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The Physics of Cooking a Perfect Pizza at Home
The ideal Italian-style pizza, whether Roman or Neapolitan, has a crisp crust flecked with dark spots (marks left by a blazing hot oven).
What makes for cooking a perfect pizza? Recently, Andreas Glatz, a physicist at Northern Illinois University, asked pizzaiolos, professional pizza makers in Rome, that very question. The answer he got: it's all about the brick.
He and a team of researchers discovered that the secret behind a pizza's magic is the unique thermal properties of the brick oven used by professional pizza makers. Typically, baking a pizza in a brick oven lasts about two minutes at 626 degrees Fahrenheit (Neapolitan pizzas usually bake at 700 degrees or higher).
A brick oven heated to 626 degrees will heat the crust to roughly 392 degrees, while the top of the pizza receives indirect heat of about 212 degrees that allows the water to boil off from the cheese and tomato sauce. That temperature differential is what creates pizza perfection -- all thanks to brick's unique thermal conductivity!
Read more about the science of cooking a perfect pizza in a brick oven at:
- NPR: Pizza Physics: Why Brick Ovens Bake The Perfect Italian-Style Pie
- The Physics of Baking Good Pizza by Andrey Varlamov, Andreas Glatz, and Sergio Grasso