All The Many Ways To Cook Pizzas

Pizza is certainly not a new invention and throughout the centuries it has been cooked in a few different ways. The very first “oven” used to cook pizza was actually a pile of hot rocks heated by an open fire and today, methods of cooking pizzas still use the very same principles.

The ancient Greeks cooked their flat breads called plankuntos outdoors on hot stones and topped them with fruits, nuts, and other vegetation for seasonings. A few hundred years later and the Romans added to the dish with olive oil and more herbs and spices.

After the first cheeses were made it was also widely used as a topping for pizza. Once the first pizzeria was opened in Naples, Italy in the early 1800s it featured an elaborate brick oven complete with a marble counter for preparing the dough and assembling the toppings.

Brick or stone ovens for pizzas provide a more traditional experience and they can be fueled by electricity, gas, wood, or a combination of the latter two. A wood fueled brick oven provides heat from all angles allowing the pizza to cook evenly all around.

Pizza stones go hand in hand with these types of ovens and they too ensure a uniformly cooked pizza.

You will find that many authentic Italian eateries and restaurants have brick ovens and pizza stones to cook their pizzas to perfection. At home, we bake our pizzas in an ordinary oven using either prepackaged dough or the homemade variety. Most of us simply do not have the needed to space to install a brick or stone pizza oven in the kitchen but we can still mimic the flavor making our own pizzas especially when using a seasoned pizza stone.

As outdoor kitchens become more and more popular so does the outdoor pizza oven. However, fortunately you do not have to install a brick oven on the patio to enjoy pizzas cooked outdoors if you have a grill. Cooking pizzas on the grill has also become an easy and common way to make this rather tasty food.

Grilled Barbeque Pizza Recipe

What You Need

  • 1 plum tomato, diced
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup corn (about 2 ears worth)
  • 1 large prepackaged pizza dough
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 pound whole wheat pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup barbeque sauce
  • 1 cup mozzarella, shredded

How to Make It

Preheat the grill to medium.

In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the diced tomato, the rinsed black beans, and the kernels of corn and toss to mix.

On a baking pan or sheet large enough for a 12 inch pizza, sprinkle the cornmeal evenly before stretching the dough across the pan.

Grill the pizza with the lid closed for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the crust starts to puff up and the bottom is lightly browned.

Flip the pizza over and coat the dough with barbeque sauce. Add the tomato mixture then the shredded mozzarella cheese.

Grill again with the lid closed for another 3 to 5 minutes or until the crust is light brown and the cheese is melted.

Delicious Pizzas Made From Your Home

The Biaggia pizza oven is professionally designed to fit the countertop in your home or office kitchen. You can now experience expertly baked pizzas right in your own kitchen.

Biaggia pizza oven Model 502 comes in polished stainless steel for the outer housing and the front of the food rack. Both rated at 22 gauge brushed 430 stainless steel. The inner case and internal case parts are aluminized steel to protect against corrosion. Its physical dimensions are 19 inches wide by 16 1/2 inches deep (excluding handle) by 7 5/8 inches tall with a cord length of 45 inches and weighs about 19 pounds.

The Dual heating elements at the top and bottom allows you to perfectly bake frozen pizzas in about 15 minutes or less, with no pre-heating required. The front panel has an easy to set 15-minute automatic shut off timer. A removable crumb tray is installed for easy cleaning. Plastic grill handle and crumb tray knob ensure safe handling. The oven is designed to be left on the kitchen counter after use.

The oven cooks at a pre-configured temperature of 450°C and this cannot be adjusted. It operates with a 15-minute dial timer. The baking grill is completely removable for convenient foot transfer and easy cleaning. You can use a baking pan that fits the oven if you want to prevent leaving mess or stains in the baking compartment. It runs on 1,450 watts of electricity and has rounded wire heating elements for faster cooking. The oven is approved by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and has UL Commercial Type Rating under its belt.

This oven is also well suited for baking other non-greasy snacks including quesadillas, pretzels, egg rolls, chicken fingers and fish sticks just to name a few. Even with a homemade dough, pizza baking yield far better results compared to a conventional oven. The baking quality is very near to commercial pizzas. Aside from baking pizzas, the oven is also good for conventional heating, baking, roasting or toasting non-greasy food that can fit its compartment. Please note that this pizza oven is not intended for baking rising dough crust pizzas or any greasy food.

With this pizza oven, you can cook pizza faster compared to regular kitchen ovens. You will find that most pizzas will cook from about 8 to 9 minutes. If you pre-heat the oven, the baking time after the pizza is placed inside will be shorter. Done properly, your pizzas will come out evenly cooked and perfectly browned from the oven. This oven is recommended for anyone who bakes frozen pizzas or other foods frequently.

An actual consumer revealed that the 2 heating elements are not equally sized and the lower coil may be found smaller than the top. If you were to bake with this arrangement, the pizza toppings may burn before the crust is done cooking. Although not recommended, this owner opened the oven (could void the warranty!) and swapped the larger heating element to the bottom and place the smaller heating coil on top. It was later reported that the oven can now cook homemade dough as good as restaurant pizza ovens.

With the Biaggia Professional Pizzeria Pizza and Snack Oven, it would no longer be practical to order pizza or have them delivered when you can make better ones right in your own kitchen. This full-featured and commercial-grade pizza oven can bake full-sized pizzas similar to the ones your order from restaurants or phone deliveries. Aside from making mouth-watering pizzas, you can also bake or cook anything that fits the tray. With the Biaggia Pizza and Snack Oven around, you can now throw the hottest pizza parties in town.

The Deluxe edition features an adjustable temperature control between 150°C-450°C and has a 30-minute automatic timer and a non-stick removable crumb tray.

3 Fun and Easy Grilled Pizza Recipes Perfect for Beginners

Cooking pizza on a grill will give it a delicious smoky flavor that cannot be achieved when cooked in a regular oven. Pizza is easy to grill and inexpensive, too!

Here are 3 easy and delicious grilled pizza recipes perfect for beginners:

All-Veggie Pesto Pizza

What you need:

  • 1 regular-sized refrigerated pizza crust
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 large Portobello mushroom, sliced
  • 1 cup bite-sized broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup cubed fontina cheese
  • 3 tbsps. olive oil

Brush a grill pan with 2 tbsps. olive oil and arrange zucchini, squash, mushroom, broccoli and onions onto it. Cook in a pre-heated grill over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from grill and set aside. Grill pizza crust for 3 minutes per side or until browned. Remove from the grill then spread with pesto sauce, top with grilled vegetables and sprinkle with 2 cheeses. Return to the grill, cover and cook for 3 minutes or until cheese melts.

Mushroom and Sausage Cheesy Grilled Pizza

What you need:

  • 1 regular-sized pizza dough
  • 1/4 kg. Italian sausage, cooked
  • 1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup Italian cheese blend
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 1 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Snipped fresh basil

Divide dough into 8 equal round portions. Brush 1 side of each dough circle with olive oil. Arrange dough circles in a covered, pre-heated grill lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil oiled side down. Cook over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes or until bottom is browned and firm. Transfer to a large flat dish, grilled side up. Spread with pizza sauce then top with sausage, mushroom and cheese blend. Return to a covered grill and cook for 2-3 minutes until cheese has melted and bottom has browned. Garnish with red pepper flakes, parmesan cheese and fresh basil before serving.

Classic Grilled Pizza Margherita

What you need:

  • 1/2 kg. pizza dough
  • 3 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup whole basil leaves
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Divide the pizza dough in half and roll into a 10-inch diameter circle. Place dough circles in a grill pan or paddle and cook in a covered, pre-heated grill over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until grill marks appear. Remove from the grill and place in a work surface grilled side up. Brush each dough with olive oil and spread with Asiago cheese. Top with tomatoes, basil and Mozzarella then season with salt and pepper. Return to grill, cover and cook for 6-8 minutes until crust is lightly browned and cheese has melted.

Add fun to any barbecue party with these easy grilled pizza recipes!

Homemade Pizza – Tips and Tools For the Best Results

Pizza is popular, no doubt about it. It’s a simple food that evolved from the fast flatbreads, or focaccia, eaten in Italy as a quick meal.

We used to have it at home on Saturday nights, or even for lunch on school days. In those days, the pizza was made from a box mix. Those remain available. You can also buy frozen dough and canned sauce separately.

We like to make our dough from scratch, and use a canned sauce for convenience. After making thousands of pizzas over the years, we’ve learned some tips and tricks!

For a great homemade pizza:

  • Coat the dough lightly with olive oil before putting it in a bowl to rise. This prevents the surface from drying out.
  • Use fresh ingredients, especially the cheese, meat and peppers.
  • We like meat on pizza, but it can make it too greasy. To avoid this, precook the meat and drain well on paper towels before adding to your pizza.
  • Bake in a hot oven, 500 degrees or hotter if your oven goes that high.
  • Those lucky enough to have an outdoor, wood-burning oven, trying baking your pizza there. Be sure to turn the pizza during baking for even cooking.
  • Use double potholders or thick oven mitts to handle the hot pizza, especially if you’re using a ceramic baking stone.

If you cook much, you probably have most of the tools in your kitchen to make a pizza already. In addition to measuring cups (liquid and dry) and measuring spoons, here are tools that will help if you’re just starting with homemade pizza:

  • Bowl – Use a heavy Pyrex glass or ceramic bowl to retain warmth and allow your crust to rise evenly
  • Cover – A clean cloth or dish towel keeps out cool drafts, and prevents the dough from drying out on the surface
  • Ceramic pizza stone – best for even baking
  • Metal baking sheet – light weight and easy to store
  • Pizza cutter – Choose a model with guarding between the handle and the blade to prevent cuts

Armed with a few tools and easy techniques, you’ll be making great pizza at home in no time!