How To Keep Pizza Crust From Burning?

Ever enjoyed a delicious pizza, only to find the crust burnt to a crisp? If you’re wondering how to prevent that unfortunate mishap, you’re in the right place.

In this guide, we’ll explore easy and effective methods to keep your pizza crust golden and perfectly cooked, so you can savor every bite without worrying about burnt edges.

Should Pizza Be Burnt?

It’s likely that your pizza came straight from the wood-fired oven if you’ve ever eaten it at a classic pizzeria.

It’s also possible you noticed a few burnt spots on the crust. Is that really the way it should be? Are your pizzas constantly being burned?

Burnt Vs. Charred

Traditionally, Neapolitan pizza has a charred crust. It is often referred to as leoparding when small, charred spots appear on the crust.

A wood-fired oven’s fast baking contributes to the leopard-pattern. The crust also gets its flavor from the charred spots.

A pizza’s top and bottom will both be charred. Burnt and charred pizza are two different things, and it’s important to emphasize that.

Pizza has a savory and slightly bitter flavor because sugars in the flour caramelize at high temperatures.

You’ll typically find this combination of savory and bitter flavors in a Neapolitan pizza because of the combination of tomato sauce and creamy mozzarella.

You want to pull out the pizza before the combustion process begins, otherwise you’ll end up with burnt pizza.

How To Prevent Burnt Pizza?

Too long in the oven will cause the crust to burn, resulting in a black crust with an extremely bitter taste. The pizza might even turn into coal if left too long. So how do you avoid it?

Avoid Excess Flour

The powder form of wheat flour burns rapidly. The excess flour in your dough should therefore be removed. It will be easier to do this if you use a perforated pizza peel.

Semolina is better at handling heat than fine wheat flour or cornmeal, so you should use it to dust your peel.

Don’t Use Cold Pizza Dough

Cold dough can burn easily, creating measles-like patterns if the starch is not applied properly. To prepare your pizza, you should allow your pizza dough to rest at room temperature for at least 2-3 hours.

Use the Right Type of Dough

Your dough should be made with less oil and sugar, or without any at all. At a fairly low temperature, oil will lead to more heat, causing the pizza to bake faster, and sugar will calamerize and burn.

A color that can handle the heat, such as Caputo Pizzeria, can also prevent flour from burning in the oven.

Know Your Baking Method and Control Time and Temperature

There is a difference in care required for different baking methods. Having the right balance between baking the top and bottom of the pizza is more important than anything else.

There is a challenge with grilling pizzas because the heat source is underneath the pizza. As a result, the bottom bakes much faster.

By using indirect heat and closing the lid, as much heat as possible can be trapped and the top can be baked. You can speed up the process of baking the top of the pizza by baking one side, burning it, and topping it, and then baking the bottom.

If you leave burnt pizza baking on a baking sheet for too long in a home oven, it’s most likely due to over-cooking.

Like in a pizza oven, you should balance the baking of the top and bottom if you are using a pizza stone or steel.

A pizza oven that is fueled by wood or gas can get very hot, so infrared thermometers should be used to measure the temperature.

Using a turning peel is also an important tool for making sure the bottom of the pizza doesn’t burn. You can speed up the process of baking by lifting the pizza up to the hot dome using your peel if the bottom is baking more quickly than the top.

Certain Ingredients Will Burn Faster Than Others

Depending on the temperature at which you bake pizza, you may need to reduce or completely eliminate some ingredients to prevent them from burning.

If you are having trouble with burnt pizza, you should start with Neapolitan pizza, which is designed for baking at extremely high temperatures.

How To Avoid Burnt Pizza In A Home Oven?

It depends on how you bake your pizza in a home oven which causes burnt pizza. You only need to worry about time if you bake it at 450°F on a baking sheet.

It is important to maintain a balance between the top and bottom of the pizza when baking it on a pizza stone or pizza steel.

Pizza On The Grill

On a grill, the heat source lies underneath the pizza, which presents a challenge for baking pizza. As a result, the bottom may burn before the top is done.

If you want to prevent burnt pizza on the grill, you should bake one side of the pizza first. After it has been pulled off the grill, it should be turned (so the baked side is facing up) and then topped. 

As the crust heats up, the cheese will melt, and the toppings will start to cook. Once the grill is ready, place the lid on it. 

You will need all that heat to properly bake your toppings, so try not to open the lid too much. Using indirect heat is also recommended, since heat directly under the pizza will burn it much faster.

Pizza In A Portable Pizza Oven

Small, portable ovens, such as the Oni Pizza Oven, can be used to bake pizza like wood-fired ovens. Due to their small size, these small ovens often have uneven heat.

Pizzas that are close to the fire tend to burn more quickly. As a result, keep an eye on the pizza while it bakes. Make sure it is turned as necessary.

Baking With a Pizza Stone or Steel

I personally enjoy baking pizza at home in this way. It’s because you can make delicious Neapolitan-style pizza this way.

As a consequence, the bottom of the pizza will be baked more quickly on a pizza stone or steel. The top of the pizza needs to be baked as quickly as possible, so you need a heat source that can do this.

Broiler or grill functions are the best ways to accomplish this. This will even give the curst its characteristic charred, leopard-pattern! When using the broiler, your pizza crust will go from done to burn very quickly.

A balance must be struck between the heat of the broiler and that of the stone or steel. When you preheat a thicker stone, or steel, it will retain more heat, so the pizza will bake more quickly.

So, if your oven gets really hot, you might want to consider a thicker stone or steel to bake the pizza evenly. It’s better to choose a thinner stone or steel if your oven can’t get that hot, or you don’t have a broiler.

You must check the bottom of the pizza for doneness in a pizza oven, and you must turn the pizza if the heat is uneven.

Baking On A Baking Sheet

The heat from above and underneath is pretty evenly distributed when baking pizza on a baking sheet. Therefore, time is the main risk. Take your pizza out before it burns and keep an eye on it.

Why Does Pizza Crust Burn?

Pizza burns for a variety of reasons. Burnt crusts are often caused by temperature and time, but also ingredients in the dough, excess flour, or using cold pizza dough.

Depending on the heat source, the method you use to bake your pizza also determines how fast it will burn. In some cases, the top burns first, and in others, the bottom.

Time and Temperature

Temperature and time are the most important factors in burning anything. You need to balance time and temperature when you bake pizza in a wood-fired pizza oven or a home oven. Too long in the oven will cause the pizza to burn, even at lower temperatures.

Too Much Heat Underneath

You are probably getting too much direct heat on your pizza stone or steel if you are using an oven with a heat source from below. The bottom of the pizza will cook much too quickly as a result.

It is imperative that you cook your dough on very hot surfaces in order to make the best pizza. It is more well-known to use a pizza stone, but a pizza steel produces even better results.

Due to the steel’s excellent conductivity of heat, the foundation cooks very quickly. Additionally, they won’t shatter like stones.

Keeping The Baking Top And Bottom In Balance

Ensure that the top and bottom of the pizza are baked at the same temperature. Overheated baking surfaces cause the bottom of the pizza to burn before the top is done.

It is also possible for the toppings to burn while the bottom of the pizza is still raw if the heat above the pizza is too hot compared to the baking surface.

When the pizza is baking, you need to keep an eye on it. Since it can be hard to tell when your pizza is done from the top, you should also check the bottom.

To do this, you can use a pizza peel, or better yet, a pizza turning peel, that has been specifically designed for this purpose.

When it comes to finding this balance, different baking methods present different challenges.

There are pizzas that have a high risk of burning the top, while there are pizzas that have a high risk of burning the bottom. Understanding your baking method is therefore crucial.

Toppings Not Cooking

The fact that your toppings are not cooking evenly with the base may indicate that your toppings need to be adjusted in order to cook evenly. As a result, you will be able to finish topping your pizza, and your bottom will not get burnt.

If you’re adding toppings to your pizza, you might want to consider cooking them first.

Try experimenting with your equipment and toppings until you find a balance that works for you. It is possible to monitor the burning of your base throughout the cooking process.

It is generally recommended that you cook pizza at a nice, even temperature. It is possible for one side of the pizza to cook faster than the other if you have too much heat from above or below.

Cold Dough

The toppings of pizza do not get cooked as quickly as the bottom when the dough is cold, especially if it is thick.

Before stretching and baking your dough, you should let it sit out of the refrigerator for approximately two hours.

Too Much Flour On Your Peel

The excess flour you put on your peel when transferring it to the oven will burn more easily since it is a dry ingredient. Don’t use more flour than you need to prevent your pizza from sticking.

Special peels with perforated holes are available. Flour, semolina, or cornmeal can be used on the peel to prevent it from sticking while allowing excess mixtures to fall away and not burn on the oven floor.

Too Much Sugar

When sugar is added to a dough recipe, the crust will brown. You’ll get the wrong results if you have too much sugar in your system.

When cooking at lower temperatures, sugar is needed since low temperatures do not provide enough heat to create good color – higher temperatures do not need it.

If you are cooking at high temperatures, try lowering the sugar or cutting it out completely.

Is It Safe to Eat Burnt Pizza?

Burnt foods are controversial when it comes to their health implications. A chemical called acrylamide is formed when bread is baked at high temperatures.

According to the FDA (source), this chemical causes cancer in animals, so it is also a concern for human health. Therefore, consuming burnt pizza might be harmful to your health.

Final Words

It is likely that you have too much heat coming from underneath if your pizza bottom is burned. You might also experience burning issues if you have too much sugar in your dough or too much flour underneath.

If your pizza bottom is burnt, try some of the solutions in this article. It’s a good idea to lift and check the pizza base to see if it’s cooked. When the surface is nicely browned, you can remove it; when it is too pale, leave it for longer.

Moving your cooking equipment around so that there is less direct heat from below should solve the problem. A direct heat source like this is too intense for cooking pizza dough, which needs a warmer environment to cook properly.

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