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What Is the Difference Between an Oven and a Pizza Oven?

The main difference between an oven and a pizza oven is the amount of heat. In most home kitchens, you can use a regular oven for baking. However, if you want to bake pizza at home, you will need a specific type of oven known as a pizza oven

Baking a pizza in a regular home oven is something we’ve all done. It takes about 20 minutes, and the pizza is tasty. But have you ever tasted a pizza fresh out of a pizza oven?  

The difference between an oven and a pizza oven is that a pizza oven has a higher temperature, which means that pizza cooks faster. This higher temperature also means that your pizza cooks crispier and tastes much better than an oven-baked pizza. 

The differences between the two oven types are significant enough to influence your cooking decisions. The rest of this article will further explain how a regular oven differs from a pizza oven and how the differences affect your cooking.   

The Differences Between an Oven and a Pizza Oven

The main differences between the pizza oven and an oven are the cooking technique and time. Both ovens can cook almost every type of food but use different temperatures for cooking. Moreover, a pizza oven has one significant advantage – it bakes a far superior pizza. 

The woman checking the cake at the oven.
Both ovens can cook almost every type of food but use different temperatures for cooking.

Furthermore, there are different types of pizza ovens with distinctive features. However, in this article, we will compare an oven with an authentic pizza oven that uses wood fire for cooking.

Let’s explore some of the differences between an oven and a pizza oven: 

Cooking Time

A pizza oven using wood fire bakes a pizza in about a minute or two. The fast-cooking time is due to the extremely high temperatures, between 700 to 900 degrees. In contrast, an oven takes about 15 to 20 minutes to cook a pizza. 

The high temperature of a pizza oven gives you no margin for error. Therefore, it requires expert skills and accuracy to use it. A regular oven, however, does not punish severely, and you might be able to salvage your pizza if you bake it for the wrong duration. 

The Difference in Taste 

The high temperature of an authentic pizza oven makes the crust nice and charred, making it crispier. The toppings also remain fresh and juicy with a smokey taste. 

A pizza fresh from the bricked pizza oven.
The high temperature of an authentic pizza oven makes the crust nice and charred, making it crispier.

In contrast, because a regular oven takes longer to cook, the crust can get soggy, and the vegetable toppings are not as crisp. However, unlike a pizza oven, it will not burn the olive oil on the pizza. 

Economy and Efficiency

A traditional pizza oven uses wood as fuel, making it energy-efficient and economical. Furthermore, due to its thicker walls and insulation, the inside of the oven remains hot for a longer time. 

In comparison, an oven uses electricity or gas to cook, which uses energy and makes it expensive in the longer run. Moreover, it loses heat when you open the oven to check the food, which can alter the cooking time. 

Portability 

A non-electric pizza oven, such as a wood-fired oven, is easy to move. For instance, you can take it to your patio and enjoy a nice pizza party, with all your guests relishing freshly baked pizza. 

A steel pizza oven.
A non-electric pizza oven, such as a wood-fired oven, is easy to move.

On the other hand, if you use a regular oven, your pizzas will have to come straight from the kitchen

Cost

The cost of a pizza oven and regular oven also significantly varies. An outdoor wood-fired pizza oven may be cheaper. However, the price might increase if you select more modern technology. 

The same applies to a regular oven. Furthermore, other factors can also have a long-term effect on your budget. For example, buying wood for a wood-fired oven is not as expensive as using electricity or gas for a regular oven. 

Can You Cook Other Foods in a Pizza Oven?

It’s common to think that a pizza oven is for pizza only. However, this isn’t true. 

You can cook other types of food in a wood-fired pizza oven. However, it will not be easy because the temperature is too high, and the food will receive direct heat. Therefore, you will have to change your recipe to adjust to the high heat. A wood-fired pizza oven is suitable for baking, grilling, and cooking smokey food. 

Baked nachos
You can cook other types of food in a wood-fired pizza oven.

Also, there are different types of pizza ovens, so you will have to change your cooking technique accordingly. 

A regular oven may be a better option if you are not an expert cook. And if you want a pizza oven, you can buy a gas or an electric pizza oven. These make it easier to manage the temperature and heat inside the oven.  

The Pros and Cons of Pizza and Regular Ovens

It is also easy to see the differences between a pizza oven and an oven through their pros and cons.

Let’s start with the pros and cons of a regular oven:

An Oven

ProsCons
A regular oven can cook all types of food.They are not energy-efficient. You need either gas or electricity to run them.
They are easy to clean.They require regular cleaning and maintenance.
Even an amateur cook can bake a pizza in a regular oven.Gas ovens can cause gas leakage.
They are easy to use. There is no hassle of buying and burning wood. 
There is a margin of error when using an oven. You will not ruin your food if you leave it in for an extra few minutes.  

Pizza Oven (Wood-Fired)

ProsCons
They make the best pizza crust.You must buy wood to burn as fuel.  
They are energy-efficient and do not add to your electric and gas bills.You may need to install a proper ventilation system for them.
Visually they are unique and can add style to your kitchen.The pizza oven and the ventilation system (chimney) are not easy to clean.
They cook food faster.Food can burn quickly due to its higher temperature.
The basic wood-fired oven can be cheaper than an oven.Not all kitchens can support a wood-fired pizza oven.
You can use them for cooking more than just pizzas.You may have to watch a few video tutorials to learn how to use a wood-fired oven.
You can build a pizza oven yourself. 

Is a Pizza Oven Better Than an Oven?

Choosing an oven is a matter of preference. Both oven types can get the job done, but the choice is obvious for pizza lovers. 

Modern mini oven.
Both oven types can get the job done, but the choice is obvious for pizza lovers. 

A pizza oven is better if you want to make authentic pizza with a crispy crust. They are multipurpose, economical, and energy-efficient. However, if you do not wish to manage wood fire, you can also go for an electric or a gas pizza oven. Sadly though, your pizza will not taste the same. 

The biggest food chains in the world use wood-fired pizza ovens for a crispier and more authentic pizza. Furthermore, the economic benefits are another reason why they prefer wood-fire. 

You may not find a pizza joint with a regular oven in the pizza capital of the world, Italy.

Conclusion 

A pizza oven and a regular oven differ significantly from each other. A wood-fired pizza oven is better if you want to save energy and have delicious pizzas with a perfect crust. However, dealing with high temperatures is not convenient for regular cooking – it can burn your food. 

The best way to choose an oven for your pizzas is by looking at the pros and cons of each.

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