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Why are brick ovens used to make pizza? I have seen restaurants advertising "brick oven" pizza as though it was better than pizza made in a deck oven. Is there any basis to this?

One caterer I talked to said it was because the brick oven is hotter, but as far as I can tell pizza is normally cooked at 600F and all professional deck ovens can be set to that temperature.

  • Whether a brick oven is a factor or not depends also on what kind of pizza you are thinking about. They range from ultra-thin Neapolitan style to deep-dish Chicago style. Or is this just a general “what’s the fuss about brick ovens” question? – Stephie Feb 14 '18 at 17:51
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This is partly about temperature, as brick ovens can get to the 600 degrees F that you cited...and beyond...so, yes, potentially much hotter. It is also about heat retention. Further, the low ceiling is a factor. "Best" is certainly subjective because there are a variety of pizza styles, but the advantage of a brick or stone oven is in the design. The construction allows the baking surface to heat to a high temperature and then retain that temperature as multiple pizzas are cooked. This is critical for crust development. The low ceiling allows the top of the pizza to be cooked quickly, preferably charring the surface crust in places, and cooking a Neapolitan style pizza in 2 - 4 minutes. Why are they used? Well, they were around long before deck ovens. They are an efficient design that has stood the test of time. They make great pizza.

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    @DrisheenColcannon Wood fired brick ovens can reach 800+ degrees F. The deck ovens I know of top out at 500 to 650 degrees F, depending on model. Brick oven temperatures: bodrumnyc.com/… fornobravo.com/commercial-pizza-ovens/compare/… Deck ovens: blodgett.com/wp-content/uploads/961-spec.pdf?t=1518565640 – Shannon Severance Feb 13 '18 at 23:53
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    @DrisheenColcannon - Nebulous= unclear, vague, or ill-defined. If you will let me know which part of my response fits that definition, I'll work to clarify. You asked why brick ovens are used to make pizza. I'm providing a response, which, by the way, points out that "best" is subjective. – moscafj Feb 14 '18 at 1:15
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    Also, I would imagine (not 100% sure, I am not good that good at physics) putting your pizza onto a 700F stone surface has a different effect than putting it onto a metal sheet and putting it into 700F air. – Layna Feb 14 '18 at 7:06
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    @Layna Having done both, I am 100% sure there is a difference. Some might prefer the metal pan, but in my mind the stone is more like what I think "real" pizza is like. It helps make the bottom of the crust have the right texture and chewiness. – Todd Wilcox Feb 14 '18 at 8:01
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    @DrisheenColcannon Pizza making is all about vague heat theories :) – rackandboneman Feb 14 '18 at 9:01

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