No pizza oven? Here’s 6 tools for the perfect crust
Cooking at home, it’s hard to replicate the fierce heat of the pizza oven but with the help of a pizza stone, you can almost get there. The trick here is to make sure the stone is super hot when the pizza goes in. To do so, put the stone into the cold oven and leave it inside while the oven preheats. When it’s hot enough, carefully remove the stone, place the pizza on top and slide the whole thing back in. The stone will cook the pizza from the bottom and draw out any moisture to ensure a crispier base. Bingo!
Keep in mind that pizza stones are not designed to use over a direct flame as they can only withstand 250°C and will crack over a flame, so they cannot be used in conjunction with your braai or Weber.
Whether you like yours thin and crispy or deep dish, there’s a non-stick pizza pan to meet your needs. A pattern of holes on the base aerate the bottom of the pizza – ensuring crispier bases and easy clean-up. Just remember to remove the pizza before slicing with a knife, as knives and non-stick are a no-no.
Mobile pizza oven
Looking for the perfect non-built-in pizza oven? Enter Earthfire. Designed to mimic the traditional igloo, the Earthfire heats in just 30 minutes and it’s compact form means you can take it anywhere, even the beach. It runs on charcoal like a kettle braai and makes a mean pizza. The plate used in the Earthfire is specifically designed to withstand high temperatures, so while it may look like a pizza stone in a kettle braai, it can’t be replicated as such.
The kettle braai
Since braaing is something of an institution in South Africa, taking the pizza on a braai adventure can be fun. It requires a little experimentation and a braai with a lid, like the good old Weber. Aim for a slightly thicker base, cook one side on the coals first, add toppings to the cooked side and finish the uncooked side with the lid on. Simple as a sosatie.
To make pizza on a regular braai similar rules apply. As long as you have a slightly thicker, sturdier base and quickly flip it onto the grid, it won’t fall through. Using a steel lifter, check the base to make sure it’s not charring, then flip it onto a plate. Top with toppings on the cooked side and put the uncooked side back onto the grid.
If you want to do things in proper Italian style, a sauce ladle will make sure you use just the right amount of sauce and spread it evenly across the base. Too much sauce sabotages a crispy base, so a ladle does a lot of good.
Lastly, whether you make it in the oven or in an actual pizza oven, you’ll need to divide the joy up (the best thing about pizza is sharing it, after all). This nifty wheel has a sharpener in the blade guard, ensuring an everlastingly sharp slicer, for cutting through your baked masterpiece.
So if you’re looking to make pizza in the comfort of your own home, without whipping out the bricks and mortar, we hope these tools help out. And if you still want winning pizza but don’t want to make it, there’s always Massimo’s.