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Pizza Oven Temperature: How Hot Should It Be?

Pizza ovens aren’t like basic home ovens, they require specific temperatures and foods to cook perfectly. And, that means you need to know what the ideal temperature is for your pizza oven or grill.

A great pizza is hot, crunchy, and delicious. But it’s not just the toppings and elements that make the perfect pizza; temperature also matters. 

A pizza oven temperature should be around 600 °F (315.56 °C) to 800 °F (426.67 °C). The optimal temperature varies from one kind of pizza to the other. Thick pizza needs lower temperatures, while thin crust pizzas need high heat. These temperatures are crucial for quality and efficiency.    

The high temperatures of pizza ovens make the difference. You’ll understand why when you read this article. 

How Pizza Ovens Become So Hot

Most home ovens can only reach temperatures of more or less 400 °F (204.4 °C). On the other hand, pizza ovens, either electric or wood-fired, can get more than twice as hot. How does that happen? 

Pizza ovens become so hot because they are designed to be efficient heat-trappers. 

As you can observe, a lot of traditional pizza ovens are dome-shaped. This figure keeps the heat inside the dome. Thus, even if there’s an opening, the inside is scorching, even reaching 1,000 °F (537.78 °C).

A pizza on a bricked pizza oven.
Most home ovens can only reach temperatures of more or less 400 °F (204.4 °C).

Modern pizza ovens, although not necessarily dome-shaped, are also designed to have the same features as traditional brick ovens. That is, the ability to reach high temperatures and retain them for long periods. 

Why Does a Pizza Oven Need To Be Hot?

Typically, we avoid very high temperatures because it burns food. So why does a pizza oven have to be so hot? 

There are three main reasons why pizza ovens were designed to reach extreme temperatures: quality, consistency, and efficiency. High heat leads to a well-cooked pizza with great texture. It also makes sure that such quality is replicated within a few minutes of cooking time.  

Quality

High temperatures allow pizza makers to achieve the perfect pizza: hot toppings, crunchy crust, melted cheese, and chewy (but not too chewy) on the inside. At the same time, the crust isn’t too brittle and dry. If the oven is not hot enough, there could be a lot of problems, such as unmelted cheese, underdone insides, cold spots, or uncooked toppings. With high heat, these could all be avoided. 

A pizza out of the pizza oven.
High temperatures allow pizza makers to achieve the perfect pizza.

Consistency

Because heat is retained well, temperatures are more or less similar for every pizza. Thus, a similar cook is achieved – no areas are burned or underdone. Thus, consistency is achieved: all pizzas (of the same type) from the same oven are perfectly made throughout the entire pizza. 

Efficiency

Pizza ovens are very efficient. You can get one pizza done in a couple of minutes. This is great for pizzerias or restaurants because you don’t have to pre-heat between every pizza. If you have a bunch of orders lined up, you’d need to save every minute you can. 

Pizza out of a gas oven.
Pizza ovens are very efficient.

What Are the Highest Temperatures a Pizza Oven Can Reach?

Some pizzas, like Neapolitan, need extreme temperatures around 700 °F (371.11 °C). You need your oven to get that hot. 

The highest temperatures a pizza oven can reach are around 900 °F (482.22 °C) to 1,000 °F (537.78 °C). This depends on the wood (if wood-fired) or manufacturer settings. However, extreme temperatures are ideal only for certain pizza types, like Neapolitan.

Wood Affects Brick Oven Temperature

Most pizza ovens are wood-fired. Unlike a modern one where you just input settings or twist the dial, achieving and maintaining temperatures in a wood-fired oven is more complicated.

First off, the kind of wood affects the highest temperatures you can achieve. Some types burn and heat easier than other kinds. The ideal kind for brick ovens is hardwood, such as white gum. 

A clean pizza brick oven tools.
Maintaining temperatures in a wood-fired oven is more complicated.

Because brick ovens don’t have LED displays like electric ones, you can’t really tell the exact temperature by staring at them. Thus, I also recommend getting a thermometer or temperature gun so you can monitor your oven and pizza. 

Avoid Always Extreme Temperatures

Because regular ovens have lower maximum temperatures than pizza ones, you need to set them to the max when making pizza at home. However, the same isn’t true for pizza ovens. 

As I’ve mentioned, the optimal temperature range is 600 °F (315.56 °C) to 800 °F (426.67 °C). But that’s still a vague estimate because the pizza type dictates the best temperature. 

Pizzas like Chicago deep dish or thick crust need lower temperatures, around 400 °F (204.4 °C). Meanwhile, thin and crispy pizzas like Neapolitan and Roman need temperatures of around 600 °F (315.56 °C) to 805 °F (429.44 °C). 

Where Can You Buy a Pizza Oven? 

The best pizza can’t be made by your homemade oven. If you want a top-tier pizza experience, you’d need to get an actual pizza oven. But where? 

You can buy a pizza oven either through physical or online stores. Check out pizza ovens at stores like Walmart and Home Depot. Online orders are also possible through Amazon.com or directly from pizza oven makers. 

An example of a pizza oven manufacturer is Forno Bravo. They have been making quality pizza ovens since 2003. 

They sell several varieties of ovens, including: 

  • Residential
  • Commercial
  • Modular kits
  • Fully assembled
  • Factory assembled 

They’re also open for customization of ovens.   

Another manufacturer is Forno Piombo. They provide refractory and brick ovens. They also sell related accessories.  

Best-Selling Pizza Ovens 

For convenience, you can also order a pizza oven from Amazon.com. 

Several brands and makes are available on the platform, so here are some of the best ones: 

  • ROCCBOX Gozney Portable Pizza Oven: This oven, which can either be gas or wood-fired, can reach up to 932 ºF (500 ºC). It also comes with a five-year warranty, built-in thermometer, retractable legs, and detachable fuel burners. 
  • Bertello Outdoor Pizza Oven: This model can also reach temperatures of 930 ºF (~500 ºC). You can use gas, wood, or charcoal for power. Included with the oven are a cordierite stone, scoop, and tray. 
  • Razorri Comodo Gas Oven: This shiny, silver oven is a two-in-one appliance because you can also use it as a BBQ grill. It’s powered by propane, and the flame is easy to control using knobs and a built-in thermometer. It also comes with a cordierite stone. 
  • Ooni Fyra Wood Fired Oven: This oven can reach temperatures of up to 950 °F (510 °C). It’s designed for an outdoor kitchen and is portable, with foldable legs for easy storage and transport. You will need hardwood pellets to power it. 
  • BakerStone Portable Gas Pizza Oven: This propane-powered oven can be as hot as 800 °F (426 °C). It also has foldable legs for portability. A pizza oven box and firebox with a regulator are included in the purchase. 

Most of the ovens available on Amazon.com are portable or gas-powered. If you’re looking for the traditional types, it’s better to reach out to pizza oven manufacturers. 

Can You Make Your Own Pizza Oven? 

If you’re into DIY projects or can’t find an oven that you like, you can always make one. But does it have to be from scratch?

You can make your own pizza oven from scratch using bricks, cement, wood beams, clay, and other materials. It needs a lot of effort, time, study, money, and careful planning. However, you can also opt for DIY kits, which take less time and effort to install. 

A girl cooking her own pizza.
You can make your own pizza oven from scratch using bricks, cement, wood beams, clay, and other materials.

When making your own pizza oven, there are several factors to consider. For instance, location – where do you place it?

You also need to consider the size, budget, and effort you’d need to pour into the project. Should you enlist the help of a contractor or not? 

While you contemplate making an oven from scratch, I suggest watching this video first: 

On the other hand, if you’re looking for DIY pizza oven kits, you can check out the models by Forno Bravo.   

Final Thoughts

The oven you use can make or break your pizza. Thus, if you want it amazing, you need to get an actual pizza oven. It’s designed for the high temperatures required to make your pizza warm and deliciously crunchy.

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