I’ve always had a tendency to fixate on a particular thing for a short period of time. I suspect it might have something to do with my addictive personality… (Okay, they’re probably closely related. But hey, there are worse things to channel that energy into, right?) Anyway, the reason I bring this tendency up is because I’ve had a new fixation over the past couple of weeks, and it’s the reason behind today’s blog post!
What’s the fixation, you ask? It’s PIZZA—but not just any pizza. We’re talking fresh, homemade, handmade pizza. And I’ve been making a lot of it lately, with the help of a new “toy” that I received during a gift exchange at our OGT company Christmas party back in December. Imagine my surprise when I unwrapped a stovetop pizza oven (something I wasn’t even aware existed before then!) I’ve been so obsessed with this amazing contraption that I simply had to share it with you all!
What Is A Stovetop Pizza Oven?
I thought I’d start by explaining what exactly a stovetop pizza oven is, so you can understand a bit more about how it works. It’s basically a big metal box with a narrow cooking chamber, which is lined on all sides (except the front) with special heat-retaining pizza stones.
This particular model is designed to work on gas-powered stovetops (though they also offer a model that will work on your grill!) You just place it over one of your burners, crank the heat up, and let the pizza oven preheat for about 20 minutes or so. Once the gauge on top of the oven indicates that it has reached the proper temperature, it’s time to start cooking!
How Do You Use It?
Once the oven is properly hot, it couldn’t be easier (or faster) to whip up a delicious homemade pizza. It takes just a few simple steps, which I’ll tell you about at length here.
Step 1 – Roll Out Your Dough
In order to cook a pizza, you’ll need to assemble one first! ;-) Start by rolling out a piece of pizza dough into a thin circle about 10” in diameter. Use your favorite homemade dough, a store-bought pizza dough, or try using my simple and versatile two-ingredient dough!
The oven comes with a wooden pizza peel, and I’ve found that if you just roll the dough out directly on the peel, you don’t have to struggle with sliding it on later. Just make sure to use flour or cornmeal underneath the dough to prevent it from sticking to the wood!
Step 2 – Add Pizza Toppings
Once your dough is all rolled out, you can add your toppings. My favorite combination lately is based on a classic Margherita pizza: a thin layer of pizza sauce, dotted with bits of fresh mozzarella and basil leaves. (Mmm… I’m making myself hungry!)
But feel free to get creative with your own pizzas! Sprinkle them with veggies, meats, and cheeses to your heart’s desire. Half the fun of making pizza at home is trying out interesting combinations and finding new favorites!
Step 3 – Cook The Pizza
Once your pizza is assembled and ready to go, simply slide it into the cooking chamber of the pre-heated pizza oven. And as your pizza will likely be cooked in about 2-4 minutes, this is not a “walk away while it cooks” situation. ;-) Just keep an eye on it, and use the metal spatula that comes with the oven to pull the pizza out when it’s done.
Not sure when it’s done? I like to use the metal spatula to peek underneath the crust to check the color. Once the crust is golden-brown, it’s just a matter of preference as to when you take the pizza out. (If you like a slightly scorched pizza, leave it in a bit longer.)
Step 4 – Cool And Eat
This might just be the hardest step of them all! Because once the pizza comes out, you do have to wait a minute or two to start eating it. (Trust me, it will be really hot when it comes out! It’s worth waiting a few minutes to avoid burning off all your tastebuds.) Then once your pizza is cool enough, just slice it up and eat!
But Wait, There’s More…
As great as this stovetop pizza oven is a cooking pizza, that’s not the only thing you can cook with it! According to the manufacturer’s website, you can also cook meats, vegetables, and even baked goods like cookies and brownies! I haven’t tried cooking anything but pizza in it yet, but I’m looking forward to giving some of these a try.
Certain things can be cooked directly on the stone, like breads, quesadillas, etc. But wetter things like batters and meats should be cooked in a cast iron pan (which is one of the only materials that can withstand the heat of this kind of oven). If you’re not a “pizza every week” kind of person, you can still find a lot of ways to put this oven to good use!
While I had no idea that I would come out of our company gift exchange with a stovetop pizza oven, I’m so happy I did! I’ve had so much fun making (and eating!) tasty homemade pizzas over the past few weeks. It’s cheaper, healthier, and much more delicious than plain old delivery pizza!
Every person I’ve told about my stovetop pizza oven has had the same reaction I did. Which is: “I had no idea those even existed!” So at the very least, I hope this post has opened your eyes to more pizza possibilities! :-)
Do you ever make pizzas at home?