Not Martha

cast iron skillet to cook pizza

pizza cooked in a heated cast iron skillet

Maybe I don’t need a pizza stone after all. Last night we made pizza and since I really, really wanted to make sure the dough cooked all the way through (this time) I decided to cook it in our large cast iron skillet that had I heated in the oven and slid the pizza into to cook, around 450 degrees. I was thinking of Cinnamon as I was pulling out the skillet as she is currently doing the final edits on her cast iron cook book. (You go!)

This pizza is spicy Italian sausage, kale and leftover fresh mozzarella. It could have used a bit more garlic, a note for next time.

· comments [61] · 01-7-2010 · categories:food ·

61 responses so far ↓

  • 1 barrie // Jan 7, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    i notice when i use my skillet for stuff like frittatas or any other baking thing, stuff sticks to the bottom. did you notice if that happened with your pizza? my skillet is very well lubricated (it was my grandma’s who must’ve had it for 50 years) and since i don’t want to wash my skillet, do you have any advice on keeping the crust from sticking? because i usually make pizza our a crappy pie pan and this would be so much better.

  • 2 K @ Prudent and Practical // Jan 7, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    I don’t have a skillet because I don’t know anything about them :-( A few months ago I bought a pizza stone and we love it! We can do bread, cookies, and of course pizza and calzones on it. I’ve never heard of pizza on the stove top and now I’m intrigued. Do you have to do anything special to the pan or pizza? Thanks!

  • 3 Jen // Jan 7, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    This looks absolutely divine. We will be trying this one at home. I’ve got to learn uses for my cast iron skillets because they are so heavy and take up so much space.

    Cheers!
    Jen

  • 4 bemytomato // Jan 7, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    I was JUST thinking I should use my skillet- I found it while I was moving. Hooray- will link it!

  • 5 Sarah // Jan 7, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    I have never used anything but cast iron skillets for baking homemade pizza and LOVE it. I usually put a thin coat of butter or olive oil over the pan surface before I put the crust in, but I’ve never had any problems with the crust sticking. I actually find that baking pizza in the skillets seems to help keep other stuff from sticking later.

  • 6 meredith // Jan 7, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    i recently tried this recipe for chicago-style stuffed pizza in a cast iron skillet:

    http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=2047.0

    my husband & i am from chicago & were really pleased with the results! the only thing we’d change is to do not drain the tomato juice… the sauce gets a little too dry.

  • 7 Rachel // Jan 7, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Never thought of using a cast iron skillet for pizza. Hmm, I’m going to have to look into that for future pizza cookin’ ;)

  • 8 Jamieofalltrades // Jan 7, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    I saw another cast iron cookbook in a kitchen store and have been to a ton of restaurants who have dishes made in skillets. Must be the next new thing. Can’t wait to check out the new cookbook.

  • 9 lauren // Jan 7, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    um.. yum. I didn’t think I was hungry and now I am starving.
    Good motivator – I actually got a baking stone a few months ago and haven’t used it yet!
    I don’t know what I am thinking…

  • 10 Kristin // Jan 7, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    What a terrific idea! Now I know what we’re doing this weekend, making pizza!

  • 11 amanda // Jan 7, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Do you pre-cook the kale?

  • 12 Seanna Lea // Jan 7, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    I don’t have a cast iron skillet, but it has been on my wish list for so long!

  • 13 megan // Jan 7, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Amanda – It was sauteed with garlic before being put on the pizza.

    K – Oh no, it wasn’t made on the stovetop. I put the skillet in the oven to heat with the oven, then I slid the pizza into the hot skillet, still inside the oven, to cook. I put a light layer of vegetable oil in the skillet beforehand.

  • 14 Cinnamon // Jan 7, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Thanks for the link (and the encouragement). If you want to make a thinner, crisper crust (use less dough, roll or stretch out and then poke it all over with a fork to prevent it from puffing up while it bakes), you can place your skillet in the oven upside down while the oven preheats. Then just slide your pizza on top of the bottom of the skillet and let it bake. It’s easy to slide off onto a cutting board or plate.

    Barrie, if your skillet is shiny and smooth food shouldn’t stick to it. It sounds like you don’t wash it with soap, which is great. You may want to try very lightly greasing or oiling the pan before baking a frittata. Eggs tend to be the thinks that stick the most for me, but I get it mostly on the edges of the skillet, not the bottom.

  • 15 Erin Bournique // Jan 8, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Hi,

    We always use our large 10″ cast iron pan as our pizza stone. It rocks!! Thank you for posting this. Forget buying a pricy pizza stone, this is just as good if not better!

    Happy Baking,
    Erin

  • 16 nora // Jan 8, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    for people with loyalties to their favorite pizza parlor, i suggest taking leftover pizza and reheating slices in a frying pan with olive oil. it is AMAZING. this tip was given to me by the biggest health freak i have ever met, so in my mind i pretend it’s healthier than cold pizza.

  • 17 Jodi Anderson // Jan 8, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    This is a fantastic idea!! I have my great-grandmother’s cast iron pan. My mom used to wash it in soap and water, so it needs to be seasoned. It’s over 100 years old and this might be the first thing that I make in it once the pan is ready.

  • 18 EB // Jan 8, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    I do the same thing. It has always worked for me!

  • 19 Leah // Jan 8, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Oh – that looks deVINE! Would you PLEASE share your crust recipe/technique? I’ve been trying to make a great thinnish crust for ages and cannot get it right. Yours looks perfect.

  • 20 megan // Jan 8, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Leah – Sadly I won’t be much help here, my secret is buying pre-made pizza dough that is made by a local pizza joint and sold in the grocery stores here. Trader Joe’s always has fresh pizza dough in the refrigerated section, around where the packaged salads are.

  • 21 Jennie Paige // Jan 8, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    I can see that totally working. I do love it on a pizza stone but will give this a try.

  • 22 Butzeballchen // Jan 9, 2010 at 7:20 am

    What a smart idea! I have found this to be a great pizza dough recipe (even for friends who have had trouble with other crusts):
    http://books.google.com/books?id=NHPQ1mkbp3YC&pg=PA111&lpg=PA111&dq=the+new+basics+pizza+crust&source=bl&ots=2mpser0hVS&sig=qBc5NjdxGBRIlERWi7V851Lea3w&hl=en&ei=yo9IS8ygLYealAebwpgS&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=the%20new%20basics%20pizza%20crust&f=false

    For Megan (fellow kale addict), I recently discovered this fantastic kale salad at Whole Foods. Supposedly this is the recipe:
    http://rjlacko.wordpress.com/2009/03/17/get-your-greens-perfect-kale-salad/

    Delicious!

  • 23 sarah // Jan 9, 2010 at 11:26 am

    What a clever solution to the pizza stone problem. They are unitaskers that are so expensive and large to store that I have avoided buying one. Thanks!

  • 24 Erin D. // Jan 10, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    OMFG, how have I never thought of this? Brilliant. Thank you!

  • 25 Jacques Trebuchet // Jan 10, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Superheat the skillet *upside down* in the oven and slide the pizza onto it to cook fast. The skillet stays bottom-side up in this version.

  • 26 Cook Pizza in a Cast-Iron Skillet [Clever Uses] | Computer Tips and Tricks // Jan 10, 2010 at 2:44 pm

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  • 29 Walter F. Wouk // Jan 10, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Re: using a cast iron skillet or frying pan for Pizza, etc.

    Skillet: Rub a little Olive Oil on the pan before you use it to bake “whatever.” Nine out of ten times it won’t stick. If it does, let it sit over night and scrape it off the next day. I use a Putty Knife, which is dedicated to that purpose.

    Frying Pan: Same as above, except for cleaning. Pour in a small amount of hot water and let it sit ’til the next day. It will clean up easy.

  • 30 dave // Jan 10, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    This is great, we use cast iron skillets to cook cornbread, it comes out much better than a regular baking pan. Makes sense it would work on pizza.

    One thing though, a pizza stone isn’t really a uni-tasker-we keep ours in the oven at all times. It holds heat, so when you open the door you’ll lose less energy. Put it on the bottom rack, it spreads out the heat evenly to whatever you’re baking.

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  • 32 Kevin Bingham // Jan 10, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Another, similar way to make pizza with cast iron, is to heat up a skillet, drop the pizza on it, and put it under a broiler. I demonstrate this very technique here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDrELqxz45w

    Enjoy!

  • 33 Ted H // Jan 10, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Pizza on a stone (or skillet) on the Weber kettle with some wood chips along with the coals.

    Super extra yum!

  • 34 Meganite // Jan 11, 2010 at 12:02 am

    Nora: I couldn’t agree with you more – this is the BEST way to enjoy pizza leftovers. I use my flat, non-stick griddle, lightly sprayed with olive oil. Turn the heat to med-hi and “fry” the pizza on both the top and bottom until brown, crisp and well heated. This trick almost makes pizza taste better than fresh baked!

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  • 36 bill // Jan 11, 2010 at 9:31 am

    I worked at pizza hut for years, and they essentially use a skillet like this for all pizza.

    Make sure it’s well oiled.

  • 37 corinna // Jan 12, 2010 at 8:38 am

    lay pizza dough on to parchment paper after rolling out; oil ‘crust’, top with ‘stuff’. slide pizza paddle under paper and onto preheated stone or skillet and bake your usual time and temp. no mess, no sticking, perfect every time!

  • 38 Karen // Jan 12, 2010 at 9:06 am

    I love using my cast iron for making pizza. I usually sprinkle a little bit of cornmeal in the bottom of the skillet to prevent the pizza from sticking. It gives the added bonus of providing a little extra crunch to the crust!

  • 39 nette // Jan 12, 2010 at 9:34 am

    I have been making pan fried pizza for years now, and just got a larger cast iron skillet, which I am excited to use for this purpose.

    I also had issues with dough not cooking or getting soggy. 2 solutions:

    NY Times’ article about pan-fried pizza: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/07/dining/071mrex.html?_r=1&scp=20&sq=pizza+recipes&st=nyt
    (I pan fry one side, flip, add toppings, and stick in the broiler to blister up the cheese)

    2. use tomato paste from the tube rather than sauce (or cook your sauce in a small sauce pan to thicken up) so that there is less water to make your dough soggy. This is less necessary than step 1, but works well…

  • 40 megan // Jan 12, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Thanks for all the skillet pizza links and pizza reheating tips. I reheated these leftovers in the skillet stovetop and it was nicely crunchy.

  • 41 Meadowlark // Jan 13, 2010 at 11:57 am

    @Barrie – also make sure you pan is HOT before you start. Preheating the skillet made all the difference for me as far as sticking.

  • 42 Stefani // Jan 14, 2010 at 9:05 am

    I never thought of cooking pizza that way. It definitely looks delicious!

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  • 51 Fred E. // Jan 16, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    If you are having trouble with the pizza sticking, sprinkle a little cornmeal in the pan before putting in the dough.

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  • 55 sausage guy // Jan 19, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    did you precook the italian sausage as well?

  • 56 megan // Jan 19, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Sausage Guy – We did, if only to mix it with more crushed pepper because the sausage itself wasn’t as spicy as we’d hoped. The pizza cooked so quickly I think precooking the sausage would have been necessary.

  • 57 Angie // Jan 21, 2010 at 10:52 am

    How clever! I will definitely be doing this with my next pizza, great idea!

  • 58 SarahM // Jan 21, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    I had no idea you could do this! I love my cast iron and will definitely try this! Love it.

  • 59 Barkcookware // Feb 3, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    I would have never considered using it for pizza I’ve used it for about every thing else I’ll have to give it a try. I think that it is the most durable and long lasting cookware out there even when it has been abused it can be brought back to life with a little tender loving care. Try abusing a non stick, enamel coated, all clad or stainless steel cookware and you might as well chuck it. I know of cast iron skillets and Dutch ovens that have been passed down through 2 generations and are know in the hands of the 3 generation and are still a pleasure to cook in.

  • 60 Lindsay // Mar 3, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    I just tried this tonight with a white pizza, and it was awesome. I can only make a one person pizza, but ummmmm… so good. I cooked it about 10 minutes. I think it replaces grilled pizza as my favorite, which is a lot to say, and quite unfortunate given that the weather is turning warmer and I won’t heat up the oven that hot :)

  • 61 Billy // Jun 18, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    I never thought about putting kale on a pizza but what a great idea with the sausage! I would have to say that everything can use a bit more garlic. :)

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