Why a Cast Elegance pizza stone is the answer to the crispiest crust every time
Just like pizzas; pizza lovers come in all shapes and sizes.
For some it has to be the Classic New York Chicago style pizza loaded with spicy hot pepperoni, dripping with creamy mozzarella.
Then there are those that like a walk on the wild side. To them, a pizza is a canvas for their exploring taste buds. They choose adventurous and unusual combinations of toppings. Roasted pumpkin, caviar, duck, lobster, with all kinds of cheese from tangy halloumi to salty feta.
And it’s not just children that love Margherita pizzas; named after the Queen Margherita – sometimes simplicity is perfection. Done perfectly, this simple combination of a bread, tomato, cheese, and herbs — makes a sublime feast truly fit for royalty.
For some, it has to be the deep pan satisfying fluffy base and for others, it’s the original thin base bursting with air bubbles, crunchy and light and giving way to the delicious toppings above.
Whatever base, sauce or toppings you choose to top your perfect pizza – what pizza lovers all agree on – is that the best pizza always has the perfect crispy crust.
When you bite into the pizza you are overwhelmed by the mouthwatering toppings all cocooned in a crispy crust of comforting deliciousness. Regardless of the type of base; It’s crispy on the outside, the dough is light, fluffy, and perfectly cooked.
But what is the secret of the perfect crispy crust?
You’ll be hard-pressed to get a chef at your favorite pizzeria to reveal the secrets of his pizzas.
He or she may hint to how they artfully prepare their dough, rest it, stretch it, spread just the right amount of delicious tomato or alfredo-style sauce. Then sprinkle it with the freshest select vegetables, cheese, meats, fish and fruits before scooping it up on their spade-like pizza spatula and nestling it in the wood-fired oven.
There the pizza will just take a few minutes at a super high temperature before being served immediately to your table. With good wine and good company. It’s perfection.
Great pizza doesn’t just have to be baked in wood-fired ovens. Many pizza restaurants bake perfect pizzas with crispy crusts by placing their pizzas under super-hot grills in a conveyor belt-style cooking method that delivers great results for their customers.
But how can you achieve great pizzas with the crispiest crust at home, every time?
The Perfect Pizza Crust at Home
“People just don’t think they can make restaurant quality pizzas at home and so I think many are put off before the attempting the challenge,” says Cast Elegance staff writer Jessica Jackson who loves creating pizzas and other goods on Cast Elegance pizza stones.
There is absolutely no reason that you can’t make restaurant quality pizzas at home with the right equipment and techniques.
Pizzas have a bad reputation for being unhealthy and they can be expensive but made at home they can be just the opposite. By following a few simple recipes, you can make batches of dough and sauce quickly and economically.
Where people tend to go wrong with making pizzas at home is creating the hot, hot temperatures that you need to create a pizza with a crispy crust.
To make the perfect pizza at home (or even reheat part-baked pizzas and frozen pizzas) one of the secrets is to achieve a high temperature.
“Without the elevated temperatures, you can’t get the crispy results you need. The problem the home cook faces is getting the temp high enough and on what surface you bake your pizza,” she explains.
Turn up the Heat
What you need to do first when baking the perfect pizza is to get your cooking appliance hot, hot, HOT!
To bake great pizza, you can use a number of methods. If you are baking pizzas use your gas or electric oven turned up to the highest heat.
And if you are cooking outside, then you can cook pizzas over a campfire, pellet grill, charcoal grill, gas grill, Kamado Grill, or Big Green Egg grill. For perfect pizza every time which ever appliance you are using check out our Pizza Master Class.
Pizza Pan or Pizza Stone?
You can use a pizza pan, or you can use a pizza stone to bake your pizza and both will work. Certainly, some fast food pizza chains use pizza pans rather than pizza stones. However, this is not what I prefer to use, says staff writer Jessica.
While a cast iron, steel or aluminum pan will obviously withstand the high temperatures it’s not the best method. A pizza pan can, of course, give a crispy base, but the crispy base is achieved primarily by using lots of oil in the pan.
The oil is absorbed into the dough and the method is similar to frying and adds to the fat and calorie content of the pizza significantly.
“I love pizza and I like to eat it often there is no reason for pizza to be unhealthy, but it certainly can be a very unhealthy food when you make pizzas in pans with oil and then load the pizza with loads of cheese and meat,” she explains.
A metal pizza pan also can’t absorb any of the moisture from the dough. The moisture has nowhere to go but to stay in the dough, so you are not going to be able to achieve as crispy a base. You will likely get a crisp oily crust, but the dough can be soggy and difficult to fully cook all the way in a home setting.
For home cooks, a pizza stone is a must. However, not all pizza stones are the same.
The Science Bit
Picture it. Your favorite Italian restaurant. The pizzeria chef sliding a perfect pizza creation on a spade into the wood-fired oven and only a few minutes later your pizza joy is ready to be served.
The pizza stone is an attempt to replicate the floor of an authentic Italian pizza oven and thus provide the best results for the home cook.
When you place the pizza stone in your oven or grill, it’s slow to heat up, and therefore the heat is evenly distributed which reduces any hot spots. The pizza stone holds the heat well too so when you place your room temperature dough onto the pizza stone the temperature still remains super-hot.
Not just that a pizza stone makes an ideal serving dish. You can take your pizza from the oven to the table on the stone (just make sure you use super heat-resistant place-mats underneath your stone to avoid damaging your table). You should also avoid serving a pizza stone to the table if young children are dining too.
Ceramic vs Cordierite
Pizza stones can be made from a ceramic material, but you can also now buy cordierite pizza stones.
You’ll still get a crispy top with a ceramic pizza stone, but the dough at the bottom of the pizza gets soggy because like a pizza pan, once again, there is nowhere for the moisture to escape during cooking.
The best answer by far is a cordierite pizza stone. A good cordierite pizza stone is essential for serious home pizza connoisseurs. Just like a pizza pan and ceramic stone – a cordierite stone will hold the high temperature well, but the cordierite pizza stone is more durable and will also draw the water from the dough as it is porous.
This makes cordierite the perfect choice as a pizza stone for grills as well as ovens.
Cordierite is a special heat-tolerant material that is crafted into pizza stones. Being a natural material, it’s perfectly safe to use and highly durable. It also has the added advantage of being resistant to cracking and breaking under high temperatures, as such it’s the best pizza stone for the grill, oven, or BBQs. Not all cordierite stones are created equal. Thermarite is a proprietary formulation of premium cordierite that holds the heat better and is more durable than any other cordierite stone on the market. Cast Elegance researched and developed the first Thermarite stone and has constantly been improving it to the delight of pizza consumers across the food world.
Soggy bases are a thing of the past with a cordierite pizza stone and the high temperature that the pizza stone holds gives you a strong burst of initial heat, sealing the dough and puffing up the crust so it is super crispy.
The cordierite pizza stone also cooks the pizza evenly throughout and can store heat to a higher temperature than a ceramic stone. A cordierite pizza stone is also more effective than a pan in giving the initial super-hot burst and it does that without adding all that extra oil to add the crispiness.
Cast Elegance Pizza Stones
“I love creating pizzas using Cast Elegance pizza stones. It’s the best pizza stone for the oven or the grill,” says Cast Elegance staff writer Jennifer.
“The Cast Elegance stone is also the only stone on the market that can withstand the heat and thermal shock,” she explains. The Thermarite formulation clearly makes a difference in the ease with which a crisp pizza can be served.
You can use the pizza stone in the oven for cookies because the even heat ensures a perfect batch of cookies every time. You can also use it to cook healthy breads, tortillas and lots more.
And of course, delicious pizzas! It’s super fun to use your Cast Elegance pizza stone. You can get the whole family involved in making delicious creations.
Simply heat your Cast Elegance pizza stone in the oven, grill, or BBQ. Then when you have crafted your masterpiece you use the pizza paddle to scoop up your pizza and place it on the stone in the oven – just like Giuseppe!
After all the fun making your pizza creations, sit back, relax and enjoy delicious pizza at home, with the perfect crispy crust every time.