Almost everyone loves pizza, but anyone who’s ventured into the realm of homemade pizza know it’s much more difficult to make your own successfully. If you’ve ever made the attempt without a gameplan, you probably ended up disappointed with the finished product.
What steps can you take to make your homemade pizza tastier and more enjoyable?
Use a Pizza Oven (at a High Temperature)
First, understand that most pizza restaurants cook their pizzas at a very high temperature, usually 500 degrees F or higher. If you want to recreate the taste of your favorite pizza while also making the experience as convenient as possible for yourself, consider investing in a dedicated pizza oven. This is a major investment, so if you only plan on cooking a few homemade pizzas in the near future, you may not be ready to make it. But if you’re going to be making your own pizza once a week or more frequently, it’s definitely worth the money. Keep in mind that you can use pizza ovens for more than just pizza.
Fortunately, there are many different types of pizza oven products available, including both indoor and outdoor pizza ovens. Set a budget, review the most important features, and choose the model that’s the best fit for your current needs.
Make Use of a Pizza Stone
Even with a pizza oven, it’s a good idea to cook your pizza on a heavy, preheated surface. The most convenient option here is to use a pizza stone. Using a pizza stone that’s been preheated will make sure your pizza is cooked as evenly and fully as possible. Fortunately, using a pizza stone is very intuitive, so it doesn’t come with much of a learning curve.
Invest in Your Ingredients
Many people go wrong with homemade pizza because they buy the cheapest or most convenient options available for their core ingredients. Obviously, the quality of your pizza is going to depend almost exclusively on the quality of your ingredients, so it’s a good idea to invest in those ingredients.
More expensive ingredients aren’t always superior in terms of quality, but in some ways, you get what you pay for. If you buy the cheapest pizza sauce on the shelf, it’s not going to taste as good as a carefully cooked and seasoned gourmet option made from homegrown tomatoes. Prepackaged mozzarella cheese isn’t going to taste as good as fresh mozzarella. Scrutinize every ingredient you add to your pizza, including your toppings.
Experiment With Sauces
A traditional, tomato-based pizza sauce is the classic option for a reason; it works with a wide variety of ingredients and adds a signature flavor to the pie. However, if you want to elevate your homemade pizza game, you should consider experimenting with different sauces. Tomato sauce isn’t the only option available to you. Consider using BBQ sauce, Alfredo sauce, a pesto sauce, ranch dressing, or something even more experimental to see how your creation turns out.
Also, there’s nothing wrong with buying premade pizza sauce from the store, but you should consider trying to make your own sauce. You’ll have much more control over the ingredients, the seasonings, and the cooking process, ultimately allowing you to customize your sauce to perfection.
Brush the Crust
Before you set the pizza in the oven, make sure you brush the crust with olive oil. It’s a simple technique that only takes a minute, but it can instantly make your crust more delicious and more likely to cook to a perfect golden brown.
Be Wary of Overcooking Toppings
Cooking your pizza at a high temperature is the right move, but it also carries a few risks. Notably, if you precook some of your toppings, they could end up overcooked in the oven when you move to finish the pie. Be careful with all your toppings, but especially meat toppings like pepperoni and sausage.
Add Better Seasonings
You can punch up any homemade pizza by adding a few extra seasonings to it, adding richer depth of flavor or interesting notes that make the pizza more unique. Seasonings commonly associated with pizza include oregano, basil, garlic, onion, thyme, fennel, and paprika. Of course, you’ll also need to consider staples like salt and black pepper.
We can’t make a firm recommendation on which combination of seasonings will work best for your pizza since different people have different tastes. You’ll need to experiment to find the perfect combo.
Perfecting the art of homemade pizza may take several iterations, but as long as you’re willing to keep practicing, your skills will keep improving. Try new ingredients, new seasonings, and different cooking methods to gain more experience so you’ll have more control over the finished product once you become a pizza cooking master.