While everyone loves pizza, most people often find the entire process of cooking pizza quite tricky. One of the factors people get confused about is the temperature at which you should be cooking it. If you’re also struggling with what temperature to cook pizza at, here is a detailed guide to help you out.
Why is Pizza Cooked at a High Temperature?
Pizza cooks better at high temperatures, making it fluffier, lighter, and much more delicious. When it comes to pizza, you don’t want to end up with a dense crust. Increasing the temperature allows the gas inside the dough to expand fast, thus creating a fluffier dough.
Low temperatures, on the other hand, mean the pizza will take a longer time to cook and will likely produce a denser product. Here are a few reasons why you should be cooking pizza at a high temperature:
• You’ll get the best rise out of the crust
• The cheese will melt and distribute evenly
• It enhances the dough’s flavor
• You’ll get a crispy pizza
• The sauce and toppings will cook properly
Would It Damage My Oven with That High Temperature?
No. Your oven won’t suffer damage when you set it at the highest temperature. All ovens, including wood-fired ovens and domestic ones, are built and designed with safety in mind. So, rest assured, your oven will still be well within the safe working temperature.
Your oven might even be restricted by as much as 100 degrees. After all, oven manufacturers don’t want incidences arising or your oven malfunctioning before the designated lifespan.
Do I Need to Preheat My Oven?
If you’re accustomed to baking, then you’re aware that pre-heating the oven is necessary. This is because you’ll typically use yeast, baking powder, etc. as leavenings that respond to heat.
Pre-heating also saves time because your pizza will begin cooking from the minute you place it in the oven, instead of waiting for the oven to heat up. When it comes to pizza, you must preheat the oven with your pizza stone or baking tray inside so it’s ready for cooking.
Furthermore, you should pre-heat the oven at maximum temperature for at least 30 minutes. Although it might seem like a considerable duration to wait, you’ll discover it’s worth it because it allows your cooking surface to increase in temperature.
Best Oven to Buy
If you’re seeking a professional-tasting pizza with a nice crust, you might want to invest in a pizza oven. Here are two of the best ovens to consider.
1. Betty Crocker BC-2958CR Pizza Maker, 1440 Watts
Besides making 12-inch pizzas, Betty Crocker makes a variety of dishes such as cinnamon rolls. Some of the benefits include the fact that it’s fast and efficient. It bakes 12-inch pizzas with a delicious crust and is also easy to clean.
2. Presto 03430 Pizzazz Plus Rotating Oven
One of the most popular new ovens, the Presto 03430 is 60% more energy-saving compared with conventional ovens. With top and bottom heating, this nonstick pan can cook your pizza evenly from all directions.
Factors to Consider when Cooking Pizza
When shopping for an oven for pizza, the temperature is an important consideration. Ovens can attain various temperatures besides transferring heat differently. For instance, an electric furnace can surpass 482℉ (250℃) while a wood-fired furnace attains 932℉ (500℃).
2. Cooking Time
The cooking time will vary depending on the kind of pizza and the oven’s model. A wood-fired oven attains the maximum temperatures in under two minutes while a gas-fired oven cooks pizza in approximately five minutes. In comparison, an electric oven attains temperatures of 446–482℉ (230–250℃) and cooks pizza in approximately 10 minutes.
3. Thickness of Crust
When cooking pizza, the thickness of the crust matters a lot. The thin crust takes a shorter time to cook, but for a thicker crust, you need to set the dough at a thicker depth, particularly at the outer edges. Therefore, it takes somewhat longer to cook.
A thick crust also needs different ratios of water to flour. This allows you to increase the dough’s viscosity, making it thicker. A thick-crust pizza also often has considerably more toppings than a thin crust. Identifying the size of crust, you want when cooking will, therefore, determine how you prepare the dough.
Humidity is another factor you should take into account. Humidity can influence the heat transfer into your food, and the moisture can evaporate a pizza’s interior. The goal is to prevent excess drying of the dough throughout the cooking procedure.
You should also consider whether you’ll be using the oven for cooking other things apart from a pizza. There are several different indoor ovens available in the market today for you to choose from.
Temperature to Cook Different Kinds of Pizza At
1. Homemade Pizza
Most recipes recommend the temperature of your oven to be around 450℉. Therefore, most people use this temperature setting. However, there’s no ideal temperature for cooking pizza because the temperature will depend on factors such as the size of the pizza and the ingredients you use.
Brick ovens can surpass 800℉, but most home ovens attain maximum temperatures of about 450℉. However, you can bake pizza at temperatures as high as 550–600℉.
2. Reheat Pizza
The first step in reheating is allowing your oven to heat up fully before you start. The temperature must be at least 375℉. Don’t allow the pizza to heat up slowly because it will not only lose its taste but also become dry.
You’ll need a pizza pan or baking tray lined with foil. Place it in an oven for a couple of minutes to get the tray hot and the foil piping before it comes into contact with the pizza. Then, take out the hot tray and place the pizza on it before placing it back into the oven for approximately 10 minutes.
3. Frozen Pizza
Most people think frozen foods are bland and of poor quality. But that doesn’t have to be the case with pizza. With frozen pizza, the first thing you should do is to allow it to defrost for a few hours before placing it in the oven. You could even leave it in the refrigerator the previous night to avoid contamination.
The next step is to poke some holes onto the crust with a kitchen knife. This will allow some ventilation in the pizza. Then, set the oven to the maximum temperature. While the oven preheats, add some olive oil or garlic on top of the crust before putting it in the oven to make it more flavorful. Once you take it out from the oven, you can even squirt a little lemon juice for a fresh taste.
The Best Temperature to Cook Pizza at Using Different Methods
When using a grill to cook pizza, you must heat the pizza stone first. Allow it to reach a temperature of 500℉ while the hood is closed. Most stones need about an hour to reach this temperature. Meanwhile, you should be prepping the dough and the necessary ingredients.
Make sure you don’t add uncooked meat to the dough. Always cook it first. Once you’ve heated the stone sufficiently, move the peel somewhat outwards. Put the pizza on top of the peel and slide the peel beneath the pizza’s crust.
Close your grill’s lid and allow the pizza to cook at about 500°F for 10 to 12 minutes. Or wait till you see the crust turn brown.
Typically, convection ovens can attain very high temperatures and allow even heat distribution because of the internal fan. Once you prepare the dough, preheat your oven to the maximum setting.
Typically, the temperature should range between 450℉ and 500℉. If you’re using the convection settings on a typical oven, you’ll want to confirm with the manual whether there’s an automatic setting change when switching to the convection oven.
If your oven can change the setting automatically, don’t regulate the temperature or cooking time. It would be ideal to slide in a pizza stone or baking tray in the oven throughout the preheating stage to make the bottom of the pizza’s crust crispier.
Pizzas cook faster in a convection oven since the heat remains more consistent and there are no hot or cold air pockets like in a conventional oven.
Since the pizza will be in the oven for a shorter period, toppings such as ground beef, chicken, or sausage that aren’t cured or smoked won’t cook through. Therefore, you should sautee first until cooking occurs safely to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
With a wood-fired oven, there are a number of factors to consider to sustain and regulate heat originating from the cooking surface. It’s equally important that heat circulation is even within the oven.
The wood type also matters. Preferably, you’ll want to use hardwood because of its calorific value. Avoid sappy woods and woods that have undergone gluing, painting, and chemical treatment. For optimal results, your flame should reach the front or central part of the dome.
Ensure you test the oven’s temperature. Use a temperature gauge that can measure high temperatures. Remember, you must maintain the flame throughout the cooking to sustain the oven’s temperature while cooking pizza.
So you need to add the wood every 15 to 30 minutes. If you think this is too tedious, you can opt for a gas oven instead. There are a few differences between a wood-fired pizza oven and a gas oven you might want to review before deciding which better suits your needs.
How to Cook Pizza
#1. Preheat the oven at the maximum temperature for about 30 minutes.
#2. Preheat the baking tray/pizza stone.
#3. Place the pizza into a lightly floured chopping board or pizza peel.
#4. Open the oven and transfer the pizza quickly from the peel.
#5. Shut the door and begin the timer.
#6. Examine the pizza after 4 to 5 minutes and rotate 180 degrees.
#7. Rotate the pizza continually every minute or so until it cooks.
#8. The pizza crust should be crispy, firm, and light brown and the toppings/cheese must be cooked.
#9. Slice and enjoy your pizza.
Dos and Don’ts While Cooking Pizza
• Use a good pizza stone.
• Use the bottom rack to bake at a high temperature.
• Preheat the oven before placing a pizza stone for 2 hours minimum at maximum temperature.
• Allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes to soften it and allow for easy rolling.
• Don’t put thick toppings. If you do, the pizza won’t cook through regardless of what you do. This is particularly significant when preparing a thin-crust pizza.
• Don’t open your oven when preheating it.
• Don’t roll out the dough if it begins to spring back. Allow it to rest a couple of minutes and soften up to stretch easily.
• Don’t put the dough directly on your baking sheet. Instead, line it using parchment or dust using flour.
• Don’t pile excess ingredients as it can make the crust soggy.
A Few Parting Words
Everybody loves eating crispy, perfectly made pizza. But for that, you need the right temperature to cook pizza. I hope this guide has offered helpful insight into how temperature affects pizza and has answered some of your common questions about cooking delicious pizza.