HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Proper oven temp for pizza

What do people use? I've been trying 550, but I guess I'm not rolling the dough thin enough b/c the top is quite done before the middle is cooked through. I guess I will try a lower temp (425?). Maybe higher temps are just for those who can crank it up to 800 or so in their wood burning ovens.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I use 550. Are you preheating the pizza stone long enough? I leave my oven on at least 45 minutes prior to cooking the pizza. That way the stone cooks the pizza from the bottom and crisps it up while the top cooks.

    1. You are using impulse power when you actually require maximum warp drive capability.

      1. 550 is what I use for thin crust pizzas. Stuffed and or thicker crust pizzas should bake at a lower temp IMO. ( I use 425)
        Try stretching the dough if rolling doesn't get it thin enough.

        1. I use 500, and I agree that you want to make sure your stone is hot enough. My method for thin crust is to bake it on a pizze tray (the round one with little holes) for about 8 minutes, until the top is nearly done, then slide it onto the stone for about 2 minutes, which finsihes the bottom. For Chicago style I cook it in a cast iron skillet at 450

          1. I use 500, but that's only because my oven won't get any hotter! I preheat quarry tiles for a full hour and stretch the dough quite thin. It takes about 8 minutes to get nice black spots on the bottom.

            1. You might try a different dough recipe and see if that works better for you. I put my stone on the gas oven floor, preheat to 550 for about an hour, and cook thin-crust pizzas about 6 or 7 minutes. For me, thin crust means a 6-ounce ball of dough stretched to about 10 or 11 inches. I've been experimenting with lots of different doughs recently and find that, all the above remaining the same, and toppings quite similar as well, some doughs are are soft and floppy and seem not cooked through while others are crisp yet chewy, just the way I like them.

              4 Replies
              1. re: JoanN

                Interesting. What are some of your thin crust dough recipes?

                1. re: nomdeplume

                  My favorite is the Neo-Neapolitan Pizza Dough from Peter Reinhart's American Pie. As he says, it's a bit sticky and can be tricky to handle, but it stays crisp under the toppings rather than softening as do many other doughs.

                  The ingredients, for six 6-ounce balls of dough (original recipe calls for making four 10-ounce balls, but I make a somewhat smaller pizza) are:

                  5 cups unbleached high-gluten flour (I use King Arthur's Sir Lancelot flour)
                  1 tablespoon sugar or honey (I use sugar)
                  3-1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
                  1 teaspoon instant yeast
                  2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
                  1-3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon room-temperature water

                  Directions are a bit long to paraphase, but in general, stir ingredients together. Mix with dough hook for 4 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes. Mix again for about 2 minutes. Divide into 6 (or 4) equal pieces. Spray with oil and put into separate zippered freezer bags. Let sit for 5 minutes. Refrigerate overnight. Remove from fridge 2 hours before stretching and baking.

                  I do find this dough a bit more difficult to work with and to stretch than others I've tried, but I think the results well worth it. And I've discovered I prefer the "chew" factor that comes from using high-gluten rather than all-purpose flour. If you're up for experimenting with your own preferences, I highly recommend that you take a look at American Pie. It has about five or six different dough recipes and explains the characteristics of each.

                  1. re: JoanN

                    Thanks for the recipe. I totally get what you mean by the chew factor. But does the high gluten prevent you from stretching to get a nice thin crust? I hate waiting 10 minutes between stretches if you know what I mean.

                    1. re: nomdeplume

                      The high-gluten flour doesn't *prevent* stretching, but it does make it more difficult. And I know exactly what you mean about the 10-minute wait because I often have to do it with this dough. I keep thinking that if I could only improve my tossing technique, the problem would be solved. But perhaps not. Nonetheless, I think this dough is worth it. You might not.

              2. Maximum heat, 1 hour minimum to preheat, and a stone or tiles: If your top is still overdone try lowering the shelf. You can also try turning the broiler on and off during preheating to heat the stone as much as possible. Peter Reinhart's American Pie is the way to go!

                What kind of toppings are you using? Could it be that there isn't enough moisture in the toppings to slow the rate at which they cook. For instance, Reinhart's marinara sauce uses canned tomato puree with water added. This must give the crust more time to crisp while moisture evaporates.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Romanmk

                  Exactly. Maximum heat. As hot as it gets.

                2. Thanks. I did a much longer preheat which I think helped a lot. The crust came out pretty good. Only a tiny bit of wetness in the middle where some of the cheese pooled. Any tips to fix that?

                  1. A "Big Green Egg" is wonderful for pizza. After years of coveting one of these grills, I finally broke down and bought one Christmas 2012. My highest temp cooks have been steaks (700 deg) and pizza (600-650). The attached photo shows the pizza just getting started (too busy enjoying to take "finished" photos :) The BGE is great for SO many other things also... I even made a frittata for Mother's Day brunch the other day.

                    This link may be helpful: