You’ve just taken a delicious and beautiful pizza out of the oven, but how long did it need to be in there? Well…the amount of time you leave your pizza in the oven can mean the difference between a perfect crust and one that’s burnt to a crisp.
The general consensus when it comes to baking pizzas is: for a standard gas oven set to 425°F, you should bake your pizzas for 15-20 minutes. For electric ovens preheated to 500-550°F, bake for around 5-10 minutes or until the crust is golden and crispy. And for wood-fired ovens at temperatures of 800°F (426°C) or more, your pizzas should cook in about 60-90 seconds.
But what if it’s not as simple as that? What else do you need to know if you want perfectly cooked pizza every time? Put on your reading glasses and take notes as I uncover the mysteries behind baking times, temperatures, and tips so that you can become the master pizza chef!
5 Factors That Affect the Baking Time
Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to pizza. Some like it with extra cheese and pepperoni, while others prefer it on a thicker or thinner crust.
But one thing we can all agree on is that temperature and baking time have an important role in perfecting the art of pizza making. Let’s explore what goes into determining the baking time for your pizzas.
The Crust Type
The thickness of the crust is one of the most important factors in determining baking time. A thin-crust pizza will naturally cook faster than a thick crust due to its lower dough-to-oven contact ratio. This means that if your pizza has a very thin base, it can usually be cooked in around 8-10 minutes in a preheated 550°F oven.
On the other hand, a thick crust needs more heat and longer baking times, usually taking between 15-18 minutes at the same temperature.
The higher the temperature, the lesser the baking time; if your oven can reach 600 degrees or higher, expect your pizzas to be ready in 3-5 minutes, depending on how thinly you stretch the crust. My Ooni oven can go above 900 degrees and takes 60 seconds to bake a Neapolitan-style pie.
To ensure that both sides of the pizza are cooked evenly, it’s worth rotating your pizzas regularly and flipping them over halfway through the cooking process – this helps ensure a crispy base every time!
Size of the Pizza
When it comes to baking pizza, size matters! Due to more surface area and a higher amount of dough, a large, thick-crust pizza takes longer to bake. A small or medium-sized thick-crust pizza will likely cook faster as there is less dough for the heat to penetrate.
This is especially true when using an oven, as the heat source does not have time to fully penetrate the crust’s center with such a large mass of dough surrounding it. To reduce baking time for large pizzas, it’s best to preheat your oven for at least 25 minutes before you get started.
This allows for greater heat penetration throughout the entire pizza and can help reduce baking times by up to 10 minutes.
Are You Using a Baking Stone, Steel, or Cast Iron Pan?
When it comes to pizza baking temperatures, whether you’re using steel or a stone can also influence the baking duration.
A steel gets hotter much faster than a stone, meaning that if you are using one for your pizzas, you can expect cooking times to be much shorter. However, from what I’ve observed, the superior heat conductivity makes steel better suited for thin-crust pizzas rather than thick ones.
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If you prefer thicker and fluffier pizzas at home, then a pizza stone would be the better choice due to its more tempered thermal conductivity. Granted, the preheating time could be anywhere between 30-60 minutes, depending on how hot your oven can get. But if you bake occasionally, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Don’t have a stone or steel? No problem. A cast iron pan makes a great pizza crust too! It retains heat exceptionally well. So it helps to get the base crispy and the topping nicely cooked.
The thicker the pan, the longer the cooking time, so it’s important to preheat for 10-15 before adding your pizza dough. Cast iron is also easy to clean and maintain, making it an ideal choice for home cooks who don’t want to invest in a steel or stone oven.
Type of Oven
When it comes to perfecting the baking time, the type of oven you use is just as important as the ingredients. Conventional electric ovens typically take around 15 to 20 minutes to bake a pizza to perfection, depending on their wattage and how well-preheated they are.
Conveyor pizza ovens can help speed up the process with their superior heat distribution because the pizza is cooked from both top and bottom simultaneously. They usually have adjustable speeds and times, so you can tweak your settings for different varieties of pizza (thinner or thicker crusts).
Wood-fired ovens take longer than electric ones to preheat but offer a unique flavor that other ovens can’t replicate. Because of their higher temperature and proximity to the flames, pizzas typically take 1-2 minutes in wood-fired ovens before they are ready.
Amount of Toppings on the Pizza
Lastly, the quantity and types of toppings used on a pizza can also influence the cooking time. If you add too many toppings, it will take longer for them to cook through the crust. Toppings that are high in moisture, such as mushrooms and zucchini, may also require more time.
To speed up the baking process, it’s best to layer thin slices of cheese under all the other toppings — this will start melting before any heat reaches the vegetables or meats, which helps protect them from overcooking.
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Additionally, try to choose toppings that will cook quickly; raw vegetables like spinach or bell peppers don’t take long to cook through and their crunchy texture adds a nice contrast against the cheese and sauce.
Some people also pre-bake the crust for 5-6 minutes in a conventional oven before adding the toppings.
Estimated Cooking Time for Different Types of Pizza in Different Types of Ovens
Different types of pizzas require different cooking times depending on the type of oven they are cooked in. Here is a comprehensive chart of estimated cooking times for different types of pizzas in different types of ovens:
|Regular Electric Oven
|Thick Crust Homemade Pizza
|90 seconds-2 minutes
|Thin Crust Homemade Pizza
|Stuffed Crust Pizza
|Thick Crust Frozen Pizza
|20-25 minutes (follow the instructions on the package)
|15-18 minutes (follow the instructions on the package)
|Around 2 minutes (follow the instructions on the package)
|Thin Crust Frozen Pizza
|14-20 minutes (follow the instructions on the package)
|10-15 minutes (follow the instructions on the package)
|Around 1 minute (follow the instructions on the package)
Important note: Take all the above-mentioned figures with a generous pinch of salt. The baking time will significantly vary from oven to oven, by the type of crust, your choice of bakeware, toppings, your desired doneness level, and more importantly, how hot your oven can get and which rack you’re using for baking.
Tips for Achieving the Perfect Pizza Crust
I suggest placing the pizza on the bottom rack for 90% of the total baking time and then finishing off the cooking under the broiler. It will get the cheese bubbly without overcooking the crust.
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Also, try to spread all the toppings as evenly as possible and avoid overloading the crust. Trust me, the results will be noticeably better.
Lastly, don’t forget to rotate the pizza 90 degrees after every 3-4 minutes (15-20 seconds for wood-fired ovens) to ensure even browning.
Lift the pizza gently with a turning peel, spatula, or a pizza spinner to check the doneness level of the bottom. If it looks nicely browned, crispy, and embellished with light charred marks, it’s done!
How long to cook a pizza at 450?
It takes around 10-20 minutes to bake a pizza at 450 minutes. The exact time will depend on how thick the crust is, the kind of bakeware you are using, and your desired doneness level.
How long to cook homemade pizza at 425?
It should take 15-20 minutes to bake a standard homemade pizza at 425 degrees.
What is the best temperature to cook pizza?
When it comes to pizzas, the hotter the oven, the better. Brick ovens can go between 900-1200 degrees. But for standard ovens, it’s usually between 450-550 F, which is good enough for standard homemade pizzas.
How long does it take to put a pizza in the toaster oven?
A toasted oven preheated at 400 degrees usually takes 5-10 minutes to bake a pizza.
Making the perfect pizza is all about practice and understanding how your oven works. It doesn’t matter if you’re making a thin crust, thick crust, frozen, or homemade pizza. Be sure to check the temperature and cooking time for your oven as it can vary.
Experiment with different types of pizza to find what works best for you. Don’t forget to preheat! All in all, baking pizza in an oven is easy-peasy if you follow the right steps! So get ready to impress friends and family with a delicious home-cooked masterpiece!