Margherita pizza is known for its ingredients representing the colours of the Italian flag: red (tomato), white (mozzarella) and green (basil).
Pizza is a beloved dish that comes in many different styles and varieties.
In this short guide, we'll help demystify making homemade pizza.
You'll find out the ideal oven temperature for baking pizza and how long it should stay in the oven, so that you can create your own pizza perfectly every time.
We will also provide tips and tricks to make deliciously cooked pizza.
The Importance of Preheating your Oven
Whether you're making a classic Margherita, a hearty meat-lover's pizza, or a unique specialty pizza, there's one thing that's essential for cooking pizza: a preheated oven.
It is crucial to preheat the oven for at least 20-30 minutes before cooking the pizza.
This is to allow the oven to reach the desired temperature before the pizza dough is placed inside - ensuring that the pizza dough starts cooking immediately, resulting in a better crust texture.
Use a baking stone such as the Napoleon PRO Pizza Stone to prevent the pizza from sticking and for a light crispy crust every time.
Dough from a lightly floured work surface and a preheated pizza baking stone helps to prevent pizza sticking as it cooks the bottom of the pizza crust faster plus the flour allows it to easily slide and be removed.
If the oven is not preheated, the dough will have to spend extra time in the oven trying to reach the desired temperature, which can lead to uneven cooking and a less desirable pizza crust texture.
The pizza crust will also rise better in a preheated oven.
Ultimately, it helps to cook the pizza more quickly and efficiently, as the longer you bake pizza in the oven, the more likely it is to dry out and become overcooked.
How hot should the pizza oven be?
The best oven temperature for pizza varies depending on the type of pizza being cooked and personal preference.
The general temperature guideline for most types of pizzas is between 250 to 260°C, but generally, it's better to bake at high temperatures for a crispy crust texture and a chewy inside.
Most normal oven appliances built for home use don't get to high enough temperatures - resulting in inconsistent results.
Now, this is where we plug our product in the blog.
The Tucker Sicilian Wood-fired oven is designed so that you can bake pizzas at high temperatures in the comfort of your outdoor kitchen.
The Sicilian offers control over your pizza oven baking with the built-in air slider that allows you to control air feeding the wood fire, effectively controlling heat and temperature.
You can use the Sicilian not just to cook homemade pizza but also roast large cuts of meat, poultry, and more!
How long should you cook pizza in an oven?
One of the most important factors in making great homemade pizzas is understanding how long it should bake in the oven.
How long you should cook pizza in the oven will vary depending on several factors such as the type of pizza, the toppings, and the oven temperature.
The type of pizza affects cooking times - for example, a deep-dish pizza will require a longer cooking time than a thin-crust pizza.
A standard Margherita pizza, which typically has a simple topping of tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil, would probably be done cooking in around 8-10 minutes at 220-230°C.
Neapolitan pizzas are traditionally cooked in wood-fired pizza ovens with temperatures reaching up to 480°C and take only around 1-2 minutes to cook.
Avoid placing your homemade pizza dough on a baking sheet as most baking sheets can't handle the heat. Place the pizza on a preheated pizza stone instead.
To determine if the pizza is done, you can use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the crust, which should reach around 88°C.
Another way is to look at the crust, it should be golden brown and the cheese should be bubbly and melted.
It's also important to keep an eye on the crust and rotate it using a pizza peel if necessary to ensure it cooks evenly for a crunchy crust.
In summary, the cooking time for pizza can vary depending on the type of pizza, the toppings, and the oven temperature.
A pizza peel is an essential tool for making pizza at home, especially if you are using a pizza stone as it allows you to easily and quickly slide the pizza into and out of the oven.
Serving the Pizza
After the pizza is cooked, remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for a few minutes before cutting and serving.
This will help to ensure that the pizza is not too hot and that the cheese is not too runny.
When cutting the pizza, use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter such as the Ooni Pizza Cutter to ensure that the slices are clean and even.
Serve the pizza promptly after cutting as the best time to eat it is when the pizza is warm and fresh.
Let the pizza rest for a few minutes before cutting and serving to make slicing easier.
If the pizza has to sit for a while, it's probably a good idea to cover it with foil or plastic wrap and poke a few holes to let out steam and keep it warm.
Take into account the visual appeal of the dish when plating your pizza.
Make the dish more visually appealing by garnishing with herbs, microgreens, edible flowers, or a drizzle of pizza sauce.
Or just devour it straight away.
In conclusion, you've learned the importance of preheating the oven and the pizza stone, the ideal oven temperature, and how long you should cook homemade pizza in the oven based on the different types of pizzas.
Before cooking homemade pizza, it's best to preheat the oven for at least 20-30 minutes.
It's also important to keep an eye on the crust and rotate it if necessary to ensure even cooking.
Making pizza at home can be fun, rewarding, and a great way to bond and spend quality time together with family and friends.
To know if your pizza is done, use a thermometer or check if the crust is golden brown and if the cheese is bubbling.
After cooking, let the pizza rest for a few minutes before cutting and serve promptly for the best taste and texture.
Enjoy your homemade pizza.
Check out our range of Pizza Ovens to create delicious, authentic pizzas that are sure to impress your friends and family.
Drop into Tucker Barbecues stores in Mona Vale, Silverwater and Taren Point for some great friendly advice on our products.