The Baking Sheet Hack For An Easy Makeshift Pizza Stone

Cooked pizza on pizza stone
Cooked pizza on pizza stone - smspsy/Shutterstock

Most foodies might agree that in a perfect world, every newly built house should come equipped with either separate pizza ovens or pizza stones. You might even feel a tinge of sadness as you sort through countless homemade pizza and pizza dough recipes, lamenting the lack of a trusted pizza stone to make your signature pies extra crispy. If you've had pizza baked on a stone before, then you know what you're missing at home by simply using a regular old sheet pan. Pizza stones are sturdy slabs of ceramic, stone, or steel, that conduct high-temperature heat and evenly cook your pizza from the bottom up. As long as you have a handy pizza stone, you no longer have to worry about overcooking your pizza toppings to ensure the crust is fully cooked.

If you wish you had a pizza stone but can't bring yourself to add more tools to your kitchen inventory, you can use a baking sheet to achieve a prime pizza crust. By simply flipping your largest baking sheet and placing it on the lowest rack of your oven, you are creating your very own makeshift pizza stone. The bottom (now the top) of your baking sheet will become hot as it preheats with your oven, allowing more even heat distribution to the bottom of your pie as opposed to the top.

Read more: 8 Baking Sheet Mistakes You Want To Avoid

Transferring Your Pizza To The Inverted Baking Sheet

Square pizza slices on baking sheet
Square pizza slices on baking sheet - Zapylaiev Kostiantyn/Shutterstock

The question of should you buy a pizza stone or pizza steel can now be put on the back burner since you've discovered the reliability behind an upside-down baking pan. Yet, using an inverted baking sheet isn't the same as using a heavy flat-bottomed pizza stone. For most pizza stone owners, having a pizza peel or flat wood or steel plate attached to a stick makes prepping and transferring pizzas to a hot stone essential. If you need an easy and effective way to transfer pizza to your oven while using the baking pan method, parchment paper is your safest option however there is ongoing speculation about whether or not parchment paper interferes with crust texture, especially on a pizza stone.  To ensure the inverted baking method imparts a satisfying texture to your pie, make sure you place the pan inside the oven before preheating and crank up the temperature. 

The issue of transferring your prepped pizza to a hot inverted pan is the biggest hurdle since a flipped baking pan can easily slide around your oven grate. Also, removing pizza from an upside-down pan once cooked can prove quite difficult if you don't have a large flat cutting board for easy transfer. To prevent potential mishaps, always use both hands when removing the hot inverted pan from your oven. If this pizza stone alternative sounds too complicated or potentially dangerous for your taste, you do have a few more pizza stone substitutions to consider.

An Inverted Baking Pan Isn't The Only Way To Achieve Perfectly Cooked Pizza

2 cast-iron pizzas
2 cast-iron pizzas - Ari N/Shutterstock

For those feeling apprehensive about potentially ruining a freshly made pizza through the uneasy transfer to and from an upside-down baking pan, not all hope is lost just yet. If the weather is right and you happen to have a charcoal grill, you can try grilling your pizza. Since grills can maintain extremely hot temperatures, your pizza will be cooked in a matter of minutes but with a hint of charred deliciousness. However, with this method, flipping the dough before adding those quintessential toppings is recommended and you still need a reliable surface to transfer your pizza to and from your hot grill.

If transferring pies to opposing surfaces is your biggest concern, you can protect your deep-dish pizza from a soggy bottom with a cast-iron skillet. Cast-iron pans hold heat well, just like pizza stones, and while almost all cast-iron pans come with high sides, you can make a delicious pan pizza with delightfully crispy edges. You can also purchase specialized pizza pans that have added vents for even cooking

After considering the many alternatives, you might find that an inverted baking pan mimics the benefits of a classic pizza stone quite well. Yet if you still feel compelled to use a traditional pizza stone or steel, you may need to start saving up for one, or better yet, learn how to make your own 5-dollar pizza stone.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.