Feast is powered by Vocal creators. You support Christopher Edward by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

Feast is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less

What Is the Best Temperature for Cooking Pizza in an Outdoor Pizza Oven?

There are a number of different opinions on this topic: Depending on who you ask, what style of pizza they prefer, and believe it or not—the choice of toppings!

Initial temperature advice could range from around 340 degrees Celsius or 650 degrees Fahrenheit, and up to approximately 480 degrees Celsius or 900 degrees Fahrenheit.

With this variation in temperature comes a variation in cooking time. At the lower temperatures you could be looking at as long as four minutes, whereas at the higher temperatures your pizza can cook in as little time as 90 seconds!

So why would you wait four minutes for a pizza when you could have it in 90 seconds?

If you like to load up your pizza with lots of toppings and a heavy sauce, it may be an idea to cook it for that longer period at a reduced temperature in order to allow extra drying time for that heavy sauce, and to make sure that shed load of toppings gets an adequate cooking time.

If, however, you’re after a far more traditional, Neapolitan style pizza—thin, crispy and airy—then you’ll want to turn up the heat for a short, sharp cooking time.

This method of cooking is often referred to as a "high-heat" technique as it uses the oven at its highest, or as close as, temperature.

The method behind this technique is that the pizza is actually mostly cooked from the bottom up. The floor of your pizza oven will retain a lot of the ovens heat, making the base crisp up nice and quick!

The dome of your oven will then reflect heat downwards. This will not be as intense as the base, but enough to cook the top and melt the cheese, creating a perfectly cooked pizza with just a hint of that traditional char.

This technique also creates steam from moisture in the dough, this steam then creates air pockets in the dough that leads to that wonderful puffy rise.

Can an outdoor pizza oven get too hot to cook in?

In theory, yes. Some pizza ovens can reach temperatures in excess of 500 degrees Celsius or approximately 930 degrees Fahrenheit, which is higher than the desired temperature you’ll want for cooking your pizza.

There is a common misconception that you could simply put the pizza in for less of a cooking time, but at such high heats the crust will simply burn and the dough will not cook sufficiently.

However, you may find that your pizza is still burning even at temperatures around the 500 degrees Celsius mark, even when you may only be cooking for up to 90 seconds.

This could be down to how you’re making the pizza.

If you’re finding that your pizza is cooking too fast you may want to try a higher water percentage in your dough.

It could also be down to the type of sauce that you may be using. Watery sauces will prevent the dough from cooking properly yet the crusts may still burn.

To solve this you could either try thickening up the sauce, or alternatively, try cooking at a lower temperature for a slightly longer period of time.

Another common problem may be that your oven floor is too hot, meaning that the underneath of your pizza will burn quickly.

Often the reason behind this is patience.

Once you’ve brought your oven up to temperature and swept the fire to the back or side of the oven, you’ll want to give it a good 20 to 30 minutes to allow for the oven floor to cool ever so slightly to avoid that initial burn.

Remember to keep the fire going though and the overall temperature consistent to keep the rest of the oven at a good heat!

How many pizzas can you cook in half an hour in an outdoor pizza oven?

The amount of pizza that you can cook within any period of time will depend on a few factors, such as the size of your oven—wether you are able to cook more than one at a time, the size of the pizza, and also the style of pizza—base, toppings, etc.

The style of pizza will ultimately determine how long you’ll want to cook your pizzas for. For example, a thicker and more moist pizza may require a longer cooking time, thus reducing the amount you’ll be able to cook within a period of time.

Whereas for a thinner, crispier pizza could be in and out of the oven in as little as 90 seconds!

The size of your pizzas and also the size of your oven will be a factor in determining how many pizzas you’ll be able to cook within half an hour, as you may be able to cook several at a time if your pizzas are smaller or your oven is larger.

This, however, can often be difficult to manage.

With multiple pizzas in the oven at one time it can become a challenge to rotate them and can sometimes lead to a burnt knuckle or two!

Heat proof gloves could be a nifty way to prevent this though.

So let’s look at the math for high heat, quick cook pizzas.

One pizza at a time, at 90 seconds per pizza, will equal 20 pizzas cooked within a half hour window.

This is all well and good but you must take into consideration handling time—taking the pizza out and putting the next one in.

Are the pizzas ready made and ready to cook? Do you have someone to help handle the pizza once its out of the oven?

You’ll also need to consider time to maintain the high heat of your oven as it will most likely drop during that half hour period.

There are too many variables to give an exact number of pizzas you’ll be able to cook within 30 minutes, but one thing is for sure: If you’re having a party, it should be plenty to keep everyone well fed!

Can you use your outdoor pizza oven as a smoker?

Smoking food can give you some truly fantastic flavors!

Smoking is the process in which food—most commonly fish and meat—is flavored and even cooked with smoke.

To do this you need some sort of a smoker.

A smoker is the tool, or controlled environment, used to contain the smoke and smoke the food within, these can often be a big as whole rooms!

You can add lots of different flavors to food by smoking, depending on the type of wood you use to create the smoke, and the even better news is...yes! You can use your outdoor pizza oven as a smoker!

So how is it done?

First off, you’ll need to create hot embers in your oven, to do this simply get your oven firing up to its optimum temperature using plenty of wood.

Once your oven is burning at around 500 degrees Celsius or around 930 degrees Fahrenheit, that’s around peek temperature, you’ll need to let it cool back down again. Ideally, it will need to cool down to around 120 degrees Celsius or approximately 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

At this temperature the flames should have gone and you should be left with burning embers. You’ll need to push these to the back or side of your oven.

Top Tip!

Instead of firing up your oven just to cool it down again, why not use it as an excuse to cook some pizza! You can then begin the smoking process using the leftover heat!

Now it’s time to create the smoke. Hardwood chips work particularly well for this.

It’s crucial to soak these chips in water for around 30 minutes before burning in order to create a moist environment, which is vital when it comes to smoking. Traditional, specially made smokers will often use a water pan for this.

Make sure you close the door to allow the smoke to fill, and there you have it! Your outdoor oven is now ready to use as a smoker.

As always, for best results, get smoking and get experimenting!

What are wood fired briquettes and can I use them in my wood fired pizza oven?

Wood fired briquettes are specially made sources of fuel generally made from dried and compressed sawdust and wood chips.

The main difference between these and standard logs is the moisture content, with wood fired briquettes usually containing less than 10% moisture!

This lower moisture content means that these briquettes generate a far better heat output—on average the equivalent to 3 regular logs!

These briquettes come with multiple benefits, storage space, quicker firing times, but most importantly consistency.

These briquettes will burn at the same temperature each time meaning once you’ve nailed the heat ratio for a particular recipe, you can repeat it over and over.

Because of this consistency, the use of wood fired briquettes is more commonly found in restaurants and commercial cooking in general, however, there is no reason why they can’t be used in your very own outdoor pizza oven.

Simply use them in the same way you would your regular logs and they’ll give the same fantastic authentic cooking but with a bit of extra control!

What are wood fired briquettes and can I use them in my wood fired pizza oven?

Wood fired briquettes are specially made sources of fuel generally made from dried and compressed sawdust and wood chips.

The main difference between these and standard logs is the moisture content, with wood fired briquettes usually containing less than 10% moisture!

This lower moisture content means that these briquettes generate a far better heat output—on average the equivalent to 3 regular logs!

These briquettes come with multiple benefits, storage space, quicker firing times, but most importantly consistency.

These briquettes will burn at the same temperature each time meaning once you’ve nailed the heat ratio for a particular recipe, you can repeat it over and over.

Because of this consistency, the use of wood fired briquettes is more commonly found in restaurants and commercial cooking in general, however, there is no reason why they can’t be used in your very own outdoor pizza oven.

Simply use them in the same way you would your regular logs and they’ll give the same fantastic authentic cooking but with a bit of extra control!

Now Reading
What Is the Best Temperature for Cooking Pizza in an Outdoor Pizza Oven?
Read Next
Top 10 Disgusting Food Recalls