Bake Pizza in Oven

This is a complete guide on how to make and bake pizza in oven, including several homemade recipes. You’ll see all the steps with tips and techniques for a successful homemade darn good pizza. This is a part of our Food Guides & Resources category. Also, look for Individual Pizza Recipes in our Pizzas Recipes Category.

Steps in Making a Homemade Pizza Recipe

We’ll cover all kinds of bakeware, times, temps for pizzas in the oven. Then, we’ll finish with some tips, pizza tools, maintenance, and full pizza recipes.

So, here is a list of the summary steps of making a homemade pizza recipe in an oven. Then, we’ll cover each one with more detail.

  1. Pick a Pizza Recipe (and get ingredients).
  2. Then, make the Pizza Dough.
  3. Pick a Pizza Sauce and spread it on the Pizza Dough.
  4. Then, add the Pizza Toppings.
  5. Transfer the Pizza to Oven.
  6. Finally, bake Pizza in Oven
  7. When ready, slice the Pizza and Serve it.
  8. Popular Sides to Serve with Pizza
  9. Storing Pizza Leftovers

We’ll now cover these detailed action steps to make homemade pizzas. They’ll also include some links for specifics so, keep reading and you can start making your pizza of choice.

Step 1. Pick a Pizza Recipe

Choose a recipe on which homemade pizza recipe you’ll make

Choose a Pizza

Choose a pizza recipe and get those ingredients. These are all homemade pizza recipes for the oven. Also, they’re all a great tie-in with this guide.

Recipes for Homemade Pizzas In Oven

Step 2. Make The Pizza Dough

Now that you’ve chosen what pizza recipe you’re going to make, it’s time to make the pizza dough as your base. So, decide which of these two popular ways you choose to follow and make your pizza dough.

Dough Put Onto Floured Surface for Homemade Pizzas in Oven

Lay the pizza dough out onto a floured surface

Then, using your hands and/or a rolling pin, stretch and roll it out. I described this in detail in my pizza dough recipes:

Stretch and roll out your pizza dough to the shape of your intended bakeware

Pressing out Pizza Dough for Shape Needed

You’ll want to make it the approximate shape of the bakeware you’re going to use. Then, You can go to the next section of adding the sauce.

Step 3. Choose a Pizza Sauce and Spread It on Pizza Dough.

Pizza Peel Wooden How to Use

It can be pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, marinara, or tomato sauce

You can make your own pizza sauce but DarnGoodRecipes.com™ follows a more modern way to save time and retain quality. We don’t make pizza sauce from scratch. The minimal idea here is that you will want to use some form of a tomato-based sauce. And it does NOT have to say “Pizza Sauce” on the label.

We’ve tried about a dozen types over the years and below is the list we’ve used and accepted. However, our 1st choice was Ragu Spaghetti Sauce and our 2nd choice was Bertolli Marinara Sauce.

Chances are that you might already have one or more of these listed sauces on hand. Remember, we’re about simple, common ingredients where possible.

After you’ve chosen your sauce to use, go ahead and follow your pizza recipe for applying it. Most recipes usually don’t call for much sauce. So, just spoon it over the top of your pizza base. Also, it doesn’t matter if your pizza base is raw dough or already pre-baked.

Step 4. Add the Pizza Toppings

Now, you’ll add the pizza toppings in order, following your pizza recipe’s recommendations. These toppings will be cheeses, meats, veggies, and spices. So, keep reading for familiarity with all kinds of options for building different kinds of pizzas.

Meats for Pizza Toppings

If you are going to build a pizza including meat, you have a lot of options. Also, you can have multiple meats on the same pizza. Sometimes, you might want to combine 2 meats and other times, you might want to keep them each on their half side.

A supreme pizza can have 3 or more combined meats. So, here’s our list of ideas of meats, and some you might not have thought about.

  • Pepperoni (including Turkey Pepperoni)
  • Sausage (Pork Sausage, Italian Sausage, or Turkey Sausage)
  • Ground Beef
  • Ground Beef and Ground Pork
  • Bacon
  • Sausage and Pepperoni
  • Half Pepperoni and Half Sausage
  • Ham or Leftover Ham
  • Salami
  • Pepperoni, Sausage, and Ham
  • Pepperoni, Sausage, Salami, and Ham
  • Chicken
  • Ground Chicken
  • Steak

Cheeses for Pizza

Cheeses on Pizza 600x600 1

More than one kind of Cheese can be added as Toppings

Which cheese is best for homemade pizza? Nearly all pizzas will call for cheese and Mozzarella cheese is the most common, as a minimum. Like meats, you can have 1 or more types of cheeses on your homemade pizzas. However, there is a basic understanding of what cheeses will “pair” better with certain meats.

So, the safest bet is always choose Mozzarella as the primary dominant cheese for pizza. For adding a second cheese, Parmesan is a good choice. Finally, here are the cheeses that many people will use on a pizza, in order of preference.

  1. Mozzarella
  2. Parmesan
  3. Romano
  4. Provolone
  5. Asiago

Swiss Cheese is also a good one; however, it has a sharp, unique flavor that not everyone appreciates. So, it pairs well with ham primarily.

Feta cheese is seen sometimes on Greek or Mediterranean related pizza themes.

Goat cheese is sometimes found on specialty or Artisan pizzas. To see more about cheeses on pizzas, look over the Homemade Cheese Pizza recipe.

Fresh Veggies for Pizza Toppings

Vegetable toppings on pizzas are where everyone has the most fun. It’s here that the real creativity expands to infinity and beyond. Overall, you can balance the cheeses and meats with certain kinds of vegetables.

Or, you can go with an all vegan pizza. Regardless, nearly all pizzas have at least one vegetable and most will have two or three.

Moving forward, here’s a popular list of vegetable toppings that everyone chooses from, to use on their homemade pizzas.

  • onions (sweet, yellow, Spanish, or red/purple)
  • bell peppers (green or other colors)
  • tomatoes
  • black olives
  • mushrooms
  • spinach leaves

A good example of using a lot of those popular veggies on a pizza is the Supreme Pizza. So, specialty vegetable toppings are listed here.

  • green olives
  • avocados
  • grape tomatoes
  • red, orange, or yellow bell peppers

These veggie toppings are usually prepared in the following ways:

  • diced or chopped
  • sliced
  • strips
  • halved
  • chunky
  • whole

Fruits for Pizza Toppings

Yes, there are even fruits on certain specialty pizzas. The most common is probably the Ham and Pineapple pizza, sometimes referred as a Hawaiian Pizza. Regardless, just having some pineapple bits on a pizza with ham as the dominant meat is a great flavored pizza.

For a little added extra taste and presentation, putting a small amount of whole or halved sweet red cherries makes a star studded presentation. Also, some have called for adding raisins. Finally, there can also be dessert themed pizzas that will have more types of fruits added.

Pizza Spices

Add Small Amount of Spices Before You Bake Pizza in Oven

Spices Mix of Olive Oil Dip Recipe for Bread for Small Servings

There are a number of options for additives, supplements, spices, and herbs that can go into making a tremendous product before you bake pizza in oven. Most recipes will have spices to add like Oregano or Italian Seasonings.

Some specialty or gourmet pizzas might even call for things like shredded coconut or nuts of various types. Also, others might call for sometimes adding condiments like brown mustard or barbecue sauce.

Step 5. Transfer To Bake Pizza In Oven

Now you transfer your prepared pizza from the countertop to bake pizza in oven. Here are some different scenarios of how this happens.

  • The pizza was built on a pizza pan or baking sheet and it’s put into the oven easily.
  • The pizza was built in a cast iron skillet and it’s then put into the oven.
  • There’s a hot pizza stone or pizza steel (aka “baking steel”) in the oven. Depending what the pizza was built on, it then goes into the oven in one of the following ways.
    • The pizza was built on a pizza peel so you use the peel to put it onto the pizza stone or steel in the oven.
    • The pizza was built on the countertop so you can use a metal pizza peel to scoop it up and put it onto the pizza stone or steel in the oven.

For more details on transferring the prepared pizza from the countertop to bake pizza in oven, read our article that discusses how to use a pizza peel.

Transfer and Bake Pizza in Oven

Transferring Prepared Pizza to Preheated Pizza Steel

If not using a pizza peel, it’s recommended to stay with baking methods using a baking sheet, pizza pan, or skillet. You can build the pizza directly on that kind of bakeware as it won’t require a transferring tool. So now, let’s look at oven temps and times.

Step 6. Bake Pizza In Oven: Temps & Times

To bake pizza in ovens, the bakeware you use determines oven temps and times. We’ll now cover both of those and how it changes across cooking pizzas in the oven in skillets, pizza pans, baking sheets, pizza stones, and pizza steels.

Temp to Bake Pizza in Oven

Knowing your recipe’s temp to bake pizza in oven is crucial. Fortunately, most recipes use oven temps like 450⁰F to 500⁰F, and these are commonly available in kitchen ovens.

  • Par-baking pizza crust, with no toppings, is often about 450⁰F.
  • Baking homemade pizzas in regular kitchen ovens are often about 500⁰F but some recipes will call for less than that. The only temps that are higher than this are for specialty pizza ovens that call for as high as 700-850⁰F.

Cooking Time To Bake Pizza In Oven

Time durations to bake pizza in oven for pizzas that don’t have much toppings on them will have much shorter oven cooking times. For example, a thin crust cheese pizza uses a shorter time to bake pizza in ovens. However, others that have a lot of toppings like pizzas with 2 meats, 3 cheeses, 2 veggies, and a regular or thick dough crust, will have much longer times. So, times are mainly dependent on your bakeware. Types of pizza bakeware are iron skillets, pans, baking sheets, pizza stones, and pizza steels.

Pizza Stone Preheating in Oven 600x600 1

Pizza Stone Preheating in Oven

List of Temps & Times To Bake Pizza In Oven Temp

Below is an overall list of homemade pizza temps & times to bake pizza in ovens. Temp and time will vary mostly on these 3 things:

  • thickness and size of the pizza dough
  • amount and kinds of pizza toppings
  • bakeware used (most impact)

Bakeware use has the biggest impact. So, here’s a range of some of those values.

  • Skillet 14-28 minutes at 450⁰F.
    • 6-inch: 14-18 minutes
    • 10-inch: 18-23 minutes
    • 12-inch: 20-25 minutes
    • 14-inch: 22-26 minutes
    • 16-inch: 22-28 minutes
  • Baking Sheet or Pizza Pan at 450⁰F: 21-23 minutes
  • Pizza Stone at 500⁰F: 16-20 minutes
  • Baking Pizza Steel (¼-inch) at 500⁰F: 12-16 minutes

Step 7. After You Bake Pizza in Oven, Slice It and Serve

Cut your perfect pizza and Serve it

Serving Pizza Slice

So, after your pizza has been baked, remove it from the oven and let it rest, usually about 5 minutes minimum and 10 minutes max. However, your recipe usually references the wait time. Then, you proceed with cutting it for serving. Also, a good easy method of cutting with any pizza cutter is to start from the center and go to the outer crust edge.

Step 8. Popular Sides to Serve with Pizza

Here are some popular sides to serve with pizza. A simple green lettuce salad or spinach salad are super and healthy sides. Or, even celery and carrot sticks are good crunchy things to munch on. However, read our article “Sides With Pizza: The Best Pizza Sides To Serve” to see a more complete ideas list.

Those sides, or something similar, can offer lower fat and calorie intake for the meal, if the dressings and dips are modest. Also, they help give some fiber and other nutrients to go along with the meaty protein of the main course.

And, like the restaurants do, you could also have garlic bread sticks or cheese sticks. Also, for after the meal, you could have some chocolate chip cookies on hand. However, Italians sometimes will have a sherbet (or sorbet) for cleaning the palate and it’s more healthy.

Step 9. Storing Pizza Leftovers

What to do with leftover pizza

Serving Pizza Leftovers

So, after enjoying your homemade pizza, you’ll want to store any leftovers, if you have any. Next, there is some important information for storing cooked pizza. It’s a good section to review for consideration of food safety and quality control.

How To Store Pizza

While you can store pizza in a plastic food container, it might keep better if you can have it exposed to less air by using a plastic food storage bag or plastic wrap.

To keep leftover pizza even longer, I will wrap the pizza in food plastic wrap and then bag it for the freezer. While I’ve gone as long as 3 months, I think the quality is retained best for a maximum of 1 month after freezing. And this leads us into reheating leftover pizza.

How Long Leftover Pizza Shelf Life

I will be able to keep leftover pizza safely in the fridge for about 3 days. However, I never go past 5 days. Also, if I’ve left a freshly cooked pizza out on the counter for over an hour, I typically won’t keep it past 1-2 days in the fridge.

For pizza food safety, you generally don’t want to leave your cooked pizza out on the serving space beyond about 1/2 hour. However, there are some exceptions. One example is if the pizza is left on the hot bakeware that can retain heat. Cast iron skillets or cast iron pizza pans hold their heat longer than most. While differing scenarios might not show any visible signs of difference, behind the scenes, bacteria levels are accelerated the longer the cooked pizza is left out at room temperature.

Reheating Leftover Pizza

Prepping Leftover Pizza Slices to Reheat in Oven

Prepping to Reheat Pizza Slices in Oven 550x600 1

There are numerous ways to reheating leftover pizza. Many have difficulty with maintaining the texture and flavor of reheated pizza so, here are some solutions. Also, these are listed in order of frequency that people use.

First off, if the pizza was frozen, it needs to be thawed out before any reheating. One way is to put it in the fridge overnight. However, most people, myself included, won’t plan for that in advance so, you can use the microwave to defrost it but not to get it fully reheated just yet. All of the above links are based on refrigerated or thawed out pizza slices.

Reheat pizza microwave time

If you reheat in the microwave, on full power, one slice can take about 45-90 seconds, depending on your microwave wattage. The level of crispiness will be lowest when reheating in the microwave and far better with other methods

So, if you use a microwave’s “Reheat” option, you can consider using it and tweaking it for your individual unit. It will taste better if it’s not a direct full power heating. Also, sometimes I’ll wrap the slices in paper towels but it won’t be as crispy.

Times & Temperature for reheating pizza in the oven

For fastest time, use a baking sheet in the oven at 400°F to reheat pizza. Generally, you don’t want to go hotter. If you choose to reheat in the oven, here’s a real good complete method. So, see our complete article “How to Reheat Pizza in an Oven: Expert Ways“.

How to reheat pizza in a pan or skillet

The fastest good tasting method is in a skillet or frying pan that has a lid or cover. The only limitation is the number of slices you can heat up at once. This might be 2-3 slices depending on the pan size and the size of the pizza slices.

  • Preheat the pan on medium heat.
  • Do not add any oil to the slices nor the pan. Then, just lay the slices in the pan and cover it.
  • After about 3-4 minutes, remove the pan cover, reduce the heat to low, and continue heating another 3-4 minutes.
  • Also, you will need to monitor the bottoms of the pizza slices to prevent burning, and potentially reduce the times or the heating level of the burner.

How long reheat pizza in air fryer

Air fry them for about 4-6 minutes but, it depends on your Air Fryer. Real thick slices might need a little longer. However, like the frying pan, the amount of slices is limited; you don’t want to stack these. So, set the air fryer for French Fries (about 390°F) for about a minute. Then, add in the slices for a single layer only. Also, to prevent drying out, you can wet your fingers in water and “flick” them to sprinkle it across the slices’ tops.

Tools To Make & Bake Pizza In Oven Easier

In the process of making and baking pizzas, you will come across some pizza tools that will make your job much easier. However, in using some pizza bakeware, you’ll want to consider certain tools over others. Also, all are not used all the time.

To know what might be helpful, we’ll now discuss some of the key tools and how they work in saving time. Some are needed for certain types of pizza bakeware while others are not. The most important tools are:

  • Tools for transferring pizzas from the counter to the oven, and again for removal from the oven.
  • Cutting tools for slicing pizzas
  • Cutting surfaces for pizzas and serving
  • Turning tools for turning the pizza inside deep, extreme heat pizza ovens.
  • Pumice Stone Cleaning Brick (used for deep cleaning Pizza Steel; see “Different Ways How To Clean Baking Steel“)

You’ll need an adequate cutting surface and a cutter. Regarding the cutting surface, you can use a large cutting board. However, many homes don’t have a large enough cutting board for a 12 to 16-inch sized pizza. So, if you can cut on the countertop, you’re good to go. If you can’t, the solution might be to get a wooden pizza peel but a somewhat thick one as the thinner ones aren’t recommended for cutting on.

The wooden pizza peel is also good for serving. And, if you read the pizza peel article, you can also use it for building your pizza on it so you only have to slip it into the oven. Also, after it’s baked, it can be reused to transfer it out of the oven.

Pizza Cutters for After you Bake Pizza in Oven

Regarding the actual cutting tool, there are quite a few choices out there. These can basically fall into 2 types: wheel or rocker.

Slicing Homemade Pizza with Pizza Wheel Cutter

Use a Pizza Wheel Cutter Starting from the Center to the Edge

The Pizza Wheel Cutter

The pizza wheel cutter is the most commonly used in homes and takes up a small amount of space. You can look around and even get one at the grocery store. But, we finally found one that is extremely heavy duty, solid, and has never rusted in the dish washer after several years and 200 pizzas later. Although, it’s a bit pricey compared to others.

The Pizza Rocker Cutter

The pizza rocker cutter is a little easier to use but takes up more space. Also, it’s like the kind that restaurants use. So, if you get one, you’ll want to ensure it’s the length of your potentially largest pizza you’ll ever make. However, it would still work fine if it’s not wide enough; you’d just need to move it around and recut a few more times is all.

Pizza Peel for Transferring Pizzas

Transferring to Bake Pizza in Oven using a Pizza Peel

Transferring Pizza to Oven Using Metal Peel

If you make pizzas about 6 times a year, you’ll want a transfer tool (a “pizza peel”). Also, if your pizza bakeware itself is preheated to a very high temperature, that alone justifies the need to get a pizza peel. In that scenario, you’ll need to safely transfer the prepared uncooked pizza from your work area onto the extremely hot bakeware. Also, when it’s baked, you’ll need the tool again to remove it from the hot bakeware to transfer it to the area for cutting.

So, here’s an article of how to use the pizza peel to give you a better idea of its usage.

Cut Pizzas on a Wooden Peel

You can Cut Pizzas on Many Types of Wooden Pizza Peels

Selecting A Pizza Peel For Transferring To Bake Pizza In Oven

How do you know what kind of pizza peel to get? They have some that are metal and some that are wooden. Some you can also use to cut pizzas on. Basically, you’ll want a very thin pizza peel to scoop it up from the counter without scrunching it all up (since it’s base is still raw dough). You’ll then need to “slip” it off the peel onto the hot bakeware in the oven.

Some pizza peels are more receptive to others on the “scooping” retrieval and the “slipping” releasing aspects involved with all pizza transferring stages.

I highly recommend you read our expert article on how to choose the best pizza peels for your usage. It discusses the specific needs when transferring pizzas. Some will make it less messy and some you’ll be able to cut onto its surface. It also has references to using long handled pizza turning tools if you’re using a pizza oven.

Conclusion of Make & Bake Pizza In Oven

This is your complete guide for creating and serving your best homemade pizzas in an oven. So, you can refer to it in the future. And we’ll keep it updated. Also, you’ve read easier ways of making pizzas using appropriate pizza tools for transferring and bake pizzas in ovens, as well as slicing them for serving.

We even covered storing leftovers and reheating pizza to a much better level of enjoyment. Now, plan your next pizza easier and faster. So, make that pizza dough in advance and store it in the fridge or freezer. Then, plan it to make darn good pizzas at home!

How to make pizza dough homemade
How to Make Pizza Dough Homemade
Adding Final Pizza Topping to Sausage Pizza
Adding Final Pizza Topping to Sausage Pizza
Transferring Prepared Pizza to Preheated Pizza Steel
Transferring Prepared Pizza to Preheated Pizza Steel

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