Making a pizza from scratch at home can be a time-consuming but rewarding experience.

How to Prevent Too Much Smoke When Baking a Homemade Pizza

by Blake Guthrie

While more time-consuming to make than simply throwing a frozen pizza in the oven or calling out for delivery, homemade pies are generally affordable and tasty. Pizzeria ovens bake pies at upwards of 650 degrees Fahrenheit. The average home oven doesn't get that hot, so you'll need to preheat it to its highest setting for the best results. If you use the proper equipment, too much smoke shouldn't be a problem.

1 Clean the oven. Any smoke that might occur when baking your homemade pizza could be spillage from whatever was last cooked in that oven. A good cleaning before baking should take care of this problem.

2 Preheat the oven. Even if you clean the oven before baking your pizza, preheating is still an important step for properly cooking the pie. Plus, if you missed anything in the cleaning process, the preheat will let you know about it, because you'll smell something burning or see the smoke before putting the pizza in the oven.

3 Double check that that the oven is set to bake and not broil -- you may have turned the knob a notch too far. Broiling a pizza won't work, because the toppings will burn and begin smoking while the dough underneath won't fully cook.

4 Use a pizza peel, which is a wide paddle with a long handle, and a pizza stone. Dust the peel with cornmeal before preparing the pie on it. The cornmeal keeps the dough from sticking to the peel and allows you to slide it onto the pizza stone with the toppings intact.

5 Go easy on the toppings. If you overload the pie, it may not slide easily off the peel.

Items you will need

  • Pizza stone
  • Pizza peel
  • Cornmeal


  • Use a constant, gentle shaking motion when sliding the pizza off the peel into the oven, rather than trying to slide it off in one movement.
  • Using a pizza stone decreases the chances of burning the underside of the crust.


  • Use oven mitts when placing or removing anything from a hot oven, even when using a pizza peel.

About the Author

Blake Guthrie is a freelance writer and award-winning singer/songwriter based in Atlanta, GA. He has won–-or been a finalist in–-numerous songwriting competitions, including the Top Ten, the Eddies Attic Open Mic Shootout, the Independent Music Awards, the KRCL Performing Songwriter Showcase (Top Ten) and the International Songwriting Competition. For two-years in a row he was selected as “Critics Choice” for “Best Singer/Songwriter in Atlanta” by Creative Loafing, the largest newsweekly in the Southeast (this was BEFORE he started writing for the magazine). He also enjoys writing about himself in the third person.

Photo Credits

  • Images