When it comes to pizza, would you call yourself a pizza connoisseur? Do you have an opinion on the heated debate of coal-fired vs. wood-fired pizza debate? Or are you more of a novice who is happy to eat any style of pizza, with any topping, at any time?
Even if you think any and all pizzas are delicious, there are distinct differences among the varying methods of preparation.
Let’s take a look at two of the most popular methods: coal-fired vs. wood-fired pizza. Just what is the difference?
Wood-fired pizza can be baked between 650-900 ℉. In this kind of oven, a pizza can sometimes be cooked in as fast as 90 seconds.
Conversely, coal-fired pizza is baked between 800-1000 ℉ (or, sometimes, even higher!). Despite the higher temperature, however, a pizza in a coal-fired oven usually takes between two to three minutes to cook.
Why is there a longer cook time in a coal-fired oven? Even though the coal-fired oven is hotter, a wood-fired oven has a much higher flame, resulting in a faster cook time.
Next, the coal-fired pizza vs. wood-fired pizza debate extends into style. Typically, wood-fired pizzas are between 11 and 13 inches in diameter. Whereas, coal-fired pizzas are a bit larger; they are usually between 16 and 18 inches in diameter.
The greatest difference between coal-fired and wood-fired lies in the taste.
A wood oven is the traditional method for creating a Neapolitan style pizza. They produce pizzas with a soft and delicate texture with an almost puffy crust. This is a result of the “moist” heat that the wood oven provides.
A coal oven, on the other hand, is traditionally used to create New York style pizzas. This kind of pizza has a crispier crust, but still maintains a softer, chewier center.
Even though there are many differences between coal-fired and wood-fired pizzas, you may be thinking: at the end of the day, a pizza is a pizza, right?
In some ways, that is correct. Despite their differences, coal-fired and wood-fired pizzas do share certain similarities.
Both coal-fired and wood-fired pizzas reach extremely hot temperatures, so they are both able to cook a pizza in only a matter of minutes. And, despite their varying textures and flavors, the two ovens both produce pizzas with a slight char.
Finally, while the wood-fired oven does classically favor Neapolitan style pizzas and the coal-fired oven the New York style pizza, this is not a steadfast rule. In fact, both ovens can cook any style of pizza.
The coal-fired pizza at PCFP
Obviously, when it comes to the coal-fired vs. wood-fired pizza debate, it’s without question which oven we prefer at PCFP.
Why do we favor the coal oven? It delivers the best of both worlds. Enjoy the delicate, chewy center of a coal-fired pizza with the satisfying crunch of a slightly charred, crispy crust.
Still undecided about which oven is the winner? Satisfy the coal-fired vs. wood-fired pizza debate once and for all – have a taste for yourself!
Browse our menu at PCFP to pick out which pizza you’d like to put to the test.
Then, contact PCFP for a take-out order or visit our Providence or North Kingstown location.