Use Tongs To Help You Tell When Your Pizza Crust Is Cooked

Beloved by all, even the simplest pizza has the power to transform a dreary afternoon into a dreamy day. Gooey mozzarella, a garlicky crust, and lip-smacking, herby pizza sauce? Yes, please, gimme more!

A pizza pie needs three layers to be perfect in our book — melty cheese, a saucy center, and, most importantly, a crispy base. There's nothing as annoying as slicing up your homemade pizza and biting into a squishy, doughy middle because you pulled it out of the oven a couple of minutes too early. This occurs if you don't check the bottom of your pizza and rely solely on the appearance of the melty cheese and bubbling sauce on the top as a measure of doneness.

Here's where those tongs you use for flipping steaks, tossing salads, turning tortillas, and grilling in the backyard come in handy. Pick up those pincers and grab hold of the edge of your pizza crust, gently lifting it to avoid disturbing the delicious toppings you've lovingly layered on the top. Now, this next stage is the essential bit; you want to raise the tongs high enough to see the middle of your pizza so you can inspect the center of the base for signs of color.

Why check the middle of a pizza crust for doneness?

The edge of your pizza will always color before the center, so a pillowy, golden crust and cheesy charred edge isn't the only sign to look out for in assessing whether your pie is ready to slice. A cooked edge doesn't guarantee a crispy middle because it takes time for the oven's heat to reach the center of the pie and evaporate the moisture in the dough. Lifting the tongs and raising the base allows you to look across the pizza's radius to the center and check for yummy charred spots for a fuller-flavored bite. If the middle is white and doughy, your pizza is definitely under-baked. Taking it out now will result in a floppy slice with a soggy center, lacking in flavor, texture, and optimum chew.

If your pizza crust is undercooked after checking the base with tongs, give it a couple more minutes to bake thoroughly. Then for your next batch, try cranking the oven temperature up a notch to encourage a crispier base and create more of those scrumptious pockets of air that make pizza dough so chewy and moreish. If you haven't been blessed with the storage space for a pizza peel, tongs are the ideal alternative for turning your pizza in the oven and pulling it out safely when it's cooked to perfection.