What Temperature to Bake Pizza

When it comes to making pizza – whether store-bought or homemade – plenty of people are under the impression that you should bake at 450F. Well, this isn’t the case. You should actually turn your oven up as high as it can go. In most home kitchens, that’s 500F or 550F.

Hey, there! My name is Michelle, and I’ve been making my own pizzas for many years. I have gone through a lot of trial and error in order to achieve the “perfect” pizza. One of the biggest things I had to learn was that it is entirely okay to crank my oven up as high as it can go.

If you’re making a pizza and not sure about the pizza baking temperature, you’re not alone. This article is here to help. Below, you will discover the pizza temperature in the oven. More importantly, you’ll learn why.

Who’s ready to bake some pizzas?

What Temperature to Cook Pizza?

When it comes to making pizza, there are endless possibilities. You can go the traditional route or create something entirely out of the box. Regardless of the type of pizza you’re making, you need to know the right temperature to bake it at.

It’s pretty simple: bake your pizza at the highest temperature possible. That’s right – you want to crank your oven up for the best results. For most kitchen ovens, the best temperature to bake pizza is between 500F and 550F.

Don’t worry, either. Your kitchen oven was designed to go that high. If there were any safety concerns, the oven simply would not have been created to handle that high of a temperature. 

Of course, using such a high temperature you will want to be extra careful with placing and removing the pizza peel. Make sure you’re wearing an oven mitt and be careful not to touch any part of the oven with other body parts, such as your forearm.

And don’t forget – you always need to preheat your pizza stone (or pizza peel) before sliding your pizza on top for the best results. 

Why Does Pizza Need to Bake at High Temperatures?

Now you know that you should be baked at the highest temperature possible. But why? There are actually four major reasons why you need to crank your oven temp up.

1. Perfect Texture

The most significant impact that high temps have on pizza is the texture. You want your crust to have the right amount of crunch and airiness. Well, using temperatures that are too low won’t allow your crust to crisp up properly, leaving it somewhat lackluster. No, thanks!

2. Bubbly Cheese

The best part about pizza is the ooey-gooey, bubbling cheese. But it can be hard to accomplish that in your own kitchen. Sure, ordering delivery is great. But why spend so much money when you can make the same pizza from scratch?

Let me tell you a little secret – most pizza joints have ovens that crank up to 800F. This is because they want that bubbling cheese we all know and love. So, to recreate this desirable feature from home, kick your oven temp up as high as it can go.

3. Sauce Cooked Properly

What’s hiding underneath that bubbling cheese? Sauce, of course. Have you ever sunk your teeth into pizza with cold sauce? It’s nothing short of a nightmare. Avoid this by using high temperatures for baking your pizza.

4. Toppings Cooked Through

Bubbling cheese? Check. Super hot sauce? Check. But what about your preferred toppings?

Whether you’ve opted for bell peppers, mushrooms, sausage, or pepperoni, you want to ensure your toppings are cooked through. This will enhance the flavor and safety of your preferred toppings. 

Crank up the heat, so you know, 100%, that your toppings are cooked to perfection. 


It’s simple – a pizza baked at a super high temperature equals a perfect pizza every time. If you still want to learn more about this fun topic, check out these interesting, frequently asked questions below.

How long do you cook a pizza at 450?

If your oven doesn’t go up to 500F or you’re simply more comfortable cooking at 450F, that’s okay, too. When cooking a pizza at 450F, the golden number is typically 15 to 17 minutes. However, this number can differentiate on many factors. Keep an eye on your pizza!

How long to bake pizza at 400?

Baking a pizza at 400F isn’t really recommended unless you’re cooking an ultra-thick crust that doesn’t need to crisp up a whole lot. For 400F, you will need additional time added. Typically, a pizza will be done in around 20 minutes at 400F.

Can you cook pizza on a baking tray?

Sure, why not? While you should use a pizza peel or pizza stone, not everyone has the funds or ability to buy one ASAP. While it should be on your wishlist, you can certainly get it by using a baking tray. 

Final Words

Baking a pizza is so much fun, but it’s complicated, especially when it comes to the right temperature. The easiest thing to remember is that your oven should be turned up as high as it can go when it comes to what temperature to bake pizza. 

What temperature do you bake your pizza at? Do you go with the 500F or 550F method or something else? Share your ideas and results with us below so we can try, too!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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  • Brian

    Great article. I wish I had read this article years ago.
    Last night I made a DiGorno thick trust pizza and my wife had intestiinal problems; I had gas. . . after inspecting it after baking per instructions 23min @ 400°F the pizza crust was soft and doughy in the middle while the edge crust was nice and golden brown. I didn’t want to “burn” it, so I pulled it. . . that was a mistake.

    I read your article after searching for internal pizza dough temp suggestions(nada) but only found oven temp / times in the search. From now on I will take your advice and keep using our pre-heated pizza stone(also left out of this test) and run ‘er up to 550°F.

    It would be interesting to know, just the same, what dough should measure in temp in middle of fully bake pizza. Most breads run over 185 I understand.
    thanks again!

    • Michelle

      Hi, Brian!
      So glad this article helped you. The internal temp should read around 200. Enjoy your pizza!

  • Blake

    After recommending a 500-550 degree oven, you give approximate baking times for a pizza at 450 and 400 degrees, but not for 500-550 degrees! What would be your estimate for that? I guess you might go by the amount of browning of the crust but some idea of the timing would be helpful.

    • Michelle

      Hi Blake,
      At 500F, it should take about ten minutes. At 550F, five minutes or so, and it should be done.