Imagine taking that first bite of a top-notch homemade pizza. With a perfectly cooked crust, gooey, melty cheese, and a combination of your favorite toppings, there’s nothing like it.
While Solo Stove’s Pi Prime and original Pi dual fuel pizza ovens have an intuitive design, there may be a slight learning curve to perfecting your craft at first. Along the way, you might cook a few pizzas that aren’t quite up to your standards, but don’t worry. After all, any pizza, even an ugly pizza, is still delicious.
Practice makes perfect, and if you’re still trying to master your technique, we’re here to help. Whether you’re new to making homemade pizza pies, or you’re hoping to improve your game, read on for helpful tips and tricks for cooking the best pizzas in Pi.
Work With Great Dough
The key to making a delicious pizza all starts with the ideal dough as the base. Finding the perfect dough for you will come with some trial and error, as everyone’s preferences are different. However, no matter what you choose, keep hydration and moisture in mind. A dough that’s too wet will be harder to work with and will easily stick to your pizza peel.
It’s also important to keep temperature in mind. If you’re pulling dough out of the fridge, give it a few minutes to warm up to room temperature before working with it. This will make it much easier to stretch without any risk of creating holes.
Use a Clean Stone
Your pizza stone is bound to have burnt remnants from previously cooked pizzas on it. And that can certainly affect the way your next pizza cooks. Be sure to clean your pizza stone before launching a pizza. A pizza oven brush will make it easy to release stuck on flour or crispy cheese thanks to its steel bristles.
Prep Your Toppings Ahead
Making great pizza is all in the timing. Prep your toppings ahead of time for best results. That way, you won’t let your stretched dough sit on a pizza peel for too long. If you have veggies to chop or slice or other toppings to pre-cook, do it ahead of time. Set up a station of prepped toppings and then get to stretching and cooking.
Check Your Stone Temperature
Giving your pizza oven 15 to 20 minutes to preheat is the first step, but ensuring your pizza stone is actually up to a proper temperature is more important. The pizza stone retains heat and is the key to setting the base of your pizza before you begin turning it while cooking. Use an infrared thermometer to check that your stone has come up to the desired temperature (750°F to 850°F) before you stretch and top your dough.
Prep Your Pizza Peel
Prepping your pizza peel is important for a successful launch. Be sure to sprinkle the peel with flour, semolina, or cornmeal before your dough goes on it. Finding which ingredient works best for you will involve some trial and error, but it’s important to choose one to prevent your dough from sticking.
Adjust Your Flame
When you fire up your pizza oven, you’ll turn it on high to preheat. This gives a maximum flame to heat not only the interior of the oven but also the pizza stone. But that doesn’t mean it must stay high while cooking your pizza. A lower flame is more forgiving, especially if you’re having issues with burnt crusts. Use the dial to turn down the flame just before you launch.
Watch and Turn
It may seem like you can walk away while your pizza is cooking, but it’s best not to. Things can change quickly in an oven, reaching temperatures of 850°F. It typically only takes 30 to 45 seconds to cook the base of your pizza, with another 30 seconds to one minute turning. Stay with your pizza to keep an eye on it during its quick cook time to avoid burning.
Let it Rest
Immediately slicing a piping hot pie that has just come out of the oven won’t do you any favors. Chances are, you’ll lose some of your toppings and make a big mess. Allow the pizza to sit and rest for 30 seconds to a minute before grabbing your pizza cutter.