It’s no secret that pizzas need high heat to get the best crust. If the heat is too low, the dough won’t get that crispy-chewy crust, and the cheese won’t melt into a delicious ooey-gooey topping.
Pizzerias cook their pizzas usually around 700-900ºF, but this is difficult to do at home with a conventional oven that only gets up to 500ºF. So the only way to answer the question, What’s the best temperature to cook a pizza? It all depends on your oven, the type of pizza, and the toppings.
Why Do Pizza Ovens Need to Be Super Hot?
Professional pizzaiolos cook pizzas in very hot ovens for only a couple of minutes at a time. 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.
But when you cook pizza at home, you are using a lower temperature and cooking for longer. But if you have a pizza oven, then you are already on your way to cooking pizza in the best way possible.
Best Temperature for a Pizza Oven
Outdoor pizza ovens can be wood-fired, gas-fueled, or pellet-fueled. They all usually get to between 700º and 900ºF. When shopping for a pizza oven, you can compare the highest temps.
But one thing to consider beyond styles of pizza for temperature is the preheating time and the weather. Cold weather, wind, and rain can affect outdoor pizza ovens.
So keep that in mind as you preheat your outdoor pizza oven because it may take longer if using your pizza oven in winter. We have found that using an infrared thermometer is the best way to ensure the temperature is perfect. And we’ve reviewed a specific no contact infrared thermometer, too, if interested.
The best way to cook a pizza is in a wood-fired brick oven. It really is. Wood-fired ovens have a cooking chamber that can get between 700 and 900 degrees.
The Best Temperature to Cook a Pizza in a Conventional Oven
If you don’t have a pizza oven, you can still make great pizza in your home oven. The key is to preheat your oven and use the highest settings, which will be 450-500ºF.
The Importance of a Pizza Stone for Temperature
A pizza stone is the best way to ensure your pizza cooks evenly when you are using your home oven. Pizza stones are made to hold the heat, and when you are using a pizza stone, you should add an additional time to your preheating time.
We saw a huge shift in how well our pizzas cooked ever since we started using a pizza stone. Most pizza stones you buy can even go on the grill so that you can use your stone on the grill for an excellent grilled pizza.
To achieve a soft and chewy pizza crust, set your oven to 350ºF. This will create a dough that is thoroughly cooked but still has a chewiness edge. Just be mindful not to overcook your pizza at this temperature, or the crust will be overcooked and tough.
For a crispier crust, set the oven to 450 – 500 degrees Fahrenheit. You will get a golden crust that is crunchy on the outside, and the inside will stay chewy.
Oven Temperature for Different Pizza Styles
A Neapolitan pizza should ideally be cooked in a wood-fired oven that is between 800º and 900ºF. These pizzas cook in just 60 to 90 seconds and will be piping hot when they come out. You probably won’t get a perfect neapolitan cooked in a conventional oven.
St. Louis style pizza is the home of the cracker-like crust. And this crust requires high heat, around 700ºF if you are using a pizza oven. But if you’re using a home oven, go as high as you can and cook it at 500ºF. You can even par-bake the crust for a couple of minutes, then add the toppings and cook a few more minutes to get the unique crust.
New York-style pizza should be cooked at 500ºF for 10 to 12 minutes. New Your-style pizza has that thin crispy crust and bubbly cheese and should be perfect in your home kitchen’s standard oven.
Chicago Deep Dish
Ok, so here is where things take a turn. Chicago deep dish has a thick crust and needs to be cooked at 425ºF. It will take longer to cook, around 25 to 30 minutes.
This is also the case for Detroit-style pizza and stuffed crust pizza because the thickness requires more time, but if you try to cook at a higher temp for less time, you are going to get cold spots and uncooked dough.
Best Temperature for Frozen Pizzas
Hey, we don’t judge. Sometimes a frozen pizza is the best option. Frozen pizzas usually have instructions on them, and they usually recommend cooking at either 425º or 450º. Most frozen pizzas recommend putting them in the oven frozen and not thawing.
But if you like to upgrade your frozen pizzas with other goodies like extra cheese or pepperoni or even butter the crust with some garlic butter, then it’s best to cook the frozen pizza for about half the time, then add your upgrades, then put the pizza back in the oven for the rest of the time to keep everything cooked evenly.
And then there’s take and bake pizza that you have to cook at home, too. We recommend following all the instructions that come with the pie. Should be fine in your conventional ovens.
Best Temperature to Reheat Pizza
There are a few different ways to reheat leftover pizza. You probably aren’t going to fire up the pizza oven just to reheat a day-old slice, so your options are the regular oven, microwave, toaster oven, or air fryer.
Again, it comes down to preference. We like to reheat pizza in the toaster oven or regular oven. We tend to avoid the microwave because it just makes the pizza too soft, and the air fryer tends to make it a bit too crunchy.
So you can see there are a lot of variables when looking at temperature and finding the perfect temperature, from the style of pizza, the thickness of the crust, the weather, and the oven.
Which type of oven do you use for cooking your homemade pizza? What’s the best temperature to cook a pizza at your house?