Answering this question might be harder than you think. Making perfect pizza is both art and science, it takes a lot of practice and experimenting. And while there are some general guidelines you can follow, every oven is different. There is one hard-and-fast rule when it comes to cooking pizza – the oven needs to be hot. Very, very hot.
But how hot is that exactly? Well, it depends on lots of factors. The type of oven you’re using, the type of pizza you’re making, the toppings you’re using, and even the weather, if you cook outside, can affect the perfect cooking temperature for your pizza.
So if you came here looking for a concrete number, sorry to disappoint. However, if you stick with us by the end of this article, you will have your answer.
What are common oven temperatures?
In a traditional wood-fired pizza oven and commercial pizza ovens, temperatures reach over 900 degrees Fahrenheit. Most home kitchen ovens only go up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius). The various standard phrases to describe oven temperatures include words such as “cool” to “hot” or “very slow” to “fast”. For example, a cool oven has a temperature set to 200 °F, and a slow oven has a temperature range from 300–325 °F. A moderate oven has a range of 350–375 °F, and a hot oven has a temperature set to 400–450 °F. A fast oven has a range of 450-500 °F (230–260 °C) for the typical temperature.
The best oven temperature for homemade pizza
Generally speaking, the best temperature to cook a homemade pizza is 350-450 degrees Fahrenheit. But as we said before, it all depends on the oven you’re using and the type of pizza you’re making. Most pizza recipes usually recommend using temperatures of around 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
When figuring out the best temperature for cooking a homemade pizza, keep in mind that some of the toppings might need more time to cook than others so you may need to adjust the oven temperature accordingly.
If you prefer a soft and chewy pizza crust, set the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This will produce dough that is cooked through but still has a bit of chewiness to it. Be careful not to overcook your pizza at this temperature, or you’ll end up with a crust that’s dry and tough.
If you’re looking for a crispy crust, set the oven temperature to 450 – 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This will produce a crust that is golden brown and crunchy on the outside, while the inside remains soft and doughy.
How long to cook pizza at 400, or 450 degrees?
Depending on the type of pizza, the thickness of the crust, and how you like your pizza cooked, the baking itself should take 10 to 20 minutes. But first, you need to preheat the oven, which can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.
If you’re using a pizza pan, it should be placed in the top third of your oven. The closer to the heat, the crisper your crust will be. If you’re using a pizza stone, it should be put into your cold oven and then heated.
There is no doubt that you can make a tasty pizza in your regular home kitchen oven. But if you’re serious about making great pizza at home, you’ll want to invest in an oven that can go up to 700 or 750 degrees Fahrenheit (370 or 400 degrees Celsius), like the Big Horn Pizza oven. At higher temperatures, the crust of the pizza will cook more quickly and evenly, resulting in a crispy, bubbly crust. The cheese will also melt perfectly and the toppings will cook just the way you want them.
Oven temperatures for different types of pizza
Neapolitan pizza oven temperature
A true Neapolitan pizza should be cooked in a wood-fired oven that has reached a temperature between 800 and 900 degrees Fahrenheit. At these high temperatures, the pizza cooks very quickly – usually in 60 to 90 seconds. This is why it’s so important to use only the freshest ingredients and to have your toppings prepped and ready to go before you start cooking.
New York pizza oven temperature
A New York style pizza should be cooked in a hot oven – around 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The pizza will take a little longer to cook than a Neapolitan pizza, around 10 to 12 minutes. But the result will be a thin, crispy crust with bubbly cheese and perfectly cooked toppings.
Chicago-style deep-dish pizza cooking temperature
A Chicago style pizza should be baked in a deep dish pan at around 425 degrees Fahrenheit. This type of pizza will take a little longer to cook than other pizzas, around 25 to 30 minutes. The goal is to get a thick, fluffy crust with gooey cheese and perfectly cooked toppings.
Wood-fired oven temperature
Wood-fired pizza ovens can reach very high temperatures. Once the fire is in full swing and the oven has been preheated, the temperature inside the cooking chamber can be between 700 and 900 degrees Fahrenheit.
The best wood-fired oven temperature to cook the perfect pizza is between 650˚F and 750˚F. This temperature will cook your pizza in just 90 seconds, resulting in a crisp base and perfectly melted mozzarella.
Why does a pizza oven need to be so hot?
The secret to a great-tasting pizza is in the heat. A pizza oven needs to be hot so that it can cook the pizza quickly and evenly, without drying out the dough or burning the toppings.
At high temperatures, the water in the dough evaporates quickly, producing a light and crispy base. The cheese also melts perfectly, and the toppings cook just the way you want them. When you cook a pizza at the right temperature, the crust gets the correct amount of crispy texture, without being brittle or dry. When you cook pizza at a low temperature, you’re looking at longer cooking times, resulting in a denser crust.
Monitoring temperature of pizza oven
Monitoring oven temperature is important to avoid undercooking or overcooking your pizza. The high temperatures are necessary to create a crispy, bubbly crust and to perfectly melt the cheese.
If you’re using a wood-fired oven, you’ll need to be especially careful to monitor the temperature. Wood-fired ovens can fluctuate in temperature, so it’s important to keep an eye on the pizza and to adjust the amount of wood you’re using to maintain a consistent temperature. Experienced pizzaiolos can estimate the temperature just by looking at the oven, but you can invest in an infrared thermometer if you want to be sure.
To sum things up, the ideal pizza oven temperature is between 650˚F and 750˚F. At these high temperatures, the pizza will cook in just 90 seconds, resulting in a crisp base and perfectly melted mozzarella.
If you don’t have a pizza oven that can reach these high temperatures, don’t worry. You can still make a delicious pizza in a regular home oven. Just be sure to preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and cook the pizza for 10-12 minutes.