The remarkable thing with the technological advancement that we have is that it offers so many options to choose from.
This means that it is difficult to run out of options or get stuck using only one method to achieve a purpose.
When it comes to cooking pizza, we are left with so many options to pick from. Who says you only have to use a brick oven for cooking your pizza?
We also have other alternatives such as baking the pizza or broiling the pizza. Baking or broiling your pizza all require dry heat from your oven. But each of them yields different results at the end of cooking.
This article will take a closer look at the unique aspects that both baking and broiling offer us and best suit a particular situation or moment. You get to decide which works best for you at a particular time or as you try to achieve a particular purpose.
- 1 1. Baking your Pizza
- 2 2. Broiling Your Pizza
- 3 3. Using a combination of broiling and baking your pizza
- 4 Finally
1. Baking your Pizza
Baking is one of the most popular ways of cooking a pizza, and most people use this method compared to other methods.
When you bake your pizza, you use the oven’s heat to surround your pizza with hot air. This hot air, in turn, cooks your pizza indirectly.
When you bake your pizza, you surround your pizza in hot air, the top, bottom, and the sides. This means that air is evenly distributed around your food.
Usually, you will crank your oven’s temperature up to about 450-to-500-degree Fahrenheit. This heat cooks your pizza slowly from the outer to the inner part of the food. And to prevent the food from burning while baking, you place it on the oven’s middle rack.
This means that the crust won’t be affected by the heat if you place it on the lowest rack, and the toppings would not be affected if you placed it too close to the topmost part of the oven.
Baking your pizza will roughly take you between ten minutes to twenty minutes. This is important because the food cooks slowly, but both the food’s inner and outer parts are adequately cooked at the end of the day.
How to Bake Your Pizza
- Place your pizza stone on the middle rack of your oven and preheat the oven and the stone. Set your oven at a temperature of between 400 – 550 degrees Fahrenheit. The ovens used at commercial pizzerias get hotter than this, but the home oven is quite limited.
Your oven should provide a suitable temperature for the fresh dough to be cooked properly with the preheating. The pizza stone helps you cook the pizza better because it retains heat and this heat slowly cooks the dough that is placed on top of the pizza stone. Heat the oven for fifteen to twenty minutes.
- Grab your homemade pizza or your frozen pizza; using a pizza peel, open the oven and slide the pizza immediately onto the pizza stone, making sure that it sits comfortably. Close your oven and let it cook for ten minutes.
- Check the pizza to see if it has adequately been cooked; if some of your pizza spots are browning more than other spots, then rotate your pizza to change the position. Let it sit there for another three minutes.
- Check on your pizza again, and if you notice that your cheese has melted nicely on your pizza, you know that the pizza is ready to be consumed. Using a pizza peel, take the pizza out of the oven and place it on a large plate. Let it sit for a minute or two to cool down, then slice and serve your pizza.
It is vital to oil your pizza peel when you are about to slide your pizza onto the pizza stone in the oven. This will prevent your pizza from sticking to the pizza peel and creating more complications for you.
Advantages of a Baked Pizza
- Baking offers you more convenience; you do not have to worry about too much heat messing up your pizza
- Secondly, you stand a higher chance of getting good results for your pizza than using the broiling method, especially for the first time.
- Your toppings get the opportunity to cook well without burning or turning black from the heat of the oven. And you will get a well-cooked dough which is not half-cooked.
- When you bake your pizza, you minimize the loss of nutrients that takes place during cooking. You stand a greater chance of retaining vitamins and minerals which your ingredients possess.
- While you are baking your pizza, you also don’t need to add oil to bake successfully. This means that you are cutting down on the number of calories that your pizza will possess.
Disadvantages of baking pizza
- The only disadvantage here is that it might be more challenging to get a crispy crust, especially for the first few times of baking your pizza. You will need a lot of practice and experience to bake a perfectly crispy pizza crust with the oven.
2. Broiling Your Pizza
Although broiling also uses the heat from the oven, it differs from the baking system. When you broil your pizza, you are not using indirect but direct heat on your pizza. This direct heat is meant to cook your pizza over a short time quickly.
When you broil, you set your oven’s temperature between 500-degree Fahrenheit and above. Also, the position in which you place your pizza differs from when you are baking your pizza.
When you broil your pizza, you need to keep your pizza closer to the oven’s broiler for the heat to reach the food faster and cook it successfully.
The broiler of your oven might be positioned either at the top or the bottom rack of your oven. This means that you will place your crust closer to the broiler if positioned at the bottom, and your toppings will be closer to the broiler if positioned at the topmost part of the oven.
With the broiling method, you are cooking your pizza with infrared radiation. And this means that you are applying heat to only one side of your food, unlike the baking system where the pizza is surrounded by hot air.
The broiling method sears the surface of your pizza; this means that your pizza will be crispier and tender.
It is recommended to use the broiling method for not too dense foods as this can lead to uneven cooking. Thin foods such as thin slices of meat and vegetables are the best foods to cook with the broiling method.
How to Broil Your Pizza
- Place your cast iron on the top rack of your oven, preheat your oven to the highest temperature that your oven can get to. The higher the temperature of your oven, the better result you will get for your broil pizza. Preheat it for about ten minutes.
- After you have preheated the iron cast or skillet, put it off the oven. Take the skillet or the iron cast and place it next to where the broiler is in the oven. Make sure you use an oven towel to position the skillet, preventing you from burning your hands.
Put on the broiler and let your skillet sit there for few minutes to heat up.
- If you are preparing a homemade pizza, layout your dough on flexible cardboard paper that can easily slide your dough onto the hot iron cast. If you are using a frozen pizza, all you have to do is defrost the pizza and then place it on the flexible cardboard paper.
Put all the toppings you want on your homemade dough, then drizzle the toppings with some olive oil.
- Take your pizza with the flexible cardboard and slide it into the iron cast or skillet, which you placed next to the broiler. When opening the oven to place the pizza, do it as fast as possible and close the oven immediately to prevent much heat from escaping from the oven’s cabinet.
- Let the pizza cook for two minutes, after which you put off your oven and take out the pizza. You can leave the oven on if you desire to broil another pizza. Let your pizza cool for a minute or two, slice it, and serve.
You might not get things correct at the first trial; it might take you a couple of attempts to master this method. This is because the heat from the oven might be too hot, and you might end up burning your pizza. But practice makes perfect. You will get used to it with time.
Advantages of broiling your pizza
- When you are broiling your pizza, you expose it to direct heat; you do not need extra oil for the pizza to cook. You will be using no oil; hence you will not be adding calories to your pizza which has a fair amount of calories already.
- The broiling method is fast, and you do not have to wait so much, like the process of baking. If you have little time and trying to come up with a faster way to have your pizza, this will serve your needs.
Disadvantages of Broiling
- Broiling is best if you are cooking a thin pizza crust, and even this might not be assured of cooking. The thick pizza crust will not be thoroughly cooked from within. This is because the broiling process happens so fast that it does not distribute even heat to cook the food thoroughly.
- Your pizza toppings can get burnt. Since these toppings are very close to the heat source, you might end up burning and blackening the toppings, and these are not attractive to the eyes.
- Because of the excess heat, you apply to your pizza toppings; you greatly eliminate your toppings’ nutrient level. If your vegetables get burnt, then they have no health benefit to you. It is not healthy to eat burnt food.
3. Using a combination of broiling and baking your pizza
Did you know that you can combine the broiling and the baking method in cooking one pizza? Yes, this is possible. If you combine these two methods, you might end up with the best pizza you could ever ask for.
The inner crust of your pizza will be well cooked, and your toppings will be crispy, the same as the outer part of the crust. When you master using these two methods, you will never prepare your pizza another way.
But it will need you to do a lot of practice and getting used to it. Below are the instructions for combining the baking and broiling option for your pizza.
- Place your skillet or your baking steel on the middle rack of your oven. Preheat your oven with the convection option at 500-degree Fahrenheit between forty-five minutes to one hour.
- Slide your already prepared pizza with a pizza peel onto the middle surface of your skillet or your baking steel. Bake the pizza for four minutes.
- After four minutes, change your pizza’s position and switch on the broiler mode on your oven. Broil the pizza for two minutes, paying close attention to it.
- Open your oven, take out your pizza, allow it to cool off for a minute. Slice up the pizza and enjoy your meal.
The secret to getting the perfect pizza from the bake and broil method is that you must get the correct baking height on your oven. This means that you must not place the pizza too close to the broiler. This would prevent your toppings from getting burnt.
It is vital to use the pizza stone because this stone absorbs and retains heat. And it can absorb the moisture from your pizza dough and cook it properly. It would help if you also got the heating time correct.
The pizza stone should be heated for nothing less than forty-five minutes; the more time you heat it, the more heat it absorbs. In total, this means that you must preheat the oven for between forty-five to one hour. If you pay attention to all these, you will get a perfect crispy and tasteful pizza.
Using the different methods of either baking or broiling have their advantages and uses. When you use them together, they give you a better result than you would expect. It is up to you to decide which works best for you as you cook your pizza.