To transform a simple dough into a pillowy, lightly charred crust worthy of a pizzeria in Naples, you need heat — and a lot of it. But conventional ovens often max out at 550 degrees Fahrenheit, falling far short of the 800 to 1,000 degrees that true Italian-style pizzas need. So how should you cook pizza in a normal oven? There’s an easy hack to get the crust just right, and it doesn’t even require a pizza stone.
This viral pizza tip, popularized on Reddit’s r/FoodHacks, shows a home cook using a preheated, inverted oven tray to cook the perfect pizza at home.
“Don’t have a pizza oven or pizza stone? Turn your oven up as high as it can go and place an oven tray in upside down and let it get really hot,” the video instructs.
The end result shows an oblong but admittedly well-cooked pizza crust, though a shot of the pie's underside (there should be "leoparding") is conspicuously absent.
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Redditors’ responses to the popular video were mixed, with many at-home pizzaioli offering their own homemade pizza suggestions alongside critiques.
For instance, some weren’t happy with the use of parchment paper instead of a pizza peel, arguing that the paper burns at high temperatures. (For what it’s worth, I’ve used parchment paper in a 500-degree oven, and while it did char, it didn’t go up in flames.)
Others suggested their own methods, such as using a pre-heated baking sheet or cast-iron skillet in lieu of a stone. Not only does the skillet have a handle, but it also lets you crisp the base on the stovetop, commenters noted.
Whatever method you choose, remember one thing: You want your oven to be as hot as possible.
Other pizza-making tips include:
- If you're making it at home, use 00 flour for your dough.
- Add sauce and toppings sparingly. If you add too much, the crust will be soggy.
- Cook your toppings ahead of time.
- Preheat your stone, oven tray, baking sheet, or cast-iron skillet on the middle rack, running your oven for at least an hour before you bake.
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