Is there a certain temperature an oven has to reach before you put your pizza dough? Or do you just put it in whenever you feel right?
Most certainly, there has to be a safe temperature range at which you should put the dough.
Experienced bakers do not have to wait for answers as they already know what temperatures work best for them. However, if you are a beginner in pizza making or don’t know what the best temperature for your pizza oven is, we will answer that in this article.
We will also talk about some other important facts about using pizza ovens.
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It is entirely safe and possible to make a pizza in your normal kitchen oven, but what we can tell you is that you may not be able to reach the high level of temperatures required to make authentic pizzas. It is for this reason that outdoor pizza ovens have always been so important.
Outdoor pizza ovens are fueled by wood, charcoal, or gas, and they mostly do not feature efficient temperature control features. Instead, temperature control in these ovens requires a hands-on approach.
The interesting thing about pizza ovens is that you can get portable pizza ovens, barbecue-top pizza ovens, or freestanding ones. It all depends on how invested you are in pizza making and the space you have available to you.
Also, you need to consider your budget before making a final choice.
Regardless of the fuel type, there is a basic similarity in how pizza ovens function. Heat is generated by the combustion of fuel (wood, charcoal, or gas) and is evenly radiated to heat up the oven interior.
Typically, the best ovens are made from heat-retaining materials so that you don’t have to recharge the heat many times as you cook.
Wood Fired Pizza Ovens
True Neapolitan-style pizzas have been made in wood-fired ovens for as long as anyone can remember. When it comes to authenticity, no other oven type matches this.
Heat is generated from the refraction of fire flame, thermal redistribution, and the aftermatch coal base. Compared to charcoal, wood burns faster, but it will typically not reach high temperatures as coal can.
We love wood-fired ovens the most because more heat is retained from the coal base left after the flames burn-out. For example, a gas oven is cleaner and heats up faster but doesn’t heat the oven’s floor as much as the wood would.
We also love the fact that you can use wood as a combination of fuels in charcoal and gas ovens, just like you can use charcoal in some wood ovens.
Charcoal Fired Pizza Ovens
A charcoal pizza oven is not so different from a wood oven. However, both fuel burns differently. While charcoal burns slower, wood will not typically heat up to high temperatures like a coal oven.
There is always a noticeable difference in the product of both ovens. Neapolitan-style pizzas made in wood-fired ovens always have a smokey flavor that is hard not to taste. New York-style charcoal-fired pizzas, on the other hand, are crispier and more charred.
Furthermore, it is quite possible to use wood in some dedicated charcoal-fired ovens. Just like in wood ovens, your pizza will get ready in a matter of minutes if the charcoal oven is well heated before the dough is put in.
Gas Pizza Ovens
In the initial use of gas pizza ovens, they produce clean and even heat. However, they are not as durable as others. If you need an oven that heats up very fast and produces clean energy, a gas-powered oven would be a reasonable choice.
You should know that the authentic, smoky pizza flavor that comes with wood-fired ovens will be lost. The ease of operating and environmental friendliness is, nevertheless, unrivaled.
Heating Your Pizza Oven to the Right Temperature
Wood, gas, or charcoal oven, is there a set temperature or temperature range at which you should cook your pizza? There is no one way to make pizza and no set temperature to put your dough.
However, there exists a reasonable temperature range you ought to heat the oven to before putting in your pizza dough.
Most importantly, you should note that the temperature level you heat your oven will affect the cooking duration. A variation in that temperature level will directly affect the cooking time.
Also, the right temperature will depend on the style of pizza you plan to make. For example, Napoletana pizza cooks at a very high temperature, around 900°F, but we only keep the dough in for just 2 – 3 minutes to prevent it from burning.
For most pizza recipes, you have to heat the oven to a minimum temperature of 450°F. We would say the ideal temperature at which you should cook should range between 400°F – 600°F.
Nonetheless, it can vary considerably, depending on personal experience and preference.
If you are reheating, you don’t necessarily have to wait for a very high temperature, as 350°F – 375°F is sufficient to reheat pizzas. Many people believe that cooking frozen pizza requires a higher-than-normal temperature level, but the opposite is the case.
We suggest that you leave the pizza out to thaw before you throw it in the oven. You can also move frozen pizza into the refrigerator hours before you need to cook to prevent contamination from thawing in the open air.
There’s no set temperature at which you have to put your dough in the oven, but you should know that the process requires a high-temperature level, hence the suitability of higher-heat outdoor ovens for pizza making. If you are a newbie, bear in mind that 400°F – 600°F is a reasonable temperature range.
Nonetheless, you have to have a hands-on-deck and monitor the pizza closely as it cooks. If you hope to get an evenly cooked pizza, constant turning is required, particularly when you have a wooden or charcoal oven.