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How hot can a home oven in a range get? - Would like pizza oven temps

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Hi

I'm looking for a moderately priced (under 3K) gas range - don't know if I want dual fuel or gas for the oven part yet - but I would like something that gets smokin hot so I could do a decent pizza - are there any "home" ranges out there that get up and beyond 500?
Thanks much

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  1. Most home ranges get to 500 max...with our pizza stone that's all we need for great pizza with a little burn on the crust. Convection can give you the effect of higher heat.

    1 Reply
    1. re: escondido123

      Thanks - I didn't think I could get over 500 - I too use and love my really big thick pizza stone - but more that 500 might have been fun!

    2. u would probably need to check your local fire codes also....if your going to go hotter...

      1 Reply
      1. re: srsone

        Good post below. I don't know about fire codes specifically, but if the oven is self cleaning, it gets doggoned hot when it cleans. I assume the insulation is enough for that much heat, and the electronics are well cooled. So, in theory, a self cleaning oven could get hotter than 500 deg. But it won't be set up for baking at that higher heat.

      2. People have modded their self-cleaning ovens to override the auto-locking mechanism. You can easily pass 800 degrees. Just make sure you have plenty of cash available because your insurance will likely balk at covering the costs from misuse of the oven.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ferret

          I've seen one. Cool but not something most would want to do

        2. Just an observation -- I seem to do just fine by cranking the oven to 500F or 550F. What seems to make the difference for me is to let the oven pre-heat longer than normal and let the oven heat soak. That way, when the oven door is opened (and lets all that hot air out), the oven starts at a higher temp and recovers quicker.

          This would be especially true if you use pizza stones or oven bricks -- they help keep the oven crazy hot, but they can only do it if they are pre-heated (and being ceramic -- very poor heat conductors -- that can take a good long while).

          Over-riding the controls on your oven is sort of asking for it...just don't do it.

          8 Replies
          1. re: MikeB3542

            I thought the thermostat on my relatively new oven was out of whack. The repair person demonstrated to me that when the oven beeps that it's reached the desired temp, it may not have. Something about the sensor placement vs. the ambient air in the oven. He said, for temp critical things, to wait at least 10 minutes longer. Works like a charm.

            1. re: MikeB3542

              For a real belt-and-suspenders approach, cook the pizza on a stone, but increase the thermal mass with firebricks above and below it. It'll take at least an hour to heat up and all night to cool down, but you'll have really steady heat.

              1. re: alanbarnes

                Now that is a brilliant idea. Not cheap but brilliant. I still want an outdoor pizza oven though. I suppose I'd have to get that permitted also.

                1. re: alanbarnes

                  Thanks for the replies - I like my insurance so screwing with the self clean is likely not an option. What are firebricks? - made of something different than regular bricks?
                  Thanks

                  1. re: frznrth

                    Firebricks are the bricks they use on the inside of fireplaces. Regular building bricks aren't designed to handle much in the way of heating and cooling, so they tend to crack. Firebricks handle thermal swings without any problem.

                    1. re: alanbarnes

                      Also called refractories , but they don't handle thermal swings without problems , far from it,

                  2. re: alanbarnes

                    Hi, alanbarnes:

                    Another bypass for pimping your pizza is a small ceramics kiln with pyrometer. I have a 110V one I use for heat-treating toolsteel that will go ambient-1,900F. About the size of a large microwave, it'd do for individual-to-small pies. Comes with the firebrick, too.

                    Kaleo

                  3. re: MikeB3542

                    ayiyi! Just use a convection oven.
                    Mine works fine at 450 for pizza...
                    No pizza stone necessary.

                  4. Not to state the obvious, but I think the thickness of the pizza is what determines the temperature of the oven. So, if you like a thicker, standard American style pizza, then 475-500 should be fine. I think the higher temps are better if you want to do a very thin crust pizza. I've made plenty of pizzas in a variety of cheap ovens, and they come out fine, but I like the standard American pie thickness. If you try and cook them at too high of a temp, then the crust doesn't cook all the way through.

                    (As an aside, if you get the big idea that your outdoor gas grill will get real hot, it does a terrible job at cooking pizza because all of the heat is on the bottom. Again, if you like a real thin crust it would probably work fine, but not at all for a thicker crust).

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: pweller

                      We make pizzas of all thicknesses and have never had a problem with 500 for half an hour prior. On the grill, I find the thicker ones get too chewy rather than crispy over the fire.

                      1. re: pweller

                        In the summer months, I grill pizza crusts on both sides...then top them with whatever, but it using mushrooms or meats, they have to be cooked first. Then I pop them into my oven inside on a perforated pizza pan to finish cooking. Solves the crust issue! And you can make a lot of them ahead of time and top when ready! You can also freeze the cooked crusts double wrapped in foil.

                      2. I think if you do a sampling of pizzerias you would find that their ovens are set at a range attainable by most ovens today which would be 500 degrees or under. 470 was the setting at a local shop. The design is more efficient in a commercial pizza oven and they are always well preheated. The design you can't do any thing about but the preheating you can. Allowing ample time for preheating once the oven has reached the desired temperature will provide better results. If you are using a material like stone or cast iron you want their temperature to be the same as the oven. That will never be the case if you put the pizza in the oven as soon as the air has reached the desired temperature when it dings.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: SanityRemoved

                          I think it's a matter of style. Yes, your average commercial pizzeria probably doesn't have a super high-temperature oven. Wood / coal oven pizza places do often use higher temperatures (700-900 F, I think), along with shorter cooking times (a minute or two); the results with this method are different than those you would get from a standard pizza oven or home oven. I do think it's hard to achieve these kinds of results inside at home if that's the style of pizza you want to make. An outdoor setup would probably be more practical for most people.

                          It is interesting that home ovens haven't gotten much more powerful even with the increase in the firepower of home ranges; I think there are a limited number of people who need this kind of heat in a home oven, and on top of that, I think it would probably not be able to have a see-through door, which might be a dealbreaker for many home users. Jeff Varasano documents how he covered his oven door with foil after disabling the safety feature on the self-cleaning oven (he says this prevents the glass from shattering if tomato sauce or something spatters on it). His method involves not only heating the oven to 900 F, but pre-heating the oven / pizza stone for quite a while between each pizza.

                          1. re: will47

                            most of the corner slice shops in NYC have temps upwards of 700

                        2. i use my Big STeel Leg grill for pizza. grills can get up to pizza oven temps no problem

                          19 Replies
                          1. re: thew

                            I was wondering if you were gonna mention your keg, since the egg-heads claim they can make a good pie...Can you share a picture of the results with the keg?

                            1. re: BiscuitBoy

                              I'd like to actually taste these results. The equipment will not make good pizza. A good pizza maker makes good pizza.

                              1. re: tommy

                                tommy - yes it's the chef not the equipment. but that isn't the same thing as saying the equipment doesn;t make a difference. A bad driver won't become a good driver because he suddenly has a lambourghini. but a good driver will be able to do more, and better, in a lambourghini than in a yugo

                                BB - i have a pic from my 1st attempt - maybe not the best example - but given it was a first try from scratch, not bad. i was planning on buying some dough next week from my fave pizzeria. if i remember ill take pics if and when it happens

                                 
                                1. re: thew

                                  My Yugo rocks!

                                2. re: tommy

                                  I dunno...I think the hardware certainly makes a difference (as well as ingredients). Make pies using a toaster oven, electric pizza oven, and finally a coal fired oven, the results will progressively get better

                                  1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                    I understand your point, but you're taking my point to the absurd.

                                    A good pizza maker can make a better pizza in a home oven than a not good pizza maker can in a BGE. BGE owners seem to universally claim that they make great pizza in the egg. I suspect this isn't really the case.

                                    Attached is a recent pizza I made in a standard electric oven with no mods. Cook time was under 4 minutes.

                                     
                                    1. re: tommy

                                      nice

                                      1. re: tommy

                                        I agree with what you have said. From my experience cooking pizzas in both an oven and a grill, I much prefer the oven because the heat is more even. I've made some nice pizzas in some very cheap/old ovens that cooked up right.

                                        A good pizza has got to look good from both the top and the bottom. I tried one on my Weber grill, and the bottom was burnt before the top was even halfway done. I could have shown a picture of the top only, and it would have looked fine. But, you turn it over and it's a horror show! :-)

                                        1. re: pweller

                                          I think the assertion with the BGE type devices is that the lid retains heat (setting it apart from using a grill to cook pizza, which as you and I know, does not work well). However, from what I've seen, and with what I understand about heat, the cavity (air) is going to cool off when you lift up that lid, regardless of if the lid is still hot. This is not duplicating a brick oven.

                                          My assertion is that a regular home oven can produce high enough heat, consistently, especially when utilizing the broiler (which is of course very hot), to cook pizza quickly, cooking the top and bottom at preferable rates. This is demonstrably the reality. It's also an environment that is hotter than the average pizza place, where the deck ovens rarely run at over 500 degrees.

                                          1. re: tommy

                                            The places I get a pie from have thermos in plain sight...around 700 is what I'm seeing, and THATS reality. Maybe in Kansas a pizza from a home oven can beat a pizzeria, but not in Connecticut

                                            1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                              That's not the case in NJ. That's almost coal temps.

                                              I didn't suggest a pizza at home can beat a pizzeria. However that is most certainly the case for the most part. There's plenty of bad pizza out there, including NYC. The only pizza I've had in Connecticut has been great. But it's been at great places.

                                              1. re: tommy

                                                You don't think a pizza made at home can beat a pizzeria? Considering that at home you can use only the best ingredients at the peak of their flavor, I've made many pizzas that were better than I got out. Or did you mean"all things being equal" a pizzeria "with a wood fire brick oven" would beat home every day?

                                                1. re: escondido123

                                                  You misunderstood. I said the opposite. Most pizza is horrible. The pizza I make at home is much better than the vast majority of pizza at pizza places.

                                                  Good pizza "beats" bad pizza regardless of where it's made.

                                                  But again, ingredients at the peak of their flavor do nothing if the person making the pizza doesn't know how to make pizza.

                                                  1. re: tommy

                                                    Thanks, I misread your post. I'm with you. If you know what you're doing homemade pizza is the best.

                                                    1. re: escondido123

                                                      Well, for the most part, yes. But I'd like a wood-fired brick oven to make Neapolitan-style pizza. For this, I need to go to places that have the equipment, and, of course, the know-how and ingredients.

                                                      1. re: tommy

                                                        If you have one available by all means. Guess I'll just have to struggle along with my oven or grill;)

                                                        1. re: tommy

                                                          Tommy, what the hell DOES make a good pie?!

                                                          Here is a quote from Tommy earlier in this thread... "I'd like to actually taste these results. The equipment will not make good pizza. A good pizza maker makes good pizza."
                                                          By tommy on Jun 03, 2011 12:49PM

                                                          Then later... "Good pizza "beats" bad pizza regardless of where it's made.
                                                          But again, ingredients at the peak of their flavor do nothing if the person making the pizza doesn't know how to make pizza."
                                                          By tommy on Jun 03, 2011 05:06PM

                                                          NOW he says it takes both good equipment AND good, fresh ingredients. THIS post says "I'd like a wood-fired brick oven to make Neapolitan-style pizza. For this, I need to go to places that have the equipment, and, of course, the know-how and ingredients.
                                                          By tommy on Jun 03, 2011 05:16PM

                                                          Tommy, tell us... just what DOES make a good pizza?

                                                          It Takes BOTH good equipment AND good, fresh ingredients, - PLUS someone who knows how to make a pie and who will take the time and patience required for making good dough, oven preheating, simmering sauce, etc. Don't criticize folks because they're proud of their oven, recipe, stone, technique, etc. We're all trying to get better... and it ALL matters.

                                                          1. re: pineknot

                                                            You caught me. Fair and square.

                                                            The answer is: I make good pizza.

                                                            Any other questions?

                                      2. re: tommy

                                        I have done pizza only once on my BGE. Temp was at 600F for the pie this picture. It was good. With a little practice I think this setup could produce pretty nice pies.

                                         
                                  2. You can "hack" most self-cleaning ovens to get over 500/550 by overriding the latch.

                                    But I have to point out an exchange from Steven Alexander's book "52 Loaves" after Alexander told his accountant he damaged a second oven by running it at 550 for a long time even though the dial goes up to 550...
                                    "The speedometer on my wife's Saab goes to 150...that doesn't mean she should drive that fast!"

                                    1. There was an article about cooking pizza at home using firebricks in the LA Times a few years ago...It might be helpful:

                                      http://www.latimes.com/features/food/...

                                      (I don't know anything about making pizza and I haven't tried their method)

                                      1. 550 is hot enough for home pizzas. This is courtesy of Pizza A Casa a cooking school in NYC.

                                        8 Replies
                                        1. re: joelaine

                                          It sounds like Pizza a Casa thinks there is only one style of pizza and that all doughs are the same and all tastes are the same and "home pizzas" shouldn't taste like they do at your favorite pizza place. All of which is incorrect.

                                          1. re: tommy

                                            They provide you with an excellent dough recipe and they taste as good, if not better, than many pizza places. Of course, my favorite is Pepe's but I am not about to get up at 4:00AM to build a wood fire in my backyard and give it 10-12 hours to heat up. Pizza a Casa has successfully made it possible for anyone to make an excellent pizza at home. They recommend a 550 degree oven and I was trying to be helpful, and yes I am Italian and I grew up in NYC.

                                            1. re: joelaine

                                              They recommend it because they make money on teaching people how to cook in their home ovens. LOLOLOL!!!!

                                              1. re: tommy

                                                You are quite the cynic.

                                                1. re: joelaine

                                                  Wait, you don't think they recommend that temp because that's what their students have to work with? You can call me what you'd like, as long as you'll allow me to call you naive. LOL!

                                                2. re: tommy

                                                  Most people have no idea of all the cool things they can do with pretty basic kitchen gear, including the lowly oven range (I'll be humble and admit I could use lessons myself.) So learning a few basics that will help you crank out an amazing pie at home every bit as good as the local pizzeria is a skill worth learning and one that will pay back with interest.

                                                  Truth be told, I LIKE that my pies are unique and different than the pizzeria. I get to try out different styles and toppings. Maybe it's from growing up in Chicago, but I appreciate ALL the styles of pizza out there: thin crust, thick crust, deep-dish, stuffed, etc. (Full disclosure, my favorite is Giordano's stuffed pizza, but that's a whole 'nother deal).

                                                3. re: joelaine

                                                  For the OP: there was an article in Cook's Illustrated within the last year which found improved pizza results by bringing the pizza closer to the top of the oven ie using firebricks/pizza stone for baking, cooking the pie on the top rack instead of the middle rack. The theory was that more heat reflected off the top of the oven and helped cook the pie from above.

                                                  Many folks have modified their kettle grills to cook pizzas at high temps, there are even a few of these mods that you can buy to work with your kettle grill. The point made above about the speedometer on a Saab is a good one.

                                                  1. re: caliking

                                                    Great suggestion for using a covered grill. Made one last week on my Aussie Walkabout (was short of $$$ to buy a Weber and a kamado/BGE/keg is WAY beyond my means to deal as I live in an apartment) and it was very good. Rack set as high as it will go and coals pushed to the edges. It cooks fast and you need to give it a few turns to ensure even cooking -- definitely can't walk away and hope for the best. I've used stones with success, but seemed to work well directly on the open grids.

                                            2. We have a GE Profile range, bought it 6-7 years ago at Lowes. It reaches 550 easily. We put a stone in and preheat for a good half hour, we've been making the best pizzas you can imagine ever since.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: judybird

                                                Same here with the 550 and pre-heating the stone for about an hour beforehand. Crust is crackling crisp and the cheese starts to bubble - takes about 5 minutes tops. I do a superthin crust and keep it simple: garlic infused olive oil, chopped tomatoes, a bit of pesto, parm regg, and moz.

                                                I had never even realized my range's oven (dual-fuel) got that high after 9 years of ownership! GE Profile too, but from an appliance store locally.

                                                Just curious: I know how hot 550 is when opening the door and the blast of heat is pretty intense. Those folks modifying their ovens to get to 700 or so? That has to be crazy.

                                              2. I got lucky--the apartment I have has an oven that can go up to 570F.. good for pizza with a pizza stone.

                                                1. Just saw this: http://modernistcuisine.com/baking-st...

                                                  Weighs 22 pounds - yikes. Might be good, though!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: jbsiegel

                                                    I just saw that also. Glad I checked before I duplicated your post. I'm thinking about going to a local fabricator and getting something made. I also want to use a Turkish teapot on my induction cooktop. I'm betting I can beat that hundred dollar price tag.

                                                  2. My general-issue GE oven (from 1993) goes to 550 and you can go into the settings menu to calibrate its temperature upward by 35 degrees. I did that once, but after a power outage, I think it might have reset itself. In any case, I know from using an infrared thermometer that an hour of preheating brings the stone up to about 580 degrees. Makes great pizza. I sometimes finish with the broiler.

                                                    1. I used to work at a busy pizzeria in Boston. We kept the ovens at about 550- pizzas didn't go in until they'd be warmed to that temp for a while. We cooked 2 different types, one a traditional round thin-crust that was placed directly on the oven surface, and a thicker, rectangular Sicilian type that cooked in pans in the lower (and slightly cooler) oven.

                                                      I would say that you could mimic the "pizza oven" by heating the pizza stone inside the oven, then carefully slide on the pie to cook. Of course, evenness of dough thickness is going to be key to get consistent results.

                                                      Happy Pie Making!