Homemade Pizza Making: Essential Tools


I think it was around New Year’s a few years ago that I told Justin that we should set a goal to master homemade pizza. I love to cook, we both love pizza, and I wanted to be able to make a crispy crust at home with delicious toppings and ingredients. So when we went to New York City earlier this year, the idea crossed my mind to see if there were any pizza making classes that we could check out.

Pizza School was most memorable one that I found thanks to over 100 positive reviews on Yelp! It wasn’t cheap, but everything about it looked promising, so I signed us up for a Friday night class and kept it a surprise until our Uber driver dropped us off at the door! The night was so much fun, so educational, and I told Justin the next day that that was one of my favorite things that we’ve ever done together (view some highlights here!).

We returned home and I could not WAIT to put my skills to the test in my home oven. There is so much that I took away from the class that I can’t get into here, but I thought I’d share a few tips for you to apply to your home pizza making endeavors!

First, the tools. You need the right equipment if you want to have a crispy and delicious crust. You also need a super hot oven. Our oven, which came with the house when we bought it, gets to 550 degrees and does the trick for us. I think the ovens at Pizza School got up to 600 or 650 degrees, but you simply do the best with what you have at home!

A pizza steel is an absolute must have. I have a pizza stone as well, but it does not give me the same crispy crust that the steel does. The steel is such a game-changer that I would be hesitant to even attempt making homemade pizza without it!

A pizza peel is crucial too, and I’ve actually found that I need more than just one! The thinner the peel is, the easier it is to hold. You’ll need to dust a bit of semolina flour on it so the pizza won’t stick, but it makes getting your pizza in and out of the oven quick and easy. This is so helpful since the goal is to have the oven open for as LITTLE time as possible. I love our peel because the handle folds in and it’s easy to store! A wood one would also work, but I prefer the thinner aluminum one!

Beyond those two essential tools, you’ll need anything else that you would typically use for making homemade pizza. We typically use a cheese grater, cutting board, and bowls with lids to let the dough rise in.

We like to make pizza on Saturday nights, and I love getting the kids involved! Their favorite part is eating as much cheese as possible while also sprinkling a little bit of it on top of the pizza. Our thin crust pizzas bake in only 6-8 minutes so the wait time isn’t too long to bite into a delicious homemade pizza!

I thought it may be helpful to share how I make the dough and stretch it step-by-step, so I have that currently in the works! I’ll also share my pizza dough recipe and some other helpful tips so you can make delicious homemade pizza too!

In the meantime get that pizza steel and peel! You will need both for successful pizza making!

P.S. such a cute weekend tee!






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Comments (31)

  1. Posted March 23, 2018

    I don’t have a pizza steel nor stone (nor an oven, actually), so I usually just make my pizzas in a sheet pan in my toaster oven. And I use premade dough mostly… yes, a bit lazy, but it gets the job done! 😉

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  2. Allie says
    Posted March 23, 2018

    I’d never heard of a pizza steel before and it makes so much sense! I can’t wait to read your dough recipe, I’ve been wanting to make pizza in the pizza oven my apartment offers, but haven’t had a chance to do research on how to ,ace it great. Thanks to you I’m all set! Thanks Kate! xAllie http://www.theallthatglittersblog.com

  3. Marjorie says
    Posted March 23, 2018

    If you want to take it up another level look into buying an “uuni 3”. We got one for Christmas and our pizzas are amazing and it so fun!

  4. Sophie says
    Posted March 23, 2018

    Have you seen the Uuni portable pizza oven? I bought my husband one for his 40th birthday a couple of years back and they are fantastic. You can cook gorgeous wood smoked pizza in a couple of minutes. It’s a fun way to spend a summer evening too.

  5. Stacy says
    Posted March 23, 2018

    What exactly is a pizza steel and peel?

    • Robyn says
      Posted March 27, 2018

      Pizza steel is a metal cooking tray you put in your oven to cook the pizza on. A pizza peel is what you form the pizza on and then use to slide in and out of the oven.

  6. Amanda says
    Posted March 23, 2018

    I’ve never made my own pizza, but I’m certainly going to introduce it as
    a quality time family activity. Our oven has a pizza setting, so it will be great to make proper use of it. Thanks for the kick-start!

  7. Cher says
    Posted March 23, 2018

    The pizza steel is not in stock 😞

  8. Kait says
    Posted March 23, 2018

    Kate! I’m so excited to read more in your pizza series! My husband has a pellet smoker and bought a pizza oven attachment for it about a year ago. It creates a “wood fired” pizza, getting up to 800 degrees. Pizza cooks in about 3 minutes. We are still trying to figure out things like stretching the dough, but each time we get more proficient and our crust is ALMOST PERFECT! Two things… we’ve learned to go light on the toppings to help with a crunchy crust.
    Also, the BEST way to REHEAT pizza is in the toaster over. Turn it to toast and run it through on light-medium twice. It’s just as good as straight out of the oven!

  9. Amanda says
    Posted March 23, 2018

    I hope you share your favorite sauce! I’m off to order the steel and peel!

  10. Michelle says
    Posted March 23, 2018

    Does the semolina flour really make a difference? We have had such a hard time getting the dough off the pizza peel without sticking. We’ve used regular all-purpose flour and it burns and we don’t like corn meal.

  11. Michelle Utley says
    Posted March 23, 2018

    Thanks for the tips! Friday night are out homemade pizza nights!

  12. SH says
    Posted March 23, 2018

    Thank you for this post! I would love to learn how to improve my pizza making skills. I’ve never heard of a pizza steel. I have a stone and use that but the steel was news to me! Thanks again. Cant wait for additional posts.

  13. Alyssa says
    Posted March 23, 2018

    Have you ever tried gluten free??? Any recommendations?

  14. christi says
    Posted March 23, 2018

    I use Mark Bittman’s dough recipe and bake the pizza in a Pampered Chef stone pan. I love, love, love the corner pieces!
    My parents made pizza on Sundays in the winter and now my DH and I make it on Friday nights.

  15. Laurel says
    Posted March 23, 2018

    I would love to see how u make the pizza!

  16. Claire says
    Posted March 24, 2018

    The pizza looks tasty I’ve made pizza once it tasted really good – must do again it was far easier than I thought it would be 😊

  17. Val Crawford says
    Posted March 25, 2018

    Sooooo excited for the pizza posts!!!!! I’ve been hoping for them since seeing your class on instastories. Thanks Kate!!!

  18. Dana says
    Posted March 25, 2018

    We’ve been making homemade pizza for years and prefer it over take-out any day. We have a stone, but not a steel…now I need one! Thanks for the tip!

  19. Posted March 25, 2018

    Oh, this is a great skill. My teenage boys are still asking me to make homemade pizza instead of store-bought or take out, because it’s THE BEST. Have you tried using Italian 00 flour? It makes great dough.


  20. Carol says
    Posted March 25, 2018

    We do our own pizza and I can add a few things to you post that we have found makes the pizza so darn good we’ll never ever go out for pizza again!!! First, using only “00” Italian flour, it’s superfine and gives the crust an amazing texture. Second, a perforated pizza pan—no more gooey middles. And third, using King Arthur Flour’s Easy Roll Dough Improver (and their recipe for pizza dough). And we’ve given up the tasteless mozzarella cheese for roughly grated REAL Parmesan, Romano, Asiago. Wow!!!!

    • Kate says
      Posted April 23, 2018

      Do you have a preferred pizza sauce?!?!

  21. Kristine T. says
    Posted March 25, 2018

    Hi Kate! Can you share your favorite recipe for pizza dough?

  22. Robyn says
    Posted March 27, 2018

    The pizza steel sounds amazing! I gave up on making pizzas recently because my stone would stink up the house and you’re not suppose to clean it. Looks like you solved my problem. Thanks!

  23. Janna says
    Posted March 28, 2018

    Have you tried grilling pizza? We have a pizza stone for our grill and it’s our go to in the summer to not heat up the house. Even frozen pizzas are better on the grill. Also it makes a fun activity to have people over with a variety of toppings everyone can make their own pizza.

  24. Kristine Byrnes says
    Posted April 8, 2018

    Do you have an update to this post ? It makes me want Pizza !! LOL .

  25. Kimberly says
    Posted April 14, 2018

    Kate, thanks for the pizza blog! A pizza class sounds like so much fun! I look forward to your recipe and stretching tips, I’ll be on the look out for that post!

  26. Posted June 2, 2018

    Nice and beautiful info about spicy wood fired pizza and pizza restaurants.If you want more about Pizza Restaurants and different flavors of pizzas

  27. Posted June 2, 2018

    Nice and beautiful info about spicy Wood Fired Pizza and pizza restaurants. If you want more about Pizza Restaurants and different flavors of delicious and tasty Wood Fired Pizza

  28. Posted June 8, 2018

    My nephew really loves pizza and I thought it could be fun for us to make some pizzas when he stays with me this summer. I liked that you pointed out that having a really thin pizza peel could help us make better pizzas. It still might be a good idea for me to find a good restaurant to take him to encase we mess up all of the pizzas.

  29. Posted June 30, 2018

    Nice article about Pizza Restaurants and you can taste fresh and delicious tasty Wood Fired Pizza in different flavors pairing with wine in different shapes at low cost