Friday, February 08, 2013

Cast iron skillet pizza

What do you do when your pizza stone bites the dust? Use a pre-heated cast iron skillet as a pizza pan. With similar heat holding capacity, the skillet yields a better pizza than a sheet pan. The skillet absorbs heat as the oven heats up, then transfers it to the pizza during baking. The heavy floor of the skillet mimics the deck of a pizza oven in the same manner as ceramic pizza stone.

I prepared a pizza dough last night. I had intended to purchase a new ceramic stone on my way home from work this afternoon. When other chores got in the way, I arrived home without a stone. My first thought was to bake the pizza in an inverted 14-inch Dutch oven.

During a telephone conversation with my sister, we hit on the idea to use a skillet. I said that I had the perfect skillet to bake the pizza in the home oven. I recovered my 17-inch cast iron Lodge skillet from the garage and put the 14-inch Dutch oven away.

I formed the pizza from a 14 ounce piece of dough, After setting it on a pizza peel dusted with cornmeal, I spread 3/4-cup pizza sauce on the dough. Eight ounces mozzarella cheese and 6 ounces crumbled Italian sausage topped the pizza.

To bake, I slipped the pizza into the pre-heated skillet and placed it in a 450-degree oven. The pizza was ready in 15 minutes. The under crust of the pizza was evenly browned. And the pizza was cooked to perfection.

At this point, I'm not sure that I'm going to purchase a new pizza stone. Why spend the money when the 17-inch skillet serves the same purpose? Plus, it's being used. Since I rarely use the skillet, except when cooking for a crowd, it stays seasoned and clean.

Since not everyone owns Lodge's largest skillet, roll out a piece of dough to fit the diameter of your largest skillet. Pre-heat the skillet in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes before baking the pizza. A pizza peel simplifies the task of transferring the pizza into the skillet. With practice, you'll drop the pizza into the center of the skillet.

I baked a 13-inch pizza inside my Lodge 17-inch cast iron skillet this evening. The pizza fit comfortably on the surface of the skillet, which is 14 inches in diameter.


  1. Nice! I use a flat cast iron griddle in the oven in place of a stone. Works well. The pizza looks great!