The cooking method consists of baking the pizza under a broiler in a pre-heated, super hot, cast-iron skillet. It only takes a couple of minutes for the pizza to cook and the crust to bubble up – becoming wonderfully charred and crispy – resulting in a pizza very similar to a brick-oven baked pizza.
We’re still swimming in homegrown tomatoes, so I started with those as a base for the toppings, quickly roasting them first for added flavor. The rest of the toppings fell into place easily – creamy, fresh mozzarella, offset by tangy, sharp blue cheese crumbles and crisp red onion slices.
And… bacon. I couldn’t resist that tomato-bacon-blue cheese combination, which is so good atop this crispy, chewy, slightly charred crust.
Now, the skillet pizza method does result in pretty darn great pizza. It definitely produces a crispier crust than can often be achieved in a home oven, even with a pizza stone. I will say though, that this method takes some finessing.
A few key skillet pizza strategies (through much trial and error):
- A typical pizza dough recipe (or fresh, store-bought dough) yields a 1-lb ball of dough. This will make two skillet pizzas, if you have a standard 8-inch or 9-inch cast iron skillet. For this recipe, I used Trader Joe’s fresh pizza dough, and divided it in half as soon as I took it out of the fridge to rest. If you’re using homemade dough, divide the dough prior to rising.
- Be sure to roll the dough out no larger than the skillet. The dough transfer (from pizza peel to hot skillet) is the trickiest step in the process. Sizing the dough accordingly assures that step goes smoothly.
- Get your skillet really hot. Almost dangerously hot. But be careful! The hotter the skillet, the crispier the bottom of your pizza crust.
- Have all of the toppings completely, 100% ready to go before you start cooking. You should be able to top the pizza in less than a minute.
- The original Atlantic recipe calls for all the toppings to be added prior to placing the uncooked pizza in the skillet. I found it was advantageous to add them once the dough was in the skillet. This made the transfer easier, and also ensures that the crust will be cooked all the way through, without doughy bits inside.
- Practice makes perfect. Once you master that dough transfer… it’s all downhill from there.
I’d love to know your favorite pizza-making methods!