There are few things better than a delicious, freshly-cooked woodfired pizza to satisfy your hunger and brighten up your day. When you take your first bite of that steaming hot pizza, the way the dough is made combines with the toppings to create the overall taste experience.

But there's a lot more to it than just dough and toppings.

The way a pizza is cooked has a big impact on the end result, and this is something that varies dramatically from one restaurant to the next. There are a few different variables at play, and understanding the effect they have on your pizza helps you experience the flavours in a whole new light.


The biggest difference between cooking a pizza at home and enjoying one cooked professionally is the temperature. At least, it should be.

Professional pizza ovens reach temperatures in excess of 370 degrees Celsius – sometimes considerably more. That's most likely a great deal more than your home oven is capable of.

The effect of such high temperatures is that it rapidly cooks the dough to perfection, just the right amount of light, fluffy and crispy. Sadly, not all establishments serving pizza use the right type of ovens, so keep an eye out for pizza specialists if you want something really tasty.


There are various types of ovens designed to cook pizzas, but the best kind isn't powered by electricity or gas, relying instead on solid fuels. Some ovens burn coal, but for a truly incredible pizza, wood-fired is the way to go.

Wood is great for reaching the high temperatures necessary for great pizza, and its smoke imparts subtle additional flavours to the finished food. This also lets chefs get creative with different types of wood, so you might find a world of new possible tastes in restaurants using this kind of oven.

Oven design

The shape and features of ovens vary, with some being fully enclosed and others allowing for a bit of airflow. This airflow helps create an even temperature throughout the oven, so pizzas cook evenly throughout. Without it, you can find differences between one part of the pizza and another, so it's better to use one that allows for it.


To get the most out of a pizza oven, it should be preheated thoroughly before use. This can be as long as an hour in advance. Preheating ensures a stable temperature, which means pizzas come out just as they should, every time, with the perfect crust and cheese.