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I'm undecided between buying an oven stone, or a pizza oven (like http://j.mp/YXeiTr).

I can't find any helpful suggestion - does anybody have any comment? I'm aware of the major differences - for example, one has to pre-heat the stone before usage. Some things may not be obvious though, for example, does one has to wait some time between cooking pizzas if one has to cook many with the stone? Any other differences?

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2 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

A pizza stone in a normal oven will only get the maximum temperature of the oven (probably not more than 280 ºC / 530 ºF).

A specific pizza oven will gett hotter (the one you linked gets 390 ºC / 735 ºF and, indeed has a stone inside).

If you want to get Italian style pizzas, go for the pizza oven. They need that high temperature in order to be ready in (ideally) 90 seconds. Those Ferrari ovens are one of Italian's favourite ones, albeit they'll need a bit more time than 1.5 minutes achievable in wood fired traditional pizza ovens.

You (probably) won't be able to achieve those high temperatures with a normal home kitchen oven, unless you have a pyrolytic home oven, and hack it in order to cook in it during the pyrolysis cycle.


As for the waiting time between pizzas using a stone, consider it as a capacitor (or a rechargeable battery): It takes heat (until is soaked up), and then gives it back. Once you make 1 pizza (or a loaf of bread), it needs to soak (a bit) again.

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I think J.A.I.L's answer is a really good one and covers pretty much all the necessary differences between an oven stone and a pizza oven, but omitted to explain the need for the fiercely high heat in cooking italian style thin crust pizzas.

It's not so much about the time it takes to cook the pizza, in fact the time factor is largely irrelevant - it's about the high temperature required to cook the thin dough correctly.

Thin italian style pizza crusts cooked in a domestic oven on a pizza stone at the highest temperature the oven will go to will come out biscuity. The pizza dough needs a temperature of at least 700ºF or higher (as typically achieved in a wood fired oven) to cook the dough so it is crisp on the outside but chewy on the inside.

There is no substitute for this high temperature if you want to cook thin crust pizza dough correctly.

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