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What if you could cook amazing restaurant style pizza at home easily and mess free without a wood fire oven?
We all know that it can be hard to get a perfect thin crust and the distinctive wood fire taste in a conventional home oven, and it took me a long time and many different tries to develop a recipe and foolproof method to make pizzeria style and perfectly cooked pizza at home.
Now I cook amazing wood fire style pizza at home quick and easy with perfect result every time using a pizza hot stone and an aluminium tray.
In fact it’s a better pizza than most restaurant pizzas I have ever had.
The best news?
It’s actually not that hard, and I can explain how in the next few minutes
What is a pizza stone?
A pizza hot stone is a heavy plate that fits in your oven commonly made from stone or clay. Its designed to hold high and constant heat really well. Which means food like pizza will cook from the bottom and form a amazing crust without burning the top.
How to use a pizza stone?
- first the pizza stone needs to be very hot and sitting in the middle of a hot oven.
- Heat the pizza tray on the stove top
- build your pizza on top of the hot tray
- slide the hot pizza tray on to the hot pizza stone in hot oven 225C/437F
- cook for about 5 minutes or until the top cooked, cheese melted and golden.
Why cook pizza on a pizza stone?
It’s the best and easiest way to achieve a perfectly cooked Italian style pizza at home in your own domestic oven without a wood fire oven. When you combine the pizza stone with a heavy duty pizza tray you can achieve an even better result and in an easier way.
How is the pizza better with a pizza hot stone?
A pizza stone absorbs the heat and holds very high temperatures for a long period. The pizza crust begins to cook immediately, a similar effect and cooking style of a traditional brick oven. Using a pizza stone will give you a faster cooking time and much better crust.
The semolina sprinkled on the pizza tray starts to burn slightly with the high temperature, giving the pizza an authentic Italian wood fire taste.
What is a pizza tray?
a thin, heavy duty aluminum or steel tray that retains heat well.
First you form a crust on your pizza base on top of this tray when heated then slide it on to the hot pizza stone in your oven.
Some pizza stones are sold with a pizza tray. Otherwise they are pretty cheap from catering stores and amazon.
Build your pizza on the pizza tray
- roll your pizza dough out to a round thin pizza base
- sit the pizza tray on your burner and turn the heat on, sprinkle a thin layer of semolina on the tray
- place the pizza base on to the tray with the semolina
- spread a layer of sauce on top of the base
- build you pizza the way you like it while the tray is getting hot and and the base is cooking underneath. Don’t overcrowd the topping
- check regularly the color underneath the crust by carefully lifting up a corner of the base It should have a golden brown color when it’s done. ( Simply turn the heat off if the base is getting too dark)
- sprinkle a good layer of grated mozzarella cheese on top of your ingredients. If using pepperoni put them on last for a crispy pepperoni top
- carefully place the tray on to the hot pizza stone in the oven.
The semolina is used both as a non stick purpose but it also gives the pizza an authentic wood fire taste when it starts to burn slightly on the hot cooking surface. If you don’t have semolina then regular flour can be used instead.
Care for your pizza stone
Don’t wash your pizza hot stone instead simply wipe it clean with a damp cloth if needed. Don’t use soap. The stone doesn’t like too much water or big temperature changes as it can crack the stone.
Put the stone into a cold oven and bring it up to temperature from a cold oven then cool it down in the oven and wait to put it away until completely cold.
The pizza tray can be washed normally with soap and water and when using a pizza tray the hot stone never really gets dirty. All the mess stays on the aluminum tray for easy cleaning.
My personal experience
I love pizza!! Who doesn’t?
I love making my own dough and I can use up whatever I have on hand at the time. Sometimes the topping is fresh vegetables from the garden, other times its a seafood delight, meat lovers or supreme!
Being a chef and a food enthusiast I’m always trying to perfect my favorite dishes.
I love my pizza base thin and crispy, ideally with a few air bubbles.
For years I was trying to figure out how to get the thin pizza base cooked crisp with that special pizzeria touch. I thought I had to invest in a outdoor pizza oven to achieve that result.
When a friend told me about a pizza stone that you can use in your own home oven for a simpler and cheaper alternative, I needed to give this a go.
I purchased a Weber pizza stone and it came with a heavy duty aluminum tray. First I thought it was a lot of money for a stone plate. But the amount of uses I got out of it and the money saved on take away pizza it was worth every penny.
It took me a few tries to work out the best way to use my Weber pizza stone baking tray. Once I got the feel for it. It was a game changer! No more average, doughy crusts or burnt tops.
The result is better than most restaurant pizzas I tried. It’s now one of my families favorite meals. I would never make a pizza in the oven without a pizza hot stone again and cooking it on the aluminium tray first just takes the pizza to the next level.
- Bring the dough out to room temperature before rolling it out. This will make the rolling allot easier especially if you like a thin crust. If the dough is fridge cold its hard to work with and difficult to get it as thin as you like.
- When it comes to the topping. More is less. Over crowding the topping can result in undercooked dough.
- Only use good quality mozzarella cheese to achieve that stringy, melt in your mouth cheese that we all love on a pizza.
- The pizza cooks quickly in the hot oven so check regularly to avoid burning it
Try it yourself
Make pizza night a regular hit at your house too! Your guests will think you have an Italian pizza oven outside.
That’s how good this pizza tray on pizza stone cooking method is.
No more undercooked doughy pizza base or burnt topping.
Cooking pizza this way is a great method because its faster, no mess and great result every time.
Enjoy your freshly cooked, homemade pizza today. You deserve it and you can do it!
Check out my thin pizza dough recipe and easy no cook pizza sauce here
Let me know your thoughts when trying this pizza cooking method or if you have any other excellent tips on how to make great pizza at home by commenting below
Hot oven 225C or 437F
Don’t put frozen pizza on a hot stone. It needs to be defrosted first. The hot stone can crack when exposed to big temperature changes
If you cook pizza regularly at home then yes absolutely! When looked after the hot stone will last you for many years.
Put the pizzas stone in the cold oven and bring it up to heat then leave it in for a minimum of 20 minutes in the hot oven
Yes, it’s a great way to cook perfect pizza crust. Sit the tray on top of a pizza hot stone for best result
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381 total views, 3 views today
i was gifted a pizza hot stone and had no idea what to do with it. thanks for your tips. it came out really tasty!
We love pizza and thanks for the wonderful steps to make a delicious pizza. I am getting the pizza stone now.
I love making pizza with my hot stone, but I think I was always doing it wrong. This post was so helpful!