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We cooked some pizza last night and had a good time. However, it cooked so fast that the pizza was really dark (burnt in places) and had cheese that didn't melt. On some pizza's, it was still doughy.

We have an Alphaforni 5 Minuti Wood fire oven running at 375°C (700°F). The temperature was measured using the built in thermometer. I had preheated the oven for two hours.

The dough was store bought and frozen. I thawed it out in the fridge overnight. Then it was sitting out of the fridge for about 1.5 hrs before we got it into the oven.

What would cause it to both burn and still have shredded mozzarella cheese not melt? The cheese was under the pepperoni.

  • What materiel was the pizza cooked on? – mroll Aug 13 at 1:24
  • And how thick was the base, how much topping? – Stephie Aug 13 at 5:01
  • @user3528438 if you have an answer, please post ist as such, thanks. – Stephie Aug 13 at 12:56
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A pizza burning on top while being undercooked on the bottom can be caused by uneven heat in the oven, as well as a pizza being overloaded with toppings. The former can be an issue with the oven itself, or can indicate that you are not drawing enough hot air over the top of the pizza. The latter is self-explanatory.

A trick sometimes used by pizzaiolos to prevent the bottom of the pizza from burning when the top has not cooked enough yet, is to lift the pizza closer to the top of the oven using the peel. This way, the top of the pizza gets some extra heat, while the cooking on the bottom slows down.

This image, which stems from a pizza oven manufacturer's Instagram post shows what I mean. The post also explains what is happening, and introduces the wonderful term "doming" for this practice. Lifting a pizza to the top of the oven

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  • This. If the cheese isn't melting, a little doming is in order. – FuzzyChef Aug 14 at 6:03
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When you write that the temp was registering 375C with the built in thermometer, I am assuming that is the air temperature near the top of the dome. If you are burning the crust, the surface temperature is likely much higher. You could check that with an infrared thermometer. The answer from @LShoon is accurate. With a pizza oven you really need to keep an eye on things, as the process is active and moves quickly. However, you may be making the surface too hot, and could try backing off on the intensity of the preheat, checking to see that the surface is in the 375C to 480C range.

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  • 1
    I just purchased an infrared thermometer to check the bottom. – Brig Aug 24 at 21:17

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