the holiday season too. Your staff will not only appreciate it but so will your customers!

    Photo Credit: Richard Wood

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