Have you ever heard of a Pizza Steel? Until a month or so ago, I hadn’t.
But this one tool has transformed the way I make homemade pizza. More than any other purchase for my kitchen, this pizza steel has made a huge difference in the outcome of our homemade pizza making.
Now we turn out pizzas with crisp crusts. The edges are soft and full of air bubbles. The pizza doesn’t droop when you pick up a slice to eat it.
Basically, our homemade pizza is pretty amazing.
It’s possible to get decent pizza results from a regular pizza pan or baking stone, but using a pizza steel is a game changer.
What is a pizza steel?
I bought the Dough Joe Samurai. It’s a 15″x15″ slab of steel that’s 1/4″ thick. It won’t break or wear out, unlike pizza stones.
You place the pizza steel on the highest rack in the oven about an hour before you’re ready to bake. Crank the oven as hot as it will go. For mine, that’s 550 degrees. I also turn on the convection fan, which gives it another 50 degrees.
The steel gets super hot. Pizzas only need about 6 minutes of baking time when you use a steel.
The pizza peel.
You’re going to need a pizza peel as well. The peel is how you transfer the uncooked pizza to the oven and then get the pizza back out again after baking.
I have this one from Epicurean. Any pizza peel will work though.
How to get the pizza on and off the steel – parchment paper.
After trying flour and cornmeal on the pizza peel and still having the dough stick, I gave parchment paper a try.
We place the dough circle (sometimes ours isn’t as circle shaped as we’d like) on a piece of parchment paper. Then pull this onto the peel. Transfer the pizza on parchment to the hot steel in the oven.
In the photo above you can see an uncooked pizza on parchment paper. It’s ready to go onto the peel and into the oven.
Six minutes later, I use tongs to pull the parchment and pizza back onto the peel and transfer it to a cutting board. The parchment sometimes gets charred, but doesn’t catch fire or anything scary.
And it doesn’t interfere with the crisping of the crust.
See the brown spots on the bottom of the crust? That’s called leopard spotting and it’s what you want in pizza. The crust was crisp, browned and perfect!
If you want to make really great homemade pizza, I recommend investing in a pizza steel and pizza peel.
Honestly, I’ve always thought that pizza was not something you could make at home and have anything that compares to getting it out at a restaurant. But using the pizza steel has changed my mind. Not that we won’t ever buy another restaurant pizza – that would be crazy. But now I know we can have excellent pizza at home too.
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