As much as I enjoy the Italian goodness, I’m not a huge fan of oven pizzas. But sometimes it’s just so easy and convenient to pop a frozen pie in the oven. Over the years, I’ve learned a few tips to make oven pizza taste a little more like your favorite pizza joint. It may not exactly rival Pizzology or Bazbeaux, but with these simple tips, you can make a pizza in your kitchen that you’re proud of.
Tip #1: Get a pizza baking stone! For around $30, you can pick one up just about anywhere that sells kitchen gadgets. The stone will ensure the perfect combination of a crispy yet chewy crust. The more you use it, the better your pizzas will taste. After your first run with a pizza baking stone, I’m confident you’ll agree it was $30 well spent. Note: The stones aren’t meant to be washed. I keep mine on the bottom self of my oven. Crumbs and sauce overspill burn off.
Tip #2: Buy pizzas that are refrigerated, not frozen, with minimal toppings; add fresh toppings of your choice. My favorite at-home pizzas come from Whole Foods ($8-$10). The pies are always fresh. You can find them in the refrigerated food area. I pick up a simple cheese pizza then hit the produce department and deli for the rest of my ingredients. I buy fresh veggies and pepperoni that I add to the pizza when I get home. By adding fresh ingredients, it improves the texture and flavor of the pie.
Tip #3: Sprinkle the pizza with crushed red pepper. In my opinion, the sauces on take home pizzas leave much to be desired. I add a little crushed red pepper for an extra kick of flavor.
Tip #4: After slicing and plating the pizza, lightly drizzle it with a flavored olive oil. I prefer red pepper and chili infused olive oil- I discovered it about a year ago at a hole-in-the-wall NYC pizzeria. If you don’t like red pepper, you can get olive oils infused with numerous herbs and spices.