Are you making plans to throw a pizza party? Or perhaps you are simply looking for tips on the best way to achieve the correct temperature in your wood-fired pizza oven. You’re in the right place!
Wood pizza ovens need to be at a certain temperature to make sure that the pizza is cooking correctly. If it is too cool, the dough will not rise and the pizza will not taste as good (how to avoid undercooked dough) – what’s more, if the wood oven is too hot, this can cause the food to burn.
You should aim for an oven temperature of between 450-500 degrees or around 650-900 degrees Fahrenheit, but without a thermometer, it isn’t easy to know when the dome is ready to use. Fortunately, there are several methods you can use to check the oven temperature and make sure that the pizza bread will cook as you would expect.
In this article, we will be looking at some great tips for checking the temp on your wood oven so your pizza party is always a success
Why Does The Temperature Matter?
Using a wood-fired oven is a great way to cook pizza, you can go from dough to crispy crust in as little as 90 seconds and this is an often-favored method of many home pizza enthusiasts.
It is vital that pizza is cooked in a hot wood oven as this will let the dough rise quickly during the baking time. If this doesn’t happen, the dough can become floppy and will remain quite moist. Furthermore, if there is not enough heat inside the oven then the pizza sauce will not dry out enough, this will add to the moistness of the dough and a crisp crust will not be achieved.
If your wood-fired pizza oven contains too much heat this can cause the dough to burn and could mean that the toppings don’t cook all the way through. You wouldn’t want to serve unevenly cooked or burning pizza at a party.
What Temperature Should The Wood-Fired Oven Be?
Using a wood fire oven to cook pizzas is the best way to get a good result, and it is vital that the temperatures are between 450-500 degrees celsius, or 650-900 Fahrenheit.
When cooking another type of food, you will often need to throw that idea out of the window and adjust the temperature accordingly. Meat will often require a lower heat where vegetables will start cooking nicely at a temperature a little lower than pizzas.
How Do I Check If The Wood Pizza Oven Temperature Is Hot Enough?
Before your wood-fired oven is ready to use for cooking you need to check that it isn’t too hot or too cold. This can be done using several methods and it is down to which you like best.
Before checking the temperatures inside the oven, you must be sure that you have given the oven enough time to heat up. The fire in the oven will heat the entire dome but the pizza cooking will happen from the oven floor.
In the main, you should let your pizza oven heat up for around sixty minutes but there are some that will take less time, around 30 minutes for one that is smaller. As you use your wood-fired oven, you will become more familiar with the time it will take to heat.
You should keep the oven door closed as you let the oven get hot, but once it is ready for cooking pizza, you will want to leave the door open as this is known to give the best results thanks to air circulation.
You can tell if the oven is ready for cooking simply by looking at it but may people do not like this style because it may be difficult if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Essentially, the dome of the pizza oven has a white spot, when this white spot expands, it signals that the temperature is just right for cooking. – this is one of the best visual tips
The Smoke Method
One of the best ways to find out if your fire has done its job and the oven is at a high enough temperature is to use flour. You will need to do this before any pizzas go inside and this type of test takes seconds to complete.
- First, take a small handful of flour and put it inside the oven on the oven floor.
- Next, watch how long it takes for the flour to start to burn and smoke to rise from it.
- This should only take seconds if the ovens temperature is correct.
- If it takes any longer, you may need to let the fire work its magic for a little more time.
- In contrast, if the floor of the oven is too hot, this could burn your bread dough so you should remove some embers.
The Counting Method
One of the great ways and most well-loved by those who make pizzas for a living is the counting method. But do be aware that this involves you inserting your hand into the oven to see if it is ready. It’s not as scary as it sounds. This will also allow you to know intuitively whether the fire has given the oven enough heat for cooking any other type of food, as things like meat and bread will need to be cooked at different temperatures.
- After the fire has been allowed to heat the wood-fired pizza oven for the right amount of time, you should open the oven door and put your hand inside.
- Next, count how long it takes before you feel uncomfortable – you don’t need to keep your skin there until it starts burning, but just so you would want to quickly remove it.
- When counting, you should use the ‘Mississipi’ method – this isn’t just a great way to teach kids how long a second is – many pizza experts use this and however many go by will tell you whether the oven is at the right temperature for various types of food.
How Long Will The Pizza Take To Cook
Wood ovens are a quick way of baking pizza but first, you must consider the type of pizza to determine the right time for cooking. To start with, most people opt for a fluffy, thick crust pizza and this can be served to your party guests within minutes.
Whilst the process takes a few short minutes, the fire can get incredibly hot in a wood oven and this can cause the pizza to cook unevenly if it is placed over a hotter part of the fire do keep checking it as it cooks.
It is important to use a hot oven to cook pizzas but not so hot that they cook too much and end up burning. This can be a difficult thing to master but once you get to know your wood oven a little better, it can become a lot easier than your first attempt.
These helpful tips demonstrate various ways that are often used and well-loved by pizza chefs who want a perfect crust and toppings that cook nicely all the way through. We should also add that ensuring you keep the fire at the right level will give you excellent cooking conditions that will ensure your toppings do not keep too much moisture which can also affect the base during cooking.
Ovens should be allowed to reach the right temperature and there are several ways you can check this – throw a little flour into the oven, using the counting style method and checking to see if the dome has a white spot. All of these tips will make baking your pizza far less of an experiment leaving you free to pop in each pizza for 90 seconds before handing them out to your party guests.