If you had any doubts about whether temperature matters for cooking great pizza, then we’ll set the record straight in this article! To make things simple, temperature absolutely matters! When it comes to actually cooking pizza, the best way to do it is with ultra high heat. While you might think your home oven gets fairly hot, pizza thrives in cooking environments that reach even hotter temperatures! Let’s figure out why that is!
Brick Oven Cooking
Have you ever heard of a pizza oven? There wouldn’t be an entire style of ovens created just for pizza unless there was a genuine benefit from using one. Pizza may seem like a food that can be cooked in any standard oven, but that doesn’t mean it will actually cook the same across different ovens.
Most homes and apartments are installed with electric ovens, which are good for quickly reaching high temperatures. The main problem with electric ovens is how hot they can get, as most cap out around 500°F.
While this is definitely a high temperature for most food, pizza actually cooks better at temperatures that exceed the limits of standard electric ovens.
This is why wood-fired brick ovens exist. As the name suggests, a wood-fired brick oven is made of clay bricks and is fueled using burning wood. While it may seem fairly basic, this style of oven is capable of reaching temperatures up to 800°F!
This temperature is pretty good for crispy pizza, but you might want to drop about 175°F or so for fluffier crusted pizzas.
Hotter Oven Results in a Tastier Pie
If there are ovens dedicated entirely to baking pizza, then it is fairly obvious that there is a good reason why pizzas are cooked better in a wood-fired brick oven. Pizza does cook better with hotter temperatures, but what exactly does that mean?
To answer this, you’ll need to understand the science behind density and cook time. Generally speaking, opting to cook something at a low temperature requires a longer cook time. This will often result in a denser product.
On the other hand, cooking at a high temperature will take far less time, and often produces a lighter and fluffier product.
When it comes to pizza crust, you definitely do not want a dense crust. Even if you want crispy crust, light and fluffy is what you should be shooting for in terms of temperature requirement. Increasing the cooking temperature allows gas within the dough to expand quickly, which results in a fluffier overall product.
How a Pizza Stone Can Help
Now that you know that higher temperatures are favorable for cooking pizza, you might be wondering how you can achieve this without having your own wood-fired brick oven. That’s an excellent question, because most people won’t have access to one. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have delicious homemade pizza without a special oven!
So if you can’t cook in a special oven, how can you get anywhere near the super high temperatures needed for perfect pizza cooking? The answer lies in a special cooking tool known as a pizza stone!
If you’ve never used a pizza stone before, it is a thin chunk of material, often clay, ceramic, or other minerals, which is usually shaped like a pizza. The chunk is intended to be larger than whatever pizza you decide to make, and goes directly into an oven or grill.
When you want to actually use a pizza stone, you’ll need to do a few things…
The first involves heating your stone at the same time as your oven. This is because the drastic temperature shift of placing a colder stone in a warm oven can cause it to crack. The other thing you’ll need to do is actually cook your pizza on the stone!
While it might seem obvious, you do actually want to cook your pizza directly on a pizza stone. It isn’t a slab of material that adds to the overall effect of your oven. Instead, it directly absorbs the heat of your oven and will actually match that temperature. Instead of being spread across the entire oven, this heat is now concentrated into the much smaller pizza stone.
When you place your pizza on the stone to cook, you’ll notice that it entirely covers the bottom surface of your pizza. This is what allows the stone to apply direct heat right to the pizza! This results in some wonderfully crispy crust.
While a pizza stone won’t make your oven hotter, it can definitely work to help simulate the cooking environment found inside a wood-fired brick oven. Put simply, pizza stones are an effective way of amplifying the heat transfer to your pizza, which can create a similar effect to having cooked the pizza at a hotter temperature.
The Best Stone for Extreme Cooking Temperatures!
At this point, you should have no doubt in your mind about how temperature influences the cooking process of pizza. When you increase the temperature of your oven, you’ll often have a shorter cook time and fluffier product.
If you do the opposite and lower the temperature, you’ll end up with a longer cook time and denser product.
For cooking gourmet pizzas, there isn’t a better oven than a wood-fired brick oven. Capable of reaching temperatures in the high hundreds, wood-fired brick ovens are the ideal cooking environment for a pizza.
Fortunately, you can get fairly close to this result without installing your own wood-fired brick oven.
If you choose to use a pizza stone, you can get much closer to the heat transfer rates found in hotter, specialized ovens. You can’t boost the actual temperature of your oven, but a pizza stone can amplify how effective that heat is being distributed to your pizza!
Knowing that you need high heat for fantastic homemade pizza, you need a pizza stone if you plan on making your own pies. The Cast Elegance pizza stone is capable of withstanding extreme temperatures with ease! It won’t crack like some other stones might, and you can rely on gorgeously crispy crust every time you bake! There’s simply no better way to cook your pizza than with a Cast Elegance pizza stone!