If you’re new to using a wood fired pizza oven, it can be confusing on when its hot enough to start cooking on. (I was exactly the same)
Its important to get the pizza oven temperature right.
When you spend time and effort making the dough, you want it to be a success.
Nothing worse than it taking longer to cook or burning far too quickly. (Yep, I have had a lot of ruined pizzas)
In this article, i’m going to show you tips on know when the pizza oven temperature is just right.
As well as a temperature guide on other things to cook in your pizza oven.
You should be able to start cooking on you wood-fired pizza oven when;
- The wood has lit and you have a rolling flame
- Your infrared thermometer reads 850F or 450C
What Wood-Fired Oven Do I Use
My go to Wood burning pizza oven is the Ooni Fyra. It is an awesome Pizza Oven.
I like to as its portable and is usually ready to start cooking pizza in as little as 15 minutes. The advise in this article can be followed no matter what pizza oven you use.
Continue reading to find out how you know when your pizza oven is ready to cook your homemade pizza.
I’ve also created a handy chart to show the temperature of other things you might be cooking and the ideal temperature.
How Do You Know When Your Pizza Oven Is Ready?
When it comes to cooking in a pizza oven, the required temperature will depend on the type of pizza you are cooking.
Pizza’s come in many different forms and each requires a specific heat to cook them correctly.
For example if you get your pizza oven to 850F/450C then this is the ideal temperature to cook Neapolitan Pizza.
This will give the crust a light, fluffy and leopard patterned crust.
If you’re wanting a pizza dough thats more chewy and like a New York crust, you should be cooking your Pizza between 600F/315C and 700F/370c.
There are two manual ways to check if the pizza oven has reached the right temperature.
- The pellets have all lit and there is a rolling flame going over the top of the pizza oven.
- You could place your hand above the Pizza Oven and if you can hold it there for a few seconds, before having to pull away. (Just make sure you don’t burn yourself)
These are okay but they are not the most accurate and can be very frustrating when the Pizza Oven is just not getting hot enough.
If you have an infrared thermometer, this will give a much more accurate reading of how hot your oven really is.
To use these you simply point the thermometer at the centre of the oven and wait for the reading. By doing this, you’ll know exactly how hot your Pizza Oven really is.
How Hot Should A Pizza Oven Be?
Your want your pizza oven to be around 850F/450C to cook Pizza. This will usually take 15-20 minutes to reach that temperature.
If you cook a pizza at this temperature it’ll only take 90 seconds to cook. If the pizza oven is only 100 degrees colder then it’ll take nearly 6 minutes to cook.
This will change the Pizza dramatically and result in a different texture.
The great thing about wood fired pizza ovens is that they are not just used for making homemade pizza.
You can also use the Oven for other things.
Here is a list of all the different temperature you should cook your food at in order to get it just right.
- 750F+ / 400C+ – Pizza, Garlic Bread, Naan Bread
- 540-600F / 280-320C – Steak, Grilled Fish
- 450-540F / 230-280C – Turkey, Chicken, Fish, Potatoes
- 400-450F / 200-230C – Bread I.E Sourdough, Focaccia
- 320-400F / 160-200C – Cakes
- 210-250F / 100-120C – Pulled Pork, Ribs
Ideal Pizza Oven Temperature – How Long Does It Take?
The time it takes to heat the pizza oven will depend on the Pizza Oven you have.
The Pizza oven I use is a portable Pizza Oven called the “Ooni Fyra” and it has taken as little as 15 minutes to heat up ready for cooking pizza on.
If your Oven takes longer than this, its likely because of how big your Pizza oven actually.
For example large clay pizza ovens could take up to an hour and a half to heat up.
The weather can also have a big impact on how long it takes to heat your Pizza Oven.
For example if its very windy outside, the Pizza oven will take longer because of all the air being blown around and therefore not having as hot inside.
Can The Pizza Oven Get Too Hot?
Yes, Pizza Ovens can get too hot.
Its fairly rare for portable pizza ovens to get too hot as you have to continue stocking it up with wood pellets.
I have had times when using the pizza oven with no wind on a summers day and it was getting very hot.
It got so hot that even after cooking a pizza and removing the door, it had reached temperature right away.
The main issue with the pizza oven temperature being too high is that it cooks fat to quickly. The pizza dough might cook before the toppings. Or you might end up with a very burnt pizza.
You could combat this by using a pizza dough that has a higher hydration. Neapolitan pizza normally has an hydration percentage of 65%.
Increasing this to 80% or more will help prevent the Pizza dough from drying out quickly.
How Can You Control The Pizza Oven Temperature
Its not too easy to control the Pizza Oven once its heated up.
To control the Pizza Oven temperature. The only way is to open and close the Pizza oven door, which will adjust how much air goes in.
It’ll also impact on whether you get a rolling flame or a raging inferno when cooking your pizza.
If there’s not enough oxygen for instance then it might cause problems with getting too hot.
If you do have a chimney that you can close, you can also use that to stop the Pizza oven from getting too hot.
One way I have found very effective is by using a Pizza Stone as this absorbs some of the heat and stops it transferring onto your pizza crust.
This will help prevent overcooked or burnt Pizza doughs due to excess heat in the Pizza oven.
You could also try cooking on different areas of your Pizza Oven such as right up close, mid-way back etc..
How Long Does The Pizza Oven Stay Hot?
It does depend on the type of pizza oven you are using.
If you’re using a clay oven then it can stay hot for a long time.
If you’re using a Pizza Oven that burns wood pellets, such as the Pizza Oven I use. These will stay hot for much shorter periods of time.
You typically only get around 30 minutes to an hour at best before your Pizza oven starts cooling down
There you have it the ideal pizza oven temperature is 850F/450C if you’re wanting to cook Neapolitan Pizza.
You will want to adjust this depending on what else you would like to cook on your oven.
I really hope that this article has been useful.
Personally I love to do steak on the oven and even though you can cook it on the hottest temperature, it doesn’t take very long at all.