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What Is Skillet Pizza?

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  • Written By: M.C. Huguelet
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2016
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As its name suggests, skillet pizza is a type of pizza cooked in a cast iron or other heavy-duty frying pan. This technique allows home cooks to create pizzas with crisp crusts akin to those produced by the wood-burning ovens found in many pizza restaurants. The exact method used to prepare skillet pizza can vary, with some cooks heating their skillet prior to adding their pizza while others skip this step. Additionally, some cooks bake skillet pizza in an oven, while others cook it under a broiler.

The trait that sets skillet pizza apart from other types of pizza is that the former is cooked in a heavy frying pan. During cooking, the pan conducts a significant amount of heat to the pizza’s crust, causing it to become crisp yet tender. This method helps combat the sogginess that often affects pizza crust cooked in home ovens, which are not capable of achieving the high temperatures used to prepare pizza in restaurants.

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In general, skillet pizza is prepared by rolling out or hand-tossing homemade or store-bought pizza dough and then pressing the dough into a large oven-safe skillet. Some cooks opt to grease the skillet with butter, olive oil, or non-stick cooking spray before adding the dough. Once it has been pressed into the skillet, the dough is dressed with toppings such as tomato sauce, cheese, and chopped peppers. The entire skillet is placed in a preheated oven, where it remains until the crust and toppings have reached the desired doneness.

Some skillet pizza enthusiasts opt to preheat their skillet on the stovetop before adding the dough. They argue that this extra step helps yield an even crispier crust than that produced by baking alone. As pizza dough begins to bake as soon as it comes into contact with a preheated skillet, however, when using this method, a pizza must be fully assembled before it is transferred to the pan so that it is immediately ready for cooking. Shifting dough that has already been topped to a hot pan can be difficult, and cooking experts caution that it may take practice to get a clean transfer.

Since preheating one’s skillet causes crust to cook rapidly, pizza made using this technique usually does not need to be baked in the oven. Rather, it can be placed directly beneath a hot broiler for three to four minutes. Pizza is finished as soon as the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted.

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SarahGen
Post 3

@literally45-- I agree, cast iron is great. But I think I prefer a griddle. Skillets tend to have depth and the sides can become a hurdle when getting the pizza out. A griddle is basically the same thing but without the depth. So the skillet pizza still comes out evenly cooked but it makes things easier when it's time to serve the pizza.

literally45
Post 2

@bear78-- Yes. A skillet works best for a deep dish pizza. I use a deep 15 inch cast iron skillet when I want to make deep dish pizza. It works great. It distributes heat very evenly and the crust comes out just perfect.

My biggest issue with pizza pans is that the crust is either too crispy or dough like. The crust of a pizza that bakes in a skillet is neither too soft or too crispy. It's just perfect, a nice golden color and slightly crispy.

For those looking for the same texture in their pizza crust, I highly recommend skillet pizza. Use a cast iron skillet and you will see the difference.

bear78
Post 1

I've never made skillet pizza before. When I first heard about this, I thought that the pizza was cooked on the stove-top and wondered how the pizza can cook evenly and thoroughly that way. The cheese wouldn't melt and brown like it should. But it turns out that skillet pizza is also made in the oven.

So there is basically no difference between skillet pizza and regular pizza aside from the fact that a skillet has replaced the pizza pan.

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