Baking Pizza: Top or Bottom Oven Rack?

published Oct 8, 2012
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

For as long as I can remember, I baked homemade pizza on the bottom rack of my oven. Many recipes suggest this technique for closer proximity to the oven’s heat source. But at least one cooking authority recommends moving your pizza stone towards the top when baking thin-crust pizza…

One of the most useful things I learned in America’s Test Kitchen’s “New York-Style Pizza at Home” episode concerns oven rack position. They suggest placing the stone on a higher rack, about 4-5 inches away from the oven’s top heating element. As a result, the top of the pizza gets nicely browned and bubbly, while the preheated baking stone takes care of the bottom.

For me, this technique has speeded up the baking process and resulted in a more evenly baked pie. Of course, it might not work for all oven designs and styles of pizza. Have you tried this? How did it work for you?

Watch the episode: New York-Style Pizza at Home at America’s Test Kitchen (oven rack tip is at the 16:35 mark)

(Images: Flickr member andersknudsen licensed under Creative Commons)