The Pizza Steel Is The Key To Restaurant-Quality Pizza At Home – HexClad Cookware
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The Pizza Steel Is The Key To Restaurant-Quality Pizza At Home

by HexClad Cookware

The Pizza Steel Is The Key To Restaurant-Quality Pizza At Home

Whether you’re outfitting your kitchen from scratch, looking for that special gift for the pizza fanatic in your life, or building your wedding registry, there’s one tool that shouldn’t be overlooked: the pizza steel. 

A pizza steel ultimate tool for getting the sturdy, burnished crust with bubbly, crackling spots and tender, chewy interior. As user scott123 says in the pizza stone forum on (you gotta trust the nerds!): “As a pizza bakes, heat both causes the water in the dough to boil, creating rapidly expanding steam, and heat expands the gas already present in the dough that was previously formed during fermentation. The greater amount of heat that can be applied, the faster the steam/gas expands, the greater the oven spring, the puffier the texture.  Steel’s superior conductivity to traditional ceramic materials allows it to transfer heat at a faster rate for a quicker bottom bake.”

Put simply: When you slide your pizza dough onto a heated pizza steel, its superior heat capabilities (compared to a pizza stone or a plain oven rack) translate into a puffier dough AND a perfectly browned crust.

What is a pizza steel?

A home oven can only get so hot. This is a problem for making restaurant-quality pizza that rivals the stuff you can get at your favorite pizza joint. There, they have wood-burning or epically powerful gas-powered ovens that can get to temperatures of 1000ºF and therefore provide a crucial dose of heat at the beginning of baking. At home, you’re limited to around 550ºF. This means that you’ll want to do something to increase the heat conductivity of your oven. A pizza steel does this, storing heat in its even surface onto which you’ll slide pizza. It can also help stabilize the heat in your oven.

Pizza steel versus pizza stone: which is better?

The clue is in the name: a pizza steel is made with steel (which is a metal alloy mainly made from carbon and iron, plus some other metals), while a pizza stone is a surface made with a type of ceramic that can handle big changes in temperature. A steel is great for regular pizza makers as it stores more heat than a pizza stone and will therefore get the gorgeous, burnished crust true pizzaiolos know and love.

Can I use a pizza steel for more than just pizza?

Because the pizza stone improves conductivity within the oven, you can leave it in the oven even if you’re baking other things. However, because of the intense heat it traps, you’ll want to avoid baking delicate items on it or putting glass dishes on top. However, it offers a fantastic surface for your HexClad pans. Use it underneath a baking sheet with roasted veggies or to help a fruit pie get an evenly cooked crust. That being said, a pizza steel does get so hot that it can easily burn the bottom bread, pastries, and other baked goods. When the pizza steel is completely cool, either move it to a lower rack or remove it from the oven entirely.

If you want to get really nerdy about it, the folks over at Modernist Cuisine explored more ways to use the baking steel than just restaurant-quality pizza, pointing out that a pizza steel works as a griddle for your favorite breakfast foods or as a makeshift teppan for Japanese teppanyaki cooking.

What do I do if I don’t have a baking steel?

Fear not: If you don’t have a pizza steel but you want to make your own pizza at home, HexClad pans are up to the task. Chef Daniele Uditi’s recipe for Pepperoni Pan Pizza works in your 10” Hybrid Pan, 12” Hybrid Pan, 12” Hybrid Griddle Pan, or 13” Hybrid Griddle Pan. Find more instructions on how to make a stovetop pan pizza here, including ideas for topping your pie, whether you make it in a skillet or slide it onto your pizza steel.

P.S. If you want to augment the benefits of your pizza stone, you might consider investing in a pizza peel, which allows you to slide the prepared pizza onto the hot steel.

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