Baking pizzas at home is very difficult for three reasons. Home oven temperatures max out… click on the arrow below to read more:

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Baking pizzas at home is very difficult for three reasons.

Home oven temperatures max out at 550ºF when commercial ovens can go over 800ºF. Home ovens distribute uneven convection heat (meaning the heat moves around as the hot air rises and cool air falls. A convection oven is not really a convection oven because all ovens heat by convection. They would be better named had they been called “Forced Air Convection”.) Commercial pizza ovens are lined with refractory brick which can absorb enormous amounts of heat and then radiate it out evenly on the pizza.

Cooking surfaces in home ovens are just wire racks. Commercial ovens use quarry tiles to absorb moisture from the dough and also to induce heat into the dough through contact.
Although these are large problems when trying to make a good pizza, there are tips and ideas to get around them and bake a pizza that is almost as good as if it were cooked in a brick pizza oven at 800ºF.

 

In my pizza experiments I have tried different surfaces for cooking pizzas. Cookie sheets leave the dough too soggy and don’t allow the crust to form properly. Pizza stones work well but their shape is typically round and not large enough to effectively slide a pizza on to. I prefer 6 inch by 6 inch quarry tiles that have not finish or coatings. They are essentially just baked mud. They can withstand high temperatures and they absorb moisture easily. I set them directly on the rack of the oven and they go all the way to the edges and create a large cooking surface to slide the pizza on to.

In order to overcome the temperature issue I have experimented with buying old electric ovens and wiring them up in my garage, removing the thermocouple (the temperature sensing device, I don’t recommend this because the oven will never stop getting hot.) and letting the temp climb to 800. This was not necessarily the best because the heat was so uneven. Parts got burned before others were ready. The best way to cook a pizza at home is to put the rack on the top slotr. This places the pizza in the warmest area of the oven and creates a little compartment at the top where the temperatures are more even.

If you have a convection oven that forces air around from a fan then you can test that. I have had some great success with it.

In order to get the stones and upper compartment of the oven hot enough and all ready to throw a pizza in, set it to broil on high for 10 minutes prior to inserting the pizza. Then right before you insert it set it back to bake. This will reduce the cook time and get the proper crust because of the temporarily high heat in the oven.