Making delicious pizza at home is not just about buying good ingredients and following a good recipe. You need to have the right equipment as well.
Because making pizza is such a singular task, it requires buying some specialized tools to get the job done. In fact, without some of these tools, like a pizza peel and stone, it would be impossible to make certain kinds of pizza at home. This checklist will help you get started.
- Weigh Scale
- Pizza Stone/Steel
- Pizza Peel
- Dough Scraper
- Cast Iron Pan
- Perforated Pizza Pan
- Dough Proofing Container
- Potato Masher (for sauce)
Thankfully, most of these tools aren’t difficult to find or particularly expensive. And with a little practice, you can start making near-restaurant quality pizza right at home.
Unfortunately, it’s not quite as easy to discern the quality tools from the gimmicky and unnecessary ones. Here’s a list of everything you need to get started. Most of these tools you can probably find at a local shop, but I’m going to stick to ones available on Amazon since most people have access to it.
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Pizza Making Tools Checklist
Pizza Stone or Steel
This is probably the number one most essential tool to have if you want to make pizza that’s anything like what you might get at a pizzeria. A pizza stone or steel is what will get you that crispy, browned bottom without having to overcook the rest of the pizza.
A pizza stone or steel also helps with oven spring, due to the extreme heat of the surface, which makes the pizza extra fluffy.
Pizza Stone vs Pizza Steel
I own both a pizza stone and a pizza steel and both have their advantages and disadvantages. Personally, I prefer using my pizza stone over the pizza steel.
I find that I get a better tasting, lighter pizza crust with the pizza stone. I believe this is because the stone doesn’t get quite as hot as the steel and also because the stone is porous and so absorbs moisture as the crust bakes. The pizza steel, in my experience, makes the bottom a little too crispy for my taste.
That being said, there are advantages and disadvantages to using a pizza steel and stone.
Rocksheat 12×15 Rectangular Pizza Stone
Price Range: $28 – $40
NerdChef Steel Stone – High-Performance Baking
Price Range: $80 – $110
|Pros/Cons||Pizza Stone||Pizza Steel|
|Pros||cheap, widely available, absorbs moisture, easy to maintain, no seasoning required||preheats very quickly, easy to clean, won’t crack, gets extremely hot|
|Cons||can crack, takes a long time to preheat, oil and grease stains, can smoke||might overcook bottom, needs seasoning, more expensive, harder to find|
Pizza Stone/Steel Buying Tips
- Look for the biggest stone/steel that will fit in your oven. This will give you the flexibility to make a larger pizza.
- Buy a rectangular stone/steel instead of a round one. It makes getting the pizza dough on and off so much easier. It also lets you bake a rectangular pizza.
- The thicker the stone, the more heat it will retain.
Look at any recipe listed online in metric and you’ll find people in the comment section asking for cups and spoons. These people are truly missing out on an amazing way to take measurements.
A kitchen scale is absolutely superior to using cups and spoons. Not only does it make measuring out your ingredients faster, it allows you to reproduce the same measurements every single time. This means your pizza dough will turn out perfect every time.
Measuring based on volume, such as with cups and spoons, is problematic because the volume of something as fine as flour can vary considerably depending on the type of flour, moisture level or even just the humidity in the air. This means the amount of flour in your cup will vary quite a bit each time you make the recipe.
Powlaken Food Digital Kitchen Scale
Price Range: $10 – $15
Kitchen Scale Buying Tips:
Weigh scales can vary in price from a few dollars on sale to a lot more. The best weigh scale will be a compromise between price and sensitivity to small weights.
- Look for a weigh scale that can measure weights under 1 gram. This will come in handy when measuring small quantity ingredients like yeast and salt.
A pizza peel is one of those items that are absolutely necessary if you’re looking to make certain kinds of pizza. For example, if you’re using a pizza stone you’ll need to have a peel or else you won’t have a way to get the dough off and on the stone.
Using a pizza peel can take a but of practice, but thankfully it’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it. If you need help, check out my post about using pizza peels here.
Epicurean Pizza Peel – 21.5×14
Price Range: $30-$40
Pizza Peel Buying Tips
- Look for a peel that’s as big or bigger than your pizza stone. This will allow you to make a large pizza.
- Get as thin of a peel as you can find. This will make sliding it under the pizza a lot easier.
- Wooden peels stick slightly less than metal peels.
- Make sure your peel isn’t wider than your oven door!
A dough scraper is something you don’t really think is necessary until you start using one. Sure, you can use a spatula most of the time but the scraper just makes things so much easier.
I use my dough scraper for kneading wet dough, picking up wet dough balls, sliding flour under wet dough and cleaning the counter when I’m done.
I recommend getting two dough scrapers because it allows you to wedge underneath a wet dough ball and lift it and drop it like a claw without puncturing it with your fingers.
Chef’n Pastrio 3-in-1 Bench Scraper Set
Price Range: $7-$10
Dough Scraper Buying Tips:
- Get a straight edge scraper for cleaning counters.
- Metal scrapers tend to stick less than plastic
- Get 2 scrapers for lifting and moving balls of wet dough
- A rounded, flexible scraper is best for scraping out of bowls
Cast Iron Pan
A cast iron pan isn’t strictly necessary for making pizza, but it is something that can help with making certain styles. For example, I use mine exclusively for making bar style pizza.
But you can make lot’s of other kinds of pizza in a cast iron pan as well. The benefits of a cast iron pan are similar to that of a pizza stone or steel. Namely, the cast iron absorbs and retains heat very well. I like to prepare the pizza in an oiled pan then start it off on top of the stove (the burner) and then transfer it into a hot oven to finish off. It’s a great and easy way to make a tasty pizza.
And unlike a lot of the tools listed here, a cast iron pan can be used for a lot more than just making pizza. In fact, you might already own one.
Lodge Cast Iron Skillet, Pre-Seasoned with Silicone Hot Handle
Price Range: $30-$40
Cast Iron Pan Buying Tips:
- Cast iron pans get extremely hot so make sure you buy a rubber handle cover to go along with it.
- Make sure you buy the right sized pan for your plans. Most cast iron pans are small, so if you want to make large pizzas get a larger one.
Perforated Pizza Pan
A perforated pizza pan is something I recommend every pizza maker have in their kitchen. It’s a great tool to have around when you want to make a pizza but don’t feel like preheating a stone for hours, or even if you’re just in a rush to get dinner on the table.
A perforated pan is not going to cook a pizza as well as a pizza stone or steel but it comes close. I was surprised when I recently did a side-by-side comparison of my perforated pan and pizza stone. The pan didn’t get quite as crispy of a bottom, as you’d expect, but it was still a very decent pizza. The benefits become clear when you consider how much less time and preparation is necessary to use a pan compared to a stone. And that’s not to mention a pan doesn’t require owning or knowing how to use a pizza peel.
Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Nonstick Bakeware 14-Inch Pizza Pan
Price Range: $20-$25
Pizza Pan Buying Tips
- The biggest issue with pans is that they block heat from baking the crust. Look for one with holes in it to mitigate this issue.
- Buy as large of a pan that will fit in your oven so you can make as big of a pizza as you want.
Dough Proofing Container
This is another tool that isn’t strictly necessary but makes life so much easier.
Proofing dough balls is an essential part of making homemade pizza, and having an appropriate container to do that in makes for a better pizza.
Remember, it’s not just about having a container to fit the dough. You need to have enough room to maneuver a spatula underneath it so you can get it out of the container without damaging it. If you just reach in and grab it with your fingers, you’re going to squeeze out all the gas that has built up and possibly even puncture it. This will ruin any chances producing a nice fluffy pizza crust.
Alternatively, you can always use a large pan with a high rim covered in plastic wrap. But most pans like this aren’t big enough to fit more than 1 or 2 dough balls at a time. You can also use a large plastic container and store each dough ball individually.
DoughMate Artisan Dough Tray Kit
Price Range: $55-$60
Dough Proofing Box Buying Tips:
- Think about how many dough balls you’ll be storing at once. If you plan on storing several, you’ll want a full sized box.
- If you’re only storing one at a time, consider buying a dough proofing basket or pan.
- Get something that comes with a lid to avoid wasting plastic wrap and for ease of use.
You might be thinking, why do I need a potato masher for making pizza? Well, while some people like to put mashed potatoes on pizza, this is for mashing up tomatoes for sauce.
There are plenty of other tools that will mash up a tomato into sauce, including your bare hands, but I find a potato masher works well and is something many people have in their kitchen already. I also like the fact that it mashes well while still leaving small chunks of tomato to preserve flavor and freshness.
An immersion blender, or food processer, works well for this too, but in my opinion it’s a bit overkill and can sometimes blend the tomatoes too much. But then again electric blenders have other uses to maybe it’s worth it for you.
Potato Masher, Stainless Steel – Dishwasher Safe
Price Range: $10-$15
When you have all the gear and are ready to go, try out some of these pizza recipes:
- My Neapolitan style pizza recipe
- My Detroit style pizza recipe
- My bar style pizza recipe
- My Roman style pizza al taglio recipe
- My perforated pizza pan recipe
So there you have it – my essential pizza making tools checklist.
It might not be the longest or most expensive list of items in the world, but it’s everything you need to get started making amazing homemade pizza right now. Stay tuned for a future update including some of the fancier items like dough mixers and pizza ovens.
Have you tried any of the items on this list? What did you think of them? Let us know in the comments below.