The Right Oven Temp for Homemade Pizza: An Easy Guide
Finding the right oven temp for homemade pizza is fundamental to achieving good results. Without the right temperature for pizza, you will end up with dry or even soggy pizza that won’t be nearly as enjoyable.
But the good news is that finding the proper pizza in oven temp doesn’t have to be complicated. There are simply a few rules you have to know to ensure that you allow the crust to form a nice crispness that delicious pizza is known for.
In this article, we’ll explore what temp to cook pizza in the oven, how oven temp for homemade pizza impacts the flavor, and how to best utilize the type of oven you have in your home.
How Does Temperature Affect Pizza Baking?
When you bake a pizza, the temperature is everything. One of the most distinctive features of an authentic Italian pizzeria is the scorching-hot oven temperature. And there’s actually an important reason why such a pizza oven is essential for producing the perfect pizzas Italy is famous for.
But how exactly does the temperature to cook pizza in the oven make a difference?
Well, there are actually a few reasons why high temperatures tend to produce better results when cooking pizza. At least for traditional Neapolitan pizzas.
The process of cooking pizzas has been refined through many generations, and the high heat has been found to produce just the right crispness in the crust without it becoming too dry or brittle. When you bite into a well-prepared Neapolitan-style pizza, you get a crunchy outer crust, but the toppings remain moist, creating a great balance that’s renowned across the world.
At the same time, cooking at a high temperature ensures that the cheese melts completely and cooks evenly, which is an integral part of having an enjoyable pizza. No one wants to find that parts of the pizza toppings are undercooked or cold.
For instance, when the temperature is too low, and the pizza is left in the oven for too long, the cheese may dry out too much and become chewy instead of the distinct stretchy and soft cheese texture that authentic Neapolitan pizzas are known for.
Another reason why temperature is so important is the speed at which the pizza is prepared. Millions of people cook pizza at home with lower temperature ovens, but cooking even a single pizza can take much longer. That can be frustrating if you have a large group of people and need to keep the pizzas coming quickly.
If you’re using a pizza stone, a hotter oven temp for homemade pizza will also ensure that you don’t have to wait for the stone to reheat again after each pizza is done cooking. While this is important for restaurants, it can also make a big difference for big families and people who like to entertain friends.
But should all pizzas be cooked at the maximum temperature? That’s a question that doesn’t always have a specific answer.
Because of the typical limitations of a home oven, most people simply crank up the temperature to the max available setting. It’s still doesn’t get as hot as the temperature for pizza in an oven used on a brick pizza oven or a professional-grade pizza oven. However, at the same time, different pizza styles can benefit from various of temperatures.
For some pizza styles (such as a deep-dish pizza), you may need to use lower temperatures because the thicker crust needs time to cook all the way through without burning. Because of that, it’s a good idea to figure out how different types of pizzas should be cooked and what’s the ideal pizza temperature for each.
What is the Best Oven Temperature to Cook Homemade Pizza?
Finding the best oven temperature for homemade pizza isn’t always as simple as setting it to the max setting. In fact, a few variables can significantly impact the temperature you should choose and the types of results you can expect.
First, the type of oven you have will usually determine the pizza in the oven temp and how long you need to bake it. Not all ovens are created equal, as many different models and types of heating systems utilize different methods for creating and maintaining temperatures inside the oven. Just as most modern ovens have a variety of settings that impact how the food will cook, different ovens can also result in significant differences you need to be aware of in terms of pizza temp.
For instance, when you use a modern household electric oven with a fan and broiler, you might be able to achieve temperatures that exceed 550 F. And at these temperatures, you can prepare a crispy pizza relatively quickly, usually in under ten minutes.
However, when dealing with older electric or gas stoves, you probably won’t be able to reach such temperatures and will have to leave the pizza in the oven for significantly longer.
At the same time, you need to consider the specific type of pizza you want to cook. Different pizzas have different crusts, which dictate how long and at what temperature the pizza will need to bake, no matter what oven you might be using.
Let’s go over a few of the main types of pizzas and the best temperatures for cooking them.
Naples is the birthplace of pizza, and the Neapolitan pizza is still the classic that the majority of pizza enthusiasts love. And in most restaurants and homes around the world, the signature thin crust of a Neapolitan pizza remains a distinguishing feature and point of emphasis.
The most important features of a Neapolitan pizza are the crunchy and puffy crust, a thin crust underneath the toppings, and a bit of charred flavor to create an even more intense tasting experience. To achieve this, the pizza oven temperature must be as high as possible.
Ideally, that means temperatures as high as 800-900 F, with the pizza spending no more than 2-3 minutes in the oven. That way, the pizza can achieve its signature crust, charring, and maintain the intense flavor of all the fresh ingredients.
Contrary to a Neapolitan pizza, preparing a Chicago-style deep-dish pizza requires an entirely different approach. Because of the thick layer of ingredients and a thick crust, deep dish pizzas simply can’t be cooked in a few minutes, no matter how hot the temperature might be.
If you tried to cook it like a traditional Neapolitan pizza, you would end up with a charred crust on top, but the bottom crust and most of the ingredients would remain raw, cold, and impossible to eat.
Instead, to ensure that your deep-dish pizza is fully cooked and delicious inside and out, you need to cook at a much lower temperature, typically around 425 F. This temperature won’t burn the pizza nearly as quickly, allowing it to stay in the oven for longer and helping it attain a beautiful brown crust on the outside, with the ingredients inside fully cooked and melted.
When preparing a deep-dish pizza, the lower temperature will allow you to keep the pizza inside the oven for as long as 30 minutes. That is plenty of time for all the layers of the dough, and the ingredients to become perfectly cooked, creating the distinct flavor and texture Chicago-style pizza is known for.
New York-Style Pizza
As New York-style pizzas are becoming more popular across the country, it’s a good idea to understand the ideal oven temp for homemade pizza made in this style. Although it has distinct features, it also shares a thin crust and crispness with the Neapolitan style, which means that the way you should cook it will be similar as well.
You will need an oven that can reach high temperatures and allow you to cook the pizza quickly. That way, the ingredients in the middle will not be overcooked, and you will get a nice and crispy crust on the sides, while the middle part of the pizza will remain foldable and easy to eat. Cooked at high temperatures, you will also avoid the pizza crust becoming too dry.
When it comes to Italian pizzas, most people are familiar with the Neapolitan type. But there are other varieties in different regions that have also become more popular. A good example of this is the Sicilian-style pizza, which has a much thicker crust and is usually rectangular.
The crust is not as thick as a Chicago deep-dish pizza but still thick enough to not do too well in extremely hot temperatures. So instead, you should cook it at around 450 F, leaving the pizza in the oven for 15-20 minutes to make sure the dough is crunchy but not burnt.
What is the Best Temperature to Cook Frozen Pizzas in the Oven?
Frozen pizzas may have a bad rep among some people, but there’s a reason they remain incredibly popular and serve as a solid alternative to a freshly-made pizza. You simply can’t beat the convenience of popping a frozen pizza out of the freezer into the oven and being able to enjoy it a short while later.
When you prepare a good-quality frozen pizza well, it can make a delicious meal. But for that to happen, you need to understand the best temperature to cook frozen pizza and the general principles of getting it to taste as good as possible.
Let’s go over the key steps you should follow below.
Defrost the Pizza
One of the most important things to know about cooking a frozen pizza is that it’s absolutely crucial to defrost it beforehand. A frozen pizza will have a crystalized moisture layer on top, which will quickly melt on the pizza and make it soggy, giving it the signature texture that many people who don’t like frozen pizza have experienced.
Instead, you should make sure to defrost the pizza, allowing it to thaw closer to room temperature before you start cooking it.
Add a Bit of Olive Oil
Another helpful tip for taking a frozen pizza to another level is to use a bit of olive oil on the crust. That way, it will not only become more flavorful but will also help the crust reach higher temperatures.
When the temperature is high enough, you will be able to enjoy the signature charred or crispy crust that fresh pizza is known for. And that can sometimes result in a pizza much closer to one prepared from scratch.
Use the Right Temperature
As you probably understand by now, oven temp for homemade pizza plays a vital role in the results you can achieve. Just as with fresh pizza, frozen pizza also has a proper baking temperature that will get it to cook thoroughly while still maintaining the delicious flavors of the toppings.
Because most frozen pizzas are typically a bit thicker than Neapolitan-style pizzas, you will likely need a bit more time for it to cook thoroughly. In addition, the fact that the pizza might not have reached room temperature yet can also be a contributing factor to why you may want it to spend a bit more time in the oven.
Because of that, you should cook the pizza at around 400 F, which will allow you to keep it in the oven for longer, up to 20 minutes, until everything is cooked well. For best results, make sure that you preheat the oven well beforehand. Most advanced pizza home cooks swear that using a pizza stone can improve the pizza even more, so consider getting one and preheating it before adding the pizza to see what difference it could make.
Allow the Pizza to Cool for a Few Minutes
Finally, once you finish cooking at the right oven temp, pizza toppings should be allowed to cool down for a little while before you start to slice it. Since you don’t have much control over how much moisture the ingredients have, you need to let it cool down and dry off before cutting if you want to minimize the mess.
At the same time, cooling down the pizza will allow the cheese to become a bit more solidified as well, making cutting more controllable. When you do this, you will get more even pieces without the cheese going everywhere and sliding off the crust.
What is the Ideal Temperature for Each Type of Oven?
As mentioned before, the type of oven you have in your kitchen will significantly impact the possibilities you’ll have when making different types of pizzas. Depending on the type of oven you have, you will also need to adjust the temp accordingly.
But what temp to cook a pizza in the oven is best?
Well, if you have a standard home oven, you will likely not be able to go above 450 F. So that should be the temperature you use since the higher temperature will reduce the time it takes for the pizza to cook thoroughly.
A pizza stone can be immensely helpful when working with a regular oven. It will help the pizza cook faster from below and will actually help the entire oven get hotter as it starts radiating heat. Because of that, it’s also crucial to give your oven time to heat up to peak temperature so that the pizza can spend as little time as possible drying out in the oven.
Newer convection models can sometimes reach temperatures of up to 550 F. These types of temperatures can do rather well with cooking pizza, especially if you use a pizza stone. When cooking at this temperature, you can usually get the pizza ready in around five or ten minutes, which is much closer to what you could get with a commercial pizza oven or a professional-grade outdoor pizza oven.
However, when it comes to consistently making perfect pizzas that your family and friends can’t get enough of, you simply can’t beat a professional-level pizza oven, such as an Alfa Ciao M 27-Inch Wood Fired Oven. This pizza oven can reach scorching temperatures of up to 840 F. In these temperatures, the pizza won’t need more than a minute or two to be fully ready, and the high temperature will create the signature charred crust that will provide additional flavor.
However, you shouldn’t blindly set the temperature to the max setting every time. When operating a professional pizza oven, you may want to work in the 700-800 F range, which will help the ingredients cook more evenly, especially when there are more of them.
When you’re cooking other types of pizzas, such as a deep dish or Sicilian pizza, you will actually want to use significantly lower temperatures, around 425 F. That way, the dough and the ingredients can cook throughout, and you don’t end up with an undercooked pizza.
Finally, it’s good to remember that the guidelines above, while time tested, are still just guidelines. You may discover that tweaking the temperature, cooking time, and other variables will help you get the best results. As you find out the strengths and limitations of the oven at your disposal, you will also figure out how to prepare the best pizza that you and your family enjoy, even if it’s not exactly like the traditional version.
Finding the right oven temp for homemade pizza is just as much an art as science. Even though the general principles are there for a reason and are essential, there are also variables you can discover for yourself as you become more comfortable with the type of oven you have.
If you want to provide yourself and your family with the best homemade pizza possible, Grisscapes has a range of high-end pizza ovens and more that can match any oven in terms of pizza quality. To learn more about our selection, call (800)311-4356 or email email@example.com today!