The Truth Behind Oven Temperatures for Homemade vs. Frozen Pizza

When it comes to pizza, the oven temperature can make a significant difference in the final product. Whether you’re making a pizza from scratch or heating a frozen one, the temperature you set your oven to can affect the crust’s texture, the cheese’s meltiness, and the overall flavor. But why is there a discrepancy in the recommended oven temperatures for homemade and frozen pizzas? Let’s delve into the science behind it.

The Science Behind Oven Temperatures

When you’re cooking a pizza, you’re essentially doing two things: baking the dough and melting the cheese. The ideal temperature for baking pizza dough is around 500F (260C), while the optimal temperature for melting cheese is around 375F (190C). Therefore, when you’re making a pizza from scratch, you need a higher temperature to properly bake the dough. On the other hand, when you’re heating a frozen pizza, the dough is already baked, so you only need to melt the cheese and heat the toppings, which requires a lower temperature.

Why Homemade Pizzas Need Higher Temperatures

Homemade pizzas require a higher temperature for a few reasons. First, the dough needs to be baked, which requires a high temperature to create a crispy crust. Second, the high temperature helps to evaporate any excess moisture in the toppings, preventing the pizza from becoming soggy. Finally, a high temperature allows the cheese to melt quickly and evenly, creating a deliciously gooey topping.

Why Frozen Pizzas Need Lower Temperatures

Frozen pizzas, on the other hand, require a lower temperature because the dough is already baked. The main goal when heating a frozen pizza is to melt the cheese and heat the toppings without burning the crust. A lower temperature allows the pizza to heat evenly without the risk of burning. Additionally, because frozen pizzas are typically thicker than homemade pizzas, a lower temperature ensures that the pizza is heated all the way through.


In conclusion, the discrepancy in oven temperatures for homemade and frozen pizzas comes down to the different cooking requirements of each type of pizza. Homemade pizzas need a higher temperature to bake the dough and evaporate excess moisture, while frozen pizzas need a lower temperature to melt the cheese and heat the toppings without burning the crust. So, the next time you’re making a pizza, whether from scratch or from the freezer, remember to adjust your oven temperature accordingly for the best results.