When you fire up your pizza oven for the first time, it can be difficult to know the perfect cooking conditions. Using a wood-fired pizza oven is vastly different from using a regular oven, but many people find that they like this method of baking better since the dough rises a lot better and you end up with a far more tasty pizza.
An oven for cooking hot pizza needs to be at incredibly high temperatures to get that authentic pizza result that so many people strive for. These ovens for pizza can get very hot and the optimum temperature for cooking pizza is between 450 degrees and 500 degrees celsius – that is around 650 degrees and 900 degrees Fahrenheit.
In this article, we are going to be looking at the best pizza oven temperature to make pizza as well as exploring some of the intricacies involved with maintaining the temperature of your pizza oven for when you bake a variety of food types.
How Hot Is A Pizza Oven In Celsius?
In degrees Celsius, a an oven for homemade pizza can go up to around 500 degrees, although many pizza experts would suggest that when making pizza at home, chefs aim to keep the oven wood fired pizza oven temperature to between 400 degrees and 450 degrees. Going too high when baking may cause your pizza to burn, and for deep pan pizzas, this is even more important.
When we convert these temperatures to Fahrenheit, you can expect the fire to reach temperatures within the range of 650 to 900 degrees. For the purpose of this article, we will be using Celsius.
Why Does A Pizza Oven Need To Be So Hot?
A fresh pizza needs to be cooked at a high heat, and this is even more important when you are cooking multiple pizzas in close succession. For example, if you have decided to host a pizza party, maintaining a consistent temperature within the oven is crucial.
For the most part, pizzas need to be cooked this way to give them a crispy base and crust whilst the toppings are baked and even. There is one exception, and this is if you like to use a lot of toppings. In this case, you may wish you make sure that the oven temperature is a little lower so that the ingredients have time to cook through. Failing to do this may mean that you need to put the pizza back into the oven to cook the toppings, however, too long and the base and crust may go from crispy to burning.
Can I Cook Pizza In A Conventional Oven?
You should consider that a homemade pizza recipe will cook far better if you put it on a pizza stone if you intend to cook your pizza in a traditional oven. This is because the heat inside this type of oven simply isn’t hot enough to create the results that a wood-fired oven would give you.
While you can make pizza using a traditional oven, you will notice that the cooking time is dramatically increased. However, using your pizza stone will give the pizza a central point of heat that will cause the dough to react in a similar way to when it is in much higher temperatures. This is because the pizza stone will have been allowed to heat up beforehand and this residual heat will start the cooking process right away.
This will cause the crust to become crispy and the toppings and cheese not to overcook or burn, giving you a result that is a little more close to cooking in a fire-based oven. A lot of people often make the mistake of seasoning their pizza stone before baking but this can cause the stone to burn and smoke, so you should keep all of the seasoning ingredients for your sauce and toppings.
The heat will come from below the pizza as opposed to coming from all around it, this is important as the base and crust will need to cook first before the top gets cooking. This is close to how an authentic oven for pizza would work and giving the pizza the right cooking surface can make the world of difference.
However, we would always suggest that you use the correct type of oven for your homemade pizza recipe. In a conventional oven, some pizzas may take up to 30 minutes, especially if you do not use a stone. In contrast, using a brick oven for baking pizza will give you ready-to-eat food in minutes.
What Mode Should A Pizza Oven Be?
If you are going to be making you pizza in your normal home oven, you will need to make sure that you are using the correct mode. Often, people think that baking a pizza in a regular oven means that you will cook it in the same type of way you would cook other foods. But this is not true.
Pizza ovens cook the food from underneath through the use of fire so you should try to mimick this, even just slightly.
These helpful tips will make sure that you get the great crispy crust and melted cheese that is reminiscent of pizza that has been cooked in the dome.
- Turn on the bake setting on your oven and let it heat up for a few minutes before you pop your fresh pizza inside.
- Next, add the pizza to the stone (if you are cooking in this style) and put it on the bottom shelf of the oven. Usually, home chefs will keep the pizza on the middle shelf but this won’t give the dough the best chance at rising.
- In contrast, some people still put their pizza on the top shelf which means that the cheese on top will cook first and the sauce won’t have chance to dry out, making the dough floppy and undercooked while the top of the pizza will likely burn.
- For a thin pizza, you will need to close the oven door and leave it on the lowest shelf for around 8-10 minutes. Deep pan pizza should cook for up to 15 minutes. Frozen pizza usually takes longer, with some often taking around 30 minutes – but we would always suggest making your own fresh dough and smothering it is lashings of tasty sauce and cheese.
- The temperature should be at least 200º when using this style of cooking but this is cool in comparison to the heat of the dome. But it doesn’t mean that pizza cannot be made this way.
- When the heat is set be sure to keep the oven door shut throughout the cooking time to get the best results.
How Long Does A Pizza Oven Take To Heat Up?
If you are fortunate enough to not have to use a stone then your food is likely to turn out just how you expect when you use an oven for pizza. The dough will rise to perfection, the cheese and toppings will be cooked just right and you will notice how each of teh ingredients contributes to teh overall flavor of teh pizza.
It is important to create the perfect place for your pizzas to bake, so one of the first things to think about is that you must get the oven nice and hot before you place the pizzas inside. Once you have lit the fire, you want the oven to get hot and this means leaving it for an hour to heat up – if you are in a hurry, you could lower this time to 30 minutes but if you have time, go for the full hour.
There are some variations on this, the type of wood you use and the weather can play a part in how quickly the fire will heat the oven. Furthermore, ovens come in different sizes and this can make a difference to how many minutes or hours it takes for them to heat up.
The best way to determine if it is ready to start to make your food is to check the temperature.
How Do You Check The Temperature Of A Pizza Oven?
Once you are confident that the temperatures within the oven are high enough to starting cooking pizza, you will need to check this first. If the oven is not hot enough, your homemade pizza will not cook as you expect and you may have to go back to the recipe and mix the ingredients from scratch.
One of the best and most simple ways to check the temperature inside the oven is to use flour. This may sound confusing but doing this removes the need to use more complex methods. Take some flour and place it on the pizza cooking surface. You should then monitor how long the flour takes to burn or smoke. If it starts to smoke or begins burning in seconds rather than minutes, then the oven is ready to cook pizza. If it is not, you can let the fire heat the dome for bit more time and then test again after a few minutes. This way is also great if you want to know how to be at one with the oven and just ‘know’ when it is ready.
Another simple way is something that a lot of pizza lovers like to do which involves counting while you put your hand in the oven. It is, of course, vital that you do not touch the cooking surface and simply hover your hand inside the oven.
Once it is in, you should count ‘one, Mississipi, two Mississipi’ and so on until it becomes uncomfortable and you need to take your hand back out. It is important to also remember that it will be a bit uncomfortable from the start and it usually takes a few seconds before you will need to remove it to avoid a burn.
A lot of seasoned pizza dough chefs swear by this method and favor it over all others, plus it will add a little excitement for your pizza party as you try to impress your guests with your ability to find the perfect pizza temperature by hand!
Alternatively, you can use an infrared temperature gauge which will give you an accurate reading and is a great method for people who just want to know so that they can load the toppings on top of the dough and start cooking.
Of course, you could use a trial and error method and learn from your mistakes so that next time it comes to cooking pizza, you will know what not to do.
Is There Anything That Will Affect The Temperature?
When you cook pizza in the dome of the outdoor oven, it is important to maintain the fire all the time to get the best results. This will ensure an excellent crust and dough that rises properly as well as evenly cooking the pizza throughout.
Each pizza will take minutes, sometimes less to cook but if the temperature gets too cool or too hot, this can change. When each pizza is made, check the temperature again before you let the next pizza go in.
You should keep the door open to avoid too much smoke and temperature build-up. If the oven gets too cool, close the door and let the fire have time to reheat the oven – we are sure your pizza party guests will wait for the perfect crust!
You should also check the type of wood you use as this can have an effect. The best type of wood is one that gets easily heated and does not smoke a lot.
If the oven reach a too high temperature, it can burn the dough, in this instant you should let it cool until you find a slightly warmer temperature before you add the next pizza.
What Temperature Do You Need Your Oven To Be For Different Foods?
A brick oven can be used for more than one style of cooking, not just pizza. Still, this might alter your temperature needs.
- To keep food such as sauce, already-cooked pizza and meats warm, set the temperature to 70º.
- For meat, slow cook at close to 120º
- To quickly cook veggies, try to get as close to 350º as possible.
- To bake bread, aim for 450º
- As well as pizza, fast-cooked tapas can go in at 450-500º
If you have ever considered throwing a party where your guests can enjoy tasty pizza with a crisp yet light crust right from the oven, you have probably thought about investing in a pizza oven. But it can be difficult to know the correct temperature to ensure you pizza turns out right every time.
An oven like this should be at 450-500º when cooking pizza but this can vary if you want to cook other dishes like meat or bread.