Coal Oven Pizza Questions

Frequently asked coal oven pizza questions at Tony Sacco’s. This FAQ provides some of the most often asked questions by our guests as well as answers about our unique style of pizzas. Learn all about what makes our coal fired pizza just taste better!

When were coal ovens first used to cook pizza?

Nearly 500 years ago! The origin of modern pizza can be traced back to 1522 in Naples, Italy. During that time Italians used coal to fire their Old World ovens. It is “this” classic taste that Tony Sacco’s wanted to re-create from a time when pizza just tasted better.


Are you burning real actual coal in the oven?

Yes! We burn only pure anthracite coal from Pennsylvania. It creates twice the energy per pound as wood, and burns much cleaner. Our oven will typically go through around 100 lbs. of coal per day.


How does burning the coal in the oven work?

Every morning we clean out ash from the previous day. Our cooks then re-build our coal fires daily with a combination of live coals and then add new coals into the oven. Coals are arranged in a pile off to the side. Once re-started a blue smokeless flame is visible over the coals.


How is it that your pizzas cook in 4-5 minutes?

Our custom built coal fired ovens produce 13,000 BTU of heat per pound, that is double what wood can provide at around 6,500 BTU. When our oven is at full burn we can reach oven dome temperatures of up to 1000°.  This essentially “flash cooks” our pizzas keeping in all the delicious flavors.


Do you really cook everything in your coal oven?

It’s true. We use our coal fired oven to cook everything from pizzas or calzones to wings and burgers. Even our pasta is made in boiling water inside stainless steel pans in the coal oven. There are no microwaves, no fryers and no grills at our locations. Everything goes through our custom-built coal-fired oven.


Why does pizza taste better from a coal oven?

Primarily because of the higher cooking temperature that only coal provides. Our oven generates an internal temperature of over 1,000°.  This allows us to cook the pizza very quickly keeping in all of the flavors.  In addition it creates a perfect golden brown cheese without overcooking the other toppings. The coal also gives our pizza an unmatched subtle smoky yet unique taste.


Why does the sauce taste so different from normal pizza sauce?

We use only real Italian plum tomatoes that have very little citric acid and none is added in so all you taste is the tomato. Because of the high temperature of the coal oven, the dough cooks quickly without overheating the sauce. This is why the sauce on our pizzas stays nice and bright red unlike most other pizzas where the sauce turns slightly darker red due to a longer baking time.


Do you really filter all of your water?

Yes, we have separate filtration systems for dough, soda, coffee and tea. We insist on only the best taste across the board for our customers.


How can I start my own Tony Sacco’s location?

Let’s work together and bring the unique taste of classic coal fired, fresh tasting pizza to the entire nation! Franchise options are available. Contact us for more information.